Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A stubbed toe

Well Foster just has a stubbed toe, nothing broken. That's good I guess. I just wish I hadn't taken him to the vet now! Oh well, at least I feel better about his toe. Now I know I did the wrong thing, otherwise I would have wondered... An interesting thing the vet saw on his x-ray is that he has really bad arthrisits around the first joint of his toes. Before the x-ray she only manipulated the toe (he showed pain). After the x-ray she came in all sure of herself. She showed me the x-ray and said she suspected that the toe wasn't REALLY the problem, that it was the arthritis bothering him! So she manipulated his foot a bit higher up where she saw it and, voila! Nothing. No pain at all. Then she moved down about an inch to the tip again and he yelped. So much for that theory. But she said she'll have the radiologist look at it anyway.

But it's odd because every time I have Foster or Apollo x-rayed the vets see something abnormal. For Foster he was x-rayed when he had a GI blockage and he didn't present like a GI blockage at all, although both vets (we went to our regular vet and then a specialist) said it looked "odd". When Apollo was x-rayed for what turned out eventually to be pneumonia, the vet (who was admittedly very young and probably inexperienced - and rather cute) said it looked like bloat. He had nothing like bloat!

Anyway, Foster isn't limping too much anymore and hopefully by Friday or so Jay will be able to take him to the park. I just hope he doesn't let him do too much.

I only have one day left of work before leaving for tryouts and I had soooo much work to do. I should really be getting ready for work now but I'm avoiding it. I still have a lot of work to do at home to get ready for the trip, not to mention getting ready for Nancy's visit. But I'm trying not to think about that. I'll worry about it when I get back from minnesota.

Anyway, I'm starting to look forward to tryouts. I'm a little nervous but not so much. I feel relatively prepared, or at least as prepared as I can get! Sandy gave me some good advice last night that I've been telling myself lately, but it's definitely good to hear it from someone else to reinforce how important it is. When I'm at tryouts I have to handle Icon like he's not quite as trained as I like. It's not the place to assume that he knows his weave entries so leave him to it. It's better to overhandle than underhandle! I also have to remember that I can't really move laterally from him in the 24" poles since he can tend to pop out of those.

Sandy set up a hansen course for class last night and we ran it brilliantly, if I do say so myself! (I know, modesty at it's best). I was able to successfully overhandle the weave entry with a front cross after the jump followed by rear-crossing the poles. It worked nice though!

Last weekend I went to PP to practice some courses. Lena with Fia the boxer came to help me set courses, which was really nice of them! It was really hot and they had to make it to a conformation show by noon (and they were almost late for it!).

We were able to set up a std course and 2 jumpers courses. Lena taped two of my runs.

Monday, April 28, 2008

WT Tryouts, here we come!

We leave for WT tryouts on Thursday. If my life wasn't so crazy right now I might start being nervous about it! But, alas, work has managed to exhaust all of my worrying and nervous capabilities. Both of my projects are starting to spiral out of control. If I wasn't taking time off work for agility, I could probably get things back together, but thinking about the time I'm taking off this week and in the 3rd week of May just makes me want to crawl into a hole and not come out until the fall. All of our issues are on the development side of things, I have SQAs pretty much twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to do and I'm scrambling to keep them occupied.

The ounce of worrying ability left over from work has been taken up by the fact that Nancy is coming to visit me next week and my house isn't ready (I don't even know if the new bed will arrive before she does!), not to mention I won't even be able to work late while she's here so there I will be getting further behind. And of course I will be drunk whenever I'm not at work so I probably won't feel the greatest either! I have tonight and Wednesday to pack for tryouts and clean my house for the ex (who is watching Foster and Apollo while I'm gone)

AND, to make matters worse I think Foster might have broken his toe on Saturday at the park. Everything was fine but as we were leaving I looked down and there was blood covering his foot (and some of my shoe too!). He walked home fine and then I washed the blood off in the back yard and it looked like he came close to ripping his nail off. The blood was oozing out from around the entire nailbed. It seemed firmly attached though so I thought I'd just let it heal. But as of Saturday afternoon he started limping. He has been limping since so this morning I called to make a vet appointment for him. I'm taking him in at 6:40 (oops, I guess I can't pack or work tonight either!) and I have a sinking feeling that he broke his toe :(

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What's so great about being Canadian?

