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Archive for June, 2013

Most of June

Tracy was here for 4 days at the beginning of June.  I had a working spot on the 1st day.  Letty did really well and I worked on my new moves.  I have embraced the changes and it’s kind of fun to do new stuff.  I feel like I am being more successful and we have less bars since Vada is getting information earlier.  And with learning new moves I may be learning them with better timing vs the skills I learned back in the day.  I’ve been able to work on them in Nancy’s class too.  In the last class I had both girls running and there were only 2 other dogs in class so we got to spend a bit of time on things.  I really got to understand some of the moves and how Vada needs information vs how Letty needs information.  Pretty amazing!  More complicated but good and it helps me be flexible.  Karl and Fringe worked on Saturday.  I audited Friday (Vada came to hang out) and Saturday.  Sunday I went to training in Woodbury with the girls.

That Thursday we also went to my nephew, Tobie’s, graduation at the Civic Center in Minneapolis.  Pretty fancy!  He’s going off to college in AZ in the fall.

Saturday we decided not to go to Joyful Noise.  Tracy was doing a weaving lecture that night and it was looking like rain and the dogs had been home in their crates all day.

Letty turned 3 on the 12th.  It’s going too fast!  I feel like our training should be further along.  But she’s matured very nicely and we’ve become a pretty good team.

Prozac turned 12 on the 16th.  She’s still doing great for her age.

Narc turned 10 on the 19th.  He’s doing really well too.  More double digits though.  Although he does NOT act like it.

On the 13th I drove to OH for the Mario IPO seminar.  It was really good.  There were some dicey moments as it seems that Mario uses more compulsion than many there did even though it’s much less than most IPO folks use.  I had a working spot so I was a little bit unsure but it ended up being fine.  Friday was obedience.  We started with a half day of lecture then each working dog worked once.  Letty’s obedience session was terrible.  She would not engage with me.  I’m not sure if she was not feeling well or if she was feeding off my stress.  She crashed out that night on the first day of the seminar.  She was also crated in a room with some difficult barking, crate guarding dogs.  She refused to go back in there after her session.  We moved her and Vada to another room for the next day.  Then another on the 3rd day as another dog was crate guarding when we walked into that room.  It was way too hot for them to be outside.  And more hot and humid than we were used to.  The 2nd day was tracking.  We worked first and then lectured in the afternoon.  We tracked at a cow farm.  I made some changes that Mario suggested and laid a track with 6 corners since I wanted to work on corners.  Letty did awesome even with Mario handling the line.  I lost the track at one spot though so that was embarrassing but Letty found it and went on.  Sunday we did protection.  Lecture in the morning and then everyone worked twice.  I was really happy with how well Letty did.  Mario is brilliant and has a very detailed training plan and reads dogs really well.  He really puts a super strong emphasis on foundation.  It was good to see Shade, Chad, Sara and Kristin again.  Different group this time with a different feel.  But we all learned a lot.  I would definitely go again and audit.  I audited Monday and Tuesday which were just working dogs and no formal lecture.  I didn’t go with to lunches and only stayed later 1 night so I didn’t get to hear a lot of the outside the seminar information.  But it took me a few days to feel rested and I didn’t want my dogs in their crates the whole time.  I guess that means I am getting old.  I have lots of training notes to type up.

Had dinner at Texas Roadhouse with Glenda and Laurie last night.  AWESOME FOOD!  And good company too.  It was nice to get caught up with them again.

Thursday night we had a storm that downed some of our trees and ripped some siding off the top of the house.  2 of the trees were giant willow trees out by the road.  They took down the sheep pasture fence too.  So Karl and I spent Saturday and Sunday out in the hot sun cutting up branches and hauling them out of the line of the fence so we could replace the fencing with new stuff.  We still have lots of clean up to do but that was the most important.  The sheep were not happy to be kept in the barn.  We got storms other nights too but not as bad as Thursday.

Starting to get excited about going to the AKC Invitational with Vada in December!  Shade is at Posidog the weekend before so I might go there on my way to FL.  It only adds 3 hours of driving on to the trip.

Trying to do weave boot camp with the 4 dogs.  I was doing really well before I went to OH.  I need to get back on track.  It was helping and they were making good progress on hitting entries.  I need to get them to 6 poles so we can work on distractions.  Need to refresh Narc on 12 since he’ll be doing 12s at the USDAA trial this weekend.

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Wow, here is it June already.  Not sure how that happened.  And June is jam packed full of fun stuff.

So, let’s see what we were up to in May…

Vada started agility classes on Thursdays with Nancy.  I love Nancy as an instructor.  The class is only an Advanced level.  But so is Letty’s and we do advanced stuff.  Vada’s class has dogs that have motivation issues and weave issues and contact issues.  So we seem to do mostly easy straight line courses.  Seems to be every other class.  So I’m on the fence about staying in it.  It is labeled as a lower level class and I knew that.  Nancy will be a great help to those in her class that need the help.  But it just seems too simple for us since we need help with turns and my timing on turns.  Plus, being gone 3 nights in a row during the summer feels like too much.  I need to get out tracking more often.  And work more dogs at home more often.  We still have a few classes left so I will see how things progress.  Maybe by fall it’ll have a higher level of students in it.

