Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ferry to P-Town

On Tuesday, we took the ferry from Plymouth to Provincetown. The ferry ride itself was scenic. I think we saw 5 lighthouses on the way. Here is Plymouth's Barrier Beach.

Lighthouse on Cape Cod, as we pulled into Port at P-Town.

P-Town is a really neat place. TONS of shops and restaurants all on one main strip. People ride their bikes up and down the road. The houses were really cute, white picket fences and beautiful gardens everywhere.

Anything goes in P-Town. I would have loved to stay to catch a glimpse of the night life!

We spent about 4 hours in P-Town. Then, enjoyed the cool breeze on the ferry home to Plymouth.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

tricky t-day ~ limp 2

I wasn't planning on having a tricky t-day this week, but Oreo surprised me the day before we left for vacation! Out of the blue (ok, months of practice)he started doing "limp" without the support of my hand! Quite the accomplishment. He's only taking one step, but I think we are on our way.

After Oreo did it 3 times, I knew it wasn't a fluke. Oreo had had the lightbulb moment. He knew what I wanted him to do. Finally!

I yelled to Jeff, "You have to come video this!" Luckily, we got a couple good ones, before Oreo's brain was fried and he was back to his default cross paws.

To Be Continued.......

Monday, June 28, 2010

evening walk on the beach

In defence of Plymouth Rock, I guess it was once bigger. They used to let people chip away at it, and take a piece home. I also learned the pilgrims really went to Provincetown (on the end of Cape Cod) first, but ended up in Plymouth, because the conditions were too harsh in P-Town.

Went for an evening stroll on White Horse Beach....

Here is the legend behind White Horse Beach:

White Horse Beach was named for an incident in 1778. Local legend says that a young woman named Helen met her death after riding a white horse into the surf one August night either as a suicide or while, searching for her lover, Roland Doane. His ship, the privateer General Arnold, had gone aground and broken up in Plymouth Bay. She had nursed him back to health, but her father, a doctor, disapproved and had run the sailor off his land. Helen's ghost reportedly sometimes appears on the granite boulder called White Horse Rock.

Here is the rock (the big one in the water), we didn't see Helen's ghost.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

getting our bearings

We took a trolley ride around the town of Plymouth today, to learn where everything was.

Cute historic houses....
grist mill (where we ate lunch)
this was annoying
Plymouth rock is under those columns
Here is Plymouth Rock. Kind of smaller than you would think. They treat it like it is some sort of diamond.
Funny sign.

Mayflower replica
Oreo is making himself at home. In fact, he has had the easiest adjustment ever to our vacation spot. Usually Oreo hides in the bathroom. He is actually hanging out with us!

Now, we know where everything is, and what we want to visit next.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Diana, You Guessed It!

We're here in Plymouth, Mass. Staying in a gorgeous house on the ocean. A lighthouse in our view. Doesn't get much better than this.

Lobster dinner. Yum!

Clue number two.....

There is a famous rock here (the one in the photo isn't it)....Diana was really on the right track....

Off we go.....

Where are we going?  I'll tell you when we get there.

Here's a hint.....think turkeys.

Friday, June 25, 2010

oreo plays frisbee

Remember the photo I posted the other day, with Oreo being a contortionist?

Well, Kathy left a comment saying Oreo wants to be disc dog. Hmmm. I've always wanted Oreo to play Frisbee, and tried years ago, without much success.

Yesterday, I decided it was going to be my summer project.

For some reason, Oreo thinks the Frisbee is something he needs to bat with his nose. So, I got my treats out and rewarded him every time he caught it in his mouth. It seemed to be working. We are still at the stage where he stands looking at me. Oh, how I want him to run away from me for the Frisbee, like he does his ball. It would be so cool!

AC asked for some videos. Here are a couple shoddy videos I uploaded off my phone. You'll see why I usually use a tripod.

Nothing spectacular yet, but Oreo is getting excited about the frisbee itself. At one point, the frisbee flew into my garden, and Oreo spent quite a long while rummaging around in there looking for it. There may be hope! I may have a disc dog on my hands....if only I knew how to throw a frisbee properly. I'm sure Oreo would be more excited my throws were a bit more predictable and were higher.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life is good

Misty is in vacation mode already.

