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Archive for July, 2009

Vrijheid’s Amie SchH3!

Last week was a crazy busy week!  I finished my XHTML with a strong A.  Vada had agility class on Tuesday.  It was nice to be back in class where we have a start line stay.  That made running the sequences alot more fun.  Vada and Narc went tracking afterwards too.

On Monday Karl’s van died again.  So we decided that it was time to say good bye to it.  Karl took 3 days off from work and spent that time researching vehicles on the internet and visiting dealerships.  Tuesday and Wednesday he drove me to work so he could have the van for the day.   Wednesday night we went to a local Christian dealership Elk River Ford Dodge and Jeep and did a final test drive on the red 2006 Pontiac Vibe that Karl liked.  It was between that and a brand new Toyota Scion.  We bought the Vibe.  Fringe and Seven missed their classes but it was nice to have this task taken care of.  And now Karl is in a safer reliable vehicle.  Karl did TONS of research so I had no doubt that this was the best choice.

After we got home from the dealership I had a bit of time to lay a track for Vada to make up for my horrible screw up on Tuesday.  It went very well.  Thursday I was going to track with Vada and Narc but the night got away from me.

Friday I packed up the van with Copper and Vada and stuff and we headed to Spring Green WI.  I had not told anyone that I was trialing that weekend.  I knew Mike would be there but not Donna.  When I arrived at the trial/training field Mike, his wife Renda and Donna were there.  Vada and I did some obedience which looked very nice.  Her heeling and motion exercises were excellent.  I did a retrieve over the wall and jump with a toy just so she could see what they were like.  She went around the wall coming back twice.  I remembered that she hit her leg pretty hard when she was the dummy dog at the 10K trial a few weeks previous.  So I encouraged her over to show her it was safe.  Then I threw one off to the side to encourage her to come around but she went over like a good girl.  I took her out later to run the blinds as the field is backwards from how we normally practice and the blinds are permanent and have some trees around them.  It was a mess but we worked through it.  Then I gave her a break.  Later I took her out and did them all 1 at a time.  Then put them together and she did great.  Then we did just 5 and 6 and Mike asked Phillip the helper to do a run around at 6.  He was FAST.  She loved it.

We met for tracking at 7am.  Vada and I drew the first SchH3 track.  We tracked shortly after 9am.  She had to do some extra checking off the start pad to make sure she had the scent.  Then she did well til the 2nd corner.  The leg was going the same direction as the wind and she over shot it a bit.  But she worked her way back and found the 3rd leg.  The rest was very nice.  It was all deep nose tracking.  Her first 2 article indications were perfect.  Her last one was a bit crooked.  I was so happy to have completed the track.  We did our first SchH3 trial over a year and a half ago – a few weeks before the wedding.  This was our 4th SchH3 trial and we had failed the TR3 a few weeks before.  So it felt really good to have it all finally come together and so nicely.  And we got a 90 to boot! Finally people could see how well she can track and how she tracks in training.

Here is Donna’s write up on how the trial went for us in obedience and protection:
“Vada just could not figure out what a down command meant and cost them the send out or how Vada perceives that exercise… send out and come back. She also didn’t feel it was necessary to stay on the down long enough for Heather to call her for the recall. Vada also has this sneaking way of coming to a PERFECT stand when Heather turns around, but… after she walked about four body lengths… Oh!! Me??? I was standing here all the while!! Vada also doesn’t see the need to lay down while the other dog is performing their routine… can’t see what’s going on!! So, what was so good about it her obedience??? Her heeling was very enthusiastic and a bit over the top with the gun shots, but remained in perfect position. The power in her recalls and all her retrieves!!

