Showmanship Judging & Fun Match-ing

I judged showmanship for the 4-H today. It was a lot harder than I'd expected. I would be a lot more comfortable judging kids that I didn't know, but I think it still went well. The beginner class was definitely the best beginner class I'd ever seen. They were all in control of their dogs, and had more than a basic understanding of showmanship. I was quite pleased. All of the classes were hard to place. I'm trying to think of general "work on" things for the kids, but I really am stumped. A few kids need work on their patterns (when to switch hands, correct pace for their individual dog, spacing between dogs, eye contact, confidence in their performance) but really, it went a lot better than I expected.

Buzz really had a test of his focus abilities. We were chosen to do sit and down stays with a bitch in heat. I was REALLY proud of him. She was in STANDING heat and it was just bad. She broke her stay and came to hump MY dog and he just looked at me. He also found a spot she had sat, shoved his nose in it... but then looked back UP. I was rewarding for maintaining eye contact with me and he got more than one treat for looking UP from that spot. GOOD BOY!

As expected... both of my dogs need work on the honor. They were sure I wanted them to offer behaviors if I was just standing around in close proximity to them. I anticipated that problem but wasn't paying close enough attention. I had to reset both dogs. Other than that though, they worked SO well! Good attention, no stress behaviors, I was super pleased!

Open... reminder to self: really work on teaching dogs that they NEED to return over the jump with the dumbell. I had to cue it as they were both going to go around the side (because my throw was bad). BUT--both of them heeled REALLY nicely. It was just beautiful (ok, well Buzz was wide on a few turns but otherwise it was SO nice). Good good dogs. Oh, yeah... Buzz's brain was gone but I wanted to try the broad jump, he did a nice contact behavior on one of the boards. AND he was talented enough to step on EACH board before returning to the middle board with a really nice 4 on behavior. I was laughing so hard.
-Buzz had a really nice front with the dumbell to go with his retrieve on flat but a non-existant front after the drop on recall as well as retrieve over high. I know we need work, but it's nice to see exactly where we need work.
-Bailey had a BEAUTIFUL broad jump, with a non-existant front... hah. I hadn't practiced putting it all together very much when we were working the broad jump a few weeks ago... and we haven't worked it in a few weeks.

Overall, it was a nice relaxing day. The dogs both worked really well. We had positive ring experiences and they were both HAPPY! I wish I'd have thought to bring the camera, but oh well. Next time... if there is a next time!


I have a JOB!

I start on Friday! I'll be working at a doggy daycare/grooming/dog boarding place.

I had a working interview today as well as a phone interview earlier today and received a call with the job offer a couple of hours later!

I'm so excited!

Benefits: allowed to use the grooming salon for my own dogs before or after my shift-can bring my dogs with me (they have suites or rooms for crates for Ms. Bailey dog) once I feel comfortable working there, of course.

Yay! A JOB!


Day 2 MAC NADAC Results


Qualifying run and SECOND PLACE (yes there were more dogs than that... I think five qualified) in Tunnelers.

Qualifying run and fourth place in Weavers! YAY!!

We NQ'd in Chances, but he went OUT and did the distance challenge! We were busted on the discrimination (I really should have handled it differently). Ah well. Chances is one of those classes... hah. We try our best... sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

Overall, a good weekend. One NQ each day isn't bad at all.


Day 1 MAC NADAC Results!

Today was a good day dog show wise. We ran jumpers first thing in the morning and he had a stellar run! We really worked well as a team, and it just just a "zone" run. Fabulous feeling! He now has 6 Qs in Novice Jumpers to earn his O-NJC, only four more to go before we get to OPEN!

After Jumpers Jeremy and I went to Ash's dad's funeral. If funerals can be 'good' this one was. It was TOTALLY Brian. They played some of his favorite songs and there was standing room only. He was an amazing person and will be sorely missed.

