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Archive for August, 2007

Long Weekend

Agility class went well on Thursday.  We introduced the teeter in Level 1 and all of the dogs did it very well.  Going slow is making a huge difference.  Plus, we have higher drive dogs in the class which helps alot.  They are not scared of much of anything.  Level 2 is only 2 dogs and 1 didn’t make it but we had a few others who were there work their dogs to give the other dog a buffer.  By the end of the classes I was too tired to work my guys.  Plus, Copper had just hurt one of his nails pretty bad so I wasn’t going to do anything with him.

Friday Karl and I went to see Harry Potter’s 3rd movie.  Or is it 5th?  I can’t remember.  It was good.  It deviated from the book more then past movies have but it was still a good movie.  That night, overnight, we had a nasty storm come through.  I woke up a few times but was too tired to get up.  The next day there were alot of trees down.  Especially in Cottage Grove.

Saturday we finally went to SchH training.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone on a Saturday.  Boy, have I been messing Vada up.  She can’t do a down without handler help now.  I’ve been lazy in agility and anytime I down her to go walk a course or whatever I give her the command and point to the ground.  Now she expects that.  So I need to do motion exercise just next to me and do a variety of positions and then reward her.  I had her retrieve the SchH III dumbbell.  She had no problem with the weight.  Donna came over and gave me some homework to work on her drive with retrieving the dumbbell so she comes back faster.  We did the retrieve over the jump with her toy.  The first time out she was lazy and jumped only half over the jump and knocked the whole thing over.  So we worked on finding her best spots for me to stand and me to throw the dumbbell to so she doesn’t tick the jump.  In protection we worked on keeping her clean when she goes in for the bark n hold.  She can do feet but if she puts her mouth on the sleeve then I say no and platz.  Then I walk up and fus her away and try again.  This is our second time of doing it.  The first was in the blind and this time was out of the blind.  I think out of the blind is better so there aren’t any bad associations with the blind.  We’ll work on it again this Saturday and then the following I’ll be going to the OGI training event so I can work on their field and on their helpers.  I’m not sure yet what I’ll do for keeping her clean.

Sunday we had flyball practice.  I brought Seven and Vada.  We only had 6 dogs to work so we worked them all twice.  Seven is doing great.  He started having trouble catching so John made it so he had to steal it and then had the box half cocked.  Vada’s first session went ok but I was not happy with it.  So John and I talked about it.  We ended up changing some props – like making the slanted board a longer board so she can’t step around it.  I moved props in a bit closer then they were last week too.  And we moved the angled board more to the right.  She did the first one great but then they got worse.  Watching the video later I saw that her butt was hitting the upright on the right.  I had a feeling that was part of the problem so I moved that over a bit and then she had some good box turns that I was finally happy with.  I just wish I had more time to work her at home.  I suppose I just have to setup the box and props in the garage and work her once a day for 5 reps just like with her dumbbell work.  It was a nice practice.  That night Karl and I had our last dance class in this level 1 set.  It was fun and I think we learned even more by doing it a second time.  Also, that morning I took the dogs out tracking.  I tracked at Medtronics.  The grass was short and really dry.  It was kind of windy out too.  Vada’s track was at least 600 paces.  I had 5 corners in it.  It was all serpentine legs.  One article on each leg.  It was aged an hour.  It was hard for her but she kept working it (20 minutes) and got it all done and got all the articles.  She only got lost a few times and not by alot.  I think she liked the challenge.  I did a short serp with Copper.  It was on nice green (watered) grass with a few articles.  He didn’t do very well.  Not sure what’s going on with him but his sniffer isn’t working so well.  Might be his meds?

