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31st

I dropped Rich off at the airport Thursday afternoon to head to Arkansas to see family. So me and the kids had the weekend to ourselves.

I took Bandit in yesterday to have his drain looked at. They hoped to take it out, but it was still draining a lot. So he still has the drain at least until Monday. He is still doing well leaving it alone and all. 

This morning I got up around 6:30 and hopped on the lawn mower. After about an hour it ran out of gas and I went in for 15 minutes or so and had breakfast. I finished mowing by 9:30ish and decided Shelby needed a bath before her yearly check up on Monday. Once I got the shampoo and towels out and got all wet, I just decided to keep bathing. I ended up bathing 9 dogs outside with the hose. The heat index was absurd, so a little time in the yard go most of the dried up pretty fast. I didn't do Bandit because of his drain and I couldn't bear the thought of drying the Siberians, so they got off too.

 

27th

The ultrasound on Bandit's head revealed, well, nothing really. So, they opened his bump up and looked around. Nothing looked particularly scary. But, oddly there was only a few fissures of infection and one small core infection almost sitting on his skull. The other tissue appears to be scar tissue that his body was forming to encapsulate the infection and keep in from spreading. There was a sample taken for culture and one for histology. We are holding off on histology since nothing looked bad. We've added a second antibiotic and a drain to let the ooze seep out. ICK! But at least, so far, he's not interested in messing with the drain. Poor guy. Hope he's all better by next weekend!

26th

Bandit's head knot is not any better, so off to the vet. I hate that there was a fill in vet last Monday when he went in. I just knew this was going to be a wasted visit where my vet re-does all the same things we did last Monday and still there is no answer. I was right! Wasted trip and money. I had to pay for the same things TWICE. Anyway, he's going in tomorrow to be sedated and get an ultrasound. The vet is hoping to find a core or a pocket of infection that he can deal with on the picture. Otherwise I am likely off to a specialist (ophthalmologist) because of where the swollen area is.

25th

Bandit rode along this weekend to the USDAA show in Hattiesburg. His head was still not any better when I left and he needed twice a day antibiotics. He did great traveling, but I forgot he retired from traveling before the motor home came to our house so he was nervous about the motor home floors and such. Spirit also rode along to the show. She does great traveling in the motor home now and was very good at the show. Cheryl and Grace came up and stay with us. Everyone got along well and there wasn't much grumping at all.

The show started Thursday afternoon for me. The Master guys ran three classes. Kamikaze wasn't as pokey as she was several weeks ago, but still not quite herself. Jedi was being his normal goober self and Josie was running happy. I felt good about how the weekend might go after Thursday night. Jedi got  us up nice and early Friday. I put him in the car, pottied everyone else and we went back to sleep. Of course, back to sleep didn't include crates at that point.

On Friday Kamikaze ran even better. Xanadu had a great first run in Starters jumpers. I forgot to take her to the practice jump and remind her the jumps were gonna be at 16" though, so she ended up hitting a couple of bars. Surprisingly not the doubles though. She was racing though. She got her first Starter's Standard leg too. Not quite as fast second run of the day, but not bad. Jedi wasn't running with much attention again, but somehow we managed to get around the Steeplechase course fairly quickly and with only one missed weave pole entrance. The run was good enough to make the Q cutoff time, so Jedi finally got his last required tournament Q for ADCH. Now he only needs 3 gambles and 4 standards. We may never make it, but at least now we are down to getting Q's that only count on me and him and the time clock. No more Q's where I have to worry about what others do. Josie had nice runs again, but played trampoline on the table and missed a dogwalk contact. 

