Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Couple Teeters


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And because it isn't just "all about agility" a couple videos of what we do after we practice for a while.



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Monday, July 28, 2008

Weave Training Continued

Some training videos for your comments. Please let me know what I can improve upon.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Would Batman be a Good Agility Handler?

I think not.

Sure he is athletic enough, but let's look at his qualifications.

First of all, Batman has too many aids. He has cool cars that when smashed up transform into fat wheeled motorbikes. Where would he put all the dog crates and trial gear?

His outfit has things fly off for various reasons. He's got wings for goodness sake. Wings would be totally distracting to a dog. Proper attire is absolutely necessary for agility. I'm not sure, but it is a good guess he'd get disqualified on his gear belt alone. What about Batmans gloves (if that doesn't look like a dog toy, I'm a 6 foot tall supermodel!)?

From all accounts in this last batman movie, dogs don't seem to like him, but they do like crazy clown faced wackos. I think it is due to his facial expressions and voice. Dogs like silly happy voices, not Darth Vader voices. They also like to read your facial expression. To all accounts, batman is a really angry kinda guy, but the Joker seems sorta happy in his own way.

I don't think that Batman has a systematic handling system. He seems more like the "seat of your pants" kinda guy and in agility, that is just asking for trouble.

But I tell you. He could get over all of the above disabilities to a good agility handler, if he wasn't so self absorbed. He truly believes that he is the only one that can "get it done," and that my friend is the kiss of death in agility. One must trust and accept the partnership before one can excel in the area of the teeter, jump, and a-frame. A loner does well to stick to sports that do not rely on teamwork.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fitness for Agility - Week 2

Well, weigh in today was great. Lost another .5 pounds. Staying off the darn fast food is working. Ban the drive throughs!

My goals this week were to write down everything and exercise. I did the exercise but for some reason stopped writing on Sunday.

This week I have one goal and one goal only. Write down everything I eat. I'll continue the exercise of course, but the thing I want most is to write it down.

I'm sprinting in the back yard this week as well. I'm running from one end to the other (with Fin or Tazz) stopping, changing direction and sprinting back. That with the other stuff is helping my confidence to run faster.

Weaves are continuing well. Fin is starting to wean off of the guides and do them on her own. She is such a good girly.

Thats all for now. Gotta go exercise.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ouch!

Weaves are going well. Taking advice from Laura, I've been making the entrances harder, adding distance, and moving the weaves around the yard. Today has been really good. Monday not so much.

Today I think the difference is I've been crating her a little more cause I'm so busy with work. I'm taking her out right after, letting her go potty and then working her for 5-6 minutes. Then playing with her. She's looking really good and I'm not helping much. I'm using a ball instead of a flat toy to increase speed out of the weaves. She is definitely driving now, however, we get less reps in cause I didn't teach her to return the ball very well. My bad.

So after I worked her and had a quick WW meal, I decided to take a few minutes and trim back some flowers around the pool. I'm using my new clippers. I grabbed a bunch of the flower stems and snipped.

I said, "ouch," then realized my finger was bleeding. Not only was it bleeding, but it was bleeding profusely. I'm like whoa! I need a band aid. I go running into the house with four dogs under foot and put it under water then said, "@!@#!!$@!" That really hurt. Grabbed a paper towel and wrapped the finger in it...I'm thinking...oh, I got it good this time.

Run down the hall with four dogs underfoot to get the band aid. Finally found a suitable band aid and tried to clean it again and take a closer look. Basically my snazzy new clipper clipped the side and part of the tip of my finger OFF! Not your run of the mill cut I tell ya. At first I'm thinking...can they put it back on...then I'm thinking...wait, how much did that weigh!

So now wrapped up, I'm hoping it will not bother me too much. Oh boy...what excitement and it is only 12:00 noon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SMART

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm sumwhat of a car freak. If I had all the money in the world, I'd give alot of it away, but, I'd keep some of it and buy alot of cars. I think I'd get a new car every year. The latest car I like is called the "SMART" car.

In Europe you see these everywhere. In London I could see they were very handy vehicles as they don't take very much room to park and seemed to be very zippy. I could see using one of these to get around town in, but I can't see using it to go to dog shows.

The SMART car is not very SMART for my lifestyle. For one thing, there is literally no space for the dogs. Maybe I could get one dog in the front seat, but if it is unsafe for children...how could it be safe for my dogs.

Right now they advertise the SMART fourtwo...I may have to wait for the SMART fortwo&4dogs. In the meantime, I'll toodle around in my full size van called "UNSMART fourtwo&sixdogsandsometimesathirdonthefloor"...put that on your website!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Got a Gold Star!



Thanks Elizabeth for sending me a gold star. I appreciate the support!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We've Got Weaves!

Been working on the weaves. This week we are getting serious. She is doing 12 very nice with guides and I'll start to remove the guides this week. Using the stop watch, I'm getting between 2.55 seconds and 2.89 seconds. Not too bad for a little squirt. I'll be really working to keep up with her!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fitness for Agility

New weekly Blog entry will be "Fitness for Agility"


So, I'm on a mission. To loose weight and get quicker. Above in my fish persona, I'm the sleek blue fin tuna. Fast and tasty! But the truth is, I've been overweight a long time and as I reach new heights in the age category, my joints can't take what they used to.

