Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
this is ruby's "mini-me." Isn't it cute? I think it looks almost like her...so I have it in a special place at the daycare so even when ruby's not at daycare she kinda is...
except this bulldog doesn't bark, growl, bite your feet, or cause chaos at daycare....
oh- P.S. I am still debating the change to wordpress. I changed my blogger layout to see if it would make me feel like sticking with it...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Sarah blogged yesterday about how much she hates winter, and how much she misses summer. She even posted summer pictures. Makes me really want summer.
This morning I woke up to more snow- and cold. Like really cold. Again.
Observed at: Lethbridge County Airport
Date: 6:00 AM MST Wednesday 25 February 2009
Condition: Light Snow
Humidity: 74 %
Wind: N 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -26
I am really SICK of winter. Like, quite a lot. I think even Pixel is sick of the weather. She's from Florida you know. They don't get winter quite like this...
She looks annoyed no?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I started just with some backchaining on the afram and he drove into position for three reps. Success!
I then added some speed and the full height- and he nailed it. We did around 12 reps (split up of course) and he only had problems three times- twice he creeped down the last steps, and the other time he jumped- but I am thrilled with how well he did.
We also worked on some serpentines, and start lines. He did great and picked up my serp cue no problem.
The second half of the class was weave based and again he nailed it. The whole first exercise and he had one little bobble. He was very confident in the poles and had lots of speed. I was almost speechless!
Wicca came too and didn't start off so well- she knocked the first, second, and third bar. Geesh. After missing a turn and doing some rewarding for jumping she was much better. I spent a lot of time on my turn cue and am happy with how she is doing.
Overall it was a very good night- I got a lot in with my dogs.
It is almost 2 minutes long- I was going to cut it (because who really wants to watch two minutes of fetch) but it was too funny, and I couldn't decide where to edit it. So I didn't.
Coulee and Lacey are Wendy's dogs- Coulee is a Golden Retriever/Border Collie cross who is obsessed with the ball, and Lacey is a short legged mixed breed dog- a pug/cattle dog is what the box said...(long story) anyway, and she is obsessed with tormenting Boone. She loves him...err...his tail anyway.
Wicca is her usual bossy self throughout the video- bark, bark, bark.
Boone is excited, and even manages to get the ball a few times! Yay for Boonie!
Pixel is just running for the sake of running. You'll notice she never actually tries to get the ball.
And Vito, well Vito is playing by himself with the latex pig...sad and funny all at once...
Anyway, here it is...
note- i tried...twice. to upload it to youtube- I hate you tube. I've decided I am not even going to try anymore.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday Sarah and I taught a mini-seminar for a better part of the day. Our Mini-Seminars are essentially a four hour class. We only have the arena one night a week and for most of our students it isn't enough- so every once in a while we offer a four hour training session. This particular session was jump patterns and handling- pinwheels, serpentines, threadles, and weaves. Fun Fun!
After that I went for a leash walk around a busy park with Wendy and Sandy. It was Pixel's first time at that park and she was her usual happy little self. She went over her first, and second wood bridge and wasn't phased at all. Boone was a bit worried about the traffic, but seemed to enjoy himself mostly.
Sunday I taught a seminar at the daycare about Good Dog Play. It was a little two hour seminar that about 20 people came to. It went really well, and I think that people got lots of great information. I talked about body language in general, and then talked about different play styles, what is appropriate, what isn't, etc. We had 10 or so daycare dogs there for people to watch and actually see the different things we had talked about. It was a great idea, and we've already had people asking if we are going to do more seminars! I was happy that so many people were interested in learning more about what their dog is telling them. It makes teaching fun when they are so into it and want to learn.
I worked at the daycare after that at indoor dog park, and then went home and did some training with the dogs.
Boone's handstand is coming along, and Pixel is still doing plank work, hand touches, and I also have started to clicker train "fetch." I have noticed that she only likes to pick up the toy if it is "moving" - which is not ideal if I am using the toy as something to send her to. So we are working on making boring, not moving toys, fun and exciting. She is smart and is catching on fast. Wicca is still working on her verbal "turn" cue, and is doing better. We had a bit of a break through yesterday and I think she understands more what she is supposed to do in relation to the jump.