Friday night Xanadu got sick in the middle of the night. She woke up with a horrible case of the reverse sneezing thing. She was panicked when it just wouldn't stop. I eventually lifted her spine up straight holding under her atlas to get it to stop. Poor thing. She went right back to sleep, but had two more attacks through out the night. It seems that the first attack got her throat so irritated that it was like what happens to us when our throat is raw and your body keeps wanting to cough. Saturday morning she was better, but not she has a bit of a rattling cough occasionally if she turns her head the wrong way. There was a canine massage lady there and I signed Xan up for an early appointment. I told her there was a problem in her neck. She was able to work out a very painful kink in her neck and a couple in her hamstrings. She suggested that since her throat was so irritated that I shouldn't put a collar or a leash on her that would pull around her neck. Great idea, but I only had those types of leashes. So, Xan got an improvised leash the rest of the weekend by wrapping a flexi in an X pattern around her front legs and chest and clipping it to itself. For the rest of her runs I carried her sans leash to the ring and set her down to run and carried her back to her crate. I was nervous about running her much. I did run her in Starters Gamblers and Standard. She got the gamble Q!! It was a send to a tunnel, her best move. We did the standard course OK, a bit slow and we ended over time for having to restart weaves twice and her thinking the run was over off the dogwalk and trying to leave the ring. Kamikaze continued to improve to almost the dog I know and love. She started racing again and my handling was all off!! I love that dog. Jedi was just an igit the whole day. Josie had great runs, but missed the dogwalk again.

Saturday night was much less eventful. I made Xan sleep in her crate so there would be less chance of her inhaling cover fibers or sleeping with her neck cranked. Cheryl heard a couple of single coughs, but no attacks. I determined not to run Xanadu in Grand Prix thinking she's just be too slow to make time. I only ran her in Standard because she's down to only needing two standard Q's and a jumpers Q for her AD title. Well, was I ever wrong about her being slow for feeling bad. That little stinker FLEW off the start line. She was awesome. Then we got a crappy dogwalk call. I was right at the end with her and she ran it all the way through. BAD CALL! I was pretty upset since I need that Q and I hate running her at 16" anymore than I have to to get the titles. I aim for no extra runs for her. Both her and Jedi were absent from Grand Prix. I promised Jedi he'd never have to run tournament again if he got that last Q. Kamikaze ran awesome today. We had a stellar gamblers run. She was just great. Too bad she thought the run was over when the buzzer sounded! She ran all the way to the ring exit before she came back. Then she did the fastest and smoothest gamble ever! It was a gamble I didn't even think we had a chance at. She was an unfortunate HALF a second over time. DANG the wasted seconds of her running around. I was so jazzed about how great she ran I COMPLETELY forgot to even get Jedi and Josie out and run them. Guess I was maybe a bit tired too. Then Kamikaze had a great standard run too. She actually turned off the aframe to the tunnel. Too bad she turned as soon as I cued it and missed the contact. Josie had a stellar standard run and pulled out her first Master Standard Q EVER. YIPPIE! Four more standard Q's to her ADCH. If I can just keep my cool on her contacts and very calmly say "lie down" she is perfect. The least bit of panic or excitement in my voice sends her flying off the contacts.

It was a great weekend. Grace pulled out three PI Q's and finished her PI jumpers title. She's even found agility so cool now that she cheers ringside for dogs as she waits her turn. 

20th

Bandit's head is still swollen. Doesn't look any better. I know it'll take a few days for antibiotics to start clearing it up if it's gonna work, but poor guy, it's so painful.

I got Xanadu's articles out for her to practice. She wasn't really into it. I had to help her go to the pile the first time. She still didn't see the point. A couple of more times of encouraging her to find it and she actually smelled the right one. Then she got all excited and ran back with it. Interesting! She knew immediately when she found the reward earning one, but didn't want to put out the effort to look. She did the next on (leather) great on the first try.  It was 8 wrong ones and the right one. So she's only 2 articles from being up to the whole number required. But, there are only 4 total articles in Graduate Open, which is what we plan on playing in September. Then Spirit, who was screaming for her turn, got some Rally practice. She will be definitely be ready for Rally Novice in September too. Then I gave Xan another quick session and worked on signals and moving stand. She is about ready for Graduate Open. The two things I really need to work the next month are go-outs and directed jumping. Kamikaze got a quick session on signals at great distance too. She's going to play Graduate Open and Open B one day and then Utility one day at her next show. Thought a bit of mixing thing up would help her a lot.

