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2012 training goals

JUNE 2012

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24th

Yesterday I headed over to Cheryl's house at 6:30 am, before it got really hot, and we worked some agility. Kayak tried out her weaves, teeter and dogwalk and then we introduced him to the idea of a jump chute. Xanadu practiced her dogwalk contact and did the teeter then we got her through a jump chute a couple of times. Kamikaze supervised from a kennel run. Spice and Grace got turns playing outside on the agility equipment too. Then Cheryl and Mike were gracious enough to help me get Kayak bathed and blown to get all that hair out of him. They have an elevated tub on their patio and a grooming table. I was able to spray while Cheryl rubbed in shampoo and pulled out hair and I was able to blow and brush once Cheryl plopped him on the table for me. Now he's mostly naked and we can hope he starts growing coat back in for the shows in the Memphis area in three weeks.

Today Rich and I went down the street with our little trailer to pick up some hay for Windy this winter. The neighbors had just cut and baled Saturday, so it was fresh. We got a good price on it too! That's not quite two months of hay put up. We're hoping for the same amount from them when they do a second cutting the end of the summer. I'll need to find another source of hay for a couple more months as well. 

 

22nd

OK, sleeping with cracked ribs is an adventure! UGH! It's the getting up part that's the worst since you can't contract your core muscles well. Even from a mostly sitting position it was bad. I was up and out with 5 dogs by 6:45 am. I took them to a local park to train obedience on a tennis court. I had agreed to meet a friend there to give input on her Rally dog at 8. 
Kamikaze did all her Utility stuff (minus directed jumping) very well out there. Xanadu did her articles and gloves. Articles were perfect and we had a bit of a 'how far do I have to go looking for it' moment for gloves that we worked through. She's started not doing her drop signal the first try again. *sigh* But, she did her go-out to the net first try! Kayak did his heeling, some baby dog signal work, a stand stay/walk around and then he carried his
dumbbell! Still won't pick it up off ground, but making trotting with it to in front of me progress. Spirit did a retrieve and some heeling and practiced her drop.  Sprigs had to wait until after I gave commentary on my friend. She did some quick heeling and some dumbbell carrying. She needs to go back and practice STAY!
After obedience practice I went to the movies and saw BRAVE. It was packed with well behaved kids and it was a cute movie. I took a pillow to put behind me in hopes of making it easier to get up at the end. It was still a little bit of a struggle to get out of those chairs.

21st

Thought I'd get Windy out for an early morning ride. It's been 14 days so I knew she'd be high as a kite. Worked her some. Then she worked herself playing 'that thing eats me' with her saddle pad. Got her tacked up and walked her around in the pasture. Got on and walked her around the pasture. When I thought she was calming some and was listening I took her out. Got two houses down and she decided the electric pole might eat her. We've worked through this before. So, I turned her around and we went by it 4 or five times in each direction. She stopped high stepping, so I thought we were done with it. Went to go by it on way to rest of ride and an electric truck with the bucket lift hit the air brakes in the street just as we went by scary pole. DASH! She was GONE. Full blast from a dead walk. OOPS, rider thought the spooks were over and wasn't even worried about truck since dump trucks and UPS trucks aren't scary. Rider was not prepared for dead run. Lost my seat fast and decided to bail to one side before I unceremoniously got tossed randomly. Thought I tucked everything in well for a hit and roll. Guess nothing's good enough for hitting the ground at that speed from that height.  When I managed to breathe again I knew I'd cracked some ribs, but otherwise was OK. I looked up and she was peacefully munching grass 15 feet away. UGH! She let me walk right up and grab her reins too. Then we spent a good 15 minutes walking circles around that pole (lead walking) in both directions until she dropped her head and trudged by it. The truck was in the road the whole time to. I wasn't sure I wanted to be back on with truck still hitting brakes every few feet knowing I didn't need to come off again. I walked her home and locked us in the pasture and I got back up and we did circles and figure eights in the pasture until she was responding easily and was all calm. Got off, took off tack, carried it to house. Called Rich's office (now that they're open) and asked when that morning I could get an x-ray. Took shower and drove straight for x-ray. It wasn't pretty. That's left side front for those of you that can't tell.

