Monday, May 31, 2010
i am excited, but nervous. mostly i am nervous about putting pixel in the novice obedience ring. not quite sure what i was thinking!?!!!?
i like for my dogs to be ready. like, really ready. and pixel is not that. she does not understand the stand for exam very well, nor is she proofed on her long sits and downs. her heeling is beautiful and her fronts are pretty amazing all of a sudden. but still.
so i am waffling- to pull or not to pull. i may have a conflict with agility anyway, and if that happens then the decision is made easy for me.
i am not a perfectionist, but i do like to know that my dog will qualify with decent scores. i have my doubts at this point. the only reason i entered her was because of the specialty. it's boosted by the club, and how cool would it be to get high cardigan in trial. which won't happen if she doesn't qualify. :) kind of makes it seem rather silly. i think that i was hoping to do a heck of a lot more training prior to now. and really i've been slacking off in the obedience department for a while. so yeah. we'll see on the day i guess!
it will be a busy enough weekend- the friday rally, and sunday agility/obedience are the events boosted by the cardigan club. saturday was left free of performance events so that the conformation people wouldn't have conflicts. if i kept pixel in obedience i'm very likely to have a conflict with agility....i am also doing agility on saturday with the girls.
this will be pixels first ckc trial. both wicca and pixel are in novice standard...funny eh? i have not packed, nor even thought about packing and we are leaving on thursday.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
For the past few years I've attended the annual "Walk for Guide Dogs" through the Lions Foundation of Canada. We raise money through work, and through private donations and then walk around a lake in our area. This year it was very wet, and cold. But despite the crappy weather our City was able to raise 30,000! Pretty amazing for a small city. The turn out was decent, although not as great as last year. I am sure the weather played a big part in that.
Vito got to tag along today- and I think he enjoyed himself mostly. He hates puddles, but didn't seem to mind the rain itself. He had a good time looking at the ducks on the lake, and he enjoyed the yummy cookies I brought along.
There were two instances of poor dog ownership that I wanted to talk about.
One, was not only an example of irresponsibility, but also potentially very tragic. When we arrived we could see there was a little loose dog- looked like a chocolate lab, but in beagle form. She had no collar on and was obviously spooked, and not very trusting of people. I started throwing food for her, and gradually she moved closer and closer. Each time she saw a new dog she would dart away to visit so I had to start all over again. Finally I borrowed Jo's dog Tate (he is very friendly and non-threatening) and started feeding. The little dog started taking treats from my hand so I knew I had her. I started asking her to sit for her cookies and finally she was close enough for me to grab. I grabbed her, she snapped at me, but I held on. It turns out the people who brought her were actually the neighbors- not her owners and she slipped her collar. The young girl walks the dog every day because it's owners don't. This dog has not likely had any socialising with people or dogs, and little training. I felt very badly for the people who brought her- not only were they unable to catch her, but were very worried about her. We were not very far from a busy road.... In this case it ended okay. I was able to catch her, and they put her back in the car. But what if I had not been able to catch her? I very nearly gave up, and the other people who were trying to help by literally trying to "catch" her were not helping the situation at all. They drove to the area, so she would not have been able to find her own way home. She was very spooked about people, and after my snatch and grab it is unlikely she will fall for that trick again. People REALLY need to socialise their dogs. Get them out around people, and dogs, and in all sorts of environments. And train your dog. At the very least teach them their name. This little dog had no idea what her name was. Such a small thing could save a life.
And the other thing? Shit. People need to pick up after their dogs. It is not hard. They were handing out bags at the registration thingy. Seriously. Nothing annoys me more.
Other than those two things it was a pretty great way to spend a few hours. I like to support as many of those types of things as I can. Makes me feel good. :o)
"every time I jump I feel I touch the sky" ~ Howard Moon
Boone is a very bouncy dog- always leaping and jumping up. Combined with his love for all things soft and fuzzy it wasn't hard to get him to jump up for the toy. :)
I really liked this shot despite the lack of obvious focus. A little bit of fun processing from Piknik and ta-da! not fuzzy, just artistic. :)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
What a week this has been! I feel completely rushed for some reason. And it was a short week! I am looking forward to the weekend- most of the time will be spent just hanging at home with the dogs.
