Tuesday, August 31, 2010
and some of this,
Hopefully, I can get one more tricky t-day in before school starts next week. Then, I may have to take an extended break for the month of September as I readjust to real life. How on earth will I get out of the house by 8AM everyday? I rarely shower before 10 these days.
I saw this bird in the morning. Looked smaller than the hawks around here. Maybe a falcon? He flew away before I could snap a shot of its face. I was surprised to see such a big bird on a low branch.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I didn't now what to expect, but I never scratch jumpers, because they're always Oreo's best runs. No scary judge looming over us!
Well, Oreo rocked it! At one point, he was running faster than me, and I had to really get moving to catch up. We came in first, q'ed and got our intern jumpers title. 3.83 YPS, not too shabby for a run at the end of a warm day.
Dawn asked how our new harness worked out. It was super easy getting off in the ring, just as I had hoped.
Best part, no hacking if Oreo pulled on the leash.
For this harness, you measure around the dog's body, just behind its front armpits. Click here, then click on the sizing tab under the photo for more info. I just noticed they are having FREE shipping. HELLO! Got to order one for Misty today!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
So, here is an update on our RP.
We've continued our relaxation protocol pretty much non stop, taking days off when we were really busy.
We did 15 days in the living room & 15 in the backyard. This week, we moved to the car!
Getting to the car, putting on the seat belt, initial moments in the car, pulling out of the garage, pulling out of the driveway are all huge sources of excitement/anxiety.
Therefore, I was completely amazed at how calm Oreo was the first day of car RP. When I grabbed his mat and asked him to follow me to the car, not one bark, jump, spin, circle. Oreo calmly walked down the basement stairs to the car and hopped in.
We've done a week of car RP, with the door open/no seatbelt on. I figure next week we will put the seatbelt on. Then the following week, I'll shut the door and feed him through the window.
3 weeks of car RP? Believe me! We need it. However, our trip to the car for agility class this week was already a bit quieter. This may pay off (my ear drums can hope).
I thought I'd post a video to show you one day of tasks. The video is of day 9 during our outside work. I sped the video up 5 times faster than real life.
I think instead of doing the boring tasks, I should do the moves described in the song I chose. Then, the next day, I could do the electric slide, next day the macarena, achy breaky, etc. It would be much more entertaining for me.
I still don't see how this is going to help any of Oreo's fears. They're just too strong for this to be effective. However, it is helping with crazy times around the house. Cleaning, people walking by....
We use RP as a tool. If Oreo starts getting excited about me dusting, I stand by his mat in my "relaxation pose", and after a few manic circles and nips at the rag, he settles down on the mat. Pretty amazing. I don't even have to say anything, I simply relax myself. Cool, huh?
Other times, when he starts circling or getting crazy over something and I'm too lazy to get off my butt and assume the RP position, I calmly start counting out loud. This has worked amazingly well at interrupting his circling. He stops, looks at me, and walks over, sometimes even sits. Kind of like a mom telling her kid, "I'm going to count to 10. 1....2....3...."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Well....at our last CPE trial, I saw someone literally rip a harness off their dog in 2 seconds flat.
Had to go get myself one of those.
Oreo is now the proud wearer of a comfort flex sport harness, from a company not too far up the road from us. It goes on in seconds, off even quicker (velcro! one of the world's greatest inventions). I feel so much better about walking him around a trial environment in a harness rather than a slip lead or collar/lead. Plus, this one has kind of a handle on it, which may be useful at times.
Plus, if Oreo pulls, it won't put any pressure on him. No more hacking.
Very excited about trying it out at our trial tomorrow.
I've gotta order one for Misty now too. She hates the process of taking the other one off.
I tried to get Oreo to do his favorite trick, cross his paws, just for Mika! Well, you'll see how that goes.
We're thinking of Mika and your family today.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Goodies from Priscilla, Rosie, & Princess Eva. A photo of Eva on the beach, a beautiful, blue floral bracelet for me and two bandanas for Oreo & Misty.
I must say these bandanas are like none I have ever seen before. Look how beautiful!
Oreo is used to wearing a bandana (I spray DAP on them), so he was quite the good sport about modeling the various ways to wear his new one! Look how versatile!
And here is Misty:
hair in rollers lady
pool side coverup
And here is my beautiful bracelet:
Thank you so much, our dear friends! What a treat getting a package from the other side of the world.
"The other side of the world Mom? But it seems like they're so close."
Yes Oreo, it is funny how you can become such good friends with people even when you've never met them in person and they live very far away.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
- Went out to dinner, couldn't eat it all, got a doggie bag. Wake up next day. Doggie bag not in fridge. Realize I must have forgotten it. Hmmm, wonder if I left it at the restaurant or in Jeff's truck. I guess it was a good thing I left it at the restaurant.
