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May 2009

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31st

Xanadu got another point today in Lafayette too. Up to four!

30th

Xanadu got another point today in Lafayette. That's three total for her now :)  Even better news... She got a clear CERF exam today too.

29th

I did a bit of weave work with Xanadu again today. She's doing well on 12 poles again. Kamikaze made some really nice entries on some tough angles too.

I also set up a jump chute for Xanadu for the first time. First try she ran around all but the first jump. It took her three or four tries to figure it out. Then she hit a bar a few times as she tried to figure out the bouncing and when to take off for a jump. I put one of the middle ones at 16 inches one pass just to see what would happen. She made it over fine in even in the bouncing sequence. I really need someone to help me watch her. I think she may be vaulting off her front some instead of using those rear legs. Cheryl and I need to meet up and let me watch Grace and let her watch Xanadu.

Another first for Xanadu today... She picked up a utility glove and brought it to me. What a smart girlie!

28th

Until today, I've been doing practically no dog training. I needed a break after the show and I'm sure they enjoyed just chilling with me instead of working. Today I pulled out the weaves again. All 12. Xanadu was bouncing through them by the end of training session. I am figuring out things about her weaving. #1 - the word 'weave' is foreign to her as I always said "ready..., get it" when we were training entrances. So, 'get it', or 'get them' works better. #2 - She does worse when I try to 'help' her as she was trained by a figure it out yourself method. #3- give her some space. Crowding confuses her. Kamikaze and Lego also got a few passes through the weaves. Both with great success.

Kamikaze and I worked articles. The beginning of the session was a disappointment as she seemed to have completely forgotten she was supposed to sniff for my scent. ARGH! She did, however, start to recover her memory at the end and was working them with enthusiasm still intact.

Somehow I managed to agree to teach beginner obedience starting tonight. At least I roped Cheryl into co-teaching. We had everything in our class from a Chihuahua that arrived in his stroller to the 7-8 month old Dobe living with a law enforcement officer that may want to compete some day. This will be a memorable class I think. I took along Xanadu and Kamikaze. Both got some minimal work after I taught class. I am just starting distance drops with Xanadu in preparation for Open. Right now I can leave her in a stand stay and then I can walk away 10-15 feet and command her to drop. She's about got that one down. I added a bit of movement. That movement part makes it harder to get her to drop fast. I also took her dumbbell out with me. She actually retrieved the dumbbell out a class (on a flexi, just in case she thought about taking off with it). It's the first time she's done it anywhere but at home. I was THRILLED! Kamikaze mostly practiced drop on recall since that was her last exercise to flunk.

I also ordered articles for Xanadu today since Kamikaze failed to win them last weekend. Now I'm thinking I might have ordered a 1/2 inch too small. We'll just have to see. There's always return for the next size up option.

This weekend Xanadu is headed to Lafayette, LA to a conformation show. Only one other 13" beagle bitch entered, so only a point. But, they also have a CERF clinic there, so Xanadu will have her eyes checked while we're there.

25th

Today started with Rally Excellent for Xanadu. It was one of the toughest Excellent courses I've ever seen and I left the walk through just thinking I'd be pleased with ANY passing score. Xanadu was much less focused for day 3. It wasn't terrible heeling, but instead of watching me she was head wagging at everything. When we got to the "back up three steps in heel sign", which we're not quite ready for, I chose to touch her front shoulder to make her back up (the only way she will right now) and take the 10 point hit for touching her. We were sure to get the 10 point hit for failure to perform otherwise. I figured I'd rather her actually do the sign and keep trying to teach her to understand it than let her just fail out right. I guess the judge missed the touching on the shoulder since I didn't get any IP points off. She ended up with a 94 and a first place today for Rally Excellent leg number 2.

Nikita didn't do the signals today. Well, technically she didn't drop, but did the others. She got both articles right again though. Then she brought back glove #1 instead of #2. Did moving stand. First go-out she almost did it. (I gave a second command as she hesitated near the jumps. She then finished the go-out. When I sent her to the jump (bar) she  went to it and then around it on the outside. Next go-out took two commands again. Then she immediately turned and took the bar jump (since she'd not jumped it last time).

