Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fire Extinguisher Training

At drill last weekend we had the fire department come and show us how to use fire extinguishers.  I'm not sure why the FD had to be there, but they were.  The best part was the guy lighting the fire.  A guy from the squadron, not involved in the training except as a participant, pulled out a lighter and stuck his hand into the barrel full of wood.  The fireman didn't say anything.  Perhaps he didn't know the person who put the training together and supplied the wood had poured gasoline on the wood? I knew- I saw the red gas can sitting next to the barrel. I didn't say anything either.  The resulting fireball and flaming bits of paper (apparently the fire barrel builder added paper to the gasoline and wood) was quite exciting.  They lit the next barrel using an improvised stick with a burring rag on it.  That fireball was even bigger with even more bits of burring paper exploding all over the place, but at least this time no one got their eye lashes burnt off.

They wanted everyone to use the extinguisher so they kept relighting the fire barrels.  A fireman who works in our squadron but was not conducting the training stepped up and insisted they use diesel instead of gasoline.  Diesel will burn but gasoline explodes.  Good to know.

Here is me looking very  somewhat professional using the fire extinguisher.  Remember- PASS. Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep.

Life is Rough

When you are so Fancy.

Not sure what Fancy was doing pouting on the bed.  Maybe it is because she and Muffin got haircuts?  I think they look extra cute.

A Lovely Wedding

Everyone looked so nice.  But my Sis stole the show!

Sisters!  I'm not actually taller, just had on taller shoes.

My lovely sister got married in a lovely ceremony to a lovely man over the (lovely) 4th of July weekend.  I am so happy for her and her daughter and her new husband.  It really was a beautiful wedding with a gorgeous bride and a fun reception.

My mother, father and youngest brother traveled from LAX to Raleigh.  We didn't stay long but we got to see my sister's new house and some local relatives, plus some semi-local relatives who came in from out of town.  The girls got our nails done the day before, and a make up and hair done on the wedding day.

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.  Most are taken with my phone so not amazing quality.

My sister's hair do.  Very nice.

Niece gets her hair done.

The Dress and The Back of The Dress.

Me with hair and make up done.  A very rare occurrence.

Youngest Bro looking Snazzy.

The first dance.

My Grandparents.  I particularly enjoyed Grandpap's bow tie.  Bow ties are cool.

The parents with Mom wearing Brother's jacket.  She was very cold.  Super yummy cake in background.

Selfie plus bro.

Dancing the night away.

I kept up my running while in NC and on the fourth of July I ran into the NC Miata Club.  It was a big turn out.  Maybe 25ish cars?  I was interested to see most of them seemed to be the newest model, called the NC.  More about Miatas later.

Zoom Zoom.  Leaving the starting point for their run.

And then it was time to fly home.  I saw lots of clouds.  It was a short but wonderful trip and I am so happy I got to be there to celebrate my sister's wedding.

I noticed I neglected to mention my attention getting ploy as I was leaving the church when I fell off my wedge on my right foot and when I put my left foot down to catch myself my knee twisted and I landed in a heap (after throwing my purse into the air) with my dress over my head.  Hey- just because it is my sister's wedding doesn't mean she should get ALL of the attention.

2 Miles

I ran 2 miles, with no breaks, on Monday.  This time last year I was doing between 3 and 5 miles.  I even did 7 miles one day, which is the longest I've ever run.  My knees and hips were NOT happy.  So 2 miles isn't amazing, but it is more than I could do 2 months ago.  I'd like to be doing 3 miles.  That is my goal for now.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Nice Day for a Ride

I rode my motorcycle down the beautiful 126 to my parents for a visit and for dress shopping. For my sister's wedding which is next weekend. Waiting until the last minute adds excitement to my life.

It was a nice day for a ride. Except when I got too far inland and rode into a furnace. And except when something got in my shirt and stung me several times (leaving welts) before I got it out. And except for the giant bug that hit my knee and exploded with such force that I got bug juice on my face. Other than that it was great.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Father's Day!!