For those of you who have never been to Miller’s field… the blind search on that field is NOT easy. Two of the blinds are within some trees. Heather took Vada out Friday night to show her where the blinds were hiding. When she hit the field on Sat she knew what her job was and ran the blinds beautifully!!! Her hold & bark was nice with her coming around the blind and tagging the helper with a foot. Her call out was very good, but didn’t want to remain in sit position too long. Set up for the escape was perfect and the escape bite…. well, she certainly was NOT going to let the helper get too far. Outs & guarding was good and Heather provided Vada with very clear, crisp meaningful out commands!! Reattack was a bit difficult for the helper as Vada was not going to let him drive her… hehehe…. Vada did not think that Heather was walking fast enough in the back transport and forged a bit then created a bit too much distance between them. The attack was awesome, Vada does those attacks with the speed of a long bite! At the side escort back to the judge, Vada just needed to bite something and bit the stick while Heather was carrying it. The long bite was fast, powerful and intense. I think she did take just one extra nip after the out here or the reattack. “

Vada was quite naughty in obedience.  We did pass with an 82 though!  She did have good parts but lots of naughtiness.  She started barking nonstop in the heeling when the gun shots went off.  I told her quiet and she finally got quiet and settled in to heeling.  She maintained position while barking though.  She did this at the last trial too and I thought it was from my nerves but I was not as nervous this time.  The sit in motion was perfect.  On the down in motion she recalled before I called her.  On the stand in motion she followed me for about 4 body lengths.  Then she sat right before I called her.  The sit is a new thing.  The retrieves were very nice.  The judge did have to remind me to use the SchH3 dumbbell on the flat retrieve.  I saw that there were 2 different ones but still chose the small one.  Not sure why.  LOL  On the send out she just ran.  She checked herself when I yelled “platz” but then kept running looking for a toy that she thought must be out there.  She ran FAR.  I yelled “platz” again and nothing.  She did not see a toy so she ran back to me at full speed and did not “platz” on my 3rd command.  So no points for that exercise!  On the down stay she saw as soon as I was a step or two away.  When I got to the blind and turned around I saw her sitting.  She got hot and after about a minute she laid down.  Then later she sat up again.  Then laid down again.  Then crept forward a bit. We did get points but not full points.  Thankfully we did not fail obedience!

I love trialing in protection now.  My only concern was the blinds but I figured I would help her if she needed help.  She did them beautifully!  We had some control issues.  On the call out of the blind she did not sit and wanted to follow the helper out of the blind.  And on the back transport she was forging bit time.  When the helper turned left she thought we were going right, as we do in training, and that got her thinking about me again for a bit.  But it put us a bit behind too as I let her come back to me to find heel position.

So we earned her SchH3 with a 90-82-92.  We have worked hard for this for a long time.  We put alot of time and training in and I had to do alot of soul searching for how to proceed with training issues.   I’m proud of Vada and I’m proud of myself.  It was definitely a team effort!  When I got home Karl had written a poem for me that was very clever.  He also bought 2 giant brownies and wrote SchH on one and III on the other.  Karl and I are going to go to the Texas Roadhouse to celebrate one of these nights.  And Saturday he’s going to bring a DQ cake down to training.  I have the BEST husband!

Yesterday we met Dad and Dianna at Noodles and Co in Rogers for lunch.  I had entered my name in a drawing I guess and they drew my name.  So we got to do a free “tasting”.  They brought us out so much food.  We were so stuffed!  It was very yummy and we had a great time.   Dad and Dianna had never eaten there before and were impressed.  And Karl said that he has a new appreciation for their food since he’d only tried one dish before.

Looks like this week should be a”normal” week.  We’ve both got stuff to do to catch up on AMBOR stuff and to get the newsletter published. It’ll be work to work on Friday though since I’ve had the last 3 Fridays off!

Duluth Trip

Last week was an uneventful week.  I was tired all week and still haven’t really recovered from the UKC show.  Tuesday night I took Vada and Narc to Schutzhund training since we are on the off week between sessions at agility class.  Narc got to do obedience and protection.  Tom and Mandy were there and Tom worked Vada and Narc.  They were both very happy to do bitework as it’s been a long time.  Wednesday night we cleaned up the house since Super Puppy class was canceled for the week.  Thursday Joe and Julie came over to let Burner and Mac see the sheep.  It was fun to catch up with them again as we have not seen them since the Joyful Noise Family Fest.