Monday night was agility class with Vada.  She didn’t knock any bars.  Maybe her crash on Saturday made her start thinking about jumping a bit more.  Jean suggested that if she knocks a bar that I should down her and go fix the bar.  But we didn’t have a chance to try it out.  LOL  She did really well for her second week in a row.  I did well too.  Not sure if the courses were easier or what.  After class we went to the Washington County Fairgrounds and tracked.  This time I did a straight line track with Vada.  I did about 6 articles every 20 paces.  I’m also remembering to bait the line up to the scent pad.  I had forgotten to do that for a long time.  Mike Hamilton’s mini seminar at the St Croix trial reminded me.  I was a bit more involved this time and made comments when she wasn’t exactly on the track or she missed the article.  The wind was blowing pretty strong and the grass was dry and short.  There was so hay on the field too and menure.  She seemed to like the exercise.  The track wasn’t aged very long.  I did the same for Copper with bigger articles and 4 of them.  He did ok.  Sometimes he seems like he might be getting an understanding of articles.  I need to work with him on just articles.  But really it’s just about fun for him.  He’s 10 years old after all.  I found a lump on him in his ribcage last night.  I’m sure it’s just a fatty lump but it was a reminder that their lives are so short and I could get news any day that he’s only got a day or two left.  So I should keep things happy and fun with him and appreciate him and help him enjoy life.  After Copper’s track I worked Vada on her dumbbell retrieves.  I’ve worked on them 3 days in a row now.  Sunday I did it after flyball practice.  She looks so dumb.  She runs out to retrieve it and she can’t find it.  Donna said it’s because she is use to me throwing it to the same place every time so she is taking it for granted.  I think that she is not watching the dumbbell and she is watching me too much.  Hopefully she gets over it as she looks pretty dumb.  LOL  I need to throw it all over into different locations.  So then I let Copper out of his crate and we walked around the fairgrounds a bit so they could run and be free for a bit.  By the time I got home I had messages from Karl and mom and Dianna called later all to make sure I was ok.  It was lightening all night but that was all I saw.  Apparently a big storm was just over my house.  Smartly, I parked in the garage as it hailed for a minute or two but then stopped.  It only rained a minute or two also.  About 11pm another storm came through and that really brought alot of rain and wind.  I had to close windows as it was raining into the house.  Quest got out of the porch and killed a baby bunny.  I heard it scream.  I was sad for the poor bunny.  They are so cute.  I went out and got Quest and closed the porch door.  I need to tape the baby gate up on the outside door again.  He’s obsessed with going out and hunting now.  Logan didn’t even try which was surprising.  But no storm damage at my house last night either.

Mini Catch Up – August

Whew!  I should be caught up now!

Last Friday we went down to Albert Lea for a flyball tournament.  We ran 1 multibreed and 1 regular team.  We only went down for Friday.  Vada and Sonic were on the multibreed team.  Vada got to run every time.  Her box sucked but I didn’t care.  I just had fun running her for a change.  We set a new record time for the team for multibreed – 16.929.  Unfortunately, we took second place and not first.  Too many oopses.  But we did beat the team that is in 1st place for the year for the region so we got more points then they did.  We are pretty close to them points wise.  The regular team got 1st place though!  Karl ran Sonic in the last 2 races as Dena’s knee was bothering her.  He had fun.  Sonic was so happy to run.  He was mad every time we took Vada out of her crate to run.  It was a good night.  We all had fun!  We wre all happy it wasn’t an all weekend thing too.  Vada needs alot more work on her box.  I question if it’ll ever be fixed.  We had practice on Sunday too.  Something is just not quite right about the props.  We did video tape it and Angie offered to watch the video to give me feedback.  Maybe she can pinpoint what I’m missing.  I’m doing just 1 jump to the box.  We worked Seven on the box with the props and the ball.  He did awesome!  I’m excited about the progress he is making!

Karl had a gig in Peterson for Jim’s friend’s anniversary party on Saturday.  It rained most of the day (and night) so they setup in the garage.  They sounded really good!  I took some pics.  I helped unload band gear and then went for a walk so I wouldn’t be in the way.  It was so beautiful out there!  Rolling fields of tall grass and trees in forested areas.  It was pretyt hilly there too.  I walked down the road through the trees to the bottom of the valley where there was an alfalfa field planted.  I wanted to see an actual alfalfa field.  Then I got to walk back up the hill to get back.  It was a nice walk.  Especially after eating so much food.  They had quite a spread there!  It was nice to have some quiet time to myself too.  Karl had alot of fun.  You can tell the guys are comfortable up there and are having fun.

I skipped SchH training on Saturday so I could sleep in.  I would have had to leave early to go to Peterson and Tom wasn’t going to be at training.  And we got home kind of late on Friday from Albert Lea.  We got home at 5am on Sunday.  We slept for a few hours and then got up to go to chuch then the MMBC meeting.  It was suppose to start at 1pm.  We waited til 1:30pm.  They were just starting the Rally 3 dogs and still had to clean up and stuff.  Karl and I did not have time to sit around and wait all day for them.  So we left.  We went back to my house and loaded up Copper, Vada and Seven into his van (mine was still full of gear) and went to flyball practice.  Then back home to move gear and load up Karl’s dogs.  He went home for a bit and dropped dogs off.  Then we met in Osseo for dance class.  It was the 3rd class in this set of Level 1 classes.  We are redoing it for practice.  We have 1 more class left.  Then we’ll need to look into local schools to find somewhere to take more advanced classes.  It’s alot of fun.  I’ve been wearing heels too.  It makes dancing easier since I’m on the balls of my feet anyways.  And I’ve got to learn how to walk in my heels before the wedding.  This time I was able to wear my new shoes that I ordered for the wedding.  They are silver and very beautiful! 