I had some popcorn for dinner. Nikita and Kamikaze were in the dog room and there was a mass of others around me. I was tossing everyone pieces. I was being very careful about tossing one to one side of the dog room and one to the other so the Siberians wouldn't have to decide which one was for which dog. Kamikaze's in the middle of her false pregnancy and that makes her snippy and snarky. Well, as luck would have it one piece split in to two when it hit the ground in their room. Both went for it. I knew this was gonna be bad and was on my feet and jogging that way. Sure enough, there was a Siberian rumble over a stupid half a piece of popcorn. I screeched at them as I step in the room and they both went flying in their respective crates. I was afraid Nikita and her weak knees were going to be injured before I could get the young one off. Well, was I ever wrong. HA! Nikita scraped the skin of Kamikaze's nose in a nice stripe pattern and she was left unscathed. A little antibiotic ointment and some fluff ball clean up and all was well.

19th

Today while typing away a dog head settled in my lap (not unusual). I absently patted it and heard a squeak of pain. HUH? I looked down and Bandit had a swollen area above his right eye. The area wasn't squishy, but hard as a rock. Called Rich to check and see if he'd been in a scuffle while I was gone this weekend. The answer was NO. I couldn't find any punctured area to explain the swelling, so off to the vet. They aspirated it get a sample. YUCK! Yellow pussy stuff came out. I guess in one way that's good news. At least it's not a tumor. They took him to the back to shave the area and cut it open to flush out the abscess. They come back and tell me they're going to have to sedate him because the abscess originates under the muscle tissue and they are having a hard time getting down to it. OK. Ends up they can't even get the core of the abscess with sedation. They cleaned what they could and sent home mega antibiotics to try and kill off what's left. If this doesn't work he's up for surgery. His head is still monstrously swollen. Even more now I think since they messed with it. It looks like I may have a tag along to the USDAA show this weekend. At least he's been to many shows in his life, so it shouldn't upset him much. He may even be glad to go.

I got the motor home linens back in the motor home and got it filled up for it's journey this weekend. I even tested the slide out since it seems I'm having an extra along that may need to ride in the crate that has the door blocked by the slide when it's in.

18th

The morning was to start with Xanadu in obedience. Then it was on to the breed ring. I got to the show site early enough to have Spirit out on her conformation lead in the building and remind her the way to play this game. It started badly with bouncing and sitting and play bowing, but after five or ten minutes out on the conformation lead I had her stacking on tables and the ground pretty well as well as gating calmly. At least there will be a breed between the 13" and 15" beagles today so I'll have some time to be with Spirit before ring time. I marked Kamikaze absent from obedience today. Karen agreed that this false pregnancy had her truly screwed up her up and she'd never seen her act so bad in obedience as she saw yesterday. I laughed when I checked in Xanadu and Spirit for breed. They were the only ones not checked in with 15 minutes to go until ring time. Guess the lady got the message yesterday when she didn't get to the ring to check in until the last minute.

After working with Spirit I got Xanadu out to warm her up for obedience. She was missing her usual spark and her eyes were a bit dull looking. HRMM. It looks like she doesn't feel well or she just doesn't want to be here. Did I ruin the wonderful obedience dog by being openly disappointed after stays yesterday or did she just get way too many goodies at Mom's yesterday? Well no time to figure it out now. We head to the ring. Her heeling was pretty nice, a bit laggy, but not bad. Then I called her for the drop on recall and she stood up slowly and walked. WHAT IS THIS? Xanadu has NEVER walked on a recall like Sparkle does. The drop signal netted me a halt and sit, but no down. Her retrieves and broad jump were fine though. I am wondering if the treats on the recall last time messed her up for today or if the failed down stay made her not want to drop.

