Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some weeks everything goes a little better then the week before-LOVE THAT!

What a busy week, figured I would catch ya all up on what we have been doing this week!

The best news of the week is that even though it was a long week making sure that poor Lizzie got her eye drops every four hours around the clock, making sure she was quiet, and worst of all keeping that big donut on her all seems to have paid off and Lizzies eye is looking pretty durn good. I think she is going to be fine, but she has to stop fighting with shelties, you gotta know they are spunky and will always get the best of anyone!

Pam from San Diego came to visit and play some agility with her dogs Bandit, Twix, and Isabelle:



WHOO HOOOO! I am LOVING Sylvia Trkmans long distance Agility Foundation class. Cricket is doing really well with the cik/cap turns, which are a fancy way to cue collection and a tight turn on a jump, it really is pretty cool. I will try to get some video-I love watching cricket do her cik/cap turns because she powers out of the turns so well and turns so tight around the jump stantions, she seems to really get it and tonight at class she actually did a few cik/cap turns in a course and I could see her add in a short stride and was really able to make some great tight turns.

As far as the aframe I have been able to fade off all the props from the aframe but added on a stride regulator right at the top of the contact zone, just to get her to stretch a fraction of an inch further down and I had lowered the aframe to 5 ft again. Tonight in class Cricket worked on a new aframe (new to her), sequenced before and after the aframe-and we were working in the dark. She did the aframe twice, and it was not perfect but you know it was looking ok and I really think we are almost there. I have worked on this aframe for a long time, and hopfully the next time I need to do an aframe it will go a lot quicker, but hey I am feeling pretty good about the aframe now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lizzies letter...


This is Lizzie here and there are some things that I believe people need to be made aware of. I am sure many of you have heard of my unfortunate incident after my former "sister" dog (I refuse to still consider her my sister, although I am a very forgiving dog....but....)viciously BIT my eye! Not being one to dwell on the negative-I am a very happy dog and will not let that dog that shall not be named ruin my day-so I just feel I need to make people aware of the current difficulties I am dealing with-it is hard even for a happy girl such as myself to continue to be jolly considering.

I guess the first problem is that I have been shut into my moms room for D A Y S! That is how I was able to get to the computer to write a letter because that is the room the computer and I are stuck in. Mom says it is to protect me and my eye....but I am not so sure. I do have to admit my other sister Cricket does scare me because I have this durn big lifesaver donut on my neck-and Cricket loves to puncture balls-she keeps eyeing the donut on my neck and wanting to jump on me. It is not like I would be upset if this thing sprung a leak but I have heard the loud POP when Cricket bites the balls, so....not sure that is how I want to lose this thing-so....for that reason it does feel a little safer to be stuck in this bedroom. I am upset that I have not been allowed to go swimming, seems like this damn donut would at least be a good life why must I be left out of that activity? I just don't understand.

I think mom is really irritated that I had a fight and is punishing me by putting these HORRIBLE drops in my eye EVERY FOUR HOURS, around the clock. You heard me AROUND THE CLOCK! Everyone knows I need my sleep to retain my basic jolly nature and the last few days I have had to be woken up at midnight, four am and 8am for drops in my eye. Mom says it is to help my eye, but I am pretty sure it is just another fancy punishment.

Luckily I got sprung from this jail to go for something called a "recheck" at the vets office this morning. Anything to leave this room. It is so lucky I went to the vets because there were a lot of people in there that needed some hugs and kisses from me, I was very happy to forget my current troubles and make everyone day by giving lots of hugs and kisses. I do have to say everyone says how friendly I am and I do try to make sure no one ends up without a hug when I am around. Everyone loved my little donut and kept asking where we got it....I was doing my best to tell them they could have mine-I am very generous, but perhaps they did not take me serious because I left the vets office with the donut in place ;-(.

The vet said I am heeling well, and there is still a chance I will need something called "surgery" to take care of some tissue that is rubbing on my eye....but hopefully it is looking like it will not be necessary. I wonder if "surgery" is a toy like a ball or a treat? Hummm, I sort of hope it is a treat ;-), but I am sure it is a good thing, maybe that is another punishment mom is giving me by not letting me have "surgery"?

Many people have been asking what sparked the fight with Chloe. I have to tell you if you guys knew Chloe you would understand. Chloe and I used to be best friends until Chloe started prancing around all the time and showing off her long flowey hair. She teases me about my curly hair and long legs and says my hair is "frizzy". She can be so irritating and she has attacked me enough times that I always feel it is best to attack first now. Chloe and I usually are kept in seperate areas of the house unless supervised.

Now mom is talking about more crate games for both Chloe and I, for "impulse control" and doing fun actities like walks together, and relaxation protocol (which is so boring for me) with both of us together. Mom is determined to make me pay for fighting ;-).

