Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Brody was amazing - flying along beside me - doing a little distance work too. Fabulous little rock star dog!! His contacts were HOT - we worked on speeding up off the end of the dog walk ... it worked. The aframe was 5'6 so I didn't do too many reps of that but he did one nice one with little distance to it.
We wove and did chutes and tunnels and then did a nice little jump grid. (The jump grid was where we built some distance). We also worked the table - never hurts to be prepared!
Thea did some tunnel distance work. Worked the end of a dog walk a few times. Worked her end teeter behaviour (for the first time in a very long time). Worked some chutes. Worked the tire. Did some 10 inch jump work. Too cute, too funny. I really should put a start line stay on this little flyer!!
Sally worked well. I did a fair few contacts on the aframe with her. She did two PERFECT confident aframes and stuck the bottom. I tossed out a toy and released her to it when she nose touched. I was VERY pleased with her. Her weaves, jump work etc were also excellent. I worked her in short doses in between the little's turns. It was good for her. She certainly works herself hard.
Sophie worked with us. It was really nice to have the company. Sophie and Nancy were busy doing thier own productive thing but I think it's good for my guys to get used to working around the distraction of another working team. Makes a trial run seem easy!!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The blank slate that is TDP (aka Phenomenal) is such a joy to play with.
Friday, January 21, 2011
(Two thousand eight hundred and fifty five days of enjoying Thea. One thousand five hundred and fifty days of worrying about Sally. Forty some days of enjoying Phenomenal)
Brody. My heart. My rockstar. My give me everything he has plus a little more man.
I will never forget doing his intake at the shelter. It was a busy Saturday morning when a family walked in with a dog in a crate. The dog was lying at the back of the crate just staring at me. We had NO room at the shelter. None. I had two foster dogs at home (a darling little chihuahua named Gomez and a hilarious Pomeranian named Lola). I had no clue where I was going to put the new arrival but there was no way I could turn that blank sad face away. I started filling in the intake form - Dog's name? Lickey. Dog's age? 5 months. Dog's history? Purchased from a notorious puppy broker for a RIDICULOUS price. Reason for surrender? Dog was "dirty" in the house so being crated constantly and biting their child and scaring him. I asked what constantly meant and was told "We let him out twice a day. Now he is dirty in his crate. We can't have that." I charged them their surrender fee and sent them on their way.
I had Gomez and Lola with me. Unbelievably Gomez found his forever home that afternoon. (With a HUGE BIKER covered in tattoos - very funny and somehow very fitting!) I went home and obsessed about the poor little dog I'd set up in a large crate in my office. Big T very sensibly said when Lola was adopted we could foster him if he was still looking but I was pretty sure he would be adopted quickly despite his apparent baggage. I was checking emails and came across an email considering Lola. I encouraged the people to meet me at the shelter Sunday morning. They met Lola - I was SO LUCKY - I actually knew people in common so the reference checks were able to be done on a Sunday. They lived in my neighbourhood and I felt VERY comfortable doing this adoption. (I was right - we continue to stay in touch - Lola was euthanized this past summer but it was the PERFECT home for her). The little, might as well have been nameless dog came home with me that night to foster, house train and assess potential as a humane education dog. All I could really tell that night was he was the right size to compliment my large rotti x golden humane ed specialist. He hid under the cookbook shelf in the kitchen - scared to death to be out of a crate. I read all the cookbook titles and authors and the only name that seemed at all fitting was Brody (after Jean Brody). I tried to crate him overnight thinking he'd be more comfortable and he had a panic attack. That was the last time he was crated for 7 years. Teaching him to not only accept but enjoy being crated was a slow process that Sally was an instrumental part of.
There are many chapters to the three thousand plus days. (Humane educator, media spokes dog, tv star, stage star (can you say Annie?), trick boy, farm dog, and of course agility superstar!)
He's an exceptional soul. It took him a LONG time to accept the family and until quite recently he was very aloof with strangers but now he's Mr. Social. He had my heart at first stare .. and was generous enough to give me his heart very early on in our relationship as well. He's a wonderful teacher and a better friend. I hope we have another three thousand + days together!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Brody is a shmaltipoo in designer dog speak ~ that is - a non shedding, fast hair growing dog with a kinky, fine, matting coat.
Brody gets very matted. Eventually I hog tie and attack him with scissors and sometimes with clippers. There are many things I do reasonably well. Grooming a dog who hates being groomed, by myself, is not something I am ANY good at. (Writing grammatical sentences also surpasses my abilities frequently).
Brody and I battle over the grooming issue regularly. It takes me at least 3 sessions to get him looking at all like a dog instead of a dust ball.(And yes, after 10 years of living with him I have the positive stuff down to a fine art - he sees a pile of treats; he gets clicked and treated frequently when he doesn't try to air bite and indimidate me; I keep sessions short and positive; I frequently practise grooming him without actually grooming him (he does know the difference though) and I have never let anybody but me hold hom for any grooming of any sort.
Sally was a little wild tonight. She did some truly incredible jump work though. barking her fool head off as she sliced, serpentined, 180ed, 270ed, 90ed and ran bold straight lines. We worked on aframe contacts and she worked hard. We worked weaves and entries and she didn't miss one.
Have I mentioned I live with good dogs?