I saved some brisket from my lunch to motivate Xanadu a bit more before Novice. She had beautiful on lead heeling except for the  figure eight heel. She ends up trying to trip me on the inside turns when she doesn't watch. A perfect stand. Off lead was nice for about half then she just stopped again. I called her and she raced to get into heel and finished the pattern well. I'm feeling pretty good about this run. She never busts recalls. So, of course, she gets distracted watching the other ring and doesn't come on the first call. I gave a second command and she raced in. A crooked front, but a perfect finish. As soon as the judge released us I leaned over and kissed her head and called her silly. I took one step before putting a finger in her collar. She raced past me out of the ring to go find her cookies. She's already figured out that the good treats come after the recall!

Kamikaze had nice heeling. Really nice. Then she also, busted on the recall. She didn't drop. The rest of it was nice though. She even did a very nice, not very fidgety set of stays. Heartbreaker there too as she was working well enough to score around 195 and maybe take the class.

24th

The day started with a whole new outlook from me. Late last night I had two heartbreaker scares that made me less focused on the Q and more focused on time with my dog. First was a failure to find Xanadu for some minutes out in the yard after an hour absence. It ended being just a beagle ignoring my calls and enjoying snooping in a dying stump. But the heart drop of all the other reasons I was getting no response from my calling made me weak in the knees and lots of hugs and kisses were dispensed. Then Misty took off after a bunny when I took her out to potty at 9pm. She was across the black top road and in the woods before you could sneeze. I knew she'd be back if she didn't get hurt, but I wanted her back before bed. Several minutes of calling and she came trotting back out of the woods all happy with herself.

With a whole new outlook in place, this was a pretty darn good day of obedience. Nikita actually did all the signals in the ring. That's a first. She did one article correctly. Not really any go-outs, but a high jump on the way out the second try. Then was Xanadu was up in Rally Excellent A since I moved her up after her title run yesterday in Advanced A. She had a stellar run, and we were grateful to not see the back up three steps sign as we haven't mastered that yet. She ended up with a 99 and second place. The first place dog was a 100. As you can see in pictures, there was a toy prize for placing in Rally all three days.

On to Novice B for Xanadu after lunch. She had a pretty decent run, but not as nice as yesterday. She forgot to watch at the start of the figure 8 and ran across my path as I tried to turn left. On off lead heeling she lagged a little occasionally and then after the last about turn she just stopped and watched me walk the last 10 feet to the final halt. Her front on the recall was closer than yesterday. I put her up just in time to do Kamikaze in the Open exercises. 

As I walk up to the ring they tell me the judge wants to do stays after my run. Would've been nice to know earlier, but I rolled with it. Kamikaze had very nice heeling. Only 1.5 points off. Then we got nailed good on the drop on recall. FIVE points just on that. She dropped late and then came in straight to heel instead of in front. She got a point or so off on all the other exercises. Then right back in for stays, is usually not good for her. The sit was my biggest worry. After three minutes I came back to a dog still in line and still sitting! Now, can we hold it together for the down. Even with a dog in the next ring barking aggressively at the judge, we made it through the down stay too.

I have to race back to the crate to get Xanadu out for stays. Not my plan. I wanted to practice a stay with her before the real thing to remind her this wasn't the recall game, but they're yelling for me. Here's hoping a little practice this morning is all she needed. That one minute sit stay was an eternity! She made it through though. Then the down. I'm not as worried about this one, but three minutes standing in the ring is almost akin to torture. She nailed it. 

Back to the crates for treats and then some play with her new toy (from Rally) while we await the next set of stays in each ring. Kamikaze ended up with a 190 1/2 for her second CDX leg and 4th place. Then Xanadu ended up with a 187 1/2 for her first CD leg. What a day.
 

23rd

Yesterday's set up for the trial went OK. The trial today had a couple of small bumps at the beginning, but went rather smooth.

Nikita showed first in Utility A. It was a disaster. She took a jump on the heeling pattern, then refused the down signal. Finished the signals well with a nice sit and come. She got both the articles correct too. It went down from there. It was glove #3 (our bad one) and she went to glove #1, picked it up. Put it down. Then to glove #2. Picked it up. Put it down. Never did make it to #3. On the moving stand when I said 'heel', she took off like it was a go-out. I had to stop and call her back. Then passed the stand and call to heel fine. When it was time for the go-out she only went a little past the jumps. Then trotted past the bar jump on the outside instead of taking it. The second go-out never went.

