Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fitz is in a home

cross your fingers that it all works out - he had a good first night and his new people are just lovely ...
He is living with just one other dog - a very sweet little blonde chi Emjay - who is cute as can be...
he has 3 people to love him ... and it's a good thing - tho a bit quiet and sad around here ...

however - we have a dear little soul here for a bit while he gets assessed ...

meet Aldwin (old English for wise, or old friend) who already has his first nickname - Ollie
he has a hernia, a bunch of bumps, needs a dentistry and a nueter mildly luxating patellas but nothing too too scary
Dr Au thinks he's about 10 ..we should get blood work back tomorrow .. that will show more..

Sunday, December 14, 2008


the weather outside is CHILLY
I'm not inspired to put my nose out the door let alone do any work with any of the gang here ...
it occurred to me this week that I had my 6 set weave poles inside last winter... I think the metal base is already buried under enough snow that digging it out may prove impossible - DUMB me..

Thea is FROZEN - living in her tee shirt coat and still shivering
Fitz and Hank would still live outside given free choice (well if we'd move out there with them)

Sally gets cold - and tries to bring the outside in with her...
frozen apples make good eating, according to her anyhow!

should be getting ready for Christmas this week I guess
hoping I have some agility time this week at long last

Saturday, December 13, 2008

reflections on practise and training

I am not a dog trainer - no siree Bob not a training bone in my body
however it seems I spend a LOT of time dispensing training, and training advise

I think about behaviours and how to modify them for dogs and cats, occasionally parrots and rabbits and in my day job I get paid to "train" teenagers ..

and none of it feels like training to me - I facilitate, I demonstrate, I discuss, I rehearse and I apply knowledge and skills...

it's just as true in agility as anywhere

I need to know my audience even within the dogs I work regularly (or semi regularly as the week may unfold) they need different approaches and have since the day they began agility. All my dogs have been shaped to do the various obstacles - though one "trainer" tried to lure Thea on a dog walk - that still causes me issues some days ...
Brody would have been lured too if he had needed to be lured but he went with me from the first time he saw an obstacle - I guess he was sort of lured through weaves to start - and GEEZ no shock here - weaves can be our downfall some trials!

The degree of work each dog can take seems to vary an incedible amount too.

Brody just does stuff - even early on I was careful not to run back to back in class more than once (as we were often the smallest dog in class I'd do it once then be asked to repeat so we didn't have to change heights). If he had a blip with something I just kept going - had I stopped to "WORK" on the "problem" Brody would have checked out without a doubt. Now that he knows what he is doing I can try a line a bunch of times in a bunch of ways as long as there is no implication he got anything wrong.. He knows it's all my fault if things go south...

Thea needs to do things until she's confident .. if she does it once but not well and then goes away she'll worry about the error until it becomes HUGE .. but push her past her comfort point and she'll slip away to her crate
everything needs to be planned with her - winging it is not her style at all ...

Sally just goes and goes - she'll repeat something 50 times just because she can .. for example she did 12 weaves this fall (that were on the lawn for Brody to work) I laughed at her blasting through them so she turned around and did them again (and again) with no cue and no support. When we started working her as a little puppy I told my trainer that I was worried about nose touches - as there was no cue for her to lift her head off .. she laughed at me and said that would NOT be a problem .. that Christmas Sally STUCK to the nose touch plate at the bottom of the stairs so hard I had to actually pick her up to break the touch - then I taught her a release for that behaviour. Sally has been wholly shaped so offering behaviours comes very naturally to her. If it pays she repeats and repeats. She is a much more independant thinker than either Brody or Thea as well - which is both a blessing and curse. I think I could see her shut down if she was DRILLED without joy but working with her brings me such joy I can't imagine that happening any time soon.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

what motivates you?

I stole the heading from a board I check into - a dieter was asking how other people stay motivated and I realized it's something I'd love to know from other agility folks...

I was motivated at first by a desire to do better and better - personally rather than class results

then I was motivated by a desire to move up with my qs

then I wanted to achieve my goals - qualify for nationals, not embarass myself at CPE nationals, get VMAD title

now I am dying to get back to it - I want to have more mental images of Brody having fun, would love to see Sally doing well, make chihuahuas proud with Thea accomplishments ... all that good stuff!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

now I can admit it ...

The stitches are out and she's just fine so I can note "the accident" and be very glad Thea is just fine ..physically and emotionally she's completely herself and all is well.
It was very very scary though - she is a bossy little boots and the other dogs respect her generally but Hank reacted to her leaping at him from the couch. One bite - one badly placed snap in fact and Thea needed a whole lot of stitches - and a whole whack of time knocked out to clean and close the flap. You could see where Hank's three teeth connected with skin and how the one snap basically peeled her open. We were all extremely lucky - the wound was GROSS and AWFUL but superficial.
When Thea came home from the vets she chewed Hank out royally.. he was on the ground cowering at her wrath in fact - then she forgave him. She is back to humping his head, licking his mouth and sharing the couch with him but we, of course, are worried and anxious. If only we could move on the way the dogs do sometimes.
Thea has LOVED coming to work with me - Hank has completely spoiled her (as I hate leaving dogs in e-collars and I wasn't sure she'd leave the stitches alone). I can't imagine leaving her - maybe in January.

I have three long workshop days next week so she's going to hang with her aunt Judy while I am away. We are very lucky to have aunt Judy in our life!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Night Time Collars

now this is cool

I bought two collars at the Royal Winter Fair this year - one for Hank and one for Brody at night in the county - they are AMAZING

the only time it is at all hard to see the dogs is when they are walking directly towards us ... the blink doesn't bother them at all - and must look just a little odd as both cars that have passed us so far slowed RIGHT down to see what the heck we were...

it's nice to be able to tell where they are without nagging them - they both don't go very far but on a cloudy night both are pretty hard to see on the road.

I'll have to order more if we start walking in the fields at night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

dumont died friday morning

I have posted my tribute to our King of Cats over on my cat blog
but my heart just aches... he is part of 36 years of loving cats - the last tie to Rufus, Rum and Sweetie Pie. He had lived everywhere Tom and I have lived since being married .. and he brought a whole lot of people over to the cats are wonderful camp!

I had a retreat on Friday and attended it all - people could see I was a bit frazzled but a night without sleep does that to you no matter the reason..

what a sad couple of weeks - my dear friend Beth lost her American Eskimo Joy last week as well as all the agility dogs

it always strikes me the way these things - times of great happiness or sadness seem to come in a clump; as always in our life there is lots good and interesting going on but it is hard to see that stuff today ...