On my way in to target today I was accosted by a highschool student who asked me if I was registered to vote.

"No? Do you want to be?" He asked with a sudden light in his eye.

"Well yeah, but I'm Canadian! I can't vote!"

As I walked through the automated sliding doors he shouted after me, "Cool!"

Cool? What's so cool? I guess I should have asked.

On my way OUT of Target a totally DIFFERNT highschool student accosted me and asked, "Are you registered to vote?"

"No," I replied as I kept walking towards my car.

"Do you want to be??" he asked as I walked past him, trying to prevent the unregistered fish from slipping his net.

"I can't! I'm Canadian!" I shouted over my shoulder.

"Cool! I want to be Canadian!"

Ok, a couple of things are odd here. One is the fact that highschool kids still use the word "cool". I used that word when *I* was in highschool and I'm pretty sure I wasn't ahead of my time. The second thing that is wrong has to be the fact that they both of those teens thought it was "cool" to be Canadian and at least one of them wanted to BE canadian. WHY??

As a Canadian I can tell you it's not so different than being american!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Van Nuys

Van Nuys ended up OK for Icon and not so OK for Polly.

Icon got a qq on Sunday and ran really nicely for me on Saturday, but I missed a part of the course :(. I don't know what I was thinking! Oh well. The courses were really nice, I recommend both judges (Peter Liu and Something Mildbrand). They both complimented me on Icon's runs this weekend, which I thought was nice. Polly only got one Q last weekend, the last JWW run on Sunday. On Saturday he dropped 2 bars in Std and then I totally messed him up in JWW. On Sunday he dropped a bar in Std and then I pulled him offcourse for not stopping on the a-frame. Our Sun JWW was nice though! He came 3rd to 2 border collies.

The bad part is that my back started hurting again. It kind of twinged on my way down. I could tell it was pretty bad because my hamstrings were sore during my runs on the weekend (same this as at fiesta cluster!) and on the way back... OUCH. It was a pretty uncomforable trip. I guess I need to reconsider my sabbatical plans if my back isn't feeling better.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Back to Van Nuys

I'm heading down to Van Nuys for an agility trial this weekend and I have NO desire to go at all. My yard is a mess, my house is a mess, I'm behind at work and I'm tired tired tired. The thought of driving 5 hrs after work, being away from 2 days and coming back straight for work makes me even more tire tire tired. I'd probably be better off staying in the area because there are a couple of practices at PP for WT tryouts that I was invited to. I've been thinking about skipping it, but probably won't.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Haute Tracs day 2-4

The remainder of the HT weekend went really well for me and my boys.

I'm trying to remember exactly, but I *think* Apollo Q'd in everything except the last std (where I pulled him off a jump) which gave him 2 std, 2 jumpers, 2 snooker and 2 gamblers a GP Q and 2nd in SC (for $28!). But the big news is that Apollo got his APD on Friday with his Snooker Q! Yay Polly!

I have video of him but haven't uploaded it yet. I willshare it once uploaded.

Icon also had a really good weekend, Qing in everything except for Friday Std (where I messed up his weave entry). On Saturday Std he got his MAD title with a first place. He ended up with 2 std (1st places!), 2 jumpers (a 1st and a 3rd), 2 snooker (super q's but no placement), 2 gamblers (a 1st and a non-placer) and 2 pairs. He came 1st in Grand Prix for his 3rd voucher and we got through to SC round 2 but it wasn't pretty either time! Every mistake I made with Icon last weekend was related to weave entries. I think that's something we need to work on! But it appears to be more my fault than his. I either overhandle him or underhandle him.