I hope the situation here does not get worse...but for today it is pretty bleak stuck in the room with no agility, or swimming or watching the neighborhood from the front window, the cats have been my only company other then mom, and she is sort of a drag now that she has eye drops, so not sure I will count her as company.

I have been working hard to maintain a good attitude and have even played ball with my donut in place,

and I guess there was a short trip to the park....but I will work to stay happy until conditions improve ;-)

PS Mom asked me to tell you all she says things are looking much better and my eye looks soooo much better ;-)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It is never a good day if someone ends up in a cone...

I hope everyone can send my little Lizzie Lizard a few healing thoughts today....she needs them ;-(.

I absolutely know things could be so much worse, but Monday was one of those days that I am so glad is just about done, the sooner I can get safely to bed, the better!

The day started out with my having a little fender bender with a fence, not sure how it jumped into my way ;-)..... I thought there was a little leak in my radiator, I felt REALLY stupid-the car looked fine but I knew there was some damage-...sigh...

I was outside talking to a friend for a minute and went back in the house to find Lizzie and Chloe were locked in a battle. My daughter and I fished them apart and noticed some blood coming from Lizzie's eye, as we were fishing them apart my darling hubby was calling all the assorted phones in the house one after another, ughghghgghgh, and of course we were just trying to get the dogs all settled down and assess the damage-seriously leave a message when no one will answer ;-), LOL!

I had no car because mine was in the shop ...and Lizzie was really eerily quiet with a lot of gunk coming out of her eye, so I was worried. ....of course the whole way to the vet my hubby kept mentioning how the car had $1300 of damage. I already felt pretty stupid about it, so how about we could all talk about that after the present crisis is calmed down a bit, ...sigh....

The vet said nothing had touched her eye and the blood was from the other side of her face with a different cut. It did not make much sense....but the eye was looking better so I figured I should just be relieved. This is not my favorite vet, she never seems to do a thorough exam but her office was close and they could get Liz in.

Shortly after getting home Liz's eye was swollen the size of a small ball and was really red and had tons of goop coming out of it. Another hassle to get her to the vet with no car, and as soon as we got there it was confirmed her lid had a bad puncture on the inside and the eye had indeed been scraped and punctured. I do not know how well they checked it because they took her in the back. I guess the punctures were easier to see now because of the swelling.

So now we have to watch carefully....The worry is damage from the scaring on the lid rubbing against her eye could scratch the cornea or that the infection does not get better-so Liz will go back for a recheck tomorrow or the next day depending on how she looks.

Poor Liz, she is obviously not feeling well, I forgot and left my dinner on a low table while she was sitting there and she did not touch it and she has been sooo quiet. Lizzie is usually pretty naughty so it is never a good sign when she is a good girl. She got a nice inflatable cone to make sure if she wakes up in the middle of the night she does not scratch her eye..hope that works, and I set my alarm for every four hours to put in her drops.

Not sure what the deal was with Lizzie and Chloe but Lizzie is a lot bigger then Chloe and Chloe was FINE. Chloe is tough and a scrapper. Probably all the hair Chloe has protected her but goodness can't we all just get along??

Lizzie ready for bed and I am really ready for this day to be over as soon as I can get her next eye drop dose at midnight-I am sure she is looking forward to that:


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Agility trumps swimming-where is the value?

Guess Cricket likes playing agility ;-)!

A funny thing happened today....Cricket LOVES swimming sooo much. She will swim off and avoid having to get out and will swim FOREVER! Today she was swimming when I took Lizzie out of the pool. As I was walking with Liz through the agility yard I let Liz do a little agility because she has not done much agility in awhile.

Well, my little fish Cricket quickly decided that swimming as much as she loves it has to take a back seat to agility, esp if her sister is doing it with her mom. Everyone knows she is the agility dog right now and it is her equipment. All of a sudden Cricket was going nuts trying to get out of the pool to her equipment. It made me feel good that obviously doing agility has some value for her!


This time I wanted to work with 12 poles, HOWEVER, it is a lot of weaving and I do not want to put her body through too much, so in the Sylvia Trkman Foundation Agility class she has us open the channels to practice entries without putting a lot of strain on the dogs body, so here I opened a narrow "channel" so the first few poles Cricket has to dig in and start weaving but then it is a little easier on her for the last poles, but she still is practicing staying until the last pole.

Another thing that Sylvia Trkman had us do is turn our shoulders in, move the opposite way, do weird things so the dog "gets" they need to complete the poles no matter what we do once they get in.

I am ALMOST through the challenge, just jump position 8 and 9 to go.
Here is jump position 6.

It was really we were slower then we should have been, and I was just distracted-don't train distracted, LOL.

