Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Agility class after all

Yesterday we went to a new agility class at our dog club. I don't know if you remember, but we belong to a dog club where you pay annual dues and then you can take all the classes you want and also go to practices and stuff (like our Wed. morning agility practice). The classes are all taught by volunteers. Any way we found out that there is a Monday morning agility class - well, two classes actually. One at 11:00 and one at 12:15. So we signed up to check it out. There were 8 dogs in our class - so kind of a big group for just one instructor. The building was split into two rings - one side had jumps and weaves and the other side had the contact obstacles plus tunnels and some jumps. The instructor is a very nice man who fed me salmon treats!!!! I liked him right away. He had some sequences for us to run. He didn't really tell us how to do it but would give advice if he saw something we might want to consider doing. It went ok but the wait for your turn to run was very long. It was hard to stay motivated. And it was hard for mom to focus on me and on thinking about what we were going to do because everybody wanted to talk while they waited for their turn. Any way, this was just our first class so we'll see how it goes next week.

And mom decided to try to sign me up for another class at the training center where we have been taking the really good agility classes (you know, the ones we pay for!). She checked her schedule and thought we should try a Wednesday night class - it's called novice competition and it's to help prepare for trials. But we turned in our application and money late so we will have to wait to see if we get in to the class or not.

Today in the backyard we set up a speed circle and mom worked to get me going fast from the beginning to the end. We are still having trouble coming up with a start line routine that excites me. At first we were going to try having me sit between mom's legs - we call that move "danger" because we learned about it from Johann and that's what he calls it. That used to get my attention but it doesn't much any more. "Ready!" doesn't do it for me either. Today mom didn't make me sit - she just tried to line me up on one side of her or the other and she said "OK, GO!" One problem with the classes is that mom wants to work on stuff like getting me excited at the start, but she always feels hurried to get going when it's our turn - she doesn't want to hold the class up. So it seems like we can't work on it in places where motivating me is a challenge.

I am doing ok on my diet - I think I have lost some weight already but mom is still not sure that she can feel my ribs - maybe almost! Do you think if I lose a little weight, it will make a difference when I get measured at my next trial? I really want to measure 14" or less - and now that I'm two, the next two measurements really count (I think). No way am I big enough to jump 16" all the time.

Well, I'm tired - I helped mom teach her music lessons today and that is exhausting for me! Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Tomorrow we go to practice in the morning and on Thursday I think I heard mom say we are going to visit cousin Wilson! Yay!!!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, February 20, 2009

A Slow Week

After all of last weekend's excitement with the trial and my birthday, this week seemed kind of slow. The weather has been a little better - cold but no ice or snow. So I can run in my backyard and chase squirrels and birds and bark at my neighbors, etc. Nice for that to get back to normal after so much ice. We also have been able to do some backyard agility every day - nothing fancy - just some jumps and weaves.

We went to Wednesday morning practice and I did fine - nothing too difficult was set up and I am running with more confidence since my trial experience. Mom ran Makin - he is my trainer Deb's border collie. Mom had never tried agility with any dog except me! I didn't get to see her with Makin because I had to wait in the car. But she told me it was fun but very different. He is a much bigger dog than me - he jumps 24". And since he's a lot bigger, he moves around the course totally differently. Plus he is faster than me. (But he's not crazy-border-collie fast). I think mom wants to try it again - it's ok with me since she'll learn how to be a better handler and then I will benefit from that!

Thursday night we had our last advanced intermediate agility class. For the most part, it went great! We got to brag about our trial results right at the beginning of the class - the instructor always asks people who trialed over the weekend and what happened. Then we got to run some pretty challenging sequences. I was fast on my a-frame and dog walk - I think I surprised one of the instructors with my speed (now we're talking about fast for me, not necessarily fast for some other dogs)! Mom did a lot of lead outs with me - I am awesome at staying put, but then I start out real slow. So she is going to try to come up with ways to rev me up and just run with me (that's why she didn't try a lead out at the trial). Right now we don't have any clue as to how to get me all fired up at the start line. And we did some more complicated jumps with harder weave entries and I think I got them all. I like the more challenging stuff and I am really loving running long sequences and then getting a big payoff at the end (like lots and lots of chicken!).

Mom's not sure if we can take a class next session or not. She has too many conflicts with work in the evenings that classes are offered. There is a slight chance we'll do a Wednesday night class. Have to wait and see. We are going to take a Monday morning class at the club where we go for practice - we don't know much about the class or the instructor, but we're hoping to learn some new stuff and get some more good advice.

I almost forgot to tell you but mom has put me on a DIET! She actually started it on my birthday - of all days! A couple people - one of our agility instructors (who has Shelties herself) and a Sheltie breeder friend of our's - mentioned that I look FAT! I blame it on the time of the year - I mean nobody can get a lot of exercise in the dead of winter! - but mom had to admit that maybe I was getting a little chubby. 16.4 lbs. last time we checked. So she cut back on my food and is watching how many treats I get. This is all bad news for me - I was already hungry all the time! I keep telling her it's just all my fur that makes me look fat, but she doesn't believe me!