I have video of Icon on my photobucket account and also had Eric tape him

Icon is now only 1 std/jumpers/pairs and 2 gamblers/snooker away from his ADCH. His next USDAA trial isn't until the end of June though, so it'll be a while still!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Haute TRACS day 1

Well today didn't start well at all for me.  As I arrived people were walking so I was way behind.  Thankfully I got the special parking privileges where all you had to do was pay out your ass.  

The running order for our group was Snooker, Gamblers, Standard, Jumpers.  Not bad in the grand scheme of things, although it would have been best to have gamblers first.  
But regardless, Icon was one of the first dogs up for snooker and I was really discombobulated for this run.  Snooker was 4 rings away from where I was set up.  I had thought Apollo was first and got him to the ring as the first 26" dogs started.  When I realized I had the wrong dog I had to run back to my setup to get Icon and then run back.  So, that's my excuse for screwing up the run.  But screw up I did!  We got 8 points!  Yay!

But the bright side of getting 8 points in snooker is that there's nowhere to go but up, right?  WRONG!

Our next run Icon and I managed to get 0 points in gamblers!  It was pretty impressive.  The only way you could get 0 points in gamblers (aside from not doing any obstacles at all) was to be on the aframe when the whistle blew.  And guess where we were?  Right on the a-frame!

But wait, I know you're wondering, "but what about Apollo??"  You need to know how he fared after his bingeing session yesterday!  Well he did pretty well actually!  We did a conservative run in snooker with 3 reds and a 5-7-4 but we got through the close.  In gamblers we also had a pretty nice but conservative run.  I need to check the scores for both of those, but I don't think we placed.  

In Standard Polly was really good, but I messed him up for an E. :(  In JWW we had a nice run aside from a refusal when I pulled away from him too soon.

In Standard Icon had a pretty nice run and I think he won it.  But I wasn't too happy with his contacts, they were pretty slow.

In Jumpers Icon had a pretty nice run as well!  And he won again!  We had a wide turn at the beginning, but otherwise I was pretty happy with it.

So how did it end?  Both teams were in the Q's going into the relay (no thanks to me!)  Boxer's (d)Rule with Apollo and Cammi were the second last team in the Q list.  Icon's team was a bit better off, about 3/4 of the way down.  For the relay Icon't wait to see Jace win the Derby went first.  Icon ran clean and then Jace ran clean.  Sadly, Derby had an E but it was on the first jump so our time was pretty good since she went over the finish jump right away.  Next Polly's team went.  Polly had a bar down and Cammi was clean!

So we ended up with a q for each team :)  That was Icon's 2nd for 2008 and Polly's first for natioanls!  This means when I go up to Canby (or should I say 'if') I won't enter Polly in team.  It's a lot for him!

So tomorrow starts the regular classes and GP.   Our main goals for the rest of the weekend are to get Polly's last Snooker Q for his APD and Icon's last Standard Q for his MAD.  Of course any other Q's are appreciated :)

The diagnosis is in

Polly will live. I may not. He had me up every hour last night to take him out to pee or puke or drink or some combination of the above. On the bright side he didn't have any accidents inside! I probably got about 50 minutes sleep in a row, max last night. I'm not sure how we'll do at the trial today! Sorry teammates!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The best laid plans go oft awry

Well I didn't have the BEST laid plans. But I did plan on making dinner, finishing my laundry and packing the car. I'm just glad I'm coming home tomorrow night because I would have a lot more to do tonight if I wasn't.

As it is I should be sleeping right now. According to plan... But I'm sitting up worrying about Polly and wonding if he's going to puke again. At least he finally laid down.

"What did Polly do to make you worry?" you ask? Well I will share.

About a week ago a package of 120 count glycoflex softchews arrived at my door. I am not out of my last bunch yet so I didn't bother opening them. They were packaged pretty well! Instead I put them on my kitchen table, where they sat for almost exactly 7 days.

Today I came home to find diarrhea on the kitchen floor and the 120 glycoflex softchews eaten. I cleaned up the mess and yelled at Polly (I don't ususally get mad at him, but I will admit to being pissed and yelling). But then... THEN... I walked around the house. I found puke in the livingroom (underneath a spare kitchen chair that I had stuck in a corner... how did he manage that?) and behind the coffee table another pile of mucous-y poop. And in the spare bedroom there was a glaze of diarrhea (or puke, it was impossible to tell which) that covered pretty much the entire surface. Thanfully there is nothing in that room at the moment or it would be covered too (I did have to wipe down more than one wall).