Last week I went to dance class right from the bridal shower so I had those heels on and my dress and stuff.  It was fun!  I think the skirt that I got for the rehearsal will be fun to dance in too.  I just need to lose some belly so the shirt looks ok with it!

Agility class on Monday went really well.  Vada and I both did well.  It was a nice change since I’m usually frustrated with things in class.  I try to work her between classes but the weeks go by so fast.  I’m trying to work her on my right more.  Last week she bit me on my hand.  I was trying to feed her on my right to keep her there and she gets so high and she bit me instead of the food and it was a puncture and I was bleeding all over!  She was calmer this week.  She bit me at the flyball tournament too while we were waiting to go in.  She pinched my upper arm.  I corrected her for that.  Then every time we were waiting to go in we worked on obedience.  She was doing awesome stand in motions while running.  Downs need a bit more work as she wants to chase me.  I’ve started putting the toy behind her and releasing to that which helps her stop sooner.

Tuesday Tom was not able to go to training so we cancelled.  I was going to go tracking but I was too tired.  I’ve started reading the final Harry Potter book and I’ve been up too late the past few nights.  Last night I went to Cardio Salsa.  She kicked our butts!  We have a new gym at work that is only $10 per year.  Yesterday I did the eliptical machine.  The day before I did weights.  Today I’m going to do both.  I learned that you can do cardio every day but you have to take 48 hours off between lifting weights.  So after today I’ll have the weekend off from weights.  It’s good for stress relief and for hopefully losing weight so my dress fits better!  Oh yeah, and overall health.  LOL

Now I’m finally caught up!!!

Since I learned that cool trick with the shoe pics I’m going to post a pic of the bridesmaids jewelry.

Catching up – July

I had a few SchH training sessions off between me having to work and the appointment with the florist and going to Hutchinson for my cousin’s graduation and Tom having conflicts.  It was a nice break.  The 4th of July week was a quiet one as it was the break between sessions in Vada’s agility class.  And it was my second week off at C&E.  I had decided to not start a new class on a holiday week.  I felt bad for not having class for 2 weeks so I suggested we do an open ring night.  A few people showed up.  Not sure how many were paying and how many were volunteers though.  I advertised on some e-mail lists but no one outside of C&E showed up.  But I was able to work my dogs early and get home not horribly late.

We met with our pastor who is doing our wedding, Lynne Jeffers.  She asked us to do the pre-marriage online test.  Karl and I both took the test separately.  We did pretty well.  A few things came up while we were discussing the results but nothing too surprising.  I had my first bridal shower at the end of the month too.  It was for my aunts and female cousins on my mom’s side and the women on Karl’s side.  I put my hair up and wore earrings and heels and a dress!  We played fun games and opened gifts.  I hate opening gifts in front of people but it was ok.  It was alot of fun.  The games were played were 20 questions where my Aunt Stephanie called Karl and asked him 20 questions.  Then they were written on index cards and passed out to people at the party.  They went around the room and asked me the question that Karl had been asked and if our answers matched then I got to keep the candy kisses in the bin.  If I got it wrong then the person asking the question got 4 kisses.  I did pretty well.  The ones I got wrong were for a good reason or because they weren’t clear cut questions.  Karl had alot of the same issues when he answered them too.  Then the 3 friend bridesmaids had to be models while everyone split into 3 groups and made veils from construction paper and stuff that Stephanie had.  They all did a great job.  They had fun with it too.  Then everyone had written on heart shaped post its what they liked about their SO or father or brother.  I had to match what they wrote with the person’s name on the board.  I did ok.  It was a fun and positive game.  Then I had to pick the veil that I liked the best.  Then everyone had to write down as many names of our dogs as they could think of.  Dianna got 6.  No one else even came close.  Then we ate and people went home.  It was fun.  Everyone really enjoyed the food too.  Jane and Art have the most beautiful garden in their backyard!  They had made little thank you boxes for me to send home with people.  They were boxes like the traditional chinese food takeout boxes but they were translucent and had black bones and paws on them.  Inside there was scooby do snacks and a notepad with a dog on it and some candy.  Very cute!

