Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tricky T-day

This week's trick is walking backwards, or what I call "scoot". Not to be confused with "scooch pooch", which means "get out of my way dog".

This trick is a work in progress. I am still relying heavily on the clicker and treats. Oreo is having a lot of trouble walking in a straight line backward. He wants to circle. I guess that is probably an innate movement, given his herding instinct.

Therefore, I have been training this trick with him wedged between me and the storage unit Jeff had built us. When we went outside to film the video, he was a bit out of sorts!

"Where's the furniture Mom?"

This is harder to teach than you might think. A dog's natural instinct (at least for my dogs) is to sit when you face them up close.

I taught Oreo this trick by pushing a treat into his nose and nudging him back. It didn't take him long to figure out I wanted him to move backward when I said "scoot".

Once he was doing that, I moved on to the heel/backward method. We still practice both.

Misty is less inclined to sit, so it was actually easier to get her to scoot. She is used to getting treats for doing nothing, so she didn't feel like she had to sit to get rewarded. However, I only get a couple steps back from her, and then she stops and will sit if I don't give her a treat.

Here is where we are so far, but I am going to be working more on this trick. I think we have only just begun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rOvAfU5dpE


I think in this video it almost looks like I have a strings tied to Oreo, and I'm able to manipulate him like a marionette.

I assure you - no hidden strings were used in this video! Just Zuke's mini treats, and Oreo's endless adoration for me! LOL!

Monday, June 29, 2009

sequence 3

I tried sequence 3, from the backyard dogs article, this morning. Oreo found this sequence much easier. The hardest part for him was finding the weave pole entry.

I decided to try the sequence with Misty, minus the weave poles. I like to try stuff with her, since she is so much slower, I can really concentrate on my handling.

Yeah well, I guess I was not very clear, because she kept getting sucked into the tunnel, when I wanted her to take the jump behind the tunnel.

Misty's so funny. When she finally got it, I could see her brain working so hard. It took so much concentration for her NOT to go in that tunnel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oggPoR4u0yE

When I was getting ready to take the dogs for a walk this morning, the voice in my head said, "you should bring your camera."

But my brain forgot. It forgot the poop bags too.

Wouldn't you know it, there was a beautiful deer in the cemetery this morning eating breakfast. The closer we got, the more interested the deer became in us. Instead of running away, she took a couple steps closer. It was so cool.

I hope she'll be back tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

tough tunnel exits

Has anyone else tried the Backyard Dog sequences from this month's Clean Run magazine?

I tried sequences 1&2 yesterday, and had so much trouble getting Oreo to the jump behind the tunnel. He is so accustomed to me being on the other side of the tunnel exit. Even with me calling his name the whole time he was in the tunnel, Oreo still came out looking the opposite direction.

Here is a video I shot of our practice. It was hard to get all the obstacles in the video. He got it eventually, but with a lot of stutter stepping. I'm hoping to try sequences 3&4 today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24TJy4GKfpE

I am also trying out the flying circle startline routine that was in the Jenny Damm article. We already use that a lot in class, because it is a natural movement for Oreo. I never thought of using it in a trial, because I thought we'd look like dorks! It seems like it might work better for Oreo than having him sit, which gives him time to look around and get nervous. Glad to have our method validated in a magazine!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

extreme socialization


I took the dogs over to my parents' house last night, since my sister and my two nephews (ages 3 & 7) were visiting from out of town.

My mom's friend and her granddaughter were also visiting.

The dogs got a dose of extreme socialization!

While the boys went swimming, Kara, age 5, took charge of Misty. She wanted Misty to walk around the yard with her. Misty wanted to stay by my side. I gave Kara some treats, and Misty started to follow her wherever she went.

Misty even sat and gave her paw.

After about a half hour, even shy Oreo had to see what all the fuss was about. He walked over to Kara, and took treats out of her hand. He also offered his paw for Kara.

That was a big step for Oreo. Usually he won't take food from other people, unless he is very close to me. Kara was very gentle, and soft spoken, so I think that helped.

When the boys got back home, it got much louder! Oreo didn't quite know what to make of it all.