Cricket is now running to a toy on the ground, she understands she does the weaves then a jump before her toy and has great forward focus, which is excellent because there was a lot of curling back before-however, I suppose we will have to balance that a little so she is not just leaving the weaves and taking off without me, ;-).


Ricky posted his jump position 4 video, Ricky is just such a good boy!

Marie is just such an awesome team with Dare. They completed their jump position 6 and check out how well they did.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A new tool in the war on dog hair, LOL!

some people have well trained dogs and get gorgeous group shots...because all the dogs were clean at the same time I bravely tried to grab a group shot...this is how it started-border collies in place....I went to grab the shelties....

When Skyler wouldn't stay the border collies made a break for it:

Skyler who would not stay for a picture, and inspired the get away....

One day I will get around to training some of the more important things in life...forget the weave poles, or aframes, or contacts, or how to close cabinet doors...where is the group stay training???

With 5 dogs-2 shelties and 3 border collies, all long haired dogs.....I have a few choices in how I live my life.

I could
A. embrace the hair and just learn to enjoy being covered with hair all the time ;-). If I was smart I would have gotten dogs all the same color so I could just match my outfits to their hair, but everyone has a different color fur...
B. Beg my friend Collette to teach me how to spin yarn, gather the hair-very quickly I could make blankets for a small country with all the hair that ends up floating around here.
C. Give up all my hobbies, work, etc..and work 24/7 with a continual round of combing and grooming dogs.

It would not be so bad but the shelties are the biggest challenge. Skyler has always had this hair that has a super thick undercoat that is always shedding in clumps-and Chloe has the thickest hair of any dog I have seen. Chloes hair is so thick it is hard to get to her skin. Cricket is a weirdo and loves to go outside and roll in the dirt. She has a special talent she has worked to perfect so that she looks like pig pen with a little dirt cloud following her.

I have tried different types of vacuums, shampoos, furminators, brushing EVERY day, supplements in the food, little rubber brushes on the floors and furniture, but the war on hair just is never ending.

Enter my new best friend!!!!

I have never had any experience with a HV drier....where have I been? How have I lived until now? LOL. If you have a dog doing a lot of shedding some self grooming places have high velocity dryers you can use, if you have one near you CHECK IT OUT! It makes getting all the hair out so much easier!

This little beauty is the Double K ChallengeAir high velocity dryer and the wonderful UPS guy delivered my beauty two days ago. WHOOOOO HOOOO.

So check it out....I grab Skyler and set him up on my grooming table,....I blow through his coat and the undercoat is just coming out in sheets-without any work. I got bags and bags of hair in a really short time. Next his bath..the water from his bath just came off his coat in sheets. In say ten minutes he was dry and the ground was covered with hair. He looked gorgeous, I have only seen him look that good one other time which was when I sent him to the groomer. I have never been able to get that much hair out no matter how long I have spent or how hard I worked. A little over an hour from the start of our session and Skyler was dry, soft, shiny and looked about ten pounds lighter because of all the hair that was gone.

Chloe got a similar result. Her hair is so thick I usually wash her in the morning and then she is still damp in the evening. With the blower she was dry in no time and I got out lots of hair I just could not have got in the past.

The dryer was not as dramatic on the Border collies because their fur is not as thick and they do not have as much undercoat but I was able to fly through three baths and good grooms for them.

Everyone is so soft and they smell so nice-I am amazed at how much hair I could get out of the dogs and it was so easy......with this baby I can see bathing the dogs a lot more often ....hopefully it is going to help the hair situation around the house!


It has been a few days since I updated the weave pole challenge, and there are some GREAT videos to share. Extra credit goes to Ricky and his mom, check it out she did a great job with their weave position 3-she was out there working hard even with her injury ;-). Ricky looks so happy, what a great weaver.

Dare and Marie did the jump position 5 for their weave challenge. They are so much fun to watch ;-). Dare always looks so fast and happy.
AND TO SHOW HOW BEHIND I AM, Dare just also completed position 6 with 12 weaves. WOW, it is summer where are they getting all this focus and energy? I am so impressed.

Check out Psyches weaves, GREAT JOB with position one! Glad to see them joining us, very cool!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nari vs the weave pole challenge Week 3 looks like it went great, and she has posted some awesome running dog walk practice too. They are looking good.
They also posted week 4 and have some awesome jump practices they have in their video, that Nari is so cute-and so fast!

Pam a dog trainer from our area has entered a contest with a training video of teaching a dog to pick up their back leg with an easy button. If you could go to the link and vote for your favorite video Pam would really appreciate it. If this link does not get you right there, click on video contest on the top tab.

WHOO HOOOO a little break in dog talk to show off my kid!

Sorry just had to share a video of my daughter, this is my younger daughter doing a swim test for placement on the swim team.

