Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I can see clearly now

A year and a half ago Kel and I broke up with our pool guy. It was an unhealthy relationship. He came and spent 15 minutes at our pool and we had a dirty pool. This went on for a LONG time. Things kept breaking and we kept paying to fix them and still the pool was dirty.

I think we just stayed together so long as it was convenient. It was better to have a pool boy then to have people over and not have one. Even if our pool boy wasn't our dream, at least we had one.

Finally the difficult decision was made and we broke up over a nice Chianti. I wanted to text him, but Kel said it was better in person.

Since then it has been a struggle. At first we thought we'd find another pool boy right away, but to no avail. It is so hard to find a good pool boy now a days even with all of the tools at hand. There just no time and when you do meet someone, how do you know that the relationship will last. So we decided to go it alone.

We started to take pride that we didn't need a pool boy. We were "OK" on our own. When people would come over, we'd proudly show off how good we were doing and worked hard to demonstrate that we were holding it together just fine.

But underneath it all, the truth was, we really needed the support that a pool boy gives.

Our pool became as cloudy as our mood. We tried everything. We spoke to the pool, burned incense, had a priest out to exercise the demons, even went so far as to empty the pool and fill it back up again. But still, that deep feeling of need persisted.

Now I can report that we met a pool boy at of all places a card game. He is honest, hard working, of good humor and best of all talented in all the right things. We've only been dating for a short time but our mood is lifted and our pool is clearer.

We still have a long way to go to ensure that this relationship lasts, but we feel optimistic about our future.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tazz gets his AAD, Havoc gets her PII, and Vici still coughs

First I have to give a BIG shout out to Trish who drove down, stayed the night, got up at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, and helped me out for the SMART trial. I would have LOST my mind on Friday had she not been there.

Second, a huge thanks to Kel who helped maintain my sanity by doing whatever I asked and then a few things I didn't ask and held me when I wanted to lay down and let my flu take over.

The trial was fun. Lots of work and a few things to do still, but almost all done. I heard very nice things and the entire trial committee should be congratulated for a job well done.

I did go. Coughing, sneezing, and a somewhat altered state of voice..but go I did. Saturday I only ran Tazz in Gamblers, Snooker, and Standard (well, ok I did try to run steeplechase but forgot the course and ran out of the ring). Laura ran him in grand prix for me and he did really well, staying with her the whole time. He would have Q'd, but he stopped twice looking for me.

The highlight of Saturday was Tazz and Havoc both "Q'd" in their standard runs and got their Advanced Agility Dog title (AAD) yipppee! (Havocs title is PII which is the same as an AAD just Havoc jumps a lower jump height).

A big Whoo Hoo to Laura! Here is Tazzies run.

Fin, Maddie, and Rocks stayed home with Dad this weekend. I felt that being the secretary, running Tazz, and resting were about all I could do. So I stuck to the plan. I do want to say that I started to feel better on Sunday and missed her a bit, but Kel got to enjoy her and she seemed happy enough being with him.

Overall it was a fun weekend and my exile is over. I'm feeling even better today and I think I've knocked this flu out of the ball park.

And finally, my creative Snooker. I had a plan. I practiced my plan. I showed the plan to Tazz. Tazz had his own plan. We went' with it...and ALMOST finished :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

House incarceration day six

It is day six of my flu/cold/"what...ever, just wanna feel better" self exile. The garbage men have been visiting today (always exciting).

So far no one else has shown signs of infection. I may be able to leave the house soon.

Tazz is quite happy to have the time off. It's actually a little scary how lazy he can be. Maddie has been bringing me socks and toys to play (she must be bored). Fin just runs (imagine a little skinny black dog with wispy locks running up the walls, around, down, out the door, through the bushes, back in the house, up the walls). Rocks is getting quite optimistic hanging right next to me waiting for any sign that I'm gonna get the chuck it ....he is deliriously happy as I NEVER toss the ball so much as I have in the last few days. All in all I think we will soon see the outside world again.

I'm planning on actually getting in the car and driving to Tazzies class tonight. With a big trial this weekend, Tazzie and Mommy need some practice.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The flu, whilly nilly, and chaos

Well the flu has come to visit. I had to pick up the flu while it hitchhiked friday during the drive back from Arizona. But hopefully it is finding being here boring and will leave soon. The resulting fallout from me sitting on the couch coughing, sniffling, and in a general delirium is zooming, barking, wrestling, food stealing, whining, and just alot of chaos.

If nothing else, this is a demonstration of how exercise and training make for a relaxed atmosphere.

Today out of desperation, I took the pups in the back and played "chuck-it." I usually don't just toss the ball whilly nilly for all the dogs, I feel that Fin just learns bad habits. But today I said, "Who cares, you guys GOTTA get some exercise. So exercise we did.

When I toss the ball, Finnie is the fastest, but somehow, Rocky always gets the ball. I think Fin just likes to chase but she runs too fast and ends up in the front, loops around and chases Rocky back. Such fun.

Fins tongue is longer than her front legs. After a few runs she has this wild dazed smile on her face, similar to a crack head getting a fix.

