Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sickness and other things.

We havent done any running contacts in a week.  I havent been feeling good since over a week ago. It started with a sore throat and feeling achy.  Then a cough which freaked Miley out. Last weekend , she spent most of the time outside and didnt want to come back in. Then during the night she kept my husband up all night acting freaky and jumping all over him. I guess because I was coughing in my sleep.  On Sunday and Monday I felt really bad. Monday I just couldnt go to work. I felt so bad.  I went to the urgent care at 7am. Not strep. He said he thought it was just a virus. But I still feel bad.  I feel so achy. I still have a little bit of a cough but nothing that seems like it would be a problem.  I guess Ill go back to the doctor on Monday and see what the heck is wrong with me.  The other problem is that my grandfather is really ill.  My mom is having to do all the work to help him and is getting worn out. Hospice is coming into his home but they arent there all the time. I really want to go help her but I just dont think I can drive the 3 hours right now.  Ugh, Im so over this.
Back to the running contact stuff.  Not only have we not being doing it because Ive been sick but also because the top plank on one of the down ramps rotted out.  This is the 3rd time Ive replaced the planks on the dogwalk. After the last time, I said I would never do this again. I was going to buy one. But I dont have any money. So Im fixing it yet again.  I put the fixed ramp out today.

This  one below is the old cross plank.  Ive started on the new boards and will probably have the ready by tomorrow.

Ive been struggling with Java's running contacts still. One day she gets them all and then the next day, she has  a ton of misses. So we've been at the same height for weeks now.
Like I said before her first run across the board is beautiful and then its down hill from there.  Same thing happened today.  Then when I read through someone elses problems on STsite, she suggested putting the carpet just in the contact zone.  So thats what I did. Its looks like it helped.

I wish she ran the plank all the time, the way she runs the first time over. Im not sure if not getting rewarded a couple of times makes her slow down or what. While watching the video, toward the end,  I wasnt sure if she was adjusting her stride to hit the contact zone or to get to the stationary target. So I went out again and ran her with the target twice the distance I had it earlier.

So we will see what happens tomorrow. I need two days in a row of hits.

Our trial is this coming up weekend. I did enter Miley because I had worker coupons.   Im not expecting anything great. We really havent practiced much.  Weve only been doing two days a week and this pass week, I tried to practice on Wednesday when I went to the field for my beginner class.  I just didnt have it in me and was running her poorly so I quit. We did a little bit of weave pole practice to  a target. I wanted to proof my movement to her popping out.  We have work to do there but thats not surprising since we havent worked in 6 months. Im really taking it easy on her. I want her to be sound to go to L.Muller's seminar in a few weeks.  O,yea I forgot to tell you we got in both days. Whoohoo!!
My beginner class is awesome.  All the dogs are lots of fun.  Some of them are a little crazy but I like crazy ones. Reminds me of Miley. LOL

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sring Break- Well Almost

Well its almost Spring Break.  To bad I have to go on the dreaded field trip today.  So it will be an 11 hour work day.  Six hours on a bus. 700 six graders and one nurse to meet everyones medical needs. Ugh.  I dont know why this causes me so much  stress and worry but it does.  Everything usually goes fine, I guess its just the unknown.  So, I'll be one happy camper after today.
So Ill leave you with pictures from the park last night.

The other dogs are scared of Guiness when he gets the zoomies. I have no idea why, he doesnt do anything to them.  Guiness is happy he gets to be off leash on this island.

This looks dangerous but its just the angle of the shot.  She isnt jumping some huge distance. And the big rock in front is blocking the smaller , low rock she is jumping to.

Ill be jumping for joy around 5:30 tonight!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Still here

Yes, Im still here. Just busy.  On Monday and Wednesday Im teaching classes.  Its just kicking my butt. Im not getting home until 9pm and Im just worn out. Sad huh??  LOL  Then Ive been sick again starting Thursday. Sore throat and just achy all over. Ugh!!  Im not sure how Ive made it through the last two days of work.  I get home and just lie on the couch. Poor dogs, they are wondering what the heck is going on.  I did work Java's running contacts on Thurday but after that I was done, no walks.

