Monday, April 29, 2013

Having a great time at SMART!

A fabulous time at the Salinas Monterey Agility Racing Team (SMART) event.  Loads of fun challenging runs.

Fin and I had some memorable runs, but not many on Video.  The best run of the weekend was a jumpers run.  Smooth and fast.   Just perfect.  Worst run - probably Standard on Saturday...I made so many mistakes that I thought for sure the judge would be kicking me out sooner rather than later.

The competitors were awesome and really came together and worked hard to make sure the trial ran smoothly.  Can't wait till the next one.

Highlight was seeing students running their dogs or just coming by and watching or working their dogs.  Just makes me smile.

One video from the run.  Steeple round 2.  Fun popped a weave just before the Aframe/tunnel combo.  I was rushing ahead to mange her coming out of the tunnel (I think I did that well), but Fin just put her turbo speed on after the weaves and skipped that jump.  Otherwise a beautiful run!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Butterflies, Unicorns, and Criteria

Today I'm thinking about Butterflies and Unicorns.  Such happy little things.
My heart is still going out to the families in Boston. However, I am no longer crippled by my emotions and am moving on with life, work, and fun.

The subject of criteria is foremost on my mind.  In class last night I noticed that Olive is having some trouble hearing.  I call her name and it's like she never heard me as she is running after her best buddy for a game of wrestle or tug.  Hmmm. Obviously either she is deaf (I don't think so) or I've let my criteria slip on her recall.

I've mentioned criteria here before in relation to Fins contacts.  Slippage is an easy thing to let happen. 

Criteria in dog training is about what you expect from your dog.  For example, in our crate games, we expect our dogs to stay in the crate when we open the door.  You can add additional criteria to this behavior:

·         Sit when I put my hand on the crate door
·         Sit back in the crate
·         Wait calmly while it put the leash on
·         Wait calmly even if I have a party outside of your crate.
·         Wait until invited to come out
·         Go back in on one cue of “Crate”

All of these are criteria that we can train to.  Once you’ve trained your dog to these criteria, it is up to you to test the criteria by taking it on the road and adding distractions. 

Slipping criteria begins simple enough, I call her and she doesn't come, I'm tired, don't want to go chasing her down I run in and get a cookie, call again waving the cookie so she'll see it.  That was it.  One time.  Then bang, it was all over.

It takes giving up what you want now for what your long term goal is.  For me, worth every non-Q run to get perfection in the future.

Here is a very well written article by Denise Fenzi that captures her setting up her dog and looking for specific criteria.  What I admire in her is the attention to detail that she places on criteria. 



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Power of One Moment in an Otherwise same'o same'o day.

My red nose illustrates the results of my head cold, but I can not hold back the tears of pain and anguish I feel for the people of Boston and the rest of the world. 

That's all.  Just emptiness and sadness fill me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Darn it all...head cold :(

I blame my husband for this creeping crud!  Olive has no respect for the cold.  She doesn't understand that mom might want to sleep in past 6:15am. 

Waking up to feathers exploding into the air is never a good thing....OLIVE!!!!

Well, at least it did get me up this morning.  Two hours later, after performing surgery on my down comforter, giving the stink eye to my husband for thinking it was funny, and vacuuming up floating bits of feather, I was able to take stock in my life. 

I took Olive outside and tossed the ball for her until she was a happy relaxed girl.  Took Tazz and Fin out and got them playing chase.  Brushed Maddie and gave her a cookie.

Now is me time.  No, Olive, I learned my lesson.  While I nap, you will nap in your crate. 

Kel, for my birthday I'd like a new down comforter please.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Peach Cobbler

Just a quick one.  Really proud of my front crosses in this course.  It was a nice smooth course. 

Earlier in the day, Fin had eaten half of a peach cobbler when she escaped my tent and got into our kitchen.  So I think she might have been a little slower than normal and it did help. 

Later in the evening when someone was serving up the peach cobbler for desert, I said, "No thanks, I already had mine."  :) 

The rest of the weekend, whenever I couldn't find Fin, she'd be in the kitchen with my camping mates yelling, "Vici, Fin's in the kitchen AGAIN!!!!!" 

Love my little Finnie Fin Fin.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Saying Goodbye

The last few months have been difficult for a number of my family and friends with losses of family members and dogs.  My heart has been broken many times and it is difficult to know what to say. 

But now loss has come to my house.  I feel good most of the time and then there are moments that I remember that my dear old man Rocks is no longer at my feet and I am just simply, sad. 

A few minutes later, Fin comes in and barks at me to play, or Olive takes a flying leap and lands in my lap with something rather disgusting all over her body, or Tazzie bounces around behind my chair holds a play bow ready for a game, or Maddie "acks" at me at 5:45 am wanting breakfast, and I am smiling again with joy that my pups bring me.