Tazz is the lazy one usually letting Rocky do all the work and then grabbing the ball that Rocks drops for me to toss (I fool him by having two balls!).

Maddie is uninterested in the malay and searches the grounds for squirrel sign and chases the UPS truck if it happens to drive by (she is stopped by the fence so no worries).

So the flu sits here in my chest, quite unwelcome, but what are ya gonna do. I must be feeling better if I'm starting to whine.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy 11 months - 1 month shy of a year!

The girl is 11 months. I can hardly believe it myself. She is getting so mature.

She looks like one of the guys when she is out running. Yesterday evening we were sitting watching TV, and Kel asked me, is that Maddie or Fin curled up on the bed under the fireplace. He is having trouble telling the difference between the black dogs :)
She is such a pretty girly. Her training is going well and I hope to show her around 20 months or so. Just in a few jumpers type courses. Mostly we'll just show in fun matches until she is ready.

I remember bringing her home last July. Flying to Florida was the best thing I've done in a long while as I came home with a wonderful team mate, and a life long buddy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Zoom Zoom

A fun weekend sums up April 11-13. The weather was "hot" but we stayed refreshed in Lauras 5th wheel. I have to thank her for driving the rig up there. It was roomy and comfortable and kept the dogs cool.

Doggy running report:

Laura got ther ADCH BRONZE!! with Brazen. Whoo hoo. This is big stuff. Most handler teams get this later in their career. Brazen is only 3.5 years old. A HUGE feat, an amazing accomplishment. I'm proud to call her my best bud!

Here is a link to her most AMAZING run and celebration: http://www.agilityvideoservice.com/node/1800

Tazz got an Advanced Standard Q! One more and we'll be in Masters Standard. He also Q'd in Masters jumpers and this was his Masters Jumpers Q. Whoo hoo.

Friday was an off day for Team Whiz. The human part of the team just couldn't seem to concentrate and was late on cues and sent her partner to the wrong jump. Saturday was much better, but "HOT!" Tazz N I weren't in any runs until 1:30. Then we were in 4 rings at almost the same time. Interestingly enough, we did the best we did all weekend. Sunday was a fun morning but no Q's. Tazz was really happy this weekend and my goal of just having fun was accomplished. Never once did I feel like Tazz and I weren't having fun.

The best news of all, we found a FABULOUS resturant for our Dixon trials thanks to Lauras husband Kelvin. This was truly important and may even overshadow Lauras accomplishment of her Bronze ADCH!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Away Game

While the "cats" away the dogs will play!
Maddie and Rocky get a full 3 days with their dad. All by themselves. I'm taking the young heathens to a trial up in Dixon. Tazz N I have been working hard. Me on my sprinting and him on his contacts and tables. Time will only tell.

Fin gets to go so she won't drive her daddy nuts. She'll get to work on walking nicely while other dogs are working. One jump work. Targeting. Go ons and anything else that suits my fancy and hers of course.

There will also be crazy running around chasing balls and biting water for sure.

We are staying in the Casa de Laura. She took her big motor home up to Dixon last night and I'm camping out on her couch. Should be an adventure for sure.

I'll have an update early next week. Send good thought our way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why am I still frustrated?

Last night was an interesting night. Multiple dreams with similar themes, but the one that sticks with me is about my mom getting married.

So I'm in the car, my two sisters and someone else are also in the car. I have my puppy Fin with me. We are getting cake for my mothers wedding. I'm asking my sisters where we are having the reception and Peggy is saying it is at my house. Now this is all taking place TODAY! I say, "it's got to be at your house, my house is a mess." Peg says," nope gotta be at your place.

For some reason, I agree to have it at my house and we are driving down a street and I say, "Stop the car, Kel's car is parked over there and I'll go back home and clean house." They let me out and I have Fin with me and they drive away as I start to walk toward Kels parked car when I realize that I don't have keys to the car. Nor do I have a leash for Fin and she is running around the parking lot like a looney tune.

I find a building near by that has something like a rec room. I have Fin in my arms and I'm trying to call home to tell Kel to come get me (I guess I don't have cell phones in La La land...or as Kel will tell you, I constantly forget my cell phone so that's probably what happened). Anyway, I'm using a pay phone, someone is using a pin ball machine right next to me, it is loud. With the small amount of change I have I make 3 attempts and none of the calls go through, but I keep loosing my change, Fin is wiggling and there is a cue forming to use the phone. I keep looking out into the parking lot and there is Kels car parked right there.

I end up waking up before I resolve the situation, but I wake up frustrated. It is now 16 hours later and I'm still feeling frustrated. I don't want to have the reception at my house!

I think it's time to come to the realization that mom is not getting married anytime soon and that I don't have to worry about a bunch of people showing up while I'm chasing my dog around a parking lot with an empty car, no car keys, no purse, no money, nor a cell phone.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

You never call, you never write

I'm trying not to be a bug, but someone I love has not given me an update. Her doctor was supposed to be back from vacation and yet...nothing. I'm a little worried, but don't want to call to bug her. I know that she would let me know if something was up.