Ive been struggling with Java's running contacts. Im not sure what the problem is. Every time when we practice, the first run over the board is perfect. She is right in the contact with both back feet, good separation.  But after that its lots of misses with some hits. So I went to the field on Wednesday to teach a beginner class.  I lowered the dogwalk for Java but also for the class.  Same thing happend with running the dogwalk. Perfect the first time and then lots of misses.  After class I took her out again, and tried again. All of a sudden ,she got them all. Wow, I dont know what happened and why she was getting it.  Then next day at home, with the board 2 inches higher then the field, again ,she got all hits.  Im happy about it but I have no idea why she is getting it. Maybe she is understanding about hitting the bottom of the board. I dont know.  I have changed to a stationary target, instead of throwing a toy. ( thats the progression per ST class).  Im using a Treat and Train. I know a lot of people dont like the T & T but I do. Its little and fits in my bag to take with me.  I can put really high value treats in it.  Java really likes baked chicken.   I should sometimes video a miss but just put the camera on the T &T. She gets mad, flipping is over, smacking it. Then starts offering behaviors to see if that will make it open. Poor dog.
So here was our success on Thursday. Dont feel you have to watch it. Its boring. I just wanted a record of it.  After Java chewed up that one video chip and I lost all my video , Im trying to load more on to YouTube.

Then there is Miley's circling behavior.  I did realize how bad it was.  I not controlling it at all. Usually when I work her I've always called her to me so she cant circle. Ill put her leash on. So Ive been controlling the behavior. But I need her to control the behavior. So when I practice with her,  I dont control it at all. If she starts circling, I stop and wait for her to come to me and stop circling. Then reward.  I saw a couple of times I should have rewarded on the video and didnt. Then she started circling. Im not sure if this is the right thing to do but will see if the circling decreases over the next few weeks. Again the video is more for me to document Miley circling behavior, so dont feel you have to watch.

Something exciting is happening in a few weeks. Loretta Muller is coming for a seminar.  Meagan posted it yesterday. I printed out my registration form and took it to the post office that day. I sure hope I get in!!  The first day is on "building Drive" and "foundation skills".  Im so excited about the "drive " one. Ive been wanting to hear what Loretta has to say about this and how she teaches it for a while now. I signed Java up for this day. The second day is on  tight turns and Master handling. I signed Miley up for this one.

Java really likes to chase squirrels.  For a while I would let her do this but then   I started thinking it was self rewarding behavior and I wouldnt let her do it anymore. But then  one day she pulled the leash out of my hand to go get a squirrel and she wouldnt come back to me.  I finally had to go get her.  I got the impression she thought this maybe the only time she gets to chase a squirrel and she was going to make the best of it. LOL  So then I thought I better let her chase squirrels and work on recalling and then sending her again.  This has been working pretty well. So the other day I had sent her 3 times and recalled her. No problem, she did awesome. But the last time, she took off and didnt come back. The trees and brush have leafed out , so now I cant see her bouncing through the forest. She wont come, I cant see her. Great, what have I done. I start walking to go find her and all of a sudden the squirrel comes running out of the wood, down the path to me.  It looks just like that squirrel in Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation.  If you have seen that movie , you know what I talking about.  They way the squirrel was running, the look on his face, could have been a stunt double. I couldnt help but crack up laughing. Im not sure why the squirrel didnt just run up a tree.  But with the squirrel running like that I figured, the dog couldnt be far behind. Then here comes Java.   But instead of continuing to go after the squirrel, she came right to me. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lots of thinking.

Its been very warm this week.  So we've been going to the river. Wednesday was great. We were the only people there. Thursday tons of college students hanging out on the rocks, drinking, smoking and yelling.  I like going to the park because its usually quiet. Not Thursday.  I just hope they picked up all their trash.  I hate when people leave their trash behind.

Look Miley isnt washed out against the black looking rocks.  I dont know why is the problem, so I didnt learn anything.

Im sorry I havent blogging much. I think about it all the time. Just busy. Works been really busy. On Friday I was 60 kids and gave 30 medications. Ive never seen 60 kids before.  I only sent 3 home so that tells you something there. I had 5 kids at 7:30 am, for things that happened the day before at home. What the heck???   If this trend continues, they will have to add a second nurse or I will have to get a new job. I cant do 60 kids a day.

Yesterday Stephanie and I went to the river. Its been 85 degrees several days in a row.  The river is freezing but not to bad if just your feet on in it.
I thought this was really pretty and was going to try and get a good picture with the dogs on it.

Yea, the photo session didnt go to well.

I think Stephanie had a good time

Look at this cute bird who had a nest inside this tree.

Sorry the last two pictures were blurry.

I love this picture.

Stephanie kept asking me if there were alligators in the river. I told her no. Well I probably really said, "There are no freaking alligators in the river!"
Then we see this.