On to breed. Xanadu wasn't even her normal self in the breed ring. She was a bit down. And practicing breed before we went in she kept wanting to sit or down on stops instead of stand. Is her back bothering her again? She didn't beat the special today, but that was expected. Stays in obedience happened while I was breed showing. I had warned the judge and stewards that would likely happen. So at least Xanadu didn't get a chance to repeat her flunked down stay.  Spirit showed pretty well today. At least she wasn't an embarrassment. She had some happy feet problems, but overall her gating and stacking was pretty darn good. We still lost today. 

I was glad to be home early.

17th

I had a nice visit in Memphis this weekend. I got in town in time to have an early dinner with Bill and Karen. Spirit got her first chance to meet Mom and Dad and explore their yard. She did fairly well with a visit to another new place.

The dog show was, well, not as nice. At least I was done and back at Mom's and Dad's for lunch on Saturday. The morning started by moving Kamikaze to last Utility A dog so I could show Xanadu and Spirit in breed. That whole thing was a mess. I was standing by the ring with Xanadu at straight up 8am since she was the only class dog entered. The steward is calling for the special to check in, but it didn't answer. I got called in the ring and the judge made sure with the steward that I was the only 13" beagle checked in then around we went. The judge gave us our winners ribbon and best of variety ribbon. As I am trotting out of the ring to grab Spirit out of the crate (there were not breeds between the beagle varieties) there is a mass of people and their beagles surrounding the entrance and doing their best to get their arm bands. Ok, so it's now after the posted ring time and the steward is loving them. Apparently the lady with the 13" special showed up as the judge was handing me the best of variety ribbon and she was mad. Now I'm back at the ring gate with Spirit. The beagle people are still shoving to get arm bands. They are calling for the male 15" over and over. Steward and judge give up on him. The judge sees me ready and waiting and asks my arm band number. The steward is calling for the open bitches so I step in the ring. There is still much confusion and noise about getting arm bands to the right people. Spirit and I had several minutes in the ring by ourselves while the lady with the other Open bitch gets her life sorted out That was actually good for me since Spirit was over the top excited. I spent the time trying to calm her down. It didn't work though. I couldn't get her to stack with a durn. She was throwing her front on the around half the time doing the happy dog prance. The table was a struggle. She wouldn't stay still or standing . I eventually gave up on the front feet and the tail holding and just slid my arm under her belly to hold her up and grabbed her chin to hold her still. She did settle some for the down and back, but wanted to sit or play bow when we stopped. ARGH! Believe it or not, we won the point anyway. I think the judge was just put out with those other people not showing up on time and holding up his ring. Anyway, a point is a point. It was Spirit's first breed point. 

I trotted back to the obedience rings. Opened Kamikaze's crate to get her out and she didn't want out. Had to pull her out. Oh, this is gonna be fun! She's now lactating pretty good and is nesting in to have those puppies that her hormones have told her are there. I threatened to shave her tail if she missed her drop. I took my articles ring side and dropped them of with the steward. Then I tried focusing Kazee on the task at hand. When my number was called, I headed to the ring. The judge asks, "Where are your articles?" HUH? I look at the steward that I dropped them off with. She looks where she set them and they are GONE. The lady leaving the ring ahead of me took my article bag. Now, minutes pass as they hunt for the lady with my articles. Just what Kazee and I need for our focus. Lady returns with them, but is holding the articles I am supposed to scent in her hands. ARGH! I tell the judge I have and extra metal and leather on my crate. She seems to think this is not a big deal, and even better for me since it's someone else's scent touching them and they'll just let me scent a different pair. REALLY? I'm thinking that this lady just got done shoving treats in her dog's mouth and now their will be two sets of articles that smell like treats. Apparently this escapes everyone but me as a problem. GREAT! Kamikaze's heeling was OK, a bit laggy and a bit wide. Then the judge messes up calling the heel pattern and has us start over in the middle of it. Can anything else screw up my mind? Kazee does a beautiful drop and sit signal and misses the come. At least it won't be the article debacle that flunks us. I send Kazee to the article pile and she finds the wrong treat smelling one and seems somewhat confused and then finds the right treat smelling one, but won't pick it up. She tried to come back with nothing and I sent her again to the pile. I know she was thinking this was some sick trick I was playing on her and she didn't want to flunk it. She brought back the first one she came to so she could just be done with it. She did the leather one fine afterwards though. I am thinking now I'm going to have article problems AGAIN in the ring. I have fought that demon once already. She did an OK glove retrieve, but came back with such force she knocked me back a step and the force knocked the glove out of her mouth. The moving stand was a disaster. She was so upset by then because of the articles and then dropping the glove that she wouldn't even stop walking. I had to turn and say "SERIOUSLY, STOP" to make her freeze. Then the call to heel she came back around me and then walked to the corner of the ring and stood. Her first go-out was perfect. I'd take it any day. But, she wouldn't get off her tush and take the jump until the second command. The second go-out she acted like she'd never done it before and had no idea what I wanted. How can that happen after a perfect first one?? We were both glad to just be out of there.