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finally! Here's the video!

Hope the wait was worth it! :)

Gotta zoom!


Today is my birthday!

Today is my birthday - now I am two! Been having a pretty quiet day after my BIG day yesterday. Walked in the neighborhood with mom this morning, did a few tricks, went on a little drive with mom and dad, then went to visit grandpa and grandma. I also just had a nap in my crate while mom and dad went out to eat at a restaurant that doesn't allow dogs - guess they were celebrating Valentine's Day one day late (surely they weren't celebrating my birthday without me?).
We have been trying all day to upload the video of my trial from yesterday - but for some reason the YouTube upload page won't load! We promise that as soon as it works we'll post the video for you all to see!
Thanks for all the supportive and nice comments about my first trial - mom and I really appreciate having such good blogging friends!
Gotta zoom!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My First Trial!

I did it! Today I competed in my very first agility trial! Ok, first of all, I measured 14" this morning - don't know how I managed it but I was totally freaked out by the whole measuring thing and I wouldn't stand up straight and maybe that saved me. So for today at least I got to jump in the 12" class! Whew - mom was more than relieved!

We did Novice JWW first thing - at around 9:30AM. The course seemed pretty easy - mom walked it and had a plan and stuck to it. I did great except that I refused to go into the tunnel the first time. Mom just sent me in again and then all was fine after that! I got a Q - score of 95 out of 100, time of 38.59 and 1st place!!!

After that run, mom and I went home for a few hours - we had lunch and a little nap. Then we went back for my Novice Standard run. This course seemed a little trickier to mom. It started with tunnel and then right into the chute!! Of all ways to start! So when it was our turn, we walked out into the ring and then had to wait briefly for some delay. I sniffed around in the dirt and mom tried to keep my focus on her. When it was time she sent me into the tunnel - ok, no problem - and then into the chute. I went right in to the barrel part and mom ran to the end and called me and called me and low and behold - I finally came out the other end!! Yay! The rest of the course went well. I got another Q - score of 100 out of 100, time of 69.14 and 1st place!!!!

We are so excited about two Q's and two 1st places! The day went way better than we could have imagined! Here I am with my ribbons and prizes!

There will be video tomorrow. It took us a long time to do even a poor job of editing it and now it looks like YouTube is going to be very slow going also.

We're off to get some rest - we're lightweights - just one day of trialing wore us out! Sorry we didn't get around to anyone's blog today. We'll catch up with you all tomorrow!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the day!

Well tomorrow is the day of my first agility trial! Looks like I will be good to go - we went to practice on Wednesday morning and class last night and no sign of limping or anything. Last night was class 6 - we did sequences with some more difficult jump angles and weave entries. Mom and I handled it all pretty well. The only thing we are having some consistent difficulty with now is the a-frame. I have to be running fast in order to get up it - but if mom runs fast past the a-frame to get my momentum going, I often pass right by it and run after her (although she is saying, "Frame" to me. And if she slows down and makes sure I get on it, then I don't have enough speed to get up and over and end up really fighting my way to the top. So we'll see what happens.

The other thing about tomorrow is the measuring! For some reason, I had never really been measured. Don't know why this isn't part of agility classes - but it isn't (at least wasn't for us). We had been asking our instructor to measure me for awhile now and there was never the time. If you saw me and compared me to the height of dogs who jump 16", you would assume like we did that I would jump 12". So I have always jumped 12". Last night I got measured - it was a rush job, but I measured 14 and 1/4"!!! This is very bad news because that means I would have to jump 16" tomorrow (anything over 14" puts you in 16") and I never have! I have also never dropped a bar in 12" and can probably do 16" but it would've been nice to know. So we're not sure what to do if I measure the same tomorrow - jump 16", jump preferred at 12", don't run? Chalk this up to another learning experience for mom - she's bummed but at least she'll know better the next time around.

Today we are going to do a little backyard practice and maybe go for a long walk at the park. Then tomorrow we get up early and see what happens!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring storms in February

Yesterday we had storms and then we had a windstorm that reminded me of the one in September - fortunately it was not quite as powerful or destructive - although this morning 42,000 people in our county are without electricity. Look at the photos my grandpa took out at his house - we weren't so lucky to see anything like that here.

Gotta zoom (yes, I can zoom again!!!!),

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Today is our third day of temperatures above freezing. Yesterday was 50! But look at our backyard - there is still a lot of ice every where. Mom has taken me out on a leash since Tuesday when I was limping. She is afraid to let me out on my own because she knows I would get the zoomies or chase a squirrel or something and slip on the ice. So I have not done any zooming or running for almost a week. And of course backyard agility is still out of the question. Mom says she can't remember it ever being like this before.

