2013 training goals

JUNE 2013

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Cheryl and I drove up to Jackson this morning for two obedience shows in one day. Sprigs was entered in both trials as were Kayak and Kamikaze. Spirit was entered in the morning trial and Sparkle was in the afternoon one. With the events of last night, we got there too late for Spirit to have a turn today. Sorry baby, but I was just tired and empty and couldn't face 5 a.m. Got there just in time to pull Kayak out of the car and throw him straight into the Open B ring. So not a good idea for him. His heeling was atrocious. He did manage to perform the principle parts of all the exercises though and was passing going into the stays. He managed to bungle the sit stay by laying down. I fussed at him good when we came back and so he bungled the down stay by getting up. He was just trying to be 'right'. Sprigs also didn't have her best heeling. I can imagine, with little practice in the last month and a Mom who is an emotional basket case it might be a bit hard to heel well. Who wants to be next to a crazy lady anyway? She did manage to pass everything including staying while dogs on both sides of her walked off toward their owners. That gives her the CD title, but I'd rather not talk about the score.

Kamikaze, though, had her best effort at Utility in some time. She just stressed on the articles again. After the morning runs, Cheryl and I decided to drive across the street to the fast food places for a bite to eat. The Expedition had other ideas. Put key in ignition, turn, NOTHING. REALLY!!???!! Have I not had enough yet? I popped the hood because I was suspicious that on of the cable may be loose. This is the same behavior I got out of the car when one cable got loose. The wires look good. We go inside and I get Rosey, the vet, to give me keys to her Jeep. We try to jump. It will growl, but not start. Left two vehicles connected and walked across street to the food joints while Cheryl stayed near friend's running vehicle. Get back with food. Try again. Still only growling. ARGH! It's a fairly new battery too! It hasn't been hesitant to start at all with all the buzzing around we've been doing. Cheryl calls AAA and asks them to send the battery guy out. We got anything worth anything out of the vehicle and piled it on the crates. Nothing like extra stress before ring time! The guy got there just about 10 minutes ahead of Sparkle needing to be in the ring. So, I basically left Cheryl with him. His first thing to try after hearing what we'd done... he jiggled the wires. One spun. He tightened it. Expedition happy again. DOUBLE ARGH!!! Next time I'll do more than inspect. I am now inside trying to find Sparkle's leash, lost somewhere in the new pile we threw on the crates. Takes me until just a minute before ring time to find it... more stress. So Sparkle has had NO WARM UP, no walking around building assimilating to surroundings. I'm not hopeful. She just flat doesn't heel. Judge just stops the heeling and says he needs to just call it and we can go on to the next exercise. I tell him I'm not surprised about that seeing as how my weekend is going. Sparkle then proceeds to do the death march to me on the recall. No pause after two drop commands. When she gets to me I just ask the judge if we can leave as things are not getting any better. Poor Sparkle. Sorry I was such a bad partner for you. On that note I decided to mark Sprigs absent. She got her title in the morning, no need to repeat the bad experience. I also marked Kamikaze absent. Her morning was so darn good I didn't want to see my stress rub off on her and have a bad experience. Better to go home happy with what she'd done that day. I did show Kayak. He heeled much better and was passing into stays again. Once again he laid down to sleep through the sit. This time I left after the failed sit and we threw our stuff in the car and left. We're grateful to be home in one piece.


This was not my best show. Such is life. I managed to kill the lights on the trailer AGAIN on the way to this show. Last time it was because I left too much dangle in the wires and they burned through. This time, not enough and the plug got yanked from the car and drug on the ground. Cheryl and I managed to get set up Wednesday night around 9-9:30.
Kayak started well with a nice Q in Open Fast, his first. He even showed me a lovely Aframe (the only one of the weekend!). He also got his third MXJ leg. He was most unfortunately called on his Aframe in Standard. It was a close one. Then he proceeded to miss the last two weave poles to stare at a bar setter in a chair right by the end of the weaves. Such a silly boy! Kamikaze and I couldn't seem to get it together in Fast or Standard, but she did Q in Jumpers. I did the same lead out I did with Kayak, but video missed practically the whole run. Of interest here was the judge's comments to those of us walking it with the three jump lead out. She said we'd get a bar down for sure doing that. I said, "I'm doing this with TWO dogs and I won't get ANY bars. Whatcha gonna give me when I do?" She said I could have a Q. I also got a verbal "Double Bonus" at the end of both runs from her. Funny lady. Sprigs and I got a bad call in Standard on the dogwalk, and then struggled to weave the first try in Jumpers. 
After the show we went to dinner, leaving the kids in the car (running) since it was still so warm in the camper. On the drive back in we see this. Guess Twinkle and Sparkle missed out.

