2006 training goals 2006 Obedience log by week

MAY 2006

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Jedi is back outside during the days now. Yesterday was his first day back to the regular schedule of things. He didn't appear to be limping any when I got home. I'm sure he's not 100% yet, but he's well enough to be out enjoying himself again. Thank goodness! I was tired of Jedi in the crate, and I didn't want to have to travel with him this weekend either.

Rich's business did bang up services this month. If we can just get collections up to half the services now we'll be sitting pretty. He did collect MORE than went out by a decent margin. So, it has paid for itself this month, and even bought us groceries. His new building has forms and plumbing and they were working on the foundation dirt yesterday. I can't wait for that all to be OVER for good.

I can't believe that May is already gone. Where does the time go? I am doing well on my goals this year. With almost half the year gone I have completed about half of them. The USDAA goals will be more difficult than I originally thought because several close shows have been cancelled for the fall. I have even been faithful in the twice a week obedience training thus far.


Nikita finished up her RA today with a 96. The judge was duly impressed with her and hunted me out to tell me so. That was a nice plus. He started out with Huskies evidentially. The real scream of the day was Lego. His heeling has progressively deteriorated each day at the show. Today was sad looking, but he passed. You can lose 20 points on heeling and still pass. He lost 16. He had no finishes and his fronts were miserable. He did drop on recall, but it was a bit late. After the broad jump the judge came up and said something to the effect that he better not breathe too hard during stays. I took that to mean we squeaked by (and it did). He did his stays in champion style for his second CDX leg. WOO HOO! Once again there were only 2 survivors. (the same two) So, he got a second place again.

Kita RA title                                                                                            Lego 2 CDX legs in one weekend



Nikita showed in Advanced Rally the last two days at our club's show. She had a 99 today and got third place over some UDX dogs :) Yesterday she had a 100, but the dumb handler told her to do a sign wrong for a 10 point deduction! DARN IT! She'd have won the class too! One more leg (hopefully tomorrow) and she'll have that RA in fine style.

Lego had a landmark day yesterday in Open A. He passed heeling for only the second time in his Open career. It was even fairly decent heeling. I was so excited I gave a weak drop command and we flunked the drop on recall. DANG! He'd would've Q'd. I was thrilled anyways and he got pork chop pieces.  Today Lego had a stellar day. He passed heeling again. It wasn't as nice as yesterday, but still OK. This time I was  more demanding on my drop command and he did! That rascal pulled out his first Open Q after two years of showing! It was a 180.5. Not awful, but not lighting the world up either. He got a second place, there were only 2 survivors. I cried (after he got great rewards and hugs) I was so thrilled.


I took Jedi into the vet yesterday. As I figured, they can find nothing structurally wrong. They knocked him out and felt his knee for any laxity (torn ligaments) and did three x-rays. One of his knee, one of him spread eagle to see the hips, and one from the side. Since he's a little guy we were able to see all the way from rib cage to most of tail on the shots. All the vertebral spaces look equal and nice, his hips are as close to perfect looking as I've ever seen, and his knee had no extra fluid space either. There is no sign of deterioration in his skeletal structure at all. We did, however, discover an interesting tidbit on the side view. We saw a couple of nice round metal pieces in the rib cage area. It seems he was shot at some point. It's unclear if it was BB pellets or shotgun pellets. Maybe this explains his original dislike of a certain ethnic people when he arrived at my house. We have no intention of doing anything about these pellets since it's clear they have been around for 6 years (he came to my house in 2000) and he's never had an issue with them. He's on an anti-inflammatory and crate rest for a few days. The vet believes he'll be fine in a week. Of course the vet doesn't have to live with Jedi on a week of crate rest. It's kinda like chaining a toddler to their bed. There will be screaming and complaining and hyper spinning. Don't I sound like I'm looking forward to it!

Nikita went to obedience last night with me to practice a rally course since she's entered in rally this weekend and we haven't done a course in over a year. She did fine. Even the off lead heeling wasn't horrible.


There was a breakthrough recently with Nikita on her articles. I have been putting food on the "right" one for some time with no apparent result. She still picks up the first article she sees and brings it back and continues this routine until she gets the right one by mistake. BUT, this once she actually passed an article up (one next to the right one) to go to the right one. I think she caught a whiff on the food finally! We had a big party with praise and treats for making a conscious decision to pass one up.