(we have snow- quite a bit of it!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

what sad days

Killian died on Friday - in Pat's arms which is comforting but so tragic anyhow. There is so little you can do for anybody in that situation - having been there before I know it too well. And we'll be there again - which really doesn't help much at all. My heart is with her ...
It took quite awhile to find a picture of the "real" Killian in a format that this blog will take - a little trickier than it should be. Pat just found out someone comissioned this beautiful painting of Killian - it really does capture him - so I hope it is as beautiful!
the artist's website is at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

sad days

I'm so sad to be writing tonight ...
Wonderful Pat and more wonderful Killian are in crisis - Killian is in the hospital and critically ill ...
Killian is a lovely gentle German Shepard who inspires me to work at agility - He is steady and methodical and gave me a great deal of hope when Brody and I were starting
Pat is one of the most generous and thoughtful people I've met. I see her often - CPE trials, Acton and down at my eastern events too! She has shared snookers courses with me and been the first to say WOW after a nice run ... I am so worried for them

Dear Crystal lost her amazing Kelvin yesterday - he was a really neat soul - an overgrown sheltie who just delighted in the world - when he was good he was FABULOUS when he wasn't good he made us all chuckle. I was watching Crystal one winter running a standard run - and it was a nice run - then at the last moment it fell apart - I went to commiserate with her - and she said "hey it was a great run - it just wasn't meant to be ". Her pleasure in her dear friend was evident to me - and I aspire to let people see my appreciation for my dogs.

Snowflake died today - 12 years ago I drove Snowflake from the Brampton shelter to her foster home - she shook and quivered in the back of my car and I had to carry her to the door of the house. She was PETRIFIED of things around her neck and the whole world was pretty alarming. With a great deal of love and TLC she came a long way out of her shell ... she takes a little piece of my heart with her to the rainbow bridge.

One of the great staff at school lost her dear dog last night too. Only 14 her pooch had been battling a bad cough but had been vetted and was on medication. So sad ...

so tragic ... really brings home how tenuous life can be

Saturday, November 08, 2008

on fitness ...

In this far too long agility hiatus I've been on I haven't been WORKING ON fitness the same way I was in the spring - not for me not for the dogs ... however I realized today that having built such a good base of fitness for us all has paid off - we've been hiking at the land lots and Brody is a going concern - he keeps up doesn't get puffed- clambers over under and through brush and fences like the big young dogs.
Our young foster dog Fitz has actually gotten fitter through the hikes; he used to need to be carried for a break mid way - today he kept up with the pack.
Brody keeps working on his back muscles too - he offers his cute stretches and dances when he wants something and every morning he balances carefully on his haunches to get his belly rub. I make sure to tickle different spots so he has to rebalance himself - you can actually see his back working!
I've had a heck of a cough the last few weeks so am moving a little slower than usual but still hauling wood, hiking and turning over the veggie garden beds so I guess my own fitness isn't too bad either.
I'd like to get a balance board for the dogs - Sally could use some specific muscle work and recent articles in Clean Run have had good ideas for that .. I think she'd just enjoy the work too (she's actually looking pretty good at the moment - fit and not too skinny or raw). Now, of course, Sally doesn't walk anywhere she RUNS flat out so her aerobic fitness is not in question.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

a nice treat

when I got home tonight a large cardboard envelope was waiting for me - AGILITY PICTURES from andy jones ( I ordered some collages and individual pictures and they all look great!

can't wait to give the gifts away and frame them all

YAY for a nice fall treat!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

rainy rainy days

I deliberately left the 12 weave poles here last week when I packed up the agility equipment to take to the church for the winter ... so I could work them.

OF COURSE it rained HARD all day yesterday - Brody was cold and wet and I decided that running weaves when he was so miserable was probably not going to put the joy back in them.

He actually didn't even want to go for our second walk ... unlike the other twerps who all thought puddle splashing was amazing! I made him come and rewarded him heavily but he was not a happy fellow.

It isn’t pouring yet so maybe I’ll get to do a few sets before I have to pack the 2x2s up for the season (the 6 set doesn’t fit in the truck easily so it will stay here)

Sally is a little sore on her left front – I hope Hank just slammed into her too hard ..but I have faint memories of her being sore at this time last year too …yikes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


It's been a sad week of reflection and introspection around here:

a dear friend's 23 year old son passed away suddenly, our next door neighbour did the same thing - while he was older it was just as much of a shock, Dumont is fading fast with his recently diagnosed kidney disease- after 18 years of loving and living him he'll leave a big hole; Kaylie is cheerful but could crash at any time; Mum is busy and stressed; Dad is sore and too busy to do anything about it and stressed too

Tom and I are so so lucky - and blessed - it's hard not to feel guilty in a week like this

it all sucks ...but back to the regularly scheduled me programming now...

since the first weekend in June I have done exactly ONE trial - and only with Brody - Aug 7 at AARF (YAY master title!)

thanks heavens for the team challenge or I would have forgotten what agility was

I could use a sponsor -especially if they could create more time for me too - now that would be useful!

I didn't get to the CPE trial so Brody can't qualify for the nationals next year- they have raised the bar a bit and didn't put in a provision for current champs to qualify automatically .. (dang it!)he only needs 3 specific classes to qualify but there is no more CPE around here til after the deadline for the entry

I was walking the site of my new potential agility field today tho - pretty sweet - with 107 acres of our own I actually have a few choices to consider but think I'm using an unused corner of the farm at least for now - I need to figure out how to get the grass cut now and regularly in it

I'm hoping an aframe and/or dog walk find the field too soon- then I can build whole courses (if I build a few more jumps anyhow)

I would love to get everyone in classes/workshops/practises too but every time I think I have a bit of money set aside something seems to pop up to grab it ... what else is new?

Let's hope things normalize soon

Thursday, October 02, 2008


where on earth did October come from?

September is a blur - a total blur ...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

back to work

No agility time really tho I ran a few tunnels with everybody and 12 weave sets with Brody on the weekend. Work is busy and keeping me busy but I miss agility ...

however I may be taking a bit of an agility break if our land comes through ..

a little break to get a full field of my own seems a fair trade though ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

second team challenge

was Sunday and it was a blast - Sally had ups and downs in about equal measure including one ROCKING gamblers class ... she smoked brody and thea and was the high score on our team I think

Brody ran like Brody - clear and steady - no brillance but he was happy to be back at the game

Thea got a little spooked in her first class but then ran better and better as the day progressed so I was very pleased with her

I finally got to get a little practise in at home too - the soggy fields got a partial cut and dried up just a bit - everybody Hank and Fitz included thought that was the BEST

Monday, August 11, 2008


they sound a little alike don't they?

maybe Sally needs another name change as the allergies are certainly attracted to her

her food allergies are pretty much identified and manageable but this enviromental thing is making us all miserable

she is RAW .. hives and welts and scratches and so so sad
one eye is swollen and her ears are bothering and I just can't seem to help enough to make a difference

she is such a go go machine and so generally cheerful but this just makes me sad .. she's been through enough already for three or four dogs - allergies to Ontario in the late summer just SUCKS.... my poor honey

Sunday, August 03, 2008

on revisiting goals

dug up my January goal setting post to see how I'm doing...

here are the relevant bits with my current notes in italics:

Personally I'd like to continue to do my day job with accountability and compassion. I want to initiate new programs and contribute to those coming up in the ranks behind me.

did pretty well on that front this year - be interesting to how September goes - achieving this goal has earned me more staff to try to keep happy

On the home front I'd like to be a bit more domestic - keep a tidier and cleaner house and make time for the people and animals who matter to me...

still a work in progress

On the agility front

Thea - continue playing the game with the spirit of game in my heart - enjoy what I get but not pressure her for more - in CPE I plan to stay in level one until she's busting to move up
I will not over face her or be pressured into rushing her.

so far so good

Sally - take each day with fun and opportunity to grow. See how the trials go. I'd love to take her to the regionals but if that isn't the cards that's OK. Earn all her CPE Level One titles and her aac starters titles by year end.