Rocky was my first agility dog.  He, with his sister Maddie, showed me how much fun training for sport can be.  Although his arthritis and dysplasia prevented much competition, he did compete and we did get loads of ribbons and had great fun.  Even at 13.5 years old if I got out the clicker or his orange ball, he was get so excited to play with me. 

His passing is not a huge surprise. He has been slowing down much of late.  Things changed last Tuesday night and we made the decision Wed morning.  I thank my family, friends, and my vet for their support and understanding.

I'm missing my big man.   

At the beach in Oregon

Always poking his nose to get my attention.

Not to sure about baby Tazz

Always ready for a hike.

Happy smiling boy.

His most favorite spot when I am working. Fin is there now holding his spot for him.

Orange ball.  All is well.

Playing is hard work.

Just a beautiful guy.



Time for play?  No Rocky, I'm working.

More Orange Ball Action

Taken 2 weeks ago.  A very good day.

Happy Dog.

No Tazz.  The Orange Ball is Rocky's.

People often would stop me on walks with Rocky.  He was so incredibly beautiful.

My first agility dog.  Rocky taught me about patience and dog training. 

Before Olive came to stay, out on our deck.

I'm sure Rocky was asking me if I would send Tazz home.

My favorite agility shot of all time.

Thanks to Laura H I have this great drawing of Rocks that is up on my wall.

Playing in the leaves (of course I'm about to toss the Orange ball).

A photo session.  Just a beautiful guy.

Running A frame before it was all the rage!

A Summary of My Weekend

A little crazy, a little fun, good food, good friends, lots a love.

Spent the weekend in Dixon at a 4 day USDAA show.  Friends and I decided to camp.  I got there late on Wed and everyone helped me to set up my Tent and canopy.  Got to sleep at a reasonable time.

Don't these photos show a peaceful camping experience? At 4am woke to have the tent collapsed on my head, a storm raging outside, water coming in on me, and my body laying on the floor (air mat had a leak).  Lovely. 

Now some in this situation would get out of bed and take the dogs and walk through the rain to my friends RV and crash on her couch.  I just pushed Fin and Olive under the water resistant sleeping bag, put the bag over my head and as the tent was flapping around on top of me went back to sleep.

At 5:30 or so, I finally got up (took awhile to extradite myself from the mess. Put on my rain gear, and took dogs potty.  Back at my tent I surveyed the damage, got things moved, and with the electric heater (thank you Jeanine for making sure I had a heater!) started the process of drying everything out by laying my towels everywhere to soak up the water.  Fortunately I only was entered in stuff that was later in the afternoon.  So I had the morning to video other peoples runs, walk my dogs, and survey my damage.

Tent camping when tarps are needed inside the tent...never a good thing.

After I got settled on Thursday, Fin had an excellent jumpers run and I decided to call it a day.  Rain had stopped around noon and things were starting to dry out a bit, I drove over to Walmart and got myself a new bed.  I love my new bed.  My new bed doesn't go flat.  It is tall and I can actually sit on the side of the bed.  My new bed is amazing!  Can you tell I like the new bed.

All the bedding dried out with the heater running all day.  I set up the bed in the middle of the tent, just in case.  Had a great dinner of lasagna and salad, a few glasses of wine, and settled in for a good nights sleep.  Other than having to get dressed to walk the 100 feet to the bathroom multiple times during the night, all three of us slept good and the tent held up.

Four days was fun.  Only got 3 Q's (Standard, Jumpers, Gamble), but Fin ran well and we enjoyed ourselves so much.

Would I do it again.  hmmmmmmm.  Well probably.  It is a lot of work (3 hours to tear down).  But overall I really did love camping. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A very short week followed by a very long time in a tent...

Ahhh. April.  Spring Flowers, April Showers, Fools day, Easter (except this year Easter was in March), and of course, the regular April Dog show in Dixon.
Last year I dabbled in camping.  2 nights in the cool and breezy Monterey County area.  I actually enjoyed myself.
Now we are really giving this entire camping venture a try.  FOUR nights.  Fortunately for me they actually have real bathrooms AND showers!  Yeah.  My friend is also bringing her 5th wheel and no one is going to mind a quick slip in there to wash my face or use the restroom.  So all in all, pretty comfortable if I do say so myself.  Unless of course it rains....and rain it might.  Ho Hi, so much fun.  At least I'll have something to talk about come Monday.
Good friends, wine, margaritas, and coordinated pot lucks for all our meals, life is good.
Off the grid, except I'll have my iphone, ipad, and ipod.  Icamp is going to be fun :)