Sunday, December 27, 2009

Place food here

Merry christmas!

Ok, so I don't have pictures of christmas trees or decorations.  I'm not the most 'christmasy' (is that a word?) person around.

But Foster likes to be festive.

And we did have a wreath (of a sorts) repeatedly make its appearance at our house.

Polly wants to know why HE can't have a wreath (I didn't want to tell him that it's because he has a boxer nose).

Rammy says, "Hey Kahve, get your own damn wreath!"

And Kahve's response...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jump work

On Saturday I loaded up the border collies and drove to have a lesson with Susan Salo.  There are two main reasons that I took the extra step to have a lesson with her as opposed to just doing the grids on my own.  One was that I had had feedback on one of Rammy's videos (which I appreciate!) and I couldn't see what she saw.  At that point I wanted to visit Susan because I didn't want to mess Rampage up doing things wrong on my own!  The other reason was because as I worked with Rampage I decided to also run Icon through the exercises since they were set up and he was awful!  He wouldn't even do the straight line equidistant grid. 

So off we went.

Icon's set point was good.  She said Rampage looked good overall but at times he was pulling from his front instead of pushing from his rear.  I asked about his over-jumping and she said he's not over jumping too much.  It's just due to his inexperience and I shouldn't worry about it at this point.  He needs to learn to shift his weight back and wait for the jump to come to him and the set point exercises will help with that.

On the grids (aka ladder work) Rampage was very good, but as I expected Icon is not comfortable at all in the grids.  Susan asked if I had been working on collection a lot with him, which of course I have been.  I worked on nothing BUT collection as we prepared for WC.  Or I guess more specifically I worked on him being aware of my deceleration, which then kind of makes a lightbulb go on when you think about why he didn't want to send away from me down a line of grids or recall to me through line of jumps as I just stood there motionless.  He was better when I was moving, but it also depended on HOW I was moving.  If I just trotted alongside him he was mighty confused.  I don't blame him!

So I think what I learned from my lesson with Susan is that Rampage is cute (but we all knew that) and I need to balance Icon's training with extension as well as collection.    We'll be going back to see Susan again in a few months.

I'm very thankful that Susan's friend offered to video tape for me!!  

Rammy Set Point from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Icon Grids from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Rammy Grids from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Some amusing moments...

Icon bend work from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poor Icon


Oh, you think that just an unlucky shot for him, eh?  Well think again.  How does he manage to look EXACTLY the same???

Ok, so I did manage to get one of him looking pretty normal.

But I had to use the "kitty" word, which resulted in naughty dogs.  Hey!!  I said STAY!

At least TWO of my dogs were good!  Or, I guess only one of them was.

Good boy, Polly!  Sorry you're out of focus.


As always, Rammy takes good photos.

I shouldn't have told Rampage that I thought he was more photogenic than Icon, because then he decided that he should save the world from Icon photos by jumping in front of the camera.

But really, Icon CAN be photogenic, just not when he's around other dogs.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I received a massage from the AKC today.  Oh, wait!  It was a MESSAGE, they just spelled it wrong.  I would have preferred the massage though.   :)

I was lucky at invitationals this year since I had my RV pretty close to the agility tent so I didn't have to use the crating area.  I am very thankful for this because Apollo is a delicate flower and wouldn't have fared well in the crating environment.

But when it comes to real massages I've been a bit concerned the last few times I've massaged Icon because at first he hasn't wanted to extend his right front leg fully, although he extends it well enough by the end of the massage.  I also remember that when Cindy massaged him in Scottsdale she had a hard time extending that leg one time as well.  Hmmm.

I have made progress with giving Rampage a massage.   I used to be able to only do one body part before he became unmanageable, but recently I've been able to give him a pretty close semblance to a full massage!  He's like Gumby, he'll move in any direction.

Apollo always loves his massages.

Foster... well there's only so many hours in a day.  Now I feel bad!  I guess Foster will get a massage tomorrow.  Maybe the AKC will give him one.  :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I went to AKC invitationals...

and all I got was this lousy scarf

 Actually, the scarf was given to Rampage, but PINK does not go with RED very well!  He's still cute in it though, if perhaps in a rather psychotic way :)

Everyone got to try it on.  Foster wants to know why Apollo has to sneak his way in to all of his photos.

