Monday, December 29, 2008

At the Airport

Kels home. He came back early. We picked him up. A nice training visit to the airport. Grandma came along for the ride. Fin was a little worried at first, but once I pulled out the empty water bottle and we played tug, she was fine. Our tugging game produced an audience. Mom said I should have put my hat out, I might have made a few bucks....always the jokster, my mom.
When Fin got in her chair and laid down, the lady sitting a couple chairs down gave us a dirty look and moved on. Move on "dirty look lady," move on. No room for dirty looks on our airport chairs. This is a happy place.
Fin carefully watched all the peoples coming down the escalator waiting for her dad. She made a few mistakes and greeted people who weren't "dad" but no one seemed to mind.

One lady came over while I was working on down stay and stopped to tie her shoe a few inches from Fin. She did EVERYTHING she could to try to distract my dog. Finally the lady asked if she could say hello and I released Fin and the girl got all she could hope for. There is nothing like a happy Fin hello.

Kel finally arrived and he got a greeting like he'd been gone a year in Iraq and barely made it back. Big smile. Glad to be home, he is.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Three Dog Night

With Kel gone there is more room in the bed. Last night was a snuggle fest with Tazz, Maddie, and yes, even Fin.

I've watched about 30 minutes of the Moe Strenfel foundation video. Good stuff.

So, if you have a 16 inch dog and want to compete in USDAA agility, don't get this video. I don't want the competition!

If you have other jump heights, definately go get the video! I think taking a practical approach and following the steps in the video will improve many handlers out there. It will be exciting to see all the well trained fast dogs that will be competing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

...As we headed north to San Mateo for a wonderful christmas with family, sadly we left our furry kids at home (I'm thinking they had a great day without us!). It was cold but dry as we left Morgan Hill, but it soon became very stormy going north.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a smiling photographing host (we had our camera too, hense all the laughing).
Lots of presents had been delivered and there was so much loot, we had to put presents on the bookshelves.

Here are my two sisters in a moment of merryment. Two cutie pies in my book....I wonder what santa brought them to make them so happy.

Here is mom opening a present from none other than, ME! She loved it of course. Purple is her color.
More presents to open. Lots of recyling going on....the wrapping not the gifts of course.
Andy, Kel, Aunt Pat, and Cousin Ben opening presents. The hat on Ben is from me, he wore it the entire day. I guess the hat was a big hit...that and the cockroach...loved the cockroach. Mom gave been a medical textbook on "Farts." Perfect gift.

I am demonstrating what will happen when I get home. Toys in each hand getting tugged upon.

Two intelligent deep thinkers. Both of my favorite boys. Husband Kel, and nephew Andrew.
Obviously Kel is telling us a great secret. It must be something about dinner cause at this point, we spend a couple hours opening gifts and need some food!

A few glasses of wine always make me sing.


Mom and Arnold visiting.

Aunt Pat tying me up.
Boyz will be Boyz.

Too much egg nog?

When we had the need to pee there was glee.


The fireplace went out and the Howse crew was there to fix it.

Peg loved her Karen Yi original.

Home Finally...welcome home
We had a great day in San Mateo. The food was plentiful, but healthy. The family and friends were happy and healthy. Just a nice wonderful day.
We ended our day by driving home, taking the dogs for a nice walk, and playing chuck-it in the back in the dark. Pups got bullies and Kel and I watched a movie. Neither of us had any desire to eat.

Kel is now off to Arizona and mom is coming down for some warmth (her heater is out till Monday).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've been working on my Susan Salo Jumping Style

Here is an example of me getting lost on a course. The result is that "I" take the jump instead of my dog.
video

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas...

... I wish I could say that I trained my dogs half as well as this gal in Hungry has done. Many of these guys are intact males! I can not say enough, fabulous. Enjoy.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Training Dec '08

First of all the cuteness that is Wynn.

video

Next, Fin: (this video keep failing...I'll try later)

Laura working Fin. Look for the nice serp to weaves near the end. Super girly. I can not tell you how much fun it is to watch someone else run my dog. I never thought I'd have a dog that would love agility so much that she'd work for someone else (well, Laura is her auntie, after all).



Me working Havoc:

video

Love this dog. Laura, you've done a great job with her.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Going to the dentist vs Greg Derretts Handling System



Dentist: has drills

Derrett: has drills

Dentist: tells you, "You need to Floss EVERY day."

Derrett: tells you, "You need to practice EVERY day."

Dentist: says, "If you do these simple things, everything will be peachy."