To the best Dad anyone could ever want! We got to spend a nice day together with Dad, Mom, and Youngest Brother, seeing San Andreas (the dad saves the day so a good Father's Day movie) and had a yummy dinner at BJs.  A good day for a good dad!

Channel Islands Harbor

Had a nice evening with a friend and her GSD at the CI Harbor.  Ate pizza on the patio with Dottie and Rita (GSD), then threw the toy off the dock for the dogs to play with.  Beautiful weather and a great time!

Rita and Dottie being good on the patio.

The Hunchback of VenturaCounty and her pretty friend.

Pie and Fancy got a swim also.

Fancy swam off into the sunset.


We've been taking some long walks in the evening.  Sometimes we see some interesting things and sometimes we see some not so interesting things.

Walked to a park and the dogs got to run around.

Different night- different walk.  Venus, Jupiter and the moon very low on the horizon.

Walk with Dottie only this day.  And a not so secret passage.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Door into Summer

If there is a door into summer, this could be it.

Taken on my walk around my neighborhood today.

Dottie is 6!!

Do you like my party hat?

Actually I don't care if you don't like it because I hate it!  I shouldn't have to wear stupid hats on MY birthday.

*For the record the hat says "Party Animal."

The Dog Who Saved Summer

Pie's movie came out and she is a star!  It is called The Dog Who Saved Summer and is like Karate Kid with dogs.  There are two people from the original Karate Kid in the movie. The instructor of the dojo (who plays her owner in this movie) and the main bad kid who is the voice of Apollo (Pie.)  Therefore, it is the same "team."  As in Karate Kid, the main dog (Zeus- voiced by Mario Lopez) goes to an unlikely source for help and doesn't realize he is being trained to succeed while doing chores.  In the end Pie's character sees the error or her ways and Zeus wins the agility competition and everyone is happy.  It was straight to DVD- very low budget.  You can get it on Amazon and my friend saw it at Wal-Mart.  I think it is a cute kid's movie.

Dottie had a small part when she was Pie's stunt double while running on a slippery floor.  They were concerned their star might tweak her back so they put Dottie in instead.

I got this "gig" through a lady at agility who mentioned my name when one of her friends who is in the "biz" and knows she knows lots of dog people said they were looking for a dog already trained in agility who was a police type dog since the owner of said dog is ex-military and they thought he should have a police type dog.  When they contacted me I picked Pie over Dottie since Pie looks more like a real police dog and also because Pie will put her ears up on command while Dottie will sit around with them pinned back all day.  That doesn't look good in pictures so I figured it wouldn't look good in a movie either.  And my final reason is the trainer was going to be working the dog and I knew Pie would work better for a stranger.  He did take her for about a week before filming started, and Dottie is such a mama's girl she might be upset.  Pie on the other hand loves men so I knew she'd see it like a vacation.  The trainer sent me pictures of Pie hanging out in his house with his kids and she looked very happy so I knew I picked the right dog for the job.

The first scene of Pie.  It is a picture of her and her "owner."  The other pictures on the wall in the back ground of the obedience school are mostly Dottie.  I sent the trainer pictures of my dogs at his request and they blew them up and used them as props.

Pie's first live action scene.

Pie in the credits.

A facebook friend pointed out that Pie now has a "Kevin Bacon" number of 2.  There is a lady in this movie who is also in Kevin Bacon's TV show The Following.  So she is only separated from him by 1 degree!

Pie is such a star!

Dottie's First Herding Trial

Dottie earned her PT (pre-trial tested) today. It means she has enough training to be able to do something, but not enough training to be ready for the regular classes yet.  Which makes sense for us since we've had a total of 7 lessons!  It was both of our first ever herding titles. Yesterday went much better, today was a little rough. The judge wrote on her score sheet- "Nice handling with a strong but obedient dog." Let's just say she could have been more obedient and I could have done a better job handling. But we passed so all is good!

After our first qualifying leg on Saturday.  Muffin approves.

Dottie PT!!!

Pie says she is a movie star and doesn't need herding titles to be cool.

