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Archive for May, 2011

Our Quiet Week

Last week was pretty uneventful.  Busy but uneventful.

I think Monday night Karl and I ended up going out to eat.

Our Tuesday Schutzhund training was cancelled so I stayed home and mailed out all the MMBC CPE Q ribbons that I owed people from our trial in March.  I was able to watch Glee as it was aired too.

Wednesday I skipped obedience classes again.  It’s hard to go inside when it’s so nice out.  I took Letty and Vada to Woodland Trails.  Letty did great.  It was not as busy as I had hoped but we ran across a few walkers.  One lady even passed us and then stopped to turn back and ask questions about the dogs.  Letty just waited patiently to start walking again.  I had to search but found our “winter” walking path that I love.  The dogs got to go run offleash but I was covered with ticks once we left that area.

Thursday before agility class I had Letty do setpoint.  I started at 12″ then did 14″ then 16″ then back down to 12″.  I worked her on the travel plank in the grass too.  We had to backup a few steps since we were out in the tall grass.   Then I took Seven and Vada to class.  They both did well and we had a fun class.  I need to remember my notebook to write down our weak areas that we should be practicing during the week.

Friday Kristin and I had a private agility lesson with Letty and Cooee.  We worked in basic stuff but it was glaringly obvious that we have alot of holes.  Letty did good with another dog around and with Terry and Kristin there.  We just have to build up her sit stay more.  Lots to work on before our next private in a month.

Saturday I decided to not drive 2 hours before the crack of dawn to track in the cold and rain.  In the evening we drove out to Hutchinson to attend my uncle Jeff’s wedding.  It was a lovely wedding.  My dad was the best man so it was fun to see him all dressed up in a tux.  When I got dressed for the wedding it was between storms and I came across a skit so I decided to wear it.  It was fun.

Sunday I went to train with Warren’s group.  Letty did really well.  Everyone is so encouraging about how well she is doing.  It’s so nice.  Unfortunately we got stormed out before the last 2 dogs could get worked.  I had a meeting in Eagan at 6:30pm.  I was going to track but decided to just go home instead.  Then Karl and I went to see the movie, Soul Surfer.  It was an amazing movie.  I highly recommend it!  Then I dropped him off at home and went to the board meeting.  It ended up being a day with lots of driving in the rain.

This morning I brought 6 of the dogs into the vet.  Karl forgot and fed Narc so we were not able to sedate him to do his xrays.  We are going to try again tomorrow.  Letty and Copper got blood drawn for heartworm.  Seven got blood drawn for heartworm and thyroid.  Narc got his ear looked at since he yelped when Karl was petting him last night.  He has a yeast infection in it.   Sally got a checkup and heartworm test.  Her liver is quite a bit larger than what is normal so the tumor is growing but it seems to be growing slowly.  Vada got a checkup since she was due plus the heartworm test.  They all had clear heartworm/tick tests!  Prozac and Fringe are overdue for their checkups so they’re coming with Narc tomorrow.

So I’m back to the same old Monday question.  What to do tonight?  I have to work late to makeup time from going to the vet this morning.  I think I will go tracking at the park by my house tonight.  So many things to work on when it’s nice out!  I need to spend some time writing down my goals and timelines too.  I need to get better organized with my training so I feel like we’re making progress.

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See Ya AKC Novice Agility!

Last Monday I got Sonic and Rally groomed.  They still need a bit more work but I got alot of their mats brushed out and they got baths.  Rally got his nails clipped too.  Sonic got lucky and I forgot his.  Michelle was awesome and stayed late to let me finish Sonic.  Karl has been brushing them already too.  🙂  I learned with Sonic that he has such fuzzy butt hair that it helped to get him wet and put conditioner in and then brush him in the tub.

