Wednesday, November 30, 2011

and the phone just doesn't stop ringing ...

this time a STRAY puppy ... 4 weeks old

People - get a grip- bring your unwanted pet to a shelter -tell the truth -pay the 20 or so dollar fee - then we know age, health, and anything else that might help us with your problem... as utimately that's what you are doing - making your problem ours ...

she seems bright and happy - she probably ate garbage yesterday as her tummy is a bit unsettled but she's full of beans ... fingers crossed being found soaked to the skin in a puddle will have no lasting harm for her.

We don't know what she is ... right now the fact her ears are prick is unusual in a puppy this young ... she sort of has a husky feel but with her frosted hair is perhaps a keeshound mix instead ... time will tell as it always does ...

As usual my very very accepting house is welcoming the little one. The boys aren't thrilled but they are being very polite.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some fun ...

When I get home from work Sally is a little, um, eager. Eager to work, play, cuddle, bounce, train, run, do tricks, learn something new, chase a stick, catch a Kong. Pretty much ANYTHING goes. I try to ignore her for a bit but she has me pretty well trained now.

Tonight we played chase the Kong up and down the hallway and then I thought I'd work her brain.
I went into the living room (aka agility storage and dog training zone!) and saw a box. Grabbed a clicker and started playing with offered behaviours at a box. Took Miss Smarty Pants two tries to consistently stick her head in the box. One paw, and then front feet followed quickly. Back feet also came quickly but my timing was just not quick enough to get all four feet in the box at once. She was hopping through the box. She either hopped through the box or jumped right over it. It was darling and hilarious and had I been able to work for 4 more minutes we would have had it I'm sure but I ran out of time.  Been awhile since we played with just pure fun shaping with no end goal in mind. They sure don't forget once they learn that way!


After bypassing the table in House League last week I figured we'd better work a little table this weekend.
Working table now means saying "table" and watching Sally drive onto a flat surface she can see, hanging on it and lying down. Sunday we worked on a wide variety of surfaces (as you'll see) and me being in varied positions (including sideways to table, back to table and sitting on the ground).
Sally was great. Drove to table and only once waited for a cue to down (the cue of putting one arm behind my back - something she inadvertently learned when very small).

Wobbly picnic table makes a great test.

Calm and ready

After the down cue (I was sitting for this one)

She wasn't sure she fit on the bench but she did and then was very pleased with herself.

Always ready for action!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Never thought I'd see the day ...

that Brody played, in any way at all, with Sampson.

awfully cute

Brody really quite despises Sampson. He threatens him at doorways and pulls ugly faces at him whenever he can. We don't encourage it and it does occasionally worry Sammo but, as we keep telling Sam, that's the cost of living with a cranky little old man.

Just the boys and I were out on the lawn today and Sampson raced past Brody. Brody played bowed to him - and away they went! Miracle of miracles I had my camera with me!

Goofy, funny, adorable boys!

Monday, November 21, 2011

house league number one

It's that time of year again

House league started yesterday with a tunnellers, jumpers with weaves and standard run. Thea did tunnellers then played with the chute and dog walk after the event. She was EXCELLENT! It was loud and chaotic and exactly what we needed! She was incredibly opinonated in her crate though.

Brody was foot perfect - apart from gakking up a treat after the start line in jumpers. If you choose to watch the video you'll notice I choose to let him stand on the table and told the judge I was bypassing the table with Sally. For Sally it was very close to the teeter and I want her to drive onto the table and auto down. It would have been impossible to get what I wanted in that set up. I love house league!
This was the first time either dog has seen a contact  in a course since Nationals. (Sally did three teeters in isolation one night) Brody is quickly becoming living proof that less is more with well trained dogs who are maintaining fitness otherwise. Sally continues to be proof that short daily workouts would be awesome!

It was good to be able to concentrate on the dogs and on scoring. I did judge 2 of the large dog classes but I actually really enjoy that too.

Another fun day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

that mental management thing ... again

I've been doing some coaching lately in sports that are not in my comfort zone ... one of my responsibilities at work is now the co-curricular program at the school (events that take place outside the classroom). Trying to get up to speed fast involves a steep learning curve so I'm tackling it by being assistant coach to the junior boys basketball team. That way I can see exactly what the coaches need to do first hand. Why basketball  you ask?

Not for any great abiding love of the sport. More because the coach is amazing  and talented. And that works just fine for all of us.

How can I contribute to this team? It's not through attending all practices (some start at 7:30 am and Sam's daycare doesn't open til 8 am).  It's not through my mad bball skillz. It is partly by doing doing paperwork. It's partly by attending practice when I can. I also think it can be about teaching them the mental side of playing sports.

What key elements can I distill for the team from my knowledge base?