Derrett: says, "If you do these drills, your dog will understand you"

Dentist: has a systematic approach to mouth care

Derrett: has a systematic approach to handling

Why do I hate the dentist but love Greg Derrett? (Well, ok, I don't actually love him, I've met him a few times..he seems nice, but well, hum, yeah, like I don't really "know" him well enough to love him...it's not like I"m a stalker or anything.....I do however love his systematic approach and the results of practicing his drills).

Fin is working on some Derrett drills. Video will be forthcoming. Last night = way to dark for filming.

We worked simple drills with front crosses, then serps (my fav) then rear crosses (fin likes these). Wow, getting to the correct place, decelerating, and then giving the next cue is not easy. Moe says, "do that 1000 times." Yikes. I've got a busy holiday planned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sometimes You've got to Go With the Flow

I can has cheezeburgers is a wonderful web site to go to when you want to procrastinate for a while. There is so much there to make you smile.

Although the theme is usually cats, once in a while they have a good one about a dog. Now I don't suggest you go there daily, but a visit once a week for a smile is always a good thing.

Today there is a chill to the air. I have dog class tonight and I am NOT going to weather wimp. My plan is to wear my warmest stuff and if I can't run cause I'm stuffed, at least it will bring humor to my friends. Each one of my training buddies is getting a Bully for their dog. My trainer gets one for each one of hers (she has FOUR!...oh wait...so do I).

My last class of the year is this saturday at 10am. We are training in the daylight...should be fun.

Poopsicles

I love this time of year.
No I'm not going to show pictures of frozen poop.

Just the leaves. But I tell you, I love poop patrol on frosty mornings.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Sky Is Putting on a Show Today

I had to drive around the bay area today for misc family business. I was amazed at how low the snow was. I've never seen snow so low. It is beautiful. Driving home, the clouds were amazing! We don't normally get such amazing spectacles around here (I've seen them in the mountains, but not in the bay area).

Driving in the bumper to bumper traffic, I was smiling at the huge tall billowy clouds. All different colors depending on which direction you looked.

I was trying to find agility dogs and obstacles and making a game of it as I drove at 5 miles per hour through rush hour (why in the heck they call it rush hour, I will never know).

At home I was greeted with 4 dogs that have not had any exercise. Always a fun surprise. I tried to explain to them that the sky was amazing, all they had to do was look up. Fin just ran around and around. Rocky stood next to me barking to throw a ball, Maddie looked for squirrels, and Tazz stood next to Rocky staring at him waiting for him to run after the ball. Chuck-it, some agility in the dark, and then tonight "bullies" should take some of that "bouncing off the wall" away.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This and That


New Foundation Video
http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=1729&ParentPage=whatsnew

Moe Strenfel has a new foundation video. I just ordered it. I'll write up a review once I view it, but I wanted to let everyone know that Moe is a fabulous foundation coach and I'm sure her video will reflect that.

Today we played in the back yard. The sun came out, but the warmth didn't penetrate the layers of air to the level of ground were I stood. I ran around working contacts and tossing the ball. It was fun.

Tonight found Fin and me at Laura's class. Indoors and loud teeter. Fin was a good girl and we worked on faster dog walks, rear crosses, and good weaves. She had a moment where the teeter frightened her, but she got over it (this is one LOUD teeter).

Survivor was decided last night and "Bob" won. He is a 59 year old Physics professor and it makes my heart sing when I think that a 59 year old guy is out there in africa having such a wonderful time. I know that when I'm 59 I plan to be running another young dog in agility and enjoying life like "Bob."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Train Arrived On Time and Stayed on the Tracks

We had fun this weekend.

First of all I will say that the Bi-Polar Express DELIVERED. Ruby and Tazz made their mommies proud running clean all runs and qualifying in Team for 2009. We didn't come in first, but we didn't come in last. We were well within the qualifying score and we are both thrilled.

Tazz LOVES this cold weather. His mom, not so much.

Yesterday was cold. Today it got colder, and wet.

Despite the cold, the trial was well run and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Today, runs were expected to go until 6pm. after Laura and I finished Steeplechase and Gamble, we looked at each other and said,"Let's scratch grand prix and go home." And, that's what we did. In some ways it was sad not to run the last runs of the day, but on the other hand, it was really cold, her dog Havoc didn't have contacts any more, and I already have my Q's for grand prix that I need.

I'm glad we came home. I got stuff done today and don't have to drive in the rain in the dark.