We sat down to eat dinner, and Misty stood right next to my eldest nephew, who proceeded to feed her an entire piece of pizza.

Theo said, "She isn't going away."

Nope. She was in love.

After dinner, the boys went outside to play ball. I brought Oreo outside, thinking he might want to play ball too. He preferred to hide under a chair. I think it may have been the baseball bats that were freaking him out.

Oreo did let both the boys pet him, without trying to squirm away. He also performed his bag of tricks.

Overall, I was very pleased with both dogs, given the unusual situation I had put them in. I was also impressed with all the kids for being so gentle and patient with the dogs.

Hopefully, this experience will help Oreo build confidence. I gave him lots of treats, meatballs and chicken, to make it as positive as possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm going to stop worrying

I was able to find the results from our last trial online. In the level 2 standard run, Oreo had the fastest time out of all 23 dogs who ran the course, except for 1 dog, an Australian shepherd who had 45 faults (so I don't really count that dog, doesn't sound like a successful run). Even that dog was only about 1 second faster.

In the jumpers round, Oreo was faster than all but 3 out of 17 dogs who ran the level 2 course. Two of those dogs were running in the 20 inch group - so they had much longer legs!

So, I've decided I am going to stop worrying about speed (like Diana suggested yesterday!). Instead, I'm going to focus on building confidence, because with that Oreo will get faster.

Our next trial isn't until the 4th of July. I think my last post indicated it was this coming Saturday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

stop saying my name

Mommy says, "Misty!"


"Why do you keep saying my name, mom?"

Misty's hearing has definitely improved since getting some of the wax dissolved. However, I'm going to start teaching her some hand signals now, while she still can hear, just in case. Might as well teach Oreo as well.

We went to agility class last night. Oreo did really well. He was a little out of sorts at first, but it has been two weeks since our last class. Once he got reacclimated he was fine.

I used my clicker when Oreo was on the dogwalk, and clicked when he was on the down plank.

I asked one of my classmates, who gives great advice, what I could do to make Oreo go faster on the dogwalk. She said, "I don't think Oreo is that slow on the dogwalk. I think he is slow in general, because he is sticking close to you. Why don't you try sprinting next to the dogwalk."

During our last turn, I sprinted past the dogwalk and Oreo really picked up speed - he was almost running on the dogwalk. I clicked for that. Of course, there was no one nearby for him to stop and look at. Next week, I may have some classmates sit near the dogwalk, and be "ring crew", just to prep him for Saturday's trial.

When I was turning into the driveway for our class, I was looking at the cows (as I always do). I noticed one laying down. It was a baby cow, still covered in its mother's placenta. Momma was licking her baby clean.

Cool stuff.

If it had been a human baby, I would have been completely grossed out.

ice to an eskimo

My husband is a salesman. He could sell ice to an Eskimo.

Today, he was a buyer.

Usually, salesmen are easy sells. I don't know why.

Jeff really wanted this car. Unfortunately, the seller was having "seller's remorse". Jeff handed over the cashier's check, but the seller didn't want to take it. He wanted to "think about it over the weekend", even though he had already agreed to sell the car to Jeff.

So, Jeff had to "sell" the car to himself. Jeff had brought the owner over to our house. Showed him around the garage. Talked himself up. Jeff told him, "You never drive the car. It is just sitting in your garage. How is that a good use of your money? Think of the things you could do with the money I give you." Jeff even offered to go play a round of golf.

(I wish you could have heard the conversation. It was so entertaining.)

After about an hour, Jeff was able to convince the owner of the car, that if he sold it to Jeff, the car would be getting a good home. As though it were a puppy.

I told you, Jeff can sell anything. He can even make other people sell things to him.

And if you know Jeff, this car will be for sale within a few months. Maybe he can sell it back to the original owner, for a profit of course.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

proof

My Dad asked if Oreo could do "criss cross" the other way.

Well, of course he can! He's Oreo!

Proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1e5eBC-wIw


I kind of confused him at the end, I said "cross" and he was already crossed. Poor dog.

