Thursday, January 26, 2012

Masters Handling in the Rain, Day 2 of our Seminar ;-)

The Stacy Peardot Goudy seminar Masters Handling day ended up a rainy from the time it started until about an hour and a half before it was done it rained without stopping. It rained harder for periods and rained a little less for some periods but it never stopped. Nothing like rain for a seminar, ;-). Poor Stacy was sopping, her pants were dripping water and everyones shoes were soaked. Luckily it was not too cold until the last hour when the wind started to pick up.

We had a world team member and a person who I have to believe will soon make the world team participating and some other really great dogs/handlers so Stacy really put out some challenging courses for everyone to work on. I was auditing with my baby dog(Cricket) who got to work during lunch and at the end of the day -that was problably good because the courses were full of European course type challenges. In the Foundation seminar when asked what is the difference in what Stacy says you would give a baby dog and an experienced dog Stacy said there was no difference. With a baby dog you just break down how many obstacles you do and you give clearer more distinct cues for inexperienced dogs.

I LOVED that Stacy pointed out that no matter how much experience you have, how high your skill level or how much you know when can never be totally sure how a course will run ;-), I suppose that is what keeps it all fun and exciting. Why did that make me happy? I am not sure, but I guess it takes the pressure off, you know there is not one perfect way to do things, and sometimes it is all going to work and sometimes not. But how boring would it be if we were all assured each time we stepped up to the line it would all be perfect--although some days that would be fun, LOL.

As we walked one particular course one participant was going to run one part of the sequence a certain way, she is VERY athletic and has a lot of experience but Stacy did not think her plan would work but said she should try it and see.... After a few people doing that sequence we all discovered that not only could people get to that spot and handle it the way that had looked impossible as we walked it, but it was really the easiest way to handle that sequence, and most people could do it. Like Stacy said until you actually run something you can never really know how it will go.

There was another section that a gal was going to run a particular way-when she ran it that way it was PERFECT. It was funny when Stacy was discussing that sequence she said she was sure the girl would not have been able to run that sequence as she did, but given that particular dog and handler it was beautiful. Not many people could have pulled running that sequence the way the gal had but given their team it was right for them.

None of that is huge info we can all use, TO ME THE THEME OF THE DAY WAS THAT it is a good reminder that agility is a sport- it is not life and death and it is challenge-some things will go well and some things will not but what the heck know your self and your team, your strengths and weaknesses and just go for it, try new things-that is how our skills just keep growing and keeps agility fresh and challenging.

Stacy did say that we should be a little more daring and when you practice new things in class or at seminars you should pull them out and try them in more places. I suppose if you are not putting those new skills to the test and working them out in trials the skills will not be perfected and comfortable if you really do need them for a big competition.

This was a real vacation weekend for me. I went to the Foundation seminar then out to dinner with a group from the seminar for dinner where we had some more great conversation. On Saturday was Masters Handling followed by a great practice with Cricket and some shopping before we headed home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What are you doing Memorial Day Weekend?

A little break from my normal blog ;-)--

In case anyone has not heard of the Spring Agility Camp coming to my neck of the woods....thought I would post this video and if you live too far away or can not come there is some great agility in the video if you want a little agility break this morning.

I am not an advertiser, LOL, but this is something I am very excited about. I know a lot of people live where far enough away form big centers that they do not get a lot of chances to attend seminars so this would be a chance to come and see three world team members in one place.

The group that seems to show up to seminars in this area have always been fantastic, supportive people, the yard is fenced, the footing and equipment have always been in fantastic condition. The field is quiet and out in the middle of nowhere so there are not a lot of distractions for the dogs...I really love seminars at this spot.

I think there are still some spots available so I am hoping that some more blogger friends will be coming to the camp. We have some great things in the area, Disneyland, the Beach, San Diego so might be a good time to combine a vacation with some agility!

Memorial Day Weekend 2012
SoCal Spring Agility Camp with

These are 3 of the Top Handlers in the Country:

There will only be 10 working teams per group
$550 for all 3 days for working teams.

Marla Friedler-Cooper, MA CPDT
for questions or to get a spot email Marla at:

Last Fridays Stacy Peardot Goudy Foundation Seminar-Kinetic meets her new "mom"

I don't know if any of you remember a few months ago when the really cute red/white border collie came to stay with us in August and again in October. WELL, her name was/is Kinetic and she is a real live wire ;-) and cute as a button. She had been hanging out here in the US waiting until she could meet the requirements to go to Japan where she had an owner waiting for her. I got to go to the Stacy Peardot Goudy Foundation seminar last Friday and guess who was there----KINETIC! Kinetic finally got to meet up with her new owner from Japan-I was so glad I got to meet her new owner because after meeting her new Mama I am sure she will have a good life.

