Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun at the lake

Yesterday we took the dogs to the lake. They had a great time. Guiness actually played and ran up and down the little beach area. This is a small island, maybe 3 acres, so I hope I cant lose Guiness here. The beach is very small, so I can see him at all times. Miley actually got into the water up to her chest on her own. I did bribe her to swim with hot dogs. She actually stayed out in the water and swam around a little before going back to the beach. Yea!! The only negative was when we were back at the boat dock. Our boat slip is all the way at the end of the dock, so its a long walk back to the end of the dock to get to your car. We were almost to the end and I stopped to open the gate door. Miley just fell off the dock into the water. I didn't even hear her hit the water, the leash just went tight and I looked over and she was in the water swimming. Its about a 3 foot drop. I just reach down and picked her up. She didn't seem upset or concerned and walked happily up to the car. So I'm hoping that it didn't make a bad impression.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mileys jumping style

Can you see Miley's jumping style? Me either. The next video is in slow motion.There is only one jump in the second video.

Ive been reading Linda M. book on jumping. I'm trying to figure out Miley's jumping style . I think she is combination of rounded and inverted. What do you think? She look rounded but then her head is up and not absorbing the impact as she lands, which is an inverted style.

Running contacts: Ive used the box to help with contacts on the dogwalk and its working great. She is now hitting right in the middle of the yellow contact area. Will see if it holds up as I take pieces of the box off. (Im not ready for that yet) The box on the a-frame is another story. She is hitting in the yellow but right at the first slated area. I would like her to be a little lower so that the judge can be sure she was in the yellow. So tonight I moved the box down into the yellow just a few inches and it made a big difference. We we also see how that pans out.

O,yea. I took Guiness to the vet yesterday. His two guesses where the same as mine. Its either ringworm or mange. Nothing showed up under the black light. He scraped it and looked at it under the microscope. No mange. So he pulled out some hair from the site and sent it for a fungal culture. He told me to keep treating it with the cream I have until we see what comes back. He didn't want me to spend any money on another cream so I would have money to come back next week. He was just kidding about coming back next week. I told him I should just have my pay check directly deposited in his account. He laughed and said that works for him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lesson and class

First of all, I tried for the last 24 hours to try and download a video. But it just isn't happening. So now on to something else.
I finally got to a private lesson and and class. I figured if I was going all that way for a class, I might as well do a lesson. Miley has been dropping a lot of bars lately. "M" watched her her do some jump grids and she felt that Miley had good form over the jumps. She is using her back end to propel herself over the bar. She feels that Miley just wants to run fast and isn't realizing she is dropping bars. She set up a jump grid program for me to work on with Miley.

Then I had her watch me do serpentines because those weren't going well either. Well, I was standing to far back from the jumps and giving Miley to much room, which was giving Miley the wrong information about where to jump too. Plus I had her set up straight at the jump, instead of sideways.

Then she watched Miley weave. She felt that Miley's weaving was good. I need to work on entries more. When I'm moving the jumps around the clock into the weave poles, I'm moving them to much for a young dog. I need to only move them inches at a time.

Next she had me walk this course and run Miley. I don't know why but I did a come to heal from #1 to #2 , then when she came out of the tunnel I had her kinda come to heal againto jump #3 and then I rear crossed her going into the tunnel #4. So when she came out of the tunnel I was behind her and my call to the next tunnel was late. So she came straight out of the tunnel heading toward the a-frame. "M" told me to run it again, and this time use post turns. This got me ahead of Miley coming out of tunnel #4 ,so that I could direct her better to tunnel #5. It work so much better than what I did. But I still pushed her off her line a little going to tunnel # 5. This is a good reason why I need to go to classes. I never would have thought of that. It amazed me how much better that little change helped the dog. (I know Im easily amazed). That was the end of the private lesson. After the lesson, Miley kept going up to "M"'s 6 month old puppy that helps guard the sheep. Miley wanted to play. So "M" got her Jack Russell puppy out, but Miley wouldn't play. So "M" got out her boarder collie puppy. Miley almost played but didn't. I guess she felt is was safe to try to play with the dog behind the fence as long as they don't get to close. Funny dog.