Took Letty out to train with MVSV one day.  They had Chris come out to do helper work as their trial was the following weekend.  I have not worked Letty on anyone other than Warren for the last year (except Chad once on obedience for bites) since our OH trip.  I was a little bit nervous about training on a different helper and training without collar corrections.  But it was a good experience for me and Letty.  I gave the helper clear instruction on what to do if she was dirty in the blind.  He worked great with us and even gave me some good suggestions on how to mix things up for Letty so she’s not anticipating being sent to the helper.  Doing obedience at a new place was good for her too.  We really need to work on duration heeling and her down stay.  But lots of good stuff!  She even did 2 blinds and come to a front in between.

I went to watch their trial the next weekend.  Low entries but everyone did really well.  It was fun to see them have success on the issues they were working hard on in training.

Letty, Vada and Prozac got to run in another AKC lure coursing test.  It was Letty’s first time.  I let her watch them test out the lure and she started getting really excited.  I knew at that point that she would have no problem.  She did great.  She even lost the lure on a corner and hunted for it til she found it again and finished chasing it.  I did have trouble catching her at the end though.  And she freaked when the lady bear hugged her waist to blot her bottom to make sure she wasn’t in season.  So, things to work on there too.  Vada ran really well.  She seemed stronger in her rear since we’ve been doing her exercises.  Pro ran great too as always.  They all had a blast!

Vada’s nose swelled up again on the right side.  I took her in to see Dr Jina.  She tried to look up her nose to see if there was anything in there but couldn’t go up there since it was so swollen.  We did xrays and didn’t find anything.  So we attacked the problem with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines for 10 days.  So far so good!  She is back to occasionally rubbing her nose again though.  Might be time to go see an allergy specialist soon.

She saw Dr Julia last night for her first 6 week checkup.  She needed some adjustments in her back but other than that she’s doing great and passed her tests so we get to go out to 8 weeks for our next appointment.  🙂

I’ve also decided to try jumping her at 20″ again in CPE.  She’s jumping great but it feels like it’s time to give her body a break – as long as it doesn’t change her jumping style to cause more problems.  I’m not sure about moving her down in AKC yet.  I have to look up the rules to see if she can still go to the Invitational since she has Regular points.

We were able to get together with Mom for Mother’s Day that Saturday since the IPO trial was so small.  It was me, Karl, Des, Mom and her brother Bruce.  We went to Mansetti’s in Ham Lake.  We had a great time.  I’m glad that it worked out this year.  Sunday was an AKC agility trial at TCO.  The girls ran really well.  No Qs but lots about their runs that I was happy about.  Vada was 1 top bar of the triple from Qing in Standard.  Tough courses I thought.  I stayed afterwards to help clean up to earn volunteer hours for the club since Vada is up for end of year awards with her AKC CDX.  It was a lot of work!

We finally were able to start IPO training outside on Wednesdays.  It’s nice to be able to go on a weekly basis.  Letty is doing awesome!  We keep polishing and finding little holes to work on.  Warren is working with me so well and Letty’s close to being ready for her IPO1.  I think that protection is our strongest phase right now.

The mondioring championship was held in Cambridge this year at the Isanti County Fairgrounds.  Josh was here doing decoy work so it was fun to see him.  Got to watch some good dogs and be reminded of how hard mondioring is.  I had to work on Sunday so I wasn’t able to get back up to see the MR1s which would have been good to see the trial procedures – and there was a Dutch Shepherd trialing by an old AMBOR member.  I went to dinner with everyone Saturday night though and that was fun.  And the girls got to go swimming in the awesome pond they have there.

Letty came into season on the 19th.  I was thinking she wasn’t due til the beginning of June but really the last time was Friday right after Thanksgiving so she is on track.  Unfortunately I had to pull her from 2 CPE trials but now she won’t be in season for our trip to OH next week.  I’m happy about that.  🙂  We are in week 3 thank goodness.  She bugs the other dogs and they get mad at her.  I know she can’t help it.  It’s a pain having everyone separated all the time too.  But we are almost done.  🙂

I have worked 4 out of the last 5 weekends!  I’m ready for a break from that.  But it did allow me to take a half day the Friday before Memorial Weekend.  So I could go see Fast & Furious 4, 5 and 6 in a row on Thursday.  The marathon started at 5:15pm so I went there right from work.  What a great way to see the release of 6!  Karl and I went to go see it on Sunday too.  My 2nd time.  I would love to go again.  It was awesome.  They do have it at the drive in.  That would be a super fun place to see it.  Not sure that we have any weekends where we can go that it will be playing though.