We missed round 1 and the walk through of round 2 regular so I just went out there to wing it with Buzz in round 2. We made it through clean but WAY over time because of my BAAAAAAAAAAAD handling! He was a good boy though.

Chances was next and it was a NICE run (he just felt like adding a little loop-de-do). We QUALIFIED and that finished his NCC! Now we only need 2 more weavers Qs for his Novice Versatility.

Last run of the day was Touch N Go. I was working the Elite Chances ring and didn't get to walk that course, but it was very flowing and we made it through fairly well.--Q/5th.

Overall, it was a GREAT day at the dog show. Can't wait for tomorrow!



Picture of Buzz with ribbons--http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v324/SpringerLover/Buzz/100_4982.jpg


Kitty Cats

I'm bad... this little tyke has a name... it's Pop, for orange pop. I figure a name is better than "Orange Ball of Fluff" like I've been calling it. Girl can be Poppy and boy can be Popper. Pop for short!


with a foster sibling

Foster Mamma

This baby is just way too cute... here's Pop playing with it's tail.


Good Thoughts for a Friend

Ashley's dad died last night. She is one of my best friends from high school. Her dad battled non-hodgkins lymphoma for probably ten years and last night his heart just gave out. It was so sudden, and such a shock.

It's never easy to lose someone you love, but when it's a parent... I just wish there wasn't so much pain.

The funeral is on Saturday. Erin and I will probably be going early. I haven't seen Ashley in months. I feel badly about that right now too.


The people I'm housesitting/petsitting for have (had) four cats. Well, I'm told there are four. I've been there since last Friday and until yesterday morning there were only two kitties coming to eat. Yesterday though, there were three.

One of the kitties has five kittens, in the truck bed. Cute buggars. Momma kitty is really good.

Today I found the cat I just discovered yesterday... dead on the road, with a kitten. I checked to see if she was really dead, yup. *sigh* I hate the whole concept of outdoor/farm cats but this just really makes me so angry. I figured if there was one kitten, there had to be more.

Searched the ditches, searched the shed and was about to give up when I heard a faint mew. I tried to follow the noise but couldn't find anything. Got "smart" and grabbed a flashlight as well as one of the baby kittens (probably 2 weeks old now) who I KNEW would mew very loudly in protest. It worked. I found a orange fluffball wedged between the shed wall and a box, probably a week to two older than the itty bitty kitten in my hand. Had to move boxes to get the little tyke out. Poor kitten! Goopy eyes, skinny, dirty... poor baby!

I figured the only thing I could try was to get the other momma cat to take this kitty. Whaddya know? That momma cat didn't even bat an eye. The kitten was NOT happy though. Clearly knew that this kitty is NOT mom. I sat with them for about half an hour though and in the end the momma started grooming the kitten and the kitten finally nursed.

Now that I'm so attached, I want to take ALL of the kittens (6 now) and the momma and find them HOMES where they'd be s/n, cared for, and loved. *sigh* No one in this area is looking for MORE kittens, so I feel like I can't do anything...

I just feel like I can't leave them to the same fate, makes me cry. Poor babies!

My mom is going to help me bury dead mom and dead kitty tonight. I *should* leave them out for something to eat, let the life cycle continue but I just can't. I only pet her once, and didn't even know she had kittens but I just feel so badly.

*frustrated and sad*


"What is a Title?"

"Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores. A title is a tribute to a dog that bears it, a way to honour the dog, an ulitmate memorial. It will remain in the record and in the memory for about as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard. And though the dog himself doesn't know or care that his achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

A title says your dog was intelligent, and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with him, because he was a good dog, and you believed in him enough to give him another chance when he failed, and that in the end your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to have the special relationship enjoyed by so few, that in a world for disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials before or after the name.

A title is nothing less than love and respect, given and received permanently."

--Sandy Mowery (found in Front and Finish)


ticks... ew!