Next was the class. Only one other person came to the class. We worked on the circle of death. Serpentines and threadles. Then we ran this little sequence.

we ran it a bunch of different ways. Miley did really well except for a few times while jumping over the broad jumps, half way across she would give herself some more lift by pushing off one of the middle planks. She wants to fly I think. The other thing I need to work on is having the dog come out of the tunnel, she crosses in front of me and then takes one of the side jumps. So a rear cross. I hope that makes sense. All in all it was a good class.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Its been an off week.

My practice sessions with Miley haven't been going well. She just isn't reading my signals well. Not sure if its me or her. But even her contacts started falling apart. The only thing I can think of is that she is upset about me going back to work. She is a dog that likes every thing the same all the time.For example; I usually walk all the dogs through the first half of the neighborhood and then I drop the chihuahuas off and take the shelties the rest of the way. Now if I decided not to take the shleties for the rest of the walk, Miley stands at the door and paces. If I don't practice agility in the morning , she barks at me until I take her out and practice. So I think she is just confused and will just take some time to adjust.

I'm not sure if Guiness rash on his face is much better. The vet wanted to to treat it like ringworm if it doesn't get better in a week to bring him in. This picture on the left is this week, the picture on the right is the older picture. Its less defined and the outer edges aren't as red. Not sure if I would say it is better. Also I talked to the vet about Guiness not wanting to walk. He thinks its because of getting lost at the beach. At first I would agree because it only happened when it was dark out. But today I didn't walk them until 7am and it was light out. He started the walk ok except he seemed stiff to me. Then he started lagging behind. Then he refused to walk any further, so I took him home. I gave him some pain medication and he seems fine now.
I also signed up to use the dog park at a local park. Then one with the snake from last week. I'm only going to go in when no one is in the park. I just wanted a place to let the dogs run free without being able to get lost. I took them for the first time yesterday morning. It wasn't very successful. Guiness tried to play with Miley but she didn't want to. Maybe she just needed to get use to the place. The funny thing was, there is a combination lock into the dog park. You get the new combination for each month. Well I had the number in the car and looked at it before entering the park. You are to lock the gate after you go in. Did I think about remembering the combination after I was in the park. NO! So when it was time to go, I went to the gate and panic for a second. Luckily I only change one digit to lock it and could remember it. What would I have done if I didn't know the combination. I did have a phone but my husband has been out of town all week so he couldn't help. ( He comes back today) I guess I could call my kids an pray they wake up to answer the phone. I wont make the mistake again. I could see myself sitting there for hours waiting for someone to show up. Ha!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not much dog stuff going on.

