Sunday, April 10, 2016
I hate playing catch up. Rather, more correctly, I hate falling behind. I start getting to a point where I'm like, "but there's so much I want to share and there are so many cute/adorable/awesome/smart/etc. things that the dogs have done!" Then I start wondering if I should even bother catching up or if I should just pick up right where I'm at when I finally make some time to update the blog. But there's stuff I want to share! But it feels overwhelming when I let it go too long! But the dogs do such cute things! And I'm taking so many pictures and video again! It's a busy place inside my head. Thankfully I haven't been slacking on the blog for too terribly long, so I opted to do a general catch up post, so that I can lay the background that'll lead into other more interesting (to me at least) posts. Or more precisely, the random crap that I really want to share and I enjoy rationalizing why I feel the need to explain why I'm doing a catch up post. ;)
The baby dog is getting bigger! Which, in part, means that he's getting to go on more hikes that are actual hikes! I started testing how he did on some more challenging (for him) trails that are some of my favorite spots "close" to home. He's handling them like a champ. The only thing holding him back is his body growing faster than his brain can keep up with the adjustments. Which means some general clumsiness that I just try to keep an eye on by keeping the pace slower so that he theoretically doesn't feel rushed and feel like he needs to keep up. Granted, Miley is always running about and he very much wants to keep up with big sister and explore everything that she's exploring, but he's figuring it out.
March marked Dominic's first group hike! Once the weather is a little nicer and more predictable (usually March through October or November), I've started putting together monthly group hikes. This year I decided to up the anty and we're going to be doing one easy to moderate level difficulty hike a month and one that's more challenging. I'll bring the dogs on the easier monthly hike, but not the more challenging one. March's group hike was Angel's Rest in the Columbia River gorge. I've done this hike before with Heffner several years ago, but obviously not with either Miley or Dominic. They both did really well and I would have more pictures and probably more fun moments to share if it weren't for the fact that my foot crapped out on me during this hike and I was in a fair bit of pain throughout (because I insisted on trudging through it). Plantar fasciitis reared it's ugly head and I have had to stop running for the time being and completely overhaul my exercise routine. The foot is doing MUCH better now, but that was not a pleasant hike for me. The above picture is one that a friend of mine took right after I had unloaded the dogs and they were just a smidge excited to get going. My expression is intentional and played up a bit for the camera. The dogs weren't horrible, but Dominic in particular has the habit of swirling around my legs like a cat when he's excited about something.
The first weekend in April was the Willamette Great Dane club's double specialty in Albany, OR. Which is in conjunction with an all breed show. The double specialty was held on April 1st and since I knew that we were going to be there for a large portion of the day, and Miley had been doing so well in training for rally, I decided to also enter her in the all breed rally trial that day. The double specialty and the two days of all breed dog shows after it were mostly uneventful. Miley didn't place in her class for three out of the four shows and got fourth one of the days. She still shows well and is a happy dog in the ring and that I am very pleased with. She has developed the habit of pooping in the ring one of the days that we show, though. I thought we were in the clear when she didn't do it on the day of the double specialty, but was I was wrong. On Saturday, after she did her individual go around, she pooped. I was able to get it cleaned up pretty unobtrusively and thankfully didn't have to stop the class to take care of it. This time. But Miley is now known as the one who poops in the ring. I swear I walk her! And most of the time she poops at home before we leave for the shows! To poke a little fun at the situation, I brought my poop emoji pillow (a Christmas present from some friends) and put it up on her crate. You know, just to make sure that EVERYONE knows that Miley is the ring pooper.
Oh, you caught that little bit about Miley entering her first rally trial? Yeah. We did. I jumped the gun and got a little to excited about how she was coming along. Emphasis on coming along. Not how the final product was. She really is coming along very well, however, I have not fully proofed her for a competition setting and she was not ready for all of that yet. Our run was not a disaster, but I did ask to be excused before we finished the course. There were moments where I had her and I got snippets of the attention that I want to have and I know I can get from her. But the duration wasn't there and she started to look a little stressed a couple of times. I knew we were toast when I lost her as we entered the ring. Yep, those ring entrances that we practiced at the rally match. She's coming along and I'm really happy with how she's doing. She just needs more time and a lot more training in distracting environments so that she really understands that I am there to support her. On the up side, I'm proud of myself for not slipping backwards into pleading with her in the ring. Once we left the ring we played a little, we did a few quick maneuvers where she got rewarded heavily and then we ran back to the conformation ring for our class. We also very nearly had a ring conflict. Smooshing a rally run in between two conformation "runs" probably also wasn't the wisest thing. It was hard to really gauge how well she was acclimating and I definitely didn't feel as sure about our warm up prior to entering the ring. It was a learning experience and we will be much more prepared the next time. Which won't be for several months.
Also that weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday. My parents' house is sort of in between my house and the Albany show grounds, so I brought Dominic along to the dog show on Saturday and we hung out at my parents' for a while after the show. Naturally, the dogs LOVED running around my parents' yard! I grabbed a few shots of them looking super cute in the ridiculously nice weather we've been having.
Which leads us into this weekend! Yesterday we had another group hike, but this time on the Oregon coast. But I will leave that for a separate post. :)
I've been doing some tweaking of our training routine, adjusted some of what we're training and have been fixing some of the things that weren't just not working. That will also be a separate post.
And I finally drank the Kool-Aid and joined the world of Instagram. That happened yesterday. You can find us at @termabader.
I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!