Friday, January 30, 2015

This and That

Wicca is doing pretty good. I've messed around a bit with her supplements and have found a mix that seems to work. And I bought her these cool socks that have grips on them. So she is able to keep her feet under her better on my slippery floor. And she only hates them a little bit. I worry about her. Like all the time. But she's fine. Just getting old. Funny that Boone is the same age and hardly shows it at all. I certainly don't worry about him the same way I do Wicca!

I have been training the dogs a lot. Making time for my own dogs is priority lately. I cut back an actual class so I could train my own dogs and its working well.

Brit is really coming along and will be ready for Novice Obedience in Camrose in March. Leo is amazing in Obedience. I started working on his stand and the exam portion of that exercise. So far he's fairly relaxed and seems to understand the exercise. We have some work on the recall part to do though. I've discovered he doesn't know how to run to me. Which seems odd until I remember that I probably haven't taught him and he didn't know anything before I got him.

Pixel is learning nosework. She's a total rockstar. I've decided to teach an alert right from the beginning as it was frustrating with Wicca to figure out when she actually found it. So far it's working pretty well! In wish I had more time for this particular game!

Herding is great. Most times I work the dogs I leave the field happy with the progress we've made. Leo is making huge improvements with driving. He really gets it now and is happy to truck along behind his sheep. He understands a stop and steady whistle. I'm going to start flanks next week! Brit either does really well or terrible. Her outruns are nice in practice, but the top still is troublesome. She is like a bowling ball sometimes. Smashing into them. Lol. Both dogs had trouble with pushing into pressure at the last arena trial. So I've set that up a few times and Leo especially seems to understand a bit better. This herding game is a tough one!

Agility is awesome. I am happy to be training and running again. I even entered a trial! Although I have my doubts that we are ready. Leo is a strange dog sometimes and I wonder about his ability to focus and work in such an exciting environment. He can barely weave at the arena we train at. Lol. And not because he doesn't know how, but because his brain short circuits or something and he turns frantic and weird. But Sundog itself is wonderful and busy and everything I had hoped for. To celebrate our one month Cindy brought homemade baileys for everyone. It was pretty awesome.

Life itself is busy and hectic and a little sad sometimes. My mom is really unwell and seemingly unwilling to help herself. Its highly stressful and difficult. But we've got some help with her now and that's been a relief. There has been a lot of sadness this past week with friends and their pets. I always say that its hard to know and love so many. Thats that many more losses and heartache you feel. I wouldn't change it though. <3

Regardless of lifes ups and downs I keep on keeping busy and that's really what helps me to stay grounded and okay. I think that moving forward- even one step at a time is better than stopping to think too long, or feeling bad for yourself. I've seen it in real life and I'm determined that will not be my fate. So no matter how hard things are I find something good to think about and focus on. That gets me through just fine!

I have been debating leaving Facebook. I find the whole thing quite depressing and annoying. So much crap, so much bullying and negativity. It seems that people just whine and complain mostly, I have enough of that in my real life. Lol. I cut my friends list way down and am going to cut out some Business pages and stupid groups- maybe that will help me to be less annoyed. It's like an addiction though! I know people who say they are quitting and then five minutes later they are back. I figure it'll be easier to fade it out slowly. I've been posting less and less and am checking in way less too. We will see what happens.

And that's pretty much what's happening in my life. I've become a terrible blogger. I think in part because of all the crap- I hate being one of those people who complain or air their dirty laundry. I think that talking about the bad stuff gives it too much power. My gram always said if you didn't have anything nice to say then it was better to say nothing at all. She was a smart woman. <3

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scenthurdle Rockstars

Pixel especially is really very very good at this game. So good in fact I sent her to a race without me and she ran just fine with a team mate.

Brit is also pretty super! She's mostly accurate now and is pretty speedy too!

The CSHRA recently underwent some changes. Including issuing their own certificates! I got these in an email this morning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On Dog Training.

This past weekend I spent teaching a workshop on building drive and motivation for work, as well as competition obedience specific skills. It was a lot of fun- working with new dogs and people. Everyone was really great and I think came away with some new ideas.

I teach quite a lot- all different types of classes and levels. Although I don't consider myself a "people person," I do read people well. I can tell what they need to hear, and usually Can figure out a way to explain it in a way that they understand.

One thing that I do struggle to explain properly is how important it is to know your dog. How understanding your dogs behavior, is the first step before being able to actually teach them something. I think far too often we are just blindly trying to teach the dog stuff without considering the dogs mental ability and state. If the dog is stressed, worried, anxious, over-aroused, or bored will all make a difference in the dogs ability to learn and perform. Identifying it, and the reason behind it and then moving forward to a solution is Important.

Teaching our dogs to cope with stress, distractions, and failure shouldn't be avoided. Too often the first sign of failure and we either make it a big deal, or make it easy for the dog again. We are creating dogs who give up and have no try. There needs to be a happy medium. One where the effort may be acknowledged, but lets try it again. And maybe with a little change, or a bit of help. Backing up all the time to square one is not going to teach the dog how to get to step three.

Anyway. Just some random thinking. I talked about these things a fair amount this weekend- and I wonder if people were caught up in the skill part of the workshop and didn't really consider the other stuff. Maybe it should have been on a handout...

Next time I think I'll do that. So people can read and absorb on their own. Just like dogs, we don't all learn the same!

Monday, January 05, 2015

11 Years of Awesome

Wicca is 11 years old, and still as awesome as ever. Her attitude, personality, and zest for life have never slowed down. Physically she is very much an old dog now, but mentally she is as sharp as ever. We have done a lot of really cool stuff in her 11 years. Everything I asked of her she did with all her heart. Happy Birthday to the best dog ever, and the keeper of my heart. 

<3 ya Woo.

Friday, January 02, 2015

More adventure and less procrastination.

Wow. January 2nd already.

2014 was busy. I did lots of awesome stuff. I did some not so awesome stuff. I worked a lot. I worked hard. I had fun. I made time for family. For friends. I loved my dogs. I did stuff that I thought I couldn't. And I went to some cool places. I had lots of personal growth and triumph. It was mostly a great year.

2015 will likely look a lot like 2014. I have some awesome adventures planned. I plan to work hard so I can play hard. I plan to make time for my family, and spend fun times with friends.

I also plan to procrastinate less. I would say that is my worst trait. So I'm going to work on that.

Without a doubt there will be hardship and struggle, but as always I'll figure out how to cope and recover and move on. Life is so short- and full of surprises. Good and bad. It's important to roll with punches and not get stuck getting beat up all of the time, or get caught up in fighting back. Literally, or figuratively. ;)

And I will enjoy and celebrate the good stuff. No matter how small. Because in my life there is a lot of good. I'm lucky to have a family and friends and a job and opportunity and my dogs. I keep myself centered by thinking of all those things. Because that's the important stuff.

So bring it on 2015. We are ready for ya!