Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Here are some photos from our walk this morning that I thought were interesting. I hope you enjoy them. If you click on them, they will get bigger and look cooler.


Miley has been having a lot of problems with weave entries. She had lots of problems yesterday. I talked with Meagan , and figured out she is probably not collecting to make the entries. Yesterday I ran Miley at a friends house to practice contacts. She was flying and lost control going over the dogwalk. I thought she was going to fly off head over heels. It was very scary because there was nothing I could do to stop it. Luckily she jumped off and saved herself. She also crashed two jumps. I wasn't pushing her for speed so I'm note sure what is going on. I think this is something she needs to figure out herself. So it makes sense that she is not collecting. Plan for today: I set up the weaves with two jumps in front that will force her to collect. The jump closest to the weaves is 6 feet from the weave entry. I was only able to move the jumps 19 inches off center and still get a successful entry. So lots of work to do there. I marked the lawn with spray paint so I know were I started and finished. ( you start with the jumps directly in front of the weave and move them around the clock to work entries) when working this Miley was pretty slow. Hopefully she was thinking.
I ran her twice on the dogwalk. The first time she ran down to the bottom and stopped right before she would go into a 2o/2o. I just waited and didn't say anything. It took her about 15 seconds and then she stepped into the 2o/2o. I then put her on the table with a release to the dogwalk. This time she did a perfect 2o/2o but after receiving the treat,she released herself into the tunnel. Smart dog, she know the routine. Guess I'm going to have to change that.

More pictures.

Just trying to edit some of the pictures to get more color in them. I notice when I posted some of the pictures yesterday that looked washed out. So Im trying again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here are my action shots

Thanks to Sara for helping me with my action shots. I thought I would post some of them. I also shot them in RAW so I could adjust some of the lighting and color.

Back to Agility

I made it to a class last night. I should have taken a private lesson but me and my infinite wisdom thought there wasn't anything to work on. ( Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor because you were laughing so hard you fell out of your chair) I know , what was I thinking. Anyway, in the class first we ran numbers 1-8. I didn't have any real problems. Except the fact that Meagan asked me how my contacts were going. I said, "there great, she has good speed and is stopping on all the contact even with me behind." LoL, she didn't stop on one contact in class. Miley made me a lier out of me again. Meagan said I just need to work on the contacts in as many different places as I can. Then we ran 9-18. Here is where the trouble began. Jumps 11-13 I just couldn't get. I tried a front cross at 11 and 12 but she went way wide coming over 12, like she was going to the weaves. My cross was late, I tried it again, same thing. Then we ran the whole course. This time I move laterally to soon and pulled her off the #2 tunnel. So I restarted. Success. Then doing jumps 11-13 I tried being in front of jump 11 and then post turn #12 but again Miley went way wide. So Meagan said that I either needed to said in the pocket ( where the red man is on the course map) and work it all from there to keep the dog tight. Or I need to front cross where the green man is on the course to bring the dog in tight and collected. I was front crossing to close to jump 12. Miley didn't get into any of the weaves until the third pole but weaved all the was down. I didn't fix any of that. It was dark on the field even with the lights on. Plus weave entries is something I need to work on at home and not waste class time on it. She did stop on the A-Frame. Most of the dogs struggled with 16-18. It was tight coming off the a-frame to jump 16. But the dogs were mostly big dog with long strides. Miley didn't have a problem with that. So it was a good class and I know what I need to work on at home. ( The course map above is just an estimate of the spacing. Meagan designed the course. It just an idea of how the obstacles were laid out. If you set the course up you will have to adjust it.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happiness is puppy pictures

Its still cloudy and raining here. So I thought I would post a happy picture. This is Miley when she was about 10 weeks old.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just trying some pictures.

Hey look, all 4 dogs are lying down and staying still for the picture.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We are home!!

