Monday, May 30, 2011

Key Lime Pie, Sad Lens And Why A “Rescue Dog”

See what happens when you get busy with things that hamper ones camera toting? I end up with a mish mash of things I keep meaning to post about and it just never seems to happen all on its own.

The Key Is In the Dessert
Three weekends ago we had a trial after a 7 week or so break. Bella’s weaves were horrible, but in a slightly different way than her normal horrible. Wasn’t acting like she didn’t want to do them at all. She just wanted to do four. Bam, Bam, Bam and out. Entries great, speed great, just not feeling like finishing them. Didn’t do a single set right the first time until the last class of the trial. That happened to be Jacklers. I asked for 2 sets back to back and she did them great.

Oh, now you remember how to weave?

Now that the car is packed and we are ready to skedaddle?

So, the next weekend, another trial. You know what I’m thinking.

I decide to go a different route.

Here is where I separate myself from the real agility people.

Real agility people might go the training route…or…change up their pre-run zen shit…or see a chiropractor…or give their dog some bach flower junk…

Me? I bribe her with Key Lime Pie.

Go ahead. Laugh. That shit worked like a charm!

Day before the trial I was eating a piece and Bella was being the horribly un-mannered dog she is begging and drooling like a fool. I made her a deal. You weave this weekend and you can have some pie. You weave well like you do outside of a trial. All sets and all poles in each set. And, if I give you this now you have to do it because to do otherwise would make you a liar and you know how I feel about liars.

Was a weaving fooling!! It’s magic, I tell ya!

They should sell Key Lime Pie at Clean Run instead of all those training vids.

Mmmmm. Pie!

Booboo Lens

My big lens. The happy fast dog pic taking lens has, as the love to say in New England, Shit The Bed.
Thank you for your concern, Kate.

Why is it never the little cheapo lens? Never the one that’s a few hundred bucks. Always has to be the 4 digit jobbies that go, right? Sigh. The Silent Wave motor not so silent anymore. Sounds like this…


Well, that coupled with a complete lack of ability to actually focus on anything.

Such a bummer! :(

“Rescue dog” as an excuse for off behavior

Of course there are always dogs at trials that have various issues. Maybe a little scared, a little reactive on leash, etc. Most people, being that they are involved enough with their dogs to get to the point of trialing, handle these issues well. And other people are happy to help. That help maybe feeding a dog scared of new people or giving a dog extra room, whatever.

Will smile for cookies
The thing that gets me – and, BTW, this is not just an agility people thing, I hear it all the time, just my example is from a recent trial – is why people have to say their dog is a rescue if it has issues. There is a woman who has a dog that’s nervous around people she doesn’t know. We were waiting to run, she was explaining this to someone. Politely asking for a bit of room. No biggie. On her way into the ring she turns and looks over her shoulder and says, while shrugging, “she’s a rescue.” The woman that was right behind her, who has a dog who is reactive to other dogs and happens to be a papered dog from a breeder that she’s had since he was a puppy says, “well, what’s my excuse?”

This is not a bought vs adopted thing. I just wonder why people bring it up like it means something. I know plenty of bought dogs who have had what many would consider “correct” upbringings who are a fricking mess. Plenty of dogs who have gone through hell and are stable companions. Point being, I don’t know that where you got your dog has a lot to do with it. It certainly has nothing to do with helping your dog past whatever “it” is.

Do you think people say that because they don’t want anyone to think that they are the ones that failed the dog? Is there a tinge of righteousness there? Like, “this dog is broke, but I stuck with her anyway.” It just seems like a weird thing to add to the conversation. My concern is that people get stuck in that train of thought and that gets their dogs stuck, too. Like, people who complain about Gamblers saying their dog doesn’t work at a distance. Well, if that’s your attitude, then, yes, your dog will not work at a distance. Not because it can’t but because you gave up on it. And because you gave up on that idea, you are not training for it.

I’m a weirdo just ‘cause

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Maybe A Little Too Relaxed

I love pics of my dogs. Kinda obvious, I guess.

I particularly love when other people take them. Different perpective. I love to watch Bella not looking at me (or the cam). It doesn't happen too often. This is one of the reasons I crate my dogs in the car. Too distracting for me for her to be loose because I love watching her watch the world go by in the rear view.

Not the best idea.

Safety first.

Got a few pics from our trial last weekend. Sooooo not the best weekend ever as our weave woes have returned once again. Slightly different this time, but end result is the same. Damn weird dog.

Anywho, the thing that struck me about the pics is how relaxed she looks. Like, if you just look at her face she could totally just be sitting on the couch watching TV.