Xanadu was up in Rally Advanced. The practice on the sign we flunked in Beaumont twice paid off as that sign was in the course. She did it perfectly too. As a matter of fact, she did the whole course  perfect for a 100. Tied with two other big dogs. (Aussie and Border Collie). She ended up with second. So she walked faster than the Aussie, but the Border Collie beat her on time. That's her Rally Advanced title! We moved up to Excellent for the next two days.

After lunch Xanadu went in the Novice ring for the first time. I was tickled pink with her performance. Passing to this point with a nice score I felt.  After her exercises, and before her stays I had Kamikaze in Open. Kazee had a pretty decent run. Passing, but could've been better. Then back to Novice for stays. HEARTBREAKER... Xanadu just kinda forgot what she was doing after 40 seconds on the sit and just got up and started walking to me. OH MAN! Put her up and raced back for Open stays with Kazee. Another disappointment as she laid down on the sit and then followed me out of the ring on the down (that's a new one). BOTH dogs would've had a 191. That's a better score than I've ever gotten with a beagle. Maybe they can both pull out another good score and then STAY.

At home, before I fed Kamikaze I made her do her stays. She had to have one correction on the sit for scooting and whining a tad (another new one). Then she nailed them. 

21st - Happy Anniversary to us

I did some more heeling practice with Xanadu. She was better once again. Then a little finish practice as it would be a shame to miss 3 points for not finishing at all. Kamikaze got a complete run in Open minus the stays. She hasn't practiced stays at all since she passed in Beaumont. Not sure if that is a good decision or not. We shall see I suppose. Sparkle looked interested in playing some, so I did a full run through with her in Open too. She's very rusty on the drop on recall exercise, but the rest of them she nailed. Even the broad jump that she has struggled on in the past. While I had the beagle sized dumbbell out I tried another retrieve out in the yard with Xanadu. She brought it right back to me. No running off to play with it. The bringing back is very slow and the sit is a bit far away, but it is a legal retrieve. I got brave since I had the jump out. I tried a retrieve over the jump with Xanadu. I put the bar at 12 inches and set her up maybe one stride back from the jump. That way it was easier to take the jump than run around. I threw the dumbbell and sent her. She took the jump, picked up the dumbbell, and since I was just behind the jump that was between us, she took the jump on the way back and held onto the dumbbell too! YIPPIE. With success comes more confidence on my part. Now we tried the broad jump. She knows how to do one in agility when I'm running with her. When I set up like obedience she didn't quite get enough speed and stride to clear it without ticking. So, I set her up like obedience and when I sent her I took a couple of quick steps next to the broad jump. This helped her speed up and clear it. I think she'll be getting that CDX someday too! I need to read the fine print on jump heights to determine if she has to do 14 inches or can get by with 12 in Open.

Tomorrow I will spend some morning hours setting up at the show site. Good luck to all.

I also made it by the blood donation center to give blood today. Hope it doesn't wipe me out too bad for setup.

20th

I've been working some more on Xanadu's fast in heeling. She is much better about picking up her feet and moving on the fast now. Kamikaze is definitely well out of season, and Xanadu shows no signs of coming in in the next couple of days, so it looks like all the girls are gonna be clear to show this weekend in our obedience trial. Kazee in Open A, Nikita in Utility A and Xanadu in Novice B and Rally Advanced A.