ON the second day of the seminar which was a Masters Handling day,Kinneys new mom ran two dogs-- a golden and a border collie who she did not know and had never seen run. Junko has some skills and is a really fast runner, she smoked the course with both dogs she has never run with on a course where everyone was struggling, so I think Kinetic and her new owner are going to be a great team. It really felt neat to see Kinney heading off to her new home with someone who seems like she is going to be great with her.

Kinetic was just meeting her new mom and so of course did not know her, but even with the language barrier (her new mom is from Japan) and just meeting Kinetic she had a working spot with Kinney on the foundation day. It was so cool to see the two of them together and to see their relationship growing as the day went on. By the end of the day Kinnetic was starting to get that this was her new mama.

It was a great seminar because there was a wide assortment of skills levels represented. There were two dogs that had never worked with the trainers they were with, one gal was working with a dog for a friend who has two pups, so this gal was working with one-a dog she did not know, and then there was my buddy Kinney who had just met her new owner from Japan.

I guess the biggest thing I am getting from going to all these classes/seminars/online lessons is the basics that seem to be taught with anyone who gives a really great foundation. I am seeing similarities, of course there are all sorts of little variations but to me it all seems to comes down to pretty much the same things...which makes me feel good because it does give me confidence that I think I hit most all the big things with Cricket ;-).

Stacy was really great and in one day I was surprised at how many things she could cover. With all the range of skills the dogs had it was great to see how each of the exercises could cover a barely starting dog to dogs almost ready to trial and how to trouble shoot if there was trouble with the exercises. The biggest thing that kept coming up over and over during the day was making sure you break down the exercises enough for the dog, just teaching small parts not the whole exercise, then moving forward fast enough that you don't get stuck in one place.

I really liked Stacy-she is really funny and entertaining and great about giving good feedback then she runs around cheering and yelling when someone has been struggling and they get something. I really liked her teaching style.

As far as the weather it was least for the first day of the seminar, I can't wait to tell you about the second day tomorrow-that was Masters Handling.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seminars and Build A Bears for Adults

I think I am one of the luckiest girls around lately, I have got to go to a LOT of seminars and I am really enjoying the seminars. Heck I have not got to trial more then once because of the seminar schedule but what the heck I do not always get this many seminar opportunities so I feel like I have got to enjoy it as much as I can.

I meant to get a little video of some of the things we learned from the Rachel Sanders seminar last weekend....but with the Monday Holiday and me going out of town starting tomorrow, it just did not happen, so maybe next week.

Rachel was AWESOME as always.....she has such a way of breaking things down so you can really get how to handle something, and this seminar focused in on how to blend cues, your forward cues, your turning cues etc....

I really want to make a video of some of the fun stuff, Rachel was working on some of those flashy, sexy looking handling moves, it was a lot of fun so I will get on it the first of next week. Although maybe we will not be able to still do them by next week, LOL.

SOOOOO guess where I get to go this weekend??? Friday I am attending a Foundation seminar with Stacy Peardot Goudy at one of my favorite seminar venues, and Saturday Stacy is doing a Masters handling seminar which I get to audit. Friday night we all have a dinner out planned, and I am going to stay over so I feel like I am heading out for a vacation.

The only thing that is like a dark cloud over my little vacation is the predictions of light rain on Friday and TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS all Saturday, .....of course this is an outdoor seminar;-).

Sooooo totally non agility, non dog related.....I have been looking around trying to decide what type of phone I should get because it is time to upgrade. Well, it was time we could have upgraded MONTHS ago but I could not decide if I wanted to stick with my basic phone or step up to the smart phones....I do like me some apps, and I know I would have a lot of fun with a smart phone but I am basically pretty cheap and that is a lot of extra money over a year for the extra data.

I had to go out of town to the vet yesterday.....and stopped at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga where they have an Apple store. The girls and I had a great lunch then strolled into the Apple store.

I am sorry but I am a desert small town girl and I have never bought anything from somewhere like the Apple store so that was really something else.