Maybe she'll read this blog and give me an update.

7 day training challenge

Fins turns are just not tight enough. She doesn't understand that when I stand still on the side of the jump to turn close to the side and turn. She is still jumping through the middle landing and then turning.

I need to raise her understanding. This week I'm going to do 30 jumps a days training challenge for 7 days and see whether we get improvement. I'll video along the way.

My challenge: 3 times each day go out and do 5 one jumps on each side (10 each session) working on getting her to jump and round the jump. My goal is to do 210+ one jumps. I hope that she will gain an understanding to jump closer to the jump standard when I'm on that side.

So some may ask, "Why is this important?" Todays world of agility is super competitive. Having a fast dog is great, but a slower dog making tighter more efficient turns can beat a fast wide turning dog. My job is to keep Fins speed (she's got plenty of that) and work on teaching her to become an efficient jumper.

Don't worry, I'm also working on her contacts, just didn't do any pictures or video today. I'll get more of that later.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tazzy speaks, "I'm Confused About Criteria"

Tazz N I have an issue with criteria. Everytime we work on our contacts, he clearly tells me, "I don't know what you want me to do." Always with a smile on his face of course. He is not an obnoxious confused guy, he is quite happy in his confusion.

I am wishy washy and didn't stick to my guns when I trained him. I rushed because I wanted him doing equipment (the sexy stuff - who could blame me?). I started with all my contacts with a 2on2off (means front feet in the grass, back feet in the yellow, stop and wait for instructions). Honestly, I never really perfected this method and then came "the accident." Not sure exactly what happened, but the poor guy hurt his back. I convinced myself that he couldn't do a 2on2off on the A frame (too hard on his back) so once he was better, we started back teaching the running A using stride regulators. On a good day the A frame looks like this.

Criteria is a funny thing. How does Tazzy know what I want? I certainly have some work to do here as I can't baby sit these A frames in a trial. He needs to learn to get the yellow with out me begging for it.

For the Dog walk, his criteria is 2on2off. Ya think he knows this?

Again, obviously not. The good news is that since I changed to a running teeter, I think he understands that he should go up the Teeter and when I say ok jump off. But that 2o2off on the dog walk is not reliable. More work, more work, more work.

Next blog I'll talk about how I'm teaching Fins contacts MUCH differently than Tazzie. How I am NOT allowing Fin on contact equipment until she demonstrates to me she understands my criteria. How Fin will be perfect. Yeah right...we'll talk in a year and see what woes I share then.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Training a curve

Today we worked on lots of speed. Accuracy seemed to slip as we put the pedal to the medal.

Still had fun and then slowed it down a little for accuracy. What I did was lower one side of the jump so that she could see that running the inside was better then running the middle or outside. Fin does have a tendency to go wide, so I think alot of drills teaching her to curve in the inside of the circle is going to be important.

I'm still working on one jump where she just jumps one jump and comes into me. She needs about 9037 more of those before we move on. She LOVES to jump out and doesn't quite understand to take a path that will get her to where I'm going faster. She just likes to have fun and put on those after burners!

After our great training session today, she was a little warm so we went to the pool and I took a little video of her new "get in" cue. She doesn't like to crowd with Tazz on the step, but she sure isn't afraid of the water anymore.

As the wind blows

It rained last night. No dog agility. The good news: I got to watch Top Chef (usally I have to wait till friday or the weekend as I get home so late).

Well, the chefs were at it again last night. The idea for the final challenge was to create a dish inspired by your favorite movie. The winner was Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory. No umpalumpas, but alot of creativity went into this seared salmon dish. The strangest part was that in the sauce they used white chocolate and wasabi. I'm not sure, it's either brilliant or totally gross. The judges must know as they picked it as the best.

Kel and I were trying to decide on a movie and a corresponding food item. I decided my inspiration would be "Gone with the Wind" and I'd make a 3 bean medley over cabbage.

Kel is still laughing. Just goes to show you, 12 year old humor never dies.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools

Well, I'm confused. My sister hasn't called to say she is preggers, my other sister hasn't called to say she has adopted a new puppy. My mother hasn't called to say she is moving in with my brother.

Whusup with this?

It must be an off day. My project manager did tell me Friday was her last day, but I told her this better be an April fools joke or no kidding I'm coming down there! I will see her in April, hope she was joking!

For me, I haven't thought of anything good.

Sure I could have posted that I was adopting a new puppy. I could have posted that the puppy I didn't adopt just got her ADCH. There's always the one where I saw a cougar in a tree ...oh wait, that ones true...only I didn't see it, a neighbor did.

So another April fools goes by and I just can't think of something funny and original. I could get dried cockroaches and leave them in Kels car, I could have gotten about a zillon tennis balls and put them in Lauras front yard, I could have called my mom and told her I was moving to Alaska....but all seem trivial and somewhat overdone.

Instead, I did something totally unexpected. I cleaned the kitchen, exercised, ate right, and picked up dust bunnies.

Kel is gonna be truly weirded out tonight. :)