Well Polly is sleeping now. I will soon take them out for one last chance to potty and then head to bed. I might shut my bedroom door for a change so that if Polly has a blow-out, at least it won't be on carpet.

Tomorrow we start the 4 day HauteTRACS USDAA trial. It's a team even tomorrow and Polly is on a team with the best boxer in the world (aside from him), Cammi. I hope he'll be ok to run! Cammi and Polly have a history of bad things happening when they try to team. The first time Cammi had to pull due to spondylosis. The 2nd time Polly pulled because he was recovering from pneumonia.

Will the 3rd time be cursed as well? Will Polly not be able to run tomorrow? Will he bea able to run but be painfully, unqualifyingly slow due to glycoflex poisoning?

Check back tomorrow to find out!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Davis DTC trial

We were at an akc trial this weekend and had a pretty good time.  

On Saturday Polly got Std and dropped a bar in JWW :(.  Icon had a nice Std run, but was called on his teeter.  I don't really think he deserved to be called, but what can you do?  At least it wouldn't have been a qq since our JWW run was a total disaster.  I actually went home a bit bummed about Icon's day.  How did we go from a 75%+ Q rate to a 25%- Q rate??  Although, I really considered Saturday Std a virtual Q since I was happy with the run and didn't feel the teeter should have been called.

Icon Saturday Standard

But Sunday was a happier day for us.  Icon got a qq!  Yay!  I was really happy with both of his runs.  Or should I say, all three of his runs.  The timer fizzled out on his first JWW run so he was able to run again for time.  He ran clean the second time and got first place by a second over Maja.  

Icon Sunday Standard

Icon's JWW run #1

Icon's JWW run #2 - a bit smoother!

Polly had a nice std run with a 3rd place finish (but look at how long I held his contacts!).  I sent him off course on his JWW and it was totally my fault.  I'm sure of this because people were asking me if I got lots.  A sure sign that it LOOKED like I was trying to send him over the wrong jump!

Polly Sunday Standard

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hansen practice

I met with a couple of agility people (4 to be exact) today to do some WT course work at PP.  I guess only one of them is going to WT tryouts with me.  From the others, one of them is on the Argentina team.  I thought she'd go just for the experience, but when I asked her today, she can't!  WT tryouts is just for teams eligible for WT.  They're not eligible because they were on the Argentina team last year.  I guess it makes sense because otherwise anyone with the requirements would just enter for no reason other than to show that they can compete.  Then I asked her if she would go as the demo dog (at WT and tryouts they always have a demo dog as the first dog so no dog competing has to go first) and she said she would, but no one asked her.  It's a shame because I think she would be a great demo dog!  And then the 3/4 person (a couple) isn't going because they didn't realize that AKC increased the tryout requirements to include 4 qq's until it was too late, they had taken most of the year off to work on contacts.  That's a shame too because it's a great dog.

Anyway, we had a good practice.  We set up 2 JWW course and a standard course from the Hansen courses.  Both of the JWW courses were tight tight tight.  It's possible that they were converted wrong because in my conversion it's 100 ft long, but I don't think we went 100 ft when we built it.  

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The 2nd course was tight as well, but it ran much more smoothly than the previous one. I think the previous one was the agility3 course and this one was the open course. I don't know the difference but open in general seems to be easier to me.