Training was good this week- pixel had great weaves and I worked on proofing her dogwalk. We don't have an aframe right now unfortunately or you can bet I'd be working on that! Boone came to class this week and rocked. We only did a few small things but he wasn't worried hardly at all. I am so proud of him. He had a very hard time last year- so I was very happy that he was able to overcome that.
This weekend I am doing obedience training on saturday (fine tuning pixels novice!) and sheepherding on sunday!! I am pretty excited about herding- it has been more than a year since I've been. Pixel is the lucky dog who gets to go- she was very keen as a younger dog so I expect that she will have lots of fun!
It is only a week now until the Cardigan Corgi Club of Canada National Specialty. I am really excited about it. I have the girls entered in Obedience, Rally and Agility. It will be a very busy three days. There are quite a few Cardigans entered in Conformation so I hope there are a few entered in the Performance events aswell! I am looking forward to seeing lots and lots of Cardigans. It will be nice to not be the only ones for a change!
Monday, May 24, 2010
My dogs did really great- even in the rain and I am very proud of all of them.
I was very sad to not run Boone- and so was he I think! I am betting his first trial back he will be more than just a little excited! He got to come and watched and visited but it's not the same as getting to play. Poor Guy. He is starting back this week in classes so that should make him happy!
Vito had a lot of fun, and I think was pretty happy to be out. He was a little weirded out by the people on the side lines- but managed to stay pretty focused on me. I am pretty proud of him. He doesn't get much training and certainly hasn't sequenced that many obstacles before. He came very close to getting two Q's on the weekend- in standard and in jumpers. He ducked under the tire in both runs, but otherwise was great. He ran in three events total.
Pixel did so well. She was her normal spunky self and didn't even care about the rain! She did exactly what I asked her and it was quite refreshing to have a dog that responds so quickly. She did have a few moments of young dog stuff- she nearly left the ring to go visit, but came back (and wrapped around the ring barrier in the mean time), and it is very obvious I have more work to do on her contacts. Her speed is improving each time, and I think she will get faster with more experience and confidence. Handling wise I am very happy with her- both rear crosses, and front crosses were no problem for her. She qualified in all four events she was entered in- she now moves to Advanced jumpers! (on a side note I should mention this took Wicca a few years....) I am very excited to continue training and running her. It is just so neat to see it all come together. She is seriously the cutest thing ever and I just adore her.
Wicca was great. Truly. The videos may not show it but this was our best weekend at a trial in a long time. She actually listened. Sure, we knocked a few bars, and had some miscommunication, I was late, she was early...lol But she listened and tried hard. I can't ask for much more than that. I tried to stay calm, and run like I meant it all at once. It is hard to find that balance sometimes. She had a few weave pole wipe outs- she got stuck twice on the steeplechase poles. Her contacts were not bad- although she early released on a dogwalk. The gamble was great- all that hard work on directionals has really started to pay off. So overall I am pretty happy. She earned two Q's- a Steeplechase, and another Gamble.
I am having trouble with the music- I chose the Queen song- Another one bites the dust- but youtube said no way. I chose a replacement song but not sure when or if ever it will work.
All in all a pretty wonderful weekend. I am feeling more in the groove so to speak. It's a good feeling.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Too tired to upload video or do any major updating but had to brag about Pixel's great weekend.
She qualified in all four events she was entered in. Snooker, Gamblers, Jumpers and a Standard. She placed first in all classes except one, and had the most Gamble points of all the Starters class.
Oh, and she weaved 12 POLES! And was pretty much perfect all weekend. I love this dog.
(Vito and Wicca also had a good weekend, but I'll blog more tomorrow!)
Friday, May 21, 2010
Pixel is entered in three things each day- the most she's ever done! Vito is entered in a few things, and Wicca is entered in almost the full trial. Poor Boone doesn't get to play- again! The entries for this trial closed eons ago so I had pulled him because he was still hitching a bit. Oh well. I am sure he will be content eatching chewies and barking at border collies all weekend. :)
Happy Long weekend to everyone!
oh, and although not a great photo I laughed out loud when I saw it on my view finder. Pixel is the funniest dog ever.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
This is the Friday Rally Novice Course. Her FIRST time in the ring ever. We scored a 97 on this course- losing three points for the redo when I didn't pay attention to how many pylons we were weaving. I love how attentive Pixel is. As you can see we need some work on fronts and finishes and inside turns.
