Wednesday, April 30, 2008

practise practise practise

The focus this week ended up being handling and more handling ...

Monday I helped Samara and Nancy with jump work for Duncan and Sophie - I think both handlers could see a difference in form (the mirrored wall makes it all so much easier to see)
We also used the new table - shaping is the best thing in the world - did tons of shaping with Duncan, Sally and Thea and all of them were thrilled to hit the table

Brody was DETERMINED to do teeter work ... so of course I indulged him

Tuesday Brandi set up some rear cross handling - tough for the green dogs and handlers but we all had fun.. also ran the teeter between two tables ... Sally is so drivey

It was a very late night but loads of fun

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a PSA of importance to all dog lovers

Xylitol is HIGHLY toxic to dogs

For humans its a sweetener typically used in things like gum - nicorette gum for example

For dogs smart enough to open the foil on the back of gum packaging and then chew the gum xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure... a very small amount can do fatal damage

Xylitol is found in gum, toothpaste, low carb desserts as well it can be found in a powdered form

You ask me how I can bring this psa to YOU? well Sally - as usual for missadventures in our house- is to thank! She got into a package of nicorette gum and carefully tore off the foil - she ate about 8 pieces of gum.Tom noticed as soon as he got up and reported it - I realized that the nicotene could be a problem so called my vet who recommended calling ASPCA posion control (a FABULOUS service). They instantly knew to ask about xylitol - so Tom ran off to Shoppers to check the label.. sure enough xylitol was in the type he used

(My cool fact about nicotene is the reason they make it as a gum is that ingestion through the stomach is difficult - it is absorbed much better through the mouth - so has the most imapct when chewed or smoked)

So I had to make Sally sick in the hopes most of the gum would come up unchewed.

I fed her a slice of bread soaked in 1/2 cup of milk then gave her 2 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with a teaspoon of yogurt (in her case) or peanut butter or icecream. I had to repeat the hydrogen peroxide mix after 10 minutes (you would only ever repeat twice) and then poor Sally was sick sick sick ... I took her to work as I needed to watch her carefully for lethargy, agitation or other odd behaviours.. she was good at work and by about 3 I was comfortable that she was herself... another case of LUCKY LUCKY Sally and lucky lucky us - she sure is using a lot of her lives up fast!

The aspca posion control centre was AMAZING - I can't recommend them highly enough. $60 and all day support- the er vet would have been $400 easy..

Sunday, April 27, 2008

now that was some fun

and some HARD running too

Brody and I took a handling seminar with Janet Lundy today

Janet is a great seminar instructor - she works with where you and your dog are now- there is no imposition of "her" system and she admits she hasn't worked every type of dog - but she knows what she is asking you to do and why.

We tried the same line multiple ways and on the whole I knew what would work best for Brody - which was a great confidence booster. It was excellent to try alternative handling paths too tho as lately I have suddenly found myself in unexpected spots on course - now I can push through that and correct hopefully

rear crosses and front crosses into and out of all kinds of lines - some wicked straight lines and with Brody (who was jumping very nicely) lots of tightening up my lazy ass turns :)

Sally kept us company and worked on her manners - we did a couple of one jump drills on the lunch break but hardly did any agility - she was excellent tho - very responsive and listened well :)

Was nice to get some constructive feedback on Brody - he needs the work to move on to the next level with confidence (ummmm, errrrrr thats probably me!)

also picked up the new table- WAHOOOOOO Kathryn made it ages ago but we finally just connected - looking forward to testing it tomorrow :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I have no voice

Well I have an internet voice at least ;)

The conference was fine - I felt gross Sunday and Monday but at least had a voice - PHEW as my presentation was at the end of a long day Monday. Tuesday I had no voice and spent the day whispering thanks to the people who stopped and wanted to chat about the seminar ;)

Agility practise Monday night was fun - Duncan was a superstar and Brody and Sally ran well doing threadles and tunnels with no issue - Sally offered 6 fast accurate weaves all by herself- just amazing to see... I was a good 15 feet away ... WOW

Tuesday lesson was fun too - we worked on wrapping around a jump, teeter games and a little fast course- Sally was very good - and I got to run Sue's shelties too - neat to get to work new dogs - especially responsive attentive dogs like Sam and Pip

I had no voice so used lots of body cues ...

today NO VOICE at all... sucks to be me I guess tho I feel better than I did on the weekend

Saturday, April 19, 2008

just noticed

the great folks at AAC have added Brody's most recents qs to his achievement page

amazing what you read when trying not to do more work ;)

I live with GOOD sports

The talent show was yesterday and the dogs were amazing!

Walking out onto a stage with 500 people watching and bright spotlights on you is disconcerting to say the least.

I had tethered Sally (in the drk) back stage which got her a little freaked out - but she tends to bark if she thinks she should be working with me anyhow - so I suspect the noise was more about the fact Brody was playing and she wasn't at first

Brody and I did a little shadow handling for a minute to warm up - heeling, switching sides- front crosses
then he jumped from cube to cube
danced on his mat, spun and free heeled offstage (Sally was a bit loud!) Every time he picked a foot up the kids clapped and hollered ... he is such a pro though - he didn't even look at them - his focus was entirely on me

Sally had a little more LOOK at the crowd - and the fact I was on mike confused her at first - she went to the speaker and had a good look at it before reorienting to me