Maybe it is just wishful thinking, but I think Misty's hearing has improved since I've been putting the Zymox in her ears. She barked at the word "cheerios", is responding more to her name, and generally is in a better mood.

I went to Howe's Caverns with my mom and nephew yesterday. It is 52 degrees down there all year round. I wore a fleece jacket to keep myself warm. I hadn't worn the jacket in awhile.

In one pocket, I found a bunch of stuffing, clearly from the inside of a well loved dog toy. How it ended up in my pocket is beyond me. In the other pocket, I found some hardened Zuke's mini treats.

Even 140 feet underground, I'm carting my dogs' stuff around.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tricky T-Day

Photobucket


It has been raining a lot around here. So, we've had a lot of time to practice our indoor tricks. Ludo requested that we work on "paw" tricks this week.

Oreo and I have been working diligently on his "criss cross trick". Yes, I know you've all seen Oreo cross his paws. Even cross them while he begs. Oreo crosses his paw almost as much as he sits, in hope of getting a treat. Crossed paws have become a default behavior for him. If I don't give him a treat for sitting, he goes immediately into a down position and crosses his paws.

Today, you will see Oreo cross his OTHER paw! This was quite a challenge. Basically, I had to teach Oreo his left foot from his right foot. I learned that skill myself in 1st grade. So, I guess Oreo is now as smart as your average 6 year old, and he didn't need a red and yellow ribbon tied to his shoes (therefore he could be smarter!).

Sorry the video is dark, but I shot it on a rainy day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMLJlcrDPl0


Thanks to everyone for all your nice comments about Misty's ears!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Misty's ears


Just got back from the vet with Misty.

The vet found a lot of wax resting on one of Misty's eardrums, but no sign of infection. So, she cleaned it out as good as she could. I'll keep cleaning it for the next few days, and then she'll check it again on Monday.

However, she still thinks Misty's hearing is fading, since Misty wasn't responding at all to certain noises she was making.

I'll keep doing some noise making at home, and see how Misty reacts when she is in her regular environment.

Misty also lost another pound since our last visit. So, they are re-checking some blood levels. I still think her weight loss has to do with the food I have her on. It is a weight management diet, because she needs a lot of fiber due to anal gland issues.

Better to be safe and have the blood checked though, especially at her age.

We have been telling Oreo that he needs to be "Misty's ears" now. He needs to let her know when things are going on. I think he is ready to help her out. It's only fair, after all she taught him.

Can you hear me?

I don't think Misty can hear much anymore. Not sure if this is sudden, or if it has been gradual and we just noticed it now.

She is not responding to her name, or other key words (treat, cheerios, snacktime...) . No head turn, no tail wag. Nothing.

Sometimes, I think she can hear me, but Misty responds so much to our body language, routines, and even what Oreo is doing, I can't tell if she really heard me or just senses what is going on.

If I clap, her ears twitch, but she doesn't seem to know where to look for the sound source.

Hopefully, this is just part of the aging process, but I'm going to bring her to the vet to get her checked out. She is not showing any tell tale signs of an ear infection, i.e. shaking her head, holding her head to the side. Those are the clues Misty has given me in the past when she had an ear infection.

I knew Misty was going to have trouble with her eyesight, but I thought it was a bit early for hearing loss. Munchkin started losing his hearing when he was 13.

Funny thing is, Misty is such a noise sensitive dog, losing some sense of sound may not be a totally bad thing for her! The first fireworks show of the summer at out local ballpark will be coming up in a few days. If Misty's not shaking like a leaf, I'll know for sure that she can't hear.

Usually when we watch a movie with our surround sound on, Misty leaves the room. She can't tolerate the noise. Two nights ago, I noticed she lay at our feet the entire movie. There was even a lot of gun shots going off in the movie. That usually sends her running to the furthest room in the house. My first clue.

Now, I worry that Misty might be scared, because she doesn't know why she can't hear things anymore.

Other than her hearing, Misty is acting just fine. Barking at the neighbors, eating and walking normally. Good signs.