Friday morning I took Narc and Vada out tracking at a local school ball field.  Then I ran errands.  Then we packed up the van for camping and the agility trial in Duluth.  We got going much later then we were planning but we got there in time to check in at our campground and then go to the trial site to setup our shade tent and have some yummy potluck in the hospitality area.  The Swedish meatballs had a reputation that they lived up to.  Karl does not like meatballs but he tried one and really liked it.  There was also a pink fruit dip that was very good too.

It was a rough weekend.  Prozac and Rally barked ALOT most of the weekend.  They were fine when we were driving on the highway but the rest of the time they were barking non-stop.  Finally after being at the site on Sunday for a few hours they were quiet.  But that stressed me out and it stresses Vada out.  So I can’t think and Vada is too high to think and too tired from doing her own barking.  So, next trip, Prozac and Rally will be boarded or will be farmed out to someone’s house.  They were angels on Sunday so it’s too bad that they can’t be all the time.  Everyone else was really good.  We had to keep them covered as people kept walking by our shade tent in the corner but if we were there then they were quiet.  It was mostly when we were both gone working or running dogs.

Camping is always tiring too with all the work of setup and lugging stuff and packing stuff.  And sleeping in any bed that is not your own is always tiring.  Vada’s start lines were terrible and her contacts got worse and worse over the weekend.  It was just not a good weekend for me.  I’m still trying to learn this system which confuses me since I haven’t had time to watch the DVDs again and I can’t think as fast as Vada runs.  Saturday when she didn’t lie down on the table right away I could not for the life of me remember the command to tell her to down.  I was totally in my back brain.  We did have a few nice runs and all had some moments of brilliance.  Only 1 Q on Sunday though in Advanced Snooker.  I did not do a start line stay.  She dropped 1 red bar but I was able to heel her to the next obstacle and we got the Q.  It also completed her title so now we move up to Masters Snooker.

Karl and Fringe also finished a title – Starters Gamblers.  They also had some good parts of other runs.  Their Jumpers run on Sunday was very nice but they missed a jump so no Q.

Seven and I had very nice runs.  Little bobbles so no Qs.  He’s so much fun to run.

Prozac was naughty and did 2 jumps and ran way so I just left the ring with her.  I scratched her on Sunday too.  I think she can just wait til Super Puppy class and do obedience.

Saturday night we went to a bar and grill that is on the way back to the campsite.  We both really liked our choices.  But then I was SUPER sleepy!

The drive home was nice and uneventful.  It’s a very pretty drive and not a terribly long drive.

I decided to trail Vada for her SchH3 this coming weekend in WI at the Haupstadt trial.  Sounds like tracking is on sod and nice so I figured we’d give it a try.  I want to get out to track twice this week and I need to do some polishing on our obedience too.  And I have 2 quizzes to do for my XHTML class before Wednesday night.  Karl’s van just broke down again too – it just did on Thursday – so we will be going out to look at vehicles tonight.  Our agility classes start up again this week too.  And Super Puppy classes resume too.  It’s going to be a very busy week that’ll go by very fast!  Hopefully the next post will be telling about earning our SchH3!

Happy Birthday Luci!

Luci’s 17th birthday was on Saturday!  She’s still looking great for an old lady!

4th of July weekend was pretty nice.  We stayed home all weekend.  It was not boring though!  Friday night we went and looked at hardwood floors again.  We got information and a sample and took it home to make sure the color would work and that the special pieces we needed were correct.  Saturday we stopped and placed the order on our way to church.  It was nice to be able to go to church again too.  Jason did an excellent job presenting a great message on judging people and stereotyping.  Saturday night we were working on the porch scraping and painting and Prozac wandered off and did not come back when we called her which is not like her.  She had seemed a bit anxious about the fireworks the neighbors were letting off but not freaking out.  We walked the property looking for her and nothing.  So Karl drove around and I walked through neighbors yards both of us yelling “Prozac”.  Luckily most neighbors were gone off to parties and fireworks.  I walked by the house to check the other way and looked at the porch and there she was just trotting around on the porch.  I was happy she was safe and ok but not happy about her not coming when we called her!

Sunday we continued working on the house.  I got the sheetrock in the bedroom spackled.  One end wall finished painted blue.  Karl got alot of paint scraping on the deck done and I got 1 coat of white paint on the stair railings.   Then we moved some furniture around in the livingroom and made room for Rally’s kennel so he’s not crated alone in the kitchen.  It was a busy productive day!