The only rotten thing that happened was Pixel eating her log book. I was pretty pissed, but really it is my fault. I had left it on the coffee table Friday night after some training and during my shower she ripped it to shreds. Sigh. I have been really good right from the beginning about record keeping for her...and then she eats it...
Friday, February 20, 2009
I worked each of the dogs for about 20 minutes each, and felt that we made some real progress.
Wicca did obedience heeling, drop on recalls, and some utility scent articles. I haven't done any scent with her in a long time, and wanted to see where we are at. She still runs into the pile like a mad woman (from the good old days of Scenthurdle Racing) but I was impressed she remembered the game. I videod our first try so we didn't even practice first!
Pixel did some stays, some nose touches, and crate games. It was very apparent on Wednesday night that I have neglected to teach stay....stupid stay...so tonite we worked on that- she is understanding it, I just think it's boring....sometimes I think this dog is a genius though...
Vito did some heeling, some sit, down, and stands, and just goofed around- he likes to chase me...and I like to get him all riled up...he is the cutest dog.
Boone worked on his travel plank and did contacts, contacts, contacts and more contacts. We also worked on go on, and get out around a water bucket. Go Boonie!
Now I am heading home to lay on the couch and cuddle with the dogs...a pretty exciting friday night!
note: so I spent almost 20 minutes trying to upload my video to youtube and gave up. Photobucket took 10 minutes...I hate youtube.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I signed up a few weeks ago for a group called 52 Weeks of Dogs. You have to post one (only one) photo of the same dog all year. Easy. Right. I thought so at first, but we are at week 7 and I was definitley feeling the pressure today...My own personal day to post in Thursday. Friday to Sunday is too busy, and then I have four days to get a photo.
This weeks photo was tough. I didn't want to do a posed photo, and waffled between a wide angled shot that makes her nose look huge...to this action shot I got this morning...
I ended up choosing this one, purely because I really enjoy the expression on her face!
Tucker is one of her all time favorite daycare buddies. She adores him and is always following him around. He doesn't seem to mind!
Here is the link to my past 52 weeks photos....
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We have it on the flat. We have it moving on the flat. We have it going into a tunnel. We have it moving on the flat going into a tunnel. So you'd think that she'd understand how to do it over a jump....but no.
So last night at the arena we worked a lot on this. Over, and over, and over again. And she is getting it- which is great! Timing is super important, and with all things Wicca, I discovered last night she turned better if I cued her late....who knew?!
I waffled for a really long time about teaching a verbal directional. I didn't think I needed one. Well, I was wrong. I know, shocking. I have been very good about not using my off arm to turn her anymore- and well, we needed something to replace that. I am excited to see the wheels turning in her head, and I do think it will make my gambling dog just that much better.
In other news I borrowed the Crate Games DVD from my friends. I have gotten to the point with Pixel that I am unsure of the next step. I am excited to watch the DVD- there is probably LOADS of great information in there...and probably some steps that I've skipped along the way that I will have to go back and proof. She will not release from the crate unless she hears the magic word, no matter if there is playing, tugging, food throwing, etc...she is very good about firing back into the crate aswell- which is half the game!
I have been doing lots more training at home (one of the benefits of more free time) and the dogs are doing really well. We are working on rear end awareness stuff- Vito has no idea that he has a bum and two back legs. Really...Finally have managed to teach him to back up though...he's like a transport though and is not very graceful about it!
I am teaching Boone a handstand- he is the only one of my dogs that is physically able to do it, and I thought it would be a fun training challenge. So far he is doing pretty well. He really likes the "game" and is very eager to play!
I found this video on you tube- and it is similar to how I've been training Boone...
We are about at the stage where the dog is at the 50 second mark..it has been fun to train!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Penni from a cardigan blog- From Down Here tagged me...so here goes!
attached or single? single
best friend? I have lots of great friends
cake or pie? pie
day of choice? friday
essential item? my phone
favorite color? orange
gummy bears or worms? neither....i don't like gummy candies
hometown? lived in Lethbridge for longer than any other place...definitely home.
indulgence? chocolate ice cream
january or july? july
kids? haha...no...never...I am not kid friendly..
life isn’t complete without? dogs of course...short legged ones...
marriage date? no...