Or, perhaps Misty's hearing is just fine, and she is utilizing that type of hearing men sometimes use -----"selective hearing".

I'll let you know what the doctor says.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!


HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Hope all the Dads have a great day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Babci's flowers

It feels like it has been raining here for days. The sun finally came out this afternoon, as my afternoon exam was winding down. I was anxious to get home and see what was going on in my waterlogged garden.

"Babci's flowers" are starting to open. For those who don't know, Babci was my grandmother. She had a minuscule garden in Philadelphia. It was probably 4 feet by 4 feet, in the midst of a concrete alley. In her garden, she grew pretty yellow flowers. She had a small patch of grass in front of her garden, which Babci cut with scissors. That's how small it was. Her own secret garden in the concrete jungle.

When Babci moved to a nursing home, and her house was sold, my mom dug up some of those flowers. Mom brought them to upstate NY, and planted them in her own garden, where they multiplied.

When I bought my house, Mom brought some over. I planted them in my garden, and they have multiplied like rabbits!
Babci's plants are so happy here! I'm so glad my mom thought to keep this piece of her alive and growing. My garden would be so bare, without my sea of yellow.

It's funny, I don't know what these flowers are called. I see them at other people's houses, but I don't ask the name. I just think, "Oh, you have Babci's flowers too."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

zoomies

"I just had a bath zoomies"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heXgxjIYUI0

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

trial photos

Here's a link to some photos of our first run at our trial last Saturday. After you click on the link, hit the right arrow key to scroll thru our photos.

Here's our second run.

You can see from the photos how distracted Oreo gets on the dogwalk. In one photo, it looks like he is doing some tongue flicking, which is a calming signal. I think we really need to work on building his confidence on the dogwalk over the next few weeks.

No agility class this week- my teacher is on vacation! So, that gives us two more classes before our next trial.

Luckily, our next trial is DOCNA. So, it will be a smaller trial, and on home turf. There is a USDAA trial the same weekend, right up the road! Trial season is in full swing around here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tricky T-Day

This week's trick - jump into my arms........and hope I catch you!

I've watched dogs at agility trials jump into their owners arms after their runs, and thought, "Why doesn't my dog do that?"

Oh yeah, because I never taught him.

So, for the past two weeks, Oreo and I have been working on this trick. The steps were featured in this month's Clean Run magazine. I also had instructions in my favorite trick book. I combined the two styles, and came up with my own. Perhaps I should have stuck with just one set of instructions.

At this point, we've kind of plateaued. I think it has a lot to do with my inconsistency in getting a good grip on Oreo when he jumps. Oreo's always squirming around in my arms, because I think Oreo lacks faith in my ability to catch him. With good reason.

Whenever a student in one of my classes tries to throw me a pen, I say, "Don't throw it, I can't catch." They say, "But you're right in front of me," and throw the pen. The pen always hits the ground. "Wow, you really can't catch," they say.

Told ya so.

Here is a video showing how I taught Oreo, and where we are now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSa8ZJKHe9Y



Here is the far more entertaining blooper reel!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FHdWDwhneM


Poor Oreo. Perhap this isn't a good trick for us.

Monday, June 15, 2009

dogs need furniture too

Here is a photo of the storage piece that Jeff built for all of my "dog stuff". OK, there are a few gardening books tucked inside, but otherwise, this entire unit is filled with all things dog!

Toys, leashes, coats, harnesses, training books, magazines, dog boots, towels to clean paws, walking gear for me (hats, gloves, reflective vest, pepper spray, odometer, etc.), etc., etc.

I think it came out beautiful, and it hides all that "stuff" perfectly. I had looked in catalogs and stores for something like this, but nothing seemed to be exactly what I wanted. I drew a picture, and Jeff built it just the way I wanted (and for a lot less money than I would have paid elsewhere!).





On top, I put Dee's fabulous figurines, Oreo's ribbons, and some trial photos.

This room once had a small wicker furniture set that we never really used. Now, the room will be a true "mud room", which is what its function has become, since it is right off our deck. The best part, I think I can now fit a jump or a set of 6 weave poles in the room. So, in the dead of winter, during an ice storm, I can get some agility practice in!