Since there's no real treatment for cracked ribs that are still aligned, I just went to the store and got a 6 inch wide stretchy wrap big enough to go around my torso. Not sure it helps, but it doesn't hurt. It's hard to wrap them though since the cracked ones are mostly under by breast. I still have left over pain meds from knee surgery.
Then at dinner I sucked A1 steak sauce down the wrong tube and was amazed at the body's struggle to clear the air way without really coughing. (can't really be done) Coughing, laughing, blowing nose are all things that are seriously uncomfortable now.

20th

There was an article written about me for the local dog club newsletter than I really like. Click here to view it.

17th

I haven't been able to ride this past week at all. There have been big thunderstorms rolling through randomly every day. I am sure Windy will be FULL of herself when I get on this week.

Cheryl and I made the trek to Birmingham, Alabama this Thursday for three days of indoor agility on indoor soccer turf. I love this show. I managed to royally screw up Kamikaze 5 of her 6 runs. Even the one I was sure was her being a Siberian turned out to be me. Cheryl's first words when I came off the course, "The word is TURN". Watching the video proved that she went straight ahead because I failed to input the information not to.  (that's the natural Siberian thing to do and I know it) She did get a Q in Standard on Saturday because I stuck to my initial instinct on how to run the course with her. I was the ONLY one that layered that dogwalk.
Sprigs was awesome this weekend. Friday in Standard we had a green dog issue with going in a tunnel under the dogwalk where I had to dash around the end of the dogwalk. She kept coming back out to check and see where I was. But she nailed Jumpers for her first AXJ leg. Saturday in Standard she had a green dog issue with dashing past the teeter because she was just dashing and not thinking. Sunday she finally got that first AX leg despite a bad side switch attempt out of that tunnel. Then I did a stupid handler thing to her in Jumpers to ruin that one. I waved my very treat stinky (clam treats) finger at her face in the last two weave poles. Needless to say, she didn't finish them.
I was very happy with Xanadu all weekend except for Friday jumpers in which she trotted horribly. Friday in standard she ran a decent speed and would've Q'd if I hadn't leaned over the dogwalk down ramp and pushed her off. Sunday in standard she ran well and then I didn't get to where I needed to be to turn her to the weaves and she missed them. Sunday jumpers was OK after the first 4 obstacles that she walked. Would've Q'd but she ran past the LAST jump.

12th

Yesterday Kayak started showing some promise on 6 poles. He even started to show some appropriate footwork!

Tonight was my last class for teaching agility for awhile. I don't do classes in the summer. TOO BLOODY HOT! I think all my students are doing well. All four dogs headed to Alabama this weekend were with me. They all got a quick turn to play a bit. Sprigs was great. Xanadu amazed me by taking off with good speed and maintaining it through windy courses. Kamikaze wowed my students with one pass at one of their exercises. Kayak did a couple of class exercises and worked his weaves before class.  I showed him two sets of 6 (with a gap between) for the first time. He did very well. He also got his first shot at weaving out of a tunnel. It took him a couple of tries to get the speed adjustment (slowing to weave) down enough to wrap the second pole (he was nailing the entrance). After he figured it out he was great.

10th

Xanadu , Kayak and I made the trek to Lake Charles, LA Saturday and Sunday for conformation. Spirit tagged along Saturday for a CERF checkup. I'm thrilled to report she passed her eye exam! Saturday Kayak got his first point by going Best of Winners. I thought Xanadu and I showed well, but we weren't awarded anything. I'm glad this next weekend we get to play agility where you either do it with your dog or you don't and there's not so much riding on someone's opinion of your dog.