Monday I went to Cardio Salsa class again finally.  I haven’t gone since around the time of the wedding.  It was alot of fun.  She worked us hard for an hour.  But I made it the whole time!

Tuesday was agility class.  Vada was checking in with me alot.  The courses were not courses we do well with.  Kind of tight. I felt good figuring out how to handle them but something was just not clicking.

Wednesday was Super Puppy class.   I got Seven to open his mouth and grab the dumbbell!  He’s brilliant.  I wasn’t sure how to get him from the nose touch on the dumbbell to opening his mouth.  So I teased him with it and as soon as he grabbed it I said yes and gave him good cookies.  His heeling and stays are slowly progressing too.

Thursday Copper went in for his annual physical and blood work at the new vet’s.  She said he has alot of joint pain all over.  I have had him on Cosequin for a few weeks so she gave me some homeopathic pain reliever that should help until the Cosequin kicks in.  Other then that he’s good.  He whined when she flexed 2 of his feet.  Poor guy.  They hide pain so well.  It’s hard to know what is “old”and what is a problem too.  Hopefully we can get him back to a point of being comfortable. After the visit I rushed home and picked up Karl and we drove to do a private agility lesson with Terry.  It was a good night.  We both learned lots or were remind of lots.  It made for a late night though.

Friday we had the day off to go move MMBC stuff into a bigger locker and setup for the UKC show.  It ended up being a long day but everything went well.  After we setup at the fairgrounds we had to go pikcup the judges and take them to their hotel.  Their flight was 2 hours late!  Then I was up late doing paperwork for the trial.  I got about 3 hours of sleep Friday night.

Saturday we got up bright and early so we could go pickup the judges and get to the trial to setup.  Saturday mornings are always crazy with day of show entries.  This was one of those.  But everything went well.  The whole day went well.  It was fun to have all of the events in the same area.  MMBC offered obedience, rally and weight pull on Saturday and those plus family obedience on Sunday.  Another long day and I went home and did paperwork again.

Sunday also went well.  We had beautiful weather both days.  With clean up and bringing stuff back to storage, it made for another long day.  It was nice to have the show over with.  I’m glad it was successful and went so well though.

Next year we’ll need to get more help though.  It’s way more work then just 4 people should be doing.

Tonight I am hoping to get to Cardio Salsa.  I’m feeling crappier as the day goes on though so we’ll see.

Happy Birthday Vada!

Well, I’m pretty late on that birthday wish since her birthday was almost a week ago.

I was hoping we could celebrate Vada’s birthday with a new TR3 title.  I even bought birthday hats so she, the judge and myself could wear them for a celebratory picture.  However, we did not pass.  It was not a good day for tracking.  From the time our track was laid to the time we ran it we had downpouring rain and gusting winds.  Plus, our track was an hour and a half old – the max.  Vada tracked very well.  She went down the first leg with just a bit of casting which seemed to be the norm for the day.  She nailed the first article.  She nailed the first corner.  She was doing well on the second leg but then started veering to the right.  She was still tracking so I trusted her and followed her.  Then the judge called the track.  I called her and she looked at me surprised.  I was going to bring her back and put her back on the track to work through it and use it as a training opportunity but no one could find the track.  Not the judge nor the tracklayer.  We stumbled upon the final article and Vada indicated on it so I praised her to end it on a good note.  They used my articles for the track so they had 3 guys out in the field trying to find my missing article and they could not find it.  So with all of that I am very happy with her motivation for the track.  I think she ended up on a deer path as there was a bush by our track and it had a deer bed next to it.  So we just need to practice more where there are wild animal paths.  We mostly practice in parks and on ball fields where there is just people traffic.  Or in our yard but we don’t get alot of wildlife there either.