Although Jeff did a great job perfecting his anal retentive skills on this project, I think he is happy to get back to chopper building.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oreo's first CPE trial

We started our day with a jumpers round. CPE jumpers is jumps and tunnels. The course was pretty easy. A lot of lines of straight jumps, with one serpentine. Oreo popped out of one tunnel, but even that wasn't called as a fault. We had technical difficulties with the video camera, so it will all have to live in my memory! I was thrilled with his run. We Q'd and came in second place, out of 7 dogs. Course time was 47 seconds, and we finished in 34.28.

Our standard run was great as well. Unfortunately, during our run they realized the clock had not been reset. I heard a buzzer go off, but I kept running Oreo through the entire course. Oreo had a perfect run. No faults, and very little looking around.

The judge came over to me, and said, "I have no doubt that you met standard course time, and I will give you that, but it could effect your placement. So, you can rerun the course after all the other dogs have gone."

I agreed to do that. So, our second try was purely for time. They took our zero faults from our first run. All Oreo had to do was all the obstacles.

This run was a bit slower. Oreo stopped on the dogwalk to look around, which he didn't do the first time.

So, when I went to see how we did compared to the other dogs, I was shocked when I saw the number "1" next to Oreo's name!

Yep, we came in First! Out of 7, and several of them were pretty darn good. I really was not expecting first place.

So glad I took the judge up on her offer!

Standard course time was 68 seconds, we ran it in 42.64.

Here is the video of the beginning/end of our first run. My camera guy shut the camera off when the person said "stop", so we will never know what Oreo's real time was on that run. I was hoping to watch the video and find out. Then, you get to see his first place run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pkVd4TmBms



These CPE courses seemed very easy to me. I'm glad we started at level 2, not Level 1. I think we could have even started at level 3. We'll see how we do when we enter some of the games though. Strategy is not my thing.


"Can I just take a nap now? I think I've earned it!"

Friday, June 12, 2009

run thru

I brought Oreo to the pre trial run thrus to see how he would deal with being in a new setting.

Boy, I continually underestimate my dog.

He was fine. When it was our turn, the previous dog was taking forever to get out of the ring. Oreo just sat in front of the jump, looking at me, waiting. Then, when I said "go", he took off over the jump and over the A-Frame.

I was so happy he was doing the obstacles! I had worried he would just run around the ring in nervous circles.

The only two places he got held up were the teeter and dogwalk. Someone laughed really loud while he was on the teeter, and Oreo almost jumped right off. Luckily, he looked back at the teeter, I clicked, and he finished the teeter. He also stopped to look around on top of the dogwalk. Typical Oreo behavior. I clicked as soon as he got refocused.

Overall, we were out of the ring with no mistakes, and I'm sure we would have been under time.

I had signed us up for a second run thru, but decided to just go home and let Oreo relax. I didn't want to over do it.

We have some competition tomorrow! I'm excited to see how we do, compared to the other 12 inchers in Level 2!

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

summer books

Over the past few weeks, I've had the chance to read a couple books. Shocking!

Three books had dogs as main characters, so I thought I'd share the titles, in case anyone wants to add them to their summer reading list. Even if you are not a dog person (OK, most of you are), these would be good books regardless.

The first book came from my cousin, who sent me an advance copy! She works for a publisher, and was sending the book to people who review books & write blogs. Since I have a blog about dogs, she thought I should have a copy. Thanks Michiko!

The book is called Heroic Measures, by Jill Ciment. The book's main characters are an elderly couple who live in NYC with their dachshund, who suffers a sudden paralysis.

The story is told from the point of view of both the couple and the dog. I especially liked hearing the dog's point of view! However, the book is not all about the dog. It is also about house hunting in NYC and a charming married couple.

It is a touching novel, that I recommend, especially for dog people. You will see yourself in this book.

The book's publication date is June 30.

Another book, narrated exclusively by a dog, is Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn. This book was recommended by my Dad, who I am sure laughed out loud while reading this book! It is a mystery/private investigator book. This is a "read in one sitting" book (unless you have to stop and train your dogs). Light read, beach book (or in my case, deck book).