The closest I have come to an experience like that is buying Build A Bears for the girls. If you have not done that that is an experience too, and a lot of the appeal is just the experience of buying your bear.

So at the Apple store I was just gazing longingly at the iphones-the 4s's of course and a salesperson came and answered a few questions saying earlier in the day they were out of the phones I wanted, but she would check, so I look away and look back and ask her if it looks like they have any and she shows me the box. WHAT??? It was like it magically appeared.

Next the salesperson says do you want your iphone to have a little jacket and she helped me pick out a protective case so my iphone would be protected. When you pick out your build a bear you pick out a bear and then go and they stuff it in front of you, you take your bear to all the stations and dress and comb your bear and put all their accessories on. Next my iphone just like the bear got all her little car chargers, screen protector, so it would look just so.

At Build a Bear you take a golden heart and say a promise to take care of your bear as you toss the heart into your bear and they sew the bear up. At the iphone store they break the plastic seal but wait for you to be the actual one to open it and you have to be the first one to turn it on, LOL, too cute. Then another associate transfers all your data from the old phone to the new phone and breathes the life into the new phone. You never even go to a register. It was surreal how I was just asking about the phone and then seconds later it seemed the transaction was complete, I had not totally decided yet but there she new white 4S 16GB iphone, LOL.

So far I am having a lot of fun, it is too trippy to get my emails at the grocery store and I love the texting. I am all signed up for a class in using my new phone next week but gosh I have it all loaded with music and apps already.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Modern Communiction is so AMAZING, ...until it is not, ;-)

Ever think it feels like you are under some weird black cloud....well, this weekend I think I was not meant to use communication...

The first weird thing is that I was doing my last blog entry and trying to look at blogs and this message pops up that says my blog and my email have been yanked off the web. There was a small message that says I should review the terms of service because that could be why my accounts were all yanked off the web.

I read the terms of service and it basically said that if you were posting mature content information it needed to be labeled as such.....I did not think my blog fit into that in any way????

They then suggested if you were posting heavy duty pornographic content you could be, I had talked about Crickets urine PH but I really did not think that fit into that category.....

The last category was that you were not allowed to say do things like talk about your ex wife and say all sorts of really nasty things and perhaps suggest people go visit her.....well, I don't think my blog qualified in that category either.....although recently I did get accused by someone in the local dog club that my blog was a vehicle of hate about the club, LOL, I never did understand what she was talking about and I do not think that anyone would have been yanking my blog for that type of infraction-unless that particular lady had got a job yanking offending blogs off the net.

I mentally reviewed any blogs I had recently read or responded too and I did not THINK I said anything offensive, I sure did not mean to offend if I did...

So having ruled out an infraction of the terms of service, I filled out the form that just said if you disagree with what we did you can fill out this form that asked what you were doing when the problem happened and HOW TO GET AHOLD OF YOU SINCE ALL THE EMAIL ACCOUNTS HAD BEEN PULLED OFF THE WEB. LOL, YIKES! No hint of when they would get ahold of anyone, or if they would or what the next step was if the problem persisted.

The next day I got a simple form email saying sorry for the inconvenience, and my accounts were back on the web. How odd is that??? I guess we should feel safe because if they want to yank everything you have off the net they can do it very efficiently in the blink of an eye. On the bright side it was cool they got it fixed on the weekend, I was thinking given that it did not seem there was a lot of info on how to dispute the problem or find out what happened, I was sure I would have to wait until a business day for someone to figure out a mistake had been made.

The day of the Internet terms of service incident....I was at a seminar and had been texting on my way there, but when I tried to call my kids my cell phone kept saying there was no service. Humm, well, I thought we must be in some cell black hole until much later in the day when I realized the person sitting next to me had been texting and checking her email all day and had the same carrier. WEIRD!!! It felt like I was just not meant to be connected to the world this weekend....

Turns out my hubby decided to get me a new phone and they disconnected my old phone without anyone telling me while I was hours away from home going through the desert and some pretty deserted roads late at night, ughghghghgh. The new phone is an older model of the phone that I knew there were some issues with...., so we had to return it and no one has been able to reactivate my old phone....for two days now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Poor Cricket does not like poor quality dog food, and Trying a New Way to Get Dog Food in the New Year ;-)

We have had some food woes to start our New Years off with! I have fed my dogs raw for YEARS now, but, last month with the holidays coming up, I was having trouble doing the drive to get one of my staple foods-chicken backs and necks from a restaurant supply store. For a few weeks I was giving the dogs some kibble that I had around the house, I had used the kibble for training and it said GRAIN FREE, so how could it not be a nice high quality kibble? I was still giving the dogs meat and bones in the evening but just for breakfast they got kibble, with some eggs, or yogurt or assorted things like that.

