Friday, January 30, 2009

Tomorrow is a big day


VAST. Agility. Excitment. Joy.
Little Fin is going to the "Show." Called up from the minor leagues, she'll be starting for her team. Let's hope she does good and doesn't have to go back to the minors.
Things we'll be looking for:
  • clear calm body language from mom
  • strength, speed, from the fish
  • zen like mind control from mom
  • smooth transitions from the fish
  • mom will remember the course
  • Fin will not bite the mom
  • mom will not celebrate early
  • Fin will drive towards the end
  • mom will not trip over her own feet
  • Fin will not run between moms legs
  • mom will not toss her cookies before the run
  • Fin gets cookies before and after her run
  • mom will get a good nights sleep
  • Fin will not bark all night in the hotel

These are the rules. They are simple. Walk the course, run the course. Simple. No stress. Easy. Just like in practice. Just like my diet. Just do it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Unlikely Friend



In July 2006, I brought home an itty bitty black puppy from Florida. Who would have thought that a friendship could blossom from this small change in my life.

Diane has Fins big brother and a half sister (same dad).

I don't know Diane, she doesn't know me. We have in common our dogs, email, facebook, a weird compulsion to analyze agility runs, and it seems a few other things... we've never spoken on the phone nor met in person, our relationship is totally built upon emails and our love for our dogs.

All I can say is thanks Diane! What a great video.

I can not wait to meet you someday. We need to meet at the AKC nationals :)

A Quick Boring Post

video

This is a run from last night. I have too much work to do and have no business going to agility class. Went anyway. Got one of the quick runs filmed before it was just too dark to get anything.

Fin ran really nice. Best run of the night was midway through where she seemed to settle into it and ran really fast, but not nutso. I am still looking for more speed on the dog walk, but I like her nice straight fronts.

So let's get to the boring part. Been working on my fitness and weightloss. Food, still been my issue. So today I took a step that for me is huge. I told my fitness trainer what I weighed. I don't tell ANYONE what I weigh. I don't even like to get on the scale for the doctor. I, of course, weigh myself every day. I know exactly what I weigh. It is a measurement I am very close to. Telling him just about made me cry. Saying it aloud is so terrible and it isn't any less now that I've done it.

What is this called: acknowledgement that I need to make a change. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've been improving. I'm way fitter than I've ever been...I mean ever. Even when I ran 10K's, my overall fitness was less (yes I could run a 10K and now really would have to walk most of it but we are talking fitness not endurance here). Yet, I am struggling.

I'm watching the biggest looser. I am inspired to do better by these poor people struggling. It is the woman that wasn't putting in the effort that has put me over the edge. I have a couple good days and then slip into bad habits.

So now. My new motto. Just do it.

No complaints, no excuses, no talking about it, just do it.

1300 calaries a day. Daily cardio. Weights twice a week. Situps and such 3 times a week. Done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Clicker Fun

This is what we do when it is raining and the roofers are here. Everyone gets a turn and we play figure out what makes cookies fall from the sky. Everyone loves this game.


Rocky has never seen this hoop before. At first I'm clicking to just interact with it. As the game goes on, I'm getting more specific for what I want, and before the session ends, he figures out that I want him to go under the hoop a particular way.


video



Monday, January 26, 2009

Boxwork Drills

Sunday we worked in a mini seminar with Rob Yi. I am lucky enough to be friends with Rob and Karen. Rob is a great trainer and I really appreciate his taking time out of his Sunday to help us improve our handling. Rob has a great eye and was very helpful in spotting some areas of improvement. It really shows that drill, drill, drill...for improved handling and dog understanding.

First we worked a drill with front crosses (no video). As I recall, we were perfect...well ok, there was room for improvement...but without video, I can remember it any way I want! Rob watched and gave me some good feedback and Fin really did a good job reading the front crosses.

Then we did the same drill with rear crosses. Our goal was to position ourselves in the correct place using our body not our voice (and sometimes even our hands behind our backs!).

Here is some videos of our drills (the good and the bad). I've got some success and some not so success.

video

video

video

video

We then worked on threadles and serps. Clearly evident that I need more work in the threadle department. Serps were not too bad. Threadles - well big hole.

video

video

video

Friday, January 23, 2009

Clicker Fun

Well we've got roofers and rain. The combo is not really geat for keeping sheltie minds working. So....we are doing some clicker stuff today.