Poor Icon didn't have a very good time in Long Beach.  He didn't understand how it was possible that we were at an agility trial in the RV and he didn't get to do agility!  I tried SO HARD to get him in as a demo dog in the finals, but they took the border collie from Japan instead.  How rude!  Ok, so the bc from Japan came a bit further than we did, but Icon was in withdrawal and the Japanese bc had 4 runs over the weekend!  To make it up to him I let Icon sit on the coffee table while he wore the scarf.

But we're all happy to be home.  Apollo spent his first night home destroying a green PollyBall.

What?  Aren't PollyBalls made to be destroyed?

Poor Icon isn't the most photogenic.  Rammy is though!

Well, Rammy USUALLY is...

What happens when you extend your hand in a home with two border collies.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Long Beach bound

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Long Beach!  I'm so thankful to Kay for being willing to come as my 'assistant'!  It's because of her that I'm able to go, really.  Due to my project rolling out at work I'm going to need help mostly on the drive.  So she will drive while I work.  I've never had my own chauffeur before (and the reason is probably because I'm a really bad passenger)!

My psychic powers tell me that Apollo is going to have 2 faults (dogwalk and a-frame) on the Standard round and 1 fault on the Hybrid round (a-frame), but will otherwise be awesome.  Let's see how accurate my psychic powers are!

It looks like Marcy's physical therapy has been going well and she will be able to run Wave this weekend, for which I am very grateful!  Running someone else's dog at a weekend agility trial is one thing and running someone else's dog at event such as the AKC Invitationals (where she is more than capable of winning the 12" class!) is an entirely different kettle of beans!  But let me tell you a little secret... I just loved running Wave last weekend and we did awesome too!  We got a double Q on Saturday and a triple Q on Sunday.  What an awesome little dog.
Rampage has had a break from his weave pole and jump training the last week or so.  I want to get him on some channel weaves to help his footwork and I forgot that I had loaned mine to a friend.  I probably won't get them back until New Years, so he gets a nice long break :).  He's taking a break from jumping drills because I got a private set up with Susan Salo on the 19th of December.  Fingers are crossed that we don't have to cancel due to weather!

We have continued with the running dogwalk but are doing it less frequently because I moved my DW to the side when I went to 12 poles with Rampage.  I'm now just working on speed with him as Silvia suggested.  I've tried throwing the toy while he's on the dogwalk, but I'm just a genetically poor thrower!  I don't think any amount of practice would be able to help my aim.  So I place the toy and try to get him revved up before going. 

Disclaimer:  All videos should be viewed with the sound off.

121009 - Rammy Running DW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

I also started the a-frame with him today.  Well, he's seen a few before but I decided just to raise him to full height and be done with it.  It didn't go very well at the lower height!  He was better once it was raised a bit.  He is still a link away from AKC height.  I wish USDAA a-frames were the same height as the sane agility organizations.

121009 - Rammy A-frame from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

What I learned from Marco Mouwen

On Tuesday I took Rampage to a Marco Mouwen seminar.  It was for puppies/foundation, but I think it was a bit too advanced for him.  Or I guess it started out at the right level but then got too advanced.  But I learned a lot in that seminar.  Not about agility, foundation or puppies but about Rampage.  He started out well but he gradually started getting slower and slooower and slooooower as the seminar progressed (it was only 2hrs, so it's not like it was over-long for young dogs).  I kept things upbeat and he seemed happy enough when it wasn't his turn, tugging away and giving good attention.  When we had a break I put Rampage in the car so he could get a little rest and if I were a good trainer, I would have left him there and audited the rest of the seminar.  But noooooo, I had to get him out and watch his increasing slowness progress.  So I'm sure no lasting harm was done except to how I think of myself as a trainer, but I definitely will be more aware of Rammy's 'mood' in the future and I have once again made my mental note, "Rampage is not Icon."

On a side note, Marco is the most efficient seminar giver I have ever seen in my life.   And quite good looking too, but maybe I'm just saying that because he's so tall.