Saturday of Memorial Weekend we went to Bill and Cathy’s wedding down by Winona.  They had a lot of personalized features to their wedding which was great to see.  Bill’s tie had music notes on it.  He sang to her “Marry Me” as she walked down the aisle.  Friday sang and played instruments.  On the way out they played “Celebrate Good Times” and everyone was wearing sun glasses.  The guys sun glasses were guitars and had necks sticking up.  We went to the reception but weren’t able to stay super long since we had to get home to let the dogs out.  It was a good trip.

Sunday and Monday I went to a CPE trial in St Cloud.  Narc was the star with earning his last Level 3 Standard Q and his first Level 4 Standard Q.  Never would have thought he’d be moving up to the higher levels.  So proud of him.  He had to weave 12 poles too.  And call off some nasty tunnel traps.  Seven picked up a few more level C Qs.  Vada earned more Level 5 Qs.  However, we had 2 bars in Jumpers.  Again.  😦  Monday we were done by 2:30pm and they offered 5 runs.  Pretty nice!  I think that all the dogs are about 1/3 qualified for the 2014 Nationals now.

Friday I had Vada entered in PVP team at a USDAA trial.  Karl and Fringe were on a DAM team too.  We had 4 PVP teams and only 1 Qd since they were so much better than everyone else.  And I had a great partner.  However I did not get many points in Gamblers or Snooker and I Ed in Jumpers.  But I had a nice teammate.  So, I have given up my quest for getting the girls qualified for Nationals in October.  I’m bummed since it was in TN and it’s pretty there and it’s near Christie.  But, honestly, *I* am not Nationals material.  I hardly can even Q at trials.  Not sure what I was thinking except that it would be a fun experience.  And a neat memory to have with Vada since she’s getting older and her performance days are numbered.  And it would probably be too much for Letty to go.  So, for local trials I will just go back to entering the non-tournament classes and work towards earning Performance titles with Vada.

Saturday I went tracking with the girls at Melissa’s house.  Nice tall wild grass.  I wanted to get an idea of where Vada is at as I’d like to get her certified for her AKC TD and I wanted Letty to track on non-sports field grass and smell critter smells.  For Vada I did a U track.  100 paces for each leg.  No food til about 150 and then 10 paces with food only.  2 articles on the last leg – a mitten and a headband.  She had trouble on the first leg.  I laid it just before Nicole’s puppy track and didn’t notice.  Vada took a sharp right and started eating the bait still on the track – it had been run already.  So I called her back and reset her on the other side of that track.  She was uncertain and cast a bit but settled in and nailed the first corner and the whole rest of the track.  Letty’s track was a giant serp that went all over and then made a hard right turn to a long straight leg.  Lots of food down but not in every step.  Some had 10 paces of no food.  She nailed the corner and most of the track.  Only a few head checks that I let her work out.  I was very happy with both of them.

Sunday I got up super early and drove down to Rochester for a CPE trial at Soccer World.  I love that facility.  The dogs can really dig in to the rubber pellets.  I was really happy with how well the dogs ran for the most part.  None of the dogs Qd in the last 2 classes which was a bummer.  Vada was 3/3 and then 0/2 the last 2 classes.  Her Colors run was super nice though – we just had an off course.  And the last class was Jumpers so we had to have 2 bars down.  Actually I pulled her off a jump too and didn’t bother redoing it since she got an off course as I did not try to save it.  Still bummed about it.  Stupid handling.  Plus, we waited on the line forever for them to get workers out there.  I think that contributed but I should not have gone out so early either.  I just figured the judge was ready so let’s go.  Seven left the aframe in standard – turned around and went back down – because he smelled something 20 feet away on the floor.  Terrier!  He refused to weave the first set of 6 and I let him go on and he did them the 2nd time thru just fine.  He picked up a Q in Snooker even though I called him out of the last tunnel on 7.  But in Wildcard he was not weaving correctly.  He was entering and had speed and drive but was popping.  So I carried him off.  Wrong decision!  In Colors he was totally avoiding the weaves.  In Jumpers I mishandled a tunnel exit and he dropped a bar but I didn’t care either since I was still bummed about Vada.  Narc ran Standard really well.  He didn’t Q as he had an off course tunnel and another off course jump but due to my handling.  He did a threadle and he pulled off a pinwheel cuz I turned too early.  He was really paying attention to my handling.  He Qd in Snooker but we ran out of time during 7 (3 tunnels) as there were tight turns to tunnels earlier that I didn’t cue soon enough.  He tried really hard in Wildcard and I think we Qd.  In Colors he dropped the first bar.  Then in Jumpers he didn’t turn off the start line and took a jump and then tunnel off course!  LOL  The rest was nice.  So they all ran really well and I was proud of them.  Sad about another failed CATCH Jumpers run.  I think that was the 5th or 6th.  Our last Jumpers Q was at the end of November.  It’ll come eventually.  And I guess I’m building character in the mean time?

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