Tazz is working on his left turn (obviously his mom has not done a good job at this). Mad was working on going under a bridge only one way. Fin working on standing in a bowl.

Tazz is doing good. Very happy to be working.

Mad is THRILLED to be doing clicker and is hysterical.

Fin is getting those feet in the bowl pretty quick.

I know, stupid pet tricks and all. But this stuff can be fun.

Vido later.

Stress this week

It was a happening week for sure. Between the roofers, work deadlines, and the threat of jury duty, my stress level has been somewhat heightened.

I'm officially done with jury duty! Yippiee!

Didn't have to go in, only check every day (sometimes twice). The roof is almost done (even in the rain!) and even though my check book will be somewhat lighter, it has been a great experience overall.

Tomorrow is an agility competition. Although I don't really feel mentally in the game, I'm sure Tazz and I will step up to the plate when the time comes.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just Call Me the Rainmaker

This week was supposed to be a few showers on Thurs. Last Friday there wasn't even a speck of rain in the forecast. Yesterday it started to rain. The the rain got a little harder. Then it started to pour. It rained long and hard last night keeping Kel and I awake while we walked around the house looking for leaks.

I truly believe that Laura and I will be known as the individuals responsible for ending the 2009 drought.
  • I tore off my roof (which is leaking)
  • Laura got a puppy

I think that Laura probably should get most of the credit because she certainly pushed the weather gods to the extreme by getting a puppy and will be trying to potty train this week, in the rain.

Was it just last week that I was making fun of the east coast for the cold while we had low 80's. I am ashamed of myself! I should know better.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Drought...

Perhaps I should have put the roof on a few weeks ago. Obviously I know how to bring the rain to town!

It's a Bit Lonely

Geesh it is weird not having the pups here. It is very quiet although there is noise all around me.

I get up from my desk and walk down the hall and NOBODY is there to follow me around. No quick pets as I'm typing away. No one telling me it is time for a cookie, chuck-it, or training session.

Roof update:

Things are moving right along. Of course after weeks of no rain, the rain is coming. The dry rot repair is on hold while they work on just getting the roof on. Skylights are gonna have to wait (haven't even been ordered yet). Wood trim will happen once the roofing tiles are laid.

I've been reassured that the roof is weather tight. I just don't want this to drag on and on. Nutin to be done...just go with the flow.

Monday, January 19, 2009

More roof destruction
















Roof Hique

Roof being replaced.
I work from home.
Loud banging noises sound like people in the house.
Puppies other places for the day.
Very loud.
Missing dogs.
What in the heck are they using a saw for?
Dogs back tonight.
Gone again tomorrow.
Yikes it is loud.
Working at home, no fun today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Contact Zones in Agility

One of the most important things you will do with your agility dog is to decide what type of contacts that you require of your dog. There are alot of methods, three I see alot are:
  • Two on two off: This is for people that want a very clear criteria for their dog AND allows for catching up on course. What this looks like: Dog runs as fast as possible and stops with two feet on and two feet on the contact zone (often presents as a nose touch to the ground - see Susan Garret or Moe Strenfel videos).
  • Running contacts: This is NOT for the typical agility student but is very popular right now. What this looks like: Dog runs as fast as possible striding in the contact zone and off the obstacle often leaving the handler in the dust.
  • Four on the floor: I've seen a few people use this, but really don't know what the advantage or disadvantage would be. What this looks like: dog runs as fast as possible striding in the contact zone and downing just after the contact equipment.

The primary objective of any contact obstacle is to get the dog to run as fast as s/he can across the contact, put a foot in the yellow zone, then move wherever you are indicating.

The problem I see is that many people don't do a good job teaching their contacts (me included) and end up with Hail Mary Contacts (aka: say a little prayer contacts).

  • Hail Mary Contacts: This is for people like me who have a dog you've totally screwed up and the poor dog doesn't know what s/he should do. You say a hail mary before the run hoping that the dog will move quickly without jumping off the yellow zone. This is not a conventional method taught by top trainers. I am surprised how popular this method is.