- Bought milk. Forgot I bought milk, until 4 hours later when I needed it. Had left it sitting in my car all afternoon. Wouldn't have been so bad if it were January and 20 degrees outside.
- Went to Walmart, filled my cart up with a ton of school supplies. Waited in line forever. Finally my turn. Can't find my wallet. Forgot I left it in the car!
- Go to school to get my classroom ready and unpack all stuff. Forgot to bring my room and filing cabinet key. Left them at home on my kitchen table. Yet, I remembered to fill my trunk to the brim with school supplies!
- Forgot my head. OH, that's right....it's attached.
Guess I need to start doing the sudoku again. My brain needs a tune up.
In June, Misty was showing symptoms of a bladder infection, but her culture came back normal. However, her protein level was high. She was lethargic, and having intermittent diarrhea. So, we ran blood work, which showed some elevated levels. My vet put her on antibiotics and suggested an ultrasound to figure out what was going on with Misty.
I scheduled one, but canceled it. We were going on vacation that week, and I didn't want to get bad news before we left.
Then, Misty improved. I decided to live in blissful denial. Always a fun option.
This past weekend, the symptoms returned. That's when I decided it was time to schedule the ultrasound and keep the appointment.
She did test positive for a bladder infection this time.
The results of the ultrasound indicate she has no cancer, no tumors, and all her organs look OK. The only thing that is not perfect are her kidneys, which have "loss of detail", which is probably due to aging.
The ultrasound doctor said her protein level (0.6) is a little high, but OK for now, and we will re- test again in late September for a change.
My vet will do a new urinalysis two days before Misty comes off the antibiotics to test for bacteria levels.
So, there you have it.
Misty is doing much better this morning.
And so am I!
For whatever reason, Misty may be more susceptible to bladder infections, so I will have to be cautious from now on. I'll make sure when we go places (agility events) that she lies on my mats, rather than the grass and dirt.
Thanks everyone for your kind words last night. You all stay up later than I do (OK, some of you are in different time zones, but still)!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Misty is fine. She does have a bladder infection, which we knew. However, she has no cancer, and all her organs look good.
They will recheck her protein level in September.
I feel so much better, and am glad both doctors did such a thorough job checking over my girl.
Jeff sent me a text with this photo attached. I love how he is getting in on my sign game! I wonder if he had to tell himself to turn the truck around....
We've had a rainy couple of days here. Been spending lots of time indoors. A rarity this summer! I shot a video of our entire trick time on Monday. Don't worry, I did edit.
However, it is quite a hodge podge, and a lot of nothing. You'll see tricks we've improved on & tricks in progress, from both dogs.
Oreo & I are diligently working on a new dance move, but I'm still hoping for a bit more speed & precision before shooting a video of it. It took me several days to figure out the logistics of the whole thing myself.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Misty is having some problems. I'm going to the vet today to get her back on some antibiotics and schedule an ultrasound for her. Hopefully, they can get it done this week. Misty had been doing really well after finishing the last round of antibiotics, but this weekend she started showing signs of discomfort again. Time to figure out what is going on (her bloodwork has some weird values). I've been putting off the ultrasound for the past month, because she had been doing well and honestly, I was afraid of getting bad news. Time to face the truth.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
It was a new place for the dogs. We actually parked behind the tree line in far distance.
You'd be wrong. He was nervous, especially on our walk back to the truck and the scary man talking with Jeff. Oreo was visibily skittish, either pulling on his leash, or stopping dead in his tracks.
I kept walking in arcs, because that usually helps.
Once he was in a more relaxed state, I tried to get Oreo to play a bit with his rabbit fur toy. I clicked for contact and any slight pull. A big pull, got him the jackpot inside.
We also played race to the softball.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
She requested that I write 7 things about myself & 7 things about my dogs. Here you have it! Whether you wanted to know or not!
7 things you probably don't know about me:
1. I often say "I don't know" in Russian, instead of English. It seems more natural for some reason. (I took Russian for 7 years.)
2. I once had half my head shaved.
3. My first pet was a chameleon. He died. Mom sent dad to the pet store to replace it before I found out. My chameleon had been a skinny little thing. Dad brought home a fat one, with half a tail. I wasn't fooled.
4. I almost always use the computer standing up at the kitchen counter. Drives Jeff crazy ("why do we have a laptop, if you're going to stand at the kitchen counter all the time?")