A third book, Izzy & Lenore, by Jon Katz, is also wonderful. Jon Katz is one of my favorite authors. This book includes stories about the hospice work Jon does with his dogs. Powerful stuff. The stories demonstrate how dogs can really touch people's souls, even at the very end.




The dogs are reading, Forever Buster: What a Name! What a dog, we exclaim!, by Martin Rabbett. A year ago, my Aunt Betty sent us an autographed copy, as well as a drawing of our first sheltie done by the illustrator of this book, Donna Burns. Even Richard Chamberlain, the actor, signed our copy, because he had done the reading that day in Hawaii. The story is wonderful, and the illustrations are charming. Warning....it's a tear jerker.

Oreo doesn't like sharing the book.

So, go visit "Dawn", your local librarian (JoAnne in my case), and check these books out!

Side note to my Editor in Chief: I know book titles need to be underlined, but blogger only gives you the choice of bold or italic! I went with italic, rather than quotes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

tricky t-day

This week, I was videoing a trick Oreo and I have been working on. In between, I was working with Misty on her trick - kicking her legs like a Rockette. Do my non-US readers know who the Rockettes are? I don't know if they are famous around the world or not....

Well, I decided that Misty should star in the video this week for tricky t-day, because she is just so darn cute.

She loves to do this trick (it's one of 3 tricks she knows!), but unfortunately will only do it if I put my hand out. Maybe someday she will do it with just a voice command.

I say "shake" for her left foot and "paw" for her right foot. Misty gets it correct most of the time. Oreo has yet to learn this trick. He gets frustrated and starts offering all his tricks - one paw, two paws, cross left paw, cross right paw, bang, beg, etc.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jADO_nBn7xc


Of course, Oreo has to share in the spotlight, therefore here is a short video of Oreo. It shows the great progress he has made in his skill from last week's tricky t-day - distance work. First, I work on sending him to a jump, from very far away. Then, we practice a short sequence that ends on the table, like we would have to do in a jackpot (gamblers) game. I signed us up for our first jackpot run at the end of August, so we have to start practicing now! In CPE level 2, the distance is 0-5 feet, graduating up to 10 feet. I think I stayed at least 5 feet away. I'm really bad with eyeing measurements.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYDDi3pHIzw

Monday, June 8, 2009

on a pedestal

"Wanna come in?"

"Don't you dare come in!"

"Unless you have some treats."

Noses in the air.

"We are too good for you!"

Dogs.... put 'em on a chair, and they think they are on a pedestal for all to admire.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

fixed jump

In the box of goodies from Ludo and Dee, were pieces for a jump to go along with Oreo's figurine. Misty had a fluffy, stuffed bone (her favorite toy).

Unfortunately, one part of the jump (a part that held the jump bar) had broken off during shipment. Thank goodness that was the only thing that broke in the box!

I went to the store today to buy some super glue to try and repair it. While looking at the myriad of choices of super glue (there are so many!), I saw the fun tack (poster board adhesive) and thought that might be a better idea. I was just imagining making a big mess with the glue, and ending up with my fingers glued together.

With a little molding of the fun tack, I was able to put the jump back together. I mounted it to an index card with some more fun tack to give it added stability, and voila! Isn't it cute?

For the past few weekends, Jeff has been building me a piece of furniture to store all my dogs' supplies. Yes, I have so much dog stuff, it needs its own storage unit! Once Jeff is done applying the polyurethane, the top shelf will hold Oreo's agility ribbons, some photos, and Dee's figurines! I'll post a photo when it is all done.

really tired


When Oreo is really tired, and I mean really tired, he likes to squirm his way under our bed. Sometimes, I don't even know he's there, but usually his tail and nose peek out. Honestly, I don't know how he fits under there, and one of these days he is going to get stuck. I better keep a close eye on his diet!

I took Oreo to class on Wednesday. There was only one other person there. My teacher had set up a long course - 22 obstacles. We did the first 11, then the last 11, and finally put all 22 together. Later, she renumbered the course and we tried something new.

