2007 training goals


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Kamikaze got to do a couple of short straight line tracks with food every 3 steps. She's getting the idea that this game involves sniffing the ground not looking at mommy. I was impressed with how well she stayed focused on the task since she's only tracked three of four times.


Today was the draw for the entries into the Dec. 9th Houston tracking test. I got the call about 8 pm that Sparkle made it in the test! WOO HOO. So it's off to Houston we go Dec 8th after I show Kamikaze here in conformation. OH PLEASE let her stay focused on the task at hand!


Tonight was Kamikaze's agility class. Attendance at all three of the Wed. classes was fairly low, so they combined the beginners with the middle of the road beginners. Kazee is in the middle of the road class mostly because of her age and not skill level. This presented a bit of an issue for me and Cheryl with Grace. We are well beyond the beginner people who still aren't doing full height contact obstacles. I asked the teacher if we could join the advanced beginners class for the night. I kinda got the "we'd rather you didn't" answer. Their class was almost full. So, Cheryl and I became our own class and our own teachers. We managed to stay out of the other class's way and we got to form our own things to work on. It turned out well for both of us I think. We practiced our contacts, serpentines, jump chutes, and start teaching our guys weaves on the channel poles. Kazee is really a great agility dog. She's doing nice contacts and caught on to serpentines, although weaves are still mostly a mystery.


I did manage to find some time this evening to practice Novice exercises with Sparkle. It's a good thing since she has a 4 day shoe in the middle of December. We did an entire Novice routine. Stays and all. She did great. I did lots of hokey stuff on the stand for exam including just walking over her. Hopefully I can desensitize her some so she'll pass that exercise easier. When we were done I worked some with Kamikaze on Rally Advanced exercises. I am thinking I'll move her up in December after she gets her RN. It's feasible she could get her RA that same weekend if I did. She seems to do fairly well on the Advanced exercises. The one that scares me most I haven't practiced yet though. That's the heel around the toy/food bowl and not go for it. I need to set that one up soon for sure.

ME? I didn't do it! Why would you think I dug that hole?

Don't neglect to scroll down to the 19th and see the Josie picture with her Super Q ribbons!


We're home from our Thanksgiving trek to Hot Springs, AR. to visit Rich's family. Misty, Sparkle and Kazee went along. It was in the high twenties in the morning and only up to maybe 50 during the day. Since they are early morning risers and Rich's family's not we spent Friday morning at Hot Springs National Park while we waited for everyone else to wake up and get moving. We forgot our nice digital camera so we had to buy a disposable at a little gift shop. As a side note, I admired this man's entrepreneurism. He sold cold drinks, including beer, disposable cameras, a wide range of cell phone chargers and some other sundry things.


My ankle is much better. I kept it wrapped all day at work and decided I was good enough for Sparkle's agility class tonight. She's not a super speed demon, so it wasn't likely I would have to be stressing the ankle too bad. Sparkle did great in class. She started a bit slow, but on the second pass of the dogwalk she actually started running pretty good. Not a sprint, bit a nice lope instead of a trot. She ran across the dogwalk for the first time. Typically she trots it even if she is otherwise running. She looked happy and didn't try to go around any jumps either. She even weaved six poles with the beginnings of the little dog bounce. I was very happy! Things are looking good for her debut in January.

We are off Thursday morning to Arkansas to see Rich's family for Thanksgiving. We'll be back Saturday, so we'll have a day off before work.


