2013 training goals

MAY 2013

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Up by 5:45 Saturday to get to the show in time to potty dogs and get settled.  I started the morning with Sprigs in Novice B. She had a very nice run (minus jumping up to say 'hi' to a post in the figure eight pattern). Then in sit stays we had an 'incident' on the stay line. It was several dogs away from Sprigs that two dogs had a talk about being too close to each other's space. Sprigs stayed. Unfortunately the judge sent us all back to restart the stays. She'd already been sitting half the amount of time required when I got back. I got her up and let her walk in a circle and reset her. Too bad, when I do that at home it means I am displeased with the performance because something when wrong. She sat for 30 seconds before deciding maybe it was supposed to be a down and wilted! ACK! Kayak had a decent performance in Open B for his first CDX leg. He added some Siberian flair to most of the exercises though.

Spirit had a great first try at Open A. I was very pleased with her enthusiasm. She, however, wilted on the sit stays. Kamikaze was somewhat disappointing in Utility. She did get her signals, but was terrible on go-outs still and NO SITS. That's frustrating as that's pretty much all I practiced for the last two months. She stressed on her articles and needed a second command on both. Twinkle had her debut in Rally Novice. I was just hoping to pass with her three tries of four this weekend so she could have a title like everyone else. She shocked me by winning the class both a.m. and p.m. today.

Kayak's afternoon Open run was not quite as good. The judge was unimpressed with his enthusiasm and his dumbbell antics. Sparkle tried her hand at Open and had her best performance on the individual events EVER! She then wilted on the sit stay to flunk though.

Sprigs rocked her Novice run again. This time sticking her stays for a first place win and her second CD leg.

Kayak did OK, not as good, in Sunday morning's Open run. But, the down stay was before the sit stay and he just couldn't stay up on the sit after sleeping for 5 minutes. Spirit had another nice try in Open, but tried to follow me out on the sit stay this time. Kamikaze had a better Utility try today than Saturday. Still flunking her go-outs for no sits and then choosing a jump on her own. Also flunked the down signal (again!). Twinkle managed to make it around Rally again for another first place finish and her very first title!

Kayak's afternoon try at Open was better on the action exercises, but heeling was LAST. He was less than enthused about heeling by then. He actually FLUNKED heeling by not trying to. Sparkle had another nice run in Open in which she wilted on the sit stay to blow her Q. I didn't show Twinkle in the afternoon since she had her title and each run was getting a little more wild.


My home obedience club is running  four obedience trials in two days over the weekend. I was there this morning setting up rings and setting up Cheryl's and my crates (nine total) for the weekend.

Rich and I took in the new Fast and Furious movie this afternoon and then on to bathing dogs for the weekend. I have 5 entries in the am trial and 3 in the pm trial. The only dog playing both morning and afternoon is Kayak. Thought with all his energy he could handle it. I bathed the Siberians outside (knowing all the hair wads that would produce) and Rich started on the beagles inside. When I was done with Kazee and Kayak I came in and took over bath time. He'd gotten Twinkle and Sparkle done so I had Spirit and Sprigs left. While I was at it I gave Xan a bath as well. She hasn't had one since her hook up with Timber. Figured it couldn't hurt. After I was done the hot water in the guest bath refused to turn off completely! ARGH! A slow drip, but still. I alerted Rich, who has replaced tub stems before. He got some tools and realized he didn't have whatever funky tool it required to pull that stem. He ended up turning the flow to the hot water heater off and then just shutting it all down back there. So, no hot water in the rear of the house. Glad we have two hot water heaters and the one we need is functioning fine.


My parents gave us a cash gift for our anniversary. We decided to buy a new mattress with it. Today was shop for mattress day. Man! Does that ever make one sleepy. I mean you have to lay on all of them to decide which on you like. A half a day or so of laying around on mattress makes you yawn for sure. We picked one out that made us both happy on price and comfort.

It's a Simmons Beauty Rest Recharge Mitzi Pillow Top. (for anyone that wants to google). We bought from a place with a warehouse on sight so we got to bring it home to sleep on today!

I also heard the story behind the kids feeding Windy. Apparently the young boy doesn't vocalize much and doesn't talk at all. He talks to Windy. He says her name. He LOVES her. awwww...  So I gave Grandma a bucket of horse treats.

21st - Happy Anniversary to us

Been married 19 years now. At some point it all starts moving at warp speed! Anyways, Mom and Dad gave us some cash. We've decided to buy a new mattress with the spoils. We are both unhappy with what we've been sleeping on. So on Thursday we'll go mattress shopping, get a bite to eat at a nice joint and celebrate.