So since its a slow dog week, Ill talk about kids. Here is the first day of school picture of my kids. My son is in the 12th grade and my daughter is in the 10th grade. Its amazing that my son has almost made it through school. He really didn't speak until he was 3yr old. But we knew something was not right. My daughter, who was 2 years younger than him, understood things he didn't. We had him tested and he was a year and a half behing in speaking and understanding language. When he was 4 and you would asked him his name. He would hold up 4 fingers and say, "I'm this many". He was started in a special program to help with language skills. Then they thought he had hearing problems. But that wasn't it. He had an auditory processing disorder. One part of the test they hook electrodes to the brain and put a sound into his ear. They can watch the brain process the sound . It never made it to the appropriate place to be recognized . They said it just go lost. They were many parts to the test , that was just one thing. You really cant fixed an auditory processing problem. At school, the tried an auditory trainer. That is when the teacher wears a microphone and the student wears headphones to help get the information to the student better, that didn't work. But as time had gone on, you must learn to compensate. But I do think that is why he doesn't respond when people pass him and say "hi". Of course people think he is being rude. Even when you try to explain. He also can not hear an alarm clock. It can be on full blast right next him and he doesn't wake up. It will keep beeping until the clock shuts itself off. We are still working on this problem because he wants to go to college.
Then he couldn't learn his ABC's. I carried flash cards everywhere we went. I'm sure he just loved that. He even had a tutor in kindergarten. What kid needs a kindergarten tutor? He did. By the end of first grade he couldn't learn to read. The school had tested him and said he had a learning disability . So I'm sitting in the meeting at the end of first grade, my kid cant read. They say, "we don't know what else to do for him". Can you believe that. They are the teachers, councilors and psychiatrist. So I took him to be tested some place else. I found better information. He is auditorially dyslexic. He needed a reading program that taught phonics thought tactile and visual stimulation. So I found a program called auditory discrimination in depth and we did it every day , twice a day every where we went. To grandmas house, vacation etc..... I'm sure he loved that too. Sometimes I had to be really mean to make he sit those 15 min. sessions. First I had to teach myself the info and they teach it to him. But within 2 months he started to read. The first time he read a word, I started jumping up and down and yelling, "you did it". He didn't seem quite as excited as his mom. But today his reading is still above grade level and he reads constantly. Now to 3rd grade. Yes, he was reading but not learning in school. When ever it was time for a test, it was like he never saw the info before. Also he couldn't even spell the word "the". The letters of the alphabet were taped to his desk to help him remember. Then he had to answer a questionnaire about himself for school. The last question said, If you could have anything in the whole wide world, what would it be? Do you know what he said? "To be smart". Well that said it all. That day I started looking for schools for kids with learning disabilities. There were no schools in Knoxville so we knew we had to more. I loved living in Knoxville and I loved my job. But you love your kids more than yourself . So we found some cities with good schools and then my husband tried to get a job in one of those cities. That's how we ended up in Columbia, South Carolina. He spent 3 years in a spacial school and then went back into pubic school.
Going back to pubic school has been hard. He never really made any friends. More testing. He has Asbergers syndrome. Its a type of Autism where you have really poor social skills. And boy has that been tough. I worried a long time on this. He gets help at school to work on his social skills but I really haven't seen much change. Now I just don't worry that much because he seems happy enough. He is on the high school swim team, he just doesn't talk much and the kids are ok with that. He didn't pass his second year of German which you need to go to college. But geez if they knew what it took to read , write and speak English, which he hears all the time, they would understand. So he is taking German again. Other than that his grades are good and he has good SAT scores so hopefully college is in his future. Sorry to ramble on, just reflecting on his school years. Plus all this keeps dog stuff in prospective. If you dog cant keep a sit stay, its not the end of the world.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anyone know what this is?

Ok, what do you think this is? Its on Guiness. Ringworm, mange? He still has hair on the spot but the picture doesn't show it. Something else in Guiness's basket of problems.
Today I took Miley to a tattoo clinic for dogs. They were also doing eye checks and heart checks. I just signed up for the tattoo. Ive never had a dog tattoo before and was unsure of what to expect. Well I probably wont ever do it again. It didn't look pleasant. Miley cried out a couple of times but they said that was because she caught a stray hair with the tattoo device. I had them tattoo her AKC number on her. It didn't take long but I know Miley was glad to get out of there. Her leg seemed sore, so when I got home I gave her a pain pill. I also gave her an antibiotic just because they use the same needle or what ever it was on all the dogs. I think that she would have been better off with some sedation but I guess that is just me. Everyone I talked to said they had their dog tattoo without medication. I know I had her micro chipped but I just felt there would be extra security with a tattoo.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I hate snakes