You will recognize these "hail mary" contacts by the dog handler team that:

  • Dog runs/trots along the dog walk, as they get to the yellow zone the handler yells something similar to, "CONTACT" (usually really loud) while the dog launches himself over the yellow, the handler then usually can be heard saying, "Oh, that's ok" or "Oh you!" or "darn you rover"...etc.
  • Dog runs and then slows down as they approach the ramp, stopping a number of times looking at their owner (sometimes wagging tail), while the owner says, "contact" over and over (generally increasing in volume) until the dog either launches early or eventually gets in two on two off.
  • Dog runs extremely fast until they reach a contact obstacle. Then walks the contact obstacle and once off of the obstacle, speeds up again.

I hope to rectify my bad teaching with little Fin (we'll see). Poor Tazz, I am just happy when he gets around the course.

There are TONS of videos out on teaching contacts available at http://www.cleanrun.com/. Check them out and see if you can change from the hail mary to a more conventional type of contact behavior.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fitness for Agility

Measure your fitness workouts by the amount of sweat that you produce.

For one year I worked out with a gal 2 times a week (I really enjoyed the workouts, BTW). However, I would hardly sweat. I generally would do 5 minutes of cardio, then we would do a set of weights (arms, legs and arms) then back to cardio. I started out going probably 5 days a week, but excuses, excuses and I would go the 2 times with her and then maybe one time on my own. I would say, the workouts made me feel like I was doing something for my health (and probably better than sitting at home eatting potato chips), but in reality, just because I paid someone to help me work out did not mean I was improving my fitness level. I would say that I improved the first two months, then after that, I stayed the same.

Since November 2009 I work out with a guy 2 times a week (at a different gym -- first gal moved). I show up early and do 15-20 minutes of cardio. Before I even start with him I have the first signs of moisture on my forhead.

Then it begins. I do more in the hour with him than I did in a week with the first gal. Ten minutes into my workout with him I'm sweating so much it is disgusting (having to wipe off equipment that I sit on...yuck). He laughs. I hate when he says, "Ok, step backs now!" or "Side to sides" I'm thankful when he says, "to the exit sign and back" (give me a chance to stretch those tired limbs of mine). The workout includes multiple sets of weight machines with a mixture of exercises that utilize my own weight...I keep moving the whole time and the few times that he let's me sit at a machine for a minute or two I'm extremely grateful (somehow the whole stockholm syndrome makes a lot of sense to me right about now).

The last thing we do before the end is Abs (sit ups, leg raises, supermans, and all the other new tortures he comes up with). I end with stretching and 10 more minutes of cardio (I use it to cool down really).

Every week, he works to raise my levels of what I'm doing making things more difficult. I go into the gym 4-5 more days a week on my own because I'm afraid of what will happen to me if I don't keep the fitness level up (fear is a good motivator). Also, I am finding that when I'm sore from the time with him, that going the extra days helps with the soreness.

I will say that I feel more confident in my fitness than I have EVER felt before. Yes, I'm sore pretty much all the time now, yes I still have a LOT of weight to still loose, but it feels good to know that I am doing something for me.

Sweat is a good thing for our fitness efforts. If you aren't sweating, you aren't improving.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Squeaky

Here is the direct link if it doesn't play below.

This is wonderful.

Weather



The weather on the east coast is reported to be EXTREMELY cold (40 below in Minn). The northeast is flooding. Here, well I swear it was just about perfect (I even wore a short sleve shirt).

I'm a little worried. We need rain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Do I Get Myself Into These Things?

I belong to my local agility club. Everyone should. Support these clubs. Without them, there would be no competitions. I also volunteer for my club. I try to help out at the trials and do my part.

A couple years ago I somehow got volunteered to be the trial secretary for our April trial. I found out that this is actually a paid position. Wow, I was going to do it for a free entry! Little did I know that I got enough $$ for many entries. I did it with my friend so I wasn't alone and we continue to share this task every April.

Here is the amount of time I think I spend:
  • 40 hours of input,
  • 10 hours the week before the trial,
  • as needed at the trial, and
  • 4 hours to wrap it all up.

I've also volunteered as the RV Czar, the Vendor Czar, and hospitality. For my club, all of these positions get free entries (a good way to save on dog showing expenses for sure). I enjoy doing these jobs as you meet new people and really get to know the people that work all the shows.