This is Wicca's Open routine from Saturday. She was very upbeat and I love how happy she appears to be.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
To summarize all the stuff below Pixel earned her RN title, Wicca earned two legs towards her RE title, and came close in Open. And I am very happy. :)
Pixel qualified in all three of her Novice Rally runs- earning her first real title! She is now Cornerstones on Second Thought RN! Her scores were all in the high 90's- a 96, and two 98's. She came in second all three times, although one of those was a tie for first place (only losing by a second) She wasn't phased by the ring or the atmosphere at all and looked like a pro. The courses were not easy either and I am very proud of how well she did. We do have some things to work on of course but mostly she was great!
Wicca started off a little rough- Friday she was lethargic and kind of strange. It actually seemed like she was stiff. Looking back I think she was adjusting to the heat. It was SO hot- outside, and in the building. To go from Winter to Summer temperatures in a week can be a lot for a dog.
Friday morning she was in Open and was sluggish- her heeling was off, she was stressed and uncomfortable. She did however STAY for her long sit out of sight. I was thrilled. She tried very hard for the down out of sight- but the steward brought us back to early and when we left again she got up. The judge was kind and didn't fail us for that, but we failed anyway due to her sluggish routine. Her recall was in slow motion and fronts were non-existant.
Friday afternoon was better and we earned her first Excellence leg with a 98. She did really well and was definitely more "up" in the ring. She earned High In Class with that score.
Saturday morning we went into the Open ring and rocked. She nailed every exercise and scored 143.5 out of 150. That is how good she was. And then she went down on her sit. Sigh.
Rally in the afternoon was awesome. 99/100, losing one mark for an out of position sit. And then I blew the honor exercise. Notice I said "I"....somedays I think that I am a jinx to my dog. Seriously. So things are going well. She is in a sit beside me waiting for the painfully slow dog to finish the course and then I hear Pixel barking like mad in the benching area. I turn to give my friends "the eye" to go and see if she is okay, and I dropped my arm. Wicca jumped up to see if I had a treat. And Poof. There goes High In Class. Sigh. I was so mad at myself. Wicca rocked that course and I blew it because I was worried about something I had no control over...
Sunday there was no obedience- just rally. It was nice to have the coolness of the morning for Rally. Also because Wicca was the last dog in her class she got to be the first honor dog- which was awesome because she wasn't hot from just doing the course and was very focused on me. It was a long minute and half I must say! But it was worth it. She nailed the course and was the only dog with a perfect score. It was pretty and smooth and she worked so well.
On top of all that my friend Jolene finished her Collie's Championship, and also got High In Class in Novice Rally on Sunday. She has worked very hard with him and his accomplishments are well deserved! Congratulations Jolene!
So all in all it was a great weekend spent with friends and great dogs. I am pretty tired, and need to go shopping for summer clothes. Not sure what I was thinking wearing Jeans all three days....
I will have Videos to post tomorrow sometime, so until then you all will just have to imagine how awesome my dogs were. :)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I am heading off to Medicine Hat tomorrow for an Obedience and Rally Trial.
This is Pixels first Rally trial so I am pretty excited!
Wicca is debuting in the Rally Excellent Class, and is entered in Open Obedience aswell.
I will be posting updates to Facebook, but probably not here. Have a good weekend everyone!
I took Boone to the outside training field last night for the first time this year. And he was great! He was very excited to get there, and was happy to do some tricks and follow me around. He was a little nervous at some of the louder traffic but he didn't run away once.
Sarah helped me and we did some recalls, and she ran around with him a bit. He was more than happy to work for his supper out there. Although it doesn't sound that exciting it is a pretty big step for him.
Every summer we train out there, and every summer he starts with lots of meltdowns, and gradually builds up tolerance. By the end of the summer he is pretty good.
I don't think he will ever be oblivious to the traffic and train noises- but after last night I am optimistic that we will have a lot of success training this summer.
I am always careful not to put neurosis on my dog, and try to be optimistic about how he is going to do in situations like this. I figured he would be okay (it was SUPPER! afterall) but he was even able to do a little work- and he didn't drag me back to the car after. That is great progress.
Progress in the form of Bravery is a great thing!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
jump grid. She blasted through them five times before settling in and doing three correct.
Weave entries. Worked on hard open entries with her, pumping her up first so she'd have to really sit back and collect to get the entry.