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the 12th Day

Photos courtesy of Richard Todd Photography (www.richardtoddphotographer.com)
On the 12th day. Go have fun with your dog.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Fin Training Video

I know that you've been waiting for more Fin. Fin will start trialing in January 2009 so more video will be forthcoming at that time. In the meantime, all you get is one or two training videos.

Here we are back in Salinas as the sun goes down (Notice I actually have a sweat shirt on). I know that many of you think that here on the west coast it is always sunny and warm, but it actually does get cold. I think it was in the 50's last night (Brrrrrrrr).

Laura recommended to try to work pieces of the course rather than run a full course. Good advice. We start out and she misses her line. I reset her and changed my position and we got what we wanted. The rest is just working on her turns and making sure that she hit her entrances and contacts.

video

The day before the last day

It is December 11th! What the heck is going on. Seems like just yesterday it was July.

Oh well.

For this 11th day I must tell you about my dogs favorite chewy in the world. Bully sticks. Not just any bully stick, it must be the thick 10-12 inchers. As we say in the sheltie world, "size matters!"

You can get these from either:
- http://www.sitstay.com/
- http://www.cleanrun.com/

They seem to be cheaper at sitstay, but I haven't ordered from them in a while and not sure of the quality. UPDATE: Read the comments. The folks at SitStay have given us a 10% discount on the next order. Thanks folks at sitstay! Wow, what a nice surprise.

I have ordered from bullysticks.com, but I didn't like the quality. The last batch had a chemical smell and I ended up tossing them out as the dogs got the runs. I recommend sticking to the ones at sitstay or clean run.

Happy chewing.

Introducing "The Bi-Polar Express!"

This weekend we will find ourselves running agility. Yes my friends, in December. Who's crazy idea was this? It will be a high of 40 (ok, ok, I know...but to me it is "COLD!"). It is going to rain. But agility playing we will be doing. It is a covered arena after all.

This is the first opportunity to get a DAM team "Q" for the 2009 USDAA Nationals. Tazz got his Q last year at this trial with the "Blue Dog Group." This year, his team name is "Bi-Polar Express." My team mate is none other than Ruby of "Team Small Dog!" (http://www.teamsmalldog.com/)

How does Tazz get to run agility with such a famous Internet Blog star? Well, Laura "H" and I were discussing how our dogs are "special" and decided that we'd make either a fabulous team, or we'd crash and burn. Sounded like a good idea at the time.

When Laura "P" got wind of this, she said, "Oh you guys should be like the bi-polars!" Giving it a christmas theme, we became the Bi-Polar express.

Ruby and Tazz sound made for each other, what with the meltdowns, judge phobia, contact jitters, A frame avoidance, leash aggression, and inconsistent fears there is sure to be some excitement this weekend.

Wish us luck. Fun we will have, Luck we will need


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is the Tenth Day!

For the 10th day, I offer you my all time favorite cart for your viewing pleasure. No, I don't have one. My buddy Laura does, so I use hers. My cart is not so nice, but functional. I wouldn't recommend my cart. I do recommend these carts.

They are pricy, but I tell you, they are the BMW of the agility cart world. The Mercedes Benz version is up on their web site as well. These are really NICE!

You can carry your agility crap anywhere, across all sorts of terrain, using these wonderful little carts.

However, it will set your agility budget back a whopping $375.

Take a look at: http://www.wagonwalker.com/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Some Fin Vids

Don't read this unless you are sitting down.

I have FINALLY gotten all of the parts I need and can once again download video to my computer.

The world is applauding! I can hear you!

These videos are from early November. We are at an agility class in Hollister. I haven't edited these videos so you can see the mistakes and what we do about the mistakes. It is the reality of running a baby dog on some difficult courses. You get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

These courses are devised by Rob Michalski. He is a devious sort that likes to test our skills in the most sinister of ways. Serps, threadles, impossible weave entrances, 270's, 180's, his courses have it all.

WE LOVE IT!

At Robs, I run Laura's dog Havoc and she runs Fin. We sometimes switch off, but most of the videos I have are with Laura running Fin.

First one:
video

Second one:

video

Third one (with me - last run of the night....we are both tired):

video

That's all for now. I'll upload more to youtube tomorrow....

The 9th Day

It was the ninth day of agility Christmas and our heroine found herself online at http://www.zappos.com/.

Trying to fend off her irrational need to buy more shoes. Agility shoes. Trail running shoes. Water proof shoes. Open toed shoes. Gym shoes. Shoes that work well in sandy soils. Shoes that work well on grass Gotta have me some shoes that work on rubber. Cool looking shoes Cute shoes. Way over the top colors shoes.

