Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick Check In

I realized that I hadn't posted anything in over a week and thought that I should do a bit of an update. Things have just been so busy and I've had a few different things going. First and foremost, Bess got her third and final qualifying leg for her Beginner Novice title this past Friday down in Albany, OR!! The next day she also managed to get RAE leg #7. I have more to say about all of that, but I still have much to get done tonight.

Part of the reason I've been preoccupied is that I'm applying for a new position at the same campus that I work at. Without going into too much detail, my primary responsibility would be training animals. Pretty cool! With the application for this position I realized that I haven't done a serious revamping of my resume in about eight years. And writing a cover letter actually took two nights to get through. I already have an interview on Monday!

I've also developed this strange fascination with trying to get an adequate amount of sleep lately. I've been going on a rough max of five hours of sleep a night on week nights and sometimes less on the weekends, depending on what I've got going on. I discovered that getting to bed a little bit earlier and "sleeping in," i.e. not getting up early to work the dogs on the week days, has been decidedly delicious!:0)

I've also been taking some fun new exercise classes with some of my coworkers and it's been a blast! Tends to tweak my evening schedule with the dogs a fair bit, but it's been overall worth it.

So things are good here and I will hopefully be getting around to a more detailed post on the previous weekend with Bess in a day or two! I hope everyone is doing well despite a variety of not so good news that I've been getting caught up on. Two more days and then it's the weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Movie Monday

I finally did it!! I made a video blog!! I opted to do it in just one shot, which wasn't all that hard considering I didn't go into it with a clear goal of what I wanted to talk about. I also decided not to edit it. So here it is and hopefully it doesn't seem too dorky. ;0)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday!

I'm so happy it's Friday! I'm currently waiting for the rain to stop long enough that I can hopefully take the big dogs out for a run. I'll be down in Salem this weekend for a rally obedience seminar/workshop that is going to go over the new AKC rules that roll out in April. I decided not to do a working spot because my focus is on what exactly is wanted with the new exercises and what exactly is meant by the new rule changes. Specifically I want clarification on what is considered luring and how points will be deducted for it. I've heard a lot of people lately talking about the new exercises, but I think some of the general rule changes have been over looked, such as the deductions for luring in the ring. I feel pretty good about my signals for the dogs in the ring, but I want to make sure that what I'm doing isn't considered luring or using an air cookie. We had enough struggles lately that I don't need to add point deductions for things that I wasn't even aware I was doing!

The down side of a weekend spent without a dog in a working spot is that all three dogs will get left at home. Unfortunately I also won't be getting home until it's already dark, which rules out taking them on a hike to release their pent up energy. I predict that Heffner is going to find something to shred, Bess is going to be doing a lot of spinning in the downstairs living room, and Ruthie is going to poop in her crate.;0)

And since it's also been a relatively low key week, I don't really have anything else to report on. Here are the break downs for the Idita Walk and the Pedometer Challenge:

Iditawalk minutes so far: 1,144, so we have technically finished the Idita Walk, but we're going for 2,500 minutes!

Pedometer challenge daily totals:

Feb. 12 - 8,711
Feb. 13 - 27,184
Feb. 14 - 25,811
Feb. 15 - 25,389
Feb. 16 - 20,704

Happy weekend everyone!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Training Thursday

I actually got a video put together!! I combined the "extreme" hand touch trick and the catching treats from mouth trick into one video. Slowly but surely all three dogs were building in enthusiasm for jumping to touch my hand. With further practice I'm pretty confident that I could continue to build their enthusiasm for it.

The catching the treat from my mouth part was pretty hilarious. The first time that I tried it I got a variety of responses from the dogs. Bess tried to hop up and get it from my mouth. Heffner's initial timing was off and he started snapping at just the air. And poor Ruthie. She started to develop a complex that I was just spitting things at her and she started to actually flinch. She never got to the point where I could get her to look up and try to catch the treat before it hit the ground.

Here's the video:

The next trick of the week is going to be teaching your dog to back up away from you. Shoot for whatever distance you want to. Bess already offers this at times, so I'm going to shoot high and say I want her to back up the length of the upstairs hallway. Heffner doesn't offer this already, so I'm going to shoot for getting him to take at least three steps backwards away from me. And I haven't even taught Ruthie to back up yet. So I'm going to be conservative with her and say that I want her to get to a point where she's backing up a step away from me. Good luck!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Movie Monday

I've got a few videos to get caught up on, but before I get into that, I am finally getting ready to actually do the video blog that I mentioned previously as a supposed monthly goal. For reals this time! Before I get into dorking around with that, I was wondering if anyone out there reading this blog had any questions that they would like me to answer in the vlog? If you've got a question, something that you want me to explain about my dogs, or an idea, shoot them my way!!