HAHAHAHA - I don't think so ...was I on drugs when I was thinking this?
Sally has earned one q so far - and it was nice but still

Brody - attend CPE nationals, Ontario regionals. Earn Master Jumpers title and AADC title, get into masters snookers and masters team. Enjoy the journey not obsess about the results.

check CPE NATIONALS and add win our height and division
check regionals and add qualify for nationals, place 10th and 6th in two classes
haven't earned masters jumpers title yet - 2 Qs away from MJDC
check AADC title
check in masters snookers - 1 q away from MSDC
haven't earned one Q in advanced team yet - only thing stopping our AAGDC ... ack. 5 tries 5 cleans for Brody and I ...
certainly enjoying the journey - and not obsessing about the results -

have earned our MADC, and a steeplechase Q - which weren't even goals!

coolness ;)

those random thoughts really are my goals - at least at this moment ;)
Posted by andrea at 10:20 AM 0 comments
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the bad bad MAD Brody

well Brody and I are just home from a trial and he was truly beastly in a couple of classes - earning a whomping 12 points in a class he usually easily earns 22 or more in (then he misses the gamble).

it was hot

it was wet

i haven't done much agility lately

there are a million excuses but the only one that matters is that we blew it ...

we blew it in gamblers (not a strength of ours anyhow), snookers (earning 27 points when we needed 34 - GACK), jumpers (running so slowly at the start we couldn't make up the time at the rocking end- 4 seconds over time - ACK)

we had a lovey run in team clear and quick but our partner had 10 faults so our 5th time in that class was no charm for us

HOWEVER we did redeem ourselves with a very nice (if I do say so myself) masters standad run - 8 seconds undertime and the only trouble was the weaves - not terrible trouble obviously but a moment of OH GOD did he step backwards - I don't think so - did the judge think so??

Brody is now a Veteran Masters Agility Dog of Canada.. WOOHOO and something I hadn't even set as a goal - it seemed so out of reach!

better set some new goals soon

Saturday, July 26, 2008

another stormy day in PEC

man oh man
rain, thunder, lightening, rain and then a little more rain


I haven't done agility for a month really (dragged the chute out twice I think)

tomorrow Team Challnge has been cancelled :( as the fields have flooded

I weed for two minutes between dourpours and get SOAKED

only good news is Sally's staples are out - and so far the foot is mostly holding together- tak eit easy is not in her vocab tho ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Poor Sally

she is still feeling sorry for herself and often sore too

she is exhausted (wonder if that's the antibiotics?) which helps keep her quiet and off her foot but makes my heart ache for her

we are supposed to have a team challenge on Sunday but she has done exactly one chute since the last challenge a month ago (a MONTH ago - what has happened to this summer)

I'd better get organized and print off some entry forms for August or I'll find myself agility retired before I even really get going ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

cpe page updated :)

and Sally ran the jackpot faster then Brody and got more points... way it should be but very nice to see

and little Thea just keeps plugging away at it all

they've posted the requirements for next years nationals - Brody needs
a jackpot leg, a fullhouse leg and a jumpers leg - it might just be doable ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

some days...

should just be written off before they begin

the saddest bit for now is Bob (dear little Bob from way back in Feb blog) went to a new home - it seems he went into renal failure pretty shortly thereafter and only got to spend two weeks being a prime dog

he died on Thursday

life just SUCKS sometimes

he really was a dog I thought I'd live with for years ..

another sudden shock too..

Sally is now sporting a very pretty yellow bandage with a lovely little pink flower on it covering a neat row of staples in her foot pad...

how did she cut it? a sensible question that has no answer - there is nothing sharp I can see around.. there is no pool of blood showing me where she did it - it just was there - jagged, gaping HORRIBLE

Dr Au - thank heavens fit us right in and Sally was her usual way too stoic self - only a little yipping when the lidocaine went in apart from that she just pushed herself into me - at one point staring at the ceiling like there was nothing going on ..too funny

and dear Kaylie cat continues to fade - slowly slowly into the night she goes ...

too young, too adored, too sad

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Fitz is back - with the invasion of Harrison's this weekend I sent as many of the dogs away as I could. Mum borrowed Brody and Thea - she's done it before so I wasn't too worried. I left dear sweet fading Kaylie cat at home with Nancy doing regular visits and worry about her. I had left Bob at Shelly's. I asked Dad and Jean to try Fitz- with grave reservations - not about Dad and Jean but about Fitz...well he wasn't perfect - he puked a couple of times and the house training in a new house thing caught everybody out once or twice but Dad called Fitz sweet it couldn't have been too bad! Fitz was thrilled to see us - he's back to trying to boss Hank around and chasing his toys and just generally bouncy but he obviously had a nice visit. Somewhat reassuring when I need to find him a real home - and sooner would be better then never.

Bob has gone to a real home - amazing but so far so good - so fingers crossed he sticks. I really thought it would be Fitz in a forever home and Bob coming back here but it's not to be.

Fitz is offering to jump - he's not a tidy jumper yet but he's enthusiastic and has fun bouncing back and forth - like everything else he gets too excited about it all but so far it's not a problem.
I want to get my tunnel set up so I can start him on that soon too!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some pictures of team challenge

hehe andy jones ( took em - Nancy figured out how I can show em off - nice of them both eh?

I had to include Sally's start line stay - just in case I never get another one ;)

team challenge

now that was cool - Dawn at Morningstar has set up a cool event - it's called the team challenge and the way it works is teams run dogs - 3 dogs scores count towards the points for matter how many dogs you have running - 2 of those scores must be starters level dogs ....

I took all three dogs with me - thank heavens as I ended up being the third person with dogs 4,5,and 6 to appear for our team ... gave us a few scores to toss (dogs 2 and 3 at starters level actually)

Sally was very good in her first standard run - she got five I ran her last and ran the aframe the same way I do with Brody - so she lept off it - when you teach a dog a cue for touch it's kind of important to use it! she was steady and listened well - held her start line stay and did weaves and the teeter like a pro!

Brody was clean- a little slow but his usual steady self

Thea and I ran past the teeter - on purpose - apart from that she was PERFECT

Second standard run

Thea was PERFECT - weaves and teeter - no problem - just amazing - I actually held the teeter for her and opened the chute for her but 10 faults was just fine

Sally was insane - it took so long to get a table (she'd do three seconds then sit up - then three again then sit up again) we ended up running out of time - so had 5 obstacles we didn't do (100 faults right there) and 5 faults before the table debacle... she did the weaves and teeter no problem tho

Jumpers run

Thea - AMAZING - 26 seconds and clean as a whistle

Brody- steady 34 seconds and clean - he really doesn't like the heat

Sally - crazy - I kept having to ask for more focus and steadying her - 56 seconds but she was clean

Gamblers run

Brody earned about 56 points- he got the gamble but he was just tooling along

Thea flew it - aframe twice, dog walk twice, 4 point jump twice, and a couple of singles too she must have earned around 56 points too when she got the gamble! Woohoo

Sally was a bit maniacal - she lept off all contacts but was listening and trying - left all rails up flew tunnel- did nice start line stay and got the gamble - I didn't actually score her - not sure how many times we didn't get the contacts .. she did four aframes, 2 dogs walks, the 4 point twice, a teeter, a tunnel, a single -and the gamble - I actually doubt she got the 20 points in the opening but for Sally I was pleased with her efforts

interesting day all round

our team was second in both standard runs, third in gambles and first in jumpers - and Thea was a BIG part of that I think ;)

and Sally may have had a score counted I'm not sure

finally all the guests are gone - dogs are dead tired and I'm missing Fitz (thanks to dad for taking him!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

not too much agility

Trying to get organized

school wrapped up today - and while that was smooth there was a LOT to do

I have a summer job - only 4 days of work but I had to set that up before going on a week of holidays - its a cool program called teachers into business and I'll be working at the Food bank in July

I have 25 people coming for the weekend (YAH - THIS weekend) to celebrate my mother in laws birthday

I have my first team competition on Sunday (leaving all the guests for a bit -you know I'm not popular eh?)