When I got home tonight Jedi was zooming around on three legs. He was holding his left rear leg up, but didn't seem too upset about it. I checked his knee, no pain response at all. Then I checked his foot for a foreign object or sting, no luck. He let me wiggle it all around in every joint (ankle,knee,hip) and didn't have a pain response. I couldn't find a bite or sting or anything to explain it. The only spot Rich and I got any negative response from was his back. He seems to have a very tender spot in his low back. Rich worked on him some and I gave him an anti-inflammatory and crated him for the night. He is not a good crate-rest dog and made his unhappiness known until I found an edible nylabone to shut him up. I made an appointment with the vet for tomorrow. I assume there will be nothing they can find either and they'll say rest and meds. But, just to be sure we will go, and maybe they'll give him some steroids. It's a bit scary since my buddies Jim and Rosemary have just found Dylan (Cattle Dog) has a serious back problem affecting his rear end.

Mom and Dad dropped by tonight for a one night stay. They're on their way to Florida, the lazy vacation kind of way. It was nice to visit and go out. 

I teach obedience again tomorrow night and then Lego and Nikita are headed to the local obedience show this weekend. I am hoping for Nikita's rally advanced title and Lego's in Open A. I really want him to qualify once. I've been working hard on him all year!


Today is our 12th anniversary. WOW! Twelve years seems amazingly long when I say it. Since I was at a dog show all weekend we went out Friday night for our anniversary. We went to Ruffino's, my favorite place. They brought us a complimentary dessert.

The show this weekend went fairly well. There was even a nice breeze blowing through the arena. Shelby Q'd her first run. It was jumpers. She won't set any land speed records, but she seemed to enjoy it. In standard she ticked the broad jump so no Q there, but I was impressed that was her only mistake. I came home Sat. night and pulled out the broad jump. She knew exactly what to do! OK, maybe she was just tired. Two runs seems to wear her down quickly. This morning she Q'd again in jumpers. I guess we'll have to enter her at least once more :) Standard was like yesterday, except she didn't even attempt to jump. She walked it. Once again, it was her only mistake. How odd that my CDX dog can't seem to do a broad jump!


I am teaching Advanced obedience for LCCOC this six weeks. Our first class was tonight. Since I'm going out to the training area I took Lego and Shelby for some "work with new distractions". I got there early to work Shelby through utility exercises. She did heeling/signals very well. Then stand was fine. Gloves was interesting. She always went out and brought back a glove, she just always brought glove 1. That was out first sign of distractions affecting us. I got some help from the obedience training director on making my signal more clear. We got that going better then. Articles was much better than the last time we took them to a new place. She actually tried, but would get distracted after sniffing half the pile and "forget" to go around to the rest of them. She would then just pick up one and I'd immediately send her back. She did bring the right one by the second try usually. Lego did his drops there too. A bit slow, but doing them. His heeling was nice and I got some more tips on how to improve MY walking for him.

Shelby's AKC debut agility show is this weekend in New Iberia, LA. She's entered in 16" preferred. Lego's NOT going because this arena is always WAY too smelly for him to do anything worthwhile. Check back for updates Monday.

Rich and I are going out to a relatively nice joint tomorrow to celebrate our 12th anniversary which is this weekend. WOW! has it really been that long?


I worked the guys through obedience tonight, and I'm not sure what demon has possessed them! But, I'd love for it to stay! Shelby started out with superb heeling and perfect signals. I moved on to the go-outs. She tried to take a jump on the way out the first time, but I called her off and started over. Then she had nice go-outs and perfect direct jumping. " Guess it's time to try out someone else," I think. Lego was up next. Nice attentive heeling. Responsive drops. A bit slow, but still acceptable retrieves. NEXT... Nikita's turn. Excited heeling, even a tad forging, which is an improvement over her lagging. I took her over to the jumps. She was biting at the bit to go. As soon as her butt hit the ground in heel she bolted towards the fence. OOPS, that was anticipating the command a bit, but WOW what enthusiasm! I go out and tell her she had a nice go-out, but she has to wait on me. I say, "Come on, let's try again.", and she even takes a jump on the way back. This is the dog that will walk around them given any opportunity. We start again. She waits for me this time, barely, and has a spectacular go-out. She does her sit and is wagging her tail in anticipation of the next command. "Kita, JUMP!" May the earth stand still! She actually did it, even the right jump, and quickly too. We try again, this time pointing at the other jump. This is where things usually start to fall apart. She typically takes the same jump every time. This time though, she responds to the hand command and does the right jump. "This is a fluke." , I think. We try again. Once again she takes the jump I point at. Can it really be true? Can we have conquered this exercise? If so then all that's left for her to learn is the articles. I never thought I'd get this far, so maybe the articles will come eventually too!