Oreo and I are working on our frisbee skills.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

wordless wednesday ~ NOT

OK. Today is the last day of exams, although I'm still officially employed until Friday when I must turn in my keys and ID badge.

In honor of this glorious day, I'm letting you guys off the hook. No captions necessary. Give your brains a summer vacation. Have a margarita with me, and ponder these questions:

How does ONE tissue, left in a pants pocket, create such a mess in a load of laundry? Must the tissue attach itself to EVERY item of clothing? 

"I don't know the answers mom, but I know it's not my fault! I would have destroyed the tissue BEFORE it went in the laundry. I'm good like that."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

tricky t-day ~ packing a cookie

We will be going on vacation soon.  I had nothing lined up for this week's tricky t-day.  So, I decided to try out Ricky's suitcase trick.  If you haven't seen it, you must watch.  Ricky is such a superstar!

This was our first try.  I did it all through free timing.  Oreo is used to getting in/on boxes, so it didn't take long for him to get in.  I was the one who got frustrated with our equipment!  I wish I had a sturdier suitcase, rather than the one I got FREE when I opened a checking account.  The sides kept collapsing.  We never made it to the part where Oreo has to lift the lid on his own.
Is a dog trick a good enough reason to buy new luggage?

Monday, June 21, 2010

misty monday

Misty's favorite summer lounging location:

See how she has dug herself a bed that is perfectly molded to her body? Years of hard work!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

cpe trial

Well we managed to get our two runs in before the temps even reached 80. Plus, the day before, some of my classmates had staked out a shady spot under some trees. So, I was able to park my car under a tree and set the dog's pen there too. They never even panted.

Oreo's first run was Colors. A favorite. You choose the course you want to run, out of two options. The courses are always short. I chose the circle course.

Oreo was definitely not as relaxed at this trial as he was last weekend at the teacup trial. Not sure why. Probably because there were a lot more people there. They were doing 665 runs today. 165 dogs. Plus, we only trialed there once and that was over a year ago.

Here is a video of our colors run. Oreo almost decided to do the square course, as he headed toward the A-Frame, but I was able to get him to the jump. You can see him get stressed around the tire when he notices the judge. I wish I hadn't of front crossed there, as I could've offered a barrier between Oreo and the judge. It may have eased his stress level. We ended up in second place, and a Q. Not too shabby.

Then we did standard. Here is the map.
Notice how in the beginning we have to turn back toward the start line, where all the commotion is. Oreo popped out of the weaves. I decided to turn him and sent him to the tunnel, rather than put him back in the poles. Oreo really started to pick up speed on the jumps after the dogwalk, but then saw the scary judge and balked at the next tunnel and did a long pause on the teeter. No video, and no Q, because we didn't complete the weaves.

I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever get a standard Q at level 3, or if we will be stuck at 3 forever! LOL. We get called for major faults everytime we try, since Oreo "fails to perform" an obstacle. Well, maybe the judge shouldn't have put the obtsacle there in the first place! At least this time it was only 15 faults, unlike the last try when we ended up with 45 faults. I was happy not to see a chute on any of the maps, although I've never seen a chute at any of the CPE trials we've been at. Even the indoor ones.

I was glad we only signed up for two runs, because Oreo clearly wasn't feeling the trial environment today.

All of the trials for the rest of the summer & fall will be at our school. I'm sure Oreo will be more confident there.

We're on a two week agility free hiatus now.

why Oreo needs a chiropractor

I might be going to a CPE trial this morning.  I wasn't planning on going, because I was on the "waiting list", due to the trial being full.  I found out Wednesday, that I could now do the trial.  If I had known that, I might not have done the teacup last weekend.  We're only signed up for 2 runs, and they are both the first runs of the day, one in each ring.  It is supposed to get really hot, so I would want to be done by 10-11 AM.

I'll probably decide at the last minute. Like if I wake up in time to make the first walk through!  

Friday, June 18, 2010

This week's gold star goes to........


"I got it, I got it!" (waving off the other outfielders)

Whenever Oreo thinks he's "got it", but then misses, he always looks so deflated when he misses. He takes this game so seriously. I'm sure if there were other players in the ballpark, he would constantly be yelling "I got it, I got it!" Even if that meant running a mile to get it.