This look is the look of a dog who is planning a very short Snooker run.
This look is the look of a dog who is ending that very short Snooker run by back-jumping a red.
She looks pretty content wasting 11 of my hard earned dollars, yeah?

Little shit.

Again with the ho-hum expression, but bunched legs of a dog who is moving. I love how she only has one foot planted.

When she lays like that, all bunched up, I get the urge to grab all her feet and throw her over my shoulder like a sack. I do grab her feet, but stop short of the shoulder business.

My back couldn't take that. :)

This one is my fav. First off, it's Belly being a good girl as I am way off to the right in the pic and she is actually listening and turning away from to hit the tunnel under the Aframe. All dogs have their strengths and weaknesses. Doing stuff at a distance is one of Bella's strengths. Maybe I should be offended that she is more willing to move away than to come in? Trying to tell me something?

I also love how she is high-fiving herself. HAHA.

Her back end is all...."way to go, front end!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What A Mouthful!

You may remember our spotty little friend, Luke, from previous posts. If you live in the Bay Area and do stuffs with your dog, you may even know him in person.

Luke (4)

Luke reached a huge milestone last weekend earning his Specialist C-ATE

(that’s 3000 Level C points for you non-CPE’ers)

He is now known as:


Even though I don’t know what half of that shit means we are super proud of our Lukie!

(and super thankful we aren’t required to call him by his full name!!)


We also heard a rumor that he is the only Dal breed champion with all those fore and aft letters. I don't think Bella knew she was being humped by canine royalty! This may change her mind, Luke. Cross your paws!

Big Congrats to a wonderful team!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Feeling A Little Better

I am going on a real-live, actual vacation in June. Like, the kind where you leave on a plane and don't take dogs with you.

Looking forward to it.

Not looking forward to boarding the girls for 9 days.

Nine days!

Two days is their longest boarding stint we've ever had.

In prep, they have a handful of daycare days between now and then to get them back in the swing of being there. I was a little worried about how Bella would do. Kate is kind of oblivious. Since she lives in a little 2 foot diameter bubble wrapped around her head, she doesn't seemed too bothered about being other places. Bella can get worried, though. She gets that from me.

They had a great time yesterday, though. Comfortably tired when we got home. Not that I'm-exhausted-because-I've-been-stressed-all-day kind of tired. Also, not in a big rush to leave when I went to pick them up. Another good low stress sign.

They spent the morning being polite guests, hanging back (together, of course...haha) and observing their old, but new again surroundings.

Little bookends.

Gradually moving their hanging out spots throughout the day

They even got busted lying down!

I wish they had cameras outside. I heard they spent a lot of time in the pool. Sounds about right. Plus, Kate's ass feathers we all askew like my post-bath photos a few weeks back, so I know she spent a good deal of the day wet. Perfect day for her.

This facility is great. They are on top of their shiz when it comes to handling and caring for the dogs. I mean, I wouldn't take my dogs there if I wasn't completely comfortable with them. My two have been going here since 2005. I know they'll be fine. But, damn...

Nine days!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Also Works As Recovery Time

Hunting games are also good for down time. Like, say, maybe you have a dog that is a bit of a dingbat and possibly doesn’t watch where she is going and tends to run into things and get owies?

I mean, I’m not naming names but…

You can pretend you are a Zookeeper and provide your wild beasts with enrichment games like

Find Your Dinner In The Backyard

You can sit back and watch them like you’re on safari

Although, I suppose wild animals don’t stop to check whether or not you are throwing anymore kibble

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Nose Knows

Started taking Nose Work classes with Bella a few months back. So fun! I am fascinated by their scenting abilities. Have thought about tracking in the past, but that sport is such a time suck. I love what they are doing, but the act of doing it doesn’t appeal to me much. Finding a place, track laying, track aging…ugh. Just a simple practice blows 3 hours. Not to mention the copious amounts of ticks and snakes and cow patties.

Enter Nose work. Ta-da! You can practice in the comfort of your own home. Even taking it on the road is a piece of cake.

A small tin or two, like so
Or so
…and a couple of q-tip’s. Heck, not even a full q-tip, just the little fuzzy bit.

You can’t fit agility in your pocket!

The dogs just love it. Probably because the amount of cheese involved.

Got it!

Cheese, please!

Right here!

Bella is an enthusiastic nose toucher

Maybe more of a nose crammer

Maybe just because nose work is delicious!

Maybe because she has the weirdest bendy aardvark nose. Do your dogs do this? Kate does not. It’s like Bella doesn’t want to be rude and turn away when she smells something so she just bends her nose over there.