Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The gods are laughing

I guess we can't rest on our laurels forever. It sure was fun to bask for a while, though! Last night we went to an Agility Fun Match. It's a full-size agility course and you're timed while on the course, but you can do whatever you want instead of adhering to a pre-determined pattern or map. It's great practise for trials - same venue, no pressure.
I decided to work on speed with Dax. I'm told that the faster I am, the more interesting I am to her, and the faster she'll go. So I ran like a crazy lady - no fancy handling attempts, nice easy loops around the obstacles. And they were right - Dax was "flaps (ears) down - full throttle" girl.
Until we got home. I sat down and Dax tried to jump into my lap, as she does every single time I sit. Fran said it looked like she just stopped in mid-air and fell down. Turns out she probably pinched a nerve in her neck and is on crate-rest for a week.
The juxtaposition convinces me that fate has a sense of humor. Not a good one, but it's there.
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Friday, April 24, 2009


Friday is Hope's day off and it's my opportunity to post to the blog, but how can I top Hope's post? Easy - I can't. So, let's just bask for a bit! Last night at Agility class our instructor made a point of telling our classmates who weren't at the trial last weekend that Hope and Dax had their first qualifying run with a perfect score! Big cheers all around!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We did it!

Judge Ann Riba was kind enough to pose for a picture with Dax and me (right). Our very first qualifying run!

Dax and I qualified in our Standard run on Sunday at the Paw Power Blues Agility Trial! I'll spare you the video of the other three runs of the weekend - although if you want a few laughs I'll be posting the video on our Golly Gear You Tube channel. Here's the triumphant run - with the cheers of the All Fours Agility Team (thanks, guys!) in the background. Thank you to our dear friend Betsy for taping, advice, support and commentary!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fingers Crossed

OK, folks - keep your fingers crossed for Hope and Dax! They're at an Agility Trial today and tomorrow. Hope already called today, and Dax was mightily diverted during her Standard run, so that's done. But, her Jumpers run is this afternoon, and we're hoping that both Hope and Dax can focus! So send your good thoughts their way!
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Friday, April 17, 2009

It's a gorgeous day

Finally! It's about 70 degrees today in Chicagoland and it's sunny! It's finally spring! We deserve it, after weeks and months of below-normal temperatures, nasty storms, feet of snow and then floods - it's great to have a really nice day to enjoy. It's Hope's day off today, so she'd better be playing outside with the dogs!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not my day

I don't know where my brain is lately. Our garage door opener busted and I called the repair company to come fix it. We made the appointment for today. The guy on the phone said "10 to 12." So I got there at 11:30, plenty of time to spare, and there was a message on my answering machine saying the repair guy was there at 10:30 and sorry he missed me. I called the place, enraged. And he burst out laughing because our appointment was between 10 and 12. It actually had occurred to me that 11:50 was a little precise for a service call. Sigh. We rescheduled.
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trying to be a good neighbor

We have a dilemma.
I don't quite know what to do about it.
I think I mentioned a while ago that our neighbors purchased a Siberian Husky puppy from Petland last year. (I know, I know - but that's not the point here. We told them not to. We tried to tell them the right way to get a puppy. No matter how hard you try - you cannot make people do it right.)
They sort-of took him to puppy class. And they do love him. But he's now almost 10 months old and a wild child. So they put up a chain-link fence and he's outside. All the time. All alone. Or at least from 6 a.m. 'til dark. And he stares. He stands at the fence and stares.
Which makes using our back yard, two doors west, difficult. It's hard to get Roc, our yappy protector boy, to concentrate on getting his business done when he's being stared at. And when Roc starts yapping, Golly starts, too. And then Ceilidh chimes in. She also tries to "herd" Roc and Golly away from the source of the disturbance, which they resent, so they yell at Ceilidh and then Dax starts "helping," too.
And all the disturbance is coming from my yard. My only solution, so far, is to take Roc into my own backyard on leash. Which doesn't seem quite fair, but is keeping things quiet.
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Friday, April 10, 2009

The most thrilling thing!

Ceilidh loves, loves, loves playing Agility! Last night was our Agility class, and Ceilidh could barely wait to run, jump, play, and see all her friends. Ceilidh was so excited that she didn't eat her dinner! I've got to change my routine on Thursdays so that she doesn't know that it's agility day. Or do you think she counts the days from last week? or reads the calendar? or the newspaper? Nah...
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dog play

Yesterday Dax and I had an agility lesson with our instructor. I actually took a big chunk out of the middle of the day to go and have fun with my dog.
I'll freely admit I'm not a very good agility handler - yet. Nothing about it comes easily to me, I'm one of those dorks who has to practise footwork endlessly without my dog, just so I don't confuse her when we're together.
Fortunately, Dax is a wonderful, game puppy. She's willing to get out there and work with me, she'll try anything and trusts me. Dee (our instructor) has a rule - when the handler screws up, the dog gets a cookie. Dax gets a lot of "oops - thank you for playing" cookies.
And that's the most important thing-playing. I think everyone should have the chance to get out and play with their dogs. It doesn't have to be middle-of-the-day. It just has to be a block of time when all you do is relax, play with your dog, and revel in her unconditional, uncomplicated affection. When you're having a really, really rough day, to be able to go home and be greeted by unfettered joy is wonderful. Today I need my dogs and they're there for me.
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Friday, April 03, 2009

Ceilidh's Split Personality

Last night was Agility class - big fun for everyone! Ceilidh had such a good time running the courses. Hope shared an observation: people who don't know Ceilidh's ADHD history see a calm, controlled dog with a very aloof handler. That struck me like an anvil on the head, because Ceilidh is the furthest thing from calm and controlled. But I've had to keep her under iron control when she's in a setting with other people and dogs or she'd be a total lunatic, assaulting people and dogs alike, wanting kisses, wanting to play, wanting to chase. And Ceilidh does not observe proper doggy etiquette - she's, well, a lunatic. I have to watch her constantly throughout the class and while we're waiting for class to start, or Ceilidh will be sure to start something. A few people at class do know the "real" Ceilidh and find her entertaining (thank goodness), so I let Ceilidh go nuts with them. Keeps everyone happy.
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