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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Agility Demo

Today our agility club was invited out to put on a demo for the annual Humane Society's Dog Jog.  It was a lot of fun.  We had a mini course set up, a relay race, a course with just tunnels and weaves and a 24 pole weave pole challenge.  Maggie was in the mini course and the relay and Bosley was in the mini course, the tunnel weave course and the weave challenge.

Bosley on the teeter - his feet barely stay on!

Here is Bosley in the weave challenge.  He did really well and didn't even seem to notice the extra set of 12 poles.  We didn't win however - you can't beat those Corgis and Border Collies! He did however, finish the poles in a respectable 10.7 seconds - not bad for a big boy.

A cheer for Bosley as he finishes his last pole of the challenge.
No pictures of Maggie today, but she had lots of fun - especially in the relay race.  We came oh-so-close to winning the relay, but lost by a hair in the tie-breaker 3rd heat.  Thanks to Sarah and Sarah's mom for taking the pictures today.

I video taped the 24 weave pole challenge and put together this video of all the participants.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shoe Fetish

Bosley has a serious shoe fetish.  He absolutely adores them.  I always find shoes on his bed or on the couch.  Many mornings on my way out the door to go to work, I am searching for a shoe that Bosley has taken somewhere to admire.

He loves to hold shoes.

He loves to smell shoes.

He loves to cuddle shoes.

He loves to lay on shoes.

He thinks shoes make a great chin rest.

Bosley loves shoes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bad Dreams

I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night (I am sure it had nothing to do with the long nap I had yesterday afternoon, or the can of rootbeer I drank right before I went to bed).  When I did sleep, the dreams I had were bad.  Not nightmares, but not good either.

I was at a hotel somewhere because Bosley's draft test was that day.  I couldn't find the place that the test was being held at and I was getting very stressed that I was going to be late or miss the test.  I finally found the right place, but then realized that I had forgot Bosley at the hotel, but when I went back to get him, he wasn't in the room.  I finally found him and went back to the test site, where I found everyone getting on a bus.  I made it there just in time, but I had no bungee cords to tie down the freight load and there wasn't enough time to go get them from the car. At the last minute before I got on the bus, someone told me that the cart I had was illegal to use in a test.

Do you think I am stressed about the upcoming draft test?  

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Birthday!

Today we celebrated Go!Dog!Go!s 4th Anniversary with a fun match and pizza party.  Maggie and I started to take agility lessons not long after Sarah and Amanda started offering classes.  I have to say we were very lucky to find such a great group.   Sarah and Amanda are amazing instuctors and I couldn't imagine taking lessons anywhere else.  

For pictures of the day visit the Go! Dog! Go! Blog and the Paws On The Run Photography Blog

Happy 4th Anniversary Go! Dog! Go!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grown Up!

Today is Bosley's 3rd Birthday.  He is officially "grown up". 

 Bosley is maturing into a very nice boy - easy to live with with a sweet and goofy personality and he is quite handsome too(but I may be a bit biased).  

(Baby Bosley - 9 weeks old)

(Bosley today - 3 years old)

Another wonderful photo by Wendy

Happy Birthday, Bosley!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obedience Lesson

This afternoon, Bosley and I had an Obedience Lesson with Amanda to start to work more seriously on some Open Obedience stuff. 

Heeling:  The biggest thing that I have been working on at home is randomizing rewards and not always having food rewards on me.  I carried that over to today's lesson, and it seemed to work.  Bosley was still heeling nice, although I didn't have food in my pocket.  He also didn't try to run and get the food stashes or didn't stare at the spots the food were hidden in.  He did lag on the first few steps of heeling, so we worked lots on set-up games instead of full heeling sequences.

Drop on Recall:  We worked some fun drop in motion stuff and then drop from a stand.  We need to work lots on fast drops with no creeping forward.  