One of our worst Q rates in a while. Spirit was entered today, so I had 10 runs. Sprigs pulled out my only Q today on the very last run of the day in Jumpers. It was even good enough for second place to a pretty fast poodle. Spirit had her best start to date. She actually left the start line with intent and did her best set of weaves at a show EVER. She got to leave for treats after the weaves to encourage such a great start! After the show Cheryl and I went out to farm that a friend manages for some relaxation. Fed the horses treats, saw the duck, met the lab puppies she's duck training. She has a Thoroughbred gelding out there that is just cool. His name's Milo and he's a ham. A nice way to end a so-so kind of day. Here's a shot Cheryl took of begging horses.

After the farm we kinda crashed in the camper. About the time I started making 'potty the dog' noises we open the camper door to see this.

ACK! Got dogs pottied before it got bad. Then waited an hour before we ventured out to shower at the bathhouse. Not bad where we were, but found out it was worse in other areas of the city.

The day started with a call from Rich back home. He was leaving town in the morning and putting the dogs out for me to come home and check on tonight. He said Jedi was having trouble standing. He's 14 now and stiff a lot. I told him to give him some Metacam (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) and put him in the kennel run on the patio with the pillow in it. Figured the meds would help swelling go down somewhere and make him feel better. Rich even posted a video to facebook so I could see the issues in the morning and compare to the evening when I got home. I got my nice vet friend, Rosey, to watch the video on her phone there at the show. She said to do what I'd said to do and then added, "These things get better on meds in a couple of days or he's gonna crash fast." OK then. On to showing. Kamikaze pulled out another jumpers Q and Sprigs got a standard Q, though much slower than usual. Cheryl and I got home around 7 or so. I went straight out back to check on Jedi while she unloaded her things and moved them to her car. ACK! I found him on his side 'swimming'. He could not get up on his own. I picked him up and tried to set him on his feet on the pillow. His front legs buckled under his chest and his rear end just splayed out. OH MAN! I went to help Cheryl finish and then ask her to come look at Jedi and give an opinion. We were of one mind. A head shaking side to side mind. It was Jedi's time to go. I sent Cheryl on her way. I fed my guys who'd been out all day. Even Jedi got food, wet down and set right by his head. Got everyone comfortable and then picked up Jedi and loaded him in the car for the ride to the after hours vet to say goodbye. Cheryl was a trooper and met me there so I wouldn't be alone even though we'd just gotten home and were scheduled to leave early in the a.m. to drive to Jackson for a day of obedience. As he took his last breath, I told Jedi I'd catch him on the flip side and NOT to send me anymore terriers. RIP seems like such an unusual thing to say about Jedi, so I've chosen these words instead, RUN AMOK OLD MAN!

Cheryl and I agreed to meet an hour or so later to leave in the morning. If I miss a turn, I miss a turn.


Cheryl and I are taking off this afternoon for 3 days of agility in Monroe. We'll be pulling the camper for the first time in quite awhile. We'll have two Siberians, two Beagles and a Dachshund plus Cheryl's mini Aussie (Miniature American Shepherd is their 'official' name now)
For some reason the space under my desk has become coveted space. I'd never have guessed you could squeeze two dogs under there though.


After yesterday, I decided not to speak to today much. Rich is feeling under the weather too. So, we spent today mostly hanging in the house. I did notice Xan is having trouble jumping on the couch. Someone said she's probably convinced we raised the couch. Here's cute for the day. Twinkle and Spirit are helping Rich eat his soup.


Started off in the morning mowing the area behind the dog fence. It's been too wet back there to mow for MONTHS. Finally seemed possible. Didn't want to wait for it to get too hot later in the day. I took the mulcher off since it was too high for even thinking of mulching. Figured I could rake it later today for WIndy to eat. All went well for about 30 minutes. Then the dogs started going nuts in the yard so I jumped off the mower to run check on them. Slightly paranoid since the snake incident. Got back to mower and I'd jumped the cutting blades' drive belt off its pulley system. After a couple of failed attempts at figuring out the right configuration, I called Rich to see if he could tell me over the phone. That was a big bust, but he did have a diagram in a draw that I understood. I got the blades working again. On the mower 10 minutes and I found the ONE spot back there that was still very muddy. Ended up burying up the mower. ARGH! Now I need to get the ATV out of the shop and bring a tow rope to yank the mower out. GRRRRR! I get that done and finish mowing. All total, a couple of hours. 
I cleaned up and Xanadu and I went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Got home to discover the compressor on the back A/C unit is not kicking on. Apparently the electricity blink this morning made it unhappy. Not the first time. I reset everything and get it happy again. Decided to got out back and start raking the clippings into feed bags for Windy. As soon as I start to rake a bloody rain storm blows in. It's been CLEAR ALL DAY. Get back in house wet and no clippings for Windy. I decided to wave the white flag and just go in and make a burger and watch TV. Somehow I managed to start a grease fire in the pan with the burger! YUP! Time to go to bed and cover my head. With all the crazy today I couldn't get this stupid childhood song out of my head either.