I've written before about my weight loss adventures (joining Jenny, etc). And somehow, I find myself nearly a year later and not that much slimmer. So I begin the journey again. This time, however, I'm not going to measure myself in pounds, I'm going to measure myself in "Q's."

The fact is that Tazz will be faster, the faster I am. (He likes to chase me and pretend I'm faster than he is.) Although I've improved greatly in the last 2 months, I have a long way to go and I believe that Tazz will Q when I have his weight off my "butt." So my first goal is to loose a Tazz. That's a little more than four sacks of flour.

I started two weeks ago and am down 4 pounds. I've done this by simply not eatting fast food, and exercising more. Ok, Ok, I know I said I joined weight watchers, but I really didn't follow the program the first two weeks. I just did the best I could and that best was to NOT eat fast food.

One step at a time.

This week along with my fast food ban, I have two things I will add:

  • write down EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth

  • exercise 5 days of 30 minutes cardio (I'm choosing F/S/S/M/W because tues and thurs I go do weights)

Each Thurs I'll provide an update titled Fitness for Agility. Wish me luck, I need it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jump Exercise

In this exercise I am working on Fin understanding that sometimes I want a pin wheel, and sometimes I want her to not take the jump. Certainly there is alot of other training going on, but this is a simple exercise and she did really well. The following 4 videos were one video I broke up into 4 to make uploading easier.

1- pin wheel
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2- pin wheel
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3- taking the jump without the pin wheel
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4- taking the jump without the pin wheel
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More A frame training on You tube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/maddierocky

Use the subscribe feature in YouTube if you want to be notified of new videos when I post them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fin "the fish" Whisner Training Update

Here are a couple videos. One shows her fivc foot A frame. While not perfect, we are getting there.
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One of the things that is important to decide when training a new pup is what will my contacts be like. There are many options out there and I don't believe that there is a wrong choice. I do believe that you must analyze your dog and your goals to make the best decision for the performance criteria you select.

I chose a running A frame with the assumption that I will keep up with her on a course. I'm not crazy, I am working on "left" "right" and "go on". Just in case I can't run that fast, but I truly believe that the best course of action for Fin is to have a running A frame.

I'll be doing bunches of these A frames over the next 6 months working on her striding. I'm trying to video tape them so I can watch each one. I had Kel tape me late this evening for your viewing enjoyment. You'll notice that I am still figuring out the stride, but she is nicely going over the top with confidence and lovely to watch.

Here is a quicky video of a short sequence. The jumps are set up to work her serpentine work. She is still looking a little too much at me, but the enthusiasum and effort she puts into the jumping is great to see.
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HOT this weekend...

and I'm talking about the runs. Smok'n hot...well for the most part anyway.

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Steeplechase on Saturday. Slow weaves caused us not to "Q", but a good run.

http://www.agilityvideoservice.com/node/3237

Tazz had a really good weekend with me running hard and fast and keeping him focused, he had some of the nicest runs he has had.

  • Were we fast enough...nope, but we are getting there.
  • Did we have the best contacts around...nope, but we were better than we've been.
  • Were our weaves...ok let's not discuss the weaves...LOTS of work there.

But overall, it was fun running this weekend and I felt that I did the best I've done in a long time. My front crosses were spot on and I really pushed Tazz to do better.

Wynn was a good boy this weekend. He won Master Standard on Sunday, made the steeplechase finals, and focused on his mom all weekend. Laura had some AMAZING runs and I truly believe would have won steeplechase if not for that one off course....

The grand prix was a very difficult course. In walking it I almost felt that the entrance for the dog walk was somewhat unsafe, but it is what it is. Laura and I sat down to watch and it started with 26, one after another dogs went off course on this extremely difficult layout. "0" 26 inch dogs "Q'd" and excitement in the arena started to build. By the time the 22" dogs started to run crowds around the arena were building and the energy was very high. One after another, each 22" dog would step up to the line with the promise of a "Q" and one after another would go off course. The entire arena would let out a moan as dog after dog became victim to this difficult course. In some cases people would get through some of the most tricky parts and the crowd noise would start to rise as the team was headed home only to go off course 3 obstacles away from being clean and the energy and excitement in the area would deflate like a popped balloon. It was really fun to watch.

Laura had hope, but the darn tunnel pulled Wynn off the dogwalk and he was off course. Running Tazz, I sent him to a tunnel instead of the A frame (I said "climb" but my body was pointed to the tunnel). After it was all said an done, only two 22" dogs "Q'd" and only one clean. The 16" dogs had a better fair, but the stride is smaller so that off courses were less, but still the percentage was very low.