WOW, what a weekend! I am truly "all-body" tired today. I started the agility weekend by driving to Mississippi Wednesday after work to help set up and unload.  I got there in time to set up my tent before things got busy. That's right folks, I stayed on site in a tent for 4 nights to save on gas and wear and tear on my body. We got all the equipment unloaded and courses set just in time for the nasty tornado spawning thunderstorm to barrel through central MS. Needless to say I didn't sleep well in all that wind. It kept picking up the tent and trying to throw it backwards. Then there were the FOUR dogs that all climbed on the TWIN sized air mattress with me. At least the storm blew over that night and left some beautiful agility weather behind. Thursday night Jenni Rich and her All-American, Sadie set up camp across from our tent. Therese Fleming and her shelties set up down the way. Then Friday Rosey and her kids shared my tent and Dotty Brooks and her Shelties set up too. Meg Haviland showed up with her tent to add to the tent city, Eric Bruce had a tent on top of the kitchen and Monica and her crew were camping at the other end. It was quite a shanty town type place all weekend!

Tents east - Meg, Therese, Dotty

Tents west - Rosey and I shared the three room red one, Blue one is Jenni Rich

Thursday Bandit and Josie ran team. Bandit's partners turned out to be a border collie named Amaze and Elaine Coupe's young border collie, Trip. (this was only his second show) So our team name became "Bandit's Amazing Trip", which turned out to be quite prophetic. Josie ran on a team with Megan Foster's baby sheltie, Dino and Amaze's housemate, Scorch. Bandit held his own by not E-ing in anything. He certainly wasn't speedy though. His team lived their days just below the Q line all day. Sometimes by less than a point and sometimes by 40 or more points. Then it was time for the Relay. That was the nastiest relay course I've ever seen. ICK! Well, it worked in our favor. Our team ran second and managed to hold it together by the hairs on our noses. It wasn't pretty but none of us E'd. As we watched, a miracle unfolded before our eyes! Every team that ran after us E'd one dog. Our team catapulted into 3rd place! So, now Bandit has a 3rd place team Q just like Misty. Time to buy another  shadow box to display it in! Josie, however was not so fortunate. Her team stayed in last place all day. The worst part is she was acting all nervous and scared. It was like she thought the dirt would bite her. She was walking some courses and looking over her shoulder.

Elaine and Trip, Me and Bandit, Joleen and Amaze AKA: "Bandit's Amazing Trip"

On Friday Josie was still was all spooky, but a tad better. She did manage to Q in Master Jumpers and Advanced Pairs. That gave her her Advanced Relay title FINALLY! Not a bad day, but I still want her to be running and having a blast. Bandit got his Master Pairs leg with Cosmo, an aussie. That was all he was entered in. Misty ran well, but no luck. Jedi stayed in the ring all day. For a nice break, Meg and Rosey and I took some of our guys to the nice creek for a swim before bed. Misty, Red and Roxie had a great time swimming. Bandit, Brewster and Sniper didn't really care for the water. 

Saturday Josie had some nice runs and some spooked runs but managed another Q in Advanced Relay and she got a Master Jumpers leg despite stopping to scratch. WOO HOO! That gives her her JUMPER MASTER title after only one year of showing! I am pleased as punch. She's my first dog to get a Master title in anything. Bandit added to the revelry with another Q in Master Relay with Amaze, the afore mentioned BC that ran team with him, for his RELAY MASTER title. TWO master titles in one day. I was flying high. To cap this day off, Jedi managed a Q in Master Jumpers too, beating Josie handily, AND a Q in Advanced Relay for HIS Advanced Relay title and his partner's title as well. Misty did not run well, maybe she was tired from the swimming. No swimming for her that night! Also on Saturday, Rosey and Sniper got their Relay Master and a Master Gamble leg. That puts them 2 gambles from an ADCH! Can't wait to cheer for that one!!! We celebrated with margaritas all around thanks to Jenni for bringing the goods.