This year, in a moment of weakness, Laura said, "We should chair next Aug and give Rob/Derede a break." (We really wouldn't have a club if it weren't for Rob and Derede...they do EVERYTHING!). So I say to Rob a little while later, "Laura says we should chair next August." Rob jumps on this and before I am able to backpeddle, I'm a 1/2 trial chair. I sorta feel like I went out, got drunk, and woke up with an unpleasant surprise.

Laura blames me. She says she had the original idea, but I put the idea in motion. Ok. So, now we are trial chairs.

I am now in the process of putting the premium together for the April trial AND organizing the August trial (getting judges, filling out needed forms, etc.). Joy, joy, happiness. Thank goodness we have a great group of people that will all jump and and do their share. I sure hope everyone likes the judges. I hope I can find flights and nobody gets sick. I can't believe that in January I'm worried about sick Judges for August...but such is my life. (I think I'm delegating all sick judges to Laura).

I'm a busy bee. I actually like being busy. Can't wait till the trials. We are going to have a BLAST!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fun Match Report


First of all I want to acknowledge all the individuals that live where they can not do agility out of doors this time of year. Here in the SF Bay area, we had a chilly morning of frozen over buckets and puddles, but the temps got up to the low 70's by 1pm in the afternoon. I apologize for all the fun we are having.

But, fun is what they call it. Blue skys, amazing weather, and a fun group of people. Drove up to Ben Lomond (Santa Cruz mountains) today for a fun match at Heart Dog Agility. The facility is very nice. They've just opened some new space for parking that that helped quite a bit. There are two fields and we do jumpers on one and standard on the other.

Kel (my husband) came with me today so I called it a short day so he wouldn't get too bored. I got in 3 runs by noon and headed into town for lunch sitting outside with Fin at my feet. Kel actually enjoyed himself and said he'd definitely go again :)

Took a few videos (also available on youtube).

This is the first jumpers run. Had a little trouble on the first pin wheel (it's because I didn't support the jump enough) and then she got a little cranked up and flew past the jump after the tunnel, but all in all I thought we did well.

video

Here is the standard run. I'm not doing A frame and dog walk on purpose. Need a little work on the targeting and did not want to use my 90 seconds for target work. The first set of weaves is amazing. I just smile. Second set of weaves had trouble with my entrance. I was dumb and kept putting her in again and again. Should have just set her up for success. But, once in, zoowza! I'm not real proud of my finish, something I really need to work on (her going on with me bringing up the rear), but if we were perfect, it wouldn't be any fun.

video

The last video is another jumpers run. It is the same course as the first. I felt I handled it better even though we had trouble with the finish.

video

Today, learned a few good things, got some stuff to work on for home work, and had a blast. I guess I'm most proud that she worked all morning for treats or toy AND I left my cookies and toy at the finish line (I did run with a hidden toy the first run and pulled it out...but the rest ran pretending it was the real thing).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Harvey Bear Ranch

Went for a walk/hike today. I forgot the camera, so no pictures.

Not really a hike as the roads are really nice...more of a walk... but we were away from civilization...so sorta hiking. Lots of fun. Dogs are allowed on leash. There are some areas you could go off leash, but we ran into horses and bikers so off leash wouldn't work for me. For well behaved dogs, you could probably get away with it if you hike in far enough, but the rules are on leash

Directions: From Highway 101, exit San Martin Ave. Go east for 2 miles and the entrance to the park is on the left side.

You have two choices, up or flat. There is a nice flat paved 2 mile loop you can do (I saw lots of runners, walkers with kids, and bicycles down on the flat). I chose up.

Up is gravel or dirt wide roads. There are a number of gates to go through as you walk along. We walked about 1.5 miles in and then out on the Harvey Bear trail. Beautiful views. Saw some cows. Ran into a couple of horse back riders, 2 runners, 2 bikers, 1 biker/dog combo. We went up there around 10:45am so probably this is a busy time.

This is a really a nice place to walk if you are in the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area.

Harvey Bear Ranch

How a Colonoscopy is like USDAA Gamble

I feel like I've lost two days of my life.

Team Whisner had a couple days off while the team captain went in for a tuneup.