Tuesday evening was Schutzhund training.  I get there about 7pm.  I stay maybe an hour.  Others get there early enough to track.  They mostly have their obedience done by the time I get there and are either ready to leave or are playing ball with their dogs – which is not helpful when I’m trying to train Letty.  I was able to get an empty field on Tuesday though and I trained her with her just dragging her leash.  I just don’t want her running up to a dog and getting attacked.  She loves other animals so much.  She is such a dork.  I was able to get good tugging out of her and some sits and downs and a bit of heeling.  I have been trying to work attention in heel position too.  I feel like we should be further along in heeling.  Narc’s heeling has pretty much ceased to exist.  Somehow I lost it when trying to teach him the down in motion.  I really don’t think he’ll be ready for the BH in TN in July and entries close in a few weeks.  I have not worked him enough.  And the more I try to figure things out, the more holes I”m finding.  Like, he can’t heel in slow motion.  That tells me he does not understand heel position at all.  Part of it is that he gets worked once a week and just get so high for the tug.  His “out” has really gone to crap too.  It ended up storming in the cities while I was at training.  Mom called to tell me to go west before north and I was able to totally miss driving through the storm.  It was very dark with lots of lightening and big hail.

Wednesday I skipped obedience class again.  It was so nice out.  I did Letty’s first jump grid with jumps instead of jump bumps.  It was a bounce grid with jumps at about 8″.  I did 1 jump then added a 2nd til we were at the end.  She drove through it nicely!  I’d like to do grids weekly with her for a few weeks and then start adding height in the setpoint and distance grids.  I had Vada do some bounce grids too but then Copper ran over a few jumps and stole her toy.  I loved it!  He’s feeling so good.  Vada wasn’t as happy though.

Thursday I was not handling Vada well.  We had lots of dropped bars.  Michelle had me do those parts of the sequences again.  If I handled them well then she kept her bars up.  Seven’s agility class went well.  We started a bit early so by the end I was exhausted as was Seven.  They might have done 1 last short sequence but I went home.  I seem to get stuck in Vada mode or Seven mode and can only handle 1 of them well.

Friday night I setup a double box and Karl and I worked 2 dogs each on boxwork.  We did the first 2 exercises from the DVD.  Vada had alot of trouble keeping the bars up.  I’m not sure I had the correct distance on the grids.  And re-watching the DVD I see that he says to not practice at full height.  So those things might help.  Plus, more accurate handling.  And better conditioning.  Seven had a bit of confidence issues at first but once he got it, he got it and did great.  Fringe and Sonic did well too.  It was good for all of them to work in the yard since they get use to just working in class.  Karl brought home some yummy drinks for me too.  Letty spilled most of mine though and tried to drink it!

Saturday I entered Seven and Vada in the AKC agility trial at TCOTC.  It was Novice and Open in the morning so I figured I could squeeze it in before Schutzhund (and I let them know I’d be a bit late).  It ended up going kind of long so I was later then I thought I’d be.  Seven earned his first Open Q in JWW.  I was so happy that he weaved 12 poles.  He was slower than class but he was concentrating hard.  His Novice Standard run was nice too but we had some issues entering the weave poles.  I think I was asking him to flick so he was confused.  Vada’s runs were not pretty.  2 bars and a refusal.  Poor dog.  I broke our trend of a 100% rate in AKC Standard.  After the trial we went to Schutzund.  We got there shortly after Warren.  Since we didn’t do obedience and didn’t plan to, they had Letty go first for bitework.  Warren had watched the videos I showed him from the seminar so we kept working on those skills.  We worked a long time.  She did great.  Warren did well with all of the dogs.  I hope Angeli sets up another date for him to come out.  I won’t be there most Saturdays in June but it’d be good for the other club member’s dogs.  I was soooo tired on the way home.  When I got home Karl and I took a 3 hour nap!