Karl’s Best Man, Dave, had his band’s first gig.  We drove down to La Crosse to see his debut.  They did a great job and it was fun to watch.  They do surfer music.  I had dinner with the girls too.  Cortney was able to make it this time.  We ordered 1/2 price appetizers at the Scoreboard.  But then Tanya and Gina had to leave so Cortney and I walked around at Lone Lake just us.  It was nice to have time alone with her to chat.  We did June birthdays with Dad and Dianna and everyone this month too.  We had dinner at the Space Aliens restaurant.  Then we went back to my house for gifts.  It was fun.  The restaurant was neat.

I started teaching a new agility class.  It’s a fun class.  Lots of high drive dogs.  Vada started a new agility class too.  We switched to Monday nights and went to level 5.  We have new instructors.  Jean and Kristen.  It was hard to adjust to their style.  But we’re doing better now.  Actually, last night class went really well.  It’s been a few weeks since I haven’t felt frustrated in class.

Since Vada did well at the conformation show at the Dutch Shepherd Event and was the crowd favorite, I decided to enter her in the UKC conformation show here.  I just wanted to do one day since that is all either of us can handle.  Saturday had 2 female judges so we went with that day.  In the first show she placed 4th in group and beat a few other dogs.  That gave her a second win.  She got her first when we first started showing a few years ago.  I was thrilled.  I figured there was no way she’d get placed again since we had such a dry spell for years.  So I was figuring I’d enter the next show in a few months since Sunday didn’t work great with my schedule.  But in the second show the judge placed her 3rd in a group that was just as big as the first group!  I was thrilled!  That completed her UKC Champion title!  To earn her Grand Champion she has to beat other Dutch Shepherds so I don’t think we’ll be showing for awhile.  I was hoping to have a puppy to compete against her but now that looks like it’ll be aways away.

Dana’s puppies were due on the 12th.  On the 13th Asheley had to do a c-section.  They were able to save 3 of the puppies.  The little girl died within an hour and the 2 males died over the weekend.  We were all very sad.  So, now I’m not sure what I’m going to do for my next dog.  I really wanted a Dana puppy.  Asheley is going to breed Bessy in the fall but she is not Dana.  😦  So I have time to make any decisions.  It can wait til after the wedding.

MVSV had it’s annual trial.  It was it’s 20th Anniversary trial.  We had alot of people come out to watch both days.  We did setup and practice for supposedly only competing dogs on Friday.  Saturday we did tracking and then the BHs.  Sunday was obedience and protection.  I think only 2 dogs failed tracking.  It was tough tracking conditions too.  2 of the 6 BHs failed too.  Everyone else passed.  1 dog failed obedience for running away.  2 dogs failed protection.  One for not doing the bark and hold and the other for not outting.  Chris and Minna put a BH on their Dutch Shepherd, Silky.  She looked and acted alot like Vada.  She was a blue Dutch Shepherd.  She was fun to watch.  Saturday night we all had dinner at Darrel’s house.  There were quite a few people there.  Tons of food.  Mike had ordered from a BBQ place.  It was very nice to not be trialing at our club trial this year.  Much less stressful!  Especially after last year’s fiasco.

Long Time No Post – May and June

Wow, it looks like my last post was June 15th – almost 2 months ago!  Alot has happened since then!  Hopefully I can get back on track again with posting on a regular basis.

Not sure all I’ve posted about but at the MMBC May NADAC trial Copper earned his Novice Touch N Go title (TG-N).  That is huge for us.  He has always had bad contacts.  I made a huge mess of them.  I’d been working on them alot and making that a happy, safe place to be.  His contacts aren’t perfect in the trial but they are enough to get by without stressing him out.  He is 10 years old after all and has practiced alot of bad contacts.  He also earned 1 Novice Weavers Q.  He needs to more to finish that title and to have earned his Novice Versatility award.  That is my life goal with him.  We are offering Weavers each day at our trial in September so hopefully we’ll Q on both of those.  That might be asking alot though.  LOL  He also Q’d in Open Regular.  That means he got all his contacts and he did all 12 weave poles (never train only 6 or it will bite you in the butt later).  Vada did well at that trial too.  By the end of the weekend she earned a TG-N Q.  I just concentrated on working her contacts and if they weren’t perfect then we went back and did them again.  It paid off by the end of the weekend.  Now we’re working on dropped bars.  That will be a harder fix then the contacts.  But it’s getting better.  I also ran Prozac in Touch N Go and Tunnelers.  She did well.  Almost Q’d in both.  I ran Seven in Jumpers for his first time ever and in Tunnelers.  He kept coming out of the tunnels in Tunnelers.  I was probably talking too much.  He did very well in Jumpers.  No Q but I was very proud of his focus on the jumps.  And he tried very hard.  Karl also ran Fringe in Jumper and Tunnelers.  She got the zoomies in Jumpers but did well in Tunnerles and was .001 over time to Q!  Sonic and Rally did well too and tried really hard.  It was a good weekend for everyone.  I’ve posted videos on my website.