Friday, December 4, 2009


  • Apollo nearly crushed my windpipe this morning with his head.  It now hurts.  A lot.
  • Then he stepped in a huge pile of some strange dog's poo right before jumping in my car.   I was not happy.
  • Foster is the boss of Rampage.  If Foster was training him, Rampage would have his Ph.D. by now.  I think he'd be a Botanist. 
  • Rampage went to a Silvia Trkman running contacts seminar this week.  I was a bit disappointed.  Not necessarily in her, but just in how the seminar went overall.  I don't think it was conducive since the working spots were filled with dogs at different stages of training and it was essentially 8 semi-privates.  I'm sure her handling/tricks seminars would have been much better.  I also found there were (way, way, way) too many auditors.  Our feedback that was Rampage needs to extend more/go faster over the dogwalk and I should throw the toy when he's on the up ramp.  That was the feedback for most dogs.  We'll work on it.
  • Rammy is going to a foundation seminar with Marco Mouwen next week.  Hope it's fun!
  • When I take the dogs to the park in the morning they all run with the same intensity (maybe Icon runs with a touch more) but when I get home Foster, Icon and Rampage drink, lay down and pant for about 20 minutes but Apollo drinks and then sits and stares at me WITHOUT panting while I'm on the computer doing work.  What does this say about Apollo???  I guess he's just in great shape :)
  • I found a little bump on Apollo's leg :(.  It feels like fat, not attached to anything.  I'll have it looked at.
  • Apollo and I are going to AKC invitationals in 1 week (along with the other 3 boys as his supporters).  I also have to work that weekend, gotta love technology!  I may also have to run Wave at invitationals, but I really really really hope Marcy's calf holds up and she can run Wave herself.  Either way it should be an exciting weekend!
  • I had better get a bonus for my project rolling out according to the original schedule I put together 8 or 9 months ago because I'm the only person I know at my company that actually has projects roll out on time.
  • I ran Wave in class last night. We had fun!  She's so tiny!
  • I don't feel like getting up at 5am to go to the trial tomorrow.  I hope I remember to set my alarm.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Counting points again

I thought that in 2010 AKC invitationals were in Florida instead of Long Beach so I didn't even think about trying to go for it with Apollo. Not to mention, I really didn't expect him to be doing agility at the end of this year let alone 2010. But he's running so great lately (inconsistent 'running dogwalk' aside) that it would be possible to get him in the top 5 and a shame not to go for it so long as he's up for it.

So when a couple people told me that invitationals are in Long Beach in 2010 I thought I'd take a look at where we stand. Well it wasn't pretty. Aside from last weekend, we've only been to two 2-day AKC trials since the qualification began in July so needless to say we're quite behind on points! Apollo is in 9th place at 92 points and the 5th place dog is 187 points. After last weekend we picked up another 52 points so we made up a bit of ground. Of course I don't know what kind of points the other boxers have been getting :).

So I think if we put my mind and his boxer skills to work we can still make the top 5. I sure hope so!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rammy's first fun match

There was a Sanction B match at the trial the past weekend and without consulting the logical side of myself I signed Rampage up for 2 runs. My main reason for signing him up was to get him on a new dogwalk. I also figured it wouldn't hurt to see how he performs in a new environment. I thought he had great focus on me the whole time. He was a bit high up on his first dogwalk but got down nicely on the trip back. In general Rampage has a pretty big stride, but he seemed to really shorten it on the first run of the fun match. On the 2nd run (when it's darker outside) his stride seemed more normal. I think overall he had a good time. I know I did. :)

Edit: Ok, I look (and walk) like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in my vest. But it was cold out!

112809 - Rammy's first fun match from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wish me luck!

I'm at an agility trial this weekend in my RV and I'm praying that I don't have any more RV plumbing issues!

When I got home from USDAA nationals I was planning on taking my RV in to get fixed before this trial but I just wanted to see what had happened to the fix that "Jim the [sucky] RV man" did.

I took the toilet off and removed the wall behind it to see that the PVC pipe had burst behind the fix that he had put in place. So I guess it wasn't "Jim the [nice] RV man's" fault after all. It's really WINNEBAGO'S fault for using chincy piping (This was a word I learned from "Jim the [verbose] RV man".)

Since I already had the toilet and part of the wall off I decided to go one step further and open up the wall under the shower stall. Low and behold I found the connection point for the pipe that broke!