Can you tell this is a problem for me?

This pile is currently laying to my left on the floor of my office. The Tevas keep finding their way down the hall via a small black dog, but all the others don't go very far unless I wear them.....

I highly recommend a pair of water proof Solomons (the pair in the lower left hand corner). These are my current fav agility shoe. I also like my Innov-8 Terrocs, but they are not water proof.

I do enjoy the Privos slip-ons. I have 3 pairs in 3 colors. I can wear them around the house, outside for a quick training run in the back yard, and then out to dinner.

My Brooks I use only for the gym. They are GREAT gym shoes....

Enjoy your 9th day. Pick up a pair of agility shoes, put them under the tree, and the tag should say, "From Santa who loves agility."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Six through Eight!

What happened to the weekend. Zoowza. So many shelties, so little time.

Family came first. Before Blog. Visits and christmas plays and birthdays ....with a little dog agility thrown in sorta Summed up my weekend.

So for the Sixth Day, leave the dogs at home for a night off and head out to a holiday play. There are lots of community theaters doing little christmas stuff.

Here's a plug for the South Valley group. They are doing "It's a Wonderful Life" and tickets are available. They've got two more weekends of shows. If that ain't enough for the 6th day, my husband is in the play! http://www.svct.org/ The shows are in downtown Morgan Hill. I recommend Sushi before the play at AOI.

For the 7th day a very good recommendation: http://www.shadeusa.com/beach_umbrellas.htm#Solartek

I LOVE my solarteck umbrella. It beats the regular umbrellas by leaps and bounds. Well worth the price. When I'm at a show, many people come up to me and want to know where I got my umbrella. The solar shade cloth creates a much cooler level of shade. If you put two umbrellas up next to each other and compare, the solar shade one will give you a measurable amount of coolness. I have two and use them to supplement my eazyup as well as for shade at ringside.


For the 8th day, http://www.coolmedics.com/ how about a cooling pad or colling jacket. It isn't too early to think about the upcoming trial season and keeping your dog the coolest!

Friday, December 5, 2008

On the Fifth Day!


Ok, so I wanted to do this cool posting with 5 rings. I had the idea to talk about shaping and training using 5 hula hoops. I was even going to try to get the squirrel in on the video (if I could find him!).

This very cool idea will have to wait. It has been a very busy day today...yes my friends, I have a life outside of writing my blog and playing with my pooches.
So I started to think about rings:
  • agility rings: we could talk about how important it is to go to lots of different places to do agility - not just your back yard.
  • rings in the bath tub: I've got two of those and could have talked about taking the time to wash those rings, but it doesn't have anything to do with agility, so the bathtub rings will have to wait
  • growth rings in trees: Why I thought of this, I DO NOT know, but maybe the squirrel has been making me think of nut trees.
  • Ring around the posy: Don't even know what this is anymore
  • The Lord of the Ring: My favorite book and movie. I'm quite obsessed. But not really ability related.
  • Nose rings: Some might think that this would be a cool present for an agility enthusiast, I'm not so sure.

Since I really couldn't come up with any other good ring stuff, I'm going to steal my idea I was going to use on Monday.

This is an idea my sister gave me. For the fifth day of agility presents, why not find 5 cool places that support rescue, rehab, or other non-profit enterprise (my favorite is http://www.dreampowerhorsemanship.com/ - not doggy related but definitely a great non-profit) and give the gift of a donation.

For me I give a donation in a friends name, and ask for a card thanking that person for the gift. My friend than can open a gift that shows they gave to a great non-profit. Two gives in one!

You don't have to give much. If everyone just gave $5.00 it adds up.

So instead of gold rings, make your coins jingle and make a non-profit go another year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

PITA

So whats a girl to do when she has "something alive" in the wall between the garage and the house. Then that something "alive" chews a hole big enough for her sheltie to stick her head in and growl. Especially when that hole in the wall is coming into the house (the hole was in the back of the cabinet where I keep the dog food - coincidence? I think NOT!).

I can't even say the word, "Rat." Just spelling it in the blog gives me the creeps.

The hole scared me. The scratching irritated me, the hole really scared me. I kept thinking of stories people told me of walking down the dark hall and having a big sewer rat chase them.

Wild West Exterminators to the rescue.

So Keith comes out. He is tired. He's been crawling in places people shouldn't have to crawl all day. He is not a man that wants to crawl anymore today. But, he is a nice guy and is willing to help me out due to the panicked nature of my phone call.

