Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I brought the tunnel out to work on some skills with Chewy.  But it was Oreo who got super excited about having the tunnel in the yard.

They really haven't changed much!  Looks at this oldie!

Monday, May 26, 2014

mishmash monday

The baby robins have grown so much, and seem ready to leave the nest at any moment. I'm sure they are waiting until I go back to work, so no pesky dogs will be around.

They look like angry birds in this photo!  Boy was Mama angry at me for getting so close to her babies.
The propane tree sparrows are growing too.  A few more days, and I hope they leave the nest, so we can get some propane.

Agility Update

Chewy and I finally earned a Q last Tuesday!  I remembered the chicken this week!

Surprisingly, our Q was in the dreaded 'strategic time gamble' run.

I have absolutely NO 'strategic' moves for that game, I rely on lady luck instead.  Here's how the game from hell goes.....in the first 30 seconds, you gather as many points as you can. Fun times - run around the course at will, and your dog can do no wrong.  You need 15 points as a beginner, and we had 30!

Then,  a buzzer goes off, and you have to cross the finish line between some crazy nonsense like 12 and 17 seconds. If you're under or over that time frame, you don't Q.

SO, you're supposed to count seconds in your head, run, and handle your dog at the same time!  Who the heck can do that?  Not me.

I did plan to do 3 obstacles in the closing seconds, thinking that would time us about right.

But honestly, I have no idea how many obstacles we did in the closing, or even what we did, I was just running spastically, hoping for the best.   I even ran through the weave poles to get to the last jump.  I wasn't sure if I was allowed to do that!  Humans really aren't supposed to do obstacles.

Luck was on our side, and we made it!  Whew.  One more Q down for our beginners title.

Traditional gamblers was great too, but we didn't Q, because we missed a jump in the gamble.

For the gamble, I had to keep myself about nine feet away from Chewy while he did a curved tunnel, jump, straight tunnel, and then the last jump.

In the opening, I decided to send Chewy into the curved tunnel of the gamble to make sure he would do it, because he's been a bit wacky about tunnels lately.  If I stop my motion at all, he either won't go in, or pops right back out (we are working on that).  Took me 3 tries to get him to go in it...not a good sign!  But, when the buzzer sounded and it was time for the gamble, Chewy ran right thru the tunnel!  I couldn't believe it! Then, I messed up and did waaaaay to much cheering (really, I should've had some pom poms), and he came up to me looking for a treat, and we missed the next jump.  Totally my fault.  I could hear everybody groan.   But, I didn't!  We kept going ahead, and my super boy Chewy got back out there and finished strong on the last two obstacles.  We really haven't done a lot of distance practice, so I was pleased, and I think next time we will be successful.

Next Tuesday, we will be trying to qualify for nationals.
I'm the man!

Oreo got meatballs for his calm car matwork.
I had a 4 day weekend this week, and boy did I need it!   This is a tough time of year for me.  I get spring fever, my students get summer break fever, and it's hard to keep focused on all the stuff we need to accomplish before the end of the year.  

Nice to have a weekend to focus on nothing but relaxing and being outside.

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day.  Thank a veteran today. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

mishmash monday

 Spring has really sprung around here.  The robins made a nest on top of last years nest, and we have three new babies growing above our side door light fixture.

Then, we also have a slew of what I believe are baby american tree sparrows.  Mama made the nest under the cover of our propane tank.  We are getting low on propane, but we called the company and asked them not to deliver any propane for at least ten days.  I read on google the babies leave the nest after nine days.

The babies get priority over hot water!

Jeff put a piece of styrofoam between the two tanks, because he was worried they could slide down in between when they fledge.  Don't want them to get stuck!

Chewy and I went to our first trial of the season last week.  It was on Tuesday night after work.

I got to the trial and realized I had left the cooler of chicken and meatballs in the fridge!!!!!!!

I was so mad at myself.  All I had was some bacon buddy bisuits and kibble.  I tried giving that to Chewy, but he kept spitting them out saying, "I'm at AGILITY!!!!  I get the good stuff here, what is this crap?"

I borrowed some meat roll from someone, but he wasn't happy with that either.

So, I wasn't expecting much from either standard run.  We didn't q at all.

We had a tunnel/dogwalk discrimination, he was supposed to take the dogwalk, which is his FAVORITE.  I didn't think twice about that being a problem, and he took the tunnel.  Shocker.  Later, he refused to go in a tunnel at all.  Go figure.

BUT, he did all 12 weave poles BOTH times AND sat/stayed at the startline AND made all his contacts AND didn't have any teeter issues.  WhooHoo. Awesome dog!

I was so proud of him, especially since he really wasn't happy with the reward.  Good thing he loves to run, jump and climb stuff. He was a happy boy.

Tomorrow night, we go back for two games... the dreaded strategic time gamble and traditional gamblers.  I've given us a crash course on distance for the past two days, hoping we can pull something off tomorrow.

This time, I won't forget the chicken!

Oh, while at agility, Oreo practiced getting out of the car, finding his mat, sitting, eating treats, back in the car, repeat. We're trying to work on him not panicking when we get out of the car, and having a 'car routine'.  He did awesome!  He'll get better treats tomorrow.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

we're still here!

Hey there!  Remember us?
 We're still here!  Had to take time off from the computer to stop and appreciate the springness (OK, I just made up a word).

We've been busy watching stuff turn green, and then all sorts of bright colors burst out this week!
Hammock season is upon us, and we couldn't be more excited.  I've got a long list of books to read, a flat of flowers to plant, and vegetables to grow.  The dogs have holes to dig, balls to catch, and moles to chase in the yard (Chewy likes to play with the moles).

Oh yea, our first agility trial of the year is next week.  I was getting a bit worried, because Chewy is going to have to do 12 weave poles this year, and he just isn't that consistent yet.  He likes to do 10, not 12!

Then Jeff said, "Who cares, as long as he has fun."

So true!  No worries, we'll just do our best and smile through whatever happens.

The robins are back, and mama is sitting in the nest, same place as last year.  Can't wait to see the babies.
We also have a hawk's nest way up high in a tree over our driveway.  The nest is huge!  I bet the babies will be too.  Not sure how their first flight is going to go.....hope they make it out ok.

If you don't hear from us again for awhile, it's because I fell asleep in the hammock, or I'm cleaning the soil out of my fingernails, or we're looking for our orbee under the trees.