Friday, October 29, 2010

When A Problem Is Suddenly Not A Problem It's Still A Problem

And I hate, Hate, HATE not understanding problems. I'm totally fine having them if I understand them. At least understanding enough to have some sort of plan to fix them. I don't even care how long it takes to fix (...I'm looking at you, Kate...) as long as I can feel like I'm on at least, sorta, kinda, maybe on the right road.

Enter Bella and her I-can't-do-weaves-at-trials crap. So, last time I brought this up I got some good advice on how to work on a problem at home that only occurs at trials. Put more pressure on her, weave into corners, weave into a bent tunnel, etc. This we did. This helped. Her weaves at trials have never gotten to the weaving like I'm not at a trial stage, but definitely improvement.

Two weekends ago, fell apart again. Just seriously like she does. not. want.

So last weekend we had 2 Standard runs each day. Was thinking would be crappy weekend with my non-weaving dog.

First, prior weekend = caca.

Second, weather unreal. Like “Auntie Em, Auntie Em, it’s twister-type!” weather.

If you are a spectacle wearer like myself, your weekend would have looked a lot like this:

Third, because of the weather I setup inside. I never setup inside. Too loud, too busy, and too much traffic directly in front of expens makes for cranky dogs (…Again, Kate, looking at you…)
So what happens? Great weekend! She frickin’ went and qualified in all 4 standards.

She was hella relaxed and having a ball!

Not too much Serious Face

Even in the poles
Damn her!

Now what do I do? Just hang out and wait for her to fall apart again? I don't know what her triggers are. It drives me nuts! One of my friends noticed that when I just say "weave," Bella turns and looks at me. ?? I have to pay attention to what I say outside of trials. It seems if I give her some other direction, she goes in, like go-weave or out-weave.

Or, even I just ask politely. Our last run of the weekend was Snooker. It was super late in the evening and I have a 2 hour drive home. The 7 was the weave poles. We had enough points to Q without doing the weaves so I decided to just ask her. If she didn't go in we'd just go to the table. So, out of a tunnel she comes, as I was front crossing I said, "you feel like doing the weaves?"

Bam, right in.

I do have to say I love that I can trust her on contact equipment. Now, I am not your hard-core agility person that wants a 1.5 second dogwalk or who expects her dogs to fly up to the down contact on the teeter and ride it down from there. I kind of just want them to do the equipment safely (not that speed is not safe...I'm not saying that so don't go there :-) )and how they are comfortable doing it. I am so not a shave seconds off anything person. I value more the fact that Bella thinks enough to not throw herself at the teeter when it's raining.

(Once again, Kate, your direction)

Must think on slickies

All trial photos by Dave Mills -



This dog is currently listed on the Nor Cal BC Rescue site as a courtesy listing. Owner re-homing.

If I lived alone I would go get her.

Bella 2.0

Actually, I would probably call her Ditto.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Kate: Agility Dog

We have been trialing fools again. Will be out the door shortly for another this weekend.

Little Miss Kate has been doing great! Two weekends ago (has it been that long since I posted?!) I ran only her and did 5 runs per day. All Q’s, although not all pretty ones. Her first run of the day was Jacklers. I set her up at the line and lead out 20 feet or so. When I turned around to release her she wasn’t there! Of course my first thought was that she high-tailed it back to the ex-pen as we were setup pretty close to this ring. Nope! Not Scared Kate, Social Kate. She was in the corner of the ring visiting the pole setter! All up in her lap, little ass wagging, trying to get the pole setter to interact. This is so un-Kate like and so funny. I didn’t re-set her, just started running from there. I had planned, based on her first trial, to do 10 obstacles in our opening. She ended up with 15 and did the gamble like a pro.

Iz Miz Social now. Planning party for next weekendz!

Last weekend I only did 2 runs per day with her. Again all Q’s. Again, not all pretty ones. She was clearly a little stressed on Sat. Probably because this is not a trial site we are at often. Was much better on Sunday.
More running, less WTF.

Bella, however, is back to the I-don’t-want-to-do-weave poles thing again. All classed sans poles are great. We had a fantabulous 51 point Snooker run last weekend that was one of those runs that just feels perfect. All smooth, all fast, not even a hint of a bobble. My 86% Q rate dog is now down to a 40% Q rate in Standard because of our weave woes. Although, as before, great everywhere except trials. Booo.

When we get to the weave portion of the course I get this…

All the other portions, this…

Seriously Bella? I guess I’ll she how she does this weekend and try to assemble some sort of plan. We do have a UKI trial coming up pretty close to home. Maybe we’ll go run that Since you can run with a toy.

Frisbees make everything better

Also, the Department of Psychology at Columbia University is conducting a study about communication between humans and dogs. There is an in-person study if you are in the Westport, CT area.
There is also an online one that can be found here:
It says it takes about 30 minutes, but it didn’t take me nearly that long. They are looking for all people to participate, not just serious dog folk or trainers, etc.

You don’t even have to have a dog!

Friday, October 8, 2010

This >< Close To Plucking

Bella and her ever increasing crop of gray hairs.

I keep telling her to knock it off. She keeps blatantly disregarding my wishes. OK, I know no one is getting any younger. I know it’s not like she 15 or something. I’m just not ready for the visual reminder.

This is not her color. Not part of her ticking. She has old man tufts now! WTF?!
Plus, she has this one new one right on her eyelash line that’s driving me crazy.

Remember the Mole in Austin Powers?


“Nice to mole you--meet you! Nice to meet your mole! Don't say mole!... I said mole.”

That’s exactly how I am with this one damn hair. See it? Her little gray eyelash?

I totally would have plucked it by now if I had normal tweezers. I only have the super pointy actually used in electronics manufacturing (ahem) tweezers. One wrong move and I have to explain to my vet that Bella’s eye is deflated because I was bother by a hair. Maybe not.

Kate thinks Bella is going gray because I can’t just leave her the eff alone

She may have a point.

“Dear Lord, make the crazy lady put the camera down, stop taking about hair and go the hell to sleep”

“’Cause that’s what I’m doing”

“Here I go”

“And……night night”

Fine. Sleep then. Bitches.

^^^ You can tell “winter” is coming. The I’m Chilly Nose Tuck is back!