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Archive for January, 2013

Winter Freeze

We are currently having sub zero highs.  😦  Luckily these spells seem to only last a few days and then it warms up again for a few days.

I entered Seven, Vada, Letty and Narc in the Malinois AKC agility trial at Simon Arena in Cannon Falls.  It was an EARLY morning and we got lots of ice the night before.  But the roads were good and I got there at a good time and got good crating space.  Vada had a gorgeous Master Standard run but we just had 1 bar down.  2 bars in Open JWW.  She had bars in T2B too.  Seven didn’t Q in either run but he was drivier in the ring so I was happy with that.  He did Q (and weave!) in T2B and picked up a few points.  Narc had a messy run but he Qd in Novice Standard.  He didn’t weave 12 poles in T2B and he had 2 bars in JWW – a poorly executed RC and the last bar for some reason.  Letty didn’t do all the weaves in T2B either but she did Q in both Novice Standard and Novice JWW.  She was not running the fastest as it was a newer environment and surface for her but she didn’t do too bad.

After the agility trial we drove to Hudson and killed a few hours in the Target parking lot – they have free wifi!  That night started doing winter training in the barn.  It was nice and warm that first night but muddy.  It was nice to be able to just drill the dogs.  All 4 did really good and we had a lot of fun.

Saturday and Sunday was the OTR CPE trial that I was trial secretary for.  I was able to run my dogs on Saturday in the runs that I wanted.  On Sunday I was only able to do 4 runs so I ran Narc and Letty in 2 runs each.  The dogs all ran really well.  Vada earned her last Level 5 Snooker Q.  So we just need 1 Jumpers Q for her CATCH.  So close!  The trial went really well.  I think we’ve got running them down to a science.

Vada saw Dr Julia for a checkup on Wednesday.  She’s holding her sacrum in place.  Her back was out a lot and some ribs.  She is happy that she is starting to gain weight back but wants to see more.  Half a pound a week so up 2 pounds by the next time we see her.  She seems a lot more active and hyper around the house so she’s probably burning more calories lately.  I’ve been bad about being consistent with her rehab exercises.  I started doing them again yesterday though.  I need to get back on track with a lot of things!  So we keep plugging away.  If Dr Julia likes what she sees next visit then we may remove some exercises.  She removed the ham string stretch last time.

On Thursdays I’ve been splitting the class between Vada and Seven.  So Seven can focus on weaving each week and Vada gets some jumping in.  It seems to be working well.  And now they can both be worked on Fridays at the barn too.

Vada and Narc are really enjoying their obedience classes at TCOTC.  Last night Vada was doing Utility signals from almost across the ring!!!  We keep working on her Open exercises too.

Last weekend we did AKC agility at the Golden Retriever trial.  We got in both days.  I had all 4 dogs entered on Saturday.  I only entered Narc and Letty on Sunday as the Novice classes went last and that would have given me the morning to go to training.  But then the building got rented so training got canceled.  So I entered the UKC Rally trial that was my Plan B if we didn’t get into the agility trial.  The dogs had an amazing weekend!  Especially the baby dogs.  Saturday was Seven’s 10th birthday and he celebrated his first ever Excellent Q in JWW.  He weaved beautifully!  His contacts have been falling apart so I’ve been trying to work them but not shut him down in the ring.  He did well but popped the weaves when I turned my head to look where I was going next – stupid handler!  Vada’s Standard run was terrible.  I was babying her so it was just an icky run.  Bummer since it was a fun challenging course too.  We had 2 bars in JWW.  Letty Qd in Standard on Saturday and got to move up to Open on Sunday since she finished her NA!  We had 1 bar in both JWW runs.  Saturday I thought my FC was early enough but we still had a bar.  Sunday I did not set the line to a jump and drive into the RC and we had that bar down.  Narc had an amazing weekend.  He Qd in all 4 runs!  Sunday he finished his NA!  It was nice, for 1 day, to have Narc and Letty in different Standard classes to let me breathe a little.  So Narc and Letty both are in Open Standard now and both still need 1 more Novice JWW Q.  Sunday morning I entered Narc in Level 1 Rally, Letty in Level 2 and Vada in Level 3.  The entries were so low and things went fast enough that I was able to enter Trial 2 as DOS entries.  All dogs Qd in all runs!  Vada already had a RO3 Q from October so she finished her URO3 title!  Narc and Letty only need 1 more in each of their levels to finish their titles.  So Narc had a perfect weekend in 2 sports!  His last agility run was amazing and I really wish I had it recorded.  It helps that I learned from my mistake from Letty but it was all just his brilliance.  He has come so far since I first met him and he is loving doing more and learning more.  And he’s so brave and tries new things now.  And he makes me laugh at some of the things he does and how he thinks.