Yesterday my husband and I took Miley and Guiness to the park to walk. The path is made of cement and is pretty wide and the woods are on each side. You can walk down some short paths to the river too. First we run into a dog off leash. He was huge , like a Great Pyrenees. I could here the lady calling him. He seemed friendly enough but I still don't think people should let their dogs off leash when other people are around. We weren't the only people walking either. I felt bad but my husband squirted the dog with water twice to get him to go away. I never saw the owner just heard her calling her dog. I love dogs but I still don't want other peoples dogs just coming up to us. You just never know what will happen. Then on the way back there was a snake next to and just on top of the cement path. (If you click on the picture, it will get bigger so you can see the snake). Miley went by it, I freaked out and said "snake" . That made Miley come back and almost step on the snake. It recoiled when she went over it and I thought she got bit. But she never acted like she was bit and I couldn't find anything. My husband took a picture of it with his camera phone. We looked it up when we got home. It was a copperhead. I hate snakes. At least it is not an aggressive snake and only bites if you step on it or try to pick it up. It usually will keep perfectly still until you leave. Which it did.
Mickey got his teeth cleaned yesterday and they had to pull 3 teeth in the front. They were all loose. He did fine. He was also micro chipped. I told them to make sure the micro chip was in because Mickey will not tolerated putting that back in again like Miley did. Guiness's blood work came back normal.

Last year: T4 .8
FT4d 12

This time T4 1.8
FT4d 44

But he is still not acting right. This morning again he refused to go for a walk. Hummmmmm!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Last day of vacation

Today is the last day of vacation. Tomorrow I go back to work. Boooooooo! Its been raining since last night and Miley is beside herself with boredom. I did walk them this morning before the rain started up again. Guiness wouldn't go for a walk. I got him to the street and he wouldn't move. He has never done that before. I have walked him every morning for the last 3 years. Sometimes he doesn't go for the first half of the walk, but usually when I come back with the chihuahuas, he is waiting. Today he wasn't waiting but he did come for treats. But like I said, when he got to the street , he wouldn't move. So I put him back in the house and just took Miley. I did give him some pain medication with his breakfast. Then about 1 hour later, I took Miley and Guiness to the park to walk. He did that with no problems. His blood work was all normal, but we are still waiting on the free T4. So, I'm not sure what is wrong with him. He just seem like he doesn't want to do anything but lie on the couch. No limping except his usual limp that no one can figure out what is wrong.

Below is the video from yesterday, I think. The box a-frame is looking pretty good. I'm made a new box that fits the dog walk and have started training that too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dropping bars

I set up a jumpers course that was used at our clubs spring trial. It was a novice course. I walked it and then ran Miley just like if we were at a trial. She dropped several bars. She is taking off to soon and I'm not sure why. She did this several runs in a row and then she seemed to fix it. Do I need to do some jump chutes with her? I don't have the room to practice at home like I do on this club practice field. Is that the reason she was taking off to soon. She has so much more room to run and is just to excited?? She missed a few jumps going wide but that was my fault. I also need to work on "go on" , she didn't seem to understand that command at all.

Friday, August 8, 2008

crazy things

Its been very hot lately. I think its been 100 degrees or above for the last week. So its hard to have fun with the dogs outside because they cant take it. Miley is going crazy. She has been licking the walls and trying to eat them. She has tried to chew through my cable cords on my computer. I bought some clear plastic tubing today and covered the cords. And then she peed in the house. Today is a little better , about 92 but it is still hard to go outside.
Then I found a pile of vomit in the living room . It was small pieces of the nylon leash Guiness had on when he was lost. Do you think it could have been in his stomach all this time? There is no where else he could have gotten that leash. I threw the other one that I had away because it made me feel sick to see it. He has been acting weird lately, but no stomach problems. He has been eating and going to the bathroom ok. The only thing is he hasn't had much energy. He wont chase or play with toys. He doesn't want to go for walks but once I get him going he seems fine. I took him to the vet on Tuesday for his yearly exam. I ask them to draw a T4 and free T4. Last year his T4 was .8 (nl was 1-4) and his free T4 was 12 (nl was 8-40). The vet called yesterday and said they didn't get enough blood and I needed to bring him back in. I figured I take him in Monday, that way the blood doesn't sit around all weekend. But maybe he just had a rope in his stomach. Hmmmmm.
I was suppose to go to a seminar with Karen Holik this weekend but some how my spot got messed up and I was changed from a working spot to auditor. I decided not to go. I would rather work my dog. I need practice on front crosses because I'm late, late, late..... So now on Saturday, I'm going to Lander University with my son for a campus tour.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Box a-frame

