Sunday, February 26, 2012

Medication madness

So nice to have some cool weather in Perth. Although it's a double edged sword really. At least when it's hot I can justify procrastinating inside in the air conditioning. Today I had no such excuse and spent the day planting lawn and gardening. More lawn is a good thing. It means additional space in which to use my awesome new fully adjustable dog walk (thanks Steve :)).

Last week was the week of the vet. Soda's blood results are showing high urea with no discernible reason. Cassie managed to get an ulcer under her third eyelid probably from a trauma to her eye (no surprises there). Then Kenny was having trouble in the water works department so I spent four hours at Murdoch with him last Monday night. My kitchen bench currently looks like a pharmacy and it takes me an extra ten minutes to get out the door in the morning as I medicate everyone with their drug of choice before I leave for work. Not to mention it's been costing me a fortune! Good news is that they are all OK. But I'm pretty sure Cassie would like me to go and stick the eye drops somewhere else.

Lots of dog training happening at home. I'm starting to think that Cassie will be about five before I've finished teaching her all the foundation skills I think she needs. I've just realised that I need to add verbal directional's to the already long list. Haven't taught those in a while, but if I want running contacts I'm going to need them. We've been doing lots of core strengthening work lately because Cassie has none. If I tried to get her to "sit pretty" she'd just fall over in a heap. So the fit ball has come out and she's starting to get much better. The last couple of weeks she's been a good girl (i.e. slightly more compliant than usual) which may mean we're about to have a bad fortnight. She does like to push me and seems to think that "It's Your Choice" is only for suck hole border collies. Let's face it, if your favourite toy or food is right in front of you why would you not just dive straight in? Her latest joy is jumping up and trying to grab my shorts with her teeth. Strangely enough Riot has become her favourite of my dogs. She will spend much of her time giving him kisses and trying to get him to play with her. He is remarkably patient with her I have to say.

The Western Classic is on this weekend. Three nights of trialling which will test my agility stamina no end. Sonic's training at the moment is pretty stripped down. I rarely do any sequences or courses with him at all. It's all about getting him to drive to reinforcement zone and simple grid work. Now I've got the dog walk at home I can get his contact work done whenever I get a chance. If my memory serves me correctly Sonic wasn't great at the Classic last year but that was after three months off following the paralysis tick incident. Hopefully this year will rather more successful!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On our way

Where oh where does the time go. I think this is the longest I've had between posts since I started this blog. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I need to learn to say

Post wash - too cute!

Sonic and I had our very first trial of the year last weekend. We didn't get a lot of preparation in because it's been too hot to do a lot of training and of course I've been pretty busy. We just had the two runs that night with our first being Masters Jumping. He started off really fresh, driving hard and it was all going OK until I pushed ahead to get in front so I could do a front cross. When I came out of the cross and tried to run on I had my weight too far forward and couldn't get my legs going. So I fell right on over! Poor Sonic didn't know what was going on poor bugger. I tried to finish the run off as best as we could after I'd picked myself up off the ground. Mainly because I didn't want to stop Sonic from having some fun. It made me realise that it's not only Sonic who needs to get fit! We had Masters Agility next and I wasn't real sure how we'd go plus I was pretty sore from stacking it. But thankfully we had a lovely clear run (with our first competition WEEEEE Saw) coming in with third place from quite a few quallies. Not bad for a dog who is nowhere near competition condition (and a very unfit handler holding him back). I tell you what I was sore for days after falling over!

Cassie and I are having heaps of fun and we love her to bits. Training her is a very interesting experience and she challenges me all the time. She is certainly one determined little cookie. Although I don't know if that's to do with me being a lot pickier in what I want behaviour wise these days. Even with Cassie being only 7 months old there is already things that I notice are better/stronger behaviours than what Sonic does. We seem to go in "blocks" of success. For a couple of weeks everything will be awesome and its success after success. Then we hit a tough couple of weeks where she'll go back to bunking off with toys instead of bringing them back and losing focus during the sessions. Last week was the first week of term at ACWA for 2012 and I could not get her brain in the game no matter what I did whereas the week before she was totally into it. Each time we go right back to basics and try to strengthen the behaviours so we can get to the good stuff again!

Well if it's good enough for a border collie...

All those food rewards hasn't helped Cassie's waistline. She turned into quite the little "pudding" so it's no more Smacko's for her and onto the carrot sticks! I may have to follow suit...

Over the last few weeks everything for the World Agility Open has been falling into place. I have secured my team dog in little Cody who is a 4 year old Jack Russell x. Cody belongs to Laura who is on the Scottish Team for WAO with her border collie Kadyn. Cody is one cool little dude and is currently only one win away from his championship. Laura has kindly offered for me to run Cody at a trial in Perth Scotland the weekend before WAO as part of getting to know him. It will be so exciting actually competing in another country and a way of getting over some of the nerves I will have before the big event. Our trip is becoming pretty big with a 17 day tour of Europe to get us started following by a trip to Aberdeen to meet Laura and Cody with some getting to know you time, then on to Belgium for WAO. Pretty awesome!