Saturday, January 26, 2013

Training Update

Olive is officially 11 months old.  She has lived here six months.  Wow.  Time has flown.  First four months were about just training her and learning about Jack Russel's.  Then sometime during that time, I decided she couldn't go back.  How could I live without little Olive in the house?

Everyday, Olive and I work on stuff.  Some days it is just silly stuff we've worked on hundreds of times, but at least 3 times a week I like to start something new.  Not every trick we work on will be polished and complete, sometimes we work on stuff just to have fun and will never be on cue.  Sometimes she does something adorable and I try and capture it and get her to repeat it.

For agility: Foundation continues, circle work, restrained recalls, retrieve...also this week I'm doing more jump work with her.  180's and 270's, pinwheels, and straight lines.  She is getting the "bang game down" and started a full teeter.  Her target is ok, need more work on that before we start to work the dogwalk and A frame.  Tunnels...we we aren't going to have any trouble there :)

In other training, we joined the Trkman Puppy tricks class.  The first lesson is about 4 feet in something, foot target, frog legs, and leave-it.  I also am continuing the clicker retrieve and last week started it in conjunction with jump excited!

Here are a few videos of stuff we are working on.  I apologize in advance for the barking shelties...they are not happy that it isn't their turn.




Thursday, January 24, 2013

When Half the Battle is Just Remembering the Rules

USDAA Team.  Oh what a feeling.  Scary feeling.  When your team mate(s) rely on you to do the best job possible.  When making a mistake can be the difference for all of you.  When having friends play on your team and be there to celebrate or cry together.  Team.  Sometimes the most fun, sometimes the most disappointing.

What I loved most about team this weekend was the courses.  Dave Hanson did a great job of making it incredibly interesting.  One of the things he did was make the strategy courses difficult but fun.  Team gamblers had so many rules that it required an entire page to print them out. Figuring out the rules and how to get the most points was the part that made the difference.

Most important for this gamble was going over the finish jump when the buzzer sounded.  You had to know your dog and how many obstacles you could get in the time alloted.  One of my friends got the most points of all dogs.  Her dog was jumping the jump when the buzzer went off (AWESOME!!).  If you were within a second (either over or under) of the buzzer, you got another 5 points.  I was on the dogwalk when the buzzer sounded but on my way there, so I got 4 points taken away.  Many people were way on the other side of the course and had to run across the entire field to get to the finish jump...8 points off.

The other part of this was a distance gamble that you could attempt anytime.  Not a ton of people got the gamble.  It seemed straight forward to me, but tunnels...well that's Fin and my thang.

So much fun having something different.  Loved all of Dave Hansons courses.  Would love to compete under him again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A comment from our sponsor....

Just an FYI.  I've had to implement the word verification for messages.  I'm sorry, I know it is a hassle.  I am getting spammed so much, I think they have a program looking for blogs with no word verification, then come back and spam.

I will be trying the word verification and see if that doesn't reduce the spam.  For now, I'll continue to monitor all posts as well, but if this works, I'll turn off the monitor comments.


Three Days of Agility

Three days of agility.  Three nights in a hotel.  Fortunately, the Doubletree was very nice.  Loads of lawn to walk the dogs.  Quiet. 
On day one we did a few classes including Steeplechase and GP.  Fin rocked the tournaments getting first in both (another regional bye!).  Unfortunately we E'd in Steeple round 2 on Sunday.
No worries, Monday was team day. Five rounds of classes, adding up all the scores from all the rounds. Most points win. Dave and his dog Kiley were my team mates. Strategy: Don't get eliminated. Refusals, sure, knocked bars, keep going...just don't E.

It was so very exciting. Round 1 was Gamble. It was a time gamble meaning you've got to get as many points as possible and be at the last jump when the buzzer goes. If you jump the last jump too soon, you get points taken off. If you are too late, you get points taken off. Huge strategy for this class.

Fin killed it. We were 2 seconds over and had 4 points taken off, but I was really happy with her performance. Ended up 2nd in all performance dogs.
Snooker was another one.  Yikes it was hard.  Fin and I got through 5 in the closing, but there was a ton of yelling on my part. 
At the end of two rounds, my team was in 1st place.  Yikes!  I told people I feel like I'm in a marathon and I am the guy that sprints out in front to set the pace, but all those runners are on my tail and coming up to pass me soon.
Standard and jumpers were two more really challenging courses.  There were loads of E's.  It wasn't pretty, but Fin and I got through both without E'ing.  In Standard we were fault free, in jumpers we got a refusal and then Fin plowed into a jump and somersaulted.  I immediately stopped.  She was shaking herself, shaking her head, and I thought, "Oh no!"  But she stopped, looked at me and wagged her tail.  I asked her if she wanted to keep running and I took a step and off she went flying over the last few jumps.  But I knew she was sore.  It was a really bad fall. 

We ended up in 2nd place overall, not bad. 

So a little break from agility for my Fin.  Exercise, massage, and rest. She worked her butt off this weekend and I was right there with her.

Bayteam puts on a great show.  My friends and I tailgated in the parking area and the food was fab! A nice relaxing weekend...oh and the 49'ners won!!!! Superbowl baby!!!!