Saturday Open Ribbons

Sunday’s UKC Rally ribbons and Vada’s URO3 title pin

The February CPE trial opened on the 16th and turned into big drama since A LOT of people did not get in.  It overfilled on opening day.  I had to decide on how to key in the entries so I just went in the order that the mail person put them in the mailbox.  Crazy crazy crazy!  My waiting list for Saturday is 3 pages long.  2 for Sunday.  I hope March is not as bad.  I’m guessing it won’t be since MANY do not like running in dirt (or on grass).  Personally, I can wait to run there.  I love running there and so do my dogs.  If ACTS would hold CPE trials there again I might be tempted to enter.

Had MLK day off from work.  Slept til noon!  Super behind on AMBOR newsletters and rankings.  Slowly plugging away to get caught up though.  Then it’ll be time to order trophies again.  And then mail them out.  Then we start all over again.  I did finally get the website fixed though so that is good.

AKC herding club rally and obedience trial this weekend!  Narc and Letty are in Advanced both days and Vada is in Excellent.  She’s also in Open A again.  Praying she holds her stays.  Have had a few failures in training so I hope it’s solidifying the concept of staying *in a sit* for her.  Then the dogs get a weekend off from trialing.  We have the MMBC Banquet – which I need to fix up pics for.  Then, hopefully, training with Warren on Sunday.  It’s been months since we’ve trained with Warren.  The last time was outside.

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Happy New Year!

I can’t believe that it’s 2013 already.  Lots to look forward to in the next year.  I’ve got some big goals for the year.  For Vada anyways.  I should set some goals with the others too.  I guess I have 1 for Letty already.

First I should wrap up 2012.  It was really a great year.  I’m glad to move forward – I always am as I don’t sit well for long.  We had a lot of challenges in 2012 but I would never say it was a bad year or that I am glad that it is gone.

I did help at the UKC show at the Washington County Fairgrounds with setup on Friday and as ring help on Saturday.  I showed Vada and Letty in both Rally trials.  Vada finished her URO2 and Letty got 2 legs towards her URO1.  So I did DOS entries for them on Sunday so I could finish Letty’s URO1.  We did.  And Vada picked up a URO3 leg.
Also, in October Vada and Prozac earned 2 more AKC lure coursing legs to earn their CA titles.  I think the next one is CAX at 10 legs so 6 more to go.  It’ll be awhile!  I’m looking forward to being able to run Letty in the spring and see how she does.
October was also Vada’s first USDAA trial in Performance.  I had to adjust to the idea of it but she’s loving jumping 22″ and no spreads and lower aframe.  She earned a Performance Speed Jumping Q and a Masters Performance Standard Q.  One bar down in Performance Grand Prix.  And I think just 1 bar down in Jumpers.  Seven earned another Standard Q so now he’s got 3 and just needs a Gamblers Q to earn his Performance MAD title.  Letty earned P1 Pairs, P2 Snooker and P2 Standard Qs too.  Sonic and Prozac finished their P1 Jumpers titles.
We also celebrated our 5th anniversary in October.

