a reminder

"Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have."

Someone at the party today asked about my tattoo. Every time someone asks, it makes me remember that time waits for no one. Live your life and enjoy it. My tattoo helps me remember that gone from this earth is not gone and is certainly not forgotten.


bum foot Bailey

ARG! We had to GREAT sessions on the contact practice board today. She was doing what I wanted! RUNNING down the board. I added another board to the other side of the snowmobile trailer (so it was similar to a dog walk) and she was performing correctly with that too.

Now my dog has a cut pad. *scream*

It's not bad, but we've never dealt with this before. I was out of vet wrap (I know, what dog owner, especially a SPANIEL owner, is ever out of vet wrap) so I had to run to the store to get some. I cleaned it with peroxide, applied Vitamin E, gauzed and vet wrapped it. She now has a hot pink foot.

Buzz wants to show you the stop sign at the end of our driveway. Isn't it cool? We get a new one about every ten years. That neighbor has hounds we like. They're happy, healthy, and QUIET!


Field Adventures

Bailey and I started our field adventures today. I have to say that I was SUPER impressed by my dog (though our instructor, not so much, heh). She was a goooood girly.

A few notes before I forget.
-Apparently my dog is out of condition. She needs to build more stamina and muslce per Don.
-He was VERY good about not pushing the issue of an e-collar. The fact that we had two very successful whistle recalls reinforced that, GOOD GIRL.
-We have to work on retrieves with a bird (I knew that going in). She did eventually pick it up and carry it, but was very reluctant to at first.
-We have a break to work on "things" until after Labor Day!

Now... from the beginning, I think!
We arrived a little early (my plan) so we walked a little bit while he worked a Brittany and some kind of long haired pointer. She was able to relax quickly despite kennels of dogs barking and carrying on. She was walking on a loose leash with a fair amount of attention before he came back. We worked a little more while he went to plant a chukkar for us.

Plan of action was to release her on the pigeons. He let the pigeons out and we released her. She checked the pen (smart girly) and then got to work immediatly. This is where he told me I need to shut up, unless I am praising my dog. JUST like any other sport, LET HER WORK IT OUT (has it been drilled into my head enough yet? Probably not). I got better as we progressed but hah... She flushed quite a few pigeons and he started firing blanks after she flushed. The first one she reacted to slightly and the rest about the same. He wasn't closeby when she flushed, so the gunshot wasn't extremely loud.

After we played with pigoens, we headed to where he planted the chukkar. She wasn't quite sure of what she was doing anymore and it took a lot of coaxing for her to flush the chukkar, since we had to get so close for her to flush it, the gun went off nearly right over her head. That was not ok with her, and she backed up quite a few steps before sitting and staring. She did NOT bolt, which is the good news, and she DID pick up the chukkar (with some coaxing, and me telling her directly to "take it"). After that we threw the bird and had her practice picking it up. Before we quit she was going to get the bird and holding it while I pet her.

I had to talk this one through with myself (and a friend)... Don doesn't want me to take the bird from her immediately when she returns. He wants to build a solid hold first. He's having me pet her/praise her while she is still holding the bird. It didn't make sense at first (I'd want to be working the real thing) but it does now. Since she doesn't have a reliable retrieve, and no hold to speak of... I do want to get her comfortable with holding it and carrying it before asking her for it.

All in all, I was very pleased. Despite her looking like a brainless pretty dog, she's still got some instinct in there. Looks can be deceiving.

Our homework is to work on retrieving the bird (I now have a chukkar in my freezer) and working around gunshots.

He's confident we can do it, and I'm getting there. If I knew what this was all about, I'd likely have more to say on the matter!

Phew! Now I need to get my bike tire fixed so we can work on conditioning.


Training Notes-agility contacts

I've had issues with the dogs more and more regarding contacts. They were both taught a 2o2o but it became slower and slower. Lots of factors I assume. Being a bad trainer, I just disregarded a stopping contact with Buzz and now he runs. It's not trained (shhh...), I just assume he's going to run through the zone if I slow down a little, and he does. Maybe it's carry over from his 2o2o. I could say it is (because I really don't know).

Anyways, Bailey's are the worst! She literally crept down ALL contacts (not really in fear, just... like it was a trained behavior, to be slow, which is probably was). So after hemming and hawing and trying a few different things, today we actually did contact work. I know she will stop, and knows how to stop, but I'm going to abandon that if I can find a training partner.