There was a course set up from the agility seminar this weekend when I got out to teach class. Since it was the last class and the students that came are fairly advanced for beginners, we used the course as our class tonight. It was good to help them get some handling practice on the move instead of just a setup with a couple of jumps. We broke it down into 4 parts each with 5 obstacles. Then I got them to run half of it and then the other half. We skipped the 12 weaves and went straight to the table and worked on the weaves after running the course in halves. Xanadu got a chance to run the whole thing (with treats dispensed every so often). After a couple of re-starts on the first three jumps for total lack of focus on the job at hand I finally got her in agility mode. I am impressed with how well she did. She needs more jump practice, and now that she'll be a year old in a couple of weeks I will get that whipped into shape. She doesn't see value in jumps yet. Other obstacles have always given better and more treats than jumps. She did very well on the Aframe. Her teeter was a bit slow, and amazingly, so was the dogwalk. She usually races the dogwalk. Her weaves were good for 6, not 12. I need to go back to two sets of 6 and get her confidence up again. I was thrilled that she had no trouble with a dogwalk / tunnel discrimination (tunnel entrance next to dogwalk entrance) and even handled a back cross through the tunnel with confidence. 

18th

Since we had a 'cold snap' here today, (high was only around 77, low in 50s) it was a tracking day. We have so few days from May-Sept. when you can do tracking in daylight without melting your dog that I couldn't pass this day up. I laid a two turn, very short track (about 30 steps a leg) for Xanadu. She started well this time. Her turns are still just atrocious, but she is starting to look for the lost scent on her own now. Sometimes I think she gets to a turn and just thinks the person must've levitated away. She did find her way to the glove and laid down on it. Her straight lines are very nice now. I think the turns will improve with more understanding. I put her back up and laid a short track for her again. This time in taller grass (not a cut lawn). I also laid Kamikaze a three turn track that was about half or less TD length across the neighbors lawn. After aging Xanadu's track about 20 minutes I took her out to it. Just for my own curiosity I took her up to the flag at a 90 degree angle from the first leg. She walked right up to the flag and made a hard right to follow the scent. What a good girl! Maybe she understands more than I think. She did much better in the taller grass. Kamikaze struggled to start and then was awful at every turn. After work I laid her another, full length track in an empty lot up the road a ways. The grass here is also much taller and not cut short like a lawn. I went home and fed everyone but her while her track aged. I loaded her and her dinner bowl up in the Expedition and took her to the empty lot. She was intent on working from the get go. She took off from the flag just beautifully. There was a bit of a breeze today all day and when it was blowing scent towards her she'd cut corners. I noticed her getting to turns and turning the right way for a few steps and then backtracking to search around. AH HA! She's getting it, but still unsure of herself. I started verbal praise each time she got to a turn and made the right choice right off the bat. "Atta girl!" is our now our verbal encouragement. I started using it when she got a bit off to the side of the track and pulled herself straight again as well. It seems to be helping her confidence at turns too. The last two turns she took without going back to search around.

I did do one quick heeling session with Xanadu since her first try at real obedience is this weekend. She doesn't do a fast pace very well. She tends to keep her same pace and wait for me to slow down and then she'll catch up. Most of the heeling we practiced was about turns and fast pace to normal and normal to fast. I had treats in my left hand and when she actually picked her feet up and got into a jog I gave treats and verbal praise. By the end of a few minutes she was starting her jog with my increase in pace. Good girl. We'll work on that some more in the next few days.

17th

Bill Engvall was awesome Friday night in Biloxi. I can also see why people travel from here to there to go to casinos (the show was in a casino). That place was a virtual city all by itself. Including uppity clothing shops, a coffe shop, and an ice cream place as well as a huge hotel, casino and a decent sized theater. We had a great time. Laughed until I hurt.

Xanadu showed well this weekend in Biloxi. She got the point on Saturday and took Best of Variety. That gives her two points now. There were three bitches and a dog, but no champions. Today we went back to show and got LAST PLACE. Conformation showing is so odd. Same three bitches, different judges and I can go from first to last. It's very frustrating. Xanadu survived her first measure at a conformation show. The judge says "She's just in. If she grows at all she's a 15'. " I knew she was exactly 13, but it's a sinking feeling to stand her on the table and let the judge measure her. I also found out the lady there with her puppy bitch is my competition in Lafayette in a couple of weeks. She was a very nice lady. She even gave me a business card so we can keep up with what shows we'll all be at to make sure there's a point to be had. She's in Mandeville. Shelties is her breed. The man there with the other two puppies was equally as friendly. (from Alexandria) Interesting to me that all the beagle people I see at shows are friendly and introduce themselves and stuff while most Siberian people ignore me and are snotty.