Now, most people don't need two days for regular maintenance. They need like a day and a half. Me, I was stressing out for a week. Everyone I spoke to agreed that the prep was the worst part. As far as the procedure goes, pretty much everyone said, "you won't remember a thing." However, everyone also said, "when it is painful, just tell them." My question, "if you can't remember a thing, why can you remember when it is painful?" Another concern was that some people get sick afterwards (one even passed out on the way home scaring her husband). All these things concerned me.

So I started to think about in terms of agility and I noticed alot of correlation between the USDAA gamble and a colonoscopy.
Many people are scared about gamble because it is unknown whether your dog will take the obstacles. I know that I've stood with people before the walk throughs and we've talked in worried tones about the difficulty of the course and whether we can get through it. Many people are scared about the colonoscopy. I was scared. I stood around talking about it trying to get ideas from people how to get it right. The bottom line for both topics is you have to get out there and just do it with confidence.

With the Gamble, there are two parts:
  • The opening

  • The closing

With a colonoscopy there are two parts:

  • The prep

  • The procedure

Lets talk the first part. For both topics, (the opening and the prep) the first part is the longest part. In gamble you run around as fast as you can getting as many points as possible before the buzzer starts. For the prep, you run to the bathroom as many times as fast as you can. Now in the prep, you don't run to different places, it is the same over and over so you need to do it longer to get the points you need to move on to the second stage. But in reality, you are running in both the Gamble and the Colonoscopy with different outcomes of course. For me the prep lasted till the next morning. I got A TON of points and was all ready for my gamble.

The second part is the shortest. In the Gamble you are sending your dog out to a distance challenge hoping and praying that s/he takes the appropriate obstacles. For the colonoscopy, you are the one getting put out and hopefully will not get the judges buzzer that you incorrectly completed the exercise.

For both (the gamble and the colonoscopy) it is important to do the first part correctly. If you don't, you'll get disqualified and have to try another day.

I am happy to report that I "Q'd!" my first time out. I would even go so far to say that I won't have to perform this particular task for another ten years! Yippiee!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fitness for Agility

I haven't spoken about fitness for a while, but rest assured, I'm am focused. I am working out every day. Here are some of my rules for the road:
  1. Join a gym. Now I will say that it isn't sufficient just to join. Paying the monthly fee doesn't mean you'll get fit -- you actually must go (I believed this for a while...then I started to go and saw a huge improvement). When you get there, have a plan of attack. Don't just do 20-30 minutes and say, "that's good enough." Plan to be there an hour or more. Do cardio on a couple machines (pick the hardest and do that for 10 minutes, then pick one that is easier for you and do for 30 minutes...build up on the hard one). I went so far as to get a personal trainer for 2 times a week (my fast food budget is paying for him...believe it or not!). He helps me with my strength training which includes lunges, step backs, squats, loads of ab work, and of course...weights for arms and legs. I pick one other day a week and do stuff without the weights.
  2. Watch the biggest looser. I know it is an artificial world. They don't have to be home paying bills and making a living...but it is inspiring. Doing some work out while you watch can also help.
  3. Take a dog for a walk. This does NOT equal going to the gym unless you are running with your dog. I don't run...I walk, so I am walking the fat one every day to burn some calories.
  4. Write down what you eat (This is my new thing I am adding to my strategy).
  5. Write down goals. Say what you want to loose and have a reward for getting there.
  6. Be creative in your diet. Don't get into a rut and eat the same thing. Get a couple books and try new things. During this time a year I am finding soups especially fun.

Hope this helps. I know just writing it helps me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All In a Days Work

Thought a reminder that I do work would be good. I am on the phone alot. Here I'm in an important phone call. Don't ask why I take pictures of myself during important phone calls....ok ok, I was bored, needed to listen, but couldn't really participate. So I took pictures.
I see alot of this during my work day.

This is what I see under my home computer. Just to the left of my work computer


Maddie stuffs herself in this little bed I got for Fin when she was a small tyke. It is seriously Papillon sized, but Maddie loves this bed.



This bed is under my work computer. (just to the right of Rocky) Tazz can't sleep because he has to make sure no other dogs are going to get his bed. This is Tazzies domain.

During the day I spend much of my time writing on the computer. A little time procrastinating reading about agility, and the rest of the time playing with the dogs outside. A wonderful life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Agility Monday

Gosh it is hard to go back to work.