The standard course seemed pretty early to me, but this is the one we messed up :(. Icon popped out of the weaves the first time through and then I got discombobulated. I eventually started again and it went well. He had a great dogwalk contact (a-frame, not so good). I handled 19-20 on the back side of the tunnel once, but according to this photo it would be a refusal. I didn't cross the refusal line of the jump when I tried it though, I think this is because the tunnel was shorter. I also did the course with threadles instead of a serpentine at the top part.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

My weirdo border collie

I took the dogs to the park last night to run and play. At one point I started to throw the ball for Icon and then turned in towards him expecting him to turn in towards me (you know, like a front cross!). Instead he flipped away from me. Not liking this mother flipping behavior I stopped and *gasped*. That's all, just *gasped*. Well apparently that was the end of the world. He laid down and put his ears back. For the rest of the time at the park he wouldn't chase the ball unless I released him to it. I didn't want to get sucked into the trap of releasing him to the ball every time we went to the park so I totally refused (I had been through this issue with him before when learning the weaves). But I couldn't get him to chase the ball anymore! I tried throwing it close and just giving a shove toward it and he'd get it and I tried throwing it right at him and he'd catch it but the second I through any major distance away he would just stand there and stare. The closest thing that worked was for me to throw the ball and then totally ignore him until he got tired of waiting and went to get it at a trot. But I really felt bad for the guy because I could tell he was confused and just wanted to do the right thing. He had no clue why I *gasped* earlier. I guess he thought it was wrong for him to go after the ball!

As soon as we got home and into the back yard I took the balls out of my pocket and tossed them on the ground. He was happy to chase them there. What a dork.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

***NEWSFLASH*** Parson Russell Terrier wins 26" JWW

American Kennel Club - Show Search

Savioja jumpers practice

Last night I met with Sandy at Shamrock and we set up a Savioja jumpers course. The reason I was interested in running this course was for the challenges of the threadle, tunnel entrance and weave entry on the first course and weave entry on the 2nd course. Origianlly, these two courses were the large and mini dog courses from Savioja. The 1st one posted is the large dog course and the 2nd the mini dog. Since the endings were the same, Sandy came up with an alternate ending for the 2nd course, and it was pretty nasty!


The first time I ran this course we were clean except for the last jump, where the bastard - I mean naughty dog - ran around it for a toy I dropped on the ground.  Many people have been telling me to play or throw a toy at the end of a course because he tends to jump really high, head up for it.  But placing the toy is a bad idea, I think.  From now on if I can't have someone throw it, I won't bother.  I handled 2-3 as a threadle and rear crossed 4.  Because of this I was pretty far behind as he came through the tire.  and I got a wide turn to the tunnel (6).  The 2nd time through I handled it as a push-through and that worked much better.  The wrong end of the 6 tunnel was more of an off-course potential than it appears on the map.  Both Icon and Quill took it once when we didn't work it enough.  I pulled from 7-8 and Sandy front crossed.  The front cross worked much better.  I was worried about getting into the gap at 11-12, but it was not hard and I was able to get a rather nice turn to 12 and front cross again after the 15 tunnel.


The second course was a bit more challenging, except for the weave entry, which is what I thought would be hard.   From the tunnel I just called Icon to me past the jump (and they were pretty close that 7 jump coming through and let him have the weaves.  Their first time through, Sandy over handled a bit and Quill had a zig-zag towards the weaves, but she still go them.  Front crossing after the weaves and pulling 11-12-13 worked very well.  Sandy said I should have hugged jump 11 more during that part because the first time through he had a hard look at the poles.  A chop from the broad jump into the correct tunnel entrance worked well.  One time through I chopped too early and Icon came through the broad jump sideways.  That is definitely a weak area for us.  16-17 should be a 180 (not a threadle as marked) but I had to chop after 16 to get Icon in.  I probably should have been able to do that with a pull and lateral motion, but when I tried that I got a really wide turn since he went first towards the weaves and then the chute.  17-18-19 was handled as a push-through to a rear cross.  It worked really nicely.  20-21 was a threadle and required a chop as well as 21-22.  The first time through I tried pulling and he read them as 270's, which is what he was trained to do.

I was started to freak out a bit about WT tryouts prior to this practice, but I feel much better now.  I have downgraded my WT Tryouts goals for this year and will post about that later.

Some things to remember from this practice:

  1. For tight areas I need to talk to Icon constantly.  
  2. Don't turn to early when Icon is over a broadjump!
  3. Icon will default to a 270 behavior, so if in doubt about the line, chop!