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Archive for March, 2013

Winter in March

Today is supposed to be the first day of spring.  However, it is cold and windy and snowy.  It feels more like January or February.  I think I heard this is the 5th day of not going above freezing.  And it doesn’t get much better for awhile.  We are entered in a lure coursing event in a week and a half so it’ll be interesting to see if they cancel it or what they do.  Hopefully we can still run it.  It’ll be Letty’s first time.  And this weekend we have the CPE trial and have to get the trailer out of the storage parking lot.  We had problems with ice one year and hopefully we don’t on Friday again.  And it’s too crummy out to walk the dogs so they’re going stir crazy.  We just got a nice tease and then winter came back.

Seven in the snow

Snowy nosed Vada

Girls in the snow

Snowy driveway

I verified on the AKC website and Vada is qualified for the AKC Invitational!  Only 2 Dutch Shepherd are listed and they take the top 5!  So, now I need to get the girls qualified for USDAA Nationals.

Vada finished her AKC Rally Excellent (RE) title at the show at TCOTC.  Perfect score and 1st place and High FSS Rally Excellent dog.  Letty finished her Rally Advanced (RA) title too.  She had a 92, 3rd place  and High FSS Rally Advanced breed.  Then we waited a few hours and I showed Vada in Open A.  I was SUPER nervous.  I tried to get it under control.  I noticed as we were setting up for the figure 8 that my heart was racing.  I told myself to calm down.  Well, myself didn’t listen and it lead to a handling mistake.  I disconnected with Vada on the drop on recall.  She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do so she got up to follow me then realized she was wrong and stopped and stood there.  I thought we NQd.  I recalled her and probably dropped her poorly as I was confused in my mind and she didn’t drop.  Pooey!  She did everything else pretty well.  She did the broad jump and she held her sit stay!  I was happy with all of that.  So I entered her in the April Cambridge KC shows at Total Recall.  I also entered her in the RAE classes.  She needs 10 double Qs so I figured I may as well start now since I’ll be at the show anyways.  We can just plug away at them here and there.

Letty RA Title with 3rd Place and High Rally Advanced FSS Breed

Vada RE title, perfect score, 1st place and High Rally Excellent FSS Breed

To de-stress after the obedience trial we went for a walk at the park by my house.

The girls at the park after the obedience trial

The girls at the park after the obedience trial

We made it to IPO training twice in a row!  Letty is doing awesome.  I’m thinking I will start Vada on the suit again once we go outside and aren’t limited on time.  In the meantime I’m working on contact heeling with her.

Took the van in to the Toyota dealership since we bought it from there and they have Saturday hours.  Turns out the check engine light is on because cylinder 2 in the engine is misfiring.  That is the exact same reason that we got rid of my old van!  So frustrating!  They don’t know why til the dig into the engine.  So $250 in labor just to get in there.  😦  So I made an appointment to take it to our usual Dodge dealership.  They have horrible hours so you have to rent a car or take the day off from work.  I am going to use Karl’s car that day to drive to work.  We are hoping it’s covered under the drive train warranty but they said they won’t know til they get in there and figure out what is causing the problem.  Hoping I didn’t buy a lemon.  😦  And mad at myself for not getting it in the second the light went on.

We celebrated March birthdays with Mom, Tom, Josh, Elle, Tobie, Des and Matt on Saturday at Mansetti’s.  It was a lot of fun!

March Birthday Celebration

March Birthday Celebration

We saw Safe Haven in the theater.  It was really really good!  Karl even liked it.  🙂  Nice twist at the end.  I think it’s different than the book but it’s been awhile since I “read” it.

No barn training last week as 1 person was sick and 2 others went horseback riding instead.  So that would have left 2 of us.  So I stayed home.  Then the weather got bad and I was grateful to not have to drive home in the nasty weather.  I won’t be going this Friday either as we’re setting up for the MMBC trial.  I think it’ll only be 1 or 2 people again.  Not sure if I’ll do this again next year.  I have missed a lot so I’m not sure if it’s worth the money.  It’s nice having the space to train but the dirt is loose and the drive is long.  I guess I’ll have missed 4 nights.  3 of which are in this stretch right now.  We have 2 more sessions after this week and then we’re done.  Seems weird with so much snow on the ground.

Vada saw Dr Julia again.  She was out in a few places on her back and her neck.  She has a weird trigger point in her thigh that Dr Julia used needles on.  She said to come back in 4 weeks but then we might get to go to 6 weeks!  She’s such a good girl and so patient with the things we do to her.  She seems to know it’s to make her feel better even if it hurts.

Vada waiting for Dr Julia

Vada waiting for Dr Julia

Still missing my boy like crazy.  Some days are harder than others.  I should look for some videos of him.

