I feel like Ive been stuck in Ground Hog Day. Every day feels exactly the same. Im not sure how to break the rut.
Yesterday I was running Java over the contact board. We are suppose to slowly raise the board. This was going to be the last time I ran it like this before I had an up ramp. I had practiced with her before running it, to let her know the board was a little higher. She was doing fine. She had already run the board about 12 times with no problems. I was just going to do a couple of more runs and then all of a sudden she wouldnt run the board. I had not given her a direct shot to the board but she got it the first time. So then I went back to straight shot to the board. She still wouldnt get on. So after three times of not getting on the board we stopped. I went inside and looked at the video. I slowed down the time before she stopped getting on the board.
It looks like her back foot hit the edge of the board. I think that is way she wasnt getting on. I feel terrible. I should have added an up ramp this time. Ugh. So we wont run this for a couple of days. Ill add the up ramp and hopefully she will get back on.
So after that depressing practice, because you know I only see things as "the glass is half empty". All I could think of is she will never get on again, just like Miley with the table. Ive screwed up something else. Well anyway , we went to the park. It was a beautiful , warm , sunny 80 degree day.
We had a great time down by the river. I set no shots and had nothing in mind to shoot. So you know what, I didnt get much. LOL, that will teach me not to have an action plan for photos. Although it was freeing. But then you get home and look at the shots. You see some shots that could have been awesome if you would have been paying attention. oh well. I did get a few that I like. But I wont tell you how many pictures were taken except it was a lot.
I like this picture even though it isnt a great shot of a dog. It just look interesting to me. Java had fallen off a log, and this was her after she got back on the log and is running off.
Walking in the river with the dogs helped get rid of that Ground Hog Day feeling. Nothing better then walking through the water, peace and quit. Dogs having a good time. Taking pictures. Very relaxing.
Java has been in heat for two weeks. She hasnt wanted to play at all. Ive been worried but I know being in heat can effect them. Well last night she played with toys agian. WhooHoo, I was so happy. I dont think her heat cycle is completely over but its on the tail end. She didnt mark last night when I took her to the park and Guinees isnt in her butt all the time. And she isnt cleaning herself all the time.
Last week we started Guiness on Thyroid medication. His Thyroid levels have dropped every year. This last time it was 1.0 , their range is 0.8-3.6 (I think) . So they said they didnt have a problem trying him on it. I really havent seen any changes yet. But will see. Maybe he will have more energy and his hair will stop breaking off of his chest which is why it always looks chopped.
I bought the new Kathy Keats book, "Success from the inside". Its deep. LOL You have to write your life story and what has effected you. A lot of my life story is depressing and I really dont want to think about all that garbage. And this isnt a good time to delve into that part of my life.Then you have to list 15 people who have influenced you. I cant think of 15 people who have influenced me. Im me because of me and not anyone else. Uh yea, maybe thats my whole problem. LOL So I may read through the book and then come back and do the exercises later when thinings have gotten back on track at home.
We finally got a "looks great" from Silvia and we can start raising the plank. WhooHoo!! Today I realized my carpet was 6 inches to long( not the contact end). So I cut it and put her over it again. She seems ok . Thanks goodness.
Java is in heat and doesnt seem to want to play with toys. She also isnt running when walking the fields at the park. She just stays with me. Hmmm. I hope its just cause she is in heat. Guiness's nose is up her butt all the time too. Yuck!! Not fun, Ill be glad when this is over.
We took a long walk at the park. It was a beautiful day. First we tried the hiking park but they were having a race and it was packed. So we went to the other park. Also lots of people, bikes and dogs. They were having something there too but we were leaving just as all the people were getting started. There was also horses getting ready to go through the trails under the power lines. So we left just in time.
I walked through the river with the dogs. It was really low today. Guiness was very happy to be free. I usually dont let him off leash unless we cross the river.
He was so happy spit was coming from his mouth.
Doesnt his front leg look really weird?
Then it was time to go home!
I was trying to get a picture of all three dogs , so you could see there size difference but you really can't tell anything from this picture.
(I know this is a crazy picture. I didnt plan it. It was a warm day and I took Miley and Java to get a drink from the river. Java went to go up to see my husband and I called her back. I didnt expect this)
Look, Java is 8 months old!
On day 2 of the seminar I audited. Java could have done the foundation stuff but I didnt know that. I was worried about doing a lot of jumping but they really didnt. O,well. First I was tired. Driving 2 hours home after the seminar and then getting up and being back by 8am was rough. I got up and thought, "I cant do this". But I did do it. I decided to sit in a different spot on Saturday because I had a hard time hearing on Friday. On Friday, I was seated to the side but sitting next to some people I knew. So Saturday I wanted to sit straight in front so I could hear better. But I was sitting next to this lady who had a bad attitude. She was in the puppy seminar and I dont remember her being like this but I wasnt sitting right next to her. She apparently was mad at this dog for not lying down on the table at agility trials. When the instructor has to call you out on your attitude repeatedly, thats bad. You think she would have been embarrassed. She didnt treat her dog very nice either. It made me sick!!! And you should have seen how people were trying to help her with her dog. I think the one girl, who was also auditing, was trying to help her because she felt bad for the dog. But it got me thinking. Was this lady doing this for attention? Finally after she talked again about her dog not lying on the table at trials again, I told her "my dog hasnt gotten on the table at a trial in 2 year, at least your dog gets on the table". First she just looked at me like I was crazy. Then she said "And you are still trialing her?" I said yes, its not the dogs fault. She didnt say anything else. But then she hurt her ankle. She was just standing there and took a step. She said she heard something pop. She left the seminar. I know you think Im mean, but I was glad she left. She was making things unpleasant.