So I was able to fix the RV piping myself, but not without a bit of effort. I made a trip to Home Depot where used a trick that I learned a year ago when a pipe in my RV broke in Scottsdale (yeah, I know). All you have to do it walk around holding a broken pipe and looking clueless, and the guys there will flock to you and help you out. A nice guy did help me out and I left with $12 worth of materials to fix my RV!

The hardest part was getting my arms into the wall to reconnect the pipe. The hole is small and I have pretty big arms/hands. It would have been much easier if "Jim the [petite] RV man" would have just taken off that other piece of wall and fixed the whole thing himself. I'm sure HIS arms could have gotten in the hole. But I managed to do it and I HOPE I tightened the connection enough. I guess I'll find out this weekend!

On a side note, I saw a really nice china RV toilet that I would love to upgrade to in my RV. I was putting it off because I didn't want to have to take it somewhere to have it installed. But after what I went through, replacing a toilet would be a walk in the park!

On another side note, Rampage is weaving 6 poles now. His footwork is atrocious and he's pretty slow but it's cute how you can see him thinking as he gets his entry and goes through. One thing I like about the channel method over 2x2 is that it encourages single stepping from the start.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Set Point

I've started introducing Rammy to jumping (I did do a bit of the LM one jump work previously). I'm using Susan Salo's Foundation Jumping exercises because I'm a huge fan. I'm a huge fan because I have no other point of reference for jumping skills. I also trained Icon using Susan Salo's foundation grid work and he's a pretty good jumper, so it must work, right??

I'm a bit more concerned about Rampage's jumping than I was about Icon's though. Rammy SEEMS to have great rear end awareness at times, has done tonnes of balance work and he can back up with the best of them, but sometimes his rear end just seems to move out of sync with the rest of him, which might just result in dropped bars. I also know that some of his brothers struggle with bars so I want to give him the best jumping foundation we are capable of and then we'll see where we end up :).

So this weekend i watched the 4-disk DVD set of Susan Salo's foundation jumping. The first four exercises were identical to the ones I did with Icon, but this dvd added the progression grid and bend work. For the first couple of weeks I'm just going to be working Rampage on the first 3 exercises: Set point, Straight line equi-distance grid and straigh line equi-distance grid with height. I'll eventually add in the other three. I'm looking forward to adding the distance grid because I remember Icon and I had lots of fun with that one (I know, you're thinking, 'Fun with GRIDS??' Well it's possible!)

So today we did our first Set Point exercise. I'll have to go somewhere else for the other two grids because my yard isn't quite big enough (well, if I took down the dogwalk it would be).

Rampage seemed to do well on his first Set Point exercise. The only thing I noticed is that as I raised the jumps and then lowered them again, he started overjumping the lower heights. Of course Susan Salo mentions nothing about what to do about overjumping or what the cause is. Hmph.

112209 - Rammy Set Point from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

biting and weaving

I don't know who Rampage was talking to in Scottsdale, but when I find out they are going to be in lots of trouble for teaching him bad habits. Ever since we got back, when Rampage gets frustrated, he bites me. HARD. It's pretty easy to get him to stop, I just have to say "NO" or "HEY" and he won't do it again in that training session. But he doesn't have the best memory and will try again the next time we do something together. Naughty boy.

Yesterday Rammy started learning how to weave. I was pretty skeptical about the 2x2 weave method until I watched the entire video and then I was curious. But now that I've started it, it's just plain fun!

Things I've learned while doing 2x2 with Rampage.
1. I throw like a girl.
2. I have no concept of what a 'short training session' is.
3. I really need to start adding audio to my videos so I can't hear my voice.
4. I like video taping training sessions where I don't have to spend 20 minutes editing the video to see just the contacts (but conversely, I don't like watching the whole boring thing either)

111809 - Rammy 2x2 weaves session 4 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

So long Scottsdale

So sad that we won't be back in Scottsdale next year, although I will be happy not to make the 12 hour drive. But it's like a tradition now and the weather was just fantabulous this year. I was surprised at the lack of spectators though!