Great Job Dawn! I had to say your caption out loud when I read it, and in a NYC accent for some reason. It made me laugh, and suited Oreo to a T.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Well, at least we know that new hip of yours is still young!

(How old is this photo? Yikes! 17 years! I think I look pretty much the same. And, hey, you still look good..... from the neck down.)

(19 years ago, I was in great shape when we climbed this mountain. Today, you're still in good enough shape to climb this mountain. Me? I'd probably need an elevator.)

You don't stop playing because you get old. You get old, because you stop playing. Words my dad lives by. Sometimes a bit too literally.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

tricky t-day

I've been working on a double dog trick, but we're not quite there yet. Maybe soon?

Then, I saw a lady working her two dogs at the trial this weekend. She was doing all sorts of cute double dog freestyle moves. It was awesome! She did the leapfrog trick that Oreo & Misty do, but her dogs were standing up instead of laying down. I knew some of the stuff we could probably do.

She inspired me to try. Turned on the camera to see what we could get! I had the dogs do spins, which they knew already. Then, Oreo decided on his own he wanted to play leap frog. He must have been watching those dogs too.

Here is a quick video, of what we came up with. It's not much, but we've been busy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

teacup - sunday's story

The weather improved a bit on Sunday. Overcast all day, cool, with a light mist most of the afternoon. Not bad weather for trialing. It started raining when we were in the car on the way home. Perfect timing.

We arrived at the trial just as they were starting the fullhouse run. I looked at the course map, thought "this is so easy". Signed us up, and we were the second dog to go.

I didn't even get to walk the course. Don't know what I was thinking.

We almost pulled it off. Missed it by one lousy point. Major bummer. At least we tried. Fullhouse is not one of my favorite games, but there was a really smooth path that enabled us to get our three jumps, two circles and joker.

Next up, 2 standard runs. Both had the chute and the table. Two things we rarely practice.

Luckily, the judges made the table,"handler's choice", which meant you got to pick whether you wanted your dog to sit, stand or down for 5 seconds. We did sit. In hindsight, stand may have been a better choice.

Everyone I knew was running their dog in the same class, so I brought my tripod and set up this birdseye view of our run. Can you see us? We start in the right bottom of the screen for both runs.

You'll see Oreo go around the chute, and then you can't see that he goes in the wrong end of the tunnel afterward. No Q. I think if I had stayed closer to the entrance of the chute, he may have gone in.

Check out how FAST Oreo was moving at the start of our run with the scary judge SOOOOO close! I didn't realize how close he was until I saw the video.

On our second standard, it was handler's choice again. Oreo was distracted by something in the woods, but I got him to sit. Then, he went around the chute again, and went in the wrong tunnel entrance after the chute. Isn't he consistent? Notice the judge didn't call faults for those! She was a judge in training. Unfortunately, someone was watching and those faults got recorded and we got an NQ. We also had one dropped bar. He did much better with the jumps today than he did friday.

Here's our run:

Not a great weekend Qwise. However, Oreo did awesome outside the ring. He even barked! He rarely barks away from home, and never has barked at a trial before. Everyone always compliments me on how quiet my dogs are. Ha! If they only knew.....I was thrilled to see my little spitfire's personality coming out a bit, even if it was out of the ring. Plus, he laid down and took a little nap in his pen, even though we were sitting with a group of people/dogs. Progress.

Plus, I thought Oreo's times were pretty good. I'm not sure of our YPS. It didn't print out on our stickers. Hopefully, the scores get posted somewhere, and I can calculate those.

I would definitely do teacup again. Everyone was very friendly, and knew Oreo's name by the end of the day. Although some were teasing, calling him, "Pecan Sandie" or "Chips Ahoy". The environment is pretty laid back, but the courses are challenging, especially in the upper levels. Next time, I'll be more prepared. More chute, table and 16 inch jump practice ahead of time.

Even Jeff thought the chute looked like a weird obstacle. It was a really small opening, almost cavelike. Not sure why Oreo did it Friday, and then refused Sunday.

Usually Oreo is wiped out after a trial. Not this time. We went home and played in the rain.

We're taking a break from agility this week. I think we both need to do some other stuff, like sit on the deck and do nothing!