I took my own dogs for separate walks and then played with Bailey in the yard for a little bit. Drove to where I'm housesitting and took Buddy for a walk. I came inside and found TWO ticks crawling up one arm, ONE between my FINGERS, TWO on my legs (inside of pants), TWO ON my pants, and one on my head. I officially HATE ticks. I've never liked them, but sheesh... that's a TON to pick off at one time!

I hate ticks!

I should probably go work on crate games with Buddy and then put him to bed. He's SUCH a good dog. We had a REALLY nice walk today when I got back.

Plan to bathe him again tomorrow, got some mane n tail shampoo which would be better on him than the white n brite stuff I used on Friday. This should help moisturize his coat.


Buddy and a kitty

I took a few pictures of Buddy and one of the kitties yesterday.

Kitty seems to have frostbitten ears... yee-ouch!



And the Buddy dog! (who is very sunbleached and sunburnt... poor guy)






Only seven days until the MAC NADAC trial!

I can't wait to play agility with Buzz again! :)

He's entered in regular 1 &2, jumpers, chances, and touch n go on Saturday--chances, weavers, and tunnelers on Sunday.

This amount of runs seems to work really well for him. If five is too many, I'll adjust our entry for the ACTS NADAC in July. I've been sure to get him out every day. We go biking or running as well as weaving for breakfast and dinner. It really should be a good trial. I'm excited to finally SHOW at a trial... :) I worked at the MAC USDAA trial two weekends ago and the MMBC UKC trial last weekend, and while that's fun... it's even more fun to show my own dog! :)

pet/house sitting

I'm pet sitting and house sitting for some old neighbors. They have four outdoor cats (one has 5 kittens right now... erg) and a dog. Of course a lab, who is a MOOSE! Very fun dog, only a year and a half old but a MOOSE nonetheless.

He's a silly puppy though. Yesterday I walked him to the lake where he got to retrieve a dummyish thing for about 45 minutes. I thought he'd be at least a little bit tired but he was still raring to go, so when we got back I threw the frisbee for another half an hour. Then I decided that I was done, even if he wasn't.

Today I brought out the clicker, and I think it's going to be a fun two and a half weeks. I'm hoping to get him accustomed to his crate enough so that I can bring him to the trial next weekend, but we'll see.

He's tied out to their garage, which scares me to no end. I don't even leave my dogs tied out if I'm in the house! Last night he wouldn't relax in his crate, so I ended up letting him sleep loose in the garage. Poor guy was curled up on the door mat. I need to bring a towel or something for him today. Concrete is NOT easy on a body!

After another bath, I'll probably take pictures of him... or maybe tomorrow. He's really sunbleached (and overweight) but a really lovable guy.

Oh, and his name is Buddy. :)


trial and training

We got into the MAC NADAC trial (was waiting for vouchers so didn't send my entry until Tuesday night... thankfully it hadn't filled yet) so Buzz and I will be heading to Burnsville on June 21 & 22. I love showing there, and I think he does too. We don't have to battle heat, I'm relaxed... and he's a good travel dog.

I've been doing a LOT of training lately, but nothing very structured. I worked both dogs heeling this morning. Buzz was quite distracted and I should have gone in to get higher value rewards but I just ended it when I got some good heeling with nice attention! Buzz and I are helping at the UKC trial (well, I'm helping, and they're allowing us to be a courtesy dog team) so I want to make sure we're prepared for that.

Bailey's tracking is going better too. I've been careful to lay her tracks into the wind. We also went to the farm on Wednesday. She had a BEAUTIFUL and fairly long track. I've definitely taught what an article means, now I just need to make sure she understands that she has to get to the article by tracking... not spotting it and running.

I haven't done go-out work in a while but did teach a fun 'go on' cue to place rear feet on a storage bin top. In a few days I got a reliable, no stopping, directly out behavior WITH a pause in a stand. From there I cued sit or down or come. It's a really fun game now! "On" is the cue to place rear feet on the object... "go" is my 'away from me' directional cue.

photo update


Rasza & Rascal

Rasza & Rascal







Bailey (rolling & smiling)

Silly Buzz!

