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Archive for June, 2014

2014 CPE Nationals

The 2014 CPE Nationals have come and gone. It’s nice to have them in MN but it is sooo much work. I do not feel like I ran my dogs to the best of my abilities this weekend. We had mixed results but ended with 5 Qs out of 9 runs for each of the girls.

Thursday I got to the fairgrounds early and tracked with Letty. I laid a pretty long serp track with buried food. She tracked beautifully but did not eat any of the food. I think I need to use bigger pieces of food. At least in new places for now. Then I met Denise to unload the MMBC trailer with tents and tables and stuff for the trial. I was able to setup my stall with my dogs crates. Then we went up to Hooley Hall and I helped Karl unload his first load of food and drinks from Cub Foods. Then we got things setup for Friday morning. Karl asked someone camping there to plug in the coffee pots at 6am so people would have coffee by 6:30am. That worked out great. Then I went and did another track with Letty. I did an article track with food. I made it too hard and it was not pretty. Plus, I realized later, that the ground had been driven over quite a bit by last weekend’s USDAA trial. So we will do another tonight or tomorrow night. Then Karl and I stopped at the Dollar Tree to get stall decoration stuff. After we got home, about 8pm, I had to dial in to work for 2 hours to update some reports. Then I started making my stall decoration poster. It turned out great. Not a winner but it showed my dogs. I put all 4 on there since they all 4 qualified for Nationals. I just chose to only enter Vada and Letty. But Narc and Seven got to come along and hang out on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t have much time to walk them but I got them out a time or two. It’s either be crated at home or in the stall there so at least they got out of the house and got to go for a ride. I’m sure they would have rather been running though. So it was almost midnight til I got to bed.

Friday morning we got up at 4:30am in order for me to get on the road by 5:30am and get to the show site by 6:30am for check in and the briefing. Karl got my dogs fed so I could get on my way. Then he was able to stay at home a bit longer and get some things done and get the dogs out one more time and stop at Cub for more stuff on his way to the fairgrounds. I could get to the fairgrounds and check on the coffee and see if any more food needed to be put out. It got pretty hot out that day. I was worried that Letty would get too hot but she did not and she ran really well. Vada ran well too. Vada went 3/3. Letty was 1/3 I think.

Friday they did a picture of all dogs there that were double digits. I got there a few minutes before the stated time and they were just releasing everyone from the group. Grrrr! So I took my own double digits pics. It also took the wind out of my sails for the Minnesota competitor pic on Saturday and I did not wait around for it.

Sather Double Digit Pics

Sather Double Digit Pics

On Friday Karl was able to video a few of our runs.

Saturday was another early morning. But what a change in weather! All day Saturday was cold and rainy and wet and MUDDY! The dogs ran GREAT! I, however, did not. In Jackpot while I was running Letty the buzzer did not go off to indicate that I should start the gamble. And we were the last dog to run in our rotation. So we started over again. When I stepped out to try to send her to the 2nd tunnel in the gamble my foot slipped in the mud and I fell into the puddle. It was not there when I had run Vada! This was the first rotation of the day too. Then in Standard when I went to do a front cross with Vada I, again, fell. After that I ran tentative. So no Q for us. 😦 After that I changed shoes to one that had a little bit more tread. That seemed to be enough as I did not slip any more the rest of the day and I felt like I was able to run normally. I think Vada was 1/3 and Letty was 2/3. Saturday night they do a banquet but we do not go as we have dogs at home and it’s kind of expensive.

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Mud!

Stall with the boys

Stall with the boys

Sunday’s weather was perfect! Still lots of mud but it was drying as the day went on. The girls ran well. Just little mistakes kept us from Qing. But then on our last run – Snooker – they both had really nice runs and Qd! Great way to end the weekend!