I almost forgot... The

hitch people were there! They had the original hitch cover they made off a picture of Kamikaze and they sold that one to me. So now I have the Kamikaze hitch cover on the Expedition!

14th

I have put the twelve weave poles out again. Xanadu still remembers how to do them just fine. She seems to prefer to not have to take a jump on the way to them. Guess it slows her down or throws her rhythm off. I still find myself asking her to do them one more time than she thinks is necessary. I am working on that. Now that she knows them I need to do them a couple of times correctly and fast and then let it rest for a few hours if I want to try different entrances. 

Kamikaze is nailing the weaves and I can even hear her hitting them with her shoulders like some of the border collies. Not my ideal performance, but I am happy for the enthusiasm and speed. I can't wait to see how she does in 24 inch spaced poles. We're going to an agility show the end of June that has just gotten in 24 inch poles. I bet she'll really fly in those since she likely won't be hitting them with her shoulders.

Kamikaze has also had another session on the articles. She still can't seem to sniff every one once the total is over 5. Funny though, that when she starts frying and just snatching one to bring back if she happens to get the right one she brings it back all confident where the other times she seems to know it's wrong.

Nikita had a breakthrough today. I had to pick up all my obedience ring stuff for a rain storm. So today I just pulled out the jumps. I set Nikita at an appropriate distance from the jumps and then walked to the other side to give her the command and signal to jump. She lunged one way (not the way I pointed) and then immediately corrected course when she processed my command. YEAH! And, she took both jumps with no hesitation this time.

One small brag on Xanadu. At obedience class tonight we were doing Novice stays. Xanadu was in a down stay. I didn't return with everyone else because it hadn't been quite 3 minutes and I wanted a full length stay. When the dog next to her was released from his stay he bounced over to say HI to Xanadu. I swear his nose touched her nose. They know each other and he's friendly, but he's also 4 or 5 times her size. Xanadu HELD HER STAY while leaning away from him. I was floored. Not only did she resist the urge to get out of the way of his feet, but she also resisted the urge to play with him. I walked back and shoved the treats in with lots of verbal praise.

Xanadu is going to a conformation show in Biloxi this weekend. There should be a single point assuming people entered show up. We are going to see

Bill Engvall at a casino in Biloxi tomorrow night too!

13th -Happy Birthday Nikita. She's 11!

11th

I kept my obedience 'ring' set up until this afternoon when it threatened rain. I've been going out with Nikita and/or Kamikaze a few times a day to work on go-outs and directed jumping and gloves. Kamikaze seems to get the whole go-out business well unless you add directed jumping to it without a treat in between. Then she loses the go-out and just wants to take the jumps. Interesting creature she is! She also no longer requires a big step in the direction of the jump and is doing well with verbals and the hand signal. She is happy to bring in a glove. She needs work to understand I want a particular one each time. <grin> Today I tried articles with her in a different place. She did great with the 2 of each and then the correct one. So I added a third of each and the correct one. WHOOPS! Blew her brain out. I don't understand why sniffing of 5 articles is any different than sniffing 7, but evidentially it is. Back track for the next session on articles to maybe just 5 again.

Nikita does the go-outs fine now. She even does the high jump fine. For some reason the bar jump is an issue. I haven't determined why. She  takes off towards it when my hand indicates it, but then trots right by ( on the outside) and comes in to me. I worked and worked on this issue. She'll take the jump fine if I stand and send her like it was agility. Today we had somewhat of a break through. She took the bar jump the first try. Ok, so I was pointing at the high jump, but she knew the bar jump was what got her good treats and a release from training in the last session. I told her she was great for taking that jump, but it wasn't the one I pointed at and we needed to try again. This frustrated her at first and she kept taking the bar jump like, "I get this now", but it wasn't getting her what she expected. She finally did the high jump and got her treats and pats. Then I pointed the bar jump and she took it for her treats and release from training. This dog never ceases to stump or amaze me in her training sessions. She's about got the glove number 3 problem licked too.

