Friday, February 27, 2009

Another photo that requires the "Jaws" theme

I was looking through some old photos to see what Icon looked like around 16 weeks old and I came across this photo, which I find hilarious.

Icon is the poor victim in the middle, being circled by sharks aka his littermates. From left to right the sharks are Trace, Pilot and Cassidy. Poor Icon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm 16 weeks old!

And all I got for my birthday was a lousy stick...

But I believe in making lemon aid from lemons, so I had fun with it.

Can I PLEEZE have something more fun than a stick?

No? Well *pppth*

Death from below

(best viewed while listening to the "Jaws" theme music)

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's an earmergency!!!

Last night before going to bed Rampage's right ear, which had been prick for a couple weeks, collapsed! All night I dreamed of Rampage's beautiful prick ears in all sorts of locations. Not necessarily on his head!

This morning I awoke to TWO collapsed ears. So now Rampage is the proud new owner of moleskin earmuffs.

I didn't size them very well so I don't think they'll stay in long. They cover too much fur. And I also think my skinbond isn't as bondy as it used to be (it's 3 years old after all...)

So I will probably be re-doing his ears tonight. But I already feel less anxious! Stupid teething... (Rampage is also missing 3 front teeth).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yearning for Yarn

(coming up with blog titles is the BEST part of blog writing)

Rampage is fascinated with yarn. I used to knit quite a bit and still have my knitting basket beside my bed with all of my unfinished work in it. I don't know why I still have it because I haven't touched it since I moved into the house 5 years ago. And come to think of it, I don't think I've even touched it since moving to California 8 years ago! I might as well get rid of it. I have a half finished cable knit sweater that I would have no clue how to pick up and finish off at this point.

When we're just hanging out in one room I keep the doors to the surrounding rooms shut to contain a certain adventurous puppy. But sometimes fist thing in the morning, as I groggily wake up and shuffle my way to the coffee maker with my only thought "NEED COFFEE" I will forget. And inevitably, by the time the coffee is brewing, Rampage will running around the kitchen with a trail of pink or blue or black yarn winding around my kitchen table, through Icon's legs, back down the hall and into the bedroom. He looks SO proud of himself with his tail held high and a swagger to his step. He shakes it around, throws it in the air and then pounces on it in order to make the biggest tangle possible. It's ridiculously cute and almost criminal to stop the cuteness, but I don't see how letting it continue could result an anything good, although maybe he'll eventually learn how to put a bow in Icon's fur. So I take it away and he follows me hopefully trying to grab the yarn as I wind it up. But I just put it away and remember to shut the door this time (and usually I force Apollo and Foster to get out of bed at this point - lazy dogs).

If he could speak I think poor Rampage would tell everyone that I don't let him do ANYTHING fun. At least not first thing in the morning.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You know you're bored when...

Holy cow, I really don't do well when I have a weekend free and it's raining outside. And not to mention, it's a three day raining weekend. Luckily I caught the one non-precipitous moment of each day and was able to take the dogs to a park to burn off some energy. My back yard certainly wasn't an option. By Sunday morning there was a lake in place of my lawn.

So I ended up watching a lot of agility DVDs. The 12 poles in 12 days dvd and the reliable running aframes dvd. I also started Moe's foundation dvd, but I had to take a break. I'll get back to that one next weekend, most likely. Aside from that I basically trained the dogs in my livingroom. I trained the dogs so much I actually ran out of training treats (which lately has been cheese sticks and hot dogs).

Anyway, I got a bit of video while working with Rampage this morning. It's a bit boring but best viewed without sound. I hate my voice... I really have to start using music instead of sound.

Training on a rainy day from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


In the land of trials that never fill, the Feb 28/Mar 1st trial filled and I didn't get in. I have no one to blame but myself since I sent in my entry so late. Oh well! I guess I could go to Fresno the followin weekend, but there's only one judge and I really don't like her courses. I could beg to get into a USDAA trial down south next weekend (it closes tomorrow, but there's no way my entry would get there in time since mail isn't moving today) but I don't think they have rv parking and I really don't feel like doing the drive and staying in a hotel with 4 dogs. So it looks like I'm not trialing until the 21st of March. Hopefully it doesn't rain over the next 4 weekends so I can actually get some training done :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Random photos

Some photos from the past week. My monitor for my home computer died (and now I have a spiffy new 22" widescreen monitor - loving it!) so I couldn't do anything with the photos as I was taking them. Most of them didn't turn out very well. My photography skills are very random. Either they're pretty good or they suck.

