Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back On Track - Coat!!

I finally got one!
After a long time....pondering...do I really need to spend
'that kind of money' on a coat for Seeker, 

I did it. 

I purchased a "BOT" coat.

I figured as much money as we spend on entry fees, and traveling, 
the coat was a steal!  Especially if it will help prevent injuries!

(Below is Kruz modeling!)

 The coat is suppose to reflect heat, help to ease inflammation, 
reduce muscle pain, and increase blood circulation.

Although it's really 'Seeker's' coat, I'll try it on Kruz too, 
as he tends to have a sore spot on his back. 

 For Seeker, I'll use it to warm him up and cool him down.  I'm always sure to do a nice warm
up and cool down, but if this helps just a little bit more, it will be well worth it!

It sports some reflective patches, notice the glare!
Very pretty!!

There's a zipper for the dog's tail to come through, or for dog's without tails, there are elastic rear leg straps. 

The only thing I don't like about the design is the quick snap lock over the back. It seems to me that this might put pressure on the spine if the dog was laying down in it. I'll probably end up making my own adjustment and switching that to Velcro.

I found the sizing a bit challenging as well.  Thank you Nancy for the size advice!!  I would have gotten a size larger and I sure didn't need it!  If you know someone with the coat, you might want to ask for advice prior to ordering.  

Kruz isn't 'sold' on it yet. He can't seem to lay down in it,
but at least he's moving. 
When I first put it one, he didn't think he could move!  G

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fun things for Christmas

Rilda found me this fun coaster for Xmas!!
(A perfect picture of McNugget!!)

I'll have to find a way to hang
it in the mud room. 

It's just too fun to hide under a glass!

This of course is to remind me...
how much my chickens ...
being used as distractions!

Like most of us, they are in it for the food!

Back in the days of the 18" weave poles!
I guess I'll need to have these
made into some 2 X 2s??

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday Don!!

Today is Don's 80th Birthday!!

Don and his "Happy Birthday Bar"

 Don and Tina are still smokin' the courses!
They had a fabulous weekend at ICDOC
last weekend, finishing with a DQ on Sunday!

Don is always fun to watch and talk to.
He's known for his 'Abbreviated' Front Cross, 
and it sure works well for him. 

Of course you can't have a birthday 
without cake!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fall Trick Class 2011

We had our First Trick Class this Fall. 
I had a lot of fun, and I think the participants did as well. 

Tricks are a great way for .....

 Your dog to learn to learn.
The handler to learn how the dog learns.
To build a Relationship with your dog.
To learn balance skills/body awareness.
Warming up for performance events.

One interesting observation during class was that people tended to migrate to the same 'work station', or location in the room each night.  On 'Graduation' night, they had to come up on front to 'show off'.  Just moving the dog from the 'safety' of their normal work area, along with the handler's nerves of being in front of a group, was enough to impact some dogs performance.  Lesson Learned!  Next time we'll be rotating work stations every class!  This might be something you want to think about in your own training.  
Do you have a 'favorite' spot?
Get out of your 'comfort zone'.
Even at home...do you train in the same room?
Try moving around the house!

Below is a movie of just 
'some' of the tricks we touched on!
WELL DONE Class!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nettle - 8 month picture

I haven't had the camera out as much lately.
So, the sun was out, I had a few minutes, 
so headed out to the front yard for a couple pictures.

She'd just had a bath and I 
wanted to catch her CLEAN!!
Trust me, it doesn't last!

We have a couple squirrels hanging around!
Never had squirrels before!
Good news...they are cute!
Bad news...they leave corn cobs around. 
Nothing more dangerous for a dog
to eat than a corn cob!

I always check the yard for them, 
when I let the dogs our front to play.
I found this one, but didn't quite throw
it far enough to get it over the fence. 
Nettle of course was going to retrieve it, 
so, good news...it got her away from me. 

I promptly tossed it over the fence 
after taking a couple pictures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nettle's 8 Months Old Today!