Xanadu was up about 30 minutes later. Her heeling was decent. Not as good as I've seen her do. Then on the drop she is racing to me and I give the drop signal and she starts sliding down. Just as her elbows are about to touch Her nose comes up. She steps one more step and eats a treat off the mat. Then another step to another one. REALLY?!!? Then she looks at me like "What was I doing?" I can't believe this. After all I have had go wrong today!  She then proceeded to do the cutest ever dumbbell retrieve. Raced out, hit it with a foot and sent it farther. Raced out and grabbed it and started running back. She stops dead 3 feet from sitting in front and dropped the dumbbell. She proceeded to smack it with a paw and flip it and then spin it in circles with her nose. WHAT IS THIS? Then she pounces on it like a cat and stands up and picks it up properly and brings it to me. The judge is hiding behind her clipboard as she tries hard to not laugh audibly. Xanadu did great the rest of the exercises. She nailed the sit stay too. Then the down. ARGH! It seems I have a down stay problem now. She sat up and spun around in place to look around and then laid back down while I was gone. I was disappointed in her and she could tell. Probably not good.

I was glad to grab the dogs and head back to hang out with Mom and Dad for Saturday afternoon. Mom wanted a hair cut, so we went and did that and I got one too. Then a quick run through Target to pick up a couple of things.

14th

This week Spirit has decided she has a taste for shoes! Her first victim was my Gore-Tex (waterproof) outdoor agility shoes. Needless to say they WERE NOT cheap. I told her we hadn't disowned a dog yet for destroying things. That includes one ripping a hole in the sheet rock in the bathroom and one tearing siding off the house. On the up side, I had bought them on a super 75% off sale and Sierra Trading Post was having another great sale and I had an extra % off coupon. So, by tomorrow I should have TWO new pairs of Gore-Tex agility shoes.

Cheryl called today just as I was dipping up food for the dogs. Grace had disappeared from the yard AGAIN. Since moving to the new house she has gone on a walk-about two other times. Both those times were on a weekend when someone was home and she never went far. This time everyone was gone since it was a work day and she wasn't noted as missing until 3pm or so. Who knows how long she'd been out and it's very hot and the new house backs up to Florida Blvd. (one of the major east/west thruways) I finished feeding and left everyone where they could get water and headed out to help look. Cheryl stuck close to the house and sent Mike farther out as were my instructions. Just as I was heading into East Baton Rouge parish she called to say she swung by the house and Grace was in the driveway ready to come in the house. I think she will be relegated to the house now until Cheryl can figure out a way to fortify the new fence. Luckily neither of the boys seems interesting in testing the fence.

When I got back home I did a one turn (right) track with Spirit. There is still food every ten steps or so and a little more on the turn. She did so wonderful. I think she is getting the idea now. She even figured out the turn pretty quickly on her own. She seems to be catching on much faster then Xanadu ever did. It looks like the biggest problem with her will be teaching her to alert to articles. She gets so into her job that she races right past gloves. This is Sparkle's problem too and she's the best tracker I know. I must do some just article indication work outside of the track. I hope when she realizes the glove dispenses the treats that she'll be more inclined to at least pause next to it. I also took some pictures of Xanadu on a short track to send to Marie.
   