Performance Grand Prix Team

Standard (one tough course!)

Team Gamblers

Monday, January 14, 2013

Today we are sad.  Blogger is not allowing us to upload photos from our computer.  So sad.  We've sent notes to Blogger asking them to fix it.  We aren't too picky, Blogger is a free app and all, we just love our photos.

You will have to use your imagination.

Imagine me opening my back sliding door on a night with no moon.  The air outside is cold, below 30 I think.  As I open the sliding door, I turn on the light and a skunk runs up the gravel next to the inner fence to get out of the yard.  Before I can close the door again five dogs rush out the door barking and the skunk runs a little faster (sorta in a wobbly shuffling way). 

I think, thank goodness I have the inner fence up so the dogs can't chase. Then I remember.  I remember that Olive doesn't really consider this fence a barrier.  I remember that I've given up on trying to keep her in.  I remember she is a terrier.  I rush out in my pajamas with nothing on my feet.  Fortunately I believe that Olive did not actually see anything and doesn't realize that right now the skunk is making it's way under the fence (way too slow for my taste).  She has her ball in her mouth and is standing at the inner fence wagging her tail with her sheltie friends who are acting like a mass murderer is coming up the path towards them, barking and carrying on.

I see the look.  She spotted the damn skunk.  As I reach the gravel, she takes a flying leap.  I catch her in mid flight.

My husband, who has poked his head out the sliding glass door says, "Haven't I told you to close this door when you go outside?  You are letting the cold air in."  Little does he know the disaster that was just averted.  He doesn't even notice I'm standing on the cold gravel with nothing on my feet and Olive hanging from my arms, tennis ball still in her mouth, shelties at my feet still barking frantically.

A little help?  Nope...the sliding glass door closes.  Ahhh well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One Day Marathon Drive

Drove down to Happy Dog for one day of their 2013 opener to the agility season (is there an agility season?  I think it is always agility season).  They put on a great show and the sun shone down upon us.  Chilled in the morning (a little slippery), but by mid morning sitting in the sun was wonderful.

Gamble was really hard.  I walked it thinking I'd work on my A-frame contact.  Even though I often feel that the gamble isn't something I can do, I always try.  Sometimes I am surprised.  I got a huge surprise when Fin did the gamble perfectly! 

The rest of the day was not so perfect, but Fin and I had a fabulous time.  Olive got to come out and play, go for walks, and work on her foundation work. 

We had planned on going to Cafe Firenze for dinner, but were done with agility by 3pm and decided to drive home instead of stay for the morning jumpers class.  Rain was expected and the trial committee was planning on starting late morning and Laura and I did not want to spend the entire day driving, so we popped into the car and headed out. 

Home late and grateful to be inside when the storm was coming over.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Instead of me making resolutions, I thought it might be interesting to ask the dogs what they would like to make as a resolution.  After explaining what a resolution was, I went to each dog and asked what their 2013 resolution would be.

-I will eat everything on my plate and clean it up when I'm done.
-Tazz, you do that now.
-You are supposed to think of something that you haven't been good at and then make a resolution about how you are going to improve.  For example, I'm going to be better at exercising.
-I'm confused.
-T-bone, think about the things that maybe you'd like to be better at.
-Mom will take me for more Hikes.
-T, that is my resolution...what are you going to do better.
-I am perfect.

-You will get cheese later, what are you going to do to improve?
-(she cocks her head right, then left, she backs up, turns right, turns left, lays down, jumps up, sits up, wags tail, jumps on me, backs up, trys to get into a box that is laying on the floor, turns right, sits) Cheese?



-I have so much to improve on, I may never get to it all.
-Buddy, that's why we pick just one thing.  One thing and that is all.
-Why do we have so many stairs.  Don't like the stairs.
Vici (I take out the orange ball)
-Ball :)

-Take down the gate so I can sit by the front door.
-Nope not going to happen.  By the way, that is not a resolution.
-Because a resolution is something you'll do better and when I take the gate down you bark at everything.
-I will bark better if the gate is down.
-It makes me crazy when you bark

-I will not go poo in the house.
-That's a good one. How about adding, "I will not eat poo."
-I know I am not supposed to make resolutions for you, but could you just try to not eat your own poo for like a month?
-I don't understand
-You do understand.  You know when you go outside and grab a poo and I run around yelling drop it waving my arms and slipping in the mud and you wag your tail?
-That is fun
-Well don't do it.
-I don't understand

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ending 2012 with fun people and celebrations..

Starting 2013 with a fun match at Morgan Hill Dog Sports!!!
Food, food, food!!!  This week, exercise, exercise, exercise!!!

Took lots of photos and used instagram to make them artsy.


Made equipment at our training facility safer...purchased new jumps from Launch The Dog!  They will arrive in early 2013.

A new member of the family.  Fortunately is living with my sister.  Gracie Pie, so happy she has a warm couch to sleep on.

Although we had tons of rain, the sun did come out a few times between Christmas and New Years.
A great end to a great year.  2013 is gonna be great!