Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tribute to a great dog

Tribute To A Best Friend
Sunlight streams through window pane
unto a spot on the floor....
then I remember,
it's where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound....
then I remember,
It's where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can't be yours....
your golden voice is still.
But I'll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I'll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.
Author Unknown

On Tuesday, September 27, 2005 my family and I said a final goodbye to a great dog. Tina will be greatly missed and leaves a huge hole in my heart. She reached the age of 15 before her body could no longer keep up. Tina was my first dog- one that I will remember forever. She taught me so much about dog training, patience, and love. Growing up she was the best friend that you could ever ask for. As she grew older and I moved out- she stayed behind as the family dog- but she was so much more than that. I will miss her cheerful grin and the gentle wagging of her tail. She will be missed forever.
Goodbye old girl, I miss you.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

First Q!

We went to Medicine Hat this weekend for an AAC Agility trial. The weather was perfect- the field was great, and the courses were very fun! Wicca ran awesome and got her first Qualifying Run! - She got 37 points in her opening and got the gamble no problem. That allowed her to move up for today into Advanced Gamblers and she did pretty good. I have quite a bit to learn about her yet but it's coming. Her jumpers rounds were very fast- one of them was just over 20 seconds! Only one or two knocked bars becuase of my handling. Her snooker- well...lets just say if they had a prize for fastest time and no points we would have won. Right away we got tweeted off the first one and the second one today we were doing not too bad until I was a bit late on a signal and TWEET!.....But overall we had a blast. We worked on start lines- her contacts were even better this time- no more creeping, and the barking is almost non-existent.
I finally got to run a steeplechase and what fun Kate and I had! It was a great course- lots of room to run with only a few tight spots- she nailed her weave poles and didn't miss any contacts. It was her best run in over a year. Kate's other two runs weren't spectacular- I still find myself disapointed when she messes up on course and even though I try hard to tell her what a good girl she is and keep it happy she is reading my body language or something and it's not long until our run goes from so-so to bad and then worse- she actually left the ring today. I got her back of course but she obviously found the ring to be too stressful. Usually Kate does her best at this trial- she likes the venue I guess...But we did hae one good run which is good for Kate. And we placed second out of 5 dogs in one of the other classes so overall she did pretty good. I did find that she was more stressed than usual- very anxious about being in the kennel- actually bent the door on the wire crate. I think I may stick to one day events with her from now on- no more traveling. We'll see.....
I took Sam just to get him out and he was great. He is really good around other dogs now- able to focus when there are lots of distraction and I got a few really good training sesssions in with him. We worked on heeling- downs and practiced some tricks- I am teaching him Wave and it is very cute with his stubby little legs.
Anyway- I am going to a Kathy Keats seminar on friday with Wicca and I am really looking forward to it. It should be lots of fun and a great learning experience- for both of us....

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Start Line and Training Opportunities...

Today we had a funmatch which was lots of fun. We offered a Standard Run, and a Gamblers Course. We had a pretty decent turn out- about 12 or 13 dogs. The weather was great and everyone had a good time. I am always amazed when people don't take the opportunity and fix or help their dogs. A funmatch means it's just for fun- so reinforce those contacts and practice those start lines....

I definitely used the ring time well today- I worked on Wicca's creeping start lines...I have decided to ask her to sit rather than down- I figure it's a little harder to creep when your sitting- not impossible if you're a corgi but I think that she might understand and respect the "wait" better...So today I worked on that- the first run she went into a down the minute I turned my back....the second run was better- I reinforced the sit about three times before letting her release...I think that I have nipped it in the bud soon enough that it shouldn't be too ingrained in her little brain. I also worked on her contacts- she is releasing herself instead of waiting for me so I C/T on course when she held them- which surprised her and the next contact she was definately waiting for that cookie. Her gambles were awesome- she didn't knock any gamble poles and I got some really nice distance from her- We got 37 points in the opening and successfully completed the gamble so I am really happy with her.

I played with Sam a bit on the gamble course and he did great! We have been working on our contacts and he is catching on really well- he loves jumps and tunnels though- he is going to be a great jumpers dog! As he is getting more confident and understanding the reward system the faster he is getting which is awesome to see.
I left Kate at home- I am going to take her this week one on one and just play with her- do one jump then play, play, a set of weaves then play, play, play....I think for her right now it is really important to make sure each training session is made up of 90% play and 10% actual work...We'll see I guess this weekend.

On another note- I was watching CNN tonite that was about the animals left behind in the wake of Katrina- I could not even imagine leaving my dogs behind. There was a story about a fellow who couldn't find his cat when he was evacuated and the news team actually tracked him down adn reunited him with his cat- it was very emotional and brought tears to my eyes. The showed of course the hundreds of dogs and cats that are currently homeless....It is horrible. Like I said- I could not even begin to imagine....
It is late and I am off to bed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wicked Weaves...

Wicca is doing great on the poles- she is nailing the entry and commited all the way through. I think that she should have them down pat 100% by October...It makes a huge difference to practice them every single day and I can see the results! I have the entrances almost closed and the middle poles about 1.5 inches out- I am thinking that by the end of September I will be able to try her on the real poles....But for now we are working them into sequences- fast out of tunnels, jumping lines, and even slow off the table. I want to make sure there are no surpirses when we move to the "grown up" poles....

Sam is doing well- I have been working quite a bit on front and rear crosses- changes of direction that sort of thing. He is doing well but doesn't much like to change his lead when Jumping so will focus on that for a week or so. He is such a goofy dog- his running style is going to be very different than Wiccas I think....