Time is just a flying!  Nettle looks like a grown up dog in size, so I need to keep reminding myself that she’s just a puppy.  She’s about 19 ½ inches tall now and 40 lbs.  At this point, she might as well get up to 20 ¾ to help her over those 22” USDAA jump heights.  Although, I might be running at 26” if she keeps clearing those 3’ ring gates.  Lesson learned!  If you’re playing with Seeker, Nettle needs to go in a ‘box’, or over the gate will come! 
Related to both Mad and Nina, she shows some very similar behaviors!  She has more “Mad-is-um’s” than “Nina-is-ums”, and unfortunately…the Nina-is-um is the BAD ONE!  Namely Digging!  Of course, with Nina, we always blamed this behavior on Jamie…….but, maybe it wasn’t him after all? 
Nettle is a very willing learner, but easily distracted.  That’s okay, so am I!
Just like with most puppies, if it’s quite and she’s not in sight….you’d best go look for her!  Thus the reason for the 2 new baby gates.
BTW – The Munchkin Easy Close Metal Baby Gates are awesome!!  Even ‘if’ Nettle jumps over them.  She jumps over our “Rover Gate” too, that’s made of PVC….so, it makes not difference to her!  She’s an equal opportunity jumper!
Mad loved to come under the covers and cuddle while I read a book in bed.  One evening, Nettle wanted under, so I thought “Oh…isn’t this cute”…..so, I let her under.  BAD IDEA!  She didn’t want to cuddle at all!  She wanted to rut under the blankets like a pig…ended up pulling all the bedding up.  She stayed under, running in circles, having a grand ole time.  I finally got her out, and remade the bed. She tried it again the next evening….’Um…I DON’T THINK SO!” 
She’s very attracted to my cats.  We have 4 ‘farm’ cats, that are ‘freeloaders’…aka – food comes from a bag, why eat a mouse from the barn??  Nettle goes to visit them any chance she gets.  Our 12 year old cat, Chemi, will roll around on the ground, while Nettle sniffs her.  The 9 year old cat, Cher, gives Nettle the ‘eye’, so Nettle doesn’t even try.  The two 4 year old boys, Cougar and Chatter, draw her in, and then swat her on the nose.  Nettle’s caught on to those two, so approaches with caution. 

CATS, Seeker, Kruz, Momma, Poppa (in that order)
Chew toys
Stuffed Kongs

Going for a run in the open fields
Clicker Training – trick training
Jump Bumps
Running ‘dog walk’…aka Carpet
Tunnels and Chute!
Retrieving her bumper
Playing Tug
Sleeping on the bed
Blow dries
Peanut butter
Potatoes – unless they have sour cream in them.
Waiting her turn for ‘training’.
Jumps the new 3’ ‘baby gates’, from a stand still.
Digging Holes in the Yard
Sometimes won’t come inside when called.
Jumping up on us
Some Evidence!!

Seeker's favorite Squeaky Ball!


Squeaky Ball meets Nettle

 Nettle demonstrates "Global Warming"
on her Orbee Ball....
There used be islands
on the Planet Earth!

The Rock she brought inside
with her this morning.
(Almost a daily occurrence) 
"Trust me...it's a rock!!"

One of her new favorite

Orbee bone ends....
I know the rest of it is around here...
somewhere!  Honest!

Cute little baby toy.
I'm afraid to give it to her anymore!!
Do you blame me??


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kruz's One Million Mile Check up!

Kruz had his routine check up yesterday.
Everything seems to be in 'working' order....
or as much order as it can be when you're 
a March of 1998 Model.

 The only 'concern' was with his BUN and Cre levels, 
so, we'll be looking to make some slight adjustments
to his diet.  I'll continue with 'raw', as we've
fed this since 2000, but do a little research 
in order to find one that might be a bit more
heart and kidney friendly for our guy.  

Overall, he appears to be in 
tip top shape!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fall Feast - N - Kong Fillers!!

Strangely enough, I have a domestic side.
I have more 'hobbies' than most people.
In fact, I can't imagine not having them!

So, yesterday after I did my chores, 
I brought in a couple pumpkins & went to work. 
Doing what?
Making Pumpkin Puree of course!

This is great not only for pies, 
breads, muffins and such....
but as kong fillers!
Simply fill a kong and 
place it in the freezer!

The dogs LOVE THEM!

One large pumpkin makes 3 pies, 
and fills 6 kongs!

One Large pumpkin
from my garden. 

The birds eat the seeds and skins!
Very little waste and the 
"Windy Hill Fowl Farm and Puppy Ranch"!
Yes, the Turkeys survived TG!!

Bake at 350 degrees 
for about an hour.

A fork should easily pierce the flesh

Remove the outside skin.
 Slice into chunks.

A food processor works great. 
We don't have one, but
potato masher and hand 
mixer work great too!