Here is Miley's box work for the a-frame. She is pretty consistent about missing the box 1 in 7 times. This was yesterdays video. Tonight , I worked on running all the way down the line and she hit the box every time. In a couple of days I will put the box on the a-frame. The video is pretty boring. But if you see something I'm doing wrong, let me know.

Its so hot lately, its miserable! Its 90 degrees by 10am and sill 90 degrees at 10pm. The only time to work the dog is in the early morning. But the problem is the grass is wet with dew. Miley doesn't like running on it. Its slippery , which is dangerous. That means there is no good time to work. I ran her a little through the weave poles yesterday afternoon . She was so hot, she almost laid down in the baby pool. She was standing there and then went into a bow. I was so excited. But then she changed her mind. Drats!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


So I finally made it to a class. I think its been about 2 months since I last was there. Class was suppose to be Thursday night. Its pretty far away but now about 45 min. closer since she opened a second class at a closer location. I was stuck in traffic for about 20 min. and only moved about 1 mile. I'm sitting there thinking I'm going to be late. Traffic finally clears and I come over the hill and what do I see? Black skys with lighting bolts. Great, no class. So I turned around. Two hours in the car for nothing. But the instructor decided to give privates and semi-privates on Saturday. So I signed up. It was a very good lesson. I need to keep a small notebook in my pocket so I can write things down. I tried to write everything down when I got to the car, but I'm sure there are things I forgot.

Things noted by the instructor I need to work on or fix:

Start line stays. When I set Miley up at the start line she is scooting backwards just a little. "M" ( the instructor) feels this could be a problem because at many trials the first jump is close to the fencing. She may scoot back into the fence and then develop other issues. Also it may change her line. I think its because I set her up at the start and just tell her to "wait" . She can choose to lie down or sit. I notice that when she lies down , is when she scoots backwards. "M" thinks I should line her up between my legs. I may do this , I'm not sure. Only because Miley likes her space and this may not go over well with her. I may need to have more specific criteria at the start instead of just wait. I will work on both and see which goes better.

Pinwheels: I'm crossing to late which is causing Miley to go wide. I'm watching her to see if she is going to do her job and then the info she needs to keep going is not there. She needs the cue before she takes the jump and even when she lands on the jump before. I really need to work on this. I think that is why she drops so many bars. I'm giving her late infor and she is trying to do what I want. Like turning while going over the jump. (This is not stuff I recognized myself, "M" told me) I need to learn to watch her feet and where she is landing.

We also worked on serpentines. Again, I was late giving her the information she needs. But I think I have a better understanding so now I can work on it. All in all it was a great lesson. I learned a lot. "M" said Miley was looking really good and much improved from the last time she saw us. So that makes me happy.

Miley now is in 6 straight up weave poles. The mistake I made with Guiness was not teaching entries at the same time as teaching the poles. I hope Ive done a better job with Miley.

We are still working on the a-frame. We are up to two jumps and then jump in the box. (Rachel Sanders method). As soon as I put to much movement when going to the box, she jumps over it. So we are working on that. I will try to post video of it and maybe someone can give me some suggestions.

Guiness is cone free!!! What a happy dog. Miley is happy too because now Guiness is playing with her. When he was wearing the cone, he wouldn't play. Miley resorted to chewing on the end of the plastic cone to try to entice him. But it didnt work. He is done with the antibiotics too. Now the hair just needs to grow back. Below is a picture of Guiness back. Do you see the light strip of hair across his shoulder blades? Ive shaved him 3 years in a row and have never seen this before. Do you think its just because he is getting older? He is 4 years old. Hummmmm, its defiantly weird.