Monday, May 30, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Roc's day

Thursday used to be "no dog day" here at Golly Gear. But we've amended that policy. We used to bring only our "working" dogs - the ones currently in training for competition in either agility or obedience. So there's usually a good excuse to take a break from actual work and go play with the dogs - we can alway justify "taking 10" to work on some aspect of training.
Then we realized that our "old" pups, Fran's Ceilidh and my Roc, were getting shortchanged! Just because they're retired doesn't mean they don't enjoy an outing. We do have to keep things rather low-key, both Roc and Ceilidh have serious heart conditions. But I think Roc's enjoying himself. - Hope

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obedience practice

1 minute Novice "Long Sit"
3 minute Novice "Long Down"

Perpetually cute. - Hope

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's spring, and that sometimes means weddings and graduations. Well, I did get up early a couple of weeks ago for the Royal Wedding (I got up early for Charles' and Diana's wedding years ago, so I sort of felt compelled to see their son's wedding!). And we have a graduation of sorts in the family. Tango has graduated from the Beginning Agility class! Next session he'll start in Intermediate! Look out! I'll do my best to keep his interest away from the other dogs in class, and at the same time try to learn all I can about being the best handler I can be. Yikes!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still haven't gone RVing

Last fall I wrote about our grand adventure - buying an RV, going to get it, and driving it back home. And someone recently asked for an update on our RV adventures. To make a very long story into a video - our RV was the star of our entry in an aspirin company's "Biggest Headache" contest. Unfortunately, we weren't chosen as finalists, but I want to share the video anyway. The wonderful work of our amazing friends Amy (whose voice you hear on the video) and Gary (who edited it for us) should be seen.

And we still haven't been anywhere. After getting the RV back from the shop - we discovered another leak. It's back in the shop. Apparently it's only allowed home for short visits. - Hope

Friday, May 13, 2011

Too Tired...

Tango's too tired to even chew on his bone. We had Agility class last night, with lots of jumping and climbing and weaving, and leaving the other dogs alone! And I was inspired by the Intermediate class, just after our Beginner class, to attempt some of the weaving challenges here at the shop today. (Our instructor Dee calls it the "Wacky Weaving Challenge," where handlers do strange things while their dogs are weaving through the poles correctly.) Usually people are running beside their dogs while the dogs are weaving, so a difficult task is for the dog to weave with the owner out of their line of vision. So I sat in a chair well behind and to the side of the poles, and Tango ran through them! Just six so far, but we'll get all 12 before too long! Thanks for the idea, Debra!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hard work and patience pays off

On many two lane roads, in no-passing zones, there are signs that tell you when a passing zone is coming up: "Patience Pays; Passing Zone in 3 Minutes." No matter how annoying that slow-poke is in front of you, you know that pretty soon you'll be able to get by him. So, you possess your soul in patience and look for a better radio station. And soon enough you're in front of him and singing along with your favorite song.

So it is with dog training. You see a problem, work at it, and little by little, you've put that problem behind you. Tango has had issues with other people and dogs. A few months ago we couldn't walk into our Agility class building without him firing up at whoever (or whatever) was walking around. But last night we not only walked into the building with confidence, but he was able to stay at the start line of our sequences, leash off!, with a big dog not 2 feet away from him, and pay attention to me. He started when I told him to, and he stayed with me. What a good boy!!!

Of course, that's not to say that our work is done. It never will be. I'll remain vigilant of the people and dogs around us. We'll keep training our start-line stays. But patience really does pay!