Kate is having a holiday after last weeks trial...Not sure what I am going to do with her yet....We have a funmatch tomorrow- I may take her out....I changed her entry for the medicine hat trial too (which is next weekend) I pulled her from Team and just have her in 2 gambles and a steeplechase.....(Gamblers is her favorite class) I have to figure out how to put the fun back in the game for her. She obviously is not enjying herself anymore...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Well it was a very, very wet weekend in Kimberley this weekend. It rained, I mean poured all day Saturday and we even had a bit of sleet and fog to boot! But even with the wet and cold Wicca did awesome at her first trial. I had her entered in only a few things- no weave poles yet and she ran beautifully! She nailed her contacts, was very fast, and I handled her pretty good! No Qualifying runs do to a few knocked bars but her runs were amazing- she gave me a ton of distance, very little barking and didn't bite me once! She listened to me- followed directions and was very focused. She had a great time and I could not be prouder of my little dog. She gave me 110% this weekend and all I can say is Wow!
After the weekend I have a list of things to proof with her
*Start Lines
*Fast ONTO the table (she flew off coming out of a fast sequence)
*creeping to a bottom on the dogwalk
*and get those weaves done!

She is going to be awesome when we get those poles....she is doing really well- but still has at least a month more of serious training before asking her to weave at a trial- I am hoping for October.....

Kate did not appreciate the rain, and the corgis. She had a good run first thhing saturday morning and then was miserable the rest of the weeekend....
oh well

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I am nervous already....I have been pretty good about holidng off the nerves fora long time but there is still two days to go until the weekend and here I am- feeling nervous.....
It will be Wicca's first trial- she is more than ready and I have done a lot of trialing with other dogs but you still get those nerves I guess....Wicca's best thing is her contacts- she is very solid on them. Her start line isn't 1005 so we will be wroking on that this weekend and she is great at distance work so hopefully we will have a few good gambles...I don't expect and Q's this weekend from her- It is her very first trial and we are just getting to know each other and work as a team but I do expect her to listen to me and of course have a ton of fun!
It is an outdoor trial so Kate should do great- she loves outdoors and always does better than indoors.
We haven't been practicing a ton- but we have been working on pole entries and some discrimination stuff so hopefully we can run happy and maybe get a few Q's!
Well Wish us luck!!!


Sunday, September 04, 2005


I took Wicca and Sam out to agility this morning and we had a good time. Wicca was very excited to be out and about and was sure to tell us all about it! Once we got working though she settled down a bit. Her weaves are finally coming! The middle is completely closed and just the entrances are open a bit. I put wires on the last pole today to prevent her from popping out and have gone back to working the basic clock as far as getting entries and such....We worked a bit on our contacts as well- mostly the teeter. I originally hadn't trained it with a bottom- but am finding that she is "almost" flying off so am retraining the teeter to include a bottom.
Sam had a great time- he is learning what a bottom is and is working on distance over jumps and tunnels. He is a little different than wicca in that he needs quite a bit of rewards still between obstacles or on tough exerices. He is a little more cautious so I just need to keep things fun and not make it too hard too soon. But there is huge improvements on his attitude and just overall personality I think.
I didn't take Kate this morning but am taking her swimming this afternoon with Drakkar the Standard Poodle....

Friday, September 02, 2005

Happy Birthday Kate!

Wow- Kate is Seven years old!!!! I can't believe that much time has gone by....
I remember when I first got her- I was still heart broke over my previous shepherd pup (who had HD and was euthanised at6months old) I wasn't ready for another dog but she really needed a special person and I guess it was meant to be. . Kate was the cutest pup- she still had very funny floppy ears and even at that young age had a not so great disposition. She threw up on me the whole way home and it took a long time for her to bond with me. She was a horrible teenager- she threw tons of issues at me - from fear aggression, possesivness, dog aggression, and was always worried. I can remember distinct times where I thought okay- this is it. I am not dealing with this anymore...But then she would do something great- or seem to respond to training and it was okay again for a while. Kate has been such a hard dog- but I love her to pieces. She is an amazing dog and I can see the changes in her. I see her relaxed, happy, tail wagging, and I thank God that I didn't give up on her. In her seven years she has done amazing things- from the first time she went into an obedience ring and through her fear and my nervousness scored a 191.5 and a High Score in Class, to the agility trial she Q'd in every run. All of which nobody except me and a few of her close friends though she could do. It has been an amazing 7 years and she has taught me alot of dog training, patience and unconditional love. She truly is a great dog and I love her for just being her....

Happy Birthday Kate!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Work Ethic....

Nothing much happening here these days as far as the beasts go. Wicca gets her stitches out tomorrow morning- she is doing really well, the incision is all healed up and doesn't seem to bother her at all.
I have taken to working the dogs a bit every morning again- sometimes there isn't enough daylight left by the time I get home from work and agility- so the morning has turned into our training time.
One thing about corgi's is that they sure like to work. The minute the clicker comes out they line up- the corgi's that is- I have to peel Kate off the couch to get her to work.....
I usually will start with some trick type things, a bit of heeling and then maybe a few fronts with Wicca.
Sam is still learning moving attention but we still practice fronts, and I have been trying to teach him a few tricks....I like my dogs to know a few at least- I incorporate them into my agility warm-up, and Corgi''s love to show off so any lull in the day or during training is a good time to do tricks!!!

Kate doesn't always participate in "training" but we go out and throw the ball, maybe do a couple signal exercises, go-outs and such...rarely do we "practice" heeling, and I try to avoid anything that might be percieved as boring....Otherwise I don't have a dog...she is surely a difficult dog...Good thing she isn't an obedience dog anymore!!!