Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cold Turns to Flu

Yikes. Don't feel good. Fin does not understand. Whiny, whiny, whiny.

Tazz understands. Sleep next to mom. Don't move.

Rocky no prob. Keep moms feet warm. Quiet and in the zone.

Maddie, "I'll warn you of impending attack by mailmen! I am loud here me roar."

Fin, "Get out of bed, get out of bed, get out of bed, get out of bed, get out of bed. Get out of BED NOW!"

I sure hope Kel comes home soon.

I'm Back...well sorta

The past weekend found Kel and I on an adventure. No dogs. Just husband and wife. My good friend Lindsay took a big step and married her long time guy Mike. I LOVE Mike. The wedding was fun and the reception was full of good friends, food, and yummy cake. We dressed up (I even wore makeup and heels!), danced, ate, and celebrated the commitment of two people. Fun!

At 3pm, the reception was coming to a close and Kel and I headed to the coast to visit Disneyland. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel with a wonderful view of the hotel gardens from our 11th floor room. Although the room was small, it was adequate for our needs with a comfortable bed a large bathroom, and a beautiful view.

Micky was in the house, and so were about a million other people. We were at the park by 4:30 but by 6:30, we were exhausted by the crowds and went back to the hotel to find a sports bar for dinner. Kel was able to watch LSU for an hour and we grabbed a bite before heading back to the park.

Overall, we had a good time. I came down with a cold on Sunday so our afternoon was spent sleeping but we went out again in the evening after a lovely dinner at Napa Rose.

Some highlights of Disneyland:
  • Segwey tour before the park opened on Monday was the BEST!
  • Soaring over California hand glide simulation.
  • Train roller coaster
  • Pirates!
  • Fireworks
  • Dinner at Napa Rose (Grand Californian Hotel)

A HUGE thanks to Trish for taking such good care of my babies!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wedding, House sitting, Pluto, and a Mouse Infestation

I'm leaving the dogs for four days. We are off on an adventure that involves a wedding, Pluto, and some mice.

My lovely sister has once again graciously agreed to come to the house and hang out with my dogs for the four days. I wouldn't be able to go anywhere if it weren't for her. (All be it, Kel did watch the dogs so I could do a similar trip with her a few years ago......maybe next time they'll go and I'll stay home and watch the dogs!)

Down to Los Angeles, or rather to east of Los Angeles we will go. We'll dress up, drink champagne, toast to the newly married couple, and carouse with all the other party goers.

After the wedding, Kels birthday portion starts. For his birthday he gets 4 days of fun without dogs (why anyone would want this it is beyond me, but I did marry him). Where do old farts go to relive their childhood? To Disneyland of course.

I expect to have fun, enjoy spending time with my husband, hang out, and go on a few rides.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Right and I Know It

I decided a while ago I needed a right and left cue on Fin. My plan is to use these cues only in two places:

  • When I need a way to turn her in gambles
  • When I need a turn away off a contact into a tunnel

I WILL NOT use these turn cues as I'm running a regular course. I want her to learn to continue to read my body language rather than verbal. Thus, in AKC, probably won't see much of my verbal cues. In USDAA, might see a few.

I decided I would free shape. I decided to teach right first, then left. At first I didn't apply myself to the task and Fin and I didn't have success. Doing a clicker session a week isn't going to get us where we want to be.

This week I decided to buckle down. Doing 3-4 sessions per day, I really didn't think we were getting very far but yesterday we had a break through. By the 2nd session she absolutely knew I wanted the head turn but it wasn't until I was able to get the reward in the right place that she got it. By the placement of the reward causing her to continue the turn, she started offering the turn. On the 4th session yesterday she got it and I added a cue "right" as well as started doing it different places in the house.

Today she is totally working the left turn in multiple different places and I upped the stimulous by having her sister out with us.

Next step, I'm only going to reward when I say the cue. I'll do this for a couple days then free shape the left and see what happens.

Just for fun, Maddie and her silly back up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News of the Night

Kel works 2 miles from home. Took him 40 minutes to drive home.

Post office motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Evidently flooding does keep the mail away. No mail pickup or drop off today on our street. UPS, they got through...US Mail...not so much.

Pool over flowed today. Learned that when the pool overflows, that it laps up next to the house and deck like a little lake, so cute...NOT! Got the hose out and am suctioning out the pool.

The rain has let up some, but more is on it's way. I do think the worst is almost over. 15 hours straight rain, 13 of it really heavy... I'd estimate over 4 inches but can't say for sure.

News of the Day

Is all about the weather.

We need the rain. I surely enjoy a good storm. Woke up this morning to pattering on the roof. I had to smile. Last year we replaced the roof and instead of laying in bed worrying about where I might find a leak, I smiled knowing that I would not find any surprises this morning.

Rocky, Tazz, and Maddie have no issues with the rain. They walk right out into it and their heavy coats keep them dry on the inside.

Fin is a weather wimp. She doesn't even want to walk out on the deck to watch the rain fall (one of my favorite things). She seems suspicious of the rain.

I decided to have an experiment. I put all the dogs away, brought out Fin and took her on the deck. I then brought out a ball and bounced a few times to get her interested, then tossed it out in the rain. No prob. She took off, chased the ball, and brought it back. Hmmm. I guess it is all about motivation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Fun USDAA Weekend

Spent the weekend at an USDAA trial up in Dixon, Ca. About a 2 hour drive. The trial ran smoothly and ended early. Although we had to get up early each morning, we decided to drive back and forth and sleep in our own beds. A very good decision.