Sunday we got to sleep in and we did.  I was able to run agility much better on Sunday.  I had a better attitude, better plans and I executed them better.  Seven’s Novice Standard run was kind of ugly but we muddled our way through it enough to Q and finish his NA title.  There were good parts to it but I was super late on alot of my front crosses.  We just got out of synch but finished well.  Vada’s standard run had bar 2 down as I was pulling out to go around a pole and a refusal as I didn’t support her going out of the chute to the panel jump.  Silly things.  She also came off her aframe contact which went into a serpentine.  So I was out of position when we went into it.  I had watched Nancy do a fancy RC serp thing in the trial that we had learned in Terry’s class so I did that and it worked beautifully!  I was pushing and it was a fun run.  Seven weaved again in Open JWW.  He dropped a bar as I was RCing a double into the tunnel.  That went to a triple to the weaves.  He just kept going past them.  But when I brought him back and put him in he weaved them all.  Then we had some issues at the end.  I was pushing him hard too so not too upset about the dropped bar.  I got in some nicely timed FCs as I was trusting him too.  Vada’s Novice JWW run was so much fun.  The only bobble was that when I went to do a super tight RC on the weaves she came out.  The rest was fast and amazing and 0 bars down!  Our final Novice JWW Q to finish our NAJ.  I actually jumped up in the air in happiness.  I have to remember to do a serp arm at the end of those runs with turn aways that are too goofy to RC.

The Novice and Open courses were really hard this weekend.  Lots of skills needed and lots of big obstacles to big obstacles and not many single jumps – at least in Standard.  Open almost seemed easier.  I noticed that at our last AKC trial too.  Sunday the open course was similar to the Excellent course so knowing that was fun.  Jodi was in my Novice classes so it was fun to discuss the courses and strategize and see how each other ran it.  I’m looking forward to our next AKC trial which will be OUTDOORS at the CACM trial in June.

Copper’s hair is growing back over the radiated area that he lost his hair.  It’s a darker brown color that does not match the brown part of his coat.  It’s very unique looking.  He’s multicolored!

Spring is here and the flowers are starting to bloom on some plants!

Here are some pics of my dorky Dutch girls.

And Cyrus the happy go lucky dog hater.

So, now to decide what to do tonight.  Track?  Agility?  Work on building our contacts?  Weed?  Plant flower baskets?  Box up trophies?  Take the dogs for a walk?  Watch House?  I really should track since we’re doing club tracking on Saturday.

Greg Doud Protection Seminar

Last Monday I got my late project turned in.  Lost 11 points.  I had the opportunity to do an extra credit part of the assignment for 10 points but had to put my greed aside and get my final project done first.  I had to choose between having to come to class next week (tonight) and having an almost perfect score in the class.  It was tough but I figured an A is an A.  I did get my final project done with a few minutes left in class.  Got a perfect score on that.  I swear it’s like none of it makes sense and then I’d stumble on something and all the pieces would just start falling into place.  So, I finished my Visual Basic II class a week early with an A.  So tonight with my free time I am taking Sonic and Rally up to On the Run to groom them.  Karl promised to keep up on their grooming if he got a fresh start.

Schutzhund training last week was uneventful.  Well, for me.  2 males GSDs got into a fight on the field but I was not involved.  Narc was out loose as I was putting him away but he could have cared less.  I love that!

My kidney doctor appointment was also uneventful.  I have to go back in 6 months and then again in a year so every 6 months I see him or my rheumatologist.  I also need to go see my eye doc this Friday for my annual checkup to make sure my Lupus meds aren’t effecting my eyes.  THEN I should be done for awhile with appointments.  Well, human appointments anyways.

Agility class went well last week.  Seven was on fire!  Vada had alot of bars down but I was being lazy and late with my handling.  I guess I was at Seven speed that night but not Vada speed.  I need to switch better between the classes.  We have an AKC agility trial this weekend both days.  I’m looking forward to it.

I worked Letty at the Greg Doud seminar all 3 days – Friday thru Sunday.  I really enjoyed it and had a great weekend.  Greg did a good job of explaining things and why he was doing what he was doing.  We had 2 sessions each day.  We could choose between obedience and protection.  Friday and Saturday I did 2 sessions of protection.  Friday I decided that I would do a session of obedience on Sunday and work on my tugging mechanics.  It was a brilliant decision!

Friday and Saturday we had amazing weather.  It was warm and sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky.  The down side was that the dogs weren’t use to it so our sessions were pretty short.  But the dogs all got worked well.  Friday and Sunday were smaller groups which was nice too.  Sunday was cool and we hard rain for about half of the seminar.