I bring him in the garage and show him where "something" has chewed on the drywall. He examines the area like a crime scene. I half expect him to get some tape out and protect the area. Then he says, "OK, what else?" I ask, "what do you think?" and he just shrugs. The man is not giving anything away.

I bring him into the house and show him the hole. I had put clear tape on it hoping to keep the "something alive" out of the house. He looks perplexed. Gets down on his knees and looks in the hole. I say, "Isn't that hole rather large for a rat?" He says, "Maybe, huh, don't know."

So up the stairs we go to the attic. I'm happy because our attics are easy to get into. Just open the door and walk right in. I can tell Keith is happy about that as well.

He walks around the first attic and finds a little pile of "droppings." It is actually poop, but he is a nice man and doesn't want me to go into a panic again so he calls it "droppings". He says, "To tell you the truth, I'm not really impressed. You don't have a major problem." Then he says, "Let's look at the other one (attic)."

Off we go to the other side of the house. No "droppings" at all on that side - clean as a whistle he says.

So I say, "what do you think we should do." He says, "Well I don't think you should waste $170 on me putting traps out." he then said, "You can go to home depot and get some traps and catch it (yes he did say "it") yourself."

He then says, "I think you have a squirrel. It might even be gone. You've got something, I'm not really sure what it is, but you do like I say and put the traps out. You'll get it."

So we named the squirrel PITA (Pain in the A@@).

As we walk out to his truck, I say, "Well thank you for coming out. What do I owe you?" He says, "It's not a problem mam, I don't live very far and I didn't really do anything." I am FLOORED! In this shitty economy, someone comes out after a long day and helps me out but doesn't charge me anything. I will make sure Keith gets all my business in the future AND I will make sure my friends and family use him. Oh Thank you Keith!

Keith, he gets a gold star!

The Fourth Day of Christmas

For this fourth day, how about something to read?

Clean Run Magazine! http://www.cleanrun.com/

If you want to improve in agility, this is the magazine you must have.

Informative, educational, fun, practical. Each month I am eager to see what new exercises are presented.

Definately, if you don't do anything else for yourself, get this magazine and read it. Then go out to the back yard and set up a sequence and practice the handling the material suggests.

You will find articles from trainers that you are not normally exposed to. Some of these trainers may handle differently than the way you've been handling. That's ok. Try it and see whether you like it.

Take your magazine with you to your class and ask your agility trainer questions about the articles. Use your knowledge to make sure your agility trainer is exposing him/herself to new things and strengthening their program to make you better.

This magazine will not in itself make you a better agility handler, but it will provide you with an inexpensive source for knowledge that can push the limits of what you know. That's a good thing and our 4th agility day of christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fun Class Tonight

Fin's teeter is ROCKIN! Fin had the nicest teeters tonight. She "flew" to the end, waited till it hit and pounced into position. Very cool indeed.

Dog walk. Awesome!

Mom...well, I did great on the contact drills. I'm still needing work on my handling during our jumping drills. Fins doing great, I'm just needing to have more confidence in her ability to do the things I taught her.

Everyone else got to stay home and relax.

On the Third Day of Christmas


Rocket Tunnels!


There are alot of tunnel companies out there. I love Rocket Tunnels. They have a lightweight one and a more heavy duty one.


I have one heavy duty one that has lived outside in the elements for six years (this is california so not terribly harsh) and is still in good condition. I have also gotten one of their lightweight ones (yellow) and it is holding up really well. What I like about the lightweight ones is I can carry it so easily. I can store it on a self in my shed because it is so light.


A couple years ago I needed another tunnel because Tazz was having trouble with dark tunnels. I got the heavy weight dark blue. I also splurged and got some tunnel bags as well. I LOVE my tunnel bags. They were expensive, but boy are they easy. I filled up trash bags with sand and put that in there and they are holding up great.


Don Soucy, the owner is a great guy and also runs dogs in agility. If you have questions, call them. And for those of you lucky enough to live on the east coast, he goes to quite a few shows over there and you can save on shipping.


You can set up your tunnel under the tree and instead of a train, your dogs can go round and round!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Second Day of Christmas


Today on this second day of the 12 days of agility christmas (presents). I am focusing on Doggone Good. (http://www.doggonegood.com/)

This is a wonderful place to find gifts as well as excellent agility travel stuff. Originally, these gals did the best folding soft crates ever. This was way before folding soft crates were available at other places. When softcrates became mainstream they couldn't compete, but they still do a really nice pup tent.