Josie JUMPER MASTER                                 Bandit RELAY MASTER

Sunday Josie started running more like herself, but we didn't manage any Q's. The important part was watching my dog re-appear from the nervous one that had been inhabiting her body all weekend. She was only two jumps from a a very nice Q in Master Jumpers when I pulled a bad handler cue and ran her past a jump, but it was a great run. Bandit wasn't entered in anything. Misty ran good, but a tad slow. The star today was Jedi, believe it or not. He started off with a wretched run in Advanced Gamblers. I think he had 2 points. He was running around the ring doing his own thing and NOT listening at all.  After that run, Lucy Long asked if she could run him once if he'd run for her. For some reason, I have yet to understand, everyone LOVES Jedi. A man even came out of the stands (an average spectator) to ask about him. All the competitors think he is SOOOO cool. He even stole the judges favor this weekend, as he usually does. I told Lucy I didn't know what he'd do because NO ONE ever wants to run him, but she was welcome to try him in Advanced Snooker since he got his title on Saturday. (all the astute readers are scratching their heads... I'll explain later) If anyone else has the personality to control Jedi, it's Lucy. I walked the course with her and gave her my interpretation of the "loss of focus" danger zones. As the first dog walked to the start line I delivered Jedi and a handful of Bil-Jac to Lucy and disappeared behind a supporting beam on the other side of the arena to watch. The start line looked good. He actually did his start line down stay for her, but would he come with her or leave the ring? BY GOLLY, he took the first red when she said let's go, but he missed the first jump in the #5 combo. I figure that's as good as she's gonna get from him. WRONG! Was I ever wrong! She just went with it and let him take the other #5 jump and wrapped him around to pick up the other one. Surely he'll leave the ring after the second red when he's jumping towards the exit. DANG that little twit he did the whole opening with her. 3 reds and 3 5's. He looked a bit nervous and ran tentatively but stayed with her. They started the closing which had a straight tunnel with a view out to the end of the ring. She managed to catch his focus and turn him. They have to get through 6 (the teeter) to Q. Can this really happen? After #5 there was a lot of empty space facing the kitchen smells. He started off that way and I saw her shake her finger and say something ugly (later she said it was "You will NOT leave me") and he froze and repentantly trotted on to the teeter. She ran to the finish cheering. OH MY! Jedi just ran AND Q'd with someone else. What a mix of emotion! This just shows me I have done a FINE job as a trainer and I'm failing him as a handler. Lucy said she'd be glad to run him anytime, and we had a talk about changing my technique with him. We Q'd in Master Jumpers later that day for his 4th leg. One more and he'll have his Jumper Master too! I'm hoping for July for that one. He also had a clean Master Standard run until the last 4 obstacles, where he refused a tunnel in the corner by running past it to sniff. He has earned the right to be entered in more trials in all classes.

It was a GREAT weekend all around for everyone I know. Georgie and Jim got their MAD on Sat. and Lacie Q'd 4 out of 5 runs with a Super Q (the only day Georgie was there) Jenni and Sadie got their Relay Master with Burst and Lucy Long which also gave Burst his 50th pairs leg. Cherie Whittenberg and Detour got their 250th Q for whatever title that is. Elaine and Trip got their virtual AD. (he only has 2 judges under his belt and rules require 3)

This morning Susan sent out the results of the trial by email. I noticed Jedi was down for 34 points and an NQ on Saturday's snooker run. I KNOW he Q'd, but I never re-affirmed it with the score table (DUMB OWNER!). She emailed me a copy of the scribe sheet. He was only marked as making it through #5 (not 6). So, either the scribe was distracted or the judge was or I was. Either way there's no fixing it now, so thank the lucky stars Lucy got a Q on Sunday with him to get his "official" Advanced Snooker title.
ADDENDUM: It seems my brain burped! Jedi did have his Advanced Snooker  title when Lucy ran him. It was FRIDAY that he Q'd, not Saturday.

Rich has been doing BANG UP business this month and has collected enough already to support the business. He saw 17 patients one day while I was gone. He's already close to a record number of new patients for a month and it's only the 15th. The forms for his business building have been laid, so there is even progress on that front.


Between rain showers, we spent most of the past weekend burning stumps and logs in the yard. I have many unexplained bug bites, itchy spots and/or bumps to show for it. Rich did some chain sawing on our 3 acres next door. Some day there will be a pristine agility field there.  It is also time for the battle against the summer bugs to begin, so everyone got Frontline. Hopefully I have started in time to win the war easily.

Shelby and I practiced articles briefly today. This is the first time I can remember were she started out focused. She got it right every time tonight. She was not in a hurry and she worked on finding the right one even when it seemed she was getting frustrated. I was very pleased! I gave Lego a whirl at articles again since they were out. He stunk today! He was very distracted by the neighbor mowing and it was all I could do to get him to sniff out the article with food on it. 