Letty did really well.  Greg did stick hits, worked on grips and having her hold the sleeve, worked on me cradling her, worked on helper body contact and worked on her strikes in front of the helper.  We worked some outs too.  They were really good sessions.  Greg wants the dog to make the choice and to figure things out.  I liked that.  Alot of his training I agreed with.  His girlfriend came with too.  She’s a top level obedience competitor.  It was fun to watch her work her dogs.  They have so much drive and love to work and they work precisely.  It was fun hanging out with her all weekend too.

I got alot of help with my tugging too.  Letty was much happier after that session!  Her chewiness was gone too.  Alot of what Greg did as the helper are things that I can do while tugging.

It was fun to see people from this area that I haven’t seen in awhile.  And some friends from WI that I have not seen in forever.

Hopefully Greg will be back to this area soon.  There were many club members there that had a great time and really liked the progress that their dogs made.  I’m hoping that the club will bring Greg back out again so it’s easier on Sarah.  We use alot of the club’s resources anyways.

2011 Spring Tracy Sklenar Seminar

2 weeks ago I went down to the training field for our Tuesday night club training.  It sounded like training was cancelled but then I got a call that it was not.  So I went.  I had good sessions with the dogs.  However, I probably should have stayed home and packed.  Once Wednesday morning rolled around I had absolutely nothing packed nor a plan.  And it had SNOWED overnight.

I just knew that I wanted to leave by 10am.  Which did not happen.  But once I got on the road it was a nice uneventful drive.  Nellie told me to take back highways down so it was a bit more scenic and about the same amount of time as taking the major highways.  My goal was to get to the cabin around check in time so I’d have time to enjoy it.  And get a good night’s rest before the seminar.  I love this little cabin.

Letty worked on Thursday at the Foundations day.  It was rainy so we worked in the barn.  I was really nervous about how she would do.  We’ve been working so hard on getting her to stay engaged with me and I knew there would be alot of distractions there and alot of people for her to bark at.  She did great!  I started with her on-leash on her Gentle Leader and then went to leash and collar and then no leash.  A few dogs ran up to her to play too and once they were caught she came back and worked with me.  And when we did exercises she ran and snatched up her toy and came back and punched me with it.  I was so happy to see our hard work paying off.  And it was a sign to me that we need to move on and get moving on her agility skills.   Our foundation is good!  Letty had come into season the Monday or Tuesday before we left for IA too.

Friday was Masters Handling day.  I just audited.  It was nice to have a day off.  And we were able to move outside into the sunshine in the afternoon.

Saturday I worked Seven in ABCs of Handling.  We did this same topic with Tracy when she was in MN in August.  But there wasn’t really an Open/Advanced level course.  We learned some things and tweaked my handling to make things more clear to Seven.  I think Seven was happy that someone was fixing me.  I was super happy with his level of drive all day.  Bummed that we didn’t get outside but it was windy out.

Sunday was the last day of the seminar and European Handling day.  Vada had a working spot.  It ends up being a super fun day since the courses are hard.  I’ve had a crappy attitude lately that Vada just can’t do certain things physically and I’m an incompetent handler.  Well, both notions were proved wrong.  We both did really well and we both had alot of fun.

Ami Sheffield took all of these great seminar photos.

I did alot of walking with the dogs around the campground.  Everyone got walked individually in the morning and in the evening.  They all did really well in the cabin.  I crated Seven for meals but that was it.  I crated Letty much of the time but gave her some time out alone or with Vada.  They got lots of bones and ribs and Letty got some stuffed Kongs.  They had a great vacation and I got alot of exercise.  My drive both ways was very uneventful.  It was very nice.  The campground is a pretty place to walk.

I got home quite late on Sunday night.  I walked all of the dogs on the path at Christy’s before I left and then stopped a few times on the way home to potty them.  Monday I had a VB project due.  My intentions were to get it done before I left for the seminar or to at least work on it in the cabin.  Neither happened.  This was the first project that I have not turned in on time.  I got much of it done but not all of it.  I still don’t have it done and plan to turn it in tonight.  I’m hoping to wrap up the final project too.  It’s not done but I did get a start on it.  It will be a long night but if it means that I don’t have to go to class next week then I will be very happy.  Instead I can go tracking or start doing some agility jump training with Letty and Narc (and maybe Prozac).