Forgot this amusing notice on the bag of puppy food! 

HA! have these people ever owned a beagle? Xanadu would be a fat sausage with stick legs if I followed this guideline.

Also forgot about the new Twinkle indoor house. Cheryl and I made a run by Big Lots while we were in Birmingham. They had one of these in the dog section.

It's made of rigid material and the top comes off. Twinkle had a hand me down indoor dog house. It was made of fabric and he been well loved. (Read that as 'mangled, torn and permanently crooked') This seemed like a good chance to replace the old one with something of more substance. It was an instant hit as a replacement. She only searched for the old one once.

Then there's the picture of Xan's belly I took.

The pooching on the right side here is the puppy I pet every night, (based on how Xan lays down) so I'm sure it's gonna be the keeper! HA! A couple of weeks and we'll get an x-ray to see how many little skeletons we see. Xan has also taking to often laying like this around the house. Guess it's either cooling or supportive.



Our latest delivery of dog food came today. A bag of puppy food was included so Xanadu is now eating puppy food. I've also switched her to two feedings a day (from one) because it seemed like one big meal was distending her a bit and making her uncomfortable. 
I got a picture (through the window) of two old buddies hanging together. 

Sparkle played lots with Kamikaze when they were young. She was not even a year old with that big ol' fluffy dog came to live here. They used to be good friends. They are not out much together anymore as I don't like Siberians rough housing with beagles. (size difference.. not viciousness) It's hot now though, so running is limited. Hard to believe they're 6 now (with Sparkle to be 7 in a couple of months).


Spirit, Xanadu, Kamikaze, Kayak and Sprigs and I with Cheryl and Spice spent the weekend in Birmingham, AL running AKC agility. 
Spirit was only entered on Friday and I went to the line with an open mind. I wasn't going to beg her to do it or force her around if she didn't want to. She actually trotted the whole Standard course without any real begging. She got a Q! She just didn't have the desire for jumpers and was well over time. Kayak played Superman off the top of the Aframe in standard and promptly got hauled back to his crate. He then had a lovely jumpers run in which he cut behind me to take the wrong end of a tunnel on the third to last obstacle. Kamikaze Q'd in Standard and then got a run-out call in Jumpers for turning to the right on a wrap where I wanted her to turn to the left. Sprigs had a great run in Standard in which she played speed bump at the table. The she missed her weave entrance in jumpers and cut behind me like her brother to take the wrong end of that tunnel.
Diane and Timber (Xan's boyfriend) showed up for Saturday just to see Xanadu. She and Jeanne (the vet that attended the breeding) traveled together from Atlanta just for the day. After little dogs ran Standard Jeanne got Xan out of the crate and gave her a good feeling up. She proclaimed three puppies for sure with a possible fourth. Diane and I are over the moon. Four's been our target number since the breeding. Of course while they were at the show there had to be some family portraits. (Diane is a camera wielding woman!)

The kids had a great day today. We were one stupid handler mistake from a perfect day. Sprigs came out of the chute in Standard with no idea where I was and I wasn't telling her either. By the time I realized she was headed straight instead of turning towards me it was too late to get her to turn tight enough to take the jump. She went by it on the outside. OOPS!  She had a smokin' jumpers run though. She even got 4th place in the 8" jump height with something like 30 dogs in that class. Most of them a good deal leggier than her. Kayak got his first virtual QQ. (Q in Exc A standard and Master Jumpers)! Kamikaze got QQ #39. One more and she'll have all the QQs needed for MACH2 but will still be short on points.
Sprigs had a great day to end up the show. She got QQ #5. We had some WIDE turns in Standard we need to work on, but Jumpers was smokin' again. Another placement. Kayak had a mental destruction day. He actually did well in Standard right up until the last few obstacles where he spotted a bar setter and deleted all brain cells. His jumpers run started bad, by obstacle 7 I just walked him off as it was getting worse and not better. Kamikaze pulled out QQ #40! She is just over 100 points shy of her 750 points though. I am thinking this may open us up for getting our MACH2 at our home show in September. Wouldn't that be a buzz.