Alas....we are out of evaporated milk.
So....no pie today.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Food - Grain Free

Did you know that all Grain Free Dog Foods are NOT created equal??  

I suppose that would just make sense, but do you know why? 

Chery Morris posted an excellent article on her blog. 

While I feed a raw diet, I do use some kibble for training treats. 

I'll sure look closer at the next bag I happen to purchase!


Monday, November 28, 2011

I can't believe I just did that!! UGH!!

It's okay I'll regroup, 
it'll be fine! 

 I've just started working Nettle on her running contacts.  Okay, maybe I should clarify here, she's running across a carpet on the ground, not a real contact.   So, the first time out, she was awesome!  Ran after her toy, brought it back, played some tug.  Totally BRILLIANT!!!!

So, day two, Bill, Seeker, Nettle and I all go out to the building to practice.  I work Seeker for a couple minutes while Nettle is going nuts watching.  Bill is holding Nettle on her harness.  I'm done with Seeker, and go to play with Nettle.  We repeat what we did the day before.  She runs down her carpet, grabs her toy and does VICTORY LAPS!!!  UGH!!!  So, game over we go inside.  

Day three, same group goes out.  I repeat from the day before and guess what!  Nettle RUNS AGAIN!  Like, seriously....why did I NOT think that was going to happen again?  She adores Seeker, they love to play, and guess what she's doing during her laps?  Running by Seeker with a toy flaunting it!!  Some days I'm such an idiot!  But that's okay!  I can learn from my mistakes!!  LOL

Day four - I take Nettle out alone!  See, I'm getting smarter!! 
We do a couple sets of 'digging' around an upright.

Okay, now let's go run on the carpet!
Great job!  Doesn't come back with it directly, 
but comes back and we play some tug. 
So, I repeat it again.  
One more time!
Much better!!

Here's the sad part......

Do you stop there!  
Seriously ask yourself this!
When things are going well......
do you stop!  
If you're honest, most of you would not.

Well...me either!!!

Guess what I got on the fourth run!
I wanted to fall down in the dirt and cry!

Why did I not stop!
Because it was fun, and I wanted just 

Tomorrow...I'll stop after the first one and build from there.

Hopefully, someone will learn from my mistake!  

Go have fun! 
But stop your training while it's still going well!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Nettle - Almost named Vanna!!

This is the 'minute' I got home from 
picking up little Nettle last June.

Makes me laugh every time I watch it!

As Bill would say, 
"Did you not see this as BAD SIGN"!!

Yes, thanks to Michele's BRILLIANT
suggestion, we got some SLEEP!

Nettle almost became named, 

She still gets called that on occasion. 
This puppy has more nicknames
than any dog we've ever had!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Border Collie Cartoon


This has NOTHING to do with turkeys.....
but cracks me up!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ol' Red - A dog song.....

I'll admit, I don't listen to a lot of Country Music, 
however, happened upon this song while I was
scanning through the radio channels. 

Apparently it's pretty popular, I thought it was cute.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

ICDOC Agility Trials - AKC - A Special Event!

Saturday is PINK Day at the 
ICDOC's AKC Agility Trial!

We hope you can join us!
Kirkwood Community College
Equestrian Center
Cedar Rapids, IA

There will be a raffle with all the money going to the:
Susan G.Komen Foundation

There are some fabulous items!
Agility Equipment - by Jeff Hartzler
Garden Stone Paw Print - Me
Sugar Cookies - Meg Sailor
and other donations from
(Organized by Marsha Kingsley)
Clean Run
Honest Kitchen
J & J Dog Supplies
Murphy's Trading Post
Max 200
Fit Paws
Dog Gone Good
and MORE!!!!

Even if you're not running a dog, please come out Saturday, 
enjoy watching some K-9 Agility and 
donate to our raffle!!!

Weekend Colors are:
Friday = Orange,
Saturday = Pink
Sunday = Red.

Entries Close:
Closes November 23rd
Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kitty Agility Anyone!

This is just too ADORABLE!!

Cougar loves the tunnels, jumping out at the dogs as they go over the jump, 
he's not real found of the teeter however......but maybe a lower one?

He even does the suitcase trick!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does Your Dog "Lip Service" Tug??