Yea, a bed that can hold two adults and 4 dogs. Its always nice to see family but oh so good to come home. It was very warm in Savannah, 75 degrees. I had to call my husband on the way down and tell him to throw some short sleeve t-shirts in the car. I should have also asked for shorts. My husband and son came down later that night after my son finished work. It was warm and then with the cooking on Christmas it was 80 degrees in the house. After eating Christmas dinner I saw a dog head pop up around the buffet table. I went over to see what was going on and my mom's dog had gotten a turkey leg off the turkey tray. At least it wasn't one of my dogs. But later that night Roxy was found standing on the table eating the butter was was left out. Which is why the Chihuahuas spend most of the time lock in our bedroom when we visit my mom.
This morning my mom and I were going through old photo books. Some of the pictures were dated 1886. My mom was trying to tell me who all the people were in the pictures. I really hope she doesn't think I can remember all these people. My mom is from Germany so there are lots of unusual names. My grandmother's name was Classuen and then she married a Hamdorff. That was my mom's dad. He died in WWII. My grandmother remarried a Roeschmann. So there are lots of extra people to know. So we got through that album. Then we opened one of my dad's albums. There are lots of pictures of him in the military. I don't know if you will think this is funny but it just struck me as hilarious. We were going through the book and she points to these two pictures and says, " That's when you dad was on that cruise ( she pauses) the Forrestal." Well when you think of a cruise, you think fun, sun and sitting by the pool drinking. The USS Forrestal was on commission for the Vietnam war. My dad was aboard that aircraft carrier along with the famous John McCain. During the tour a bomb misfired off one of the planes on deck. There was a huge fire and hole in the ship. Many men lost their lives. It changed the way the fire was fought on ships. All the firemen were lost in the first explosion and no one left on ship knew how to fight the fire. So after that, all shipmates had to be taught how to fight fires on ships in case that ever happens again. Not exactly a cruise. So every time I think about my mom saying that it just cracks me up.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas in Savannah

Guiness is saying, "Please , no more pictures"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Miley's first USDAA trial

This was the BRAC trial that was in Fletcher , North Carolina. On Saturday we had to get there early so Miley could be measured. Measuring was suppose to start at 7am. I think it started about 7:15am. There was probably 100 dogs that needed to be measured. It lasted until 9am or maybe is was 9:30. So our ring started about 1 1/2 hours late. Our first run was Gamblers. She did the first a-frame contact and the first dogwalk contact but then didn't stop for the 2nd dogwalk contact. Otherwise it looked great and she did a great job. I always find it funny that when Im running the course I feel like I'm running. But when I watch the video , I don't look like I'm running at all. Hmmmm. We took first place. Luckily a couple of people ( "M" was one of them) were looking out for me because it wasn't posted in the book that goes to USDAA. But they got if fixed so I would get credit for the run.

Next was our standard run. She did a great job. Such an improvement over our last AKC standard run. Did the a-frame , great table, great teeter and fantastic weave poles. She didn't stop again for the dogwalk. Both times this happened I was behind her. So that is something I will have to work on. After the dogwalk was jump, chute to the tunnel. As soon as I saw her go into the tunnel I took off running because I wanted to get in front of the teeter( that where the teeter game comes in handy) But she must have saw me out of the corner of her eye and she pulled back out of the tunnel. I guess I could have put her back in but I really try not to correct my dogs on course. So I just kept going. Then I'm not sure what I did to cause this but she back jumped the last jump. I think I didn't keep up my momentum and it caused her to pull off the jump. We didn't qualify but it was still a great run.

On Sunday we did the jumper run. She did great. I think the course time was 39 seconds and she did it in 19 seconds. But once again when I look at the video it seems slow. She had a nice run and took 1st place. We didn't stay for the gamblers run at the end of the day. I wasn't feeling good and I really didn't want her practicing not stopping on the dogwalk. So we went home and we were happy.

Holly cow Batman, Its freezing cold outside!