Weaves. Distance and sending through with me at one end. She has the tendency to curl back to me at pole 10 so I worked on that with a toy.
Gamble work. With dogwalk, and directionals. She did really well. Still need to work on difference between out and go on with two parallel jumps. She will suck into me and take wrong jump if I don't have enough pressure. I'd like for her to look away more reliably on a verbal "out" cue.
Rear crosses. Using figure eight pattern just mostly for some more jumping. RC were good and well timed on my part.
Jump grid- she is doing much better and is jumping smoother. I am still debating about dropping her to 6inches....
Weave session 1. Two gates on for first rep, then off. Worked hard open entries and rear crosses. She has a good rhythm and lots of forward focus. Am very happy with progress.
Dogwalk. Backchained three reps with me hanging back, staying with, and sending. She is driving to end and sticks it! Yay for Pixel! Did two full dogwalks and am thrilled with the progress.
Weave Session 2. Started with no gates but had no succes beyond pole four. Put one gate on for four reps and ended.
Jumping- rear cross exercise on figure eight. She did really well. Next week we will work on Fronts only.
Weave session 3. One gate for first two reps and then no gate for three. Fast entry out of tunnel. Really happy with her.
Jumping- acceleration mostly. Set up games and blasting off start line to thrown toy.
Tugging- got some really great tugging with him.
Dogwalk- running all the way. Used tug toy to reward low and played some happiest place games.
Weaves- 6 poles. Pretty distracted and lost the oomph we have at home. Need to work on making it more stressful at home...
Tire- he was ducking under so worked on the tire until he was actually looking for it.
Discrimination- tunnel/dogwalk. He is a total dogwalk lover *nd had a hard time. I exaggerated the tunnel for him a few times and he was better.
Gophers were very distracting for Wicca and Vito. Used them to wind up Wicca a bit in an effort to make her screw up the poles. No such luck. :)
Need to remember to always start with a gate for Pixel in the weaves.
Bring goodie container for Vito next time.
Boone did not come out last night. Will start him back on light stuff next week. He has not been to the field at all yet. May bring him tonite while I teach and feed him supper out there.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This is my photo for last weeks 52 weeks FLICKR challenge. There was an actual "challenge" last week which was fun...and challenging! It was just "Pop Culture." I had a few ideas, but this one turned out the best!
Boone has always reminded me a bit of a stoner. He is kinda forgetful, always hungry, and generally happy...or paranoid. :) AND he always has this kinda stoned look on his face. The tongue and the hair totally make the shot...
This was taken with a wide angle lens, and the only processing was a higher saturation.
oh, and no gel was needed - he was having a natural bad hair day....
Uploaded by manymuddypaws on 9 May 10, 2.27PM MDT.
Monday, May 10, 2010
because I have no ears.
would have been a great shot if her ears were up.
She has very soft ears, totally my fault I am sure. I stopped taping too soon because I couldn't stand the tortured look anymore.
still a pretty photo though.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
All of these photos are from Wendy- I didn't even think to bring my camera!
I had a hard time picking a favorite, but I really enjoyed the wolves- their habitat was huge and they had lots of stuff to do. Only the big black wolf was up and about while we were there- the others were napping. He was pretty spectacular. Very serious and intense.
This is Red Kangaroo- much smaller than the regular ones.
The Zoo had four or five tigers and one really large exhibit. I have a feeling they don't get along too well so only one was out in the big habitat and the others were in smaller ones. This guy posed for Wendy for quite a while.
And what's a trip with Jolene without the classic Tourist pose. :)
Thanks for the great day guys!
Oh, and you will probably get to see more Zoo photos on OneCollie's blog and Crazyandlittle (both on the side bar)
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Wicca is going to compete in Open Obedience, and Excellent Rally.
She really loves obedience and is a happy, confident worker. Last night I did a bit of training with her and she did really well. We did lots of heeling as after the funmatch last weekend I needed to get the forging under control. :) Her fetching, drop on recall, and broad jump are all perfect. She is getting more confident with her long stays out of sight, and because of that I am getting more confident with them too.
I've gone through and read all the Excellent signs and we can do them all. Her back up beside me isn't pretty, but she gets it done.