There were a lot of boder collies there, but also some other breeds.
Lots of cattle dogs- mostly owned by the same couple.

Border collies-notice the different groups of geese have different colored bands around their necks- that is so they can tell the groups apart and if one group is too bad they won't use them again.

Belgian Sheepdog- same as Malinois but long black coat.

Sheltie- my friend's dog

German Shepherd (working lines)

My instructor's bc doing very well

There was also a corgi, boxer and samoyed and a few Aussies that I did not get pictures of.  Plus Dottie of course.  I think that covers all the breeds there.  I got to watch the A course which is in the arena, and also the B course which is in the big open field.  I saw sheep, geese and cattle.  It was a great educational experience so when Dottie and I are ready for the regular classes I will have a better idea what they are about.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Short Ride

I was thinking about going kayaking this weekend but May Gray and/or June Gloom is in full force especially at the beach. It's not too much fun kayaking in cool gloomy weather. So I got the bike out and took a short ride to the top of Santa Paula. These were taken from the Santa Paula hospital parking lot.  Santa Paula was far enough inland to escape the gloom.

A rare selfie!

Yesterday I took a herding lesson  to get some extra practice in before Dottie's first trial next weekend. I moved her up from HT to PT. PT is still the step before novice but it is not the lowest step like HT. She's doing great and I think we should do well unless the sheep are very light, which means they won't the dog get close at all. We haven't dealt with sheep like that before. We shall see!

Monday, May 25, 2015


USDAA weekend for Dottie and I at the new Happy Dog location. It is only about 15 minutes from my house on a horse ranch.  I really liked it. It was good weekend for us. However, I need 2 standard legs for our MAD (master agility dog title, somewhat equivalent to an Excellent agility title in AKC), with 2 different judges, and I didn't get any. This is too bad because usually there is only one judge at a trial so that means even if I get lucky and get 2 Qs at one trial, I still won't have the title.  Drat. But, we did get our first Super Q!  You need 3 Super Qs for the ADCH, the champion title, and I have trouble getting them, so that was great! On Sunday we Qed and placed in Snooker, Gamblers and Jumpers, and on Monday- Jumpers, Gamblers and Pairs.

This horse was watching me teach the dogs the skateboard trick and she though she should get a dog treat.  I got permission to feed her apples from a tree and she was placated.  I think she might be an Andalusian. 

Pie is  not pictured because she views horses as prey. I can control her, but I didn't want to take any chances that I might get distracted while talking a picture. This is also why Pie is not herding. Dottie and Fancy are totally neutral towards horses. It is interesting, I'd think they might at least take a passing interest but nope.

Besides running Dottie, teaching tricks and petting the horse, I also worked a bunch of classes and got $34 towards my next entry.  Nice!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dottie Crawls

I'm making a video of my dog's tricks, but it will take a while.  While you wait, here is a video of Dottie crawling.  She is the only one who does it well so she gets her own video.  Lucky.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

AKC National Agility Championship

We traveled to Reno again this year for the AKC Nationals.  Only Dottie was entered this year.  My goal was for 1 clean run (and hopefully a placement!) in the regular classes.  Sadly, I didn't meet my goal, but happily I was "thrown a bone" when Dottie won the 24 inch Premier Standard Class!  She won $102 also!  I will post the videos at some other time, but I was very surprised we qualified, much less won. The Premier Class is an extra hard standard class and I was totally late on all my cues, didn't get where I needed to be, and even forgot the course at one point!  And yet we still won.  Dottie is so good.

Dottie's first place ribbon.

Our 3 runs in the regular courses were not clean.  Standard was good but I think we had a bar.  Jumpers was a disaster.  I couldn't quite get my head around it and it showed.  Hybrid was good but also not clean.

Here are some other pictures from our trip.

Fancy watching the competition.

Most days our jump height competed last, so I was the last car in the parking lot.

Dottie thinks this tractor is sexy.

It was a long and boring drive.

The pictures I ordered for the competition came in the mail today.  I think they all show how athletic Dottie is and how hard she tires.  All pictures by Great Dane Photos.