In November we had Tracy back for an agility seminar.  Friday was Masters day and Karl worked Fringe.  I’m at a loss with Seven and his weaving issue so I didn’t work him.  Saturday we split into 2 half days on It’s Yer Choice.  The morning was for novice dogs and the afternoon was for advanced dogs.  Quite a few dogs did Novice in June when Nancy had Tracy in.  It was the most popular day for workers and auditors!  I worked Letty in the afternoon session.  Then Sunday was Novice/Advanced handling.  I worked Letty that day too.  At the end of the day I miscued a jump and Letty hit it and flipped the jump up and at us.  Then she started going under bars.  Kristin thought she might have a rib out – and she did.  Dr Heather was able to put her back together a few days later but now her stress response is to go under the bar.  At first I would freak, thinking she was hurt again, but now I see that she goes under instead of crashing thru.  It’s just information.  But I was sad that she listened to me so much that she hurt herself in the process.  Bad handler!  But I did put my arm up to shield us from it hitting us again.
In November I also listened to a Dr Dodds webinar on thyroid issues.  She mentioned some Goldens that were losing head muscle and they turned out to have low thyroid.  That got the wheels turning about Narc.  So I had Dr Jina draw blood and send it to Dr Dodds.  Sure enough, his T3 is super low so he’s on meds now.  His coat was horrid – thin and wirey like no undercoat.  Dr Jina thought it was from the pred.  Now it’s soft and shiney and the color is really deep.  His head muscles seem to be doing well too.  His eye still seem sunken in too much though.  We are slowly backing off on the pred to see if we can get him totally off of it.
Also, went to to a Kathy Keats mental management seminar.  I love her book and really enjoyed her seminar too.
I was trial secretary for 2 CPE trials.  The dogs ran pretty well.  I ran Vada at 20″ and I don’t like how she’s jumping.  Too much on her front end and not pushing off with her rear.  I only entered her in 2 or 3 classes a day.  Letty and Narc ran well and are slowly completing levels.  Narc gets more focused at each trial.  Still dealing with confidence and stress with Letty.  Seven too off and on especially with his weaves.  At the Thanksgiving trial, despite the weaving issues, he managed to earn his last Level 5 Standard Q and finish his C-ATCH!  First of my dogs to finish a Championship agility title!  Vada still needs a Q in Jumper and Snooker.  Karl ran Prozac, Sonic and Fringe in the first CPE trial of the month.  I think he had fun and his dogs did well.  Logan got his teeth cleaned and his goobery eyes went away.
We went to Mom’s for Thanksgiving this year.  And we committed to hosting Thanksgiving at our house next year.
Right after Thanksgiving we bought a new (to us – 2011) van 🙂 and retired my old one.  😦   The old one had 321K miles on it!  But they thought a piston had a broken spring and it would be thousands of dollars to replace so we decided it was time to buy a new one.  I hate the shopping process and doing it in the winter is even worse.  But we found one that we really like.  And we donated the old one to a place that teaches people the skills of fixing them up and then they sell them and put the money back into their program.