(Seeker and Mad - Fall 2007)

Does your dog ever ‘pretend’ his tugging with you? 
He might have the tug in his mouth, but you are doing most of the work?  
Or you’re dragging the tug on the ground, and he gives the illusion of biting it.  
If so, then you are experiencing what I call, “Lip Service Tugging”.  
The dog is not fully engaged in the task of tugging. 
For some dogs, tugging seems to be innate and pure heaven!  
For others, they just don’t see the point.  
If you are lucky, the breeder of your dog nurtured the ‘tugging’ 
while the puppies were developing.  
If not, you might have a little more work cut out for you, 
depending on the age of the puppy. 
Seeker was a born tugger.  
Dena nurtured his tug, so this probably helped.  
He’s always been ‘toy driven’, 
and had to learn that he could work for food as well.  
We had to play games where I had food in my hand, 
stopped tugging, and he ‘had’ to eat the food.  
It took a little time, but he got it!!
Nettle is the opposite.  
She came to me 3 weeks older than Seeker, and her tug wasn’t nurtured.  
Now, in a breeder’s defense, they may not want to nurture tugging, 
depending on the home the puppy goes too.  
Not everyone family is going to want a ‘Seeker’. 
Nettle loves her food!!  
So, tugging with food in my hand took a little more time.  
I’ll be honest; a lot of her tugging when I had
food in my hand was “lip service’ tugging.  
She knew in order to get the food she had to tug, 
but she tried to put in the least amount of effort to earn it.  
We are working on this, and she’s getting better.  
She has come a LONG way, 
since she began just a few months ago.
I’ll share with you want worked for ‘her’, 
this might not work for everyone, but might work for you.  
There were a couple things I had to do first, 
before we could tug with her food present.  
Nettle needed to learn to ignore her food,
or treats when then were on the floor. 
This is really unbelievably easy; 
it’s Susan Garrett’s ‘It Yer Choice’ game. 
While I was working on the, “IYC Game”, 
I began my search for something she’d tug on consistently.  
We used the paper towel roll.  
Admittedly, they are not very durable.  
I used them to build the ‘want to’ to tug, 
then transition over to something more durable. 
I combined the two, very quickly.  
I'd sit on the floor with her bowl of food off next to me, 
and ‘attempt’ to get her to tug with the paper towel roll (PTR). 
I’d ‘bang’ it on the floor, dance it along the floor, 
maybe ‘hit’ her on the side with it a couple times,
and in general act like an idiot.  
Hey, it worked, she’d give me a little tug, 
I’d feed her some food. 
We’d then do our ‘shaping behaviors’ 
for that meal, and then tug again.  
Lesson done!
At first our sessions were longer, 
as it took her awhile to ‘engage’ with the PTR.   
It was much more difficult to get her to engage, 
prior to the meal, than after. 
I would often come out of the bathroom, 
bedroom, or porch, to Bill’s question,
“What the heck were you doing in there?”. 
My response, “Getting Nettle to tug of course”, 
- insert eye roll here, 
like doesn’t everyone do this???
I would love to tell you it only took a couple sessions,
and she was tugging quickly, it didn’t.  
Morning and night we would work our tug, 
before the meal, and after.  
She did learn that if she wanted to ‘get on with the lesson’ 
– and more importantly ‘the food’,
she would need to tug.  
That was a major breakthrough. 
I’m guessing that took a several weeks. 
During that time, 
I switched from using the PTR for a variety of other toys.  
At first I used the toys I knew she liked, 
Tony the tiger, Otto, the possum, 
and then switched to the toys I wanted to use. 
The transition was fairly easy, 
there were a few ‘battles of the wills’ 
where she just wanted the FOOD!  
But I just kept at it.  
Bouncing the toy on the floor, 
and acting a fool. 
She’d give in, 
realizing she wasn’t going to eat until she played. 
I can’t tell you how much this has paid off!!  
She can now tug while I have any kind of food in my hand. 
She’s learning that she needs to ‘tug like she means it’.  
In other words, I’m not accepting ‘Lip Service Tugging’. 
It can be exhausting for me at times, 
but if I give in now, it will be even harder to get it back.  
‘Who’s training Who’??
You might be wondering why I care if she tugs.  
Tug builds passion, food sedates 
(unless you’re a Lab!!! – Just kidding Michele). 
I want to be sure Nettle is ‘working’ and ‘performing’ at her best.  
For me and many others…that means having a great tug!
So, get out there and develop that TUG!! 
Don’t accept ‘Lip Service Tugging’!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nettle's Second Retrieve Lesson

Okay, so this is a few months ago!  

Sometimes things just get pushed to the side!
I'm just glad I still have the video! 