Broad Jump:  We started the beginning of the Broad Jump exercise today by just sending Bosley over the jump and out to a target plate.  Bosley needs to learn to get some height going over the the broad jump, so I will practice at home with a jump bar over the broad jump.

Dumbbell:  We worked on straight fronts by placing the dumbbell off center from where Bosley and I were set up.  He did pretty good with this, but sometimes rocks back on his sit (which I don't like).  I wish he would be closer when he comes to front with his dumbbell, but Amanda said his distance from me is fine.  I also really want him to drive out to get the dumbbell - he sometimes does not go out on my first command, like he is unsure if he should get it or not.  Maybe that is because I have just began to ask him for a formal "wait" command before sending him out.  Up until recently, I have been keeping him excited by holding his collar and then sending him.

We got a lot of work in today, and I was very happy with how the lesson went.  I have lots of stuff to work on and I even made notes in Bosley's notebook so I can start to keep track of where we are in our training.

*** Thanks to Wendy for the awesome pictures.  These were taken last weekend at the park where a few of us met to work on obedience and visit.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Training Schedule

On one of my Yahoo Berner groups, we were discussing training our dogs in muliple dog sports at the same time.  One trainer, who has several dogs involved in different events, makes a training chart to help plan her time.  I thought this was a great idea, so I made a 4 week schedule (it is even color coded) to help me stay organized.  So far, I have been following it very closely (for over 2 weeks now) and it has helped a lot with my procrastination.  It also helps me a lot to see my goals for the week laid out in front of me so that I can stay focused and motivated.  I will vary the schedule depending on what events we have coming up in the near future.  Right now, I am concentrating on Draft with Bosley, so I make sure I schedule him for 3 or 4 sessions a week.  Once the Draft test is over, I will start to put more emphasis on obedience work.  Here is what this weeks schedule looks like:

Notice that Maggie has "Walks" scheduled in her chart? This does not mean that Bosley does not get any walks (both dogs always get their usual runs and hikes), but Maggie is not as involved in as many things as Bosley is, so I try to schedule time with her where we can just go out for a nice walk (without Bosley) and enjoy ourselves.  It is nice to have that fun, alone time with her and she really enjoys it.

So far I am really liking having the schedule to follow.  I am starting to think that maybe I should make a "housework and laundry schedule" too.  Then maybe I would be more motivated to scrub the toilets. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seven Weeks

I mailed Bosley's Draft entry form today.  

Only 7 weeks left to practice.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Mountain Trip

Yesterday we took a trip out to Fernie for the day.  The dogs love to go to the mountains.  We spent a couple hours hiking around the trails and enjoying the mountain scenery.

"Are we there yet?"

Maggie got to hike with the backpack.  She seemed very proud of herself and I liked that she got to carry her own water, treats and poop bags.

We took along Bosley's cart so that he could get some practice in a setting that has lots of natural obstacles.  Some of those narrow trails were quite hard to negotiate, but he did pretty good.  His response time to directional cues need a bit more work - or maybe I just need to get the cues out earlier.

Here is a picture of the 3 of us.

Bosley usually hates to get his feet wet and will do anything he can to avoid stepping in water.  Here is proof that he actually won't melt if he gets wet.  He walked right into the cold mountain stream.
All the mountain air tired the dogs out and they were ready for bed early last night (and so was I).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dazed and Confused

That pretty much sums up how I feel after this weekend - it is just a blur in my mind.  There was a CKC agility trial in Calgary on Sunday and Monday and I entered both dogs.  My daughter Amy came with us and we went up late Saturday afternoon and set up our shade tent and settled in the hotel room.

Amy and the dogs lounging in the hotel
Maggie making herself comfortable
Saturday night a storm went through the show grounds tipping the porta-potties and blowing over all the agility equipment after the courses had been built.  The wind was strong enough to push the A-frame out of the ring, down an incline and onto the driveway.  The wind even blew down my tent.  Luckily, my very nice tent neighbors saved it and it only suffered a broken pole.  Some people lost their tents when they blew away. 
In addition to the blown over equipment, there was a glitch in the computer system and many of the dogs were entered in the wrong height, so check in took forever as they tried to get everything straightened out.  So the trial was delayed Saturday morning.  Not a big deal except it was already 20 degrees at 8:00 so I really wanted to get the day started.