I number of magazine subscriptions? - three
orange or apple? juice in both varieties...I don't like actual fruit much...
phobias? food that touches...
quotes? A goal without a plan is just a wish. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
reasons to smile? vito
season of choice? fall- not too hot, not muddy like spring...it's perfect really.
tag 5 people: anyone who wants to play...just let me know so I can add your name here!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Pixel is very attentive and is eager to work for the reward. Usually I vary the reward between food and toys, but for both of these sessions I used food only. I added music so you wouldn't have to listen to Wicca barking in the background :o)
become a "dog trainer" and have his own TV Show....
Makes me ill.
If you've never watched an episode before, there are a few on youtube...he is unlike anything I've ever seen before...His show is called "At the End of My Leash" and he is based in Calgary, Alberta.
He really, really sucks. Let's teach the dog to be afraid, never telling the dog that it was right, just hauling it up and down...poor dog.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Pixel is a very smart dog. She outsmarts the boys already. Really. She knows that Boone will leave a toy, a chewie, his crate, the dog bed...anything to go bark at the door. Pixel lets out one little woof and steals whatever she wants when he hightails it for the door...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I have been thinking for months about the best way to take better care of my life, and after a few incidents, a few snide comments, and myself becoming more and more grumpy, I realised that the rescue is what causes most of my issues.
I spend HOURS everyday doing rescue stuff- calling, emailing, arranging, meeting, dealing with pissed off people, and of course dealing with the dogs. My job was a big one, and even split between another person it was still too much for me.
I found my own life was always put on the back burner- even my own dogs in some cases. Which is not okay. Ever. I love all dogs....well most dogs. But my dogs need to come first. Always. Sadly this has not been the case for a while.
The people involved with the rescue are wonderful, caring people who are passionate about dogs- just as I am. They are all people that I have respected. Now that I've quit though there has been tension, and angry emails have been flying back and forth. I am not ashamed to admit that I wrote one or two of them. But I will not be stepped on.
Those of you who know me. Know that I am a strong person, and can take a lot. But seriously. I am done. I am done with cattiness, the backstabbing, and am not quite sure how things ended like this. It makes me sad to feel that not only have I quit rescue, but I've had to quit friendships aswell. Which is not what I had thought would happen.
I will miss a lot of things about the rescue- but I am grateful that I've finally taken a step towards bettering my life. I know that the rescue will continue on just fine without me.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The flights are booked for Nationals now!!! Woohoo!
Subject: WestJet travel itinerary. Have a great flight!
5055 11 ST NE
CALGARY, AB T2E 8N4
Agent Number: 13381
***** Confirmation Number: *****
Date Booked: 10FEB09
LETHBRIDGE, AB Modified: 10FEB09
Welcome Aboard: Amanda Labadie
Date Flt Depart Seat Arrive Stops
----------- --- ----------------------- ---- ----------------------- -----
Mon 27Jul09 540 CALGARY 10:35am OTTAWA 4:19pm 0
Mon 03Aug09 521 OTTAWA 6:45pm CALGARY 9:05pm 0
Total for 01 guest(s) Fare: 358.00
Fee - Kennel: 50.00
Fee - Kennel: 50.00
CALGARY AIF: 20.00
OTTAWA AIF: 15.00
Call us Toll Free: 1-888-937-8538 -----------
Total $575.75 CA
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I had a good morning session with Boone- we focused on distance and Terry had some really neat exercises to teach go ons, outs and directionals.
The afternoon session was really, really good. More handling drills that were challenging but fun. I got the some of the best advice ever today. When doing a lead out pivot I need to just go and release as I am moving into the cross- when we did this there were no knocked bars. It felt better and looked much better. Wicca and I had some really nice runs and I am much more confident in her and my handling abilities.
Which leads me to Terry's observation- he thinks that I am afraid of success. He is not the only one to think that either- Sarah agrees. I don't think I have ever really thought about it. I mean I have goals, and am competitive- I like to win. But there could be some truth to the afraid of success thing. I blogged yesterday about me being too relaxed an casual- like it doesn't matter. Agility does matter to me so I don't know why I act like that. I do try to do well, and I do try and improve every time. But there are times when things are definitly "off." I have even caught myself screwing up on purpose at a trial before. Apparently I am more messed up than I thought. I wonder why I don't try harder sometimes though, and I wonder if that is even something I can change.Something to think about that is for sure.