I couldn't go Christmas shopping last week when it was 70 and 80 degrees outside. Oh no, I had to wait until it dropped into the 20's and 30's to get that real Christmas feeling. What was I thinking??? ( Still having Internet problems. Maybe when the weather gets warmer it will start working better. It took me several tries to post that little paragraph yesterday)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Problems with the internet

Sorry I haven't posted. The Internet has been having problems at my house. Not sure why. We aren't have a snow storm. Every time Ive tried to post about the trial, I get an error. Ugh!! We did go and had a good time. She took 2 first places. Yea! I will hopefully be able to post tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Day

Today is my last day at my job. Yea!!! I forgot to tell you that I did get the job at the middle school. So I start there on January 5th. I'm so excited. Since Wednesday Ive been waking up thinking, "crap, its not Friday". But today is!!!!!
Yesterday I took Miley to a baseball field near my house. I set up 7 jumps and a tunnel. She did great. Great speed and distance. Read most of my crosses correctly. The funny part was the daycare kids were sitting on the hill watching. At the end of a sequence the would start clapping. It was cute. Today I will probably just do a few weave poles and contacts. Then tomorrow we are off to our 1st USDAA trial. (Hers and mine). I'm hoping to have good speed and hit at least a few contacts. If she misses the weaves in the one standard run, Ill just keep running. She is just a great dog and loves agility. What fun!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here is my 6th picture

This picture was from the beach this summer. It was taken a couple of days before I lost Guiness on the beach. We were lucky and found him 2 days later.

I'm feeling better. I think Amanda is right about the sunlight. So even though the temperature has been warm, we haven't seen the sun in 4 days. I really need some bright sunny days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In a funk

Signed bad grades for the kids
dog peed and pooped on floor.
headache for 2 days.
lawn soaked with rain, kid parks car on lawn, car stuck in lawn, lawn a wreck
dog store doesnt have dog food I need
food fell out of pantry and onto floor, dogs eating as fast as they can
No snow, but it is 70 degrees and I dont feel like doing anything
I only have one Chirstmas present bought
everyone needs money from me ( not collectors, Ha)
House dirty
maybe I just need more sleep......

Monday, December 15, 2008

Contacts and weaves

Yesterday I set up some weaves. First I set up 3 stick in the ground poles and then a tunnel. With this set up she was 65% successful. Then I added 3 stationary poles on a metal base to make 6 poles. What happened? I had an 18% success rate . All correct entries but the failures were not completing the 6th pole. Not good, huh? Then I set the WAMs with the poles in a slight "V". She had a 70% success rate. This time all failures were missed entries. All missed entries were on the right side of the poles. So I read the special clean run issue on weaves and Susan Garretts book that at the end has the info about 2 X 2 weaves. What I decided I needed to do is back chain the weaves with her weaving away from me. I also decided to coat my metal base weave poles with a new coat of paint and put sand down on them. They have been slippery and I thing that is part of the problem.
What happened today? I back chained the weaves of 6 poles , starting with the 6th pole. That way she learns to do all the poles and I can see what the problem is. I used the new poles bases with the sand. Again I put a tunnel at the end. Well guess what? We had a 87% success rate after finishing the back chaining. The only failure was one missed entry. What made the difference? I don't know. I think back chaining helped. But I really think adding the sand to the poles helped her footing out. She never liked my poles and I knew that sometimes she did slip. Don't get to excited. We will have to see what happens the next time we weave.

Next was the contacts. What happened there? When I put a tunnel at the end of the dogwalk ,she ran right off without stopping. I think this was because of how I trained the running contacts. So yesterday and today I worked on back chaining that too. Its still iffy on when she stops. She either runs off or stops just before getting to the 2o/2o. But on the end that didnt have a tunnel and had a jump. Perfect 2o/2o. So more work there too.
I have been stressing about the trial this weekend. I kept thinking maybe I shouldn't go. It might be a disaster. Its causing me stress. Then it hit me. What am I doing. This is suppose to be fun. So what if she misses the weaves. So what if she screws up the contact. That's what I'm there to see and to have fun. I need to lighten up.
Last, I started a notebook on my training. I thought just doing this blog would help. But I need to be able to see what I worked on quickly. Plus at the end of my training I'm putting what I want to work on the next time I train. Its making me think more about what specific training I'm doing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ive had a break through!