5th- Happy Birthday Xan and Spirit

Xanadu and Spirit are four today. They got to go with me to the agility class I teach and work a little for some good treats and Auntie Cheryl hugged that Spirit girl for her birthday too. I tried to get a birthday picture, but the girls said it was hot and they had other things to do. This one at least turned out cute even if they aren't looking interested.

The second best effort at a picture wasn't bad either. Well, at least they were both looking the SAME direction.

Windy's been assigned the mowing of Cedar and Jedi's yard again this week. She gets on it about 2-3 hours twice a day. 

Cedar wasn't sure why  Windy was in her yard though.

On Sunday and yesterday Sprigs actually picked up the dumbbell off the ground and brought it to me! She doesn't do it EVERY time I ask for it, but the light is flickering on. Kayak will only take it if I force it against his teeth, but he will hold it until I take it back. And he's started walking a few steps with it now. He ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT pick it up off the ground. We're making some progress though. He also got to go out to agility class tonight with me. He worked his 2X2 poles there and did well. Then we did a little work on speed entrances to the dogwalk and chute. It took only two tries on both obstacles before he was taking them in stride at speed. Of course his dogwalk contact was busted. He had a beautiful running contact, but that's NOT what we trained. I kept looking at him and saying "spot". He kept running it. Then the light bulb went off. Stupid humans! "Kayak, touch", worked like a charm.  Perfect two on/two off stop. It's the curse of changing your commands between dogs. Just don't do it.

 

2nd

When I got out to feed the horse in my shorts and t-shirt this morning it was actually chilly. Somewhere in the 60s. I immediately texted Cheryl to see if she was free. We met up around 8:30 am for some tracking practice. I laid Bernie a full length TD track and I brought my beginner dogs for a quick practice session.  Cheryl got in Spice's first tracking lesson as well.  She also brought her camera and was nice enough to take pictures of my baby guys tracking.  Sprigs and Kayak are struggling with the start. Kayak gets to the flag and throws himself on it and screams with excitement, but I have a horrible time getting him to start down the track. When he does start, he's actual got a good nose and good work ethic. Sprigs just gets to the flag and looks around at the scenery about half the time. She, as well, is fairly good for a beginner once you get her started. Twinkle hits the flag nose down and going. Of course she spends all her time nose down. I am still struggling to tell if she's tracking me or just wandering with her nose down. I did her an 's' like track around the trees in the median to see if I could tell if she was actually tracking. I still am not sure. I think sometimes she is tracking and then gets distracted and just walks.
After tracking we dropped by Cheryl's to drop off Bernie and get Grace. We spent a short amount of time out at the club agility field working with the baby dogs and a little time with Grace. Sprigs is nailing her weaves. Kayak only played on the 2X2 poles. I am proud to say he did his 4 poles out at the field as well as he does them at home I even added the next two poles at a short distance out and he did the 4 then went right to do the other 2. He's really getting the whole weave idea well.

 

 

1st - Happy 10th Birthday Lego

I remember stalking Lego's litter on Petfinder.com. I snookered Rich into dropping by PetSmart the day the rescue group announced they'd have the puppies out for adoption. I hadn't picked a puppy. Half the litter was black and tan, half white with ticking and black and tan patches. I wanted a white one. I didn't show up early to PetSmart. It was middle of the afternoon when I got there. I figured if there were any white ones left then it was meant to be, if not I'd leave without one. Lego was the only white one left and the rest, as they say, is history. I can't fathom where 10 years has gone.  He got some yummy canned Instinct on his food today and I sang to him and hugged him. Oh the things I have learned from this boy!  I figured he may never be great at anything, but he could learn to do the basics of everything. So he was my first VCD dog. He's the reason I got into competitive tracking, and now every dog after him learns to track. I hope he stays healthy enough to run agility long enough to finish his MACH. It will be one of my proudest moments given the struggles we've conquered together.