We will see Terry again in May in Calgary- I am looking forward to it- he is not only a great instructor but he has an awesome sense of humour- today there was tequila and a sparkly shot glass.....overall it was a great weekend with lots of laughs!!!!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Boone was in the morning handling session and did really well. He was focused and very excited to be there. It was all about handling- front crosses and talking about the where and the why's. I got some good advice with him- Terry suggested that I run with urgency- right off the start especially to get more out of him.Which makes total sense. I am a very casual/relaxed person- even handling in agility- which is good when you are running a wired dog, but with Boone I need to be more amped.
Wicca did good too- again we talked about the where and why's of front and rear crosses. We also addressed some bar knocking issues.There was one exercise that required you to serp a jump- after watching Wicca slam into the bar a few times he suggested that I cue the serp late- no bar!!!! She still made the turn- and it looked/felt good, but the bar stayed up. Terry is very good at "looking" at the dogs movement and response to handling cues. He noticed that when I applied pressure (to change the line with a front cross for example) she will actually go out of her way to avoid me and that pressure- which I thought was interesting.
Overall it was a great day. I really enjoy Terry's teaching style- he is funny, and explains things well. I am looking forward to day two!
Friday, February 06, 2009
e are hosting a seminar this weekend- with Terry Simons from Flying Dog Agility in California. I am really looking forward to it. I have both Wicca and Boone entered, so I am hoping for lots of good advice for my "drifter."
The young dogs are going to have a boring weekend...but they'll survive with lots of good chewies!
Happy Friday everyone!
Thursday, February 05, 2009
"Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get, Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get it, Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get it, Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get it, Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get it, Momma throws it, I chase it, bite it, bring it close enough for her to get it"
......well, you get the idea...........she would fetch forever...
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
In the past I've had awful luck with cell phones- I've washed them in the washer, flushed one down the toilet, lost a few, and generally go through cell phones pretty quickly.
This time, I've had the same phone for more that a year! Which is pretty amazing for me. Because I've never had a phone die from natural causes I wasn't expecting it to die so quickly! Just a few weeks ago the front screen stopped working and you could see just an eery blue color. Last week the #9 stopped working altogether. And lately it has been getting very, very warm when I charge it. It was time. Without a phone how would I talk to all my friends.... :o)
I've been looking online at all the different phones to replace it. I really wanted an I Phone...but I am with Telus and would have to switch to Rogers...not something I wanted to do. I have heard awful reviews of the Telus version of the IPhone and didn't want to chance it. So I compromised and got a phone that still has lots of great features, but isn't quite as "cool" as the IPhone. and So I decided on the Blackberry Curve. So far, I love it
Monday, February 02, 2009
I bought Pixel as a performance dog. I wanted an athletic, well built Cardigan with lots of toy drive, and a great temperament. I got all of that. I also got a Fluffy. Pixel was DNA tested as a pup and is indeed a fluff. I knew that when I bought her. She was sold to me on a non-breeding contract with the understanding that she is not a show dog. Which is just fine by me.
Saying that, I thought it would be a good experience for her to be shown- it really is the only sport that allows a puppy with little training to do anything in a trial atmosphere. Rita (her breeder) graciously allowed me to show her as a puppy- just for fun.
Pixel is a beautiful dog- and of course I am biased but I really did get a ton of compliments on her. Her topline, movement, and head are all very, very nice.
But then there is that pesky coat...
The CKC Standard reads: "Coat: Short or medium of hard texture. Weatherproof with good undercoat. Preferably straight."
The AKC Standard is a little more specific, it reads: "Coat- Medium length but dense as it is double. Outer hairs slightly harsh in texture; never wiry, curly or silky. Lies relatively smooth and is weather resistant. The insulating undercoat is short, soft and thick. A correct coat has short hair on ears, head, the legs; medium hair on body; and slightly longer, thicker hair in ruff, on the backs of the thighs to form "pants," and on the underside of the tail. The coat should not be so exaggerated as to appear fluffy. This breed has a shedding coat, and seasonal lack of undercoat should not be too severely penalized, providing the hair is healthy. Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers. Soft guard hairs, uniform length, wiry, curly, silky, overly short and/or flat coats are not desired. A distinctly long or fluffy coat is an extremely serious fault."
