Monday, March 08, 2010


SUMMARY: Musings between agilities.

Tika's fur is SO thick that her feet and legs are like sponges, and particularly the thick hairy bits on her behind. I'm thinkin' that makes her Sponge-dog Hairpants. Am I right?

My not-too inspired-photo for week 9 of 52 Weeks for Dogs:

When we go for a walk, and we encounter grassy areas, I play tug of war with Boost and her leash and allow her to run run run a bit with the handle of the leash in her mouth. She runs 20 feet ahead and then comes back for more tug. (She has never ever ever run out into the street, but I'm very careful anyway.) She now gets very excited when we get to grassland! Because we all get to run and play! And so, singing to her as we go, with apologies to Paul Simon:

We're going to grassland
In southern San Jose
We're going to grassland.
Doggies and walkers with leashies
and we are going to grassland!
My walking companion is five years old
She is so bored with simply smells
But soon we'll tug and play
And pretend to run away
in grassland!

(Original lyrics here.)

We've had no class for two weeks; been rained out. Rented the field with a friend and her 3 border collies Saturday afternoon and went up and practiced for a couple of hours. Mostly ran Tika just to run Tika. Tried to set up things with Boost where she's ahead of me or I have to push her out or I have to serp her. Bars were knocked. Speed occurred. Progress might have been made. I think just DOING things like that over and over until we get them right is probably good.

At home, have done some desultory threadles and serps. Today took a different approach: Worked on sending them into gambles where they had to keep going straight ahead of me. Not too bad on just jump jump tunnel, but stick a teeter instead of the 2nd jump and things went all to pot. This was good. Good practice at keeping their focus straight ahead.

Then the skies burst into a sudden downpour, although the sun continued to shine brightly. I retreated to the back porch, but continued to send the dogs down to the lawn area to do obstacles for a thrown reward. Rain didn't bother either of them! And revealed again that Boost doesn't know her left from right except in certain very circumscribed situations. I think this was actually an excellent exercise, because now the dogs do not have my body language (good and/or bad) to guide them, just my commands! So they have to listen! AND pay attention!

Again, I think progress occurred and I think I'll try more of that. That continued until I looked up across my back fence--and had to abandon the dogs to race for my camera:

Meanwhile, I am STILL liking the idea of not doing agility. Of course, after our 4-day mega-event Apr 15-18, in rapid succession there are my own home clubs' USDAA trials April 24-25 and May 1-2. See, this is the problem with trying to spread my agility out over the year: The convenient ones and the highest ROI ones are all glopped exceedingly tightly in just a couple of spots during the year, and the rest of the year is empy (that's empty without the hard-to-pronounce t in the middle).

Sigh. I will be VERY tired after those two and a half weeks are over! And probably ready for no more agility for a very long time.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Today's Chuckles

SUMMARY: I love Dave Barry!

Dave Barry's Deep Thoughts on Dog Behavior.

Added several hours later, same day:

1993 Dave Barry column on The Secret Lives of Dogs.


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Truest Birthday Card

SUMMARY: At least, I hope it's true. Made me laugh, anyway.

(Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

(Apologies to friends who DO have cute small dogs that they dress up and carry in their purses--your dogs are, of course,  cool, it's just that YOU are not ME.)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Snooker Video You've Been Waiting For

SUMMARY: Bay Teamer Silvina and Maja demonstrate amazing calm in a difficult situation while earning a perfect score in Snooker.

From Sunday evening at the Turlock USDAA. This was one of the most amazing runs I've seen. Check out that teeter execution as Silvina's puppy T-Cam can't wait to join the fun.
View it now.

(I should note that T-Cam is Boost's full sister, but from a litter 4 years later. Yes, Boost has lost self-control with Tika at home many times and at class once--and, yes, Tika kept going with the distraction. But never in competition and I don't think ever with that teeter--)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Video Fun

SUMMARY: Nothing to do with me, but I enjoyed these.

Very silly, wish I'd thought of that, wish they'd have cut out the muffled snickering in the background. "Dinner for One":

Welcome to my world (and I'm sure that most of you reading this can relate!). "There's Dog Hair in Everything I Do":

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bad Dog

SUMMARY: Who's the agility champion?
Here's my week 5 photo for my 52 Weeks for Dogs photo group. The challenge this week was "where dogs shouldn't be."

My notes on the Flickr site:

Places where dogs should not be: Any *good* agility dog knows that one is supposed to go *through* the tunnel, not stand *on* it to get a better look at the squirrels and birds.

Although this one is posed, there is a reason that all of my less-sturdy tunnels in the back yard are squished into narrow oblongs instead of being open circles.

Fortunately, Tika is also an expert at running through the tunnels and has earned her championships multiple times over.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Grab Bag Day

SUMMARY: blog issues, sad week, funny list,  d*d rats.

* Blog: Just got notice from blogger that they are doing away with the mechanism by which I post and manage my blog. They have an alternative that they really like but doesn't fit my needs. I'm going to have to convert or think of something else by March. Sucks. I wasn't really planning on spending time figuring out new technology or finding a new blogging service that will support me. Sucks being a techie geek who wants to do things most people don't. I understand their reasons, but still--after 7 years... converting everything to another site will be impossible. Argh.

* Sadnesses: Can we erase the last week and start over? Wednesday, Jigs. Friday, Scully. Saturday, Shooter. Monday, Katie. (Suddenly discovered cancer; escalating kidney disease; age-related illness; unknown (just--found her lying there, she was 11).) Please let it stop for a while. Meanwhile--go do something special with your dog.

* Funniness: I really needed this--"You know you're an agility addict when...". It's a facebook group. I hope they'll post their list on a public site, too, because it's too good to hide just on FB. Meanwhile, if you're on FB, read the list.

* D[amne]d d[ea]d rats. Can't find. Place reeks. Too cold to have windows open. Argh.

* Have some nice photos of the Merle Girls from this weekend. Will post when I have time. They are SUCH GOOD-LOOKING DOGS! I am so lucky to have them.

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Friday, October 09, 2009


SUMMARY: Stop me if you've heard this one before... oh, wait... you can't! Ha!

Have you heard about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac who stayed up all night wondering whether there really is a dog?

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