The first half of the day was working on foundation stuff. 4 basic turns on the flat. Which this was good because Ive been teaching this in my class and they have been struggling. But so were all these people in this class. So I didnt feel to bad. I kept thinking it was how I was teaching it but it just must be hard to master. The one thing I liked is, she taught the "Front Cross" in a two step process. Ive been teaching it as one fluid motion. I think this will help my class. Then they worked on the 6 "Recall to heel" postions. When you are teaching this, the most important part is your dog coming in straight. And you want them to be pefect with this. If they cant do it slow, they will never be able to do it at speed. It doesnt sound like much but that took the first half of the day.
The second half of the day was Running Contacts. Now trying to learn running contacts in a half a day seminar , impossible. But it gives you an idea of whats involved in the process. There are major differences in how she teaches it vs Sylvia T. ( at least in my opinion). It was confusing and I started to wonder it I should have audit this half of the day. Sylvia wants you dog running, as fast as they can,always. Daisy, just wants them out of a trot and with good feet separation. As long as their gait is right, even if they speed up, the gait will stay the same. (Ive been struggling getting Java to really run and not be airy) Daisy doesnt worry about the dog being airy either. Daisy wants the dog running without you moving at all. Sylvia, what every it takes to keep the dog running. But both methods must work because the dogs learn it. There are other small differences too. I like how she taught turns off the dog walk. Im sad to say that I didnt stay to the end. I left an hour early. I was cold. It was 50 but the wind had really blowing all day and I was tired. I know, Im a wimp. When I read about the temps that some people work in, I dont know how you guys do it!
Please remember this is what I heard and took away from the seminar. It may not all be correct.
This weekend was the Daisy Peel Seminar. On Friday I had a private lesson at 9am and then I was signed up for the puppy seminar at 1pm. I took Miley with us because I want to talk about her table issues. I had video on my computer to show her where at B-matches, she gets on the table, then doesnt at trials. (Most of my video was lost because I accidentally dropped my video camera chip on the floor and didnt know it. Java chewed it up and it didnt work anymore. So then I only have what I loaded onto YouTube ) First we talked about Miley. She watched the video. When she saw the video with Miley running big circles around the ring, she said "Oh My". LOL "She isnt even taking any jumps". So we watched a few more videos. She said she didnt think Miley was stressed at all. She said once you move on, she is right back on track and she may even be running a little faster. She thinks Miley is circling me at the table to get me to move. Which works. She circles me three or four times, I get embarrassed or what ever, then I move on and we do the rest of the course. So we took Miley out into the agility field. She had me set Miley up. Walk out about 20 feet and call her to me. She came. But then when we started to walk back up the field, she starts circling me. Which is usual. I try to control it by calling her to me, to stop it. Or putting her on leash. But thats not correcting the behavior, thats just stopping her from doing it which isnt the same thing. The dog needs to choose not to do it. So thats what we worked on. When I got to where I wanted to be and stopped, I was to stand there and wait for Miley to choose to stop circling. Its me she is trying to get to do something. She doesnt circle anyone else. And when Im at a trial, when she starts circling at the table, I am just to stand there until she does anything else but circle , then give her a verbal reward and leave the ring and give her her treats. This behavior has more to do with me stopping and the dog trying to get me to move. So I can work on this at home because she circles me when we are practicing and I stop, either to start something else or to redo something that went wrong. She said it will probably take a long time to correct. Because you only get once a day to work on the table at a trial, she thinks it will take about 20 trials. And hopefully I have nice judges who wont whistle me out of the ring. I will have to be really watching for any change in behavior while circling, like even going from a run to a trot. I will need to video tape every run and time how long it takes for her to stop circling and then make sure that time is decreasing.
On Java she told me I cant have both. I cant work on getting her to"wait" but also work on her drive. I need to forget about getting her to "wait" for now, there will be plenty of time to work on that later. Just work on her drive. And all the things Im doing are great for that. And its ok to let you dogs chase each other to encourage them to run. I need to work on getting her to come in straight to me on the "call to heels". You have to expect perfection because they arent doing it at speed right now. If they cant do it right slowly, then will never get it with speed and jumps in the picture.
Then the lesson was over. I was so excieted about the table stuff for Miley. I hope she is right. I had 3 hours to wait for the puppy seminar. So I drove out to the beach. It was a warm day but cloudy and it rained a few times while out at the beach. There was not one there which was awesome. I wish I had more time but I only had 30 minutes so I didnt get great pictures. I hope to go back sometime.