5. I'm a reality TV junkie. I've watched every season (all 11) of Big Brother.
6. I can back into my garage, but I can't back out of my garage.
7. I always leave my doggie bag behind on the table at the restaurant.
7 things about my dogs:
1. Misty scratches the floor/tv stand when the garage door goes up/down.
2. Misty hates our movie room, even when the TV is off, she won't stay in the room for very long.
3. We give Oreo toys to put in his mouth to shut him up. Kind of like a pacifier, but he shakes it like a rattle.
4. The dogs will not let Jeff sleep past 7:20AM. Misty will plow through the bedroomdoor like a tank.
5. Misty makes a lot of grunting/sighing/moaning noises when she lays down. Drama queen.
6. Misty would rather be outside than with me. Oreo is always in the same room as me.
I decided to try it out with our jumpers run from our trial last weekend.
If you don't laugh or smile at least once, you're broken. See a doctor. Or perhaps I'm easily amused.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
You've seen the one church's sign. Here is what was on the other's today! This could get interesting! Maybe we'll have "sign wars"!
Jeff! Turn the truck around!
This sign made me laugh, but I still like my drive by messages on the other sign. We do live in a drive thru world.
After getting a shocking spam comment yesterday (ok, I found it amusing, but others might find it shocking), I'm trying out word verification for my comments! Hopefully that does the trick to keep the hoodlams at bay. Although, part of me feels like I am supressing their freedom of speech, er, spam.
I used to love Spam (the kind that comes in a can), fried up in a pan. Can't remember the last time I had any. I may be the only person who will admit they actually like the stuff. But, I do. I bet secretly you do too!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
What do girls do when they wanna have some fun? Well, dance, of course.
This makes Oreo even more annoyed, but we don't care.
No real trick for this week, too many things going on.
Here's my dance with my sweet girlie. I hope it'll make you want to dance with your dog, 'cause really, all it takes is a treat or two. This wasn't a rehearsed routine. Misty has limited skills and abilities, but endless charm.
Be happy that I muted Oreo's annoying yap, yap, yapping at us the entire time!
Did you read Bud Houston's blog yesterday? Boy, it really spoke to me, especially the part about his dog thinking there were axe murders on the field! Um, I kinda know a dog just like that.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Today, I was buying a jar of pickles. The bar code on the label was ripped, including the numbers.
Oh, what to do, what to do, the barely legal clerk and manager hemmed and hawed. Obviously, these two never lived in the days before the beep, beep, beep laser scanner movement of the grocery world.
No barcode! Might as well throw the jar of pickles away. They clearly don't exist.
"Do you know how much they cost?" the manager asks me.
More empty space. The clerk and manager exchange nervous glances. How will they solve this tragic problem?
Finally, a solution!
The manager speaks! "Hmmmm. I think $1.49 sounds like a good price. Yep. $1.49 it is."
And that is what I paid.
Why? Because they were too darn lazy to walk two aisles over to get another jar.
I know for a fact that my pickles cost more that $1.49 (I'm picky about my pickles and only buy the refrigerated kind), but I wasn't going to argue.
Funny thing is, the same thing happened a few weeks ago with a bottle of salad dressing. That time, I offered to go get another bottle. And no, the bagger didn't stop me, and say, "No, that's ok, I'll get it for you." Dumb move on my part! I should have let them call a manager and had a magic price pulled out of the sky instead!
Then, the show went on...."How do I enter that without a bar code?"
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I always gauge Oreo's confidence level by our yards per second numbers.
Our first run, jumpers, he ran 3.85 YPS. That was just .05 lower than his highest lifetime YPS in any ever.
His standard run, even though we had 35 faults, he ran 3.54 YPS. That was his highest YPS in a standard run EVER! Wow. That's a number to remember. Too bad I think we may never q a standard run again.
Our last run, Wildcard, we ran a bit slower. The run snuck up on us. Unbeknownest to me, they moved the class up. I was hanging out with Oreo talking with people after our standard run, when I hear "Wildcard 1/2 is walking!" Well, I had to RUN to the car with Oreo, grab a crate so I had a place to put him, because I didn't want to have to keep running back and forth to the car. I had parked practically out with the cows, so the dogs would have a quiet place to nap. Then, we RAN back to the ring, carrying crate/tripod/treats/kitchen sink, so I could walk it at least once. Not a real stress free experience!
Still, Oreo ran 3.10 YPS. Any time it starts with a 3.somethin' makes me happy, especially given the crazy circumstances.
I hung around for another hour or so, and then scratched our final standard run. They were running a bit behind, and holding standard 2/3 until the games ring was done with wildcard 4/5/C. I knew it could be over an hour and a half wait. I didn't think it was fair to Oreo. He was tired.
Bummer, because I think the second round course was more suited for him. Oh well, next time.