While at the show Spirit's black spot fell off. It was only a scab and the tissue underneath is all pink!! So happy it wasn't rotten.


Spirit went to see my vet Monday afternoon for a check-up. He re-ran the blood work since her red cells were a bit low. She was improving! She has some hemorrhaging inside her lip under the bite that we think may rot out. We also think the place the fang entered will likely rot. She is supposed to run agility Friday in Birmingham. I'll take her to the line and let the decision be hers. Here's how good it looks today though.


OK, well it's been a tough weekend. Rich left town Thursday to go to Dallas. Friday I give Kayak his show bath (cold water only since that tub is still broken). After his bath the cold water side decides not to shut all the way off either. ARGH. Spend my hour blowing and grooming him up. I am going to drive to Lake Charles for a conformation show in the morning. Early evening I let out the 7 that live in the big yard to potty one last time so I can go to bed early.  Just a few minutes after I let them out I hear EVERYONE barking aggressively. OH NO! What have they trapped now? I race outside calling them in as my feet hit the patio. Lego and Xanadu are just standing off the patio and they come right in. I see everyone else grouped in a back corner surrounding something. I snatched the pooper scooper shovel from the edge of the patio and took off running across the yard. It was like running in slow motion. Half way to them I saw something strike high in the air and the circle of dogs separate. "Back off you guys!!!" I get there and find they have circled a snake. A black snake with a diamond shaped head. C R U D!  Twinkle and Sprigs are giving it a bit of space, but won't leave. In one scoop I grab Twinkle and shove her under my left arm and snatch up Sprigs by the scruff of her neck. Right arm is busy pushing the shovel at Josie who WILL NOT leave it alone. Spirit came to me when called. SO now there's this odd dance where I am smacking the ground with the shovel in front of Josie to keep her retreating from the snake while holding two dogs with the other arm and calling politely to Spirit over and over to keep her focused on me. Several attempts were made by Josie to circle behind me to get back to the snake. I used the shovel like a stock stick and shoved her back to the front of me. It took us a few minutes to get to the house and by then I can see Spirit is not feeling well. Her head is drooped to the ground and she's walking like she's drunk. DANG NAB IT! I get them all in the house and do my head count. I'm missing someone. A quick recital of names reveals Sparkle has not come in. She was not in the group around the snake. Terrified I race outside with a flashlight (since the sun is going down) thinking I'll need to frantically race around the yard looking for an injured beagle laid out on her side. Thankfully this was not the case and Sparkle came wandering from a front corner of the yard when I called. A quick once over revealed she hadn't tangled with the snake. I take her in and grab Spirit out of the crate she'd put herself to bed in so I can look at her. She's got a nice sized bleeding, swelling hole in her snout. I took her to the Expedition and got her in a crate. Back in the house I quickly snatch everyone else and look at their faces and attitudes. No one else seems to be hurt. Jump in the Expedition and take of for the emergency vet clinic in Baton Rouge. A good 30 minutes away. I called Cheryl as we raced towards the E-vet to see if she could get me the phone number so I could warn them we were coming. She got me the number and I called in the emergency. Just after I get the paperwork filled out, Cheryl shows up at the clinic. God bless friends! We got back in a room and saw a vet fairly quickly. Vet says the snake bites they get in in a timely fashion do very well. Spirit should be able to come home Sunday early evening if all goes as expected. Cheryl snapped a phone picture of her (about 30 minutes after the bite) I got back home around 9:30 and Spirit spent the night on an IV.

Saturday I got up and drove to the conformation show in Lake Charles. I was so distracted I went to the old building they used to have the show in. Had to drive across town to the right one. Got there just in time to get Kayak in and practice a couple of stands. Promptly got dumped and headed home. I stopped in at the clinic to visit with Spirit and talk to the vet. Poor girl was all swollen by now.