My not-so-great start to the morning was compounded when I saw they had Bosley in Novice when I moved him to Intermediate after the NACA trial.  I made sure everything was OK with his move up before the trail closing date and had an email from the show secretary saying everything was good.  Bosley's conformation said he was in intermediate, so I took that to the trial secretary and she said she would change it in the computer and reprint his scribe sheets.  But when I went to check the running order of this first run, he was entered in the wrong jump height - so back to visit the trial secretary again - I think she was getting tired of seeing me at this point.

Now everything is straightened out and the day can proceed smoothy, right?  I wish.  This particular trial runs 2 rings (a Standard and a JWW) at the same time, which is great because the day ends by 2pm.  Except, they start Excellent in one ring and Novice in the other.  This means that the two intermediate rings start at about the same time.  This really sucks when you have both your dogs in intermediate.  I had to walk and remember two courses then try to have both my dogs ready for the two rings at the same time.  I was feeling really overwhelmed.  Needless to say it was not very motivating for me or my dogs - and to top it off it was getting hotter my the minute.

The day was pretty much a write-off.  Bosley got a 'Q' in jumpers, but was generally unfocused - he was really trying to see where Amy was and even left the ring once when he spotted her and ran out to say hi.  I totally didn't expect that from him.  Maggie had one OK run first thing in the morning but no qualifying runs.  She then decided it was too hot to even do the first obstacle of the courses, so we had refusals on 2 runs before we even got started.  The last run of the day she did about  5 or 6 obstacles and then ran back to the tent to get in the shade.  So ended our not-so-great first day.

Bosley keeping cool in the shade tent
Maggie in the shade tent wishing it would snow

There was another big storm Sunday night, but I collapsed our tent before we left, so my tent was OK.  The storm brought with it nice, cool temperatures and cloudy skies for Monday. But  I had the same problem with having to run both rings at the same time, but I felt a bit more prepared.  

Maggie's first run was a standard run, and since I let her leave the ring on her last run the day before, she thought she could do it again.  She ran out and stood on the other side of the ring barrier laughing at me.  I asked the judge if I could get her, bring her back and make her do some obstacles so she didn't think she could get away with leaving just because she felt like it.  The judge was fine with that (we had great judges).  I went to get Maggie and she was a total brat.  Ever time I would get close to her, she would play bow and bounce just out of my reach.  She thought it was funny - I didn't.  I finally got her and we did the last 6 or  7 obstacles and then she got her cookies.  We went over to the jumpers ring next and Maggie had a nice run and didn't try to leave.  She got a 'Q', with a first place finish, to complete her Intermediate JWW title.  I don't remember her 2nd standard run but she made it around the course.   Her last run was jumpers and since she finished her title, Amy asked if she could run her for fun (Amy has never done any agility).  Maggie was doing OK then she saw Bosley and I waiting at the gate of the next ring.  She ran over to us, but I grabbed her and shoved her back in the ring with Amy and Amy made her finish the last line of jumps.

Bosley had a better day.  He got 2 standard 'Qs' and his focus was better, although not great.  The jumpers ring was right next to our tent, so he was a bit unfocused looking for Amy, so he had some refusals, but that is something we will need to work through.  

Bosley in the weaves

So basically the weekend was one big blur of runs that I can barely remember.  Maggie only knocked one bar all weekend, so she must be getting some strength back.  I got a chance to watch some of the obedience trials going on, which I love.  I also shopped and bought a really nice dog backpack - it even has built in water bladders (like a camel-pack) and the packs are detachable so that it can double as a tracking harness.

Bosley showing off the backpack