We're just working with a board propped up on our snowmobile trailer. Today the only time I could get her to canter down it was if I had a bowl of food sitting a couple feet in front of it. That's ok, I suppose, but it's not what I want. What I want is to be able to RUN (me run...) and have someone else click for her RUNNING so then I can treat. Problem: I don't have a local training buddy (pity party is short, I promise).

Possible Solution? Bring board inside and utilize the Treat and Train (now made by Premier and labelled Manners Minder) a friend is letting me borrow. (Which by the way is working fabulously. We've made so much progress on household rules and such... mat work is going well. I'm so impressed by this machine, I NEED to buy one for myself!)

Semi-brilliant... hah. It won't take away the "lure" part I hate, but it will make it less annoying for me.

Time to clean the board so I can put it in the bedroom hallway (the presence of cats in the hallway is nearly non-existent).

Other suggestions welcome to. My ultimate goal is to have reliable running contacts. This slow contact thing is killing me! I am NOT slow and even if I RUUUUUNNNNNNNN, she makes her way down the contact and does a 2o2o. GOOD DOG, I suppose...

Oh, and Buzz just rocks. He says "I can run mom, LOOK AT ME" as he goes galloping and LEAPING. That one didn't get any food and the rest were good. Silly old man. I hope he has that much enthusiasm in September!


Versatility Titles

VS=Versatile Springer (parent club, ESSFTA, certificate)
Lots of different ways to achieve this certificate, but I have to become a member of the parent club first! :-)
If we can do it, the only way would be a CT (Tracking Champion), JH (Junior Hunter), CDX (Companion Dog Excellent), PAX (Preferred Agility Excellent something or other).


VCD=Versatile Companion Dog (AKC title program)
Requirements: CD, TD, NA/NAP, NAJ/NJP
Bailey has her CD and NJP plus 2 Qs towards her NAP.

VCD2=Versatile Companion Dog 2
Requirements: CDX, TD, OA/OAP, OAJ/OJP
Bailey has one CDX Q and nothing else. :-)

VCD3=Versatile Companion Dog 3
Requirements: UD, TDX, AX/AXP, AXJ/AJP

VCD4=Versatile Companion Dog 4
Requirements: UDX, VST, MX/MXP, MXJ/MJP

Very few dogs have a VCD4.

Goal Dates

I never set goals by dates, but I am now.

The first goal is to be ready to run in a Junior Hunt test by October 17 as it is the last of the season semi-locally.

The other goal is to be ready for our TD by October 25 so we can test locally (less than an hour away).

This means I need to focus on working my dog. REALLY working my dog. Not just puttering around.

We have Agility (NADAC then AKC) in the beginning of September and Obedience at the end. We CAN do all of this! We CAN!

Now I need to go write training plans and get my clipboard out so we are actually working these behaviors regularly.


for Kristen and Karin

Two friends in particular can't imagine how I could have so much dog "stuff." By "stuff" they mean collar/leashes/harnesses/etc. I've created a Bailey-pictorial to show what some of it is for. The most frequently used stuff that is.

First up we have the Hunting Collar and Leather Leash
Exciting news... Bailey and I are going to finally be doing Hunt Tests! In honor of that, since she HAS to wear orange... I ordered a new collar when something else needed to be ordered. Isn't it purty? I LOVE it, it's not obnoxious like most orange hunting dog collars, and it feels good. It's made out of the "fake leather" material.

Next up is the Lupine combo collar and matching leash.

This collar has rabies tag, microchip tag (both of those in a quiet spot) and a Boomerang tag with contact info. The leash has a permanent attachment of a Noz 2 Noz poop bag carrier.

The "obedience/rally" collar.
Not that I train with it, ever, but it's what she shows in. Soft, supple, rolled leather. Attached to that is a short (purple, of course) and thin leash. It's all I need, less to be bulky if I ever needed it. (We do have a 6' leash to use for the rally Excellent honor.)

The Tracking Harness.
A premier product that I love. Love, love, love it. Thanks K!

The flexi "set-up."
Since I don't want her to learn to pull, I can't use the flexi attached to a collar. Thus we have an "H" style harness for flexi walking.

Car Harness (Roadie by Ruff Rider)

And the customary "multi-collar" picture! What you can't see is her "Princess" collar from Big Dogs that she wears the most.

That's a few of her collars/leashes/what have you, and their purpose.


Oops--APDT Video

I forgot to post it... oops.

Scent Articles

The dogs and I have been working on scent articles more and more, now that I understand a little more about how to teach them. I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy schmancy articles so we are using spoons and leather work gloves. Or rather, Bailey is. Buzz is using canning jar lids--he only needs metal.

