Thursday, December 10, 2009

Doggie Disneyland

Yesterday I had to go get Crickets second shot, I went to a clinic about an hour away because that is the only place I could find the parvo/distemper combo only shot, and since that was half way to the Contact Point Ranch where I take herding lessons, I decided to see if I could go down and practice some herding. The great thing about going there is it is in the middle of a big orange grove a very pretty place to walk in, there is an awesome agility yard, there are the sheep to do herding with and there is a creek/river where the dogs can swim. There is a little something for everyone. So Liz got to do some herding, I took Breeze over to the agility yard where they had the pairs relay competition still all set up-so we worked on that course, and there is a huge fenced agility yard where Cricket could work with me on recalls and attention and just explore. The kids of course ran around and played by the stream. There were even some adorable little baby lambs 1-2weeks old-they are so sweet.

Finding Breeze doing a four on the floor on the dog walk is NOT a happy thing, but there it was again while I was practicing yesterday. I origionally taught a four on the floor on the dog walk and Aframe, but because Breeze was having so much trouble not falling off the dogwalk, and has hurt herself in the past, I felt like I wanted somthing that would help her focus her head forward more, and keep her paying attention and doing a slight breaking at the end. So months later we had a 2020, it was not easy but it was looking pretty good. The last two trials she was finally able to do a dog walk in trial and I felt comfortable that she was safe....and she did her 2o2o. The last run at the last trial she sort of bounced off the end of the dog walk, it was our last obstacle and the Q was in sight, but I went back and fixed it, hoping to make it clear to her what I wanted. Anyway, in practice yesterday she was totally back thinking we are doing a four on the floor on the dog walk. UGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHHGHG. Durn it! So I am going to go back and work it again and hopefully this time she will figure it out quicker, but I think for the rest of her career I am going to be fighting the four on the floor because that is what she learned first, and since she is still doing the four on the floor on the Aframe...yep, think this is something we will be revisiting for a long time. The rest of the course had some good challenges and Breeze was just AWESOME, if only we could get those weave entries at speed and the dog walk contact thing taken care of....Well, always good to have something to work on.

It was a big day for me, I went to practice herding for the first time by myself. I got to the big round pen and lo and behold it had a HUGE water puddle in it, similar to how my back yard was looking, LOL. I can not get away from the big water puddle/lakes. Luckily for me sheep do not seem to like going into the water, or at least these sheep didnt, so Lizzie kept trying to run through the water, she was loving it, but the sheep stayed out of it so I did not end up having to risk slipping in the water. Robin my instructor had shown me how to get the sheep out of the holding pen and it sounded so easy when she told me about how to do it, but getting there and seeing those four sheep, that seemed so big, and I was sure I was going to let them out where I would have to figure out how to get them back into their pen, and to be truthful Liz would not be any help if they got loose, LOL. Anyway, after I got them in the pen I spied another gate so I guess we were in no danger of the sheep getting out, but at the time I thought for sure I was going to let them go! It has been almost a month since Liz did any herding and since I the first run was AWEFUL. Liz was so excited so she did a lot more gripping then I have seen before and she just was trying to chase the sheep, I was nervous and I was totally not doing what I was supposed to, YIKES. The second time we went out, I snapped into our little dance, and Lizzie just did better then I have ever seen her do, it was actually very nice. The third time was sort of a train wreck, and Liz was just acting tired. Of course as usual I should have stopped on a good note and not tried for another turn. I got the sheep back into the holding pen without incident, so if nothing else I am going to be a good sheep herder!!! hahahahahahahah. I am so proud of myself, LOL.

Cricket was such a good girl and had a blast running through the agility yard and practicing her recalls. I was also letting her run and explore and just clicking when she would look at me, then she would come running, LOL, she is so cute.

The shot clinic was a SCARY place. YIKES. It took 2 hours of sitting to get in. There was a scared puppy, just a tiny thing sitting on the floor who had a leash wrapped around his neck, he did not even have a collar. He was scared and would bark at the other dogs, and the owner would take and tie his mouth with the leash, or he would slap the dog with the leash, or he would yank him back when he tried to look at any other dogs. Like this guy could write a book about how to make a puppy fear aggressive. Then there was the HUGE pitbull that needed a muzzle and I felt better about that owner because she was controlling the dog but it was such a small area to have all these dogs shoved into. The most fun was the chihuaua who was peeing on EVERYTHING, a little unneutered male who was marking willey nilley. The owner sat down next to me and the dog kept trying to get at Cricket who was in her crate. I kept moving my crate further and further and putting my legs inbetween this dog and my crate.....and of course the owner kept letting the dog keep going to poor Cricket. I hope my dog was not infected with something while she was sitting and waiting for her shot so she will not get sick ;-). By the time they started calling out people who had come way after me, all my shyness faded as I SCREAMED across the room, WHAT ABOUT CRICKET, she should have went a few dogs ago. Turns out they have never even written her down, ughghghghg, so good thing I said something, but I suprised even myself, but I was so worried about sitting there so long with my poor puppy.

WEIRDEST THING OF THE DAY: I went to get Breeze out and put on her harness, I have an awesome harness that I LOVE. Well, my 3 year old dog seems to have really grown the last few months. Not weight wise but her chest sort of got deeper and she looks more mature. AT THREE YEARS OLD. Who would think she would not be long done growing. Anyway, we are now in the market for a new harness since the current one will not fit at all, guess Cricket has her next harness for when she outgrows her present one.


Diana said...

The vets office , to weird. I probably would have left. People are scary.

I think contacts are always going to be work, no matter what method you train. Its just an ongoing thing.

Yea for everything. You must have a lot of energy to do all that. Diana

Kathy said...

LOL, I really dont have that much energy---that is why they all didnt get to do all the activities, everyone got to play at something but if I had a lot of energy they would have all got to do it all!

I just want contacts to be easy, LOL!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

What an activity-filled day! Guess I'm glad you persevered at the vet clinic but it sounded awful and good thing you spoke up! Herding seems fun (I tried it once but in a very controlled way on a long line) but scary it you are alone out there with sheep to control. Sounds like you did great!

Yes, seems like no matter what contacts are never going to be easy! :)

BTW, what kind of harness do you have that you love so much?

Sara said...

Wow, you had a busy day!

I always say I go to WORK so I can relax! LOL. When I have the day off, I try to squeeze too many things into one day.