Copper’s vet appointment confirmed that he has SLO.  It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks the nails.  He’s on tetracycline and niacinimaide and fish oil.  It can take 6 months for the nails to heal.  The progress of the disease has slowed down.  I don’t see any nails growing back yet though.  Some are still splitting and falling off but at a slower rate.  I’ve been limiting his activites but when they look good I’ll do a bit of agility with him and he gets SO happy to be able to do something.  I played CI with them the other day too and he kept wanting more.  So, as long as I don’t step on the poor guys feet, he seems to be feeling pretty good and not feeling pain.

Vada earned her SchH II at the St Croix trial.  The judge was Mike Hamilton.  I trained with the club in Hinckley the Saturday before the trial.  Vada had no problem with barking in the blind!  We had a bit of a problem on the attack out of the back transport but that was just a training issue.  She was not use to the helper running through her – just standing still and catching her.  So on Tuesday I had Tom work on that and on Wednesday I had Warren work on that a bit too.  So I was feeling pretty good about protection in the trial.  Obedience was going well too.  It was still hit or miss on the stand but she was starting to get it.  The club is always fun to train with.  They are so welcoming.  Warren’s group is too.  At the trial the track went through a deer carcass.  The tracklayer did not notice til it was time to put the article down and he looked down and he was standing on the carcass!  So he went out a bit more and put the article down.  He forewarned me though.  So I just had to trust my dog and my training.  I thought she tracked very well.  I had forgotten about the deer.  She got to the deer carcass and stopped and then I remembered.  I just told myself to wait her out and trust her.  She did, rather quickly, go back to the track.  But she pulled her head up just before she went back to the track and she had a clump of deer hair in her mouth!  I will never forget that sight!  But she went back to tracking.  In a few steps she got to the article but I think her mind was still on the deer.  She stopped and turned to look back at me and then she laid down but facing me.  I was very proud of her.  Our tracking has gotten better and that was a tough challenge.  Obedience went pretty well.  It was hot by that time.  She lost 5 points on the sit in motion as she stood.  Karl said my command was weak.  And I had been practicing the stand in motion alot.  So I can see why she did that.  She looked really good in protection.  Unfortunately, she really punched Nate in the blind.  The crowd got a kick out of it but it was points off.  Also, on the long bite I think Nate turned a bit early and Vada missed the grip.  She came back with a vengance but it was still 5 points off.  She had a 93 so that would have put her at a 98 which would have been awesome!  But I’d rather lose the points then have my dog get jammed.  She passed!  She got High SchH II and I think High in Trial and High in Obedience and Protection.  We got a beautiful wood and leather plaque for our High SchH II.

We finally got around to seeing a drive in movie again.  Our annual trip.  I stayed awake for the first movie – Rise of the Silver Surfer or something.  I can’t remember what the other 2 movies were.  We went home after the 2nd as we were both falling asleep.

 The Midwest Ring Club had a Mondio trial.  I stopped out on my way to flyball practice to check it out.  There were tons of people watching and a good turn out for entries too.  It was nice to see some people I hadn’t seen in awhile.  I wish I could have stayed longer and watched more.

Karl and I finished registering at Target.  It took 4 trips and about 10 hours.  Wedding stamps went on sale finally so I was able to stamp all of the invitation envelopes!  We also met the florist by my house to talk about flowers and figure out what I liked and what we’d need.

Prozac turned 6 this month.  I finally got her actual birthdate from Kelly.  She had to call the vet to find out.  Narc and Vada turned 4.

I also had dinner with the girls planned.  Cortney couldn’t make it last minute as one of Ryan’s co-workers died and they had to go to the wake.  So me and Tanya and Gina met at Applebee’s anyways.  We figured we’d meet again in a week or two when Cortney could go.  After dinner they went home but I walked Copper and Vada around the lake.  It was so nice out that night!  We had a great time!  The dogs loved all the sights and smells too.

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