Monday, May 30, 2011

Tough week

Ive had a tough week.  Work has not been nice. People are mean and they think they are allowed to say what ever they want to me.   A parent, who I had called her about her sick kid, said she would call me back  and let me know if she could get off work to come pick up her kid. She even asked for my phone number. She didnt call me back so I put her kid on the bus home.  Ive been stuck at school before waiting for several hours for a parent to come get their kid. So if they arent coming, I put them on the bus. Well she shows up 10 minutes after the buses had left. She was mad, which I can understand.  I told her that I was sorry but you said you were going to call me. She denied that and called me a  "stupid white person". Nice.   Then another kid, with a chronic condition came to school, right off the bus, to my office, sick. Really sick.  After 2 hours, no parent, and she wasnt improving at all, I called an ambulance and sent her to the hospital. She was admitted for two days. When she came back to school , she said that her  dad  kept saying I was CYA.  Nice, huh?   I guess the hospital was just CYA  too, right?  There were more upsetting interactions but I dont feel like writting about all of them.  Ugh!  I just not sure I was meant to do this job. 

So I wasnt in the greatest mind set for the trial this weekend.  My runs werent until the afternoon, so I figured I would just drive the 2 hours up to the trial instead of staying at a hotel. That morning I took the dogs to the park for a walk before I would leave.  We are walking down the path and its early, 7am.  No cars in the parking lot , so I didnt think anyone was there. I had let Miley off leash after getting down the path a ways.  There are several entries onto the path from the woods. You cant see the person until you are right there because of the dense forest.  All of a sudden there was a big black dog. I wont say the breed because someone will be offended.  I called Miley, and the dog went after her. He slammed her to the ground. She got away and she slammed her again and got a mouth full of hair.  Miley is screaming and the guy just laughed.  Miley gets away and I tell her "go". I pretty sure she can out run this big dog because he looks out of shape and over weight.  She takes off and out runs the big dog.  The man never said sorry.  I couldnt deal with him, Im just thinking of Miley. She is still running for her life down the path. She cant hear me calling her. She is in flight mode. Im thinking, great I just lost my dog.  She finally stops. I call her but she wont come.  I decided to just wait her out.  I wait and wait. She finally comes to me. Thank goodness.  I dont see an wounds on her. She physically seems fine.  Now I start debating if I should even go to the trial. My mind isnt in the right place.  Plus, what if she is freaked out, I dont want that to transfer to the ring. I decided to go, and see how she is around all the dogs. Any sign of stress and we wont go in the ring, we'll just work on being relaxed.

We ge to the trial and its packed.  No crating room anywhere. They even put up these extra platforms for people to set up crates.  I found some friends and they made room for me.  Miley seemed ok. I walked her around and around. I didnt see any signs of stress. She went up to a couple of bigger shelites that I know and she didnt even raise her lips to them like she usually does.  Wow, maybe she was ok.
Our first run is ISC jumpers.  Tough course but I feel like we can do it.

 We started out nice. I didnt even see the triple coming out of the tunnel as an off course. Well, she went off course, and the stressed.  I couldnt get her back, no matter what. I finally had to leave the ring. My poor dog. I felt terrible for her. I dont want her being stressed out.

I had to go straight from that ring to Open standard.  It didnt even cross my mind that I shouldnt attempt the table. What the heck is wrong with me.  Why didnt it cross my mind?  Well, I guess you can figure out what happened.  She wouldnt get on the table, and stressed about it.

Now I have another run. All my runs were right together.  Im thinking maybe I shouldnt run her at all. I just dont know what to do. I talk to a couple of people. Everyone has a different opinion.  I decided Im just going to do #1-5 and then take the final jump. Run out and reward.
 I didnt walk anything but my plan. But after watching people run it, I decided it was easy enough and we could do it. So without walking it, we ran it.  She did great except she pulled out of the weaves. I think I decelerated to much and she thought I stopped. She stressed circled a couple of time and then went back into the weaves and finished great.  At least I got her back. (no video)

We had a little break.  An hour or so.  Now it was time for Exc Fast.  I just wanted to keep it fun and fast.
She ran great and got the send.  She took 1st place. At least it ended well