  • if ain't fun ~ recalculate
  • know your team -train weaknesses, play strengths
  • know yourself - what helps you be in the right head space?
  • be fit enough to be able to keep your mind on
  • what is your right head space? are nerves useful for you - or do they interfere?
Now figuring out how to teach  all this 15 year old boys who have only really played street ball to this point presents its whole own challenge!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday night ...

and it seems very quiet around here

one husband
one mother in law
five dogs



roaring fire
bright stars

all seems right ...(except of course missing chickens, cats, rabbits, guinea pig, parrots etc)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

4 ticks, 20 minutes, 1 dog

Good thing he's cute!

(we currently use a tick twister to remove ticks - they are amazingly easy to use, so far every tick has survived the removal step which means less toxins injected under the skin apparently. The dogs usually stay very still while I twist (not Brody of course - he counts tick removal as grooming!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

words nearly fail me, yet again

Sometimes words seem inadequate

A large piece of property around our 107 acres (aka the private dog park) was for sale all summer
It has now been purchased

It is joining our extended family and expanding our dog park (and farm) to a striking 256 acres!

It is a beautiful piece of rolling property - lovely trees, lovely glades, stands of apple trees, cherry trees and much more we haven't discovered yet

There are a million places to camp and play and enjoy the beauty that is PEC

There are many options now for agility, for walking, for being ...
lucky and grateful really don't cover it ...

I'm getting quite serious about hosting a
"I Can't Be at AAC Nationals in BC, 2012" Celebration
for my agility peeps

We could  maybe have a mix of serious and fun stuff for agility (workshops? games?)
I'm seriously going to have a cross country option for anybody who wants to play that
lots of chance to walk and play in various spots on and off property

campers would have lots of on property options and non campers could stay very close if they wanted - Sandbanks is about 5 minutes away (or campers could camp at spots with more amenities if they wanted!)
What do you think?
I'd love more ideas ... and if you want an invite let me know ;)

Monday, November 07, 2011

a little bit of everybody having some fun!

a compilation video

too much fun!

why is it the girls around this place are noisy while the boys are quiet diligent workers?
(yeah, it applies to the humans too!)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

three days of lawn agility in a row!

and I feel great!

It's been a long time since all the dogs worked on agility three days in a row. (Actually Thea missed yesterday - but she hasn't done any agility since June so I'm still pleased).

We did our usual 2-4 minutes a dog thing - amazing the difference 12 minutes can make.

Thea - just worked on forward and with me... she is one noisy little brown dog!
Thea is also a mistress of camo!

She slays me!

Brody - a little weaving and running - a tiny bit of selecting the right end of the tunnel

LOOK!!! You can see all four dogs in one shot!!

Sampson - short sequences, a little start line type work - wow ... what a good dog he was! Today was amazing - foot perfect in fact!

Even I think he's beautiful here ..

Sally -noisy, crazy Sally loves this work. We did start line, jump drills, weaves, what dog!

This is intense ... this is Sally

I taped all the dogs (first three on the first day and Sally on day two.) Educational no doubt at all, mostly about me and my issues rather than dog stuff - man, am I ever SLOW to reward the dogs in a concrete way. I'm pretty floppy and sloppy too. Always good to have stuff to work on.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sally's turn....

Turned the camera on for Sally's lawn agility today .... lots of goof ups - and lots of fun (music is "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by the Spin Doctors ~ we looked at a farm owned by one of them this summer ~ so it seems doubly fitting)

If you chose to watch this you'll see some mighty sloppy handling on my part .. SG would NOT be pleased I'm sure ;) bloopers are included - this is a fairly typical length of work out for me -perhaps even a little long

I worked Sampson a little too.. he was lots of fun!
Brody worked weave entries ... excellent work as always.

We also had a great work/play session at the farm... I'd better define what Sampson being a work in progress is as his recalls were fast, fabulous and 100% today.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Re-making a dog ..or perhaps re-making me?

Sampson is need of a redo ... more of a make over now that I think about it ...

It isn't awful and in fact it's come a LONG way in the two years he's been with us but his recall is still broken ... Sampson still gets a little mouthy at times; and he hasn't forgotten the game of "keep away".
Apparently, like everything else in life, the work never ends!

He is a dear, funny, complicated fellow.

A little video measuring where we are right now  (plus a little doggy porn thanks to Thea!)

Fabulous recall sometimes!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

busy world ...

Thinking everybody is busy, busy, busy - fewer comments on the blogs I follow and fewer regular updates too ...

Thea insists on regular Sally attacks to keep herself entertained
I sure am ... staying on top of life is a wee bit tricky at the moment ... but the animals are staying content with the level of attention they get. Training is not priority one right now, apart from as a tool to keep minds busy, and I'm OK with that.

Sam and Sally wrestle regularly

Daily walks, playing fetch, grooming (really only tick checks) and cuddles and then weekend running seems to be keeping everyone settled in the evening when I collapse . Sampson and Sally get some daycare time each week too - which includes walking and playing and generally letting loose and having a good time.
Brody dances and trots around at my heels but he doesn't play with the other dogs much.