The grand prix was the most exciting run of the weekend, but there certainly were other highlights. Laura and I had a really fun time and I am sincerely glad I went even though it was a long drive and humid.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Now a Word from our Sponsors

It's that time to talk about some of my favorite "stuff."

http://www.cleanrun.com/

First of all if you don't subscribe to the magazine, do it now! This is a must have for anyone that does agility. If not just for the backyard dogs stuff, there is no other place for cool agility info than the clean run magazine.

The "stuff" is good as well. Check out the "best sellers" as well as "Coming Soon."

http://agilek9s.net/calendar/

The BEST agility calendar for the west (includes Arizona/California/Nevada).

http://www.rockettunnels.com/index.html

The BEST agility tunnels!

http://www.agilityvideoservice.com/

Want to check out some of the best darn agility runs. Here is a cool site with thousands of agility runs. Yes, Tazz is on this site too...be kind!

http://www.powerpawslive.com/

OK, this is something we agility people can not live without! PowerPaws video instruction! alphabet drills, teaching circles, and the dreaded go on's!

http://usaworldteam2008.agilityvideoservice.com/
More video...the best of the best coming together to compete for our world team!

http://www.shadeusa.com/beach_umbrellas.htm#Solartek
Solor tech beach umbrella...a must have! No other umbrellas compare!

http://www.doggonegood.com/
Always something fun on this site.

http://www.nefitco.com/exervo_balance_disc.html?source=Google&gclid=CPKpuaiYgYYCFSQ-IgodcixepA
Less expensive place to get balance discs

http://www.healthypets.com/cosdsdoubstr1.html
Less expensive place for Cosequin DS

http://www.skylineagility.org/speedom.html
a quick tool to calculate your yards per second!

Hope you enjoy my favorite things!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life - It Does Go On

Been working the Finster. "Fish" as she is now known on the agility field. A little under the weather with a cold, and not really "feeling" this heat, our sessions are short and sweet.


Tazz has also been getting into it and I'd say is a tad bit jealous that the Fish gets to run with the Momma.


Today we worked on Weave entrance and object discrimination. She is a quick little bugger! She learned that when I excellerated and said tunnel she went straight for the tunnel and when I decellerated and said weaves she turned left into a difficult weave entrance. Good Girlie.


Table/Tunnel was a little bit harder for her. But she figured it out (the cheese helped in the "motivation" area with temps close to 100).


Tazz did all the same exercises Fin did and if he doesn't show improvement at this weekends show, I'll be surprised.


Lastly we worked a little on rear cross. Still a difficult thing, but she is getting it.


Tonight we've got "left" and "right" and targeting on the bill.


No new pictures, but here is one to tide you over. Apparently in Glasgow, for seagulls anyway, an enjoyed sport is statue posing. It was quite humorous that most of the statues had birds on their heads.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Joy

I know that one must have sadness in ones life to feel the exhilaration of joy, but damn, I hate it that Linda has been taken away from us.

I first met Linda around 2002. I worked with her on a job and what I found was that she had a sense of humor that matched mine perfectly. We enjoyed hanging out, working together, and laughing. My one regret is that I didn't do more with Linda.

John, I am sending you all my love. You have been a solid rock for her and I can not express my sadness for your loss.

Linda's will not go quietly. She was a radiant human being who you could just hang out with forever. Fun, joyful, entertaining, all describe her. I know that being a grandma was for her one of the greatest joys of her life.

I feel that I am a better person because I knew Linda Kuester.

For some strange reason, I have the craving to go out and get a tattoo.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Accelleration....Deaccelleration

Went to Lauras last night. She set up a series of jumps for us to work on teaching the pups to read our body language and for her and I to improve our running form. The best part was Fin got to play! Yeeha!

So we jumped all "5" dogs (one at a time of course) working on getting them to extend their stride when we were full out running. The we worked on them learning to respond to our bodies.

The older dogs did really well. It is fun to see that all the training has paid off and that even though there is always room for improvement, that they already know these things. Fin did pretty well the first time, but is such a launcher, that she needed a couple reps to figure it out. She was getting it by the end. I just need to get faster!

Fun times. Hopefully I'll get some video this weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Now we Return You To the Regularly Scheduled Programing

AGILITY!!!!

Hey we got weavies! Hee!

Laura surprised me while I was gone and started Fin on Weaves. She is doing six with no guides and so I added some poles and with guides she is up to twelve. I'll have video later.

Fin is also a jumping fool. Evidently she loved jumping at Laura's and was going over the 22 inch jumps with joy.

I still need to work on her shortening her stride when she needs to turn over a jump. She is a launcher and if all the jumps were in a big wide circle I think she would be really fast, but when she has to turn quickly, she is taking too many strides to come back and can go around jumps...so more work needed here.

This weekend we'll get back to her running A frame. That will be fun.

All in all, she is enthusiastic and fun to run.

Yeah! Doing the agility dance!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Wallet Has Been Found!

Kel's wallet has turned up in the Lost Property office in London. They asked Kel when he could come pick it up and he laughed and said not for a couple years, could they mail it!

For 40 pounds ($80), the wallet is being returned. Yeah!

I'm so glad it wasn't stollen and was just lost.

Thanks to the kind souls that turned the wallet in!