I threw a dog pillow and some dog towels in the washer after I took my shower. Figured they could wash while I slept. Well, thankfully I did a couple of other things in the kitchen. The pillow was situated just under the fill spout and was apparently so tall it was deflecting the fill water and my floor was filling instead. The washer was so heavy I couldn't move it loaded down and Rich is out of town. I had to take clothes out of the dryer to move it. In the process I discovered the dryer had viscously attacked on of my good bras and ripped in clean in half. REALLY? I never thought that was possible. Seems the hooks got caught in the back of the dryer where there's a vent of some kind and so with all the other clothes in there spinning around and twisting it up it eventually gave and the weakest point, the center. With the day I was having, it just made me laugh. I haven't paid more than $15 for a bra in years (outlet malls are my friend!) so I didn't lose much.

12th

The rain has been holding off for a couple of days. Of course, that makes it really hot. Since it was much drier I pulled out my ring gates and jumps for some practice today. The first time out front with Kamikaze I left the jumps out of the picture. The plan was just to practice some go-outs. I had the bright idea to run through signals once before we did go-outs. She's not really having a signal problem here, but is busting routinely in the ring. I thought it would just be a good refresher. As it turned out, we never got to go-outs the first time outside. She was busting signals over and over. Well, at least she's having similar issues to the ring here now. She was getting the down OK, but not doing the other signals on the first try. We were out there until she got them all right the first try. We were both hot by then. Maybe this will help our ring problems, or maybe she's just hormonal. She's started lactating and spending lots of time in her crate. So, here goes false pregnancy again. Anyway, we went back out after she'd cooled off some and did go-outs. She was great at them!

Xanadu insisted on a turn. I took her out and did one go-out from half way and she was great. Then I left her in a stay and did her first try at directed jumping. She was pretty good. Of course my hand signal had a large treat and I was taking large steps in the right direction to encourage the right jump. It was her first time after all. She's gonna catch on to this game pretty quick. 

Spirit did some dumbbell retrieves and some heeling. She is still throwing the dumbbell at me. We worked on holding it in front of me some. That doesn't make her happy. Funny how she'll pick it up and carry it just fine, but don't ask her to hold it while she sits still.

Kamikaze got another couple of times outside with the ring gates and jumps set up through out the day. Each time we did signals first. She did get better about doing all the signals the first time by the end of the day. Her go-outs were wonderful all day. The directed jumping was hit and miss. Sometimes she did the one I signaled , sometimes she picked her own.

As it neared evening time I set up the 12 weaves in the back yard. The idea was to work Spirit more on 12 poles. Sometimes I wonder if she'll ever weave with speed, but at least she is still thinking her way through most of the time. Last time I set up 12 it about blew her mind. This time she was much better. With a little help she can get through 12 now. Even when she misses a pole she keeps trying to weave. She had two sessions several hours apart on the weaves. Xanadu got one session with three passes. MAN! can she weave.

10th

We went to see a movie this morning. Thought it was pretty good! It was The Last Airbender. We did a little shopping at Big Lots, The Dollar Store, and Lowes. Got the back yard mowed too. The big accomplishment today was the new family photo. So, if you come straight to this page you need to hit the home page and see the new picture!

