Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

We're snowed in! Mom and Dad's work was cancelled this morning...and they never cancel! When we got up this morning, we found out that there had been freezing rain all night so there is about 1/2 inch of ice on everything. I went out to potty and kept circling around the yard trying to find a spot where I could assume the position! It was too slippery to squat! I finally found a place under the white pine - what a relief! Then around 7:30 it started to snow and it has been snowing heavily ever since. At least the snow makes the yard less slippery....

Mom took me outside to play and even though her toes and fingers were frozen, I still didn't want to come in - but I did because I am a good boy!
Hope you all have a safe day out there!
Gotta zoom!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reilly's game

Reilly had a cute idea for a game - he gave me the letter "R" and wants me to list and describe five things that begin with the letter "R." So I'll give it a try.....

1. Ricky - ok, sorry, but that's the first thing I thought of - a really cool little Sheltie who's a big barker - I'm barking real loud right now - can you hear me?

2. Run - one of my very favorite things to do - especially when mom says, "I'm...gonna....git you!" Then I take off and zoom all around my backyard! Plus agility is all about running!

3. Ride - in the car - I get to go to so many great places - parks, hiking trails, lakes, grandparents' house, pet stores, classes........

4. Root - stick my nose down in the grass or in the snow and smell and search out delicacies such as bunny poop!

5. Round - being the herding dog that I am, I love to go 'round and 'round! I do it so much it drives mom crazy some times!

There are my 5 "R" words! So now I am supposed to pick a friend to play the game so I pick Sugar my new Golden Retriever friend and I am giving her the letter "S."

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Sleeping Dog Photo

Josh and Jess didn't want to be the only pups out there to have a mom that forced them to put embarassing photos of themselves sound asleep (and being a good dogs, might I add!) on their blog so they challenged all their friends to do the same! (Long sentence, isn't it?). So here is a photo of me sacked out on the couch after a big day of kayaking and swimming last summer!

Hope you all had a good weekend! I visited with cousin Wilson yesterday, so I had a great time! Today we got about two inches of snow that wasn't predicted - mom is really sick of winter, but I still like it!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, January 23, 2009

We've been tagged too!

We were tagged by our friend Lian over at the Knight's Shelties to play the "fifth photo" game:

Open a document or file folder. Click on the fifth folder and then the fifth photo. Post the photo and describe it. Then tag 5 other bloggers.

So here's our fifth photo taken last summer - we're practicing weaves and dad had just gotten a new camera so he was trying out action shots. The photo just makes mom wish for nice weather even more than she already was! We would tag five more people but lots of our friends have already been tagged. But if you're reading this, and you want to play, please do!

Yesterday the temperature went above freezing for the first time in weeks and today was actually 48! A lot of snow melted but not all. And tomorrow's high is supposed to be 25. Short-lived break in the winter weather!
On Wednesday we went to agility practice and had a great time! There was an actual course to run - with numbered obstacles and everything. It gave mom practice with walking a course and remembering it. We ran it twice - the first time was good except that I stopped weaving to smell a small piece of dog fur near the third pole. The second time was awesome - mom was really happy because I ran like I loved doing agility!
Last night was our third advanced agility class - it went pretty well too - but I did some sniffing and some really slow dog walking (I was watching the instructor move out of the corner of my eye while still trying to complete the obstacle - you try it!!) Everyone thought it was hilarious that I was so worried about what the instructor was doing while mom was saying to me, "Um, hello Ricky, mom's over here!" Besides that I hit the broad jump on the way down and thumped my leg pretty hard but shook it off. I also got something in my eye and was teary-eyed for awhile. But I did some good rear crosses, fast-for-me weaves, and chutes with very minimal hesitation.
Today I ran errands with mom which included a trip to my favorite park - we take recycling there to drop it off. We walked around in the snow for about 30 minutes - me on my longline! It was exhilarating to be out there again! We met a shnoodle puppy - cute but too boisterous for me - and two goldendoodles. Is every dog an "oodle" nowadays? Will there someday be a Sheltiedoodle?
Gotta zoom!
PS. I tried really hard to make paragraphs in the above post but for some unexplained reason, blogger refuses to do it!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cabin Fever (and agility and tricks too)!

Sorry it's been so long since I posted anything! The weather has been so COLD and mom and dad have been working a lot, so I've been doing almost nothing! Mom and I are real diehard walkers, but Thursday morning I cried "Uncle!" because the ground was all snowy and the temperature was 8. I'm tough but my paws just couldn't handle it. So yesterday morning and now today we haven't even tried to walk - yesterday was -12 and today is -5! The good news is that today's high should be 20+ and mom says we'll walk in the afternoon!