Xanadu has been steadily working on her dumbbell retrieve. Yesterday I started throwing from the kitchen (enclosed, no escape) into the dining room (open to run away to rest of house) instead of the other way around, which is the initial training way. She made me proud by racing into the dining room then right back to me in the kitchen and not even thinking about taking off with it to play. She's even bringing it in and sitting now 75% of the time instead of tossing it at my feet. I've eliminated the treat for bringing and throwing it now that she seems to be getting the idea of what I want. Her sit is not always in 'front' position exactly and not always particularly close (close enough I can bend and touch her though). There are still parts to work on for sure. Today, though, I pressed her to the ultimate test. I took the dumbbell out back in the yard. She knows that anywhere in the house I will catch her fairly quickly if she takes off. She is also well aware I can't catch her if she takes off racing around out in the yard with anything in her mouth. I threw it and sent her (yes, we have a 'wait' before we get it now too!). She raced out and grabbed it and started strolling sideways away from me, looking out of the corner of her eye. One ' No Mame' from me and she dropped it and started back to me. I set her up again. This time I held the treat where she could see and encouraged her a bit to bring it in. She did it! She actually brought it to me with an acre of land tempting her to race off with it. One last time with no outside encouragement and she was again successful. Many treats and lots of hugs!

8th

I set up my one side of a ring and put out my jumps. I took Nikita out and worked her on the glove problem, much more patiently, and over several short sessions. She got it eventually. At least I didn't completely kill her desire last night. We also worked go-outs, which she did well. And we did jumping. She struggled the first couple of times at the bar jump, but then got it going on again. While the stuff was out I took Kamikaze out and worked on gloves, jumping and go-outs with her. She finally has the SIT on on teh go-out down. One small step in the direction of the right jump with the hand signal is all it takes now to get her to the right one. She needs some real glove work as she'll go out and get one fine, but has no concept of getting the correct one of the three yet.

I also did some indoor training during lunch when it was hot outside. I set Xanadu up for another dumbbell session in a different spot. This time in a spot where she could avoid bringing it back if she wanted. Here I thought she was bringing it in to me on purpose, but it was only because the hall was too narrow to get around me! LOL! The first few times today she ran out and got it and tried to dodge past me to take it off as a toy. Then near the end of the short session I got an actual ring worthy retrieve or two. She isn't coming in close enough, but she was sitting with it in front of me instead of dodging or throwing at my feet. She's gonna have this game down soon. 

Kamikaze also did some article work inside. She AMAZED me this time with her depth of understanding. She's really coming along. I mixed two leather and two metal in the 'pile' and then put out the one I touched. So she was working five articles (more than ever) and she was dealing with both types at once (also a first). She was right the first time out with a metal. She sniffed around and brought in the correct one. Then I scented a leather and put it out. She sniffed it out again. WHAT A GIRL! She only failed once out of 6 or so times, and that one time she seemed to know at once that she hadn't worked correctly because as soon as she got back to me she ditched the article and turned around to go back. 

Since my agility trial was cancelled due to a double booking error on the site, I will be taking Josie to see sheep again in the morning.

Oh yes, in the mail today was Xanadu's first point picture!

7th

I took Nikita with Xanadu to obedience tonight. Xanadu did very well with the heeling, stand and recall. I didn't practice stays this time. her worst part of heeling is the Fast. She doesn't speed up much. I worked Nikita on signals (perfect) and articles (perfect). Then we ran in to the glove problem. She WILL NOT bring in glove #3 no matter what! I swear. She will veer off to glove #2 every time. Even when I take #2 away she goes to that spot. I made the mistake of getting really frustrated and MAKING her do it past her point of tolerance. BAD, BAD mom. She even ran off and jumped in a crate in someone's car to get away.

5th

Since it's getting too hot out to pull out and work agility until almost dark, at which point I am likely too tired, we did inside work today. I pulled out the dumbbell for Xanadu again. Although the last session was disappointing to me, this one was not. She is now racing out to the dumbbell and bringing it right back to me. She's still slinging it at my feet, but she's doing it standing right in front of me now and not two to three feet away. I was able to slide my hand under her chin a couple of times to stop the fling and get her to sit with it. Those times resulted in heaps of praise and treats. She's getting it I think!