There were down trees everywhere. My faviorite.
"Who added the soap suds?"
I only had about 30 minutes at the beach before it was time to drive back. Then I couldnt find my car. I parked right at the beach, how could I not find my car? I think part of the problem was there were no other cars there, so you couldnt say, "oh ya I remember that car". All the parking lots looked the same.What the heck? So then I turned down this road but I just knew that wasnt right. I came back and walked a little further and there was my car. Some trees were blocking me from seeing it. Ugh!! Then I got lost driving back to where the seminar was. You couldnt put her address in your GPS because it wouldnt take you to her house and I forgot to mark it in my GPS. So I was lost. I called her but had to leave a message. She called me back and I was so close and just didnt know it. LOL. But I was late for the start of the seminar. Ugh!!
I hardly took any notes at the puppy seminar. I didnt even realized it until I just looked at them. We worked mostly on trick type behaviors. Like circling the pole, backing and targeting an object, stacking metal bowels and getting the dog to knock them down. Java had not problems with any of this stuff because we've done it all. At the end she had several puppies off leash at the same time and they could run and play. Java did run once but then came right to me. The other people had to walk across the field and then hide and then make noise for their dogs to look and go to them. I think Java just doesnt want to play with other dogs. Plus I think she maybe going into heat. The one puppy just kept his nose up her butt. And Ive noticed she has started marking, licking herself and today Guiness has really been in her rear.
I drove the 2 hours home and probably should have just stayed in town. But I audited Saturday and didnt want the dogs sitting in the car all day. Saturday was a long day. I was tired. Im not sure if Ill comment much on Saturday. This lady next to me had a bad attitude which didnt help. So will see.
So of course with all this down time, Im thinking about Miley's table. Why she wont get on the table. How I can go to a training class and she gets on the table with no issues and the next day at trial, that in the same place, stress and doesnt get on. Do I have any ideas, not really. But something that is interesting. Ive been working on shaping with Miley. Well , its really stuff for Java in Sylvia's running contact class. So since its rear legs stuff, I figured I work Miley too. She is crazy over the top when its her turn to work. I mean so crazy, that she cant think. She keeps offering behaviors so quickly, and gets frustrated within a millisecond if I dont click. Sometimes I dont even have time to click before she is offering something else. I just makes me wonder if this has anything to do with what happens at trials. As long as she is moving, she is ok but as soon as its a stop behavior, craziness kicks in. She is so over excited that she cant control herself? Maybe , maybe not.
Well the "I Shot It" dog photo competition is over. I didnt win. Can you imagine? LOL, just kidding. But I did make it into the top 70 photos that she first narrowed it down to. She started with 1421 photos, so thats kinda neat. Here is my photo that she liked. http://www.i-shot-it.com/competition-photo.php?id=4efb1f464fd4f
You can read her comments below the photo. I like some of my other photos that I entered better but what do I know. LOL The winning photo wasnt what I thought would win. But again she talked about photography concepts that I really dont understand, like negative space ect.
Im still working on Java's running contacts. We are still struggling with getting her to run the carpet and be leapy. Several of you have asked what Java is running on. Its a 12 foot piece of carpet.
Miley had a follow up ultrasound on her shoulder to see how the tears and tendinitis are doing. She is healing nicely. We still have a ways to go. So still no off leash walking or running. We did get to decrease the theraputic ultrasound to every 5-7 days instead of twice a week.
Today was such a better day then the weather man said it was going to be. It was suppose to rain and be in the 50s or low 60s. I took Miley up to NC for her theraputic Ultrasound. About 1/2 way there it started raining and when we got there it was 47 degrees. Ugh. But when we go home. 70 and sunny. Wow. That was a nice surprise. We went to the park. There were tons of people there. Bikes, dogs , people ect... So we walked through the woods instead of on the sidewalk. And there it was. Sitting on a branch about head level.
I took the dog down to the water since it was so warm.
I was in the water too. Man, my feet really hurt now. Those rocks are killers. How do the dogs take it??
What is it with people and flexi-leads. First Guiness gets bit by a dog whos owner couldnt control her dogs that where on flexi-leads. Then this week at the park, this man is talking to another man in the parking lot. His little Boston Terrier is on a flexi-lead. He drops it by accident or the dog pulled it out of his hand and the dog comes ruuning at us. Lucky this time the dog was friendly. Then today at the vet., this man has two huge labs. Both on flexi-leads. In the vets office, really???? So Miley is under the bench Im sitting on and behind my legs. Does anything in that picture say my dog wants to greet your dogs? NO! But of couse he lets them come on over, on their long flexi-leads. Me blocking them, he still doesnt get it. I know I should have said something, but nothing but rudness wanted to come out of my mouth. So I didnt say anything. Then the dogs comes again and Miley starts growling. So I put my hand in front of her face to block the two dogs. He finally gets it. But Im sure if Miley would have bit his dog, I would have been at fault. Ugh!!!