Well, Cricket was just acting funny and lots of dogs were acting funny around her, so a friend had suggested I check for a urinary tract infection because in her experience sometimes when dogs were overly interested in a girl, it might be that she had an infection....

I took Cricket in and her urine had a very high pH, and lots of crystals and lots of gunk. Ughghghg. The vet was pretty sure it was the kibble. Turns out I was using the Costco Natures Domain-Grain Free, I generally trust Costco products.., it was a good price and I guess I equated grain free with really good. Looking closer at the label there is a lot of potato, which the vet felt could cause the problems. The other dogs seem fine but gosh figures how many people feed crap for years and years and their dogs are just fine, but I slack off for a couple of weeks, and we get problems, LOL.

Oddly enough the vet had me give Cricket cranberry, that is not so odd..vitamin C to change the ph, still not so odd...but she wanted me to use pool PH strips and test the PH of her urine and keep track of what it was at different times. So if the neighbors did not already think I am a FREAK, they are now treated to me following my dog with a shallow dish and collecting her urine at all hours of the day and night. Yep I am SURE the neighbors have no clue what to think of me at this point. OOH well.

Right about the time I was questioning my dog food I got a coupon from a company that I had not heard of before. Mr. Chewy I thought it was really neat because they had some of the foods that we just can not get in our town I use Origin's dog food for training a lot and for occasional mornings when I don't have anything else to feed, but I usually had to get it when I was in one of the bigger cities around here. I used my coupon for ordering some Origin dog food. They have cat food, some pet supplies,a bunch of treats,cat litter and it even says they offer prescription pet foods, who knew????

I was really curious about how it would work...I ordered the food and in about a week it arrived (it seems the company is on the East coast so I think it took a little longer to get all the way our here), the bag was inside a box, and I think Fed Ex delivered it. I ordered some treats and they came in a different box about a day later. They offer free shipping on any order over $49, I thought that was pretty cool because one has to wonder how much the shipping cost of a 40 lb bag of dog food would be?? looks like you can set up a regular shipment and get your food on a schedule which would be really nice if that was your source of dog or cat food....

The best thing I saw on their web site was that on your first order the company will donate $10 to an animal charity-North Shore Animal League , Best Friends Animal Society, or Bidawee

IN ADDITION IF YOU ORDER FROM MR. CHEWY AND USE A REFERRAL CODE...They will donate $10 to the above charities and GIVE YOU A 10% DISCOUNT. You can choose any of those charities to get the $10 donation or ask that Mr. Chewy splits it between the three charities. So the referral code is MOCH2275--and I don't think I get anything from anyone using that code, but you will get your 10% off!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

some Trial Photos

I trialed with Breeze for about a year before there was a photographer at a trial, so how lucky was it that there was not only a photographer at Crickets first trial but she got a bunch of pictures of her. Dynamic Dogs Photo did a GREAT job!

The picture of her hanging onto that table was neat because Cricket has always done a lot of sliding off the table in practice-she drives onto it and loves it but is still trying to figure out how to work to hold onto it once she hits the table, LOL, I keep trying to play games so she figures that out. As I was watching the sequence up to the table had the dogs building a lot of speed, this one was two jumps to her running aframe straight to the table, so she was going fast, dog after dog had skidded off the table, so I thought there was about a 50% chance Cricket was going to stick the table, but she did! Looking at that picture and the video she worked hard, she is just such a good girl.

Check out the tongue, LOL, what a character!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crickets first trial, SECOND day!!!

Novice B Standard-Judge: Susan McClair
Distance: 126 yards SCT: 64 seconds
Score 90 (Q) Time 43:09 seconds 2ND PLACE

Novice B Jumpers With Weaves- Judge: Mark Upshaw
Distance 98 yards SCT: 36 seconds
Elminated time: 18:02--1 DROPPED BAR

How funny I never checked our scores on the first trial day- Sunday-I knew we had bobbles so I just went home and never bothered to look. I got home and was in bed and it hit me THIS IS NOVICE, you are allowed a few bobbles, so when I got back the next day I found I almost did not pick up my FIRST RIBBONS!!! WHat was I thinking.