Pixel is going into the Rally ring for the first time. It's going to be so cute. Her heeling is really great, and at the suggestion of a friend I've changed my hand position and now it's even better. No more wide turns and sits. We practiced finishes, and stands last night- both of which have improved a lot in the past few weeks.
I'm really looking forward to the show- it should be fun!
There are no Cardigans entered in Conformation, but I think there will a few in Rally.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
She really is a very athletic dog. She has a much lighter frame than Wicca and has better balance and agility in general. She can hop onto the bed with one leap, and has no qualms at all with attempting to jump onto the kitchen table. (naughty, but athletic no?)
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Boone has always had a hitch in his back leg. Not always noticeable and he doesn't do it all the time but it happened often enough when I got him to talk to the vet about it. He had looste patellas, but nothing major.
A few months ago (Feb) he started refusing the aframe and acting weird at agility. And then Sarah noticed on a rally video that he seemed to be hitching more, and then I started noticing more hitching too.
I am not sure what happened or if the pronounced hitching was a gradual change. Regardless I've been giving him lots of crate rest and restricted exercise for about three weeks now.
This past week I have seen very little hitching and he is able to do the alternate leg lift without falling over. :)
I am going to start rebuilding muscles and increase his exercise gradually and see if the hitching comes back.
There are lots of rear end exercises I can do with him, combined with supplements I think he will be back on track in no time.
He is currently on Arnica twice a day and a higher dose of Recovery. Also he gets Salmon Oil once a day.
I am going to make an apt with the vet just for a check up. If the hitching comes back with increased exercise I will ask for a refferral to western vet (where I take wicca)
But I am hopeful that the rest has allowed whatever it was to heal. I do know that if it is a patella issue that it is unlikely that plain rest will fix it, but I am hoping that it was a strain or pulled muscle. We will see!
Monday, May 03, 2010
I was really pleased with Wicca- she got every weave entry, and stuck her contacts, and listened well. I wasn't happy with myself however. I got lost on three of the four courses. Nice eh? My memory has sucked for a while, but this is pretty ridiculous. I know that with the tooth pain and the advil my brain is a little foggy. Anyway, I am going to try to do as many longer sequences and courses that I can between now and Regionals to get my brain working properly.
It was a great day, and I got a few tips about my timing, and just general information. He is all about doing what works for the dog and taking into account the actual dynamic of the dog. He doesn't try to squish all dogs into one "box" so to speak. For example with a dog like Wicca- who is 6 years old and is not going to change much at this point, he thinks I should stop trying to make her bend over (and keep the bar up) the bar. Rather i should signal my turn when she's landed. One of our weak points right now are lead out pivots for this reason. I have been trying, and trying to get the turn before she takes off but the bar comes down nearly every time. By signaling my turn after she's landed I've only lost a second or two, and kept the bar. He's told me this before but I think I actually get it now. If this was a dog with longer legs, and better structure then yes, fix the jumping. But this particular dog is not going to change so I have to. Makes sense eh?
Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I was glad to have gone. I originally was going for two days but had to pull for the Monday because Boone can't play yet. He does seem to be on the mend though, and i haven't seen any hitching in the past few days...
Oh, and the weather really sucks here. Not sure about the rest of the world but this is pretty abnormal even for us. LOTS of really nasty wind, and rain. We don't get much rain here so it's pretty strange. We are used to wind though, but 100km/hr winds two days in a row is a but ridiculous....
hopefully the flickering lights doesn't mean we are going to lose power....
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Wicca was so awesome in Open- she was having a ton of fun and did all the exercises great. Even her long sits and down out of sight. I was so proud of her. Her heeling was a little wild and we lost lots of points for forging- but i'll take it. I know that in the real ring she will be a little more nervous and not forge.
Pixel did really good. She is definitely ready for Novice Rally- definitely NOT ready for Novice Obedience. We need to work on transitions, fronts, and finishes. Her heeling was nice though.
All the dogs got to come out for Rally. Even Vito!
He had SO much fun- poking signs and offering all sorts of things. He is so fun when he wants to be. I love that his tail was wagging so fast his butt was wiggling. And it made me laugh out loud when he bopped the pylon...
Boone got to play too- he seems to be better so I thought a little heeling would be good for him. I am slowly easing him back into stuff. And Pixel aced it. She did super and I am really looking forward to the trial in a few weeks. Wicca was wild and forging, but having fun so I was happy.
All in all a pretty great day!