Love this face!

Rampage wanted to trade the toy for Apollo's stuffed kong (which was originally Rampage's stuffed kong but Apollo stole it from him).

But Apollo said, "NO". Rampage was ok with that.

At the puppy park

Who is Rampage attacking?

It's poor Apollo!

You can almost hear Apollo yelling, "Eeek! Save me!"

But alas, no one saved him...

Rampage then

Rampage now

Rampage then

Rampage now

How rude!

I took the dogs to the park this morning, and it was filled with kids playing baseball! I guess they missed the memo that *I* was planning on using the field. They were actually only in a part of the field so I could have gone to the other side with the dogs. But Apollo has a huge 'thing' for kids and I was worried that he would run over to play with them (and probably scare the crap out of them).

I seriously considered trying to walk all 4 dogs to the park today, but I'm glad I decided to drive. I should probably attempt some puppy + 1 and puppy + 2 dog walks first. So far the puppy has only walked on his own.

We ended up going to a school yard about the same distance from our house as our normal park, but the other direction. The dogs had fun playing, Rampage was a bit hesitant at first because there was a big boxer barking on the other side of one fence, but I think the owners took him in because he stopped barking after a few minutes. I wonder what Rampage thinks these distant dogs are saying to him. From his reaction it must be death threats peppered with swear words.

You have to walk through the school yard to get to the field at this place. I only had a leash for the puppy because the usual park I go to the dogs get out of the car and voila! Park. As we were walking out today a fat little black Min Pin passed us on his way into the park without a person in tow. Thankfully I saw him and was able to grab Apollo before he saw him because like with the kids, Apollo would have taken off after the small dog (and scared the crap out of him, I'm sure). Thankfully Icon and Foster are better behaved and just watched the dog saunter by as if wondering how the heck HE was lucky enough to come to the park on his own.

So we had a fun morning despite not being able to go to our normal park. I even practiced some teeters with Icon this morning and did some training with the puppy in the back yard since it was sunny out. It was supposed to rain today so I thought I'd have them outside while I could. But it's noon and hasn't started raining yet...

Since I had the teeter out, I started playing the 'bang game' with Rampage where the goal is that he jumps on the teeter and gets into 2o/2o. I just started it with the teeter about 4" off the ground and have him bring the teeter all the way down with his feet. I have an aluminum teeter so it's really loud and I was happy with how he didn't pay any attention to the noise at all.

Oh, I also got a manners minder the other day and started introducing it to the dogs. Rampage wasn't sure about the motor sound, but after it stopped he was happy to go forward to get the treat. Icon was only a little wary of it and Foster and Apollo thought it was pretty neat, but they've seen one before.

A long time ago I bought a treat'n'train (the old name for the manners minder) but Apollo ate the remote for it so I couldn't use it anymore. I looked for a way to just get the remote, but I could fine one. So now I have 2 manners minders and 1 remote. I'll have to think of some fun things to do with that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A weekend without agility. Or was it?

I had so many plans for this weekend. It is the first of three weekends in a row I have off from trialing (maybe more if I don't remember to sent in my entries for the beginning of March). I had SOOOO many things on my to-do list including, but not limited to, my taxes, cleaning the house (omg, needs it!), doing laundry, mowing the lawn and other yard work, cleaning the rv, cleaning the car, cleaning the garage, and so on and so forth. But it ended up being a weekend of... can you guess??? Agility! (and puppy training).

With AKC Nationals around the corner and WT Tryouts not far after that, I'm starting to get into "I'm not prepared" panic mode. I even had a bad dream about a week ago that Icon and I showed up at nationals and couldn't get through a course successfully (hmm, kind of like how I felt running the european course below).

So we've been back into the grove of practicing lately. I had a little course set up in my yard with tunnel discriminations and hard weave entries from back before I went up to portland. It was set up for over a month because I had a bunch of sequences planned for it and I couldn't move the setup until I had run all of them, and due to rain I didn't get to practice as often as I had liked. But I finally got though them all so I was able to clear off and mow my grass on Saturday morning. The puppy was really happy to have a yard to run around on without anything to run into.

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Icon was invited to do European coursework on Sunday afternoon at powerpaws and then by some other people Saturday afternoon at shamrock. I didn't really want to go on both days, but I was worried that we would get rained out at least one of the afternoons so I agreed to both. Well it turns out that it didn't rain either day (it started raining as I was driving home from powerpaws on Sunday) but I'm glad I did do both because Saturday moved pretty slow so it wasn't much running for Icon, and we exposed a lot of holes on both days that need work. So now I have a huge laundry list of things to practice.