They have one of the nices crate pads out there and it is on sale for 9.99. The only size they have left is the mini, but what a steal!
http://www.doggonegood.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=175&ParentCat=82

I love the pup tent: http://www.doggonegood.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=168&ParentCat=12

It packs up so small and you can take it anywere. It pops up and is a really nice size. When I have to pack a bunch of stuff to a trial site it is nice to have a light weight option for a crate. Tazz highly recommends it.

They also have cool gifts. They have clocks that have uniqe doggy designs.


Really nice mugs (hint hint).

There is something for everyone at Dog gone good!
Lastly, I saw this on another blog so it can't be "one of the agility days of christmas", but I thought it was a cool site. Not really great for shelties as know one would see the lights under their coat, but for other breeds it is cool: http://www.dog-e-lites.com/

Monday, December 1, 2008

12 days of an Agility Christmas

So I was wondering when the 12 days of Christmas were. Do they start of Dec 12? What are the 12 days of Christmas anyway?

What I found out is that the 12 days of Christmas actually start the evening of Dec 24 and go through the Day of Jan 6. I'm thinking we should be giving gifts this whole time, our companies should pay us holiday pay all 12 days, and we should have a 12 day agility marathon somewhere warm. (Not likely to happen.)

Instead, I'm starting a new "12 days of christmas" agility related. Each day (1-12th) I'm going to talk about something related to our sport of agility that one might consider as a stocking stuffer, or christmas present. These are things that are training related or just plain fun. I'll also throw in stuff about me and the dogs as well in the blog. I can't help myself.


For December 1, I'm going to talk a little Susan Garrett. She's got a new DVD coming out soon.

I've taken a number of Susan's clinics. My club (http://www.smartagility.com/) has had her out twice for weekly seminars. The first time I saw Susan was in 2001 in LA. My dog Maddie (now 10) was nervous at the venue and didn't want to come out of the crate. That was ok with me as I probably gained more information from watching all the other handlers. Since then I've attended a few more of her seminars and I'm genuinely impressed with her devotion to her dogs and the consistency with which she focuses her training.

Whether you are a Susan Garrett fan or not, you can not deny that she is a great dog trainer and has something to teach us. Her new video should provide good information. She is currently selling a "preview" to her video in the form of a PDF document. Most of this document should be included with the DVD, but you can get this now in an e-document for $14.95. The video is out around December 10.

I, of course, couldn't resist and have the preview PDF. What I found was great weave pole drills and some good ideas for record keeping (a definite failure of mine). Some drills are very straight forward (we all do drills like these), and some that I wouldn't have thought to try. I personally love someone giving me a drill. I like that much more than trying to think of it on my own. So I use clean run for multiple different drills during the week.

For me, this is another resource to use when my brain can't think of something fresh. Is it worth the $14.95? Well that's up to you. I'm enjoying it and will probably get the video when it comes out as well.

Visit: http://www.clickerdogs.com/ to read more about Susan Garrett and to look at the upcoming DVD (probably will be featured on another day :) ). Perhaps you'll find a stocking stuffer or two for your agility friend (or yourself).

And for those who really want to procrastinate, a few early weave training videos with Fin from back in July. She's coming along nicely doing some very difficult weave entrances in sequences: http://kvk9.blogspot.com/2008/07/weave-training.html

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What's in a Rear Cross?

I started looking on You Tube for the perfect rear cross. I found alot of information and individuals posting stuff. Some good, some...well...not so good.




This one is interesting as it shows FC vs rear cross. Only issue I have is the 2nd rear cross is on the landing side and I thought it would be more effective if she had crossed as the dog took off (she was not in position - a common problem with a dog that isn't speeding in front of you).



Here is a really good example of someone executing a rear cross on the landing side of the jump. Notice that the dog actually turns into the person before turning the proper direction. I feel that the better placement of the rear cross would have been between 2 & 3.



Ok, this one is just wrong. This would be considered a blind cross and a big no-no in my house hold.



Here is an example of someone doing a rear cross drill. A simple but effective example. She shows three different dogs. The only thing I would have like to see is when she was running her young dog, more reinforcements (reward) placed at the turn.




I can't help but like this gal. She's got a slower breed but she gives lots of rewards and is really working those rear crosses. She does have a rear cross on the landing side in there, but not all landing side rear crosses are bad. It is just better placement to have the rear cross earlier for communication.




Here is an example with a gal I know and see alot at shows. Her dog is actually blind in one eye. They are practicing to see whether a cue is needed.


I'm really not a fan of this exercise. To me this is just teaching the "flick away," rather than a true rear cross.