Sunday weather

Sunday weather

Stall for only 2 dogs

Stall for only 2 dogs

Stall decorations and our rosettes

Stall decorations and our rosettes

Our breed poster

Our breed poster

The weather wasn’t ideal but everyone kept up great attitudes. Lots of hard work went into this event. It showed – things ran very smoothly. The best thing is that everyone was so appreciative of everyone else’s hard work.

Monday night obedience classes are finished until we start again for the winter. Next week I start a new obedience class with Letty on Tuesdays. It’s a Ring Confidence class. Great idea and I was hoping they’d do it again over the winter. Then I read the description and many of the skills that we will be working on will apply to IPO trialing and preparing Letty for her BH. So, I signed up. They had so many people sign up that they ended up making it into 2 classes that night! It’s a great idea. And great that so many people who are training positively are thinking about (or are) trialing. And it’s great that we are not preparing our dogs for these things instead of throwing them in the ring with us being nervous and then getting mad at them for not performing like they do at home or in class. Training has definitely advanced since I started a million years ago!

June 1st I started taking an online tracking class with Shade. I love it! It’s really pushing me to work on tracking every day. And we’re finding foundation holes. It’s a 6 week course so we have 4 more weeks left.

Letty turned 4 years old yesterday! Time goes by way too fast. She sure is turning out to be a great dog that is teaching me a lot!

Happy 4th Birthday Letty!

Happy 4th Birthday Letty!

Yesterday I got an update on how Merlin/Lazlo is doing. He’s enjoying sitting in windows and he sleeps in bed with them. He’s getting along great with their dog. They play and the dog cleaned Lazlo. I am so happy for him. I was so sad that he was so restricted at our house and I was on the verge of letting him loose to see if he could be a porch cat. I’m so incredibly happy to see how things have turned out for him and how he has bonded with his new family.

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Longest Ever!

I think this is the longest I have ever gone between posts! Work has been super crazy, animals have been sick and then I got sick.

The first weekend in April we drove down to Cannon Falls to play CPE in the dirt on Saturday. All 4 dogs ran. Vada ran FullHouse and then came up lame. Seven crashed a jump in that same run (same jump too) and did a tunnel and then started limping and sat down and held his paw up. So dramatic! He was fine after I carried him out of the ring and coddled him a bit. Coddled his ego! So I had to pull Vada from the rest of her runs. 😦 Saturday the girls ran in an AKC trial at OTR. I hyper monitored Vada for any signs of lameness. She stayed sound and even earned an AXJ leg to finish her title! Now she’s in Masters for both classes! Letty also picked up an Excellent JWW leg. Tuesday we go in to see Dr Julia and she thought Vada strained her left tricep. She did needle work on her. Vada did not like it. Poor girl. I gave her about a month off from trialing and classes too.

Logan had been throwing up a lot. We finally got him settled down. Did a fecal and no worms. Tested thyroid and it was good. Then did a dental. So far he has been good. So maybe his dirty teeth were causing digestive issues? Karl also has been adding water to their food.

We had a stray cat show up on our porch who was very sick. We had him treated for URI, ear mites and worms. We’ve had to treat him 3 times for the URI. Hopefully this time kicks it for good. We also just had him neutered and his rear leg xrayed since he limps. Turns out it is dislocated and it’s an old injury. My sister’s coworker and his fiance recently lost one of their dogs and were thinking about adding a cat to the family. So my sister told them about Merlin. They came out to meet him a week ago and took him home. On last report all was going well and their dog was getting along with him. They now call him Lazlo.

I tried my 4 out on barn hunt. None of them had any interest in the rat. Oh well – don’t really need another sport anyways. I could train it but I don’t care enough to.

I did a UKC agility trial at TCOTC with Letty to pickup some more points towards her UACH. My notes say we have 34 points but I think that was before the show. I think we are over 50. We only entered on Saturday. And I entered Vada in rally. She picked up some more legs towards her Grand Champion rally title. I think 2 of the needed 15. I think she placed on all of her runs. I almost entered Letty since she only needs 1 more RO3 leg and I’m very glad that I didn’t since it was a tough environment for a lot of dogs. Tails Up is busy but the atmosphere is different and better.