So, we got 2 Q's for our games runs. That means 40 points! Only 960 to go to earn our plaque! LOL.
I set up a tripod for our games runs. You can barely see the tunnel in the left hand corner.
In jumpers, Oreo stopped at the entrance to the tunnel to check out the standard ring, but only for a second. Then, he slipped inside the tunnel. The ground was wet from some morning fog/dew.
This is our best run of the day. People were actually complaining that the course was too easy! Well, maybe it was, but I'm still really, really proud of this run.
In standard, we got off to a great start. Then, Oreo went around one jump when he saw the judge, in big floppy hat, looming. The last obstacle was a tunnel. Stupid me, sent him in wrong end of the tunnel. I had no idea I made the mistake, until someone told me. I even walked it the wrong way. No recollection of seeing a cone on that end of the tunnel.
Here is the video. Obviously, the videographer had some technical difficulties. Apparently, she didn't push the big red button until after our run :) I really appreciate her trying though!
Here is our wildcard run. I chose the A-Frame as our "hard" obstacle. Risky move, doing the first one right off the bat. Oreo never lets me down though. After the A-Frame, Oreo saw the judge (she's off the screen), and I could see him doing sideways glances. I kept cheering him, and he made it into the tunnel, right next to the judge, then we made it home clear. Only 10 obstacles, but we accomplished a lot.
For all 3 runs, I took the advice I got in camp, and waited until the last possible second to bring Oreo in the ring. I didn't even bring him real close to the ring until we were "on deck". I think it was good for him, and he was able to focus on me a bit easier. Although we heard our name screamed out a lot, "Is Oreo here?" "Oreo you're up in 3 dogs!" Blah, blah! I just kept waving my arm to let them know I was around.
I'm really looking forward to our nice, laid back DOCNA trial coming up next. I should be able to get some better videos there. Only one ring, so people won't be running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
1. Problem/Background research: Oreo refuses to do chute at agility class. All the other dogs in our class do the chute without a problem. They've all had the same teacher, chute, and environmental stressors.
3. Experiment: Take familiar chute to different locations and
4. Observations: See notes and video below.
own backyard: Happy dog. I was also quite relaxed. No problemo.
mom & dad's yard: Dog did some scanning, due to collie across street barking, neighbors walking by, and having to do random terrorist check, but did the chute without hesitation. I was also not as relaxed as I am at home. Too concerned about what parents' neighbors must be thinking.
school playground field: Brand new place near our house! Dog had a lot of anxiety upon getting out of the car, given this was a totally new environment. Dog was scanning for terrorists a bit, but once he began going thru the chute, he was fine. No hesitation. I made sure to pump up my enthusiasm. Dog looked to be having fun.....is that possible?
games agility field: Dog did chute with zero hesitation, even with cars pulling into the field. I threw in a jump or two before the chute to rev him up a bit. Complete success!
Dog did choose chute that was closer to me. Was this done purposely? That will remain unanswered until further tests are conducted.
click here for youtube version if you can't view vimeo videos
5. Analysis of Data: Oreo will do our chute anywhere!
Friday, August 13, 2010
My plan? Run as fast as I can, and keep things light hearted. Don't worry, be happy is going to be my new mantra.
I'm realistic enough not to expect great changes simply because we've switched levels for one trial. I am ready to get started though!
The forecast looks good. Finally, a trial without heat and humidity!
We'll be doing jumpers, wildcard and standard. I have us entered in 2 standard runs, but standard is running C-1. That means we'd run our second standard at the very end of the day. I doubt we'll do that 4th run, unless they keep things moving at a good pace.
We have a busy trial schedule for the remainder of the summer. We have a DOCNA trial and another CPE trial all before I go back to school.
Boy, Oreo will be begging me to go back to work, so he can get some rest!
We had a great agility class this week, and are continuing to make strides in confidence in/around the ring. It was much cooler than it has been! I didn't go home a sweaty mess.
You'll see a snippet of what we accomplished in class when I post our training challenge for this week! Look for it tomorrow. I'm posting it a day early, so I can write about the trial on Sunday.
I told my teacher that we would be doing level 1 enthusiast this weekend. It made me so happy when she didn't skip a beat before saying, "That's great!"
Of course, I expected nothing but 100% support from her, since she is the kindest person on the planet. However, it gave me a bit more validation. Look for tweets on my twitter tomorrow (how do you like that alliteration).
Now, I haven't been giving out gold stars during summer vacation, but someone earned one this week! Dottie emailed me her response to Misty's photo:
Misty is thinking, "What I need is a get out of Jail Free card."
Too funny Dottie! Here's your gold star!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yesterday morning, I spotted them, and they let me get quite close before scooting off into the woods.