And lastly, not rear cross related, just inspirational. This lady is incredible!

Agility Saturday!

This morning found me sitting lazily at the kitchen table drinking tea and chatting with my husband. We were relaxed and talking about our day. Suddenly, I realize I'm supposed to be at a fun match in hollister at that very moment. It took me about one minute to decide to get dressed then I ran out to the car with two in tow.

Off I sped in my little PT filled with enthusiastic (ok, one enthusiasic, and one that feels he was kidnaped) pups to our friend Susan place in Hollister (http://www.workinpaws.com/). I got there and the festivities were in full motion. I was surprised to see so many people. I guess they took the "burn off the bird" seriously. I always love to see new people working their dogs and I noticed alot of new faces. Of course there were some old friends there too.

Since I had not walked any courses, I skipped jumpers and decided on a good path to work contacts. For Fin, my plan was jump, dog walk, and release early, and then loop around to the dog walk again and work the contact. After that we would loop out.

She did great. No problem on at all. I did the same run with Tazz, but he runs (or rather trots) his contacts so he just got two chances.

Next time we were able to walk the course and both Fin and Tazz were great. Fin needs more work on picking up her rear cross, but FC and running straight are going well. I even felt that there was improvement on her go on.

We had time to play fetch in the big arena where Fin played with me while Tazz went around wooing the ladies.

Back at home, I grabbed some clean runs and started looking for a drill that I could work my rear cross. I love the drills by Nancy Gyes and so pulled one that seemed simple yet had some good work on change of direction. October 2008, has a great drill called "nine."

I'll give the dogs a bit of a rest and this afternoon, we'll be working again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

Started out the day with a workout at the gym. I was still pretty sore from Tues, so my goal was to work for 30 minutes but not kill myself so that I could get some warmth and oxygen into my muscles. It did help.

Back at home there was cooking to be done and guests to be entertained.

Dinner was good. Family had fun. Mom kicked my butt in scrabble. Andy left his jacket. Trish took home all the pies and cakes (thank you very much). Cheryl and Eric took home most of the fish bowl raffle. Uncle Arnold enjoyed the back yard and the dogs. Peggy and everyone helped in the kitchen. All in all a fun, relaxing, day.

The turkey sliders I did for Hordourves turned out great!

Since they worked well AND were a healthy alternative, here is the recipe:

-Take ground turkey, worsturser sauce, basil, garlic (paste), chili (powder or paste) mix up
-make into small meat balls
-spray pan with pam and cook over med heat until done

set aside until ready to make hordourve.

-take whole wheat flat breads (look like tortilla but thinner and cut into little squares
-on flat pan heat and spray with pam and toast squares of flat bread
-in another pan, heat up turkey meat balls
-once bread is done place on plate
-put one leave of spinach down on bread square
-place heated meatball on top of spinach.

For a difference, (contribution from my nephew), mix a little hot sauce with non fat ranch dressing and put a dab of this on the toast and the spinach. This hold everything together and adds a little more spice.

Guests eyed these things suspiciously (like was I trying to sneak something healthy in - which I was). Once they tried one, they couldn't stop eating them :)

The end to a perfect day found me doing some jump work with Fin and Tazz then settling down for a movie with my mum and husband (a dog on either side of me, one at my feet and one in Kels lap).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You are What you Eat

Today is the day before thanksgiving. There is alot to be thankful for.

I'm thankful it is raining.

I'm thankful that I enjoy a close relationship with my family members, they mean the world to me.

I'm truly grateful for the friendships I have developed both through work and agility.

I am thankful that Rocky and Maddie came to live with us 10 years ago. They have taught me so much.

I'm grateful (mostly) that my boy Tazz lives here with us and that he will play agility with me (even if he'd rather be cuddling on the couch).

I'm thankful that Fin is here to keep agility fun and lively.

And most of all I am grateful to my husband. He puts up with me and is still my bestest friend.

What is for Dinner?

The turkey has been in Brine now for about 18 hours. A few more to go and we'll get it ready to go into the oven tomorrow morning. I believe this will be one fine bird and I plan to eat the healthy parts and let the rest get eatten by the family.

Along with the turkey:
  • twice baked potatoes
  • waldorf salad (a healthy alternative one)
  • grilled asaparagus
  • steamed green beans
  • bread
  • gravey
  • cranberry sauce
  • pie for desert

I'm also doing turkey meatballs for starters as the guest will be getting here early and will want something to munch on.