Now for the videos. I've got some agility videos and some Beginner Novice videos for Bess that I haven't gotten around to posting as of yet. In each of these cases, Kennedy has been gracious enough to video us! Now lets see if I can get these in order.

Here is Bess' first BN leg after a very loooooong day at the expo center:

Bess' BN leg #2:

Bess' JWW and Standard runs from February 4th:

Dorking around in FAST:

And finally the big boy in Standard:

Phew! I feel better having gotten all of that caught up! And I even managed to get a training video put together for Thursday!! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

We had a nice mellow weekend at home this time around. I meant to get up early Saturday morning and take the big dogs up to the mountain so that I could do some cross country skiing and they could burn off some energy, but that didn't happen. My alarm went off and my skating by with the bare minimum of sleep for the past few weeks over rode. I reset the alarm and took the big dogs for a long hike instead. It's really quite nice to spend an hour round trip in the car versus three plus if I were to go up to the mountain. It's hard to beat!

We also ended up having a visitor on Saturday night! Bora came to spend the night! Since the big dogs got plenty of exercise that morning, Adam and I took Bora and Ruthie out to play in the soccer fields near our house. I attempted to get some pictures of them in action, but none of the pictures really turned out except for the one above. I thought it was pretty cute! I did manage to nab a couple of videos as well. As it turns out, any videos that we take on our newer camera crash my laptop when I try to edit them. Not cool! So I just had to upload them as is.

The second one is definitely the funnier of the two!

And since I didn't do my little Idita Walk and Pedometer Challenge update this past Friday, I'll get to it now. Anyone else joining in??

Idita Walk minutes so far: 908 minutes

Pedometer Challenge daily totals:

Feb. 3 - 9,930 steps
Feb. 4 - 24,246
Feb. 5 - 7,906
Feb. 6 - 24,231
Feb. 7 - 15,771
Feb. 8 - 26,079
Feb. 9 - 12,221
Feb. 10 - 10,678
Feb. 11 - 23,793

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shout Out!

You've heard me mention her serious collar making skills before, but I wanted to give another shout out to my friend Kennedy of Kennedy's Kustom Kollar Kreations!! I don't even know how many of her collars we have right now, but we have quite a few including the seriously awesome, custom Backstreet Boys ones that she did for us just a few months ago. She's got some great fabric options. She does amazing custom work. And she can honestly come up with some pretty amazing stuff even when her customer isn't all that helpful in the ideas department (**cough**ME**cough**).

To put it lightly, she has not had the most stellar start to 2012. I would really love it if we could all show her some love, give her some encouragement, and help make this venture a really positive point for her. I pretty regularly put orders in with her and just put in one for a St. Patrick's day collar for Ruthie (The Midget isn't yet fully outfitted for all of the holidays). And really, who DOESN'T need another collar???

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Agility Trial!

Today the big dogs and I spent the day up in Ridgefield, WA for an AKC agility trial. I did my same night before routine of getting to bed early and having the truck all packed up. I was set and ready to go this morning. I wish I could say the same for my handling.:0/
First up was Bess in Open FAST. The whole point of entering her in the FAST class is to potentially burn off any zoomies that she might have and to work on contacts. Specifically not using the A-frame as a launching platform. The result was that she was great! She even got to open up a little bit and run, but still stuck with me. She nailed her down contact on the A-frame!! I didn't plan the most flowing of courses and didn't get to the send portion before the buzzer, so no Q, but a great run otherwise.
Next up was Heffner in Open JWW. It was a nice course and I knew that we could nail it. I had a great warm up with Heffner and he was pretty spunky getting to the line, but in a good way. Not in an over the top reactive kind of way. He was moving along really nicely in the class and felt like he was enjoying himself. Then something happened around jump #13. I think I managed to pull him off it. So we garnered a refusal. He had so much momentum when I pulled him around and I wasn't able to get him fully around the jump before he back jumped it. D'oh! Of course. NQ. Otherwise a great run.
Shortly after he ran in JWW Heffner was up again in Excellent Standard. This was another nice course that I knew we could nail. During the walk through I knew that I was going to need to be careful about the jump after the A-frame. If I wasn't fully ready for it I was going to screw him up. Even though it wasn't that long ago, I'm now starting to blank on what exactly we screwed up on. I think I threw him off for that first jump after the A-frame and then he knocked a bar on the jump after that. NQ. He just wasn't fully able to get a good landing and take off for that second jump. Otherwise he did really well and I'm still proud of him.
Next up was Bess in Open Standard. Funny story about this course. I almost forgot to run her in it. I got so focused on running her in JWW that I completely forgot about Standard. It wasn't until they were rebuilding the course and someone was asking me how our day was going that I realized I hadn't run her in Standard yet. Shortly there after they opened the course for walk through. Jeez! This actually ended up being the best run of the day. Bess nailed everything! Her contacts were good, she did her weaves all the way through and nailed her entrance. She was a little slow, but she stayed with me the entire time and we completed the course for the only qualifying run all day!
The final run of the day was Bess in Excellent JWW. It was a nice course. My only concern was that I remember to send her to the tunnel at #14 because that area was so similar to the Open course that I was afraid I might go on automatic pilot. Thankfully I didn't. Unfortunately I did manage to pull her off of #9 for a refusal and NQ. ARG! That sucked. Otherwise she ran great!