From a distance it sure looked like an alligator.  Its just wood. LOL

On Monday I took Miley to the field for the Co-op class.  She was wild to say the least.  I only let her do a few small sequences.  Then when she did a full size dogwalk, she jumped the contact and ran around the ring several times. So I figured with all those extra laps she didnt need to do anymore jumping that night. She sure was happy.  Several people made comments about how happy she looked.  Ive been thinking a lot about if I should keep trialing.  I dont really like going to trials. Its like a big party and I hate going to parties. But if you dont go to trials you cant keep up with course changes and development of sequences.  So Id like to keep teaching my class and I really like going to seminars. Then I started thinking that I havent had a lot of positive reinforcement with trials. Well at least AKC trials.  Two years and one Q in standard. No jumpers Q's.  Makes it hard to want to continue.  But Im not a quitter and I want to know that I can do this. So frustrating!!  At least in USDAA we seem to be able to Q in Speedjumping , Grand Prix, gamblers and pairs.  I guess thats why I like USDAA better.  I sure hope Miley is ok. She sure been injured a lot. But it hasnt been all agility.  August and September was the glass in her foot that she got at the park. Then the shoulder injury I think was from me letting her and Java run around like maniacs.  Dogs have such short lives, I hate for so much of it to be rest.
I took both dogs to the field today.  Ive been struggling with Java's running contact. But today at the field she hit everyone. I had lower the board a little because we had so many failures at home yesterday.  Then Im working on Cik and Cap. I just cant get her to want to be fast about this. Ive been trying to get her to do this for at least 6 weeks maybe longer. And she has no enthusiasm for this.
Ive tried all different toys , games and treats. Nothing has increased her speed on this.

Maybe I should give it a break. Any advice would be welcomed.  Well I have more to say but Im to tired.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Java's learning

Ive posted these video's to Facebook so dont feel like you have to comment on them.

Then today was the first time on a full dogwalk. I didnt realize the Running Contacts class is on a break for a couple of weeks. It allows those of us behind to try and catch up. Java seemed kinda slow to me today.  I also had Miley there. We are slowly increasing her activity.  She did 6 straight jumps, two low dogwalks and a couple of tunnels. She was thrilled!! Maybe thats why Java seemed slow, because Miley is running at warp speed.

We went to the park this morning. It was very cold. I guess the water was warmer than the air.

I moved over the the fields where the sun was hitting to warm me up. Java took off after these deer.

I called her "Java Come!".  Im not sure , it could have been a panicky, screaming call. But both the deer and the dog stopped and looked at me.  They probably thought , "what the heck is wrong with that crazy lady?".  What ever, it worked and she came back. LOL, thank goodness.

This was from the other day. This should probably be the blog header, its more realistic. LOL

Friday, March 9, 2012

Which Blog Header

I cant decided which picture for the blog header.  Do you like the one I posted as the header or this one better. Will call this one "A" and the one on the blog header "B".  Let me know what you think.  ( make sure you click the pictures so blogger brings them up bigger and you can see them better)

Picture A

Picture B

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If I knew then what I know now.