Lots of running! Good thing it has been cool.

Oreo was thrilled to be there. He ran to the ring each time, looking back at me, as if to say, "Hurry up, Mom, it's our turn!". My teacher said, "Wow, what a difference. Do you remember the first day you brought him to the outdoor ring?"

Oh yes, I thought our agility days were over that day.

He did his startline routine. I practiced click/treating when he looked at any distractions, although there weren't many this week. He did look around each time he got on the teeter.

Highlights of the night - Oreo did 12 poles, with no mistakes, every time (and that was at least 5 times), and he wasn't a slow poke on them. We did a beautiful back cross, and Oreo didn't even flinch or glance back, he drove ahead to the next obstacle! I think that was the first time ever for us. That felt awesome.

Trouble spots - obstacle discriminations - tunnel/dogwalk- my fault. I have to get my feet lined up so Oreo knows where to go. Also, we did a jump wrap, and Oreo kept taking the jump a second time. So, I had to work on pulling my body further away from the jump.

Overall, Oreo did awesome. He was fast, made practically no mistakes, and we both had so much fun.

At the end of class, I took Oreo's leash off to put him in the car. Instead of following Misty into the car, Oreo beelined it to the agility ring. Poor thing, wanted to play some more agility. If I was 15 years younger, perhaps I would have run one more course!

We have a CPE trial next Saturday. This will be our first CPE, and our first trial in a new location. I have minimal expectations. Oreo will probably have a lot of trouble with the new setting. I will try, and bring him to the run thrus on Friday, and see if that helps. I only signed us up for two runs. Didn't want to spend a fortune, in case it is a disaster.

The rest of the summer, all of our trials will be held at our school - home court! Yay!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

special package!

We got a special package in the mail, in fact it was stamped "royal mail"! How special is that?

You see, we won "honorable mention" in Ludo's "guess the guests" contest, and today we received our lovely prizes all the way across the ocean from England!

And do you know what was inside? Two miniature, clay sculptures of Misty and Oreo! They are just wonderful. Misty's facial expression is sooooo, well, Misty. Oreo looks like he is going for his orbee, which is his favorite position! Oreo even has one ear up, one ear down (we always say his Native American name would be "Broken Ear").

Just look at how cute they are:


We can't thank Dee and Ludo enough. These will be treasures in our home forever! How kind of her to put all that time into creating these two sculptures.


OK, Oreo and Misty were not nearly impressed with the sculptures as me. However, they were overly enthusiastic about the other gift in the box - homemade treats!!!!!


The temptation.

Oreo is not so polite.
Misty takes it gently.
Oreo bites the head off first. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!
Thanks so much Dee and Ludo! You're the best!
Dee, I think you can go into business. Maybe open a shop that sells clay dog figurines and dog treats! My dogs would certainly like me to buy some of your treats.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tricky T-Day



OK, we are going to participate in Ludo's tricky T-day. We haven't been working on any new tricks lately - too much agility!

So, here is a video of one of the many "skills" we have been working on, distance. Basically, I start at one point, send Oreo to an obstacle, and if he is successful, I keep taking a step back and trying from that point. Today, I was clicking and treating when he got to the obstacle I sent him to.

You'll see Oreo plays a "trick" on me. Therefore, I thought this video qualified for tricky t-day!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVDEIPyiHyM

I was surprised to get Oreo to do anything this afternoon. There were people here all day (still here actually) installing public water to our house. Yes, we will be able to flush our toilet during the next power outage. No more bringing the bucket to/from the creek. I have mixed feelings. I liked the feeling of being self sufficient, and "off the grid". However, once everyone around us started hooking up to the public line, our water became more plentiful, and with it the sulfur level grew. Nothing like a shower that smells like rotten eggs every morning~ick.

Anyway, the dogs seem exhausted from having to deal with all the activity.

Now, if only we could get sewer lines, so the big ol' poop truck didn't have to come pump us out every few years!!! Talk about a bad odor. I think the dogs enjoy that day.