As with most things "dog" this can be interpreted many, many different ways. There are people with lots of different opinions. I have seen "fluffs" in the show ring, and I know of "fluffs" who have been bred, and I personally don't really know where I stand on the matter.
I love Cardigans, but I am not a breeder- and I think that is why I don't think about it too much. I do know that Conformation showing is at the bottom of my list of things to do so when I was approved for Pixel it didn't matter to me that she was a fluff.
It does matter for some people though- and I don't want the misconception that she was sold to me as a show dog, as a fluff- which is not the case at all.
As with everything I do with my dogs this past weekend was "just for fun!"
I do thank everyone for their wonderful comments but I just wanted that to be clear. I had first hand experience this weekend of just how some show/breeder people are and I don't want Rita to have any issues because of my fun!
I still think Pixel is Ultra Cute, and she is going to be Ultra Cute doing Obedience, Herding, Agility and Rally....
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Pixel is cute. Like. Really, really cute. Beyond cute really. I have never been stopped so much in my whole life. Everyone liked her...
I will be the first to admit I am not a "show" person. They are a completely different kind of person. Not to offend the show people who read this but wow- there sure are some wackos. I saw two fights- in the ring...not the dogs- people. I heard more gossip and cattiness than I have heard since High School, and well...sometimes I think all the hairspray and chalk get to people after a while.
Anyway...back to Pixel.
I had bathed her on Wednesday and she managed to stay mostly clean. I did a quick touch up bath on Friday. Jolene helped me a lot- with the actual grooming part- she did her ears, re did her feet (I attempted them...) and had the most amazing stuff called Waterless Shampoo. It worked great to make her feet White again...I used the fun mousse like coat stuff and fluffed up her front, flattened her "fluffy butt" and I must say she looked pretty darn good!
We got to go in for breed. There was no competition so of course she then got to go in Group, and then Puppy Group again on Saturday. There was no Puppy group on Sunday because the dog who won group was a puppy...cute little red merle aussie...
So we had lots of opportunity to practice- I think overall we did great.
I think I did a pretty decent job of handling Pixel- I was not nervous at all, and did what the judge asked me to do. I did lots of free stacking- and she magically learned only to stand and look cute..She only sat a few times but that was only when we were in group and had to wait forever for our turn... I got some great suggestion on how to make her ears perk up when we moved around the ring. She plastered them to her head on Saturday...
Pixel was great. Really Great. She stacked like a pro, and didn't act like a 6 month old puppy should act. She had one goofy moment on Saturday and the judge actually laughed at her...it was very cute..Otherwise she was poised and very much a Diva.
Natalie got some video of the big event-
This is in the Breed ring...
Here is Pixel in the group ring this afternoon...the judge was very abrupt and was quite forceful even in the Breed ring. Lots of people were complaining about him...except of course the people who won under him!
and one more short clip of the Group...
Man, is she cute!
I had Wicca entered in Rally- one trial is all they offered each day. She did great!
The first day I got a little lost- and had to take a second to figure out which way I was supposed to go. Silly, I know. But we did great! Her heeling was awesome- she was heads up the whole time and didn't do anything weird. I was super stressed after I walked it. Weird I know. But once I was in the ring I mellowed out a bit. I mean, it is novice for goodness sakes! The class was huge though- lots of Ultra Competitive Obedience people are now doing rally "for fun" so the other people in the class are high in trial Utility dogs- We kicked butt though and came in third over 25 dogs. We scored a 95/100. Two points were my fault for getting lost, one for tight leash, and two more for sloppy sits..
The second day I was super stoked when I saw the course- it was very flowy and I knew we could do it fast- which is the way wicca likes it! Because of potential conflict in the Group ring I moved to the front of the list- and was a little flustered at first. Somehow I managed to momentarily get lost. Again. I had to look for the number 4....geesh. Anyway, I only lost two point for that! She was great the whole rest of the way and we scored a 96/100 coming in Second place! Woohoo!
I was really impressed with Wicca all weekend. She worked great, and it made me realise how much I miss Obedience. I am going to get back to it- soon. I bought new Dumbbells, and am going to put aside one night a week to work my own dogs in Obedience.
I did get a photo done on Saturday- and will post it when I get it scanned. It turned out pretty good- even though I am in it!!!