Monday, August 31, 2009

What we've been doing since Thursday!

Guess what? We built a dogwalk!!! On Thursday morning mom and I met grandpa at a building supply store and we went in and got materials to start building my new dogwalk! We decided to build it using sawhorses as the base and 8ft. x 12in. boards as the planks. Luckily for us grandpa had some old sawhorses he wasn't going to use any more and we cut those down to fit. We spent most of the day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday over at grandpa and grandma's building and then painting. It was exhausting but grandma gave me lots of treat (like fresh veggies from their garden) and she made lots of good meals to keep mom, grandpa, and herself going.

Here is the end of the first day:

On the second day we finished the building part and primed the boards for painting:
This is some time in the middle of Saturday (the third day):
Here we are at the end of the day on Saturday:
And finally - on Sunday - we were finished painting and we put on the hinges and set it up:
Mom made me pose - I couldn't actually try running the dogwalk yet because mom still needed to put the non-slip coat of paint with sand in it on:
Grandpa loaded everything in his truck and we all brought the dogwalk over to my house on Sunday afternoon. Mom finished the painting with the sand in our garage.

Today it took forever before I was allowed to try my new dogwalk. First of all mom made turkey meatballs using Sara, Oreo and Misty's recipe - they smelled so good I could hardly stand it! I thought, "What am I going to have to do to get one of those?" Then mom told me she wanted to mow the grass before setting up the DW. It was at least 2:00PM before mom was ready and I got to try it out!

First of all, let me say those meatballs are heavenly! I swear I would do anything for a bite of one! I think I ran pretty fast for my first tries at the DW. (At the beginning of the video, the first three runs are my very first three runs across that dogwalk ever!) But even though mom was happy and rewarding me, she did notice that I was totally jumping the yellow contact on the way down. So she tried putting up this hoopy thing we used with my little DW. This didn't work either because I am so small I could still jump. It's hard to see in the video if maybe occasionally I touched the yellow? After mom put away the camcorder, she remembered something Nat from DreamDogz was saying about using a pool noodle. Mom and I checked on Nat's YouTube channel and found some videos showing how to use the pool noodle as a stride regulator. We tried it (sorry no video of that right now) and it worked great! Thanks Nat for the idea! Hopefully I will develop the muscle memory to stride into the yellow if we use that noodle for awhile!

Any way, we are really excited to see if having our own version of a DW will help me when I get on the full-size DW in classes and at trials. It was worth it to give it a try. Mom and I couldn't have begun to do it without grandpa and grandma! We really appreciate all their hard work, support, and willingness to help, and we are so lucky to have parents/grandparents like them!

Gotta zoom!


PS. We sort of followed this plan when making the DW (in case any one is interested in making one too!).


Diana said...

Great job! I did have to chuckle when I saw Ricky jumping the contact. The faster he got the higher he jumped. Really thats a good thing. The first thing I thought of was the hoop, it probably needs to be smaller. You could also try lowering the dogwalk and then raise it as he hits the contact consistently.
Again good job on the beautiful dogwalk. Diana

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Oh you lucky dog you! You have your very own dogwalk!

So glad you liked the meatballs Ricky. You sure were running fast on your dogwalk to get them! Jumping over the yellow even...that's high drive border collie behavior! Good for you!

Bree and Reilly said...

what a pawsome new addition to your training. I wonder if you are missing the yellow because of the angle of the looks a lot steeper then normal?? You were doing just wonderfully and zoom zoom zooming right across it.

Marie said...

Your new dogwalk is so awesome! Your mom and Grandpa and Grandma did a super job.

You looked like you were having a great time zooming across it. Have you thought about a target lid right at the bottom of the dogwalk, in addition to your pool noodle? I bet you wouldn't jump over the contact if you knew there was a little piece of those meatballs waiting for you at the bottom. Just a thought! :-)

Johann The Dog said...

Very cool! I want one!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of things you may want to try for the contact that worked for us. Try the hoop smaller or lower, I think that may probably do it. Or you can throw a treat bag a couple of feet after the DW. Or target at the end (although I know your not into targeting as much as we are :)

So much fun, envious!!!!! :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Thanks for all the advice, guys! The pool noodle didn't work at all this morning - I am jumping over it onto the ground from wherever mom puts it! So we are going to keep trying all the different ideas everybody has.

Dawn said...

Very nice Ricky! Great DW! And you are SO FAST on your weaves now!!! Now just concentrate on that yellow spot. For some reason the humans like it if you touch the yellow. Go figure.

Lian said...

You are one lucky boy, Ricky! New DW, that looks fantastic!!

Fizz said...

Your new DW looks awesome! Wish I was big enough to do agilities xx

Nat said...

Great new DW! Really well-made.

What a BIG improvement in your DW from the beginning of the video to the end! And your weaves are AMAZING!! WOW! They're crazy, mom loves them!

Wall-e's been having the same problem with the pool noodle, jumping over it to the ground. He's taking a little break from DW training until I figure out what to do :) Good luck with Ricky, we know you'll get it, running contacts are really tough!


Irish Hill Shelties said...

Saturday, September 5, 2009
Switching to Private Blogging for awhile

As you can see we have not posted on the blog in awhile, we have had some issues with people reading our blog and contacting us and using what is posted in the blog in a negative way towards us. To protect us and the dogs we feel the need to go private for a bit, and while we enjoy blogging and people from all over the world reading our blog, unfortunately there are very malicious people out there. Please email us with your email address so we may add you to our list to continue reading our blog. We realize that this is an inconvenience and we are sorry for that. Once we go private we will be back posting again! :) We have alot of news to share, and we have been keeping in touch with everyone's blogs!

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

wow! you have your own dog walk! that is so cool. you are very lucky to have such a nice mom and grandparents!
your pal, Morgan