This morning we walked in our neighborhood for the first time in a week. There has been enough melting that if you are careful, you can pick your way around using the sidewalk, the grass and the street. Now everything is wet and muddy and I come back home filthy! Yesterday our neighborhood was still too icy, so mom took me to walk on a park road near a river. It started out as a great walk, but this park road sometimes goes kind of close to a main road and I went berserk - screaming at the cars as they went by. Poor mom has been trying to break me of this habit since I came to live with her almost two years ago and nothing works. She gets very frustrated when I won't listen to her or look at her (even for treats) .....and I get really frustrated because I want to get those cars!!! If any one has any advice for mom, I think she would appreciate it.
I have been feeling good since Wednesday evening - I bounced back from my horrible vomiting episode pretty quickly. No sign of the limping, but we haven't been testing it much. On Wednesday I go to agility practice, so we'll see how it goes. If all is well, Thursday night is my class and then Saturday we'll go to the trial.

I would zoom if I could,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Things are better

So it was 9:00AM the last time I threw up and we are knocking on wood and hoping that I won't throw up again! I have had some water and a couple very small meals of rice and boiled chicken. I am soooooo hungry though and wish I could eat the entire chicken at once! Mom says I am getting another small serving at 6:00 and then before bed.

We didn't end up going in to the vet's office but we talked to her on the phone about 8 times today (she wasn't actually in the office today). We had an appointment to see another vet but since my stomach finally calmed down, we didn't have to go. Our vet was so nice to talk to us all day long.....

Mom does wish, however, that we had a vet who specializes in Shelties (is there such a thing?) because then he/she would have more insight into our special needs - which appear to be plentiful!!!

Guess each time something like this happens we learn new things about what to do and what not to do......I'll never try taking another aspirin, that's for sure!

Maybe zooming again tomorrow?


Seems like the aspirin made me sick

Well, I woke up around 3:00AM and threw up the aspirin that mom had given me 12 hours earlier. It was whole and totally undigested. Then I proceeded to keep throwing up for the next 3 hours. Mom called the emergency vet and they said I could most likely wait until my vet was open in the morning. Mom couldn't decide what to do (she didn't want to take me to the emergency vet if it wasn't necessary because they would probably do lots of tests including x-rays and she was hesitant to put me through all that). It's always the not knowing that is the worst part. You don't want to push the panic button but you don't want to wait too long, etc....We have such a nice vet though and mom called her at home at 6:30AM! She always tells us to call any time, so mom did. Well the vet said to wait a couple hours and see if my stomach could calm down on it's own and call her back. She says that dogs sometimes can go on and on with the vomiting. Since mom called I have not thrown up - I am tired and quiet (kind of subdued) and my throat is sore. The good news is that it looks like I am not limping. Mom can tell I am putting weight on my leg.....but she is still being careful and has me on a leash and is carrying me outside and up stairs.

So soon I guess we'll start to try to see if I can keep water down and then maybe rice and then maybe rice and chicken? Mom is mad at herself for giving me the aspirin - but when your vet suggests it, then you tend to do it. In hindsight she thinks if she had just rested me, I would be fine right now instead of sicker. Nothing is ever black and white in life - there is always that nasty gray area...........

Thanks to all my friends for your get-well wishes! We sure do appreciate it!

Gotta rest some more,


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm limping!

Something happened to me maybe when I went outside after lunch. There is a lot of ice and hard frozen snow and I may have slipped. Mom noticed me limping - not putting weight on my right front foot/leg. Mom called my vet and she said I need crate rest and for mom to give me a low-dose aspirin and take me out to potty on a leash and then see if I am better tomorrow morning. Mom is really upset , I can tell. Right now I am being very quiet.........unusual for me.

So no agility practice tomorrow morning and maybe no trial either? Guess we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully this is nothing serious!

Gotta rest,


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Finally some of our snow and ice is melting today! Temperature around 40 - ice dripping off of everything. We had a good walk around the neighborhood this morning and then talked to one of our neighbors at the fence for a long time - so long that I did a lot of barking and when that didn't get me the attention I deserved, I started pruning the forsythia bush and the lilac bush! Unfortunately I don't think the "warm" weather is going to last very long. Wish the snow would all melt, though.
I won a shirt from RockStar Pooch in Johann's Giveaway and here is a not very good photo of me in it - cute, huh?

Thursday night was our fourth agility class - it was kind of unremarkable. We did longer sequences than in previous classes. More rear crosses and some front crosses. More obstacle discrimination. Mom asked the instructor to walk around a lot on purpose when I was running so that I could get used to the idea of someone walking around out there with me (ie. trial judge!). I wasn't as distracted this time. We have to miss the class next week - mom has to work - but luckily we can go to Wed. morning practice this week. So we're going to ask someone to pretend to be the judge then too. My trial is only 13 days away now! And in 14 days it'll be my birthday and I will be 2!
Just for fun here is a goofy photo of me playing with dad:

Hope everyone had a good weekend and if you had snow, we hope some of it melted for you too!

Gotta zoom!