Rain delay

How Oreo spent the rainy day away.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

teacup trial - Friday night's story

Teacup is an experience! Too funny to see the tiny equipment. Oreo had to duck to get in the tunnel. Plus, the obstacles were so close together. Quite a contrast from last week's DOCNA courses, where the obstacles are really spread out.

Oreo was literally one of the biggest dogs there. He measured above 15 inches, so he got put in the highest class and had to jump 16 inches.

Measuring was an experience. The trial was also a judges clinic. Oreo was the guinea pig, since he was so borderline between 12 and 16 inch jump heights. I mean REALLY borderline. I think he is about 15 1/4 inches tall. The cutoff to jump 12 inches was 15.

There were 4 judges hovering over him, countless fingers prodding his back looking for his shoulder bones.

"Let's try one more time." "No, you don't have the wicket on his shoulder blades, this is where his shoulder blades are."

Poor Oreo. If I wasn't desperate for him to come in at 12 I would have put up more of a fight. They were all very nice about praising Oreo for his patience, and using a nice tone of voice to keep it a positive experience for him. However, they could not get the wicket to sit flat on the table. I think one judge was willing to sign off on 12 inches, since Oreo did measure under 15 inches in CPE, but we needed two signatures.

I had a feeling this might happen, since we had the same experience (with a different outcome) in CPE. CPE didn't use a wicket. In anticipation, I had been practicing a few 16 inch jumps this week. The higher jumps actually seemed to amp Oreo up a bit. I was a bit worried if he could pull them off in a trial.

Jeff said, "If he can jump on the bed, and reach the kitchen counter, he can jump 16 inches."

He was right!

Our first run was colors. One of our favorite games. Short & sweet. 10 obstacles. I chose the course with the smoothest line, even though it was almost all JUMPS! Oreo did the course in 20 seconds (SCT was 40 something). No Q, because he went around one jump. However, he did the chute for the first time ever in competition!

I was thrilled with his time, considering we were in a facility we had never been to before. No video due to technical difficulties.

When I went to check our results, the judge said, "You didn't q because you didn't bring your dog back around to correct the jump he missed."

I said, "I know. I don't correct my dog, because he's perfect."

Here is the course map. We did the course with the circle numbers. I think Oreo went around jump 8.

Our second run was blackjack. Basically you have to earn 21 points, without going over, in a certain amount of time. Various obstacles are worth different point values. I had played it in league before. There was also a gamble for extra points, I skipped that.

Here is the map with my plan. I changed it slightly when I walked the course. I decided to take the jump labeled "6" instead of the one closer to the weaves. It walked different than it looked on paper.

Oreo dropped two bars, both when we were turning. However, I was able to think on my feet and find a couple extra jumps on our way out of the course to get our 21 points.

It was getting dark out by the time we got to blackjack, but Jeff was able to get a fuzzy video. Oreo did some rubber necking on this run, but he tends to be that way in games where the judge has to call out numbers. He didn't look as comfortable in the ring as he did on our home turf last weekend.

Overall, I thought Oreo did really well. Outside the ring is where I am seeing a huge difference in confidence levels. He is able to drink water, pee, do all his tricks & dare I say, relax, with people/dogs in very close proximity. That was something he was unable to do a few months ago.

I planned on going back Saturday to try out a couple more games and standard, but it was a rainy day. Better to stay home. I may try again on Sunday. I never picked up my ribbons for our last run. It was 9PM when we finished. Past my bedtime!

self timer saturday

I only had to proctor exams in the morning on Friday. Then, I gave my seniors a pizza party.

I gave each senior a card, along with $20. Inside the card, I wrote down what I love most about each one, along with some endearing memory. I told one girl I would miss the sound of her flip flops coming down the hall. She wore flip flops everyday, all year! Even when there was a blizzard.

This year I had 6 seniors. That was more than I've ever had before. What a great feeling to have so many kids make it to the end! It is amazing how fast those 4 years fly by.

After the party, I got to sneak up on Oreo & Misty, since I came home from work 2 hours earlier than usual.

My camera was getting dusty this week, so I decided to try some more self timer photos. Here is what we got.

serious Oreo
happy Oreo
lovey Oreo

bored Oreo
Our best shot!
Why don't you try out your self timer and see what you get!

Look for updates on our teacup trial this weekend!