The absolute worst, craziest course for me last weekend was a Small/Medium jumping course by Berndt Huppe. I have always known that straight tunnels are our kryptonite (and boy these judges, especially Huppe, LOVE the straight tunnels) and we even had an extra one on this course since we couldn't find the chute fabric and substituted yet another straight tunnel. We were pretty much all over the place on this course and there was so much RUNNING. I thought I was going to cough up a lung by the time I got through it. Apparently, it's not just Icon that needs work. I need to work on my fitness. Ahem.

2008-08-03_jpsmallmedium.gif (GIF Image, 1000x500 pixels) - Scaled (96%)
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

We have another practice scheduled for next Sunday, but I suspect it'll be canceled due to rain, which is a bummer. But in the meantime Icon and I have a lot of things to practice in the back yard like tight turns, threadles, serpentines, straight tunnels, bounce jumps, broad jumps, spread jumps, triangles... oh the list goes on and on. I have some other fun

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Double the tugging, double the fun!

For some reason, I had a brilliant idea the other day to see if Rampage and Icon would tug with me together (one on each hand).

Rampage is an avid tugger, although sometimes I think he just wants to grab hold and not let go (as he demonstrates at the end of the video). When I first started the 2-toy tugging game with him I used slapsticks and he would go for the first one and grab on, and when I killed the first toy and tapped the second toy on the ground, he would grab the 2nd without letting go of the first! Cheeky boy. I changed his toys to softie sticks for a while so he could only get one in his mouth at a time and he caught onto the game pretty quickly and now he will tug with just about anything (and let go of the first one when grabbing the 2nd).

I figured with the two dogs tugging at once, one of two things would happen. Rampage would either be all over Icon, or he would tug fine. Aside from a few hectic seconds in the middle when I was trying to get Icon back on the toy (I tried to put both tug toys in one hand to throw the ball for Foster but that put Icon too close to the puppy so he wouldn't tug), he totally ignored Icon. I was surprised when he even kept his focus on me at the end when I was playing only with Rampage and Icon started getting in the way.

Here is the video. I have so much video if Rampage, but most of it is painfully boring (this one isn't much better). He usually does something cute so I grab the camcorder. But when I turn it on, Icon goes nuts at the sound and starts to bark and the puppy gets distracted and stops doing the cute stuff.

And excuse my stump hole covered with orange plastic. I'm waiting until spring to add sod.

Tugging with Rampage (and Icon) from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Icon's ISC JWW run

I didn't get anyone to tape my ISC run with Icon, but I did notice a guy was taping a lot of them and asked if he got mine. He did and I gave him my email address to send it to me. After I got home, time passed and I thought he probably forgot about it. But last night he sent me an email that he uploaded it to youtube. He is also going to send me a DVD in the mail. Thanks so much!

I remember not being very happy with the run after I finished, and I was surprised that my time held up to win (I think London had a faster time, but they had a bar down). Watching it over again, I see that I was right not to be so happy with it! There are specifically 2 places where our turns were a bit too wide (the turn from 2 - 3 and the not-a-270 threadle) and one big honking ridiculously wide turn (which I probably don't even have to tell you is the two jumps after the broadjump and before the weaves. It's a funny feeling to be happy to win something, but not be happy about how you ran! I liked how we did the close from the weaves though. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I was sure the puppy would be tired last night. We had a pretty full day, but oh man he was restless. He was actually very good in his crate. He didn't bark, he just chewed on the kong (SQUEAK,SQUEAK, SQUEAK), scratched at the crate pan and continuously got up and flopped into another position. I might have been able to go to sleep despite this, but every time the puppy made a noise, Icon had to get up, look in the crate, and then lay down on my face. I might have even been able to sleep through THAT, but every time he rattled the crate, Apollo thought the world was ending (Polly hates the sound of wire crates or xpens). Foster can sleep through anything. I envy him.

So Rampage got moved to the crate in the living room, and boy did he ever not like that! I got to listen to him scream for about an hour. I don't know if he finally stopped screaming or I just fell asleep through it.

He woke me up at 3am to take him out to pee. He got to come back in the bedroom crate to sleep after that. And thankfully he was quiet.

But anyway, I'm really tired this morning.