Nettle had her first retrieve lesson shortly after I got her, in the middle of June.  We’d just starting our ‘shaping/clicker’ learning, and it wasn’t stellar, so I just put the retrieve aside for awhile and worked on some other behaviors.  Hindsight, I sure wish I would have taped that session! 
In a nutshell, the session went something like this: She would look at it, and I’d click and place my reward on, or near the object.  She would push it with her foot, and I would click that.  I was clicking almost any interaction with the article, then she'd walk away. Finally I just put it away, what is the big hurry!  We'll come back to it once she's learned more about learning, and I've learned more about how she learns.  I think we need to do this a little more often.  Why is there a time line when things need to be learned?   
Two weeks later, I pulled that article back out, and what a difference.  We’d learned more shaping behaviors by then, and she’s learned that if an object was present, then chances were I’d want her to interact with it.  Latent learning at it’s best!  She acted like she’d been doing this for awhile.  I even decided to see if she’d take it from my hand, which is something that’s required at Apprentice level of water work, and she did.
I added a metal spoon, and there wasn’t any problem there either. 
I taped my whole session; it’s 5 minutes in length, and longer than I’d normally work one behavior.   It’s rather a boring clip, but if you’re struggling with your dog’s willingness to retrieve, it might be helpful?  
Most importantly, don't be in a hurry! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get Out Of Novice??

(Bill and Kruz - June 1999 - Nov A)

I heard several people discussing the Novice this weekend, and it got me thinking.... 
Should you really get out of Novice as fast as you can? 
Maybe; Possibly; Could be???
My answer would be: ‘It depends on the dog.”
Novice tends to be pretty wide open, encouraging full extension running. 
It seems like the obstacles are all 20-25’ apart, 
and you really don’t have many options for handling.
The courses are pretty much, RLH!!  (Run Like Heck)
Novice courses can be ‘deadly’ for dogs that would prefer not to collect, 
lacks a good balance of handler vs. obstacle focus, 
and that tend to flatten out over a straight line of jumps. 
If you have a dog like this, 
it might be good advice to ‘get the heck out of Novice’.
For others, it might be smarter to stay in Novice.  
For those dogs that lack confidence, lack motivation,
or haven’t found the joy in the game, it might pay off to stay.  
I realize some would argue that these dogs
shouldn’t be competing if they have any of the above, 
but let’s face it, it happens. 
Sometimes you don’t even know there’s a problem until you enter. 
Some dogs stress ‘high’, some stress ‘low’, 
so your first trial is somewhat of a ‘crap shoot’.  
It an assessment of where you are, 
and what homework you have ahead.
Nina was a dog that lacked confidence in the agility ring. 
I would not have thought they would be a problem.  
She was fine at home (who isn’t), and at the training building.  
Her first Novice weekend was horrible!  
It was a 3 day AKC weekend, and I’d stupidly 
entered her in both JWW and Stnd all 3 days.  
What was I thinking!!  
She qualified 5/6 runs, and I suppose
some people would be thrilled with that.  
They were slow, unconfident, 
and to be honest, not fun.  
So, we had some homework to do when we got home. 
I entered Nina in 3 more weekends of Novice agility throughout that summer, 
(one or two days vs. two or three), just to build confidence and joy.
Our focus was attitude, not matter the Q, and she has well the number
needed to move into Open.  
Seemed rather silly to move her up, w
hen we were struggling with confidence on the ‘simple’ courses.  
Nina went on to become a really nice agility dog. 
For those thinking about entering Novice, 
you might want to break up your days at a 3 day trial (Friday/Sunday), 
or only enter one class each day.  
That way, if you end up with a glaring ‘training hole’, 
you won’t have the opportunity, or feel the need, to keep your turn. 
You can go home and work on it.
So, I guess when you are asking yourself, 
do I move up to Open, evaluate your dog. 
If it’s right for both of you…DO IT!! 
If it’s not, don’t move up just to avoid having to stay until the end of the day. 
Now…if you ask me if you should move out of Open…….YES!!!  
Seems to me that often the open courses are more difficult than the excellent!
Enjoy the Journey…..
It never lasts long enough!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Uncle Seeker

Seeker is an Uncle!!
Is he excited? 
No, he doesn't even know what it means.....
I'm excited!

Aren't they cute!
I rather fancy the weird white one!
Go figure!