She was happy to see the mat out and did an immediate go to place... she jumped up and down on the cubes (not something we rehearsed but I wanted her to be in motion a little) then she did her famous down; head down routine ... BIG awssss from the kids

a couple of hand touches and then her BIG thing - amazing RIGHT and LEFT turns and she NAILED it .. instantly - the students were FLOORED - very cute to hear them

the skateboard didn't work as well as it had the day before - but I had nearly left the stage when I saw the skateboard so turned around and tried it...she did it but it wasn't smooth (tho she didn't know that)

The MC told me afterwards the students were loudest and most engaged for the dog routine ;)

I am, as usual, both humbled by the willingnes to try things and proud of the dogs for their efforts!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

shaping wowser

well Sally, Brody and I were voluntold for the Staff Talent Show at Campbell

Brody has a cute little dance routine but Sally is big and ungainly - she can turn right and left, lie down and put her head on her paws but that's all she does..thast trickworthy anyhow ;)

soooo I've been thinking

and doing nothing...

til tonight when wonderful Nancy loaned me a skateboard

Sally LOVES skateboarding ... how very very scary - now I have to teach her not to go so fast - I'll also have to lay brooms on the ground or something or she'll roll right off the stage- HAHAHA

Monday, April 14, 2008

practise makes perfect ...

really honestly it does..

Sally had to stay home tonight - she was feeling punk and I just don't want her to associate the feeling punk with agility in any way ...

Brody was funny - he was unimpressed to have to watch Thea run but he was very good when it was his turn

we worked on exiting a tunnel and jumping the correct jump of two side by side jumps that looked identical

we also did a cool little tire routine - had a set up jump low and in front to set the striding and the tire a bounce out - Brody was sailing through at 16 inches no problem .. would have LOVED to work Sally through it

Thea was good -nervous of the teeter plank but great with the weave poles and zippy through tunnels and jumps - she had no problem discriminating the choice obstacle in my funny little set up :)

We've booked the church til end of May - amazing how soon that is :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

another wednesday ...

and man am I tired

but a largely good tired

Sally was ON last night - fast, quick, attentive.. is she ever responsive to acceleration and deceleration cues - she'll be scary easy to pull off something if that keeps up

she was THRILLED to run over the low aframe too - zipping into 2o2o ..

the tire work was interesting - something we can work on often

no class next week ... I'll miss it :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sophie wins her first Q

and Nancy made this cute portrait!

I'm so pleased for them in so many different ways

Sophie ran a lovely wildcard run and deserved the q very much and nancy handled her like a pro- also deserving her first Q :)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

the brodster does it again!

and Thea starts to rock on too :)

we had a CPE trial today - Sally stayed home which I'm sure didn't thrill her but it did let me concentrate on the little guys ...

Brody went 5 for 5 - 5 qs in 5 classes.. at level 2 CPE so it's reassuring to have that in my toolbox for the Nationals now.. He really is a rockstar - he is so reliable and such fun to work with

His first class was a colours class- pick your course and run it - they are usually quite short and this one sure seemed fast ... 14 seconds was all it took him to run (despite having 38 seconds he could have used). He finished the course and all the way back to the car seemed to be looking for the next obstacle... he is too funny!

On to two standard classes .. again zip zap no faults and quite pretty - except the weave poles.. he did NOT like the weave poles much but he did them .. which is what matters ;)

The last classes were wildcard card classes..... ZOOM no problem at all for the Brodster - no faults, no bobbles and a lovely way to end the day ... in fact he was running so well I ran the last course without saying a word! Always good for me to focus on non verbal cues and it didn't phase Brody in the least.

Thea went 3 for 5 - only struggling with the dog walk (hardly as shock as she hasn't worked any element of it since the snow hit! and she actually did it beautifully the last time) She was confident, flying and having a great time!

Her two colours courses were great - fast and flowing and very focussed. She took 16 and 18 seconds respectively (with 41 seconds allowed!)Her first standard was great except for worrying about the dog walk .. the second run the dog walk was no problem but she was so excited about getting it she did two extra tunnels .. she is too cute- the little crowd pleaser had everybody eating out of her paws.

Her last class was the wildcard class - it took her just 7 seconds longer then Brody and she had to really think about the tire jump :)

It was great to run at a new venue - both of them weren't phased in the least .. and so nice to see familiar faces too .. CPE is such a friendly place to be ;)

loads of fun - and I'm exhausted :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Kaylie Cat

boy I love this girl

a true cat and a half she came to us when she was just 6 months old

adopted too young as an orphan into a home with no other animals and a young couple who worked and partied hard she was returned as being NASTY at 6 months.

for a full week I went to the shelter at lunch and worked with her - TTouch literally saved her life quite literally as I couldn't touch her with a hand until day four - she had to learn appropriate play too

after the week was up Cathy and I had a long talk and decided we'd better foster her out to see what she was like in a real home - my home was fairly quiet at the time and Tom and I were going to be around a fair bit so home with me she came. Two days of living with her and Kaylie was named (after the Hindi Godess of destruction) and I brought home a little black kitten who had an eye infection that wasn't clearing at the shelter - Julie became a play mate for Kaylie and and outlet for energy too!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

been too long ;)

Another Monday night practise is done ..

I made a speed circle and all the dogs had a blast working on the loop -

(it was actually an oval - tunnels on the ends and 2 jumps on one side; 3 jumps on the other) some neat ways to work on crosses (Brody sure hates rear crosses!) and a nice way to build momentum too

Duncan was doing some amazing distance work once he figured it all out!

Thea was a bit off her game to start - a week being Princess Thea with Dr Au does that to a girl I guess - but I put her away; worked Brody for a bit then she was raring to go again!

Sally was wired - and the barking shelties didn't help much (I was glad I had two advil in me!). She ran with focus and concentration though despite all the chaos!