The next morning I felt mentally much better.  I decided to go up early and bring my table. I stopped at a park. We walked , played ball and did some tables.  We then went to the trail site.  Usually I can run her in the barns before our runs at this site. But there were all these horse things going on so you werent allowed to go anywhere because of the horses.  But I finally did find an empty barn with no signs about the dogs and no horses. We ran and played ball several times before our first run.  It was hot as heck and the site wasnt air conditioned. 
Open standard was first.  I really, really thought she was going to get on the table.  She didnt.  I just moved on. So still no table. I screwed up for good this time. I have no idea how to fix it.  I dont know why she feels the table is stressful. I started thinking. You know how with kids, you have to have rules and boundaries.  And even though they get mad and fight you about things, the rules and boundaries make them feel secure. They know someone is in charge and in control of things. Maybe this table thing is like that. She pushes her startline, jumps off the teeter,  and sometimes self releases  on the a-frame.  I never correct it at a trial becasue Im afraid of causing her stress. Maybe thats was is causing her stress. She doesnt think Im in control. The rules are different here and she doesnt understand.  Hmm, something to think about.
Next up was exc jumpers.  Man what a tough course. Even people who are good at running their dogs had trouble. That was un-nerving. There was that stupid off course triple after the tunnel again. Off courses were everywhere.  So now Im stressed.  I dont want to make a mistake and cause my dog to go off course and then stress circle.  Man, was I not feeling good about this.

We made it though but I did make some mistakes.

But she didnt stress circle. I was sooooo happy.  Even though we still haven't Qed in exc jumpers in 40 runs, its ok because she didnt stress out at my mistakes.  WhooHoo
Last up was Exc FAST.  They already had the walk-thur. I missed it because I was running my dog.  By the time I got my walk-thur, me an another person,  almost everyone was gone except for the people in the club running the trial. The other ring was already broken down.  We ran, didnt get the send bonus. She ran great, and no stress.  But when we left the ring, she wouldnt take any treats.  Then we walked up the steps, made it to the half-way point where their is a platform. She had diarrhea all on the platform. Poor dog.  When we got home, 2 hours later, she vomited a large amount of undigested food.  Poor dog.  Weird, she ran well for a dog not feeling good. Today she seems fine. Im not fine. I kept wondering what I should do about everything.  And I have to go teach an agility class tonight and I feel like I suck and shouldnt be teaching anyone anything.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Practice in the heat

Yesterday I wanted to practice with Miley. A friend said I could use his yard. He has a great yard for agility. Big and flat!  Ive had the bars at 14 inches the last couple of days because we are doing an ISC jumpers course at the trial on Saturday.  In ISC she has to jump 14.   The course will be set by Kurt Matushek, so I looked up course by him. Sometime judges like a certain thing and you will see it again and again.  I didnt really see anything consistent in Kurts courses.  Maybe some pinwheels but thats it. So I set the first course up. It was an ISC course he designed for World team tryouts in 2009.  She ran it great and we stayed on course.  We only ran it once. Then I set up a jumpers course I had a course map for.
We did ok except  for some reason I RC the weaves and when I tried to FC at the end of the weaves, I couldnt get there in time. So then I tried to RC on the flat after 11 but that pushed her out and she didnt take 13.  ( there also was a dogwalk sitting out that was  running along the back of the course. So a couple of times she took the dogwalk after 12.) I needed to be ahead of her coming out of the weaves. It finally hit me, to FC after #9 into the weaves. That way I was already ahead and I FC after the weaves. It worked like a charm. To bad it took so long for me to figure it out.

It was hot as heck. It was 98 degrees and the humidity was very high. It made it miserable.  I kept dunking Miley in the pool trying to keep her cool.
Then I set up another course.

 First I didnt do enough of a lead out to beat her out of the tunnel. So we started over. Then she did what she did at the trial this pass weekend. She popped out of the weaves at the 10th pole. It was the same setup with the jump  90 degrees to the right of the poles.  Hmmm.  So we ran it again and she did the same thing.  So I brought her back and made her redo the weaves. She got them that time, so I jack potted her.  I knew she had had enough running and jumping. It was just so hot.  But I really wanted to run the course one more time to try and get the weaves in the sequence correct. We ran it, and she got it. WhooHoo!  She dropped several bars but I think she just didnt have enough left in her to really run well because it was just to hot.  I just didnt worry about the dropped bars.  I figured that may happen. It wasnt the point of the run, it was to stay and finish the weaves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trial weekend

I went to a trial this weekend. It was Friday night and Saturday night.  At night because its so hot outside.  Friday it started at 4:30 and Saturday at 3:30.  What long nights and I didnt stay for my last run either night. My dogs didnt care that we didnt go to bed until 1am, both mornings they were up at 6am.  I just cant do that. Ive had a headache everyday, I think from not enough sleep.