Copper doing flyball years ago

Copper doing flyball years ago

February Blahs

I started this post awhile ago.  Just the title.  I thought about changing it since it no longer applies.  But that is the reason that I am going to keep it – to celebrate that I seem to be past the February Blahs.  It’s still on the colder side and we have a bunch of snow but the days are getting longer and you can feel spring in the air and the sun is stronger.  This time of year I am usual reminded by my Mom that she has a picture taken of me on my birthday in the kitchen and thru the window you can see a motorcycle driving by.

We had the MMBC annual banquet in March.  No money for awards I guess so Denise used some donated trophies and made some fun awards that people could apply for.  Vada got a big trophy for dog withe the most variety of rally titles as she earned them in UKC and AKC last year.  She also won an award for most known bark.  Letty earned a trophy for most CPE titles earned.  And Prozac earned the traveling trophy for most versatile mixed breed as she earned titles in agility and lure coursing.  The trophy is bigger than her!  We had a breakfast buffet again and went bowling afterwards again.  It was fun.  I helped out with the onscreen slide show.  A few people sent pics.  We used my laptop to show submitted trick videos too.  After bowling we had a meeting to discuss a new ribbon vendor.  It went really well and the members who were initiating the change in vendors did a bunch of research and made it easy for me to add my ribbons on to their order.


Letty’s High CPE trophy


Vada’s Most Known Bark award


Vada’s High Rally trophy

I made it out to IPO training twice in February.  I was available another time but the building was rented so training was canceled.  But those 2 sessions went really well and Letty is doing awesome and making great progress.  I’ve got her off leash so she’s making her own decisions without me controlling her by the leash.  I’m doing better at balancing me rewarding her with the helper rewarding her.  We started working on the side transport the way that Shade taught us and Warren seems ok with it even though it’s very different than how he teaches it.  I’m excited to get outside and start running blinds with her.  We still have tons of work to do in all phases!

Still loving Narc and Vada’s obedience classes at TCO on Monday nights.  We even got a week off between 9 week sessions.  I love that.  Narc’s Level 3 class has all new dogs in it and a new instructor.  I liked what I saw of her from the Level 1 class I’d watch that was going on at the same time.  So far I like her as our instructor too.  And all of the dogs in the class seem to be pretty decent.  Vada’s doing awesome in her class.  Working on most of the utility and open exercises.  Some Novice exercises too.

We saw Dr Heather twice in February.  We also got full xrays on Sonic as he’s been refusing the aframe and coming up lame occasionally.  He’s got a lot of arthritis in his back and spondylosis.  Dr Heather adjusted him and did cold laser therapy on him.  She adjusted Letty and Narc too.  Sonic and Narc got rechecks.  Narc had held his adjustment pretty well.  Sonic did too but he got some more cold laser treatment.  He’s on prevacox now too.  That seems to be helping the most.  He got a few weeks off from agility class too.  Prozac was happy about that since she got to go in his place.  But he’ll be back to class next week to prepare for the CPE trial.

Wasn’t the best month for agility.  We did the Min Pin AKC trial at OTR.  Seven did Q in Excellent JWW.  He was super close in Standard but popped the weaves when I looked away to find the next jump.

The next week we went to Simon Arena in Cannon Falls for USDAA agility.  I was getting quite frustrated with lots of off runs.  Seven refused to weave.  Vada had a bar or two on every course.  After 2 runs she was off but not lame so I pulled her from her last 2 runs.  One was Pairs so I felt bad but it was in her best interest and they would figure it out.  I think it was from lying on the cement floor in the barn even though I put blankets in her crate.  Letty and I were struggling too.  But at the end of the day I picked up 3 Snooker Qs!  Letty finished her P2 Snooker title.  Narc and Prozac picked up their first P1 Snooker Qs.  Narc has a bar and maybe an off course tunnel in P1 Jumpers but he tried hard.  Karl ran Pro in P2 Jumpers and picked up their 1st leg.  He also picked up a Grand Prix Q with Fringe!

Narc P1 Jumpers

Karl and Pro – P2 Jumpers

Letty P2 Snooker – new title!

Vada P3 Standard

Vada Performance Grand Prix

Karl and Fringe – Grand Prix Q

I was trial secretary for the CPE trial the last weekend in February.  The night before the trial Letty broke a nail and I had to pull her!  So Narc and Vada got to run more.  They all ran pretty well.  Qualifications for 2014 CPE Nationals will be much harder this time around so we’re working on collecting those Qs now so we’re not freaking out at the end of the year like everyone else will be doing.  I need to get Narc and Letty out of Level 3 also.  Qualifications could be 30 Qs between January 1, 2013 and February 28. 2014 and all of Level 3 completed.