Enough about the weather! Thursday night was our second class in advanced agility. We missed practice on Wednesday morning since mom had to work, so I was raring to go on Thursday night! We did a lot of sequences again and worked a lot on rear crosses again. It was really good for mom - she learned more about how to keep her shoulders straight approaching the jump and to use her dog-side arm to push me over the jump while she then rotates her shoulder in the new direction and moves laterally in the new direction. Homework is to practice rear cross on the flat so we've been doing it several times a day.

We'd like you to know that we finally mailed in our entry for our first trial - we decided to run on just one day - February 14 - JWW in the morning and the Standard course in the afternoon. There is another trial two weeks later and we might run both days then. We'll see how it goes!

To keep busy in the house, we are still working on tricks - here is our latest:

Hope you all have a great weekend! I hear that I am off to visit grandpa and grandma! Yay - finally some action around here!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Advanced Intermediate Agility, Class 1

Last night we went to our first advanced intermediate agility class! It was great to be back in class again. On Wednesday we had gone to practice in the morning armed with new treats (these beef burger bites that we had gotten as part of Johann's giveaway gift). They are full of bad stuff - according to mom - but I love them! I was very motivated to do fast agility on Wednesday morning and that kind of carried over to last night.

This class is divided into two sections - about 6 dogs in each group. So we get to work on longer sequences. Some of the dogs in the class are very experienced and already trialing at excellent level. That was good for mom because she could watch how they handled an exercise and that helped her figure out how to do it.

The first thing we worked on was rear crosses. We have done some of that on our own, but very little in a class. We also had to do tunnel/dog walk discrimination. Mom found out that she is successful if she can block the tunnel opening with her body and send me up the dog walk. Then she did a rear cross while I was on the walk to get where she needed to be. We also want to work on sending me into a tunnel when it is the first obstacle in a sequence. I tend to not be revved up at that point and often balk at getting in the tunnel. But last night I was pretty fast through the chute - the first time through is always a little hesitant and then next time is much better. (but in a trial you only get one chance!) The weaves had entry and exit wires on which confused me the first time too, but then I remembered them and was ok.

Our second section focused a lot on lead out pushes. I have a really good start line stay at the moment, but I don't have a lot of drive when mom does a lead out. Actually though I was better last night because I kept remembering that awesome tasting treat mom had in her pocket! We did more weaves and also the teeter in this section.

Overall it was a lot of fun and more challenging than the last class. We were disappointed that we didn't get put in a group with our cattle dog friend Katie but the instructors probably did that on purpose knowing that Katie's mom and my mom would talk the entire time if they were together!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, January 5, 2009

The First Real Week of the Year

Well today starts the first real week of the year - meaning back to work and teaching for mom and dad. We did have a great couple weeks off - the weather was actually pretty good for a few days in there and we got out and did some fun walks! Mom took me to our favorite city park a couple of times (she never remembers the camera when we go there for some reason). Dad and mom also took me to the cemetery - some of you might think it's a little creepy and weird to go walking in a cemetery, but this one is a fabulous place to walk - lots of big trees and big areas to wander around in. And unfortunately lots of places to make me pose and not smile for the camera!
On another day we went up to the lake - you know the lake where we went camping back in August. No camping or swimming this time but we did go on a hike.

The water is really low - it's hard to tell in the photo but mom and I are standing on top of a bank and it's about 4 feet down to the ground from there. Usually the water is all the way up to where we are standing.

This is a view from the end of a new trail we discovered.

We have also done quite a bit of backyard agility practice working on some of the handling exercises from Linda Mecklenburg that have been in the last few issues of Clean Run and also just working on speed and faster weaves with harder entries - no video, of course, because mom never gets it together! This week we start our advanced intermediate agility class on Thursday nights. Looking forward to running longer sequences and learning how to handle them. Mom says we are entering our first trial in February (AKC at the barn where we have been going to watch trials since I was a pup). I notice that she hasn't mailed in the entry form yet - I think she's nervous and getting cold feet! Come on, mom, we've been training for a year now and it's time to see what we can do! (I bet she wouldn't be nervous if she knew that I promise to stick with her - no sniffing around - and promise to do the chute!)
When the weather is too cold or rainy we work inside on tricks, etc. We've got a bunch of tricks in the works including backwards circle and rebound. We just saw some excellent videos of these two tricks - one by Sian and one by ChiDaisy.
There are so many good dog trainers posting how-to videos at YouTube! It is a wonderful way to learn new things!
Gotta zoom!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope 2009 is off to a good start for you! We just got a package in the mail - it was the prize for our third place finish in Johann's Howling Howliday Giveaway! Wow - it was like Christmas all over again! We got lots of neat stuff - thank you to Johann and to all the companies who so generously donated items! We had a lot of fun participating in the contest and getting a prize to open was awesome!

Gotta zoom!