So first up on Friday was Master Gambler.  She ran very nice but we didnt get the gamble. I didnt think we would.  When I watched people run, the ones who got it, stopped turned and said "out chute"and there dog just did it.
In the gamble she did #1 and #2 then came back out and took #1 again.  Everything else was good. Great weaves and aframe. Teeter she self released but it was still good. I think we got 41 points. (No video)

Then it was a 5 hour wait until starters standard. Ugh, it felt like AKC. It was now 9:45 at night.

It was pretty straight forward. She got right on the table. whoohooo!!

After that was GrandPrix.

My two areas of concern were after the chute  because she usually goes wide. I was planning on FC after the chute but everyone else was FC after #8.  I walked it both ways.  But after seeing this really fast borderstaffy almost go off course, I decided to stick with fc right by the chute. Also after the a-frame, see jump #13. If you sat at the bottom of the a-frame you could see both #12 and #13 jumps but I think with the way you ran your line from the a-frame, it pulled your dog toward you because of the big wing, so your dog may not see or take jump #13.  I decided I would move laterally away from the a-frame while she was on it. Then when I released her at the bottom, I could push into to her and still  be wide enough to say around the wing.  Lots of poeples dogs missed jump #13 when they ran on the right side. Miley got it.  Another thing people did was be on the left side of the a-frame and rc #13 and then fc after #14.  I dont know how they got there in time to make that FC but they did. I knew I never could, so I stuck with my plan.  I also FC after#14.

WhooHoo, we Qed and took first place.( It was a small class. ) I was so happy we stayed on course.  We got a bye into regionals in GrandPrix but its the weekend of Stephanies graduation so I wont be going. Plus we have lots more practice to do and work on being a team before we start doing stuff like that. It was still nice. It was now 11pm and I still had pairs to run. I didnt have a partner so I decieded just to call it a night. I was beat.

Saturday I was a really warm start to the day. I think 87 and muggy. We started with Speedjumping.

The turkey broke her startline. Ugh, she had been doing so well. I had planned to lead out and do a running FC after #3. So much for that. I did a post turn. It worked but she dropped the bar at #3. The hard part was #14 to #15 but she did it without going off course. WhooHoo!! We Qed again. I love that sometimes even with a dropped bar you can still Q in USDAA.  We got to move on to the 2nd round.
Next was adv. Jumpers.

I was worried about her breaking her start and released her a little too soon. I think my FC after#3 must have caused her to drop the bar. But we stayed on course. We havent stayed on course in an Adv jumpers course yet. Whoohoo again!!

Now for the second round of Speedjumping. I was beat. I really didnt want to run but I felt like it was a free run.

 I didnt video this. For some weird reason she pulled out of the weaves early on #3, then we went off course into the wrong tunnel entrance. Hey I just notice this is the third time obstacle #3 has been a problem. I wonder what that means?  Everything else was good except the weaves at the end. She missed the entry and I has to put her back in. So I decieded to move laterally away from the weaves to see if she would pull out, but she didnt.  It felt like a crap run and now I just wasnt feeling good about things and kept trying to decided if I should just call it a night. It was very muggy even with the sun down.
Snooker looked like I could actually do it.  LOL, NOT! 

I started all the way at the red jump on the left, did a huge lead out to the left side of jump #4. And she didnt break!  After taking #4, went to that middle red jump and Front crossed to bring her over #5. I must have screwed up my post turn at #5 that was suppose to bring her over the last red jump but she went to the tunnel. Whistle.  LOL. She came right to me and was soo happy.  Even the judge said, "wow she proud of herself"  . But it had to be my fault. And I was happy that she was happy and not stress circling the ring.  So it was now 9pm and after me screwing up my last two runs, I decded not to stay for standard. I really didnt want to mess up the table.
Im so happy we dont have to run today, because I coudnt do it.
( sorry for the misspelling, blogger isnt wanting to show me my spelling errors)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What do you see?