I THINK I had fun at USDAA nationals but between being exhausted when I arrived, having my RV turn traitor and spring a leak on the first day (meaning no water), Rampage chewing up my sunglasses on the 2nd night (I HATE being without my sunglasses in sunny places), my RV misbehaving Saturday night and breaking the repair I spent $$$ to have a mobile RV guy come out to WW and fix (again no water), AND driving straight home after GP finals only to get up 3hrs later to work, I'm really not sure I did.

But overall, my dogs definitely did me proud! I never in my wildest dreams thought that Apollo would make pGP finals AGAIN (especially with our "running contacts"). The p22" class just gets tougher and tougher every year. I saw quite a few young border collies who could very easily be jumping 22" in championship competing in the p22" class for no apparent reason. And even in the tough field he finished 4th! This was his last USDAA championship since I won't fly him to the east coast next year, and I think he went out with a bang :).

I was proud of Icon for making both GP and SC finals. I went into USDAA nationals this year not expecting anything. Since Austria we have mostly been on a break from agility. We go to a class here and a trial there, but he's really just been a dog since returning (he doesn't seem to like that though). And with a 3rd place finish in SC and 4th in GP, I think this is our best showing at USDAA nationals yet!

I was a bit disappointed in the courses this year. After the fun courses we had a the SE regionals I was hoping nationals would have some challenges. But the only course that had a challenge was the Team Jumpers, and they took it out to make it a 270 instead! I have no clue how people complain about AKC courses being boring. To me USDAA courses are WAY more boring.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


How is it that out of 67 dogs jumping p22" at nationals Apollo is p22002? And that wouldn't be so bad because running Polly is running Polly. It doesn't matter if we're the first dog to run or the last. But how is it that out of 119 dogs jumping 26" at nationals Icon is 26001? Ok, so with the way Nationals is set up with groups it doesn't affect us much in the grand scheme of things. But on Saturday Icon will be the first dog of the day running GP Semi-Finals. How unlucky is that?

Tired dogs

Having my dad and his girlfriend visit last weekend must have tired out my dogs even more than I thought! It's Tuesday 8pm and they're all passed out! Well, Rammy is rolling around on the floor with a ball, but that's tired for him. I took Rammy and Icon to Swiss Park this morning to train, but I wasn't able to take all of the dogs to the park to run like I normally do, so I really expected that they would be bugging me tonight and not snoring and twitching beside me on the couch. I'm not complaining though! It's really quite nice :)

This morning I took my RV in for a tuneup. I figure if I'm going to drive to Scottsdale I better make sure he's up for the task. So I pick Viewbert up tomorrow and plan on getting everything ready for my trip this weekend! I sure have lots to do! On Saturday I'm going for the annual PowerPaws pre-USDAA nationals practice and on Sunday some friends might be coming over. And around that I get to do laundry, go shopping and get Viewbert ready. It turns out I didn't take next Tuesday off work so I will be leaving late Tuesday for my drive to AZ and not arriving until Wednesday morning. I guess that's for the best because the more I think about it the more I doubt I will be able to make it home to go to work Monday (which I didn't take off either). Hopefully I'll at least be able to work from home Monday because I have a lot to do for work too :(.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm a stuffed pig

Today at work all the South Asian (iow Indian) employees brought in a potluck to celebrate the Diwali Festival. The food was AMAZING, but to be polite I felt like I had to try a little bit of everything (which turned into a LOT of some things) so I'm totally stuffed. And of course they had my favorite indian drink, Mango Lassi, so I had to have 2 large glasses of that. So to say I overate is a bit of an understatement. And then right after I had to give a presentation. Not easy to do when all you want to do is lay down and sleep!

The running dogwalk is still ongoing with both Apollo and Rampage. Sometimes I think Apollo will finally figure out what I'm asking him to do just as he's ready to retire. He shows glimpses of understanding and then goes right back to trying to stop in 2o/2o. Retraining sucks!

Rampage is doing well but he's a bit higher up than I would like. But I'm trying to let him do what is most comfortable for him, so long as he doesn't leap (which he does do sometimes). I have been pretty inconsistent with my negative marker. I sometimes don't reward, sometimes say "no", "oops", "uh oh". But I think the most effective with him is just no reward and not saying anything. He's funny though; whenever he does it wrong he will turn around and take the dogwalk the other way as if to say, "I can do it right! let me show you!" He never does that when he gets rewarded.