3 boys and 1 girl 

Maybe in a few years we can get another one?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A New PWD Water Exercise?

We took the dogs swimming out to Sandy Beach last Sunday.  It’s quite possibly the last swim outing of the year.  What a beautiful day, and although the water was a bit chilly, once you were in, it was fine.  The dogs didn’t seem to mind one bit.

It’s quite apparent that next year I’ll need to take Nettle swimming without Seeker.  She can’t seem to focus when there’s a Border Collie tail around.  She ‘thought’ about grabbing Kruz’s once, but didn’t follow through with it, funny how that is.  I do wish Seeker would tell her to stop and really mean it, as I can tell he’s not happy about the ‘tow line’ either. 

I think I might have to suggest a new water exercise to the PWDCA (Portuguese Water Dog Club of America).  The exercise would involve the ability to latch onto a Border Collie’s tail and then proceed to be ‘towed’ out, and/or ‘towed’ in.  This of course would require that PWD owners have a Border Collie willing to have it’s tail pulled.  Not a high likelihood of that, I suppose.

I was happy with Nettle’s swimming style, she’s nice and level in the water.  She lacks some confidence going out very far after she got a bit winded.  Swimming is hard work, so we’ll work on that slowly next year.  Kruz stays in the shallows now, but seemed to enjoy himself.  Seeker, well, he’s a water bum…what can I say.  We had to ‘make’ him stop, he would have happily played out in the water all day.  

(sorry about the color, it was brown vs. red, HONEST!)

Afterward, everyone got a bath.  Would have been a good time to take a ‘family picture’, but alas, opportunity missed! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

6 Months Old - Nettle

How did this happen?


  • Kruz – She likes to lay close to him on the bed, or in the yard.
  • Seeker’s Tail – Okay, she loves to play with Seeker too.
  • Chewing on things!  She likes the hard solid toys, that no one else does.
  • Eating!
  • Being outside.
  • Sleeping on the bed.
  • Splashing in the baby pool, or fish ‘tank’, whichever is available.
  • Chase games.
  • Dig in the dirt.
  • All people and dogs, even if they don’t like her.
 (Kruz 13 1/2 Yrs - Nettle 6 Months)

(Short Retrieve with Distraction = Seeker)


  • Being left in her crate during class nights. She can bark for 2+ hours straight, NOT PRETTY!
  • Not being the center of attention.


  • Bath
  • Nail grinding
  • Bee-Bops – banding her bangs.
  • Jumping up on grooming table – from chair.
  • The Vet.

  • Tugging (would like this to be in the love category)
  • Going for car rides.
 Naughtiness –

  • Jumps on counters and now twice on the kitchen table.
  • Jumps up on people.
  • Mouthing hands.
 Experiences –

  • She’s been to a couple agility trials, (visiting), and while there, worked on ‘holding position’, and tugging.  Not running agility of course! Played some retrieve games outside. 
  • Spent a few nights in a hotel. 

Behaviors – at various levels of ‘proficiency'

  • Puppy Grid Jumps
  • 2o2o – on board
  • Pivot on board
  • Hug a pole
  • “It’s Yer Choice”
  • Bang teeter board.
  • Skateboard
  • Crate Games – all levels
  • Give a Kiss.
  • Spin in a circle
  • “Dig’ around a jump upright – turning tight
  • Swim – going again today, it’s so nice.
  • Short retrieves to hand.
  • Come when called – still a work in progress.
  • Walk nicely with head halter on.
  • Great strangers appropriately (instead of jumping up on them)
  • Attention to me, with various levels of distraction.

So much more to learn!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tsunami in Iowa???

Yes, it's true!
Sunday evening, there was a Tsunami in Iowa!!
Just ask my Goldfish!

(The Face of Innocence??)

A little Background.....

I moved my fish into the house a couple weeks ago.  They are inexpensive feeder goldfish, which I’d used in my ‘barrel pond’.  It was a peacefully quite existence.  The most frightening part of the day was when one of the cats used it as a water bowl. 

As the cooler weather hit, I thought it might be fun to keep them over the winter, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a tank, filter, however.  Goldfish like cooler water, so unlike our dogs, they are perfect low maintenance pets.  A large tote filled with water was the PERFECT solution.  Another plus, they are able to spend most of the winter out on our small enclosed porch. 

It was all good….until the Tsunami struck!!

No matter what you’ve heard……
Tsunami’s are black, 17” tall, 30 lb, little curly monsters.
Our Tsunami’s name is Nettle!