Tonight I was able to successfully work 3 metal with Bailey and she was "actively working" the pile. And getting the correct one. I was clicking after the pick up tonight. I think we had four successes and then an incorrect. When I moved into her to pick up the correct article, she didn't know what to do with the one in her mouth. She has been taught not to drop anything unless told to, so she was very conflicted about that and I took it from her with the tongs. The next time I sent her she frantically grabbed an incorrect. Gargh. Packed up the metals for tonight.

Moved onto leather which was more of the same. She frantically grabbed an article, but it wasn't a stress response, I don't think. It seemed more like a game we used to play--pick up.

So, as Kristen would say, "go back a step." And we will, tomorrow. Tomorrow we will work two metal articles and I will click for sniffing/touching the correct one. I then plan to work a scented leather with an unscented metal. Try to set her up for success.

In other news, I worked Buzz in the shadows of the basement and he was CLEARLY responding to my light-clicker. He was breaking position to come to me for his reward. YAY! We worked downs and it was gooooood.

The dogs and I have been doing quite a bit of training, I just haven't had time to post about it. Yesterday we went tracking, in the heat... in case we need to track in the heat. Bailey's track was only aged about 15 minutes but it was hot, dry, and we worked pavement. She was great until our turn on pavement, she had to work it a bit but we did get it and find the final article in gravel. I'm trying to get her on as many surfaces as possible right now so we actually stand a fighting chance of being able to run a VST test (my ultimate goal).

I'll try to be better about posting training updates, so I can get more feedback too.


agility related words and thoughts...

The dogs and I headed out to TCOTC last Friday to help with the Fundraise for some fellow dog community members who lost their home and everything in it to a fire. This included their three dogs and cat. I can't even begin to imagine how horrific the experience was and still is. My heart still aches when I think about it. The generosity and caring of our community shined through though when a friend organized a benefit fundraise for them.

Friday I "judged" UKC obedience. Our friend Sheila with her dog Fena was the only one, but we had fun together, twice! After that I fiddled around and signed up to work my own dogs.

After putting Buzz and Bailey nearly last on the obedince list, we headed to the agility area.
Bailey has always had a definite slat dislike. Her contacts are not super fast, but with slats they are painfully slow! The slats at class are rubber, she's ok with those... we're making progress in the speed department. Friday was a painfully slow day--now that I think about it, TCOTC has wooden slats on their a-frame and dog walk. ARGH!

Not only were her contacts slow, but she was spacey and weird in general! I thought back to the only other times we've shown at TCOTC and they were all like that! Obedience, rally, AND agility! I wonder what it is?! I thought we could work through it, so I signed her up for another ring time in agility but we barely made a dent. She was a completely different dog than I'm used to. I'm still trying to think of why!

In the obedience ring though, she was on fire. Great girly, no odd behaviors, responding to cues VERY well.

I just don't know! Do I sign up to take classes, so I can work my dog in the building? Do I just avoid the building (entirely possible, we don't have to trial there), or what?

I'm quite confused. I do know we need to work our contacts again, but that means I need to get a new board and such because my oldish-but GOOD board was burned! How sad! It was painted and sanded and great... *sigh* oh well.

Anyways, I don't know how to help my dog. Or what I should do in the future. My response to things lately is a terrible one "she's 9.5 years old." Don't let me use that excuse, I need to be a better trainer!


Rabies Challenge Fund-Budget Shortfall

This arrived on one of my yahoo group lists. I plan to donate, as this is very important!


The goal of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is to extend the legally required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then 7 years, based on the findings of the rabies challenge studies currently underway at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. If the studies’ results demonstrate that the rabies vaccine confers 5, and possibly 7, years of immunity, there would be a significant impact on controlling rabies and reducing adverse reactions associated with the vaccine.

Today I am writing to ask for your help. The Rabies Challenge Fund relies on donations to finance the multi-year challenge studies that began in November 2007. Due to the economic downturn, the Fund has a $125,000 shortfall for the third year of the studies, scheduled for this fall. This deficit threatens the future of the research.>

Costs for the studies’ third year are $175,000. Since January, we have raised nearly $50,000 of that amount. We need to have eighty percent of the total funding for the year’s budget in hand to begin the third year of the studies. Please contribute what you can, as soon as you can.
*All donations received will be used to finance the direct research costs of the rabies challenge studies.*

With your help, we can raise the $125,000 necessary to complete the third year of the 5 and 7-year rabies challenge studies. Tax-exempt donations can be mailed to The Rabies Challenge Fund, c/o Hemopet, 11330 Markon Drive, Garden Grove, CA 92841. Credit card donations can be phoned in to Hemopet (specify they are for The Rabies Challenge Fund) by calling (714) 891-2022, ext. 13.

