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)