102909 - Rampage Running Dogwalk from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pool Party! (the graphic novel)

Today I was invited to a Pool Party!

I think it was in my honor, but other doggies got presents while I didn't, so maybe there was some other reason for it (but I have no clue what is more important than ME).

I heard that my good friend Kist turned one year old recently! She's such a GIRL (But a cute one).

And Shadow win HIT at an obedience trial last weekend. From Novice A! Now that's something to party about.

There were lots of dogs there. So many that I can't even count that high. Everyone went swimming. At times you'd probably think there were only border collies there.

But my brothers were there too.

Apollo wouldn't even jump in the water. He did get in once, but he had help from Mom.

Foster had no problem jumping in.

Or standing in. He's tall that way. He's the only dog that could stand on the bottom of the pool and keep his head above.

Icon swam and swam and swam until he tore his pads. Than mom made him sit and watch :(

He watches good though.

But most importantly there's ME. I swam and swam and swam until my mom called me to come out of the pool.

Then I said "SCREW YOU" and swam some more.

My mom said something about not letting me do dock diving in Scottsdale (whatever that means) because she doesn't want me to embarrass her by not coming out of the pool. I mean, look at the size of my feet! I look like a Polar Bear! If your feet were this big you would swim as much as me too.

Anyway, I did manage to cause a few whirpools by swimming in circles. But I didn't manage to swallow any unsuspecting victims in my wake. So I decided to come out of the pool. My mom laughed at me because I look so different when I'm wet.

Then I wanted to go back into the pool! But my mom told me to Park It, which means NO.

Then everyone went to celebrate those OTHER things and I was left by the pool. On my OWN! I just don't understand why they left me!! So sad!

PS. My mom told me to say that the plumbers are totally done! Well, they're coming back tomorrow to take photos. Of the PLUMBING, people! Not of me (although that would be better).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

plumbing continues...

Well it's Saturday and the plumbers aren't done like they were supposed to be. But they're pretty close. I think they will finish up today.

Overall I think they did a really nice job. I was worried that they wouldn't 'finish' things nicely, like the huge holes they cut in my wall, but they patched them up with drywall and are even painting it. They cut out a section of my cement patio (which is etched and painted to appear like bricks) and I thought I would have to figure out a way to make that not look so bad when they were finished, but they actually filled it with cement, etched it to look like bricks and painted it! I was pretty impressed. My RV dump is in the perfect spot and looks nice and discreet.

One of the guys told me that along with plumbing they do other housework and landscaping (at least I think that's what he said... we have a language barrier). I plan on re-landscaping my front yard soon to add a fence and remove a bunch of hedges so if I don't need it done in a hurry I will consider using them. I doubt I'd use them again for anything inside though. Two days without water or plumbing scarred me a bit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A dogwalk of my very own

The Bay Team recently auctioned off an old dogwalk that was still in good shape, but they wanted to replace. It was a fight to the death between Ashley and I but I managed to win the dogwalk by a small margin (my last bid was as high as I was willing to go so I was lucky that Ash didn't decide to bid just one more time...)

The day after I won the auction I drove to Karey's house in Palo Alto to pick it up. I was so excited!

The next day I started running Apollo and Rammy on it. Apollo was just fine. One dogwalk is like any other to him. But Rammy... Oy, he learned how to LEAP! From the middle of the down ramp... from 3/4 of the way UP the down ramp... He was pretty crazy. I was quite frustrated before I realized the reason why he was leaping. The ramps on the dogwalk aren't as stable as the dogwalk he is used to! The ramps on my new dogwalk don't bounce up and down like some dogwalks do (note to self: get Rammy on a dogwalk that bounces up and down) but they sway side to side like our warped plank does.

We have worked our way through the issue, but I think we have lost a little speed in the process. Hopefully he will gain it back.

Here's Rammy on my new dogwalk. You can see how the down plank is not very stable. I'm trying to add some tunnels or small jumps before and after the dogwalk and I'm fading the T&T and moving to the toy.