Dad and Jean have offered to take Fitz for a few days of the chaos - it's his first time away since we started fostering him so that's lots of organizing too

had to take Jackie to what turned out to be an easy doctors appointment as nobody else was available

had to find golf clubs for my first time ever on a course (turned out to be fun but not a talent I think I have)

need to set up home for a week away - the home crew need organizing

need to clean up a bit so I can bear to come back when the week is up

and so on and so on

agility is nowhere this week :(

oh well - holidays are here and it can move up my priority list I hope :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

manners minder

not quite sure how I'm going to use it but I have a bunch of dogs who think it's wonderful already :)

and I JUST put the batteries in maybe 10 minutes ago

too funny to see them all cocking their heads and watching the food dispenser whir around

Sunday, June 15, 2008

proud of the gang

CPE day on Saturday

it was a BLAST

Jackpot was a non traditional gamble called "tunnel suck" with FOUR tunnels on course that ALL had to be run through before the whistle blew .. you also needed to accumulate more points (I never did figure out exactly how many) and then after the whistle you had 5 seconds to run to the table ...

Thea went first and we hit all the tunnels - and wracked up lots of points- sadly when the whistle blew the closest obstacle to get to the table was the dogwalk and she FROZE on it - too 7 seconds to get to the table- NQ

Brody trucked around the course and was in the table in plenty of time - Q with no sweat or bobbles

Sally TOTALLY blew me away - she was attentive and focussed and did everything I asked her to do - all four tunnels, two aframes and the teeter and a couple of jumps - what an AWESOME run ... she lost a little attention at the very end which just took us close to the table so when it went she leapt up on it no problem at all :) her first Q!!

the standard runs were next for Brody and Thea- Brody ran well - a bit slow the first time but fine - 2 Qs without much worry - Thea did the dogwalk freeze and then bailed the first time but did the chute (chutes, dogwalks and teeters all alarm her sometimes) so I was very happy with her NQ run.. the second run she did the dogwalk (SLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWLLLLLYYYY) and the chute (there is no teeter in level one cpe) and got her Q! what a gal!

I think I'll leave Thea in level one CPE til she's BUSTING to move up (I like that about CPE - you can stay in a level and just accumulate points!)

last course was snookers and I found the course a little choppy - however both Thea and Brody got Qs despite me - not because of me and Sally made it through the WHOLE opening - I went slowly and carefully and made sure I was happy with her running - she only earned 16 points but they were well earned points so I was pleased with her NQ

it's getting hot - wonder how long Brody will want to play in the heat?

Friday, June 13, 2008

lazy days

I took Monday and Tuesday off training! It felt quite odd - I just walked dogs and played ball and chilled - by Wednesday Sally was OVERWROUGHT on her morning walk she was throwing herself into a down and freezing in place in the hopes we'd play the wait game at the very least ... GOOFBALL

Thursday Nancy and I drove out to Spot On for a practice - it was great - I ran and ran (had Brody Thea and Sally with me) and was very pleased with the way all of them worked

Nancy played with Fitz over a little jump - he was great and I much appreciated the help!

We let everybody race around the field afterwards - was great to let them run FLAT out - Fitz is incredibly fast!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

chutes instead of SHOOTS ;)

lovely weekend of no trials

in laws for weekend - Dad and Jean for lunch - nice hot mellow weekend - hardly any time to train BUT I did haul out my NEW pac n go chute

and staked it down - first dog through was HANK - too funny how hard he wants to play :)

I really set it up for Thea though as she hates chutes ... the wind was blowing it open and it was flapping a bit so we did it about 6 times for both sides - with support - she wasn't ready to be sent ahead and with the other dogs leaping around a recall was too tough but she did it well and happily

Brody also zipped through it a few times happily (he's always liked chutes) and Sally was TOTALLY insane - as I had he big jolly ball to throw out to reward her ...

she is a BAD DAWG - all there is to it :)

did weave work with Brody and Sally too - nice and fluid ...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


some links relating to the last two weekends ;)

Ontario regional results (Brody is in 10 inch vets here)
here are regional pics - Brody is in group 1B in 10 inch (but was missed in 10 inch jumpers Friday :(


I'll add more later ;)

Team eh - aka being Canadian

There were 14 Canadians competing and what a great group we were!
We did very very well I kept hearing fellow Canadians names at the awards ceremony

I just have to show off the very cool jerseys Art ordered for us!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sunday - what a rock star!

The THIRD day dawned sunny and breezy too. I could NOT have asked for better Brody weather honestly.

I grabbed the notion of running with intention for the whole day. I was a little worried about Brody's fitness (never having done a two full day trial I had no idea how a three day one just 4 days after his first two day would be. Apparently I have conditioned him well.. I worked out a plan and stuck to it - for him and me but never having tried it before I wasn't sure what would happen.

Our first run was standard and there was a tunnel dog walk discrimination that looked an awful lot like the aframe we had issues with Saturday. I was DETERMINED that error would not happen again - Brody ended up running a clear round under time! (He placed second in the class as well behind a very cute cocker who had struggled with both standard runs prior to Sunday.)

Our second run was colours and I let up on my goal of running with intention - it was clear and the weaves were excellent but it was a bit slower - we got the q but it was a bit close for comfort. He handled some tricky tunnel entries cleanly though.

Our last run was nearly at the end of the day and I had considered pulling out and heading home but I checked in with Brody and he seemed quite keen to run.. it was snookers too - one of my favourite classes so I decided to try it. I changed my plan a BILLION times but eventually worked out a short path that ad flow and got us our required points without doing the last two obstacles if I ran out of time. Walking to the start line I decided even if we had time I was running for the table (end point for games) rather then doing the weaves as I wanted to end a wonderful weekend on a real HIGH and Brody loves the race for the table. I ran with serious intention and Brody was FABULOUS. He NAILED the course path laid out and we had a couple of spots we could RACE each other so we had a blast!

We decided to stay and cheer the canuks _ I had heard Xena and Emma were top contenders adn knew other folks (like Pat and Lesley) had good weekends too.
So glad I did as I am now looking at a plaque for Brody - High in Standard for his level and his height - WOW!

(a sad note - right as they called Brody somebody in the crowd collapsed - so instead of any cheer there was a GASP as she went down - I have heard she'll be OK but what a sad way to end the weekend eh?)