9th

Today was weave pole practice. I did a morning session and it was HOT. Everyone got a quick run through in the morning session. I put up twelve poles and started with Spirit. She's only really ever seen six poles at my house, but there's a chance she could be moving on up soon, so time to work on the whole set. Spirit's not the fastest learner when it comes to new skills, and she was just getting the six, so twelve didn't go so well. We both got a bit frustrated so I put her in the house with treats and let Xanadu come out to weave. WOW!! She can really drive those poles. Two passes, one a 180 turn at a dead run to an off side entrance, one a 180 turn at a dead run to an on side entrance. She nailed the off side entrance and flew. She was screeching to pull in for the on side entrance and hit it and made it through first two poles barely and got a hard bounce hitting pole two. She was digging in to not miss the next pole. It took a second to get her balance back, but no long enough to call a refusal, and she was off to finish the poles in a flash. LOVE those weaves. That was all the practice she got and it was awesome. Kamikaze was next and had the same two entrances I gave Xan. She did them just as well, but I swear the beagle weaves faster than the Siberian now! My poles are about 21 inches apart, so I guess the smaller dog has an advantage there. Lego got his two passes and was as good as I expect of Lego. He hit his entrances and drove through. Josie missed the weaves all together the first three tries and went to lay on the table. We've done lots more table practice than weaves since the table is the thing she's breaking at shows. She did great off side, but on side she pulls in too fast and hits pole two or three. Just goes to show.. the dogs that learned entrances on 2X2 both hit their entrances. Interesting. Jedi even did his two passes, but I can't get him to jog, much less run at weaves in the yard. He wants nothing to do with agility equipment here at home. Another example of how the first dog we train we tend to ruin by over-doing or focusing too much on negatives. He is fine with doing it at the agility field or trials.

The temps cooled off some after 5 when it threatened to rain, so it wasn't bad then. Spirit got another weave session on the full twelve set. This quick session gave me some more hope for her weaves. She, for the most part, was going all the way through. Sometimes she missed a pole or two, but she kept trying. I got two perfect sets out of her though, and one even had the beginning of some speed.

I finally got a picture of our resident frog. He's taken up living in one of our kennel runs with a kiddie pool in it. There's a nice stand of bamboo next the the pool to hide out in too. Hope he eats his weight in mosquitoes every day!

8th

I set up the ring gates out in the yard today. Kamikaze did two different sessions of perfect go-outs during the day. Maybe tomorrow I'll even pull out the jumps for go-out practice.

I laid Spirit a one turn (left) track. I didn't put the first bit of food at the flag, but two steps out. She struggled getting started as she searched for the treat she knew should be there. After she got started down the track she did very well. She was pulling into the harness and everything. At the turn she cast around a bit, but figured it out on her own.

I took Misty to PetsMart to pick out a birthday treat. It was a hard visit. She struggled to keep her feet under her on the slick floors. Just one walk around the dog side of the store and she was pooped. We came home with some dehydrated pork strips. She enjoyed a couple on the way home. Everyone got one at dinner time.

7th

It's too wet and rainy for any outdoor dog training, so tonight I did some work with the girls in the back hallway. Spirit mostly practiced 'choose to heel' with a few rally moves mixed in. I really want to have her ready to show in Rally in September in Mobile. She's doing much better heel work and she is doing both finishes well. She even has a solid 'walk around your dog' now. Xanadu worked on articles. 7 total in the pile. She is at a stage now that I clearly remember with Kamikaze. She runs to the pile sniffs a few and then if it's not one of those few she quits and comes back to me or she just grabs at one that she knows is not right. But, she's not discouraged and quitting on me when I send her back to find it. You can tell when she sniffs the right one though because she is SURE of it and races back with it. Now it's a matter of teaching her patience in finding the right one. After Xan's turn I took Kamikaze in the hallway for go-out practice. I can only get about a 30' go-out instead of a 50', but it helps with the concept since it's in a new place and she has to run through open doorways. She kept trying to guess at how far was far enough even though I had a ring gate setup across the back room for her to go to. It took me a while to get her to go all the way to the ring gate. Maybe tomorrow will stay dry enough for outside go-outs. I gave Xanadu a whirl at the go-out with her treat at the ring gate. She was very good! And our work on sitting at a distance is working too. She even did some turn and sit behavior for me. She took three of four forward steps before she sat, but it's a good start. Spirit wanted another turn, so I worked her on some more Rally moves. We did 'moving down' and 'call front, finish'.  

Here's another too cute picture of the sisters.