After Vada was feeling better Letty decided to get sick. I got her in to see Dr Jina but it took a lot of work since they are so stinking busy. It’s so hard to get in same day now. She was worried about pyo so we did xrays. I knew this day would come but I had not thought so soon and I had not prepared Letty for all the handling involved. Dr Jina was great about letting me be back with her and put her on the table. No pyo. Thank goodness. So we did bloodwork and her white count was low – same as Vada’s had been. So we put her on a round of antibiotics. She had just been on a round of doxy since she tested positive for lymes on her annual check. But this round did the trick and she’s been feeling good.

Vada started leaking urine. Well, more like gushing. So we put her on Proin. Then she started drinking a lot of water and having to pee every few hours or have an accident. We tested her thyroid but it was fine. Dr Jina was stumped outside of starting tests for weird things. I mentioned it to Dr Julia and she immediately said to cut her Proin dose in half. It was still within the dosage range I found on the internet and I figured the worst that would happen is that she would start leaking again. That fixed her problems! And it’s still enough to keep her from leaking.

The last weekend of April was a USDAA trial at OTR. I had pulled Vada. Letty finished her P2 Jumper title! And she won Performance Grand Prix again. Hopefully the Standard Qs start coming soon. She earned her first P2 Pairs Q. We were paired with a husky. I forgot that they freak her out til right before we went into the ring. It was just a little embarrassing but we still Qd. Narc and one of Mary’s dogs Qd in P1 Pairs with a great run.

I decided to do a Gold/working spot (my first ever) for Shade’s 6 week online IPO Heeling class. It was a bit of an adjustment to think about setting up the camera and filming but I adjusted and we got some great feedback and found some holes and made progress on our heeling.

That Monday I drove up to Duluth for the last day of a Denise Fenzi seminar. It was fun! I stopped at a ball field in Duluth on the way home to do some heeling in the snow and rain. And I worked her in the seminar building over lunch.

We are done with agility classes for the summer! In a few weeks we will be done with obedience classes too. Time to start doing a lot more tracking. 🙂 Yesterday started a 6 week online IPO Tracking Skillbuilding course with Shade. I have a Gold spot so we’ve been tracking more and recording our tracking session. Great progress so far and plans towards progression. I feel like tracking is finally really sinking in for me. Now I’m anxious to move Letty along and see how far she can go.

I had entered my first Friday AKC trial but had to miss it because I was so sick. Like violently ill. Letty has 2 Excellent JWW legs. So now I want to push for finish the title and get 1 Q in Masters so she’s qualified for the Invitational. But we only have til the end of June to get those 2 Qs.

Vada had a check up with Dr Julia and she looked good. Needs better muscle tone and we went back to tapping her gluts but overall she’s looking good. We have a recheck next week. It’ll be good timing too since it’s have CPE Nationals – 3 days and 9 classes in outdoor rings.

My family got together for Mother’s Day. It was a great time as usual although I was still not feeling the best since I was so sick the day before. But I’m glad I got to hang out with them for a bit. Karl got lots of leftovers since I didn’t have much appetite. He was down in Red Wing for the day having lunch with his sisters and family.