Brody ran 7/9 qs and placed in every class but snookers but I am thrilled with every run (apart from the tunnel/aframe thing - that just annoys me!)

he truly gets his game on for me - he is a ROCK STAR!

saturday..some blips and an amazing run too

Saturday was lovely again.. the weather gods were smiling at us :)

Our first run was jackpot (gambles in aac) not Brody's strong suit so I planned an opening to get minimum points to get some momentum built for the day .. and felt the gamble was doable for him

we did a nice opening but when I pushed him a little to get the tunnel away from me he actually pushed WAYYYYYYY out and got the far end... an error of enthusiam is something I can celebrate though - I was thrilled with our NQ (no qualifying score run) and pleasantly shocked by our second place... I guess a lot of dogs struggled with the gamble

Then we headed out to the standard ring - Brody got SUCKED into to two tunnels - choosing them over the a frame. TWICE! I was shocked...except I couldn't really blame him - it was HOT and the tunnel takes a lot of work from Brody. He did it immediately and ran a lovely course - including the weaves apart from that. He placed second again as only dog qualified at his level in this class.

Our final run was jumpers. We were back inside and we both like jumpers so we simply FLEW the course- fast and clean and I was thrilled with his Q and first place!

It was another LONG day so we went back to the motel for a bit, tidied up and headed out for dinner. We to Findleys on Sharon's recommendation but sadly it wasn't as good as Bob Evans.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Friday - SHOW TIME

It was a bit drizzly and yucky to start the day - by the end of the day it was MUGGY and HOT

The outdoor rings had the standard runs and the indoor rings had the games

Our first class was standard and Brody dropped a rail on the second jump - in CPE you can get up to 5 faults and still qualify so it was important to keep it together for the rest of the run. WE DID! The sand was rocky and deep and a lot of people and dogs were having trouble.. I was worried about the dropped rail (Brody has never dropped a rail in class before) but he compensated for the weird surface easily enough from that rail on.
He came second in that class and earned a "q" (kind of cool to have Q ribbons from a nationals!)

We had wildcard next and Brody ran ok I thought - the weaves were sticky but the rest was quite nice- but my scribe sheet said NQ and 9 faults... I'm so new to CPE I didn't really look at it - or think about it til the next day when Pat Saito happened to be at the results area at the same time as me - she quickly realized something was amiss - and helped me figure out the correction needed... Brody Qed and won that class after the 'fix' was done.

The next class was fullhouse and honestly it's a blur but I know I got my q and Brody ran nicely ... he earned the q and was 2nd again

it was interesting as he was quite consistent - but the first place dog was different for each event - and often the third and fourth dogs were different too...

it was a late night - we got A & W on the way back to the hotel and crashed there

CPE Nationals - Day One- on the road again

Well we are home from the 10th Anniversary CPE Nationals (our first)in Michigan and while I'm exhausted they were fabulous

The stories are long so I'm going to break it down lots - my attention span is probably short anyhow ;)

We arrived just 20 minutes too late to sign up for the warm up class which caused me a moment of panic as the first time a dog sees a slatted dog walk is ideally not the nationals! I thought it through though and realized Brody is pretty steady, has been exposed to a million surfaces and as long as I didn't make an issue of it he probably wouldn't (and I was right)

We found the motel fairly easily (thanks in no small part to Nancy's awesome navigation skills) and it was perfect for the task - I had a fridge, a big bath and a tv and a BIG bed.. everything I needed was right there - and there was lots of grass and a little parkette for walking the dogs (which was full of wild bunnies the first night)

We went to Bob Evans for dinner - yummy and hot and close - all I needed!

Collapsed early and slept pretty well - the dogs woofed just a little at first then crashed too

up at 6:30 Friday to make sure we got to trial in time for general briefing

Monday, May 26, 2008

well results are in

and little Brody pulled through with an amazing 396 points ... not too shabby for a year of trialling eh?

yesterday morning started with gambles for us

he got 14 obstacles completed and earned 34 points.. I didn't even try the minis as watching folks they wasted a TON of time on minis generally - the gamble was interesting - tunnel out to "wrong" end of tunnel then down a layered row of jumps

very few dogs got the gamble but those that did were AMAZING to watch

second round came up jumpers - it was a WICKED cool course to run but the tunnel curse followed us - Brody trotted the course rather then running it til we were finished the tunnels then he sped up - we got time faults but ran clean (a LOT of handlers got lost and dogs went off course)

it all came down to the standard run - It was important we ran well though we didn't need a clean run .. Brody was so ON it was amazing - he NAILED a clean run and had 7 extra points as a time bonus ... it was a thrilling way to end a thrilling weekend

he came 10th in jumpers on Saturday and 6th with that fabulous standard run Sunday

TWO regional ribbons - just amazing for a first time

so very grateful to everybody for the support around this ..... and so honoured to live with such a generous dog

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day One

Well it's late and I'm burned - and frozen at the same time

Today went ok - though I don't have the safety margin of being over 200 points today - I'm at about 180 I think

80 ish in the standard run - Brody struggled with the weaves..too bad as the rest of the run was lovely but we ended up way overtime and with 10 faults

24 in the gamble - we had a loud teeter bang as Brody came out of a tunnel (which actually slowed down all the rest of the tunnels for the day - hopefully he'll forget that overnight) and a lady opened a chip bag - which Brody heard as he headed up the dog walk - great timing! We did complete 7 obstacles in the time allowed - should have been 9 but there you go. Didn't try the mini gambles the main gamble actually held promise and Brody flipped out to the teeter but then froze so I ran in to support him ..maybe too early but I didn't want him worryinng at all today if there was no need and the run had already been rough

rocked a clean run in jumpers and scored 9 bonus points too - to bring the jumpers total up to 84! it was a course made for Brody lots of straight fast lines

the wind was so strong they had someone standing on the chute so dogs didn't tangle in it - a bit disconcerting to me but ended up being fine :)

the judges were great - it felt a bit like being in a factory but they kept cheerful somehow through it all

Met a few new to me people today but mainly hung out with the eastern crew - and visited with Brandi and Renee a bit too :)

Fitz is being SO GOOD - he's loose leash walking and charming everybody! Started him on tugging and a little 6 inch jumping too - addictions are terrible things ;)

Let's hope tomorrow goes as well - just for FUN!

Friday, May 23, 2008

wishing I was better at math

sitting in my motel - trying to keep the dogs quiet and wondering if I'll qualify for nationals - wondering why I care too actually!

nice warm up day - Brody ran well but not well enough that I think I should have been at work - actually got 5 work related calls - oh joy! Nothing like a day of leave from work!

I have some wind/sun burn ...

Fitz was amazingly good - hard to believe he has as much baggage as it seems - he's a bit like the girl with the curl - when he's good he's fabulous when he's bad he's really really naughty

so nice to see everybody - eastern crew was amazing - so was gail .. I'm so not into meeting people tho ;)

so I've done some basic math

Brody runs 2 standard courses (max 100 points each) 2 jumpers courses (max 75 points each) and two gamblers courses (his personal best in the class is around 20 points when he doesn't get the gamble). One of each course goes each day. You need a total of 350 points to go to Nationals. So Brody needs 85 points in the two standard runs .. 100 in one and 70 in the other is just fine; 70 points in each jumpers (again 75 in one and 65 in the other is fine) and 20 points in each gamblers class.. if he got a gamble that would take a LOT of pressure off but honestly I can't see it happening ..who knows tho - stranger things have happened - like him getting the last two gambles in one night!