Do you see a snake in there?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pray for Kate

I dont know if you read Kate's blog or not. She is an awesome agility and disc dog.  Yesterday she was bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking.  Here is the link to her blog  .  Please send positive thoughts and prayer her way.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Darn snake

Last night I spent hours going over my pictures and my camera setting trying to figure out what Im doing wrong.  So off I went again to try some pictures over again.  I had written down the shots with the setting I used and what I thought I needed to change. Yesterday I spent 3 hours there. Today I only wanted to spend a short time and then go to the clubs Obedience trial to practice shots there.  You know that saying , the best laid plans. LOL
I got down to the river and carried the dogs across the first river cross.  Both dogs will cross the second area by themselves, usually. This is before the second river cross, which is behind the dogs in the picture.

These were taken after crossing the second river area.

 After going out on the rock, you go thur the forest part of this little island.  That's where Ive been taking the pictures of the dogs jumping the log. Miley is finally in focus. But she could have had a better jumping style. LOL

Guiness is a little blurry because he jumped off center. I had my camera lined up to focus on the center point in the middle of the pathway.

So after going thur this area , you come down the the river again. This is the area you come to. But I didnt take this picture today. I just wanted to show you what it looks like.  So I come down to this and into the water goes a snake. I scream.

 After getting over being frozen with fear, I got my camera out and took a picture of the snake swimming across the river.  OMG, what was I going to do. My husband was on the other side. He didnt cross the river with me because he didnt bring the right shoes to walk in the water.  When I screamed, he asked me what was wrong. I told him there was a snake.  He said I had to cross. I told him I couldnt, not with the snake in the water.  He again told me I had to.  No I didnt. I'll wait out the snake.  I watched the snake.  He would some times dive down into the water so I couldnt see him. That scared me even more.  How the heck was I going to cross with a snake in there some where? But I was able to change my lens to the telephoto one to get a better picture. LOL
 He finally surfaced again and then swam down stream.  He got to the other side and stopped with his head resting on rock at the waters edge.   So my husband kept an eye on the snake , I picked up both dogs and carried them thru both river crossing.   I didnt get to practice my shots of Miley running thur the water. Ugh, and now I wont be able to go back for a while until I get my nerve back.  Right now all I can think of is snakes.   I didnt make it to the obedience trial because I spent to much time at the park waiting for the snake to finish swimming. Ugh, I HATE SNAKES!!

On another note, here is a link a friend sent me  for a camera simulator.  It will help you understand aperture and shutter speed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More on Settings

I went back to the park this morning. The weather wasnt great. Very cloudy and misty.  Again, I wanted to work on my setting to figure out what I need to do to get the best picture I can.

I feel like the white is over exposed in this shot. Settings f3.5    1/800  ISO 800   50mm

I really liked this one.  My setting were  f2.8     1/320s  ISO 800   50mm

Ive tried 3 days in  a row to get this shot with out success. Setting on this were  f2.8    1/200s   ISO 800  50mm.  Im not sure what to do to make it better. I wonder if I increase the shutter speed, but that will change the aperture. Ill try that maybe tomorrow.
Guiness turned out better, same setting as for Miley picture.

  "Hey dont leave us out here".  This shot looks so much better on my computer. I carried the dogs out there.  And accidentally let Miley go in a bad way, and her back end, tail and all got wet. She wasnt happy with me and wouldnt come to me to carry her back. It took a lot of luring to get her to come.

This one also looks better on my computer. The rock right there is very blue. Im not sure why.

Im getting closer to getting this shot but Im still not there yet.  Settings   f3.5  1/250  ISO 800  50mm

Settings  f 4.0    1/320  ISO 800  50mm . I also changed the metering.

If you have any suggestion for, I open to anything.  I only carry two lens.  A 50mm f 1.4, and a  70-300 f 4-5.6.  I dont have any money to get a better lens for action shots.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Camera settings

Last week someone asked  me to take pictures of her puppy.  I was happy to do it because I love take dog pictures.  But sadly I didnt do a good job. Im not sure what the heck happen but a lot of my pictures were blurry.  But after reading, I think my ISO was set to high, which made the picture grainy. At least thats all I can think of because lots of them were still shots. But very disappointing and frustrating.  So all week Ive been trying to work on learning my camera better.  Today I really thought I had it down.  I knew what setting to  change to get what I wanted. LOL, yea right.

 Some turned out ok.

Then I tried to work on Metering. The next two picture were really dark except for Miley and then I had to lighten them with the photo program.

Then I had several blurry ones which I wont post. But some came out cool.

I took these this week too.

So as you can see, I have a long way to go to figure out what Im doing.