I was sitting at the computer Sunday, playing my favorite ‘mindless’ computer game – Penguin Pirates, when I ‘heard’ the ‘noise’.  A whooshing noise, that only comes from PWD feet paddling in water!  Water??  MY FISH!!!  #%#$&#&%

 Yes, Nettle decided to have ‘a party of one’ and plunge her feet into the 20 gallon tote and DIG! 

I pulled Nettle from the ‘pond’, and I’m trying to hold her still as water is running off her face, and front legs.  Her tail wagging happily as I’m hollering for HELP!!!  Bill of course, was in his ‘man cave’, watching football.  He must have waited for a commercial, as it seemed like forever before he came with a towel.

The Border Collies are both hiding, 
“It wasn’t us!!!  We tried to STOP HER.  It wasn’t us!!”

I’m now frantically counting fish in the debris of shredded water plants, and stirred up goldfish dung….eeewww!!!  One, two, three, and four!!  All still "happily??" in the water!!  That was close!!

I look around the small enclosed porch and notice more water plant carnage.  Apparently it’s fun to grab a water plant, carry them dripping wet to the bench 17’ away, jump up, and shred the life out of them.  
 This of course was prior to giving the fish a cardiac workout!   
Poor little fish!! 

(A dump and cleaning is now in order)

To the goldfish, a large Oscar must be looking like a good alternative to a PWD.

It’s really hard to be upset with her when she’s so proud of herself. 

I guess I’d better go fill up the baby pool outside for a 
couple more days of fun warm weather!   
Maybe that will keep her out of the fish tote for awhile?
Or….maybe I should just close that door? 
No, that would make too much sense!

I shoulda got a Border Collie!!! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dirty Rotten Border Collies

Renee had this shirt on this weekend. 
Black with White Letters.

She owns an Aussie. 

You've just got to love a Border Collie!!

A couple fun clips I came across in You Tube.....

Such nice biddable dogs.
Always ready for a fun game of.......

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Between the Legs - A new Move!

There are times on the agility course that things don't go as planned.  
When those things happen, you go to Plan "B". 
This was NOT Plan "B"!

In fact, I can't imagine it's in anyone's
alphabet of game plans!

Poor Seeker, 
See the 'finger' on my left hand?
That's where you are 
suppose to be!

Alas, we survived that collision, 
but went on to mess up the relatively
simple 'tunnel/dog walk' discrimination. 

Luckily, I have great balance,
Seeker has a hard head, 
and the only injury was a small bruise. 

Ego's NOT included!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Does The Future Hold?

Do you ever think back to the ‘good ole days’ of agility? 
Remember when:
  • Most trials were outside, so your agility season ran from April to October.
  • AKC allowed both an 8’ or 12’ teeter.
  • We had to roll out mats at the armory, and unload the trailer before practicing.
  • Reloading the trailer and rolling mats back up after practice!
  • 2 on/off contacts were the ‘in thing’.
  • Weaving on the right was AMAZING!
  • There was ‘no such thing’ as a Blind Cross.
  • No one owned their own contact pieces.
  • You had to travel at least 4 hours to the nearest AKC Agility Event.
  • Classes were once a week.
  • Seminars once a year, maybe!
  • WOW!  You have a computer! You were SOMETHING!
  • The majority of trials are indoors, on soccer turf.
  • The 8’ dog walk is obsolete.
  • Few people would think of running, or training on mats.
  • Unload a Trailer once a week?  NO WAY!
  • True Running (Full Extension) Contacts are in! 
  • Weave poles are 'just another obstacle'.
  • Blinds aren’t ‘totally’ in, but they will be. (Prediction here)
  • Most people own at least one piece of contact equipment.
  • Trials are getting closer.
  • Classes can be found on multiple nights.
  • On line classes are now available.
  • Seminars are offered all over. 
  • Internet is on your phone.

It’s just amazing how things have evolved, and continue to do so. 
Do you ever wonder if you might be able to ‘trial’ in your ‘own back yard’. 

Maybe someone sends you a course to set (depending on your yard size),
You simply send in a clip of your dog running it, and someone ‘judges’ you.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see…………it’s a crazy changing world we live it.
Who would have thought you’d ever be able to type a message into a phone?
Even more unbelievable, Molly, 
our Bichon would be 20 years old this week!
Time sure flies!

  (My first Agility Dog)
I guess this is all HER fault!