I was trying to figure out at what point tomorrow I'd just get in the car and head home too - too funny as I can't do that much math without getting a sore brain ;)

what will be will be and I've already learned lots - Brody is a great little dog and I'm lucky to have him in my life :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

on Driving, Weddings, Jitters and Agility

wow - the three weeks are only one week done and I'm already wiped out - I drove 5.5 hours Friday, an hour Saturday, 4.5 hours Sunday, 3 hours Monday, and 4 hours Tuesday
I could not get in a car again for a week and be fine!
(instead of course I'll drive 4+ hours tomorrow mind you)
The drives were all fine and the tunes were rocking but it is tiring especially when you aren't sure where you are going. Why is it the drive seems longer on new territory?

Pat and Sun Yi's wedding was fabulous. It was fun being the assistant to the best man. The Wigamog Inn did not blow me away but the party was great, the church was BEAUTIFUL and so were Pat, Tom and Sun Yi. It is always nice to catch up with people you don't get to see much too!

As regionals and nationals approach I find myself a little more anxious then I expected - I need to spend some time concentrating on getting my head in the game. There will be LOTS of very nervous people there to affect me. I need to find and stay in my zone ;)

Took Brody out to Spot On yesterday - thanks Kathyrn! I wanted to run outdoors and he was excellent - a little sniffy at first but rocked a nice little jumpers course and did 12 weaves many times with confidence - WOO HOO
Sally was silly at first but did settle down and want to work so much that I had to drag her back to the car as she wasn't ready to go!

Monday night at the church was fun too - Brody and Sally both worked well but then I gave a mini lesson to Nanacy with Cas and Ann with Scarlett - both dogs found the pressure of being in a semi tough but I was delighted with both dogs progress ;)

we'll see what the weekend brings...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

a little of this and that...

Nice practises this week
Brody is HOT to trot - I wish I had more experience in maintaining condition for him but I guess that's part of this year's learning curve!

Sally was amazing both Monday and Tuesday

very cool little pinwheel thing:


got to wrap, front cross, rear cross - nice thing to work on timing and footwork

also did the lovely oval speed wheel - except we had to turn them around - was fun!

Brody and Fitz are walking together good workout for us all - up and down the ravine hill :)
(yup Fitz has been all cleared to do whatever!)

Thea was sharp on Monday night too- was nice to have enough time to work everybody a bit.

Trying to get organized for being away the next three weekends in a row - feeling a little frantic about it all...

Kaylie isn't feeling great which is tough to see but she doesn't seem to be in pain ...fingers crossed the next three weeks are ok for her...

lots of ... in this post ... kind of sums up things around here... meeting to meeting... crisis to crisis... fabulous workout to fabulous workout...

... Tom was away most of last week and this one ... looking forward to connecting at the wedding this weekend

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the liddle twerp in the basement

isn't in the basement right now - we have no basement in the county ;)

and he has a name - Fitzgerald ( Fitz for short) and while he is a spoiled brat he already has tons of potential

by brat I mean: he's got resource guarding issues; he's somehow been taught that chewing on hands gently is cute; he leaps and spins and has hysterics when he sees a leash; he apparently doesn't like everybody (although he very quickly liked Tom and I) - on the plus side he is papertrained and house trained

he's 14 months old and Tom taught him a rocking COME and sit yesterday while I was off playing agility

he is adorable - probably pretty much what Ibby looked like when a puppy ... awwwwww

his overbite is disgusting - what is it with Shih Tzu teeth eh?

his eye is weepy - so I'm thinking dry eye but we'll see

he's skinny

and don't know what I'll do with him next weekend when I'm at the dog free wedding!ack

Bob is in his trial home for this weekend and next and we'll decide from there what happens with him - let's hope he sticks!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

my legs are jello

but my heart continues to be full of admiration for my amazing gang ;)

Thea was just incredible - she ran in starters snooker and starters jumpers

in the snooker course the judge had the teeter as the #4 obstacle so the ONLY way we could possibly Q was to go for 4 reds and 4 of the 7 point obstacle... (in this case the aframe) Thea smoked the course.. nailing all the reds and the aframe - sadly as we finished the last frame she was distracted by the red jump and went off course to jump it... SHOOT .. but how many chihuhuas out there can claim a 34 point opening??


in the jumpers course she was fast and accurate til the second last obstacle and then she ran past the chute .. she hasn't seen a chute since November and it's not her favourite obstacle (fussy gal that she is not liking chutes, teeters or weaves much yet)

but she was FAST and she was listening and she was BOLD so there is hope for her yet ;)

Sally was a NUT - a maniac - a barking fool.. she did the two gambles classes and while she nearly got the gamble each time she couldn't calm herself enough to earn the opening points...

Brody earned his two advanced gambles qs - how I'm not sure - I really really didn't think he'd ever get them ... the first course was interesting - the mini gamble included the teeter and usually Brody would be ok on that but he wobbled so I ran in and supported him and asked him to do it again which he did much better ... lucky I did that as the second gambles course had a long go out to a teeter ..

the first gamble was a jump a aframe a crooked tunnel and then a last jump - dogs missed the frame, the tunnel and the last jump ... so I had plenty of places to worry me - and I had never done a distance aframe (I only get to see them in trials) but Brody flew it - very nice that Tom as watcing his first ever agility class and saw it!

and I had done my usual thing and not picked up a course ahead of time - for me I obviously learn by action - running each course three+ times seems to do it best for me (which, of course, when added with the course building and racing from ring to ring results in the jello leg thing when you do 12 runs) so using the educable moment from the first ring really paid and I didn't know it would!

The second gambles class I ran with such great intention that I ended up in the right spot but wayyyyyyyy ahead of schedule ...Brody did 11 obstacles in the opening (usually he gets 7) and I nearly loitered at the gamble line (penalized with elimination I think)while I tried to think what to do ..
the gamble line was a tire to a teeter to a jump - and the gamble line swung out away from the teeter so timing your motion was a bit tricky - a number of dogs bailed on the teeter but not the rockstar Brody! no siree not him!

We didn't need the third class so I used it to train for the rest of the weekend - and Brody ran well - he didn't get the gamble but he got plenty of point!

Brody was slow off the mark in both the steeplechase (weaves were second obstacle and while he was accurate he was SLOW) and snookers I was an idiot and had the aframe as the second obstacle - so again he was NOT impressed ;).. I'm a little disappointed in the snookers actually - first one he's missed sinc ehe earned the starters snookers in the fall and had he earned it we would have had our first masters title

He flew the jumpers course tho - to earn his first masters jumpers Q - actually what he really did was waste no time - he didn't RACE but he did cute tight corners and do wraps that saved seconds all the way around - there really wasn't even a bobble to worry about. He came second in that class too - behind a very good dog!he had nearly 12 seconds to spare .. two more to go to masters jumpers title

His masters standard course also rocked- only 4 dogs in the whole class earned a Q apparently and Brody was one of them ... making him only one standard Q away from his masters title ...amazing

Our last class was team and my partner and I were 1.4 seconds overtime - and brody was pretty quick but hey- what can you do? maybe next time - or maybe we'll be like Jen Laird and take 16 tries with clean runs each time before we get the two Qs we need to move on

this is the anniversary of our first trial in the east - was nice to be able to wish so many people happy anniversary :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

hardly any agility in this one..