Emma had not done any swim lessons last year when she said she would like to try the swim team here in town. That was about 9 months ago and since then she has worked so hard and grown so much. She started in the lowest level not knowing how to do any of the strokes and it looks like after this test she will move up one or two levels to the top levels on the team and will be ready to do some swim meets soon.

The test was FOURTEEN separate races and took from 5:30pm to 9:40pm, but she did not skip any of the tests. I just put the shortest races ons the video to give a taste of her swimming. Last Saturday they did a fund raiser and Emma was able to swim 208 laps without stopping to raise money, it makes me tired just thinking of it!

Check out the turns she does, that is just a trip to me! I am just so proud of Emma and how she has taken responsibility for all her training and stuck with it even when she was swimming outdoors in the snow at night, and has not missed more then one or two practices in this entire time. Just so cool to see your kid find something they like and are good at and are willing to work hard to do!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Time to start fading the Crap...and suprise more weaves ;-)

I am REALLY PROUD of this weave challenge video because at the start it has Cricket sequencing her Aframe from about where jump 7 in the challenge would have been to 12 weaves. SHE DID IT! Today was the first day I painted my pvc aframe box a soft yellow to make it not stand out as much and protect it from the sun....and I cut the middle of the top bar away because.....IT IS TIME TO START FADING THE CRAP off the aframe. I still had a 100% success rate with the aframe today, how cool is that?

I will tell you what is not cool is the weather, it was way over 100 and we had a thunderstorm, this weave challenge was hard because of the heat-Cricket and I both discussed it and feel we get extra brownie points for working today. Some have suggested it just shows a little lack of intelligence, but hey, that is not nice, LOL.

If anyone is counting, yep we skipped the weave pole challenge position 6-it is the onside weaves, it will be harder for us and we will do it next.

I went to Rachel Sanders website and read her original article about training the weaves (Nail Down Your Weave Entries) and she does say if you are not running ahead of your dog in the weaves to lead out which I have not been doing. I notice it is distracting to Cricket if I happen to be ahead so this time I did work on that ;=).

this is the link to our weave challenge 5 and that does have a lot of curling back after the weaves. I am working on driving to a toy on the ground and adding a jump-rewarding the weaves after the jump to try to compensate for the curling back.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Breezie, the DOG with nine lives....

Some exciting things other then fireworks going on here in the Southern CA desert.

FIRST EXCITING thing is weeks ago I took Breeze to the vets. We have been doing the Sylvia Trkman Puppy 2 class. I have worked with all three dogs. Apparently the tricks, stretches, etc..from the class have improved Breezes back. A few months ago the vet said that Breeze would never be able to weave and she just felt like Breeze had improved as much as she was going to.

Breeze is like a cat, and apparently there **MIGHT** be another life or two left in her. Because of all the strength and flexibility required for the tricks in Puppy 2....The vet was totally shocked at how much progress Breeze has made and how her back feels. She could not believe it.

I noticed a lot of the exercises/tricks are ones that were just a step beyond what I have done in Breezes rehab programs....and Sylvia did make a comment that a lot of the exercises she does in puppy 2 is based on her experiences from doggie rehab. ANYWAY, the upshot of the appointment was that Dr. Modglin said that she would not discount that Breeze might improve enough to actually be back to 100%.

I am not sure what the future holds for Breeze and agility but knowing that she is that much better just makes me feel so hopeful that she is going to have a lot more pain free years. She is still only 4 yrs old so her long term health is a huge concern. Sylvia's class paid for itself so many times over because of what it has done for Breeze. I am hoping by doing these tricks/exercises I can keep Cricket in tip top shape so she is less likely to get injuries as time goes, and who knows...the vet now says we will just have to see how far Breeze can go.

I am very excited we are not done with the Sylvia Trkman Long Distance classes yet...we just finished up Puppy 2 but now are starting the Agility Foundations. We got our first lesson and it looks like it is going to be a lot of fun.

I was just dying watching the first weeks lesson where we are supposed to proof the weaves, and Sylvia was demoing where she was actually running the opposite way along the weaves while her dogs were doing the weaves....she was doing some awesome weave proofing, she says the same thing I keep reading from so many others, once your dog commits to the weaves they should just weave until they are done no matter what you do. I do think we have a little ways to go until my dogs skills are there ;-).

It is hotter then HECK! Last night we went to the park to do our weave challenge and it was still 102 at 6:30. It was HOT. I got up this morning to work and got out at 8 am....not sure what the temp was but it was just too hot to work for more then a few minutes.

I have got to say this dog/handler team ROCK!!!
Marie and Dare got their fourth position weave challenge done. They are on a roll! They added in some sequencing with the jump position at the end, and mixed in a set of weaves at the end, FANTASTIC proofing!

I do not know how I missed posting this from Dare and Marie, but I think I did, sorry.....but here is their position 3 video ;-)