Kamikaze worked on her article understanding so more. We started with two leathers since we discovered last time that her understanding of metal wasn't carrying over. She did a couple of 'run out and just snatch one'. Then she made an effort to choose one. She got it right and got steak bits. Now it seems the two leather is too easy. I added a third and she started the snatch and grab again. Then she finally made an effort to choose and got it right again for steak bits. We worked the three several more times with varied results. But, I could see the light starting to glow. Right at the end when she was doing well I added a fourth for a couple of tries. She did one snatch and grab and then settled to sniffing again. She showed some real promise towards true understanding. We'll see on the next session.

Xanadu's littermate in Ohio went to beagle nationals and qualified in Rally Novice and Novice Obedience! GO RISER!

4th- Happy Birthday Rich

3rd

I got home around 5:30 tonight from the AKC agility show in Shreveport. Kamikaze went into full-blown season on the way home, so we barely squeaked this show in. I had to pull her from next weekend's agility. Sat. morning started with Excellent Jumpers. Lego did two jumps and ran to the back to sniff and wouldn't come back. He got hauled off. Kamikaze had a great run going. When I said 'get the weaves' she dropped her shoulder and leaned back to slow up and at the last possible second pull off of them. How odd. She wasn't even running that fast. ( a known phenomenon when she is about to burst into season) Ah well, so close to that AXJ. Then she ran Excellent Standard for the first time. I wasn't expecting much since she was a pokey, pouty in jumpers and  pulled off the weaves. She surprised me by hitting the weaves, at an almost dead walk mind you, and she stayed in for all of them. (still walking) She finished off the course clean, but one second over time. The time fault is allowed in Excellent A so she got her first AX leg with a 97 and a first place (sole 20' A survivor). Lego started Open Standard well (3 obstacles) then got the urge to sniff the back again. He came back and worked for another several obstacles. At the table he even dropped fast. After the table count I made the decision to take him off and reward him for playing with me on my terms instead of risking more sniffing and another haul off.

Saturday night a nasty storm system hit the Shreveport area. I loaded up the car Sunday morning in a mild drizzle between some huge rain storms. Excellent Standard was first. Kamikaze was a bit speedier today and had a very nice run. She had one  refusal at the weaves. Partly caused by a bad cross that aimed her at the table right by the weaves, and partly her desire to do the table over the weaves. She never actually hit the table, but by the time I got her head turned to the weaves she was too far past the entrance to pull them out. There was a cocker running in front of Lego in Open Standard. When we stepped up to the line he saw them leaving and I could tell he had decided it needed to die. I waited well past the "GO" to take my hands off him. assuring us that the cocker was back in a crate or off walking somewhere. He did a couple of things, but was intently turning towards the exit. After two sniff offs in the corner he headed to the exit. I hollered very firmly and he came and I grabbed his collar and excused us. He hasn't focused on a dog that needed to die in some time. Excellent Jumpers was next for us. It was a very nice flowing course. As a matter of fact ALL the course were nice this weekend. Not a bunch of 180's or jerking the dog around. There were plenty of challenging areas without making it NO fun for the dogs. I watched some dogs ahead of me struggle at places I hadn't pictured as problem areas. I took a mental note to add a firm 'COME' in those couple of places. I took Elaine's advice to heart about picking the one or two challenging handling areas and focusing on doing those right and let the rest fall into place. The opening sequence seemed the hardest to me and I spent many of my walking minutes there. I was pleased to get through that part with only a wide turn. The firm 'COME' that I added in other places worked and she even hit her weaves. So she now has her AXJ!

Lego and I struggled a bit in the opening sequence. Mostly because my timing was off for the dog that listens and not ignores me. We eventually just left that area and picked up at the jump just after all that. He did great. Then the weaves. He aimed at them and then didn't do them. This is a common problem with him. I don't know if he doesn't want to be wrong when doing them or if he just wants me there. They were also in the back where the smells were. He left to smell, came back and did great weaves and we finished in fine style.

I got to see four of Xanadu's littermates there too.


ROSALITA - not quite as big as Thunder. Maybe 14 inches.

THUNDER - big boy. 14 3/4 inches

THUNDER - his agility handler has taught him to sit up

Dani- little girl like Xanadu. Might even be a bit smaller. Maybe 12 3/4 inches

SPIRIT - big girl! Almost 15 inches