Novice B JWW-Judge: Susan McClair
Distance: 93 yards SCT: 34 seconds
Score: 100 (Q) Time 22:49 seconds FIRST PLACE

Novice B Standard Judge: Mark Upshaw
Distance: 130 yards SCT 65 seconds
Eliminated time: 39:43 Teeter flyoff

Well, our first trial is history now. We were back Monday for our second day. Monday was pretty light at the trial and I left the house thinking I had plenty of time to get to Woodley Park, in Van Nuys where the trial was-about 2 hours from my house.....BUT I was not thinking and we had to go right through Pasadena where the Rose Parade was just about to let out. I knew I would never make it to the trial if the parade let out before I got past that point so I was sweating that, but we made it. I could see the parade from some over passes as I drove by ;-).

It was like mid 80's and I live in Southern CA but this time of year I was really not used to that temp, so it really felt HOT.

Cricket was a little more excited, and I do think we are out of the woods yet with start line "issues" I would not be suprised because I could feel Cricket getting more and more anxious. Cricket did hold her start line, she got all her contacts, except her teeter she thought was a dog walk so she FLEW off it. I had one point in jumpers where I think I was admiring my dog and did not get my butt moving so Cricket spun around to see what I was up to.

It was a lot more fun to be running with my girl then I had thought it would be, she was such a good girl....well, except how she jumped on every table, every person and lunged into the ring netting and got her head stuck and pulled it down, she was a bit on the excited side most of the day.

Not sure what is going on with the video but if it does not play the link for the video is
it does not seem to work with IE but it does with firefox, if you can not see the trial videos and are dying to, you can email me at and I will email you the link!

I got some GREAT Pictures, check it out, a first trial with all runs I was happy with, 2 Qs and a photographer that got lots of great pictures, some really pretty ribbons, what more could I have asked for????

Sunday, January 1, 2012


TALK about a RED LETTER way to start a year, you all get TWO blog posts in two days, just want everyone to take note of that feat!!! LOL. Sorry my computer ran out of memory and did not fully process the video so I thought it was ok and posted it, but then had to take that one down, throw away all I could on my computer and then redo the whole thing,so if you got some error messages when you tried to look..that is why.

I know I can be very wordy, so it might be hard to read my post so I am going to try to keep this short so that the star of the day can be spot lighted.

Only two people in the world knew what we were doing today, my friend Denise who is the best support team ever, and Rachel Sanders because she asked when we would do our first trial.

I put a lot of pressure on myself and the time leading up to the trial I would sort of shake, and my breath would come fast and shallow when I thought of entering the trial, I can be a big basket case so I did not want to talk about it a lot before the big day. I was worried about myself, it is so hard to run with my foot which is finally feeling better just the last few days, but I am so insanely out of shape that it is embarrassing. Of course in the last three weeks I tried to smash a full year of fitness to get into shape but it does not happen in three weeks. Not running around all fall because of my foot really has not helped me a lot.

So today I got up and knew this would be Crickets first day at a real trial. We have not done a full course since last spring when we did a fun match. Cricket has not been to a trial since last spring. Cricket was a freak when we got to the trial, walking to get her measured she was lunging and jumping on EVERYONE. She was so over the top I thought this might really end in a horrible train wreck. Unbelievably it was insanely hot for a January day, and our run was not until late in the day. There was a miscommunication and I have been working Cricket at 20 in and had to run her at 16 inches,(I don't know what I was thinking....), and I do not think that helped us but....

After we ran I was sooooo happy, I am not sure I know we did not qualify in JWW (dropped bar) and I am pretty sure we did not in Standard, but we had rock solid stays at the start line, whooo hooo. We had BEAUTIFUL weaves and I did not have to babysit the entries. The standard weave entry was after the long jump to a 180 turn to the weaves but she did it.

HER CONTACTS WERE AWESOME, how cool is that?

I messed up and gave too many forward cues at the start of standard and caused a wrong course and when Cricket came out of the tunnel I did not make contact with her and cue the teeter so she raced past it. Not perfect but boy I will take that as a first trial day any day, I am very happy and proud of my girl.

The only thing that cast a small dark cloud on the day was when I was getting ready to go and Breeze thought she was going. She has been the only trialing dog for a long time but now that she is pretty much retired, she had to stay home, the end of that era made me a little sad ;-(, but I had to take a deep breath and not take away from Crickets day.....