In December I drove down to Rochester to audit a Denise Fenzi seminar.  I had a working spot on Sunday but Letty came into season so I had to give it up.  It was a lot of fun.  Saturday night I went to dinner with everyone too and had a good time.  It was a nice trip to break in the new van too.
The following weekend I drove to Columbus OH to go to a seminar with Shade.  It was great.  I love being there and being around all the like minded people – positive trainers and protection sport trainers.  I had some really good sessions.  I haven’t been able to put anything into practice yet since it seems to not work out to get to training between my schedule and Warren’s schedule but maybe February will be better.  The trip was pretty easy and it was good to spend time with the new van.  I just brought the DS girls.
That Monday I started obedience classes at TCOTC with Narc and Vada.  Unfortunately there was a lot of snow on Sunday and the roads in the Twin Cities were horrible.  So I was not able to make it home in time to get Narc to bring him to class.  Just Vada.  But he started the week after.  Both the dogs and I are really enjoying them.  I started going back to Total Recall on Wednesdays too.  Both schools just had 2 weeks off for the holidays but we’re starting back up again this week.  Nice to be doing obedience again.
I got Letty registered with the AKC.  Her first trial was the Cambridge agility trial.  She Qd in Novice Std and JWW.  I had Vada and Seven entered too.  Vada finished her AX.  So if Vada can earn another Q in Standard in the Masters level then she will have MACH points and will be eligible to enter the AKC Invitational in Orlando in December 2013!  We have til the end of June to qualify.  I’d love to enter Letty too but I’m not sure if that is even possible since she only has 1 Novice Q.  LOL  And it would be a HUGE stretch for Narc – although he is getting better all the time.  And it’s really hard to get into trials around here.
We went to the MAC banquet.  We had to write up a little blurb about dogs that we’ve lost and pick 1 word that describes them.  It was super super hard.  Karl did an awesome job with Rally’s write up.  I think Copper’s turned out ok.  For our year end awards we got backpacks with the club logo and our dogs titles for 2012.
Narc ended up at the emergency vet for being constipated again.  They even kept him overnight.  Pretty scary!  They had to put him under and clean him out.  We’ve made some changes to their diet to add veggies and oatmeal to give them more filler and softer poo.  He gets a stool softener too.  We also did an ultrasound on him to see if they could find anything going on but they could not.
Vada had to go see Dr Jina for an infection in her stopped pad.  😦  But it’s all better now.  Narc got his thyroid rechecked.  His T3 is still a bit low but they are ok with it.
The Saturday before Christmas we went to Karl’s sister’s house in Holmen.  It’s a long drive but we always have a good time.  It’s amazing how fast everyone’s kids are growing up!
Christmas Eve we spent at my Mom’s house.  Another good time.  We went to the 11pm service at Eagle Brook in Lino on the way home.  It gets to be so late and we get so tired but it’s kind of fun too.  And we had Christmas Day off to stay home and veg.
New Year’s Eve weekend I drove the Dutch Shepherds out to Milwaukee WI to do AKC rally and also Open A with Vada.  They were offering 4 shows over 3 days.  And Friday didn’t start til noon.  So I left in the wee hours of Friday morning and made the drive.  Then drove home Sunday after the show was over.  All dogs Qd every run except one of Letty’s where she pooped in the ring.  I guess I need to potty her right before she goes in the ring at every show – obedience and agility.  All 3 earned their RNs.  Narc earned an RA leg and Vada finished her RA.  Vada did all of the Open exercises except for the sit stay.  In the first trial she went down about 15 seconds before we were to come back.  So close!  We’ll try again at the end of January at a local trial.
New Year’s Eve we did fondue at Joe and Julie’s again.  They said it was our 7th year of doing it.  Pretty cool tradition!  We had a good time as always.

So that brings us to 2013!

We started the first weekend with a USDAA trial.  I entered PVP team with Letty on Friday.  Our teammates were Kristin and Cooee.  They qualified!!!  Baby dogs!  They both Qd on the Standard course and that really helped their standings.  So now I need to get Letty 2 Qs in Performance Speed Jumping and/or Performance Grand Prix so she can go to USDAA Nationals in October.  🙂  On Saturday Vada earned her 2nd Performance Speed Jumping Q so now she needs 2 Performance Grand Prix Qs or a PVP team Q so she can enter at Nationals too.  It also means that I don’t need to enter her in PSJ so I can just focus on Letty (and maybe Seven too).  Letty also earned a P2 Snooker Q.  Seven earned yet another P3 Jumpers Q.  He weaved awesome in Standard but blew his dogwalk contact.  Sonic and Pro both picked up their first P1 Snooker Qs.  Fringe got her last Advanced Standard Q so she’s in all Masters classes now.  Narc gave P1 Snooker a good try but we had a bar and a broken tire so not enough points.

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