So I finally got around to practicing with Miley this afternoon. My yard is still pretty wet but I thought we could do a little bit. I set up the weave poles to work on the entrance stuff that "m" told me about. The one with the two jumps then the weaves. Well she just kept skipping the last pole. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. And I finally saw it. I actually saw her looking ahead to the next obstacle which was a jump and pulling her out of the poles. I can never see anything I'm doing wrong. I can watch all my video and such but I cant really see what I'm doing or the dog is doing that is causing the problem. But this time I did see it. I'm so excited. I had a jump pretty close to the last pole that wasn't part of the exercise. It was probably 3 feet from the last pole. I was treating her , or trying to if she did it right, at the end of the poles. So I wasn't thinking about the jump. Then I saw her head come up and looking at the jump when in the 4-5th pole. And it hit me. She is already looking for the next obstacle. Once I move the jump just a little bit back, she stayed in the poles without a problem. My next problem is still the 2o/2o. I can back chain and back chain and she gets the 2o/2o. But once I have her run the whole dogwalk she goes to the end of the board and stops but doesn't touch the ground. The only thing I can think of it that I did so many running contacts that it is still somewhat in her head. So when she is running the whole board she is still not sure of what I want. So more reps of that to do. I didn't really work on anything else.

Lots of rain

We had a lot of rain for 2 days this week. There has been no rain since Thursday. So today I went to the park to walk the dogs and was surprised to see how high the water was. Remember the pictures I took with the dogs on the rocks? I was able to step on the rocks which were in the river.

Well here are to rocks today.

I havent practiced any agility with Miley for about 4 days now. Hopefully I will get to it today. Yea for sunshine!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New blog header

Ok, Ive been trying for quiet some time to get all the dogs together and take a picture. But the chihuahuas don't the the word "wait". Ive been working on it but they have a long way to go. (especially Roxy) Micky actually knows some things. Like, sit, paw, lie down, and crawl. Roxy knows "spin" . That's not helpful when trying to take a picture. You cant tell ,but in the blog picture Mickey was shivering the whole time. Its about 50 degrees so I'm not sure was all the shivering was about. Miley looks small, so I will keep working on a better picture. This one will have to do for now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Six things I like by Miley

We were tagged by Bug and Ike. Thanks guys!

1. agility

2. chasing balls and toys down the hall

3. Playing with the ferrets.

4. going for walks

5. chasing the chuck-it at the park

6. Rolling on my mom's and dad's pillows

We tag Sara with Oreo and Misty , Nicki at Boarderblog , Dawn and Katie and Ricky at Its a dogs life

Private lesson and snooker class

On Saturday I drove up to North Carolina for a lesson and a snooker class. When I left Columbia is was blue sky and sunny. When I got to North Carolina is was overcast and cold. It looked like it was going to snow but the temp. was only 40 degrees. Poor "M" , she must have been freezing. I was running around so I wasn't cold but she wasn't running a dog. Luckily in the snooker class there were only 2 students. So our turn came around quickly and we didn't have to much time to be cold.

Private Lesson: First the weave poles. Miley had no problems. She did 12 poles several times without mistakes. Then we practiced entries with 6 poles. She didn't really have any problems and "M" showed me some drills to work on. Kinda like the round the clock stuff with and extra jump. So you have two jumps before the weaves with the second on about 4-5 feet in front of the poles. Then as you move around the clock , you move both poles. Next we worked on contacts. My problem is I didn't work her enough by being behind her and sending her to the contact. That is why she will stop right before doing a 2o/2o. I need to get the plank back out and work more on telling her "touch" while I work positions behind her. She is doing ok with it right now but she isn't driving as much as I want. So I think she is still trying to figure out what I want. And its sad to say I cant remember what else we worked on.