Thank you for your support of this important work.


Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund


Successful efforts by The Rabies Challenge Fund over the past year leading to changes in state rabies laws/municipal ordinances to the 3 year national standard:

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Wichita, Kansas
State of Alabama
State of Arkansas
State of Rhode Island

The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization [Fed. EIN # 84-6390682].


Trial Entries!

I'm dropping trial entries in the mail today! Whee!

9/5 & 9/6
Buzz & Bailey are both participating in the Veterans Parade
Buzz-Open Jumpers, Novice Tunnelers, Novice Weavers
Bailey-Open Regular, Novice Jumpers, Open Tunnelers

Buzz-Open Jumpers, Novice Touch N Go, Novice Tunnelers

Twin Cities Minniature Schnauzer Club
9/26 & 9/27
Bailey-Open A

We will be running in the ACTS NADAC trial too, just don't know what yet as the premium isn't out yet!


APDT photos and a video

We'll start with the really bad one. Dog is great, judge is good... just ignore me ok?! Not only is the lens dirty (Mom's p&s) but I look like a heyena!

So I tried to get a photo of just Buzz with his ribbons. Did those turn out? Nope! I don't care anymore though. I present to you, Buzz with his Level 3 Q/2nd, Level 2 Q/2nd and Level 1 Q/1st!

Maybe I'll try again tomorrow, or I'll just give up!


Old Man Joint Support

I got quite a few "how do you keep him acting so young" this weekend at the trial. Buzz is 11 now and acts like he might be turning five. He's been on a "health care plan" since we started competing semi-competitively (which is all we do hah) in dog sports.

I can't remember exactly what we did in the beginning but I know what we do now!

He takes a joint supplement (Glyco-Flex II) twice a day. This is a double dose for him because we found it works well to be giving it to him twice a day as opposed to once (which I would be doing with Glyco-Flex III).
From the Glyco-Flex website:
All of our new Glyco-Flex ® formulas contain 600mg of Perna and 100 mg of Dimethylglycine. In addition to that Glyco-Flex ® I contains 500mg of Glucosamine HCl. Glyco-Flex ® II contains 750 mg of Glucosamine, 500 mg of Methylsulfonylmethane, and Manganese. Glyco-Flex ® III contains 1,000 mg each of Methylsulfonylmethane and Glucosamine along with Vitamins E and C, Grape Seed Extract, Glutathione, Selenium, and Manganese for additional support. http://www.glycoflex.com/glyco-flex-canine.php

He receives at least 4000mg of Fish Oil daily. This serves multiple purposes, but the main two are for his joints and to combat his allergies. (If he gets ahold of something he shouldn't... like crappy treats someone left on the floor near his crate at the trial... I will "overload" him and that really helps with him reacting less to the foods he's allergic to.)

And the part that some people will agree or disagree with. My vet gave me Rimadyl to "keep on hand" for if I do overdo it with him and he comes up sore. Despite having a good massage program and chiropractic schedule, there are times we overdo it. I use it quite sparingly, but it allows him to be happy and continue doing the things he loves.

With these things, he gets to stay active without hurting and that is what REALLY helps him out. He may not be as fast as he used to be, but darn it if he doesn't have MORE fun.

He also stays at a good weight (right now we're almost back to his "good weight" after gaining weight on crate rest... erg) to put less stress on all parts of his body.

What do you do?


Fun trial, good runs, and a very good dog.

Saturday we did Level 3. The first course kicked our booty and we NQ'd. A very fun course to run but he didn't take either jump. Lots of speculation, and it's up for discussion, I may post details at a later date and look into it further. Our second run in Level 3 I lowered the jumps to 12" (yay APDT having modifications) and it went smoother, though not entirely better. He still took one jump awkwardly and wouldn't go out to the other, so I had to move with him. Regardless, the rest was very nice and we Q'd with a 183 (5 points on the jump, we only got 6 of the bonus points, so there's 9 already). We had a retry on two stations (6 more points, we're up to 15 hah). Anyways, very happy.

Sunday we worked for our first double qualifying runs, and we got it! Q/207/1st in Level 1 B and Q/203/2nd in Level 2 B. He was VERY good for these runs. Yay Buzz!

I do have a video from our level 2 run that I still need to get off the camera!

If you have APDT in your area, go try it... it is a BLAST! You can actually get out and MOVE. There IS room for heeling!