Im not going to post this to the link for everyone to read but I thought I would comment.  I started agility with Guiness about 6 years ago.  He was a rescued sheltie. I wasnt sure I would even like agility but I signed up for a class. It was really hard to find a class here in Columbia. I kept looking and looking and finally found someone who taught beginning agility.  It was lots of fun. We were taught with targets.  I know lots of people think targets are bad but I never had a problem with them. Especially since I didnt know anything else.  I didnt know about shaping.  I taught Guiness to weave using a Clean Run article on WAMS. LOL, must have been a good article since thats how I taught Miley too.  The first seminar I went to, I wont say who taught it, but they wouldnt work with me because my dog wasnt toy motivated. (OMG, how rude. Today I would walk out but I didnt then. ) The good thing that came out of that was I talked to  Michelle Godlevski. I hope she doesnt mind me putting her name here but she talked to me and gave me tons of information  about agility and  where to look to get even more information.  She was great.  I felt like I left with so much knowledge. I should have paid her not that seminar presenter.  Then I finally found another agility class in town.  I found out about front crosses and rear crosses, I had no idea about them.  Some of the people were in the local dog club here which I joined. Thinking I had found something in Columbia that I really liked. I was so excited. But then someone in the group talked about me to everyone behind my back. I never heard exactly what was said but the  basics was that I had mistreated my dog. I was out of town for a week and when I came back to class no one would talk to me. Well, one person did. I had no idea what was going. The negative feeling in class was unbelievable. I set Guiness up to run and he crashed the jump. The whole thing fell apart.  Guiness never dropped bars, ever. So this was effecting my dog. I set him up, ran the course and walked out never to return.I found out the next day that this one person had told everyone I mistreated my dog and thats why no one would talk to me at class. So now I was in club and had no friends. And not just no friends, they hated me.  I was still attending my other class that I first started out with. I was best friends with the lady who ran the class. When she found out I joined this other class, I guess her feeling got hurt and our friendship was over.  I cried all the way home that day. Everything was falling apart.  So now I was training alone.  I did find Meagan in North Carolina but it was a long drive and I couldnt get out there very often.  Ive made a lot of mistakes with Miley's training that I now see.    Mistakes I hope not to repeat with Java.  I love running Miley.  She brings so much energy to the game, its still fun even if we dont Q much.  We can have a total crappy run and someone will come up to me and say how much the love watching her.  I have to laugh, "uh, were you and I watching the same run?"  LOL .   There were so many negative things that happened at the beginning of my agility endeavor.  A normal person would have quit. But Im not normal.  Im going out swinging. LOL   And do you know what?  Now Ive met so many nice people.  Bob, who watches out for me and makes sure my runs are tape.  Robin, who sends me text messages about her runs (since Im not running Miley right now) and shares hotel rooms with me. Tom, who reminds me to fill the spaces around me with nice people.  Meagan ,who has helped me beyond words and has introduced me to her group of students and friends.  Jan, Mike and Lorelei , who are some of the nicest people ever. They always make sure there is room for me  to crate my dog at a trial and invite me to their after trial events.Thanks to Karen and Fred who talked to me at a trial one weekend. It was the first time someone talked to me at a trial. It made my whole weekend. They probably didnt give it a second thought, they are just nice people.  All my blogger friends who send such nice comments when I feel like everything is falling apart. I hope I can met them all someday!!  And Im thankful so much  for my husband and kids for putting up with all these dogs and agility stuff. They are awesome. And best of all, if it werent for agility I wouldnt have these great dogs!!  Each different and wonderful.And if it werent for agility I wouldnt exercise as much as I do trying to keep my dogs fit.  Im sure Ive missed some names of people who are my friends and have gone out of their way to be nice to me. Thanks, it means the world to me.
So "what about if I knew then, what I know now" stuff.  If that bad stuff wouldnt have happened I wouldnt have met  all these new really great people. I really dont think Ive been doing agility long enough to have some great awaking. LOL  But I know now how important and fun shaping is. There are so many ways to teach things.There isnt just one right way. I know about collection and extension. All the body cues your dog is working off of to run the course. I knew none of this stuff the first two years I was learning with Guiness. I dont even know how I got him through the course. LOL  Looking forward to all the new things I will learn over the years of teaching my dogs. So much fun to learn and train .

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 5, 2012

MishMash Monday

Yes I let Miley run a little this weekend. She goes today for her repeat ultrasound. Sure hope she is healed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rainy day

I woke up at 4 am feeling terrible. Its funny, finally the dogs werent waking me up this early and now its me waking myself up. I felt so bad,  I  had to get up. Ugh, I think its just fibromyalgia crap.  Its been raining most of the morning but then stopped for a while. I was able to get myself to the park with the dogs before the next round of rain came through. We were able to walk last night too. But I didnt take my camera because I didnt think the weather would be good. But it was great conditions for taking pictures. Soft light coming through the clouds so Miley wouldnt be squinting. The rocks were beautiful colors. I was so disappointed that I didnt bring my camera. But I brought it today. The weather wasnt to nice. Im sure you are sick of my same pictures but I cant help myself.
For some reason this was a hard shot for my camera. This one is ok. But when I pulled back some, Miley became very washed out.

I cant get Java to pose. So I throw treats and hope she turns around enough for me to get a shot. That is, before she comes running towards me.

This is such a cool place. And since it had been raining so  much no one was at the park today. To bad I fell on my butt here. Right on a rock, man did that hurt but I didnt drop my camera. Thats the most important part. LOL

After the park , I had wanted to see the movie the Lorax. It looked cute. My son said he would go with me. It was a cute movie but I fell asleep in the middle of it. Thats weird. Ive never done that before and Ive sat through some pretty boring movies, like "Power Rangers" when my son was little. LOL I was also freezing. I had a sweat-shirt on. My son just had  a t-shirt on and he said it wasnt cold. I guess Im still not feeling well. Ugh.
Java's running a-frame seems to be back on track again. She ran the 1 foot wide plank without a problem. The I raised it a little. Still was good. So now Im going to add another 12foot plank, so they are end to end. If she has no problems with that, I'll switch her to a low dogwalk. I sent this video to Sylvia and she agreed with my plan.