Bob had a little skin tag removed yesterday from the back of his leg.. a yucky but harmless thing that wasn't going to make any potential adoptors love him

Dr Au also clipped his face- now he looks like a funny shaped cocker spaniel - very very cute and goofy

he was so good - it was done under local and he just lay quietly letting them fuss with him - amazing turn around in what had been a grumpy little dog

Monday at the church the dogs (Sally and Brody only Thea stayed home) were excellent and Sally was excellent last night too - more rear crosses and she's getting more and more confident about all the skills too

there is a little twerp in the basement too - recovering in isolation from a virus but he's feeling GREAT and not too happy to be isolated I have to say :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

First Masters Standard Q

and it should have been two but I mishandled a tricky weave entry - he was HOT - he was smoking and I was out of breath !

I am so pleased that he is earning masters qs I really wasn't sure that we would be able to it - and here we are a year after starting to trial placing ahead of some very very nice dogs :)

The steeplechase was irritating - 3 seconds over time but clean ... our fate it seems :)

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!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Monday Night..

another good practise

sadly Sally stayed home - I had to be too many places at once but she had some excellent runs this weekend cross country so I'm sure she'll be fine :)

Thea has gone to visit Judy for a couple of nights -I'll miss her but she's needed for some sister therapy for RP.

Brody was doing distance weaves tonight and some odd entries - he was excellent! He'll never be FAST but is he stays this steady he won't lose much time that's for sure!

I set up a jump grid for him four bounces... he really is a snappy little jumper - his legs were up around his ears.. and he flew the line

also tried some jumping into me ... that really got him cracking his back ;)

very cool when the things I read about work!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

getting fit

getting fit is hard work ...
Brody is really packing on muscle - he and I race each other down the road and I try to stretch him often too - spin, twirl, bow, crawl - each one gets him using muscles in different ways

when we are in the county we walk 2 kilometres at least 3 times a day ... Brody and Hank run free and cover a lot more distance then we do - Sally is on a flexie lead for most of the walk and runs free at the end... she covers at least twice as much ground as I do!

It's interesting applying my horse cross training principles to agility - the same principles make sense but I don't have nearly the same kind of charts I had when working with horses to figure it out.

I should keep better track of what I do so that I can replicate it if it works ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday and Sally is wired

After a week of running and being with us 24/7 - a trial on the weekend, practise Monday and a lesson Tuesday I don't know how the wild child can be quite so wild ;)

But she is - she's ripping tops of bottles and bringing the bottle to me to replace the top so she can do it again - she's eviserated a teddy and played ball for half and hour - somedays I wish she was a lab ;)

Brody is also full of himself - happy, cheerful saucy fellow :)

Practise Monday was short and sweet for both of them... Brody was REVED and blasting through and over everything in his path - he positively glues himself to the teeter for surfing which is great for a little guy who has been known to do a fly off ;)

Sally did some AWESOME weave work and some lovely distance tunnel work :)

In Sally's lesson she was a bit sniffy at first but settled down to work nicely after a couple of inquiries... she needs a break from trials and a refocousing - I like taking her with me though ... tough to back off from even a gambelrs class...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a lovely week

March Break draws to a close and the snow is melting, the sun is shining and the promise of spring is in the air!

We went to the county and had a lovely week - walking, snowshowing catching up with Dad and Jean (and Ibby!)It was truely a great week!

To end it off Thea, Sally, Brody and I went to Kingston Friday for gamblers classes. Great fun (even though there were no qs)- all the dogs got enough points in the openings that they could have gotten the q if they'd made the gamble :)

Saturday Brody was his usual dynamite self picking up his first steeplechase q and a second masters snookers q - he is a snookers king :) He barely missed his jumpers q ( um handler error as usual - I missed a jump!)

Sally was nuts - but life with her is a learning curve - so thats just part of the parcel :)

To totally make this an amazing week I found out today that Brody and I made the draw for the CPE nationals :) here is the link :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

check out Brody's aac page

brody's Advanced Agility Dog of Canada Title and his first Masters qualification class both show up there :)
the link is right on this page - upper left hand corner methinks ;)

Sally got to play agility last night AND tonight

Last night was a bit unfocussed - but she was very good
Tonight was fun too - lots of foundation practise ...

I'm REALLY enjoying teaching agility too - it's so fun to think about how handling works and how to let other people figure out the best way to handle

I wish somebody had taught me the same way I'm teaching ;)

Though somehow I seem to have figured it out ok ;)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

go snow go

I missed a SECOND trial this weekend thanks to LOUSY snow


however the roads were a mess on Saturday morning so I certainly opted for the safe path... the number of cars FLIPPED over onto their backs was staggering and the few scattered in ditches and fields was impressive too

The dogs worked on fitness and "wait" and I'm sure they didn't miss the trial much ;)

Everybody is completely wiped out now

Sunday, February 24, 2008

a bit off topic....

though getting around the kitchen was an agility course of a sort.. we had to have the entire sink system repaired

I love old houses, I love old houses...

Great plumber - from St Petersberg and smart enough to think Tallin is the most beautiful city in Europe

last Monday night agility practise was great ... all three pooches got a work out and all three of them loved it :)

it's been a crazy start up to the semester but most of our students head out to placements next week :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

another snowy wednesday

the winter has been wild - snow piles everywhere...
enough to make a person CRAZY!

Brody, Thea and Sally all had good runs on Sunday although we didn't get any qualifying scores...

Brody ran in steeplechase and was just a couple of seconds too slow ..
his jumpers run I dropped him at a tunnel.. DUMB as the run was flawless apart from that and in his standard run he added an extra chute to his run - flawless otherwise and well under time even with the added obstacle so I'm fairly confident he'll do his part once I get used to the more technical courses!

Thea ran a gamblers course and while suspicious of the people moving around she ran fast and hard and apart from one pause on the top of the aframe to check for monsters she was GREAT! She earned the 20 points she would have needed to have the q.. but the gamble was too hard for her.

Sally ran a WICKED gamblers course- she got the mini gamble twice and LISTENED ... I run out of steam part way through running her though - which gets her barking and circling me ... always something to work on .. she earned a total of 34 points and very nearly got the gamble (I'm delighted she didn't - she's NOT ready for advanced anything yet)

Next trial is March 1 - a CPE trial the far side of Kingston - should be fun and motivating for us all :)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Another Title Ribbon

Brody got his last advanced standard run Q!(Which makes him a Veterans Advanced Agility Dog Of Canada - and gave us a lovely ribbon to boot!)

He will now be running in the enormous masters courses in standard :)
He is already running in masters jumpers and he got his FIRST Masters snookers Q this trial too... in his FIRST try - yah to pat saito for the great plan!

she pointed out that we could open at the start line - hit the 5 pointer, hit another red, redo the 5 pointer, then another one the aframe for 6 points, another red then 4 then start the course - the flow was BEAUTIFUL... Brody had extra points in the bank..