I'm really thinking I could use another couple of weeks off. I feel like I didn't get anything done. I did finish my Christmas shopping, got all the presents wrapped, organized all the christmas wrap (thanks mom), had new years here at the house, fit in a bunch of agility practice, did the laundry AND folded the laundry. I guess looking back. Some things did get done, but it still feels like an unfinished vacation.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the work. Just wish I could do it next week is all.

So today. Agility Monday. Did a little work out this morning. Ran Fin in some drills. Then this evening I took her to Jump n Java for some indoor agility fun. I tried very hard to remain calm and work on her jumping. Overall I felt that she and I did well. Looking back, there were a couple of missed opportunities for reinforcement (especially when she went around the jump twice and then I DID NOT reward her when she did go over the jump...dumb dumb dumb). But overall, I felt that I kept her calm enough to keep her head.

She LOVES jump n java and the noise level seems to crank her up to a fever pitch. Sometime I'm gonna take my video because the noise is unbelieveable.

Tomorrow we are off to agility at PowerPaws in the morning. Tazzie gets to run and enjoy individual time with the mama. It will be fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Starting Our Agility Day off on the Right Paw

Got up this morning and went for a quick walk.

Stackable shelties ready for a walk.

Brought along the camera for fun.

Lots of walking was happening....only one flying.


Tazzie stopped for some poopsicle breakfast.


Fin doing her model posing.

Frozen puddles are very hard to drink out of. The good news...too early for mud :)


Fin even got Maddie to play a little.


I can't get Tazz to tug when I train, but he LOVES to tug on mittens during frozen walks.


There was lots of running through frozen grasses this morning. Even old dogs had fun.



Packing to go home. This is like a math problem, how to fit 4 shelties into a PT cruiser with only 2 crates without having two boys next to each other. I'm glad Kel took calculus in school.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back to Basics

Fin and I headed up to PowerPaws today for a lesson. The wonderful Nancy Gyes was there to see where Fin and I were.
First of all, complements to all of the people who have helped me get this far. Fin is doing well. That said, there is lots of areas of improvement (wouldn't want a perfect dog would we?).

The first thing we talked about is dog walk. She has had some really GREAT dog walk speed. But lately I've noticed that she is slowing down as she ends her dog walk. She is stopping before the 2o2o area and the nose touch is non existent. When I do ask for a nose touch, she is bobbing her head. After a few demos, I got home work:

Lots and lots of nose touches. Nose touch and quick release. The bottom line is I've let the criteria slide down a slippery slope. It is my goal to get it back...so no contacts in class until I back chain it.

Same for the A frame. I'm lowering the A frame and making it easy.

This is really hard for me. I wanted to start to show her, but I know that the long term goal is more important than the short term..... AND I can still show her in jumpers (which is a great place to start).

Her teeter was splendid and will only improve as the nose touch comes back.

Then we looked at weaves. Her weaves were really nice and Nancy gave me a few drills to work on for entrances. Basically use only 4 or 6 weave poles, put her in a sit and send her through (human stands still) and reward. She then goes into the same starting position, but human moves to a different location. Continue this for 5 minutes. So basically she is working on the same entrance for 5 minutes, but human position is moving (her performance is not dependent on where I am).

We looked at jumping and handling. What Nancy noticed during our contact drills is that Fin is going wide (I knew this was an area we really need work on). When I did my jumping drills, Fin seemed to do fine. Nancy felt it was when I sent her to jumps that she was making a wide arch. The drills below are what I'll work on for the next month (in addition to everything else).

Lastly, I need to work on her coming to my side....let's see...Rob told me I need to work on her coming to my side. Laura said, "You really need to work on her coming to your side." Jim mentioned, those wide turns will help if she comes to your side more....ok, ok, I get it. Lots of reward for coming to my side...you don't need to hit me with a brick! (ok, maybe you do). I'm going to be doing some flatwork drills of rewarding by my side.

Learning Through Procrastination

I have often described myself as lazy. I do tend to drift to the easy way, but I've decided lazy isn't a good description for me. I've met lazy, and it ain't me.
I do look for the smoothest road. One, step at a time (here I'm taking steps along the freedom trail in Boston in my Brooks walking/running shoes - lazy people do NOT walk the freedom trail in stylish athletic gear).