This show weekend was rather enjoyable even if I was limping around the course. I'm sure I was funny site to see running agility in my hiking boots with a kind of rolling gate to protect the right ankle. Jedi did better at Mom's house this time and remarkably well at the show site considering last time I tried taking him there he had no functioning hearing. On Saturday Mom went down with me to the show. Gamblers was first. There was a hard turn away from the handler after two jumps to a tunnel. Neither of my guys made the turn. Standard was next. Jedi did acceptably well and most of the problems were mine except for the refusal to lay on the table and the 'never seen those' response to the weaves. I forced the weaves. It took 6 tries before he realized he wasn't going anywhere until he finished them and then he did them very nicely. Josie's Adv. Standard run went well until the teeter. As you'll recall, in October she decided the teeter was possessed with evil demons and wouldn't even touch it. I have taken her to every available teeter since then and she hasn't been scared of any of them. Stupid me thought I should avoid the teeter in gamblers for her so as not to make a big deal of it the first run out. She refused to get on it in the standard run. It took around 4 to tries to get her on it. On a positive note, our table issues seems to now be resolved. She didn't do an auto down, but dropped as soon as I said to and she didn't even look scared about it. Grand Prix was third and it seems that this teeter wasn't as scary as she thought it might be. She got a first place Q in Grand Prix with only a missed A-frame contact as a fault. The teeter didn't phase her at all this time. That means I've earned my first voucher into second round Grand Prix runs at a regional competition. Jedi ran the course OK with several faults, but not any E's. Pairs was up now and Jedi had no partner. The other mini dog, Josie's partner, didn't want to run twice, so we got a Border Collie pair. Elaine's Trip! Trip ran flawless and handed off to us. Jedi was doing great until the A-frame. There was a tunnel under it and I saw he looked like he was going to take the tunnel trap so I ran all the way almost on top of the A-frame to block his way and then here I am trapped behind the A-frame as he goes over. I struggled around the tunnel, but he'd already bailed the contact looking for me. We took the final jump and the 5 faults just to find out the timer eyes were set at 22" so the time never stopped. Being that Pairs is time plus my 5 faults it was important to know the real time it took. I think we didn't make it in time to make up the faults though, but we got to run again for time. I pushed the heck out of Jedi after the 6 weaves he did perfectly and we got a better A-Frame approach this time so I had great position and we made it around in just under 45 seconds. Turns out time was 51, so Jedi gets his first Pairs Q! Josie ran flawless, but her partner got a case of the zoomies. Last was the class I'd been waiting on all day, SNOOKER! Both my little guys needed 2 Super Q's for their Master Snooker titles. This course was a shoo in for three 7s. Jedi ran first. We had several close calls calling him off obstacles, but made it through the open with our three 7s. Then on the way to number 3 he just had to take this jump I'd been calling him away from the whole run. DANG! Josie was next (only two 16s were mine) so I was still winded from Jedi's almost great run. Josie pulled a boner at the start and took the number 6 on the way to the 7. I recovered well and we did the last two as 7s. She finished the whole course in time, so we had a 50. Now to hope the 12s can't get three 7s in time. As luck would have it, they didn't. So SUPER Q number 2 for Josie in fine style. She earned that one.

Sunday started with Snooker, so my suspense would be over fast. Somehow Jedi came up first again. He pulled a 'not listening' moment right off the bat , so at least I wasn't winded for the Josie run. This course was also a shoo-in for all 7s. Josie pulled off the three 7s in the opening. Now we have it I thought. OOPS! Missed the A-frame contact on number 6. Stupid handler took off a second too soon and caused the jump off. We still have a Q with 38, but it wouldn't take much to beat it. The heavens were on our side though, and we were the only Q in minis. That's SUPER Q number 3!!! Josie is now a SNOOKER CHAMPION-BRONZE. Of course, I forgot the camera though, so no great show picture, but maybe one with her ribbon here in a day or so.

I was flying high with Standard coming up next. Jedi ran OK again with no E and no real moments of idiocy. Josie gave me another great present with an Advanced Standard Q! She started off the line all scared and walking. She did a nice table and was slow on the teeter, but didn't refuse it. I finally got her clicking about obstacle 8 or so and we flew around the final parts. We were only barely under time. Now only one more for her AAD. Pairs again and this time Josie had no partner. Since she's already got her Relay Master I decided to run her with Jedi just for kicks. Kay was at the show and she's had lots of experience with hard headed dogs and knows Jedi well, so I recruited her to run him. He ran first with his assigned partner who got a case of the zoomies again. Then handed him to Kay while I got Josie. Well, I'll be buggered! If it weren't for a stupid owner my guys would've Q'd together. Jedi was running great for Kay, then on a turn towards the front he focused on me. And stupid me was standing behind Josie's starting jump instead of just off to the side where I should've been. Jedi took the jump between us to come check in with me. Then he went right back with Kay and finished his half even weaving 6 poles for her on the first try. That one little thing shot our Q. I was amazed to watch him run so well for her. Jumpers was last thing. Josie flew around the course for a first place Q. Jedi was giving her a run for her money until #13 where he had to see the judge before going in the tunnel. BUMMER, but a nice weekend for him overall. 