I was washing and folding clothes all evening to catch up so there will be enough clean ones for me to pack for the 4 day weekend and enough for Rich to wear while I'm gone. I got my bag mostly packed. I just need to add the hairbrush and toothbrush Wednesday after I use them. I'll be heading out Wednesday after work to go to the site and help setup things then it all starts Thursday morning with TEAM. Josie and Bandit were both invited to run team. Misty is running Standard and Gamblers all weekend. Jedi and Josie are entered in all the titling runs and Bandit is running pairs. He's looking for those last 2 legs for his RM.  I got a portable battery/AC operated fan at Wal-Mart for this trip as well as a twin sized air mattress for the tent. We'll see how the camping part goes, but this show is gonna be a blast.

I realized recently that I've be remiss in keeping you up to date on the business and such. Maybe it's because it's so stressful for me that I try to focus on other things. Anyways, the business continues to do plenty of business. It is thriving it that respect. The collection part is just starting to catch up and look somewhat promising. Rich has collected about 2000 dollars already this month. He needs about twice that to support the business expenses. Then it'd be nice if it were 3 times that (which is still less than half of the services done) to help me pay house bills before the savings runs out.  We all remember back in December we signed a lease on a building to be built for us. It was to be done by June. Well, the foundation corners were marked yesterday. I don't think they are concerned with the deadline specified in the contract! Do you? So this "building" experience has not been fun for me. Rich won't be a pain in the butt to the guy like I would, and I just try to stay out of it. The lease on Rich's temporary place is up on the 20th or so of this month. The owners don't mind leasing it to him on a month to month basis, but don't want to extend the lease since they are trying to sell the property. This all creates some genuine stress issues for me. Everything has worked out for us thus far and I just try to not think about it all and trust it will continue to work out.


I've been waiting for tonight all week. We were to have obedience run-throughs with a ring set up and everything. I volunteered to be there early to set up. It was gonna be a great chance to see how far Lego and Shelby come this year. It started raining around 2 pm in isolated places. I checked my email at about 5:15. No email to cancel. GREAT! The rain should be gone by 7 anyways. I packed up the guys and drove across town (45 minutes). I was the first one there. I waited in the car for the obedience director to show. And I waited, and waited. I got to sit there for 45 minutes and watch the concrete dry almost completely up. I finally gave up and went home. When I got home there was an email. THANKS GUYS! To little , too late. What a waste of a gas and a good evening! I won't be able to be out there next Thursday for ring run-throughs either. I have been asked to show up at the USDAA show on Thursday for TEAM and be prepared to run one, maybe two of my guys. It's nice living close to the show site and being in tight with the organizers. Last time this happened Misty got her first team Q with a 3rd place on a TEAM called "Thrown Together".  Well, at least I'll be enjoying myself thoroughly next Thursday. Looking forward to another USDAA show. It's been 2 months. I'm in withdrawal. I'm staying in a tent on site this time. Rosey and her guys are staying with me, and we know of a couple of other out-of-towners doing the same. We may just have a tent city set up.


Well, another month. How fast they fly! This past weekend we got lots of rain, but we're still behind on our yearly average. Today I worked obedience with everyone. Lego did heeling and drops. He is so much better now on drops! I had a realization while we were heeling. I have completely neglected to work on figure 8 heeling. Guess the first heeling exercise has always been so bad I never worried about it. I don't have any willing participants for posts, so trees will have to do. He didn't do badly. He actually lags more on the inside turn than the outside one. LCCOC is supposed to be setting up obedience run-throughs this Thursday and next Thursday. I definitely plan on attending those. It will be his first chance at figure 8 heeling with posts in a year.

Shelby and Nikita did go-outs and directed jumping.  Shelby is GREAT on the directed jumping part, but has a dangerous looking go-out.  She goes way left of center and looks like she gonna take that jump at on the way by. Nikita on the other had has a TO DIE FOR go-out. Fast and straight. The directed jumping part isn't as great. Although, today she showed MAJOR improvements in that area. In the past she has done a great front instead of jumping or worse she runs toward the jump and then dodges past it at the last minute. She actually seemed to remember that a jump was involved before the front this time. That's a big deal for her. She didn't always choose the jump I was motioning at, but at least she was taking one on her way back. 

In case anyone reading this has any expectation that Nikita is MY dog, seeing as how I'm the one who grew up around Huskies and wanted one so badly, I have posted a picture to show you all how wrong you are!