So he is masters standard, jumpers, and snookers and we haven't even tried advanced gamblers or team yet ;)
We'll see what happens ... but he's already acheived everything I thought he could when we started :)

Sally had fun and is slowly getting better and better too :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

a sad little dude

This sad little fella is Bobby. Orginally known as "Bob the blob" he has realized there is more to life then being a blob!
Out of a shelter that had some sympathy for a tempermental sad painful little soul we were very worried that he was suffering. Testing to date show little of grave concern - most of his conditions can be explained by being a little old man!
His temperment is quickly settling into a sunny one. He is happy to meet and greet cats, dogs and people as long as it's slow! He is quite blind and quite deaf but quickly turning into a little charmer!
He'll need daily eye medication (like so many of his breed he suffers from dry eye) and TLC. Medicated baths should get his coat healthy and patting and sunshine will help too!

Hopefully very soon he'll find a wonderful forever home where he can be happy and contect for the rest of his days!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

sophie and sally

sitting in the crate at Royackers hoping I'd spring them soon- they are sisters and both alike and so so different :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

and the beat goes on ...

and on and on
Monday night practise was fun - Brody and Sally were both excellent ... we worked on a pinwheel tunnel combo and I could send both of them from quite a long way out - YAY!

Considering this is exam week - often seen as a break for teachers - I've been BUSY really BUSY..meeting after meeting about all kinds of different things. I must not forget the magic word "no" and the peace it can bring me.But starting new things is also exciting and fun and part of why I made the move to Campbell so I'll enjoy the journey when I can too :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

another trial

Sally's second aac trial was this past weekend outside Guelph- now that's crazy drive ...luckily the weather was good! Brody stayed home and was MOST unimpressed - he would only have had one class and I wasn't sure of the site set up - turns out he would have been fine but it was good to focus on Sally. The first class was a bit silly - it was a team class with sophie and both sisters thought playing with each other was a way more interesting thing to do then run in the trial! The gambers class was next and Sally stayed focused and with me - she earned 21 points in the opening ( needed 20) and got the first gamble obstacle .. she missed the tire though ... but I was very very pleased with her run :) Snookers wasn't quite so good- she did a couple of nice obstacles then went off course which is instant dismissal only in snookers ..but she had a good day, I had a good day and I'm pleased! Sophie had a good day too - though she got weird about jumping at the trial - I really think it was a stress thing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

things are looking up

the dogs are feeling better and the fridge lock held ... thank heavens :)

Maybe I can get Sally doing a little work tomorrow ...fingers crossed!

If you get a chance check out Brody's aac page on the upper left side of the blog! It just got updated to reflect the January trial... GO BRODY GO!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sally's turn for a saga

HOW could I forget that Sally learned to let herself out of a crate a year ago? Her newest trick (tried Monday and repeated today) is opening the fridge and inviting the dogs to a feast...she is so bloated and logy I feel sorry for her. Hoping she bounces back in time for agility Sunday - she's now had two weeks off training basically so the trial will be a joke I'm sure! On a happier note Gus is healing beautifully - despite being able to remove her collar.. luckily she's crated so she'll rest more so she didn't get into the fridge parteeeeeee ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gus's saga

poor Gus had surgery yesterday - to remove a foreign body. A weird little organic plug of something - maybe a decoration? or something bizzarre... she has HUNDREDS of stitches now - including in her intestine. It was an interesting surgery to watch.. I've seen too many lately though it seems. Dr Au removed a broken tooth and did a quick dentistry too as Gus's teeth were covered in tartar and the exploratory surgery had gone so relatively quickly. (She was under for about an hour) She was very slow to wake up and very stoned all night. I am looking forward to getting her this afternoon though - she sleeps better here even in a crate! She's got a collar on and will have to wear one when she can't be watched (can you imagine if she opened her insides up again- I'd die) but luckily I will be able to organize things to watch her pretty closely. It's amazing to me i haven't actually had to go through this before... and if I was going to do this I would have thought it would have been one of the piggy lab mixes or Sally who would put me through it! Not smart little goosey Gus... ahhh well life's a learning curve and this has happened now for a reason! Think good thoughts for the naught gal and quick healing! The agility dogs have missed their workouts this week - they are DYING to get back into it... hopefully I cna work them when Gus is snoozing ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

sometimes life just sucks

Gus is SICK - really sick. Scary sick. Make you CRAZY sick and there is no diagnosis. Which makes you even crazier. There is no way to know how much this will cost. How long it will go on. How crazy it will make me.


Thinking best thoughts for the little angel who just got renamed Cassie by Nancy - who had pretty well decided to add a dog to her life til this smacked us upside the head....


Sunday, January 13, 2008


have I mentioned Brody isn't much of a gambler? (Well I'm not either so maybe it makes sense) We attended a workshop this weekend that was HARD work for Brody. He's used to being a superstar at class so that was a new experience for us - I felt badly holding everybody back but still learned a ton about my weaknesses and things to keep in mind for gamblers classes so that was great and worthwhile. Sally had a great time working on her chute skills too so that made it even more worth it :) yay Kathyn yay Janet

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What a start to 2008!

Sally and Brody and I went to Morningstar trial in Kingston on Friday and Saturday. Thea was off and on lame so she had to stay home but I think she enjoyed being cuddled in front of the fire. Brody was in a funny mind set - but so was I so it seemed fair to me. He did pull together 2 VERY nice snookers runs in the advanced level (one of Brody's sweeps) and earned one advnaced standard leg so he only has one leg left at that too. He's run very few advanced classes - maybe 4 -5 tops so to have 2 legs done is great. His q rate is rapidly improving but even more importantly he's having a blast!His masters jumpers runs were pretty darn ok too - he fell for one trap in the first run but was fast... second run was slow and careful - and went 5 seconds over time but sped up as the course went on. Sally was attacked - badly and frighteningly by a dog who left the ring to get her. Sally only tried to get away and was totally submissive and appropriate (though she screamed very loudly) . The judge has written a report asking that the attacking dog be banned- be interesting to see if I hear anything about it. She is recovering quite nicely - thank heavens but it really was very traumatic for a whole lot of people and dogs.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Years

here is to a wonderful 2008 for everybody!

Rather then making resolutions today I'm thinking about goals for 2008.

Personally I'd like to continue to do my dayjob with accountability and compassion. I want to iniatiate new proograms and contribute to those coming up in the ranks behond me.

On the home front I'd like to be a bit more domestic - keep a tidier and cleaner house and make time for the people and animals who matter to me...

On the agility front

Thea - continue playing the game with the spirit of game in my heart - enjoy what I get but not pressure her for more - in CPE I plan to stay in level one until she's busting to move up
I will not overface her or be pressured into rushing her.

Sally - take each day with fun and opportunity to grow. See how the trials go. I'd love to take her to the regionals but if that isn't the cards thats ok. Earn all her CPE Level One titles and her aac starters titles by year end.

Brody - attend CPE nationals, ontario regionals. Earn Master Jumpers title and AADC title, get into masters snookers and masters team. Enjoy the journey not obsess about the results.

those random thoughts really are my goals - at least at this moment ;)