Sunday we had better success.  Still no start line stay though.  Our first run was Masters Gamblers.  Vada popped out of the weaves and I went back and fixed them.  I think that just threw off our run.  I wasn’t really into the game either.  After that run I had time off from running dogs and working so I worked on my XHTML homework.  Getting the assignment started seemed to help take some pressure off of me that I didn’t realize carried over to agility.  I had a deadline coming up fast to get alot of work done.  Our next run was Pairs.  My partner said she didn’t care about Qs and to just have fun.  Well, we did.  Vada and I had a very nice run.  And our partner, Kim and BC Blaze, did too!  So that is our second Advanced Pairs Q.   The next run was Advanced Standard.  We started out well but then she popped out of the poles.  I retried them 3 times and then went on.  On the 3rd one I thought about switching sides but then didn’t want to do them again as she was stressing.  I think I got behind her while she was in the poles and that caused her to pop out.  So that is something to work on.  The rest of the run was nice too.  Our last run of the day was Snooker.  As I was walking it I was wondering why I even bothered trying to strategize as I usually don’t make it past the 3rd obstacle in the opening.  Good thing I did as we Qd in that run.  2 Qs in one day is alot for us!  And that was our second Advanced Snooker Q.  They didn’t offer Jumpers on Sunday so Seven didn’t get to play.  Karl and Fringe entered Standard and Snooker.  I enjoyed watching their runs.  Karl didn’t feel the same.  🙂  He can see where they need more work and he’s been working on things.  He did like their Snooker run but then she backjumped and it was over.  We have 3 weeks between this trial and the Duluth trial so we can work on some training issues with these guys.  The trial was alot of fun.  We had absolutely perfect weather.  It was a 1 ring trial so we got to watch alot of runs.  And it was a lower entry trial so it was very low key and not stressful.  I wasn’t able to go to this trial last year since Vada came into season but I’m hoping we can do both days next year and at the fall trial this year.

Monday I went out to dinner with Mom and my aunts; Annette, Stephanie and Jane.  Mom, Annette and I got there about 2 hours before the other 2 and walked around downtown Stillwater.  Most of the stores were closed.  Then we went to Brines for dinner where Stephanie and Jane met us.  Then we did more walking by the river.  I had already walked an hour over my lunch break!  I got alot of walking in that day!  It was fun chatting with everyone.  It got very late though!

Tuesday we finally made it to agility class after missing 2 sessions due to the weather being so hot and humid and stormy.   Class went well.  I’m trying to work on a routine for walking up to the start line with Vada.  I noticed on Sunday that as soon as we walk in the ring and take the collar off that Vada goes nuts and starts bouncing and barking.  I need to fix that.  So I’m thinking I’d like to have her quietly walk by which ever side I ask her to walk on and walk up to the line and when I halt she sits and I walk away.  I was working on that in class but when I halted she sat crooked and not facing the jump.  But it’s a start.  I did not track at the fairgrounds as I wanted a break from tracking.  But I did drive through to scope out the area where we are holding our UKC shows for space to setup EZ Ups.

Wednesday Seven had Super Puppy class.  We mostly did baby agility stuff – baby teeter, tunnel, baby dog walk and a jump chute.  I used the opportunity to work Seven on contact behavior and fed him alot in 2o2o position.  We did stays too.  He’s progressing nicely.

Yesterday Luci went in for a dental.  Her poor mouth was terrible.  I waited way too long.  She’s needed one for quite some time but there was always an issue with getting her in and then there was the whole rabies shot issue.  We are trying out a new clinic in Elk River that just opened in April.  The vet use to work for a clinic that she opened with a partner in Blaine years ago.  She is conventional and holistic.  They only believe in vaccinating *healthy* animals.  So Luci with her hyperthyroidism is not healthy and should not be vaccinated.  They also removed 2 lumps from her skin.  She looks like frankenkitty with all her shaved spots but I bet her mouth feels a million times better.  Her hair will grow back quickly.  Karl got some chicken necks too so we’re going to try to get the cats to eat more of them and not all ground.   She will be 17 years old on the 11th.

Tonight we are going to buy flooring for the hardwood floors that we’re putting in upstairs.  I can’t wait to get the floors done.  It’s going to be so nice when it’s done!  And getting the flooring ordered feels like we’re making progress again.  We still have to pull the carpet out of the office and on top of the stairs though.

We’re both home both days this weekend so we’re hoping to get house projects worked on.

Happy 4th of July!

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