Snooker Class: First, I was terrible at this. I couldn't think fast on my feet. If Gamblers is anything like snookers , I'm not going to do well. In snooker your dog has to take a red jump and then an obstacle that you choose and then another red jump and another obstacle of your choosing. And finally the 3 rd red jump and another obstacle. Then you do the closing sequence. So I walked a course. I set Miley up and when she didn't take the free obstacle that I chose but took another obstacle , I couldn't think on my feet to keep going. Since she was allowed to take that obstacle ( even if I didn't want her to) she was still "in play" of the game. But this would throw me and I couldn't think fast enough to go on to the next red jump. Ugh. The other student who was there had a very nice boarder collie. She ran very well and her dog did what she told it to. ( Miley didn't do what I told her to because of my handling , not because she wasn't listening.)

All in all it was a learning experience and I'm glad I went. It makes me more upset that I didn't go to the gamblers class last week. Hmmmm. We will see what happens there. Next weekend we go to our first USDAA trial. I only entered standard and gamblers on Saturday and Jumpers and gamblers on Sunday. I'm nervous because Ive never done USDAA, so we will see. I also only put her in performance so she can jump a lower height. She not 2 yet, so I don't want her jumping 16 until she is older and has more experience.

Last , on my way home from North Carolina a bunch of lights came on my dashboard. The engine light, VSC, and the track off light all came on. I pulled over and looked up in the owners manual and it just said "take to Toyota dealer". That's not helpful. I called the dealer and the service department was still there. Luckily they said it was ok to drive the rest of the way home ( I still had over 2 hours to go) and to bring it in Monday. I took it in but they really couldn't find a reason for the lights coming on and reset them.

One thing I noticed from watching the video of Miley recently is she is circling me alot! If I hadn't watched the video I wouldn't of realized how much she was doing it. Especially since I watch some earlier video and she didn't circle much at all. Its enough to make you dizzy all the circling she is doing. I guess Ive been ignoring it. This weekend I tried very hard not to let her circle or chase cars. She didn't get to chase one car. With the circling, sometimes I had to walk over the the fence to get her to stop. Other times I was able to step out in front of her and lure her in with food. Why did I let this get so out of control. Now I have much work to do.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Miley practice

I thought I would post some better video of Miley. I don't want you to think its all bad. I added a song from the "Bolt" movie. When I saw Miley Cyrus and John Travolta sing this song, I thought how lucky Miley Cyrus was. When I was about 13 years old the movie "Grease" came out. My best friend and I went and saw it 5 times. We loved that movie. Ha!!

( The video is not perfect. Its a work in progress. The first little clip is not from Sundays practice. I had to add a little more video to end the music at the right time)

Monday, December 8, 2008

My dogs are trying to kill themselves

Last night Roxy fell off the back of the couch. She thinks she is a cat. So she climbs on everything just like a cat. On the counter tops, table tops, the edge of the bath tub and on top of the computer table. She also will climb inside the ferret cage to eat the ferret food. Crazy dog. She likes to sleep and stand on the back of the couch. Last night my husband called and said Roxy fell off the back of the couch and cried but she seems ok. She doesn't appear to be hurt. I guess she has nine lives like a cat too. ( just so you know, she weights about 3.5 lbs. and its at least a 3 foot fall to the floor). The couch cant go any where else and fit in the room. So most of the couch is again the wall except the end recliner. I now have memory foam on the floor in case it happens again. She was probably trying to jump to the counter.
This morning Miley found a small Christmas light when coming home on her morning walk. That's what I get for walking in 28 degree weather. I got it out of her mouth but she had already crunched it. I'm pretty sure I got most of it. I fed her hoping that if she did swallow some tiny piece it would be surrounded by food and not do any damage on its way through. And besides if I tried to make her vomit it, it might do more damage. Plus I wasn't even positive she swallowed the tiny piece. Maybe no Christmas tree for us this year since Miley is acting like a toddler. Ha!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Did you forget?

