Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Effing Yay" Bar

A very nice run, until the last bar.   Darn!  This type of bar is called an "effing yay," or a more profane version, bar.  It happens when you celebrate while your dog is still in the air over the last bar, and the dog gets distracted and knocked the last bar.  As the bar was coming down, I was clapping and telling Dottie how good she was.  No doubt I had slowed down also, since it is hard to clap and run at the same time.  Shame on me!  It would have been out 10th standard Q, but we will have to wait on that.  Good girl Dottie!  Bad job me.  :)

Fancy PACH Videos

Number 19/ 99 QQ!  I almost got lost in jumpers, but she held it together for us.

Fancy's PACH!!  So proud of my great fluffy girl!  When I adopted her, I never thought she'd be such an agility star! :)

Cool Website

This is really neat.  Sometimes I feel the past could really be like this.  Actually going on at the same time as the present.  These photos illustrate that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fright Fest

My mom and brother are both working at Magic Mountain at Fright Fest.  Mom is an usher (even though she wanted to be a ghoul) and brother is a headless ghoul.  ffluffy and I planned on going, and then it turned out kiltman was coming as well.  I was afraid I was going to be afraid, but as it turns out, I was not.  Maybe if your little brother is working there, it is only as scary as him hiding behind a door trying to scare you.  Also, the shake cans are pretty silly.  It is like you are trying to train a puppy.

Even though I wasn't scared, I had a lot of fun not being scared.  It was amusing, and I enjoyed watching other people get scared.  I wouldn't mind going back and seeing more of the mazes.

PACH Fancy!!!!

Fancy earned her 100th Double Q today, earning her PACH!  The PACH is the the preferred AKC agility championship.  The PACH is the same as the MACH, but the dog gets to jump 4 inches lower, and gets 5 extra points each run.  Since Fancy already has 4 MACHs, this is her 5th AKC championship, which means 100 double Qs!

I love running Fancy in agility.  I hope we have many years and runs ahead of us.  At 9 years old, Fancy is running faster and better than ever.

 Pie also had a good weekend.  She got QQ number 19 toward Mach 3, and almost had QQ number 20, but I sent her off course.
Dottie was only entered Sunday and had a great standard run until I pulled up early and she knocked the last bar.  Darn!  Our jumpers run was nothing to write home (or blog) about.

I'll put up the videos later. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

VST Journey

Last Friday I met up with the AKC judge who certified Dottie.  He is the only one in this area that has experience with the VST.  Before meeting, I sent him the most recent vidoes of Dottie tracking so he could see where we are.

I arrived and he told me he was impressed with our progress, and he had laid a mock VST track for us.  Yikes.  It was around 550 yards, so not full lenght, but it had aged 3 hrs, and had the correct number of corners and articles.  And actually, it had too much hard surface.  Off we went.

Sadly, right away we would have failed, because she made up a turn on the first leg that wasn't there.  A few more times we would have failed again.  So it showed me 2 things- we are not ready for a VST, BUT, we are better on hard surface than I thought.  Up until this I've just been doing the corners in the parking lot and road crossings.  Here she tracked down sidewalks, across large parking lots, up and down curbs, and though courtyards.  She even was accosted and pet by a stranger on the track- which I've always heard about and always thought was weird, yet it happened none the less.  I also learned I am having trouble reading her.  She really fooled me when she took me the wrong way.  It took her a half hour to finish the track.

On Monday I laid a track for myself at the same location.  This time it was aged 4 hrs to 4 hrs and 40 minutes, due to the length of time it took to finish.  Since I know where the track went, I wasn't fooled, but she did try to go the wrong way a few times.  And on the last corner, which was close to a building, she could not find the track.  She searched for a really long time and then she gave up.  I corrected her for quitting (I know most AKC tracking people don't use corrections in tracking, but I was trained by a SchH person, so that is how I do it) and right after that she found the corner and finished.  That was strange. 
The hard thing about tracking is I don't have the knowledge to know why stuff like this happens sometimes.

I told K how our track went and she offered to lay a track for us today.  This time we went to the library, which was a great location.  There was grass, asphalt, concrete and mulch.  Plus tracking between plants in the planters.  Again we had some trouble.  Not so much even related to the hard surface.  K diagnosed the problem as I've been too focused on aging and hard surface, and I've let corners get sloppy.  So the fix is to go back and work on corners, and also transitions, to help her get a bit more efficient at going up and down curbs, and between grass and other surfaces.

It is so hard!  All this taking me the wrong way has leeched my confidence a bit.  She used to refuse to go forward unless she knew exactly where the track was.  I wonder if trying to fool her with obstacles (such as going over the tree) lead to this?  I hope we don't fail a TDX now...