When I got up this morning the ankle was still pretty painful. I kept it wrapped and took some Tylenol. It was better, but not good enough to run. At lunch after a run to Wal-Mart to get a decent ankle brace I went to Rich's office and let him take a couple of x-rays. There didn't appear to be any bone issues and no swelling. Rich got out his activator and adjusted the bones in my foot. After this mildly uncomfortable procedure my ankle/foot felt much better. This evening it feels close to normal with a bit of tenderness. Hopefully with the brace I can make it around the agility course Sat.

I worked some with Sparkle and Kamikaze on the dumbbell. The most frustrating part is watching them pick it up and carry it wherever they want to go with it to chew on it and then watching them not take one step with it when I put it in there mouth and try to get one forward step to be right in front of me. Both of them inevitably spit it out to take the step. Neither of them cares about the plastic in their mouth since they both want it as a toy, but getting them to walk to me with it seems to be torture. It seems the biggest issue with them is explaining what I want from them for the treat they know I have in my pocket.


Today is not starting well. Last night I bashed my left knee into a door facing just before bed. This morning when I was putting out dogs I stepped just off the edge of the brick walkway with my right foot. The inside of the foot caught the edge of the bricks and the ankle rolled as the rest of my foot searched for the ground. The ankle popped good as I came crashing to the ground. This is the 'bad' ankle too. The one I tore all the ligaments in when I was in high school. The same one I tried to injure laying a track for Khayenne just a few weeks back. The disadvantage this time is I was wearing slippers and not tracking boots with the nice support for ankles. Rich heard me crying out and rushed out to see what was wrong 'with the dogs'. He was so relieved to find out I was hurt and not something bad with our animals. It was quite amusing to me to hear him to say "oh, I thought one of the dogs was mortally wounded or something". I was standing leaning on a dog house with no apparent blood, so it did appear that I couldn't be mortally wounded. I took an old codeine from a prescription I never finished some years ago, iced it down and then wrapped it up. Rich took care of the last three dogs getting out and then he let the hounds in to comfort me. I am going to be some kind of pissed if this is something so bad I can't run agility this weekend!

This evening we stopped at Petco for a couple of things and Rich bought Sparkle a Christmas hat.


I worked Jedi on weaves this afternoon in anticipation of the show this weekend. If I'd just back off him at the shows he may do fine. I took Josie to Sparkle's class tonight since she has a show this weekend. We got in some great work on the table, and A-frame and dogwalk contacts. She seemed happy to work for the most part. I also worked on a new start line routine with her. I'm hoping the addition of an actual routine will help my and her nerves.

One interesting little thing came of my attendance at the shows in Alabama last weekend. I was able to get the email address of someone who had the email address of the new owners of one of Kazee's littermates. They have the only other puppy I've seen out of the litter, the little grey girl that was also in Knoxville, TN when I picked up Kazee. I sent an email with some pictures of Kazee to the third party, and today I got an email from the little girl's owners. They named her Khloe. They are also new to conformation showing. They sent me a link of a page with pictures of Khloe and Ace, their other Siberian. She turned out beautiful too. They are very interested in getting to meet Kazee just as I'd love to meet Khloe again. They live in Alabama, but hopefully we can arrange to be at a show together in the not to distant future.


I managed to get home from Alabama around 6:30 tonight. Unfortunately Santa photos for the doggies ended at 5:30, so it seems we will be without a current photo of the crew this year. My first conformation show experience was a mix of emotions. I learned how to groom Kamikaze myself this weekend. Day one was a disaster. She was the only 6-9 puppy bitch, so we were alone in the ring. Kamikaze drug me around the ring, gating much to fast and kinking her tail tight in her excitement. Then I stacked her the wrong way and the 'nice veteran showers' giggled at ring side. My breeder whispered over the ring gates "turn her around". At least Kazee didn't shy away from the judge when she examined at her. We didn't get any placements, but the judge was very nice and I felt like she gave my dog a fair look. I told my breeder I was never doing this again! Saturday I was determined to NOT be nervous and NOT let Kazee get the best of me. We did much better in the ring, but this judge never even really gave her a look. Seems he doesn't ever put up puppies and most always puts up handlers. Sunday we got even better, now if I can only calm her out of the kinked tail. I felt like she got a fair shake from the judge, but still no placements. Since we were the only puppy bitch we did get to bring home a blue ribbon for each day for #1 puppy bitch. I spent some of my free time watching other breed's puppy dog/bitch performance. I was much encouraged by Kazee's performance after watching other young dogs. There were some that wouldn't gate at all, only lunge and bounce. There were some that tried to move away from the judge when examined. I saw some beagles skulk and sniff the ground instead of gating and then they wouldn't be stacked at all, but flattened themselves on the mats. There was a great dane puppy that had to be excused because the judge couldn't even get close enough to touch it. Overall I enjoyed meeting some nice people and eating dinner with competitors. I will, of course, be doing this again.