I actually got pictures of EVERYONE in a single day! We had a lot of fun yesterday, and I'm going to have even more fun playing with these pictures again!


photobucket editing tools and picnik.com

I played with pictures tonight... a few turned out good, a few... erm hah!








I volunteered at the MAC USDAA agility trial last Friday and Saturday. It's always fun to see old friends, make new ones, and watch all the amazing dogs and their handlers. I did some ring stewarding, timing, scribing, and leash running. Of course I timed the hardest classes... ever... heh. I was in the P3/Masters ring and timed Snooker and Gamblers. It's really not that bad, but I had to remember to switch the time for the horns and do manual start/stop on some runs... It was definitely a learning experience. I've now done all jobs at a trial except score table. I'm sure that someday I'll get to do that though!

A couple friends and I do our own C-WAGS "shows" online every once in a while. It's good for making me train specific behaviors if nothing else. The current part I'm working on isn't going very smoothly. It's a modification of the utility directed jumping.
Go Table / Jump / Jump - This challenge requires that the dog leave the handler
go out to the table, sit or down, and take the directed jump.

Ring set up includes:
An agility type pause table set at 2nd base – approximately 20’ away from Home Plate. The pause table will have two heights; 4” for dogs that jump 12” or less, and 12” for dogs that jump 16”.
Two jumps set approximately 20’ apart: 1st base and 3rd base. Any combination
of bar jump, high jump, broad jump or agility style jump constructed to be stable and safe for all dogs may be used. * See jump height table in the obedience rules. (A 6’ - 9’ tunnel may replace either or both jumps).
◊ This challenge begins with the team in heel position at Home Plate - opposite the
pause table.
◊ On order from the judge to “send your dog”, time will start and the handler will send their dog across the ring to the table where the dog must either sit or down –
judge’s predetermined position.
◊ When the dog is positioned, the handler will call/send the dog over either the right or the left jump – handler’s choice.
◊ The dog should go straight to the jump, over it and return to front position.
◊ Without instruction from the judge, the team return to original starting position and perform the same sequence again EXCEPT if the dog “sat” on the table the first
time then it must “down” on the table the second time (or vice versa). If the dog
was sent to the right side jump the first time then the dog must be sent to the left
side jump the second time (or vice versa).
◊ Time stops when the dog sits in the front position the second time.
◊ Handler may not leave Home Plate. (Hysterical, desperate gesturing by the handler
at Home Plate will be ignored by the judge and a source of entertainment for the
◊ Retry – Unlimited retries allowed within the time limit. If the dog takes the
incorrect jump, the team will have to begin from Home Plate, resending the dog to
the table and then the correct jump.
◊ “Fouls” – Will be incurred if the handler leaves Home Plate; If the dog takes the
incorrect jump.
This challenge will be considered Passed if: the dog goes out to the table, assumes the correct position, takes the correct jump, goes out a second time, assumes the correct second position, takes the correct second jump, the handler does not leave Home Plate, and the dog gets back to Home Plate and sits before the 60 seconds is up.

It's a lot of fun... but I don't have a table so I was using the lid of a storage bin. I got that cue semi-solid "on" coupled with a "go" to indicate moving away from me but I just can NOT get a solid "sit" out of Bailey when she goes out. Right now I'm testing out a 'wait' when she reaches the lid then a sit, which seems to be working... if she hears the 'wait' cue! I've got a bar jump and a broad jump out there. Need to pick up my old weave poles from the farm to use to mark the outsides of the jump so I'm not teaching the dogs to cut the jump early (again... I think we finally worked through that).

The two other exercises for this "show" are relatively easy. Right turn, back up two steps in heel position as well as a cloverleaf figure 8. I just need to get cones/pylons/something to make my cloverleaf then I'll video that one too.