5th

For my holiday I went to the outlet mall with Cheryl for a few hours in the morning. She introduced me to a store I'd never considered entering, Dress Barn. It doesn't just have dresses and it has a petite section too. Cheryl also did fashion consulting on different styles of tops for me. I tried on all kinds that I would never have tried on my own.  I got home and  took Nikita in for her yearly checkup. She's doing well for an old lady. Next was a quick closet clean out so there was room for the new stuff. I got a bag of clothes delivered to Goodwill. Rich wanted to know if stuff didn't fit. HA HA! I said, "Well if I haven't worn it in five years I just put it in the bag." 

There has been rain, rain and more rain. Recently Rich and I bought a neat attachment for a downspout in the front flower bed. It rolls up like a party favor when there's no rain, then it rolls out and sprinkles water out the end.

4th - Happy Birthday Misty 

The obedience show was somewhat of a let down in some ways. Kamikaze's performance on Saturday was not even close to as good as she can do. She didn't do her signals. Then she got distracted while I was scenting the first article and the ring we were facing was throwing dumbbells. I never got her focus truly back after that. There was not even a glint of recognition when I gave her the go-out command either. No time to cry over bad days as there was just time to shove Kamikaze in her crate and warm Xanadu up for her run. Xanadu did very, very well. I was pleased. She need a second command to heel at the beginning of the exercise and the beginning of figure eight. Apparently I am doing something different in the ring and she is confused as to what I expect. She didn't do her drop on recall, but it wasn't an intentional blow off. She came so fast that by the time the judge got her hand up and I got mine up she was so close she just took two more steps and sat in front. She didn't see the point in laying down when she was already there. She did her stays well even though she was shivering when I returned on the down stay. They do keep this building very chilly and she shivered last year on Novice stays. I took Kamikaze to a training center for a match after the show to see if we could fix our signal and go-out problem. Of course, she was perfect at the match. ARGH!! There was a photographer there and so I got Spirit's picture taken to hang on our family wall. I also got a picture of the sisters together.

Today Kamikaze was better and the ring next to us didn't get her attention. She still did no signals, but everything else went better including one go-out. The second go-out she just trotted past the jumps and did an immediate U-turn and came back over the 'correct' jump. ARGH! Still, no time to fret because Xanadu was up immediately. Her heeling was spectacular today! Only 2.5 points off and that was mostly for an instance where she got an itch she stopped to take care of and then trotted back to heel. She was wonderful on all the exercises. SOOO cute too! The only thing I could really work on with her is straight fronts. She had a 192 going into stays. After the sit stay I thought we might have it since she wilts on the sit stay far more often than she's ever sat up on a down. Well, the cold floor beat us today. She sat up and the back down several times during her 5 minutes. I feel like that last Q is so close though. She is doing so awesome. I even watched Graduate Open this weekend and I think in a couple of months I can have her ready for that she's already so close to doing all that stuff. 

Looking at the outcome with Kamikaze this weekend, I am thinking I will mix up her entries. Maybe put her in Graduate Open,  Open B,  Utility B or A randomly. Some of her lazy attitude is she's figured out the ring order is always the same so she doesn't always listen and think. We have two more chances for both girls in two weeks, and Spirit has another chance at her first point.

I was so focused on the obedience show this weekend that I totally forgot to celebrate Misty's honorable birthday. We picked her off the side of the road 15 years ago today as a tiny puppy. She is obviously old, but doing very well. She eats well and gets around on her own, but is a house dog now. She is only out to potty or for an hour or so to catch some rays on days I am home.

1st

There are pictures up from the Monroe show now!
Spirit jumps
Spirit chute
Lego chute
Lego FLIES
Lego weaves
Xanadu chute
Xanadu jump
Xanadu weaves
Kamikaze jump
Kamikaze What is this face?
Kamikaze chute Could have been a great picture too! Photographer needs to learn to take pictures vertical for Siberians coming from chutes. He got the other Siberians with the same problem. See Marie's Drift

Here's that Sunday JWW course that I was sure I'd never get around and ended up doing it very well.