While I was away the pics of Kamikaze's 2 rally legs and Sparkle's CD leg came in.


I gave Kamikaze her first 'show prep' bath tonight. It was much to chilly for an outdoor bath, so in the tub she went for the first time. Anyone that's ever washed a double-coated breed knows that can be bad enough without the other stuff I needed to do. Wash dog with normal shampoo. Rinse. Rinse some more. And keep rinsing. Back begins to ache from leaning over the tub about here. Lather legs and chest and rear butt fluff with a 'whitening' shampoo. Let it set while you lather back and sides and tail with a 'bronzing' shampoo to enhance the red coloring. Rinse, rinse, rinse and rinse. After the 30 minutes of 'torture' Kazee was wound up tight. I took her out on a slip lead and she kept bolting in circles all spazzed out. I put her in the x-pen in the living room to finishing drying off. I probably should have blown her dry, but I wasn't really up to it by then. I now realize my hands are getting red blotches and starting to itch. GREAT! I seem to be allergic to one of the new shampoos for enhancing her looks. Who knows which one! Some Benadryl cream and an oral antihistamine stopped this little problem pretty quick. She'll be so 'happy'  tomorrow when she finds out she can't play outside ANY before we leave around lunch. She's gonna throw a bitch fit after a couple of hours trapped in the house. 


Kamikaze and I went to conformation class tonight. Her first show is this weekend in Alabama. She's doing well in class so I hope she doesn't act the fool in the ring. They pulled 3 point majors on Sat. and Sun. and Fri. is worth 2 points. So much for starting in small shows. There'll be at least 8 other handlers to watch me make a fool of myself. I had to go shopping yesterday and buy a couple of dressy outfits to show in. I'm sharing a hotel with my long time husky breeder friend. Hopefully she can get me to understand all this grooming stuff. I'll be bathing Kazee Wednesday evening and taking off Thursday around lunch.


Sparkle and Kamikaze and I met up with Cheryl and Rosey this morning for some obedience practice at one of the local parks. We use a fully fenced tennis court to alleviate and stress we may feel. Sparkle had the most beautiful off lead heeling. She was looking up at me and prancing and wagging her tail. I wish I could find this dog when entering the ring. Then I had them hover over and around her to practice that evil stand for exam. Kamikaze isn't a good spectator and whines and screams and chews on her tie out when it's not her turn. She got to feel a dumbbell in her mouth for the first time as we borrowed Grace's. Kazee didn't seemed phased by holding it at all and did it quite willingly. She also had gorgeous off leash heeling going on. She has a fast and enthusiastic recall, but she hasn't figured out to sit in front yet. We did some group stays which Sparkle aced. Poor Kazee was pushed beyond her patience. She only has about a thirty second stay. I need to work on that with her and maybe she can play Pre-Novice in December.


Sparkle and Kamikaze both passed their CGC test tonight! HOORAY!


 I laid a track for Sparkle to run at lunch. There were two gloves this time to encourage her article indication. She had a rough time at the turn in the same area of the yard she struggled last time. I had put one of the gloves just past this turn to try and help her in this difficult area. It helped her out and she made the turn and indicated the article properly. YEAH! We discovered article indication again. I'm not sure where it went, but it's back. I poured out some nice IAMS soft food on the glove when she laid down and I made a big fuss. After she lapped up the food I told her to "TALLY HO" again. It's her first try at a restart after the glove. Usually we're done then and I haven't tried introducing multiple articles yet. To my great surprise she tracked on hit her next two turns and found the last glove and indicated it too. More soft food dispensed and more praise. I feel much better about her chances at passing a test now. This afternoon was also Sparkle's yearly checkup. She's great with a bit of wax built up in one ear.

I went out to help out with those taking the CGC test tonight. My guys aren't scheduled until tomorrow evening. We had a good pass rate. Here's hoping Sparkle won't be spooked by the stranger petting her since she just got spooked good in the obedience ring.