I will get up and go to the gym tomorrow morning first thing. Just to get a little cardio in. Then the entire day will be about family and enjoying the company of friends. If they go home early, I'll go out and work some box work with Fin and Tazz. Never can get too much training.

I have no plans for shopping on Friday. I plan to sleep in, work out at the gym, work agility with my dogs, and enjoy a day off with my husband.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fitness for Agility

I'm now participating in TWO fitness challenges.

First: I'm in a challenge with the "getfitforagility" yahoo group to loose 12 pounds by Jan 15. Since I have to loose 12 pounds to hit my 30 so I can run Fin, I'm all on this! Winner takes home a goody bag (although if I loose 12 pounds I'll be the winner!).

Second: I'm in a fitness pool. No I'm not swimming (although some may say I'm swimming with the sharks). Each of us puts $20 in the pool and the person the marks the most hours of workouts between Dec 1-31 gets the whole whalloop. :)

So, what did I do today? I worked out at the gym. Did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 on the treadmill, then stretched, then went home to work.

I had yummy tilapia with a spinach salad for lunch and I've got soup cooking for dinner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun Match Report

Fun times! A very small fun match at Fionas Farm. Cool, difficult courses.

Very relaxed and lots of time for walk throughs.

Fiona's farm is located in Brentwood. She does fun matches a few times a year. I see alot of newbies there and the matches seem well run, friendly, and relaxed. Here is a link to their web site: http://www.fionasfarm.net/

The harder standard course presented some interesting challenges. I had no problems at all until 7-8. What I noticed is that trying to front cross, if you didn't get there super quick, all the dogs were going wide. Fin practically took the A frame my first attempt. If you didn't do the front cross, then you were rear crossing and way behind late for the teeter. The other area of major difficulty was the closing. Timing of the rear cross had to be perfect or else dogs went into the weaves.
Here is the jumpers course. No major issues, just getting behind on 17-18-19, Fin needs to drive better.

Fin was everything I know she can be with a little chaos thrown in for good measure. I did 6 runs total (that's alot in 3 hours). I didn't do whole courses at first. Just looking for challenges and opportunities for reinforcement. Got to work rear crosses and tight turns. Contacts were GREAT! She played the entire time I was there and at the end I stood talking to a friend and she layed down in the dirt and took a nap (a very good sign of a tired dog).

Tazz just wasn't himself, I think a little stiff. Balked at the A frame and triple. Had no problem with everything else. I decided after 4 runs that was it for him (2 standard and 2 jumpers). He did lunge at a few dogs, but only half heartedly, he is sleeping in his dads lap right now, I'm sure he'll be better by Power Paws on Tues.

A "well worth the drive" kinda day. Now gotta get ready for TG!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crazed Sheltie Knocks out Owner!


Went to Salinas today. I ran Havoc and Laura ran Fin. We are working on this because I don't want another dog that won't let Laura run her. So at Robs class, Laura runs her 3-4 times and then we switch.

Laura had some great runs, I really love the way Laura treats her as her own and takes the time to get the training in. Havoc was amazing for me and I was blown away that she and are are starting to have the confidence in each other to get around a course.

When we switched and I ran Fin, the first run was fabulous! It was a really difficult opening of jump, 270 to the tire, a front cross to jump and real difficult weave entrance. She did smashing! I'm so proud of my little girl. She did pop the last weave pole, but I was really driving (something to work on).

The second run of the day was a real difficult straight line across the field over two jumps, into a tunnel and then I needed to get into position to serp a jump to get her going in the right direction.

I wasn't where I needed to be, and she exited the tunnel, got the jump, but barrelled right into me. She only weighs 18 pounds, but knocked me down into the dirt! I could not believe it. Down I went.

When I rolled over on my back and said, "Oh girly where are you?" she streaked from wherever she was and bounced on my chest. This encounter did not phase her in the least. For me, it made me move my sorry ass faster to get out of her way!

So since I don't have my cable, I don't have video of our encounter. Laura is most disappointed in this fact. I believe she would have played a video of me falling at her christmas party instead of white christmas. Now she is stuck with finding some other way of entertaining her guests.

All in all a fun day. I'm headed for a nice hot bath.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fatman errr, I mean Batman



I had a dream last night that I was running agility with Fin, Tazz, and a new dog. His name was Batman, but I nicknamed him Fatman. He was a cutie pie and spent a great deal of my dream in my arms. He was an enthusiastic agility partner. I've liked the Frenchies for a long time. Now I'm dreaming about them.

At least he was speedy, my little Fatman.