The indoor dogs woofed once and I went to the window to see what the big deal was. I see this.

Apparently Windy has a fan club! I took the picture from inside the house (through a front window), so they don't know I know. They walked in and walked off so they live close by. After they left I went to check and see if I could determine what they were feeding her out of their ziploc bag. I found some errant Fruit Loops on the ground. HA! It's grains and sugar. Perfect treat. HA HA! Windy loved it when I picked up the ones I found and offered them to her. Once again I am amazed when I think she was WILD once. Scared of people to the point of lashing out at them. Then you see her gently taking from a toddler what is offered and actually waiting at the fence for them to come and you feel overwhelming awe.


I took the dogs entered in the obedience show next weekend over to Cheryl's for some practice this afternoon. First up was out of sight stays. Spirit needs a little work. 

Sparkle, Spirit, Kayak, Grace

Spirit also needs work on her broad jump and going after the dumbbell the first time I tell her . She may not Q next weekend, but she is so close to putting it all together that ring time will be good. Sparkle is ready. Knows it all. Her problems are ring (and new places) stress related. Her stress is better now that it used to be. She has one leg in Open. Hoping for another. Kayak is also ready. Knows it all plus half the utility exercises! Now, will he Q...? Lord knows! He can get so wild and so 'teenage boy' sometimes. I have been working hard to fix his "I could lay down on my sit stay" problems. Sprigs also knows her stuff. Been working hard on the 'wilting' on the stand. Hope it's conquered. She's also not above wilting on the sit stay. I think Kamikaze is more ready than she's ever been for Utility. She's know these exercises for years. I've worked hard the last couple of months only accepting correct behaviors the first try (no seconds). It seems to be sticking. We'll see. Twinkle is, well, Twinkle. She knows all the Rally Novice signs. Will she squeak under the wire with Qs? I hope so, but the heeling between signs is going to be her downfall. I could possibly bring home four titles this coming weekend. Kayak (if he gets three of four Q's.. HA) could get a CDX. Sparkle (getting 2 of 2 Q's... HA) could get a CDX. Sprigs (getting 2 of 2 Q's) could get a CD and Twinkle (with 3 of 4 Q's ) could get a RN. Based on how we do I may enter Jackson's Sunday obedience at the end of June.


Rich and I were out the door early this morning to head to New Orleans to attend my brother's PHD hooding ceremony. He completed his doctor of philosophy. He'll be off to PA at the end of next month to teach there. Mom and Dad arrived down there Thurs. evening. So it was a whole family affair.


Obedience class is going fairly well. I was very happy with everyone this week. Cheryl and I did an exercise where we held someone's dog while they went around and petted everyone else's dogs. We also started the heeling where they weave in and out of the other people. Everyone's dogs did so well! No lunging or snapping.

Windy has been mowing on the back yard for us on a fairly regular basis again. She's happy!

Xanadu still thinks she is 'pretty'. Usually I have about 3-4 days where I have to keep her away from ALL boys (even neutered). I am growing weary of it now at 5 days. That's the only real difference I can tell in her as opposed to other seasons she's had. Does in mean anything? Who knows!


Had fun at dog classes last night. The owner of the training facility let me run her Cattle Dog, Karma, on an exercise in one agility class. She is such a cool dog! I helped in Utility class by being the 'stranger' doing a stand for exam and also setting out articles. I got to do a photo op with Timber munching into his celebration cake too.

Then Diane let me run Timber on one run in his agility class. He's faster than I thought. Got a bit winded with him. Hoping any puppies get his speed and desire for agility. I even got to meet an interested puppy person and she got to meet Xan (out in the parking lot). Xan even got to show off some Utility exercises for her.

This morning I loaded up and checked out of the hotel. Got to Diane's around 9am and Timber was OVERJOYED to see me. HA! Once I went to get Xanadu out of the car I could hardly get her set down fast enough for him. He was on top of his job this time. So, I feel like we gave ourselves the best shot at some puppies. We think the timing was perfect (based on testing) and we got two natural breedings in with a day in between. Jeanne, the vet friend of Diane that assisted, and Diane are both going to enter Birmingham's agility show at least one day so then can come feel the belly and make a wish. I told them Cheryl and I were entered and Xan would be hanging out there with us. The show is almost 5 weeks out from the breeding. Hoping Jeanne can tell if there are puppies. Rolled into the house between 5:30 and 6pm. Very exhausted from so much traveling!


