Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's A Vacation?

The company I work for is always shut down the week between Christmas and New Year's. We all look forward to it. There is something different about a forced shut down. In typical American fashion, most of us don't take like actual vacations. A day here and there, sure, but like a week or more at a time? Doesn't happen often. And even though we work for a very relaxed and understanding small company, there is still that weird feeling that someone will be irritated or angry if you take time off. No one actually does, but it's there. Plus, since the company is small, we all wear many hats. The thought of digging out of the pile of shit that will be left after returning from vacation makes taking one not worth the trouble.

Christmas week, though? Different story. No one can get irritated because no one is there! No one to leave extra work on. No one to screw up your stuff up in your absence. No one to steal your favorite pen.

So what do I get to do on this fabulous free week?

Jury duty.

I know! WTF?!

So far it hasn’t resulted in me having to actually do anything other than check back in after 5, check back in after 5, check back in after 5, but I feel like I’m being held hostage. Can’t make any sort of plans since I don’t know what day to day will bring. I may be called on to execute my civil duty and send some crack head to jail at any minute!

So, my grand vaca has so far consisted of lots of laundry and ball throwing.

I even managed to plan a dog trip that involved the sun. We have not seen much of our fiery friend of late.

Sunnies make for a happy Belly

Happy big-eyed Belly

Who even got warm enough to engage in the summer time cool down roll

She was like a spring chicken

And occasionally, a little like Kate

Not so surprising, Kate was like Kate, too


That is to say weird with a dash of annoying.

We also got to go to work on vacation.

You totally wish you were me right now, right?

Hey, it's the end of the year and shit needs counting.

It's a little hard to work with Kate, though. Smidge on the OCD side. This is what I get the whole time we're there

You may say, "just put the ball away."
Tried it.
She can stare at a drawer, too.
Note the little torn open packet? Yeah, that's the ibuprofin I lifted from the first aid cabinet.

So much for dogs lowering your blood pressure.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Damn It I Missed Bark

Kate has a little quirk known throughout the South Bay dog parks as the Damn It I Missed bark. Whenever she misses the ball, which happens to be a lot, she barks. It goes a little like this…

Ukiah from 2halves on Vimeo.

If she’s really excited, it’s more like this

Untitled from 2halves on Vimeo.

Now, this has never really been an issue. I mean, who cares, right? A little woof-woof never hurt anyone. However, about a year and a half ago we changed our exercise routine. When my office mate went on maternity leave my work schedule had to change. Gone was the in at 6 out at 3 sched. Since I refuse to do the dog park thing during peak hours, we changed to AM runs. 6:30 AM runs. And since our dog park runs right behind a residential neighborhood and people’s back yards are like right there, the barking had to stop. I just can’t be that dog owner.

I tried yelling at her for barking, praising her for being quiet, little time outs, treats, nothing worked. I ended up just managing it by running them individually as the barking tends to be Bella-inspired. This works, but it also means that they either get half the amount of exercise or we stay at the park twice as long. And, contrary to what the dogs may think, I actually do have other shit to do.

I decided to try walking her down. She barks, I just head right at her. Not fast, but no saunter, either. End up meeting her about half way. She sits in front of me looking confused as to why I am no longer in the throwing spot. I quietly explain that she needs to STFU and turn and walk away. Four times I did this. Barking stopped. She finally made the connection. Woots for Kate.
I would say she is quiet about 97% of the time now. When she does have a slip it looks like this…

Throw the ball

Eye on the ball

Overrun the ball

Damn-it-I-missed bark

Shit, did she hear that?

My bad

At least she seems to be getting it. :-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Miss Kate In Action

I can't tell you how fun(ny) I find these vids. Little Kate. The dog that would pee when you asked her to sit. The dog that hates doorways. The dog that runs into fences.

Just having a good old time. She's running like a puppy. Hey, she ain't trotting, so I'm good. And watch her tail. The damn thing never stops.

Kate STD Fri from 2halves on Vimeo.

When I go online to check records, Bella's are more about business. Where are we at? What does she need? What should we enter next. There may be a "oh, that was a fun one" thrown in, but more about the record keeping.

Kates? Ha! Everytime I scroll down to see tht she has a little growing list of Q's it makes me smile. My Kate has titles. I never thought that would happen. Of course I would have been totally fine if she had never started enjoying agility. Everyone needs a good Auxillary Dog.
It just tickles me. Totally puts a smile on my face.

Kate STD Sun from 2halves on Vimeo.

That a girl Kate Kate!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

She's So Handsome

No one ever mistakes Kate for a male.


All the time.

What's his name?

I guess she is a little tomboy-ish, yeah?

Would totally play softball if she were a person


Eh, that's OK.

I *heart* her manly ass anyway.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Even When You're Good You Still Get Tortured

Kate still continues to impress me with her newly found love of trialing. I ran her twice a day, all three days over Thanksgiving weekend and it was seriously the most fun I have had running her. It still sorta feels like I was running someone else’s dog. Like, “where did you come from?”

I fell outta the sky. Now throw my damn ball.

I was worried that our agility break would have a negative effect on her. I knew Bella would be fine. Thought maybe having 5 weeks without touching equipment may have set her back a tad. Not at all. She was kinda – “yay, this again!?!” – all weekend.

Leave me alone. I’m judging you for doubting me

The problems, as per usual, we all me based. I keep catching myself babysitting her. I don’t even mean while actually running. I do it while walking the course! I have to keep stopping and asking myself why I am doing X. I don’t do this out loud, mind you. I do have to keep telling myself that if something happens I’ll just fix it. No need to walk the damn fix!

It’s a wonder you get your shoes on in the morning

That whole Trust Your Dog thing is tough.

Trusting your handler sucks, too

I said it’s “tough,” Kate. I didn’t say it sucks.

Well, you should have

We certainly have stuff to work on. I decided to try one thing on each run and see how she did.

Sending to weaves – check
Fading weaves – check
Fading contact – check
Rear cross – fail
Obstacle discrimination – epic fail

The rear cross thing I get. We don’t do a lot of those. The obstacle discrimination? Whew, we need some work on that. Kate has decided she is a tunnel-sucker. Tunnel under contact? Damn it, we are doing that tunnel!
And again. And again. And again…

I also noticed that she is stressing a bit when I lead out. Her little ears go back and she sits there like she waiting to fail.
Kinda like when we're at home and I ….


Maybe I should put a cookie on her head at the startline?

I could stay like this alllll day!

This is so them.

Bella – say “free,” say “free,” say “free,” say “free,”

Kate – Holy mother of God, I’m going to die!
Cookies on my feet, cookies on my feet.
*happy place* *happy place*


Being one of my dogs kinda sucks sometimes.