We will continue to work on it.  Pie and Fancy are taking a break from tracking because apparently I have ruined them and we can only progress to a certain point before they implode and we have to go back several steps.  I am really hoping I have not ruined Dottie to the point where it cannot be fixed.  Maybe this is why most people wait to start VST training until after they have their TDX.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Full and Fun Saturday

On Saturday I attended an agility demo at a dog adoption event.  There weren't many dogs for adoption, but I hope the raffle raised some money for the group putting it on.  Maybe the lack of dogs to be adopted contributed, but more than just a few people wanted to know if my dogs were available for adoption!  As we were setting up and before I could put the shade cloth on top of the x-pen, so many people had their hands in there petting them that I put off attaching the shade.  A lot of people asked about the Mals, and I think I did a a good job educating anyone who would listen.
This is the group that was still around when the photo was taken, later in the day.

I love doing demos.  The people watching want to see your dogs, and they aren't thinking critically that your dog is too slow or jumps funny or you are a bad handler.  There is no pressure because if you mess up, the crowd doesn't care (or know) and you haven't just "lost" a chance at a Q or "wasted" money.  I suppose demos help me treat agility like what is is- something fun to do with your dog.  When there is a Q on the line, I have more trouble doing that.

The demo area itself was very small, so we just had a few jumps and a tunnels.  The only bad part was I had to park quite a long distance away.  My tablet said it was .6 miles.  Which is not very far to walk at all.  Until you are also dragging your cart with your agility gear, threading your way through crowds, and attempting to control your three dogs who think you are there to go to the beach.  

Really, it has to post sideways?
Someone filmed all the participants, so our vidoes are below.  I managed to mess Dottie up.  No wonder we can't Q in a trial, if I can't get this simple course right!  And she missed the last weave, but no one knew except me.




After the demo we hung out some more, then I packed up and headed back to the car.  I stopped along the way and took these pictures.  I think Santa Barbara is one of the prettiest towns around.  

The sidewalk was a bit narrow, so it was easier to have Fancy ride the cart, and have only the Mals walk next to me.  That way I wasn't stepping on the dogs, or running them over with the cart.

After getting home, I headed over to a friend's house who is out of town.  I was watching her dogs only for that one day, and someone else was covering the other days.  I took the dogs for a short walk, and brought Fancy along too.  I think they look like an Oreo Cookie.

Next I headed out to my paren'ts house and youngest brother and I saw the movie Looper.  We weren't sure how crowded it would be, so we got there and hour early and were first in line.  The theater did end up filling up, but if you go there before the previews, you had a seat with your friends.  I read my VST book to pass the time.  The movie was good, although I think the writers and I disagree about how time travel works.

Fancy had a nap in the car, but then she woke up to play a little frisbee at the house.

ONE photo that didn't post sideways.

More Tracking Videos

At the agility trial on Sunday I laid some tracks while waiting for our turn.  I thought I entered Dottie in Time to Beat, but I did not, so we had some time to kill.  Then, I let them age 3 hrs, and ran them between our Standard and Jumepers run.

Speaking of agility, Pie got QQ number 18 towards Mach 3 and Fancy did not QQ due to a missed DW contact.  Dottie was 1 jump away from a QQ but she went around the second to last jump in jumpers.  I didn't realize it was a tricky jump.  Darn!

The purpose of this track was to introduce her to traffic driving over her track.  I hoped the dirt/ gravel road would make it easier than asphalt. 

The next track gave us a lot of trouble.  It was a short track but a long video because it took her so long to figure it out.  My friend K watched it and slapped my hand for correcting her with the verbal "such" (sook) while she was working.  She said after the verbal correction Dottie got stressed and THEN she stopped working.  Drat.  Still, it was good I got it on video so K could tell me what I was doing wrong.

This track was from today.  I laid it right outside my house and aged it 3 hrs.  We almost got run over!  The white car could have moved over, but instead hugged the shoulder line.  Yikes.  The purpose of this track was to work traffic over her track on asphalt. I think she did pretty good.  The ditch next to her turn confused her, but she worked through it.

Happy Birthday to... Me!

The in-town family (except Kurt who took the photo). 

Looking good, brothers!

Pie inspects my new tracking gear!  Dottie will need it for her TDX and VST.  Cool!
Thanks to my family who was able to celebrate my birthday with me, and thanks for the nice gifts too!  We went out to eat, then came home for some extra yummy cake.
Pie tests out my new comforter.  She has confusion about whose bed it really is.