Our luck changed halfway thru last weekend.  Saturday did not go well.  I only had Vada and Letty entered that day.  Letty was not happy.  So for her 2nd run I just focused on her drive and it was better.  Saturday night Karl and I went out for Mexican food and a yummy margarita!  The girls ran again on Sunday and so did Seven.  I’m doing hand touch starts with Seven and Letty.  Seven took the first jump and promptly went off course but then ran pretty good.  I noticed in the middle of the weaves he got off balance and tried really hard to stay in so I praised him and he popped but I was ok with that.  I was happy with his Standard run too even though it was also an NQ.  Vada Qd in Master Standard!  She earned 2nd place and 22 MACH points which qualified her for the AKC Invitational in Orlando in December!  So that is one goal accomplished!  It would be kind of silly to go to the Invitational and still be in Open Jumpers so she also Qd in Open JWW to finish her OAJ with a 1st place!  Letty ran like a crazy lady in Open Standard.  She had issues weaving at such a high speed and we had already NQd as I pulled her off a jump after the aframe and I think we had a bar down on a tricky spot so I let her no redo them.  She would not down on the table either.  It was as if I was not speaking to her.  I was very happy with her attitude.  Then she Qd in Novice Jumpers with a fist place to finish her NAJ!  For both girls jumpers runs I just wanted to run fast and give them information when they needed it (early).  They were fast and fun and clean!  Letty even nailed her weaves at a million miles an hour.

Before the USDAA trial we went to an open training night at TCO so hopefully that helped Seven and Letty be more comfortable with the building and equipment.  Seven seemed much less stressed than the last time he trialed there.

Letty started Nancy’s competition obedience class again.  We did a session off and now we’re doing another 5 week session.  We have 1 more class left in the session next week.

Vada continues to see Dr Julia.  Kind of just status quo.  We’ll be able to do more once the ground thaws and the snow melts and we can do jump grids again.  The dogs just need to get out and run and build up stamina and muscle again.  I do too!

Seven got to go to obedience class finally this week.  I don’t think he’s gone since last winter.  I thought he could go again next week but Vada has an appointment with Dr Julia and then there are no classes due to the banquet.  Soon we’ll be starting IPO training outside again on Wednesday nights.  Poor guy.

In February I made a video for Recallers 4.0 so I get to do it again!  I think the games will begin on Monday.  Denise Fenzi also started up her online training academy.  http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/  She is teaching obedience classes, Shade is teaching IPO class and Forrest is teaching ringsport classes!  Thank goodness for the observing option!  Her classes don’t start til June 1 so Recallers should be done by then and I should be caught up with Tracy’s agility one by then.  It’ll be fun to work on Tracy’s exercises once the snow melts and the ground softens.

Skipping barn training tonight.  Just because something is telling me to.  I have errands to run and I’d like to walk the dogs in the snow and just not rush off to drive as soon as I get home.  Right now it looks gorgeous out!

Tomorrow we’re trialing again for 3rd legs.  Letty in Advanced Rally.  Vada in Excellent Rally and Open A.  I’d love to finish all 3 titles!  If not, there is another show we can enter in April.  That is our backup to take some pressure off.  Not sure if I want to do RAE with Vada.  I might but just enter shows when I have the weekend “free”.

There is a UKC agility trial in Milwaukee next month.  Vada just needs 6 points in AGI to finish her UKC Agility Champion title.  It’s tempting to take a half day that Friday to drive out.  Show first thing Saturday morning and then head home if we get it.  If we don’t, we could stay another night and do DOS entries on Sunday.  Otherwise there is Fort Dodge in August or Minneapolis in September.  It’d be nice to finish it though and not worry about it any more.  I think there was a conflict last September and I worry about that again this year.  And I worry about her breaking.  😦  But I’m not sure how keen I am on that 12 hour drive – round trip.  The Motel 6 is pretty nice and it’s cheap so that helps.  We’ll see.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes and how the CPE trial goes.  Vada still needs just 1 more Jumpers Q to finish her CATCH.  I moved her back to Level 5 and gave up all her Level C Qs.  She can’t even get a Level 5 Q in Jumpers with 1 bar allowed.  How is she going to get 20 totally clean runs to finish the CATE?  Seven is still in Level C though.  And maybe Letty will be the 1st CATE Dutch Shepherd.  Vada has to leave some first for her.  🙂

Fringe turned 8 years old on March 1st!

I finally got Copper’s collage from Great Dane Photos.  Now I just need to find a nice frame for it.

Copper Collage

Photo by Great Dane Photos

I also got my Christmas gift from Mom.  It’s a beautiful plaque that her neighbor hand painted of Copper – puppy Copper and old dog Copper.  🙂


Hand painted plaque of Copper

Mom also refinished a leather couch for us.  We LOVE it!


New leather couch

Looking forward to spring and warmer weather and getting outside a lot more!  Time to get me and the dogs back in shape!

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