I can tend to think on things a while before I take action. If I'm not motivated to do something, it doesn't get done.
Some people might call my "think on things awhile" procrastination. Procrastination is something that I do tend towards. In many ways, I use procrastination as a tool to do something better...if I'm unsure, I'll procrastinate...then I'll cram to get "whatever" done. However, I'm learning that procrastination can be fun. One can learn alot through procrastination.
For example, I procrastinate by reading other peoples blogs. But I learn so much! Here are a few of my favorites:



Laura Harwick is a favorite author of mine. I've learned alot about taxidermy, inexpensive ways to remodel a home, sunset magazine style tips, Tupperware inspired weave pole drills, interesting ways to get arrested while exercising your dogs, which agility videos I should buy, where to get tattoos, lessons about our justice system, inspirations on dirt night, and how 3 (sometimes 4) adorable pups can make a life whole.



Elite Forces of Fuzzy Destruction: http://brisbeethewhite.livejournal.com/
Here I learn how a few well taken photos can inspire. This blog spans the practical clicker and agility training tips to the interesting "how to survive in blizzard conditions with no heat and still get your training done" posts. Always entertaining, often educational.



A local gal, I've learned alot from Ellen. She has inspired me to go to new places to walk/exercise my dogs, detailed information about confusing topics (such as strategic pairs), thoughtful insights to agility related topics, and often inspiration and motivation to get out and train my dogs.


A new addition to my daily procrastination read. Susan is writing a practical look at agility training, focusing right now on her new weave video. Interesting, inspiring, and thoughtful.

Fanny's: http://www.fannygott.com/
Here is a blog from Sweden. It has so much good info focusing on clicker training. Right now she is raising a puppy and videos showing progress can usually be found. A great way to sip the morning tea.
I hope I've inspired you to procrastinate to learn.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thousands of shoes snarl Miami traffic

This wasn't me! Yes I am cleaning out my closets, but I know better than to throw my shoes into traffic. Also, there are some shoes that look pretty good! Maybe I could get another pair of agility shoes out of that pile.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Miami/photo//090102/480/e682d0eec0e0404e809a65eb026a2136//s:/ap/odd_expressway_shoes

Today was a day of work. Work out, Work on HP project, Work while walking (jogging/stretching). Lunch in Morgan Hill was the highlight. A new resturant. Yummy healthy fabulous food. Halibut on a salad....that's what I'm talking about.

Not much training...just a little contact work. Walks and chuck-it took up most of the excercise program for the pups. Now they are sleeping. I'm finally finishing up work.

Tomorrow is an agility day! Agility in the morning and agility in the afternoon!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

Well, it is here! 2009. The year of bright new things. The year of promise. The year of health and fitness. I'm so excited. So many things to look forward to.

I have many agility goals for 2009, I can't keep the smile off my face.

In 2009:
-I will run Fin in her FIRST agility trial.
-I will work hard to qualify for the Nationals with both dogs (USDAA)
-I will NOT run Fin if I'm having training issues (will go back to basics at fun matches - then get back into it)
-I will continue to get Tazz in shape and see where that journey takes us

Other goals, related but not agility:
-I will consistently loose weight and gain physical strength
-I will clean my office (ok I know that isn't a huge thing, but if you could see my office, you'd understand).

Today Mom was still here (from new years eve festivities) and we had breakfast and played scrabble. She won, but it was a fun, close game. I headed off to the gym and she off to home. We had to drive up the Peninsula to take back his new TV (LCD pixels were not working). After the gym, we drove up and no muss, no fuss, Video Only replaced the TV with a brand new one and home again we went.

TV is now set up and Kel is enjoying it. It is one nice television. I'm happy because now I'll be able to watch my agility runs on the big screen! Kel's happy because now he can actually see what he is watching.

I've only got 3 days left before I go back to work.

I'm going get up early and work out so I have the entire day to get things done. I'm working on refocusing Fin on targeting as she is loosing her criteria. I'll post video.

Tomorrow I'm also going to watch Susan Garrett's weave video. I hear it is really well done.

Best of the New Year to everyone. I hope all your agility dreams come true.