Saturday, July 31, 2010

Walking in the Fog thinking about Blog

Met up with Taj Mutt Hall today for a hike. She and I live in the same area and compete at all the same events. We actually know each other better through our blogs than in person. Such is the way of our world. Today we rectified the situation by spending 2 hours together.
Fin and Tika and Boost hiked Santa Teresa Park together. It feels that it is all uphill.
Boost was a little impatient for the "off leash" portion of the hike. I think Ellen forget to tell her that this hike was all about the people and there would be no crazy running through the tick infested grasses.
As always, we saw wildlife. A rabbit, a few small rodent types that Ellen claims are Voles, and some turkeys. Not one Tarantula or Tarantula Hawk was spied by the team.
Interestingly it was foggy today. I appreciated the fog as I'd rather hike in cold then heat, but even I got a little chilled up at the top and Fin had little wet drops on her coat when we started our decent.
We got the dog pose at the top.
I got the blogger in action.
The hike was a tough one. But very rewarding.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The girl is back!

Last night Fin went back to her regular class at PowerPaws. She was a good girl and didn't bark when other dogs ran nor when I walked the course. Her sit stays were "perfect!" She did 12 weave poles at a distance and hardly turned and looked at me when I sent her to a go on.

In reality, I also did a good job. I broke the courses down so that I practiced certain things, rewarded, then went on. I really tried to set her up for success and felt really that for the first time back at class, I kept my cool and just had fun.

Below are two of the courses we ran. Lots of 270 work, lead out pivots, and speed.

For this one we all lead out to serp position at 3. The challenge was to send over 4 to 5 and get into the right position to communicate the decell at 6. Alot of the dogs, including Fin went wide on the 270 from 6-7 when we tried to get the FC in. The handlers that did a rear cross from 7-8 were more successful than those of us that tried the FC between 7-8. 9-11 was a really tough line. For me I ran as hard as I could pulling away from the weaves, but rewarded her at the weave exit for staying in. Then I sat her at 10, led out to just before the tunnel exit and released and ran and rewarded for going straight and not looking at me.
The second one had the biggest challenge to the slower handlers (me) in getting to the RC position between 7-8. I was really surprised that I got there (probably a little late, but she read it and hit her weave). I left her as soon as she was committed to 4 and just ran as hard as I could keeping my arm up. First time she came into me (I think chasing me) but second time she read the line nicely giving me the time to get up to the end of the tunnel to do the rear cross.
Overall, I was a little worried about going back to class as we hadn't really been doing full sequences, but she is doing really well and it was tremendous fun.
Aug. 8 we are doing 4 courses at a UKI trial. I'm really getting excited!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retraining is coming along...

First, the eggplant in the garden overlooking the agility field. My eggplant remind me of something, but I just can't put my finger on it.
Working on the "Take" cue. This has NOT been easy. But finally getting it I think. I'm hoping by next Wed to have a full 5 second hold. That's the goal anyway...but it really is up to Fin.
We've been working on a "down" for the teeter. The "before" teeter was beautiful, but she would slide into 2o2o position and the teeter would sometimes bang and hit her in the tum tum. This produced a bounce the teeter and run or a bounce the teeter and get scared. So I decided a true down on the teeter would be what I would go for. Today we moved from the board to the teeter. So much fun!
Look how everything is in focus but her.

There is that down on the teeter I'm looking for!

She is so beautiful, even from the back.
Thanks to Laura P for taking the pics today of our working session!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why working from home is so much fun...

I work from home. Some days are spent slaving over the computer with brief breaks outside in the sun. Today I had a few moments of fun happening behind me and I had to grab the video to show how loud it can get. Fortunately they are only shelties. I couldn't even imagine Laura's SpaceMonkey or Fireball getting into the frey.

The thing I am most grateful for, is they do not bark during wrestle mania.

Some Courses from Workshops

Here are a couple different exercises from recent Derrett workshops.

This first one specifically teaches the "active line." The active line on a 270 is an extension of the jump. What we want is the dog to understand once they cross the active line, that they must take the jump. It allows you to take off and run to the next positional cue.
The second diagram shows a really fun setup. We ran this all different ways most of the day. I really enjoyed it. The setup was extremely challenging, fast, and furious.

Monday, July 26, 2010


My buddy from Massachusetts earned her MACH with Fin's brother this past weekend.

At just 3 years old, she has USDAA titles and AKC tiles AND NADAC titles. Catcher is just about perfect and I am so proud of this team.

Here is the first time I saw the litter. Little Fin is the anitsocial one sleeping on moms foot (some things don't change, she is currently under my desk with her head on my toe). Catcher and Fin's sisters make up the rest of the little group.

Here is my bud and her dog Catcher. I can not wait to meet these two.
Congrats to Diane and Catcher!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Agility Workshops

While I was on vacation, I was lucky enough to participate in a few agility workings with Laura Derrett. I'm in the process of writing up the summaries, but in the mean time, there are a few blogs entries that I've posted in the past that are worth revisiting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

News of the times

The team has been a little busy with work and staycation, staying off the computer. But, the Blog is back!
The team had a few friends over. Fun times. Puppy times. Fin asked her daddy if she could have her own little HiMark puppy since she enjoyed Gambol so much. Dad said, "No." boo hoo.
The team also had family over for 4th of July festival of fun. We had an amazing spread of food for which we selected the most healthy options. The family had a great time with swimming, relaxing, visiting, and of course, the ever favorite, eating.

The team spent time installing a closet system for our master closet. It was a bigger job than I had anticipated, but we got it done and are pretty darn proud of ourselves.

We've also been really busy watching our garden grow. We have peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, watermelon, eggplant, beans, grapes, pears, apples, apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries.

Trish and Eve have been helping with the garden and we really appreciate their help.
Tazz is THRILLED that we haven't got the fence around the garden yet. He and Maddie are masters at finding the ripest and harvesting before I can get to it.
The team is also doing agility. We've participated in THREE Derrett workshops, fun matches, and working our Salo grids.
Fin is going to learn to retrieve (she never had a reliable retrieve so I'm shaping it), she is learning a down on a teeter, and learning to run and not look at me.
We are hoping for an August trial with Fin. Time will tell.