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Sally worked weave entries - fast and furious; steady as could be. She worked perfect dog walks and a couple of end behaviours on a aframe too. She was getting touch no problem. Then we did a three sided box jump thing and she was great in that too. Memories of the summer. She was smooth, fluid and working hard.
A good day.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
She wears a collar (a cat collar with a bell) now, and walks nicely on leash - usually trotting along side us no matter what there is to look at - occasionally I have to chirup and sweet talk her but more often she looks, wags, and keeps on trucking.
She is clean in the house - or wants to be - obviously if I was oblivious we'd have accidents but since January 2 she's peed in the house once (and at work twice - whoops!). She is actually much easier than many puppies we have lived with - she'll go out into the back yard ALL BY herself, do her business and come back. I think that's partly cause usually one of the other dogs is happy to go out and model for her - and also because of the nice sliding door here - so we can watch and praise from the kitchen!! It is a real treat living with a clean by nature house trained puppy.
She has learned that cats and dogs need different play if they will stay engaged with you. She has learned different cats and dogs are individual and will tolerate less and more from her. She has learned that humans have the most tender skin ~ and if you bite too hard by mistake you can lick immediately afterwards to get most people to forgive you.
She fetches and returns a tiny tennis ball. She tugs gently and releases when asked.
She sits - both as a default and this week on cue. She is being shaped to down. She plays a mean game of doggy zen (treat in hand and she chooses to look away and wait for it).
She's a pretty awesome puppy.
She needs a home.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Instead the only thing sad about this post is how blurry the pictures are!!
Sally and Coco Pup pause long enough to look elegant (and show how much the puppy has grown- she doubled in size in the two weeks over the holidays! You'll notice the shoe that humans forgot to put away turned into a toy)
Coco trying to see if Sally will give her a ride. (Notice the boot she had been playing with - bad human leaving a boot out!)
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Yes - Thea is actually sound asleep on top of Sally as they ride shot gun on the way home this afternoon
Snookers day at House League today ..
I got to try designing a course (HARD work) judging, scoring etc - lots of fun.
But for me the BEST part was running 9 snookers courses! (yup Brody, Sally and Thea all got to play).
We modified the rules so dogs got to do the opening until they faulted then carry on the closing .. which we also scored until faulting (or running out of time). It was a neat way to play - no zero point runs ...
Brody scored 56, 53 and 60 (in the first run tunnels were the reds and we counted them for 2!)- small dogs got a 5 point bonus!
Thea scored 43, 44, 55
Sally scored 36 (in the last run when my brain turned off) 51 and 54.
Much more importantly though they all ran well and had fun! Lots of fun!
Sally had a three hour hike in the Rouge Valley yesterday which meant I was running my best Sally today - yes she barked a little, yes she motored but she wasn't flipped over the top as she can be in class
It was nice to have all my dogs "on" today ... I do like snookers - and maybe there is hope for Sally and Thea someday!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
from Feb 3 last year - "think it's time to goal set for 2010?"
keep training when I can catch a minute done ... loved my summer work plan for Sally
work her perfect downs on tables everywhere done ... though she still argues sometimes
run CPE level 1 and 2 classes as appropriate done - 2 trials and she's in level 2 for all games
run AAC gamblers, snookers and maybe jumpers classes through the spring and summer - done .. not just ran but successfully ran jumpers and gamblers .. 2 tries at snookers haven't quite panned out but that will come
add standard and steeplechase as she levels out - one of each tried at last trial - went well really
either enjoy CPE level 1 whenever possible or put a whole whack of time into training then follow Sally's plan above - done -we went with option 1 - Thea has all level 1 CPE titles
get him fit enough to play - do some drop in training to get him running again - done
trial one day a month - probably averaged out to this nearly
go to Regionals (and qualify for nationals - goal at this point) nope and that's OK :)
Brody earned his snookers title and is one jumpers away from the jumpers title
we tried standard and gamblers at our last trial - not particularly successfully but we did it - and that counts! In CPE he steadily wracked up the Qs as well - he's nearly done level 3
What good dogs ...
Looking forward to this year ...
(both looking ahead to think and plan and looking forward with a sense of enjoyment actually)
Brody - get that last elusive jumpers Q; finish level 3 CPE titles; work on distance a little (for fun like); run happy and quick; and perhaps attend Regionals
Thea - work on getting 200 more level 1 CPE points; get another starters AAC Q (snookers most likely given she doesn't weave, do the teeter or like chutes); get another advanced jumpers Q
if Brody doesn't attend Regionals ~ attend them
Sally - earn a starters snookers Q (or 2!), fix the %^&$ aframe contact; earn another 2 advanced jumpers Qs; run advanced gamblers; earn level 1 CPE standard title; finish level 2 games titles (if I can find enough classes); run steeplechase and standard once aframe is working
Regionals? maybe .. need to give this some serious thought .. but I would like to have a dog there ...
Sampson - continue to backyard train him .. introduce 2x2 weaves and contacts, challenge him with short sequences
Me - participate in Regionals; continue having fun in this game I love; trust I will know when Brody wants to retire; tighten up my technical skills handling the variety of dogs I run; get the agility field up and operational; host something at the agility field; represent myself, my dogs and AAC well wherever I am playing