101809 - Rammy running dw from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

And on our dogwalk away from home (This one is WAY more stable)

102009 - Rammy running dw from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

You get what you pay for

I'm getting the plumbing replaced in my house. It started as just replacing the 60 year old galvanized steel pipes with nice, new copper piping. And I asked them to also replace my sewer line outside and add in an extra line so I could dump my RV. They gave me a great price. When it started it was so... so.. perfect!

But then...

As they were replacing my pipes they told me my drains were rusty and leaking and should probably be replaced too. And since they had already cut HUGE holes in my bathroom wall it really seemed to me to be a good time. So I agreed.

But then...

As they were digging out my sewer line they said the PROBLEM with it (and I knew there was a problem because when there is more than just me staying here the sewer line clogs up like clockworks) is under the boulevard, which us under a huge hunk of cement.

So my really cheap plumbing project that was supposed to give me acceptable water pressure in the kitchen, stop the brown waterfall in the bathtub and let me dump my rv tanks at home is no longer quite so cheap. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is HOW LONG it is taking to finish. The project started last Tuesday! A week ago! And they've only done a small portion of the job. I wanted to see what on earth they were doing so I worked from home today and they put in less than 4 hours total at my house. The plumber swears that they will be done (totally done) by Friday, but I'll believe that when I see it! The problem is that my Dad and his GF will be coming to visit Oct 30th and I will need quite a bit of time to clean up after the plumbers leave. I figured I'd have lots of time to clean but between work and the mess the plumbers will probably leave I think my dad will probably think I live in a barn (but at least it will be a barn with good water pressure).

Oh, did I mention that tomorrow and Thursday night I will be without water or plumbing? Fun! Thankfully I have the fresh water tank filled in the RV...

Monday, October 12, 2009

A local trial

We went to our first trial since Worlds last weekend. I have to say I was a bit taken aback at how a few people reacted to me. One person in particular had me scratching my head.

She grabbed my forearm, leaned in to look directly into my eyes and said, "I'm so sorry you didn't do better in Austria."

How do I respond to that? I thought that we did pretty damn well our first year at worlds. On our first ever run we finished in 5th place overall. On our final run we had the 3rd fastest time (with the minor annoyance of a teeter flyoff call). I think it shows that we are pretty competitive. We just need a little more international experience...

Anyway, I told her I was happy with how we did and almost took my friggen Supporter Pin back. That's not the kind of support I need.

It wasn't until later that I realized that on official records Icon's Team Jumpers score was given to Zippity while he received her disqualification score (due to a bib mix-up on the first run). So I guess someone going by official results would just see 3 Disk and one run with 5 faults. Looking at it that way we must have had a crappy time at worlds.

Aside from that the trial was pretty fun. As always Polly was Practically Perfect in every way. He qualified in every run except pairs where his partner went off course so I didn't bother running the 2nd half with Apollo. But I'm considering that a 'virtual Q' since we ran as an accommodating pair with Katrina and Maddie and we finished 2nd. Apollo got every single contact last weekend aside from his first a-frame in gamblers. I'd love to say the re-train of our running contacts is a resounding success but I think the closest I can come is to say we have some pretty nice handled contacts since I slowed down to help him with each one.

Icon had a good Saturday and qualified in everything but his allergies were acting up and his poor feet were quite sore. We started out strong on Sunday morning, winning SC, but in GP he went "SPLAT" on the up side of the a-frame. On his way up the a-frame he had scraped his foot and it was bleeding so I scratched him from the last 3 runs and we headed home early.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Running some more

When I took the boys to practice this morning I remembered to take the MM (aka T&T) but forgot to take the remote for it... So Rammy had his first running dw session in a while using a toy instead of the t&t.

I liked his first rep, but 2 and 3 I rewarded and probably shouldn't have since they were more 'pounces' than running through. On our 2nd session (you can tell when the 2nd session starts based on the angle of the video) the first rep sucked and he wasn't rewarded, but the next few were ok.

I haven't uploaded Apollo yet. Mostly because he's a bit slower so I don't need to obsess over the videos myself to see what he's doing :). But he was pretty good. He was either doing it totally right or totally leaping off. For him I was good with rewarding good dw's and not rewarding misses.

100309 - Rammy Running DW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Rammy then and now (11 months give a day or two)








Then again







Then again

Then again (with what appears to be electricity)