Friday, January 28, 2011


We have a war on hair here in the CA desert. With five dogs, all long haired, a long hair cat, the wide open desert out our door, two kids, a PE teacher for a husband, I bet you can imagine the hair and dirt, and sand that is tracked into my house. My house really ought to be the test grounds for vacuums.

Last round of vacuum cleaners we got ended up with us getting a Dyson Animal. The Dyson worked really well for a couple of years, but you know they just don't make vacuums to last forever now days, actually very few things seem to be built to last now days. My husband is a bit....economical he would say, cheap I would say about things like vacuums. When the Dyson broke he tried to get it fixed but the parts would have made it more then a new vacuum. His solution...he went out without talking to me and bought this really cheap stick model vacuum cleaner, I think he really went all out in his mind and bought one that was like $39. Humm, keep in mind the desert, natural landscape back yard (dirt), five dogs, two kids,....You remember.

I was really mad he went out without even talking to me, but we nursed that thing along, and it has never done a good job. How did I know it was not doing well? Picture a nice evening with the family sitting in front of the TV, Breeze who gets pretty OCD about her ball starts drooling and the ball is soon covered with drool, it roles along the floor and is quickly a hairy rubber ball. GROSS! I keep having to chase Cricket down and grab hair ropes out of her mouth, and when Kimmie is clicker training and gets a treat from the floor she coughs and sputters trying not to swallow the hair that came with the treat. My house was embarrassing.

I got tired of the whole thing and was at Target and saw they had a Hoover Pet Vac on sale, so grabbed it on a whim. Not really cheap but definitely not expensive by vacuum standards. It was a really cool vacuum, the accessories were well planned and positioned on the vac and I could not believe how much it was picking up. The beater bar and the little hand vac attachment had rubber type material so it really did well with the hair. About two hours into our whirl wind cleaning session my youngest vacuumed up a sock, but realized it and turned off the vacuum right away but too late, the motor was fried. UGhghghghghgh, no good. So back to Target we went to return that vacuum and get another.

We get the new one and bravely continue the cleaning project. Within an hour that vacuum was smoking and smelled burned. SERIOUSLY! This time I made Bill take the vacuum back. I realize my house is a real vacuum challenge but vacuums are not tissues and not disposable and they should last more then two hours. Of couse Bill had instructions to return it and get a credit, or a refund. He comes home with a third of the same brand.....if you want something done right you have to do it yourself, when will I learn ;-).

Anyway, my hubby has not made peace with his anger at the Dyson for dying.... and I have had an Oreck that just did not get the hair I did not know what to do. I saw a LG Kompactor vacuum at Target and it came with a $50 gift card, and a 5 yr warranty, and was quite a bit less expensive then the Dyson so the very large, heavy Kompactor came home with me.

The funny thing is we continued our cleaning mission...about an hour into it the vacuum will not work. The third vacuum will not work......WTF?????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I grabbed the manuel and started checking everything and seems.....the filter was clogged and needed to be washed. THE FILTER THAT NEEDS TO BE CLEANED EVERY THREE MONTHS was CLOGGED.....AFTER AN HOUR!!! LOL, like I said my house should be a consumer guide test field for vacuums. I cleaned the filter and we are back in business, so hopefully.......The good news is that I can not find animal hair on the living room floor for the first time in a long time, I am doing the happy dance!

My mom lives in Salt Lake. Usually their city is very animal friendly, and their animal rescue workers are tops. They do a lot of trap and release of wild cats, they trap them, spay or neuter and release them. There are some people trying to make a law that it would be fine to kill any animals a person has a belief are feral, check out what Steven Colbert has to say about the proposed law. Of course it would all be done humamely,....RIGHT!
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mr. Smith Goes to the State Legislature Then Later Possibly Washington - Curtis Oda
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sleep time!

Cricket is a nut, she sleeps on the bed right next to me, and is a real cuddle bug...but she likes to start out the night on her back, perhaps to show off the feckles on her tummy? Does that even look comfy?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

meeting the relatives in San Diego this weekend...

some of Crickets relatives, and of course Cricket:

Cricket, Fusion, Twix, Synergy

On Saturday Cricket and I went to the San Diego area where her breeder was down from Oregon attending a trial. Getting Cricket has been a really different experience for me because I only met Cricket through photos before I got her and I had never met her breeder. It was a huge leap for me because I feel so strongly about making sure that anywhere I BUY a dog from is a place that I want to support and comes from dogs I like. Luckily I have some friends I really trust that gave good references, and I saw enough videos I felt pretty good getting the Crickster-but it was really nice to actually be able to meet Brittney-her breeder in person. I was impressed, Brittney was very nice, she seemed very knowledgeable, and we even got to see her run a dog at the agility trial we were at. Brittney had Fusion her dog who I have been watching in videos and have always liked-she is a 3/4 sister to Cricket so it was a treat to meet her in person. There were a few other owners from the area-it was fun to meet Crickets birth relatives and their people.

Some of you may have seen Pam's videos with Twix on youtube, She does some tutorials on tricks with her dogs Bandit, Twix and Isabella. I had emailed her when I heard Brittney was coming down and she came to meet us there too. I have talked to her over the net, but had never met her in person. Emily, who is Kikopup on youtube and does some fantastic tutorials was there with her doggies Splash and Tug. CRICKET LOVED TUG. Tug was the only dog that seemed to understand how Cricket likes to play. She likes to tug with other dogs and Tug seems to really enjoy that game too. I think he is the littlest dog she has played with and think it is safe to say he was a great ambassador for the small dogs. Splash is the sweetest dog ever, I really liked her.