So that was today. A pretty relaxing day and I didn't even freeze at the trial today since the weather warmed up quite nicely. Now I'm headed off to finish up some cleaning around the house and take The Midget for a walk. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hooray for Weekends!!

I'm not sure what it was about this week, but it left me feeling pretty well wiped out (which is part of the reason why this post is going to jump around a bit). So much so that I actually reset my alarm by an hour this morning and completely skipped working the dogs. I feel pretty guilty about it, but it was some much needed sleep! I am most definitely looking forward to the weekend!! Tomorrow I'll be at an AKC agility trial with the big dogs. Then on Sunday we're hosting a little Super Bowl gathering at our house that comes complete with my husband opening bottles of champagne with his newly purchased sword (yes.....a sword to be exact). Which will most likely be followed by me making a 911 call because he has severed a finger in the process.
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day that I could only manage to put in a half day at work and cut out to take all three dogs on a little hike. The hike was fantastic and soooooooo what the doctor ordered!! In the Pacific Northwest we normally have fairly mild winters by comparison to most parts of the US. This year it has been exceptionally so. We had temperatures in the 50's with hardly a cloud in the beautiful blue sky. Now you know it's a gorgeous day if I'm actually happy about a lack of clouds in the sky.;0) Things have been dry enough that I was able to bring Ruthie along and she powered through the two hour plus hike. She's a beast of a midget!
And if you'll notice, I've added my contact information to the right side of the blog. I've been pondering that one. This past year Blogger went through some problems where people weren't able to post comments on various blogs. And while I think I've fixed that problem, I didn't have any way of knowing for sure if people didn't have a way to contact me and let me know. I wasn't comfortable with putting my personal email out there for anyone on the internet to see, so I created an email address just for this blog.:0) So if you're reading this and haven't been able to post comments or questions or you have a question about something but don't want to necessarily put it in the comments section, feel free to shoot me an email!
At our obedience club meeting on Wednesday I volunteered to be the chief ring steward for our club's March match! I had already volunteered to be a ring steward, but they were in need of a chief ring steward and I have been meaning to try taking on a little more responsibility at the matches and trials. And since this is only a match and any potential screw ups that I make won't ruin someone's run or tick off a judge (though that is still possible at a match!), now is as good a time as any! I still need to verify if people who are not members of the club can help out with the match, but if you're interested in joining an awesome obedience club, learning more about competing in obedience, or just want to have a good time and help out, shoot an email my way!!
And finally, I think I mentioned that I wanted to do a weekly update with anyone who was participating in the Idita Walk and/or pedometer challenge. How are things going? Has anyone signed up to do the Idita Walk? Anyone wanting to join in on the pedometer challenge? I know that it's only been a little more than two full days for the challenge, but I'll post where I'm at so far.

Idita Walk minutes so far: 208 minutes (not counting anything that I've done today)

Pedometer Challenge Daily Total:
Wednesday - 15,219 steps
Thursday - 23,141

I'll leave you with the rest of the pictures that I took on our hike yesterday.:0)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Training Thursday

I've kind of left this running thread hanging for the past couple of weeks, but I'm picking it back up! I have to be honest and say that I haven't done much with the "extreme" hand touches.:0/ And because of that, I have no video to share. I do promise to be better and I will work on it with the dogs over the next week and should have video of it by next Thursday. But I do want to still move on with the "weekly" training challenges. If anyone has done any extreme hand touches and you have a post and/or video clip of it, please share!!

This week's challenge is another trick that I have never gotten around to teaching my dogs, but I can see how it would be useful as well as just plain fun. The challenge is to teach your dog(s) to catch/take a treat from your mouth! Happy training!!