Last week I had appointments with both my dentist and rheumatologist.   Both said everything’s great.  This week I have an appointment with my kidney doc who will say the same thing and I’ll be off the hook for appointments for awhile.

Tuesday it was raining so SchH training was cancelled.  I thought about going tracking but didn’t make it (Glee was on for 90 minutes).  Wednesday I decided to stay home from obedience classes and I did go tracking.  I wanted to get at least 1 track in for Narc and Letty before we did club tracking on Saturday.  Letty had been out a few times but Narc had not.  They both did great!  I let Copper and Vada out when I was done so they could run around.  Vada tracked Narc’s track then my path to Letty’s track and then Letty’s track.  Copper was hot on her heels.  Such good noses!

Copper turned 14 on Thursday!  I’m so happy that he’s still doing so well.  We’ve hit quite a few bumps this year but overall he’s doing well and he’s currently ailment free.  Karl’s Mom also had a birthday on the same day.

Friday night I had dinner with some girlfriends.  I invited like 10 people.  At least 4 bailed at the last minute and didn’t show up.  There ended up being 4 of us who met at the Park Tavern.  We had a good time.  Next time we’d like to do something like walk around a lake or walk at Cortney’s greenway trials.

Saturday morning I drove down to Jordon to track with my Schutzhund club.  It was cold and raining.  I did 2 tracks with Letty and 1 with Narc.  Narc did well.  His track was just an L with the corner going to the left.  No article.  I need to do longer tracks, lay my corners curved and thicker and teach him articles.   For Letty’s first track I did 3 scent pads and baited my steps inbetween.  I had Angeli come over and watch.  Letty barked at her at first but she ignored her.  As she was freaking about Angeli she walked over the flag and freaked cuz it was attacking her.  Later Angeli was flapping her arms in her rain coat.  Nothing extreme but it was different.  Letty ignored her.  And then she left and Melissa walked up and she ignored her.  I was happy with that.  She tracked well.  She went through the 2nd scent pad as she was following the path to the 3rd pad.  I let her backtrack to get all the food.  The 2nd track was just a straight line til I ran out of food.  I wanted her to go slower than she was but when I put pressure on the line she really started pulling into her collar and went even faster.  She had only done puppy circles offleash til this day.  I need to do longer tracks with her, teach her corners and teach her articles.  Corners and articles and serps will help slow her down.  Denise F also suggested doing a square track – similar to a circle but with square corners.  I like that!  Not sure when we’ll track again but I’ve got the bug.

Sunday I trained with Warren’s group.  It was snowing when I left home, got there and it snowed again at noon.  Narc had not done bitework in a month or more.  Letty had not done bitework in quite a few weeks.  Actually the last person to have worked her was Stephan the first weekend in April.  Unfortunately, Narc’s gripping problems were still there.  The antibiotics have not resolved the problem.  So, he’s done with bitework.  We’ll do xrays and see if it’s changed at all and make sure he’s not in pain and then leave it be.  Then I need to decide what my goals are with him.  BH?  TR1?  OB1?  Agility?  AKC obedience?  Rally?  He goes with to training so I’ll keep working his obedience.  I’m hoping to do more agility with him in the yard too.    Letty did great!  Her strikes and grips were amazing.  No moving on the sleeve like she was doing before.  Warren started teaching her the bark and hold.  We work with Greg Doud this weekend so I’m curious to see what he thinks and what we work on.  I’ve not worked with him before with any dogs.  I audited once but it’s been awhile.

I just realized that today is Quest’s birthday.  He’s 9 years old today!  I can’t believe he’s that old already.  Where does the time go?!?!  It does not seem like I’ve had him very long.  He’s such a good boy.  He’s quiet and wise.  Happy birthday Quest!

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