And the BEAUTIFUL Crickster:

Cricket was a bit of a Freak at the trial to start with, boy I thought we had the impulse control stuff down and we have worked so hard on our recall, but there is a lot of instinct kicking in that little girls head and it is so hard for Cricket to resist going after running dogs. When we got there Cricket had been in the car for the 3 hour 20 min drive that seemed to last forever, it was still early morning so Cricket had so much pent up energy and seeing the dogs running agility was getting close to sending her over the edge. I can see some areas we need to work on to get her ready for trialing ;-) and I can see we need to get places and give Cricket a few minutes to settle in before I expect a lot from her. I could see Cricket try so hard to sit and be good, she would really try so hard, but she would get so frustrated she finally had to lunge or turn and bite her leash. I think I am going to work on teaching her to carry a toy so she can chomp down on that when she gets a little frustrated, I think that will help her.

Cricket really wanted to play with Twix and at one point they both pulled out of our hands and both went racing toward the agility rings....YIKES!!!! So much for my recall at that point, LOL. I screamed my "come"command and they did turn and start racing sort of our way...sort of...then Twix caught sight of the pool and headed there. Once he was checking out the pool Cricket figured he was not as much fun when he was not running so she turned and ran into me as fast as she could. I am sure she figured she came eventually.....she was busy when I first called, why didn't I understand that?

Once Cricket settled down she was actually very good. I was able to do quite a bit of one jump work at the practice jump when no one was using it and she was reading rear crosses really well, and some nice front crosses, doing her start line stay practice really well, I was actually really happy with how she did there. She was also able to do some really terrific mat work, so our crate games are paying off there. All in all I think the little Crickster is going to make it, she is still young and learning how to deal with all the stimulation around a trial. It was very unfortunate my zipper on my crate had broke and I did not have time to get it fixed, I think the trial would have been a lot easier for her if I had brought her crate and gave her a little break from the stimulation, but it felt like Cricket was pretty wild while I was there...but once I left and thought about it, she really did pretty good, she let me know some things that we need to work on, but like Susan Garrett says Embrace Your Holes in your training, so guess we got a few holes that we can embrace ;-).

ps, the pictures were taken by Brittney, hope she does not mind I used them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Few Word Wednesday!

Ya know I could not do a totally wordless post...LOL,...but I tried! We did not get any more snow, but I did find these pictures of Kimmie our cat on my daughters camera. Kimmie is STRICTLY an indoor cat....but my girls do take her out to play with them outside, so she did get a chance to check out the snow-Kimmie is a really cool cat.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breeze trial picts....

What a suprise to get a picture in the mail from a trial in JULY??? Dont know how the photographer knew it was Breeze, or how they got my address, but I had written in July and asked if the photographer had a picture of Breeze and never heard anything,.....until January. I have a 8X10 picture in a floating frame of each dog doing agility in the hallway, my Wall Of Fame, LOL, but I did not have any pictures of Breeze. I needed an Aframe picture so I had a nice variety.....and check it out, it is a great Aframe picture, oriented the correct way and the Aframe is gorgeous with the purple rubberized surface-Purple is Breezes color, all her accessories are purple or Hey Merry Christmas to me! LOL. The funny part is my hubby does not understand such things....and of course said we should NOT buy the picture...RIGHT! I am of course buying the picture!

Breeze is feeling great and looking at her picture I can not wait until she is in shape to trial again....HOWEVER I injured a hamstring pretty bad and I CAN NOT that has been very frustrating esp...looking at this picture which just makes me want to get out there soooo bad! Breeze and I make quite the team-maybe we could get together and at least plan our injuries to coincide?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Cricket is finally able to work on doing a full Aframe. Our Aframe started with teaching her to pounce into a box, then to do a jump grid to a box, I added in some handler movement and some handling, and now we are ready to put it on the obstacle.

Elicia Calhoun advised me to start with the box placed a little higher then the yellow contact zone to start with. I decided to do that and placed the box above the slat above the yellow.

The Criteria is that Cricket uses a pouncing motion to enter the box with all four paws. She should not touch any of the PVC sides with her paws.
I would like her head to be forward and lowered.
EVENTUALLY her criteria will be to land twice on the downside of the aframe, once right after the apex and then once in the box. Leaping over the apex will help her land in the right place for the first hit and help her make sure to hit the contact. Right now I was not holding her to that criteria because she was just learning how to get her body over the aframe and working out her stride.....but she was hitting with two hits and doing the cutest leap over the apex WHAT A GOOD GIRL!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Idea of Snow in California

You all have permission to laugh, I used to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico by the ski resorts, and I used to live in Salt Lake City, by those ski resorts, so this is baby snow, but when you live in the desert anything that is vaguely white and falling from the sky is a HuGE deal! LOL. This is from this morning when I let the dogs out. Cricket was doing her best to get someone to play or just to bug the other dogs, she is such a crack up. Poor Liz loved the snow last time she saw it but she was not into it today. Breeze is just disappointted she did not get sheep for Christmas, ;-( she has never got into herding this ball....until today.