This is meant to be funny , so please take it in that matter. Diana

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Miley's favorite toy

It starts like this.
And ends up like this.
I had a set back with Guiness. If you have been reading this blog for a while, then you know Guiness got lost at the beach for 2 days this summer. When we got back home, he wouldn't go for walks when it was dark. But after several months he has gotten much better. He has been walking every morning now. Well last night I was feeling bad about not exercising my dogs enough. It gets dark so early and its been unusually cold. So last night I decided to take the two shelties on a walk in the neighborhood. We were in a culd-de-sac and a dog came running out of the dark barking like mad. I didn't recognize the dog. He kept barking and barking. I was just trying to get back down the street hoping that if we could get off his street he would leave us alone. But then a boy came out of his house and the dog became more aggressive. Lunging and barking. It was all I could do to keep my dogs back and try to stand in front to block the other dog. But the dog was also circling. I couldn't get into my pocket to get the mace/pepper spray because I wanted to keep good hold of the leashes. It was horrible and I wanted to cry. Then boy finally dove for his dog and by some miracle got him. He did apologize. I had never seen this dog out before so it probably wasn't something that happens alot. We start to walk down the street and Guiness is freaked out. His tail is down, his ears are pinned down and he keeps looking behind him. He did that the whole way home. He was skittish a couple of times when peoples heat pumps kicked on. Great. So guess what? This morning , he refused to go for the morning walk. Six months down the tubes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our practice today

I know that practice didn't look that good but it didn't feel terrible. On the last part of the video you cant see the last pole pop out because of the tree. I think I'm going to lay off the weave poles for a few days and work on handle skills for the next several days. I took Miley to a friends house again yesterday and the weave pole thing started again. She has channel weaves. Maybe Miley just doesn't like them. I didn't use a toy today but yesterday I traded a toy and food a couple of times with out problems.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Funny things ( dogs and kids)

The other day I said to my husband, "Do you want to go out to eat?" As soon as I said "eat" all the dogs stopped what they were doing , stood like statues and stared at me. Like they understood what the word eat means. It was very funny.

A few days before that, the gate was open that blocks the dogs from going upstairs. So Miley starts to go thur the gate. I said, "Hey, if you have to go to the bathroom, you go outside not upstairs". She turned around and went out the dog door outside. It was like she knew what I said. Now maybe the dogs new what "eat " means but how could Miley know what I was saying. It just stuck me as funny.

When we first moved here we lived in an apartment while we looked for a house. My son, who was in the third grade then, wanted some cereal. He was looking in the refrigerator and asked where the milk was. I told him, its right there. He said he didn't see it. ( we call that " looking like a man." You might have to actually move something to find the item) So now him and are are getting frustrated. He finally says, "All I see is "PET" milk. And I'm not drinking milk that is for animals". It was very funny. He didn't understand that "PET" is the brand name and its wasn't for pets.

When Stephanie was maybe 3 years old she was walking past a picture of herself that was on the book shelf. The picture was taken when she was about 18 months old. She was a bald baby and it took a while for her hair to grow. So in the picture her hair is still pretty short. Well she walks pass the picture and says to me, " why would you cut my hair like that?" But the way she said it was like a teenager would say something. I told her I didn't cut your hair, that was all the hair you had. All she said was "oh" and kept walking. Its funny that a 3 year old would think about how her hair was cut.

Then there was the time I was trying to get them ready for a Christmas picture. Stephanie was 5 I think. I washed her hair and blew dried it. I went down stairs to get something. When I came back upstairs she had completely wet her hair back down. Now understand that we are on a a time schedule. You don't want to get ready to early, or they get messy. But then you start to worry you are going to be late for the appointment. So I get back upstairs to her standing there we her hair all wet. I said,"What did you do". She said, "You made me look like a boy. " OMG, I was so upset. How could she even think she looked like a boy. Now we had to start the hair thing all over again. She also told me, "Its my hair and I can do what I want with it." Ok, you would expect that from an older kid, not from you sweet 5 year old. I was mad by this point. I told her "its not your hair. You came out of me so its my hair until I say so". I know, dumb, but I was mad. So we finally get it together and we are getting ready to go and she says, " He not allow to touch me." She was referring to when the photographer set the kids up for the picture and has one kid put his hand on the other kids shoulder. I just said "fine, lets go". Its funny how the picture looks so sweet and no one knows what choas went on before hand.