Then we went to Fargo for a 3 day AKC trial. I drove up Wednesday after work since I had a free night Red Roof coupon to use by the end of June (I attempted to use it in December in Grove City but the desk screwed up and charged my credit card instead). I would have stayed there the other nights too but it was full and that was before I knew about the additional fee. It worked out well that it was booked! It was a nice hotel except for the 2nd dog $25 fee. The other nights I stayed at the Motel 6. The barn we trialed in was nice. They offered T2B, JWW and Standard for 4 days but no T2B on Sunday so we could all hit the road sooner. Letty Qd in T2B on Friday morning and that was it. Lots of oh so close runs though and she was running fast and confident. Lots of weave pole issues. Vada had 2 really nice oh so close runs too. She got to run on Saturday – just 2 runs. I’m just doing 2 runs with her until I knew she will stay sound and I don’t have to keep pulling her from runs and trials. The drives there and back were uneventful. And one of the nights I had some down time and got my Recallers 5.0 video submission done. And on Friday between runs I was able to lay Letty’s first tracks of the season. I did serp track with food in every step and then an article track with no food. We started the tracking season off well. By Sunday Letty and I were both toast! But we had a fun long weekend away. It was a much needed break from life. And I’m learning to put my Blackberry away for periods of time now. I ended up working 4 weekends in a row (my weekend in Fargo was also a patching weekend) and I’m so glad that my on call month is over now!

Things kept coming up on Wednesdays so I missed a bunch of classes in the new session so I’ve just given up on getting back to those classes. We’ll go back closer to winter when we can’t train outside any longer. It’s so nice out now that it’s a shame to be inside. We have 2 more Monday night classes left in this session and then we are done with those too.

Almost all of my TV shows are done for the season. 24 just started so that’ll go for awhile. And Believe has it’s season finale in 2 weeks. My brother told me about a show called Orphan Black so I watched it online. It’s very good.

2 weekends ago I did 1 day of CPE agility in St Cloud on Memorial weekend. The dogs ran well. Seven was 3/3, Letty 4/5 and Vada 2/3. Narc had fun but no Qs. Letty completed Level 5 in Jackpot. She’s getting closer to her CATCH! She still needs 6 Standard and 5 Colors though. Vada stayed sound after running the 3 runs outside. It was hot but the dogs still did well. It was nice to hang out outside in the tent for the day. The sun really kicked my butt though. I was exhausted the next day and grateful that I did not enter any more days. Instead I got to hang out at IPO training and relax. Karl and I went to see X-Men too.

Karl and I passed the 10 year anniversary of our first kiss! Time goes by so fast! So much has changed just so much has not. All in a good way.

Last weekend we did a 3 day AKC agility trial at OTR. Part of my quest for those last 2 JWW legs. The weekend went the same as Fargo. Letty Qd in T2B Friday morning and that was it. That was the last time she was successful on her weaves too. Saturday my handling was off. But, in talking to my instructor, Nancy, my eyes were opened to a few things – when Letty is stressed she focuses more on me (yea for countering her independence) so in training I need to get closer and closer to her – even touching her – so she has to focus super hard on ignoring me and doing her weaves. Also, Nancy commented that once there is a problem you have to discount the rest of the run because the problem taints the rest of the run. I watched video of Letty’s JWW run from Sunday. She was slower than the other days but running pretty well. We got to the weaves and she was skipping poles. I did not mark it or redo them or anything. I think I might have even praised her for weaving 4 correctly but the rest of her run she did not run as well. Much less confident. Very enlightening. Vada ran well but we had an oops in each run to not Q. After our runs on Sunday I was able to have Dr Whiting look at Vada and Letty. Vada for her allergies. She’s fine now but ragweed season will be coming and I thought it was good to get on it now. She though Vada was nicely in balance so we are not doing anything but tweaking her diet to be heavier on the cooling meats to hopefully postpone her scratching come ragweed season. As soon as she starts scratching again i will go see Dr Whiting and we’ll do herbs and/or acupuncture. I wasn’t sure how Letty would be with a stranger touching her and if she’d relax enough to be adjusted. She was not happy but she relaxed enough to be able to be adjusted! Her back was locked up and Dr Whiting got it to loosen up. I have a feeling that was contributing to her weaving issues. She weaved fine at the USDAA trial I thought. We had a great track on the way home (had a great one on Friday too). So the not great Q weekend ended up on a very good note. I was happy.

Next weekend is CPE Nationals!!! Lots of work to do for it.

I need to put more pictures in my blog posts again. They are more fun to look back on with pictures. 🙂

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