Tazzie ran with his usual Tazzie speed, Sunday being the better of the two days. He really tried to be a good boy and I'm glad I took him.

Fin ran with super hot turbo speed and we did very well.

Saturday Fin got 2nd in Master Standard and a 2nd in pairs. No Q in Steeplechase (off course), Gamble (need LOTs of work here), nor Snooker (Love the tunnel! whistle).

Sunday Fin got 2nd in Grand Prix and sneaked out a Q in Snooker by getting the allotted points needed, but no more. Standard was a really nice run but a refusal at the weaves. Jumpers was a nice run but I sent her to an off course tunnel near the end of the run.

No gamble either day. I figure, they will come.

I had a great time seeing lots of familiar faces and missing a few that I usually see. I LOVED that both days ended at 3:30 for me and I was home by 6 eating dinner with my husband.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hair, Project Runway, and Agility

Last week I did the unthinkable. I canceled a hair appointment to help a friend.

I know, I know, now all of you want me for a friend. Hair appointments rank up there with not missing project runway. On project runway this week, they had women who have been divorced wearing their wedding dresses. The designers had to make a new outfit from the wedding dress.

Today my hair stylist will be working with me and my hair (always a challenge) to take the dreaded thin greying hair and make it brown, thick, and beautiful. I know I will feel a lot better than those divorced women walking down the runway in polyester.

The question arises will I be faster on the agility field with soft brown locks? Even though none of my agility friends actually ever see my hair as it is under a hat at all agility events. I believe that I will be faster knowing how lovely my hair looks under my ball cap.

USDAA agility this week. I am very happy to be doing agility.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm Cursed

The curse of the flat tire. How many flat tires have I had in my life? More than my fingers.

Even with a new car. Cursed!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Work it

I sit here in front of my computer screen typing an I notice something out of the corner of my eye.

OMG, a leaf is falling from my tree...and then another, and another. From no leaves falling to a bunch. That was quick. Sorta like the weather. First day of fall and the temps were 102, the next day, the high was 79, now I'm sitting here in my house wondering if I should turn the heat on.

I work from home. It is wonderful. No complaints...well ok some complaints. I don't like to heat the house and spend so much money and energy for just me. This results in me freezing most of the winter. I do wear extra cloths and I take breaks and sit in the sun, but my house stays pretty cold. But overall, working from home has more perks then not.

  • First meeting of the day requires no specific dress code. Roll out of bed, fuzzy slippers on, sweats on, heat tea, turn on computer, ready for meeting.

  • Breaks during the day can be to take a shower, practice weave pole entries, do a load of laundry, or take a dog on a walk.

  • If I have late meetings, the middle of the day can be a nice break and many household things can get accomplished.

  • My co-workers are mostly well manners and good company all be it a bit hairy. They all have their spots, usually crowded under my feet. Disgruntled co-workers bark their disagreements, however, it is easy to win an argument, just bring out come cookies and they are eating out of my hands.

  • Last meeting of the day requires no specific dress code. Same old slippers, same old sweats, who needs a shower, and I'm ready.

It isn't all wonderful. There are a few negatives:

  • I never get away from work. There it is, always waiting for me. Even when I turn off the computer, I am tempted to go back to it in the evening.

  • I work with people all over the world and have meetings as early as 5 am and as late as 9pm (I draw the line there - yesterday I got invited to a meeting at 1am; I declined).

  • When you don't work face to face with someone, it is difficult to develop a true relationship with them. I'm learning to do it, and seem to be successful, but it isn't as strong as the relationships I have developed working side by side with someone.

  • People ring my doorbell during important conference calls and it is embarrassing when four dogs bark (fortunately I have a mute button and I'm not afraid to use it).

  • When my internet goes down, I'm screwed.

  • My personal computer sits here next to my work computer calling to me to procrastinate.

Overall the perks of working from home FAR outweigh the negatives for me. I enjoy the flexibility and truly love working with the dogs here as my company.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It is fall, halloween is right around the corner. It's time to dress our dogs up and take funny pictures of them (if you are into that type of thing). Time truly is the one thing that passes no matter what you do.

As many of my friends have incredible successes in agility, some of my friends are struggling. Certainly when one struggles, it can be handler issues, but those we can work on. When the struggle is about your dog, it is heart breaking.

I like the sport of agility. I like:
  • the gophers poking their heads out when you are trying to get a down on the table
  • the sunshine, the frost, the mud, the grass, the dirt,
  • the chill in the air when I first arrive and look to find my course maps,
  • the shoes I get to buy,
  • the people I meet through the sport,
  • the anticipation of my run, hanging out with my dog getting ready to go in the ring,
  • the really tough courses that cause us to raise our game,
  • the moans when I go off course 3 obstacles from the finish,
  • the time spent strategizing with my friends,
  • the smell of the b-b-q when a food vendor is cooking lunch,
  • the hope that every time I step up to the line I could have a clean fast run,
But, what do you do when your great agility dog is not able to perform? For me, at times in my life and for some of my friends, without that "partner" it is hard to see the fun in agility. I don't know what to do for them. My heart wants to "make it all better." I know from my own personal experience that I can't change what is.

So as this we fall into winter, I look forward to a few more trials before it all starts again in January. I am committed to enjoying every moment and thankful that I've found this sport.