WOW! Crazy few days. Had a decent time in Tyler on Saturday. Kayak got his Starters Standard Agility title. He had a nice Steeplechase run in which I sent him off course, but I was so glad to see him sail over that 60" broad jump with ease. We've never spread one out that far. Kamikaze had gamblers first. I was thrilled to see the gamble. Just some jumps with a turn away from the handler at a distance. We've got that skill! She nailed that run. One more gamble Q for Gambler Champion. She also had a fabulous Grand Prix run in which I pulled her off the Aframe a step to early to incur that one fault. But, there were tight spots that we handled with speed like pros that I was proud of. I skidded into home around 9pm. Alarm set for 4:30 am.

Sunday we drove all the way to Marietta, GA. Got here around 3. Lego came along as a bodyguard. He loves to go with me and this was an easy trip as dog confinement goes. So stressful for him. HA!

We waited about 30 minutes (checked in to hotel and got things in the room arranged) for Xan's boyfriend to make it home from his show. He got his Utility Dog title Sunday morning in TN. That also finished his VCD3 title. Xan and I then drove 15-20 minutes over to Timber and Diane's house for our first attempt at a natural breeding. It was a little tough getting Timber to find the right thing to do, but he was sure willing and so was Xan. Here they are (post breeding) in the 'couple's suite' set up by Diane.

Today I worked some from the hotel. Took a couple of hours outside to get a walk in with the kids. Then planning on heading to Woodstock, GA this evening to hang out at Timber and Skeeter's (his older brother) agility classes.


Xanadu's progesterone came back as 1.4 as of yesterday morning. YEAH! Going up is good and it also means I can now make plans. The plan is to drive to Tyler, TX Friday afternoon. Get up and show Saturday and then drive home. Get up Sunday and drive to Atlanta. I'll hang in Atlanta until Tuesday.


This has been the week of waiting, watching and testing so far. Xanadu is still not ready to be bred and my life feels like it's on hold. She's finally started to show some interest in boys today. Took her in for another progesterone test to see when would be an ideal time to breed her. Very little training has been done either. Here's hoping I get to do at least one day of the agility show this weekend.

4th - Happy Birthday Rich

Did some tracking today with Kamikaze, Lego and Kayak. Found out my water resistant boots are not adequate in some of my usual tracking areas after repeated and frequent deluges. Came home after laying out two tracks with socks I could wring out and my pants soaked to my knees. Kamikaze had a 2.5 hour old track and I wore calf high waterPROOF hunting boots. She did very well at the beginning. Even alerted to a piece of belt (leather) that was only a foot or so long. She started not tracking as well on the last two turns with the vehicle in sight where her dinner awaited. Lego's track was about 3 hours old. He was a rockstar. Kayak had a 30 minute old track in a lot across the street. He did very well, but he just has to investigate trash in the field even if it's off track.

I spent a little time this evening with some college girls that want me to be their private obedience teacher. They already take agility lessons with a fellow club member. We met at her place. I got to practice Sprigs and Kayak on some agility equipment while I was there. SCORE! Got in my correction for Sprigs blowing off weaves when I tell her to. From that one correction on she was perfect going to them and doing them. Got to see how Kayak's weave stepping lessons are sticking. He was just AWESOME on her poles. Feeling good that maybe I've got his stepping down now. He also practice flying off her Aframe, so I got to fix that too.


Today I took Xanadu in to have blood drawn for her first progesterone test. The tentative plans involve me driving to GA on Tuesday and back on Thursday. Hoping she cooperates with this plan. It's one in which both the sire's owner and I get to continue with our weekend plans to be at shows and I should be able to teach obedience class and not strand Cheryl with a bazillion students all on her own.
Yesterday we got half of an obedience class taught and a good enough rain came that we had to send the students home. So, to be fair we'll be having another session tacked on. I also got my puppy collars in the mail yesterday. I've picked four as the number to focus on. It happens to be the number of microchips I have waiting as well, so seems like a good number.


Cedar had her yearly check-up today including a senior blood panel. All her blood levels look great including her thyroid. We are going to start her on an NSAID once a day for her arthritis. After that I took Xanadu and Lego to see the DVM chiropractor, acupuncturist. Xanadu is doing great. Seems her last adjustment has held up. Lego was torqued good in the back from limping for 4 months. The good news is he responded well to regular chiropractic care. The chiropractor says I should work on massaging his inner thigh muscles on his surgery leg. They seem to be drawn up tight.