I spent about 30 minutes with her. I was thrilled to see the vet on duty for the day shift Saturday and Sunday was Dr. Apple, my old vet. That put my mind at ease. He confirmed she should go home Sunday evening if her blood work comes out OK. They pulled blood on her as I was leaving. The big concern is her clotting. Apparently snake venom can kill the dog's ability to clot and then there is a major problem with hemorrhaging. I got a call Saturday evening that her blood work was good!
Sunday I didn't show until afternoon. Got promptly dumped in Lake Charles again and headed back to Baton Rouge to pick up Spirit. Apparently the clinic had a bad day. The fire alarm randomly went off with no way to kill it, the air conditioning failed and a huge number of patients showed up all at once. All this to say it took me a good 30 minutes to get checked out and get going again. Spirit looked better as the swelling was starting to reverse some. They told me she wouldn't eat much at all for them, but could eat. I got her home and she stood up on the door of the crate in the car and started barking her head off. Music to my ears since she's spent the whole ride like a dead dog flopped in the back of the crate. She raced in the house to her eating crate and barked the whole time I dipped up food. She ate a whole meal of kibble, a bit slower than usual, but still plenty of food desire.


Happy birthday to Xanadu and Spirit who are 5 today, (WOW! time flies) and to Twinkle who we assigned this birthday and is now 4.


I decided I needed a co-pilot for my visit to Chick-Fil-A for lunch today. Being small, cute and well behaved does get you places sometimes! Xanadu road along and did her best beagle stare at the food while we sat on the patio.

After she got her food she then proceeded to do her best beagle stare at the fridge for hours on end. I felt bad. I mean maybe she's really hungry if she's pregnant. So I caved. I gave her some good stuff out of the fridge. 

She kept up the staring act most of the evening until I felt guilty enough to give her some more kibble. I sent off an email to the sire's mom and checked around on the internet about when to increase food for pregnant bitches. The verdict is NOT UNTIL 6 WEEKS (it's been three). So, I can now ignore her without guilt (as usual)


Cheryl and I headed to Tyler, TX this weekend for some more USDAA. We'd never been to this place before. It turned out to be just lovely. Building with A/C adjacent to covered ring for crating. Window in side so you could look out and see runs from the comfort of A/C. Wonderful surface in the arena, a misting fan (on steroids) at one end and a big floor fan at the other did an OK job keeping you from sweltering to death when outside. This was our last chance to play USDAA until September. That made it Kamikaze's last chance for her second Grand Prix Q in this nationals qualifying season. Coming into the weekend she was qualified to play TEAM and Steeplechase at the nationals whether or not we got our last Grand Prix Q. Kayak was in need of one Starter's Gamble leg to finish his Agility Dog title. Just to add a little pressure, we only had one chance at Gamblers. 
We started the day with Pairs. Kamikaze had a nice Border Collie partner. I agreed to run second since my dog waits politely and calmly and there were no course issues on either half for either of us. We got a 2nd place Q, Kamikaze's 8th pairs leg. Grand Prix was up next. I tried to walk to the line with a calm attitude and not stress over it. I mean we're going to nationals with or without this Q. I am thrilled to report Kamikaze pulled out a 3rd place Q, so she can be entered in all events at nationals.

Then she proceeded to invent her own course in snooker. I was able to hold it together through the 50 seconds though we were just shy of enough points to Q with me having to think on my feet.
Kayak's first run was Advanced Standard. He had a very nice run in which he wrapped two poles in the weaves on his first try for an NQ. His next run was Steeplechase, a tournament class in which the times within a percentage of the top time or top average time get a Q. Tournament classes are not split by level, so all dogs compete against all dogs of their height regardless of the level of the dogs. It's judged by Starters rules and is supposed to be a nice flowy course, so it shouldn't be too difficult for my baby dog. I'm excited to announce he pulled a clean run that was fast enough to get a Q. Kayak also Q'd in Snooker last thing today.

This morning started with Gamblers for Kamikaze. She only needed this one Q for her Gamble Champion title. I saw the map and thought we had a good shot at it! Well, things didn't go as planned into the gamble, but girlie pulled out the run to the tunnel from almost a dead stop after an about turn. GOOD GIRL! She got her Gamble Champion title!  There are only 4 total Siberians in the history of USDAA (27 years) to get a Champion title in Gamblers. Kamikaze and Zini at Championship height and Rocket and T'ai at Performance height. Kazee went on to get her 8th Master Standard Q as well.

Kayak was CRAZY in the opening of Gambles this morning. OH MY! Glad to say he started listening better after that opening 25 seconds or so. He managed somehow to get enough points in the opening to have a chance to Q. He pulled off the gamble (running from across the ring) just barely under time to earn his Agility Dog title! His Standard run was slower than usual and I caused a bar, so after the Aframe disasters in gamblers I chose to leave for treats when he did a perfect Aframe in Standard.

1st - Happy Birthday LEGO

Today Lego is 11. It's just so hard to believe that he's that old already. Happy Birthday Buddy!