Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last tRicky T-Day of 2009!

I decided I wanted to have one last tRicky T-Day this year so mom and I made a quick video of one of my new tricks - hide! It is still a bit of a work in progress as I need to learn to wait in the bag a little longer or possibly lie down with my head in there. But still we thought it was worth sharing.

We are having a terrible time with editing video. We used to have a way to get the Flip video into Windows Movie Maker (we would just make a basic movie in the Flip software and then import that into WMM). BUT we downloaded an update for the Flip and those darn software updater people took away that option. Flip makes MP4 videos and microsoft doesn't seem to recognize that format. And the Flip comes with really crappy editing software. Stupid! So then we tried converting the Flip file (with something called RAD video tools) and that worked a couple times and now is not working. We wanted to avoid buying expensive video editing software. If anyone out there reading this has any ideas for us, please let us know!

Yesterday's practice at the club went really well! We set up a course with all the contact obstacles and the chute and some sort of difficult jumps. I ran faster than last week (of course because we didn't video it). It was a great warm up for this weekend. We looked at the numbers of dogs running in the trial and tried to guess-timate when we will run. Mom thinks it will be at least 2:00 before my STD run and maybe 4:30 for my JWW. It will probably be later than that. At least we don't have to get up early although since we are early birds, we'd rather go and get on with it! This is our only trial for awhile - we're not doing another one until March and then there are trials every weekend. We'll have to decide soon which ones we are doing. We have another class starting Jan.4 and a fun match and maybe some run-throughs coming up, so we won't be bored.

Tonight we are going to grandpa and grandma's and cousin Wilson and his family are coming too! We will all ring in the New Year together! 2010! How did that happen? We hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, December 28, 2009

A little agility practice

Last Wednesday we went to our dog training club for open practice - we hadn't been there in a long time and it was very fun! We set up a short course and ran it a few times. I wasn't super speedy but I was happy to be doing agility and did not even slow down for the chute!

We are going again this Wednesday and hope to practice another little course in preparation for my big New Year's trial this weekend! I am entered in both Saturday and Sunday (JWW and STD each day) because this trial is being held just 5 minutes from my house! How awesome is that? So we had to go each day, no question about it. The trial is completely full - trials usually don't fill in our area - so it will be interesting. From the running order, it looks like we will do both our runs (Exc JWW and Open STD) late in the day (hopefully without a conflict). Mom is already worrying about that part and she actually had a dream last night about waiting and waiting and then not being ready, etc. Poor mom!

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

We had an awesome Christmas this year! All of my family got together and had a great time. I got lots of stuff from Santa who found me even though I was not at my own house! Mom got a new camera (oh joy!) to replace her 5+ year old one. It's just a point and shoot (that's what she wanted) - Fuji Finepix J38. It takes way bigger pictures than our old camera and also takes sound movies. She is having fun playing with it - I, however, am not!

On Christmas Eve afternoon, mom and dad and I exchanged our gifts with each other. I got a new bully stick!

Dad was really happy with his printer/scanner/copier:

Christmas Eve evening we went out to grandpa and grandma's and had a really nice dinner and opened more presents. On Christmas morning we drove to my cousin Wilson's house and ate more food and opened more presents!

I got tired fast (I didn't sleep well the night before or in the car on the trip) so I spent most of the present-opening time here:

That darn Wilson wanted some attention from MY mom!

Here is Wilson opening my gift to him - it was one of those holee roller balls:

We stayed there quite late and I couldn't wait to get home! Today we got out my favorite gift - a new tunnel!
I also got two baskets for toy boxes - one upstairs and one downstairs - here's one of them with a couple more of my presents in front - some cool new squeaky and Ricky-sized tennis balls:

We haven't done all that much since we got back home. I've been sleeping a lot to try to recuperate from the big holiday. Mom says we have another big holiday coming up in a few days - whew - this time of year is exhausting!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We are off to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas Eve and then to my cousin Wilson's for Christmas Day! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and we'll see you when we get back!

Best wishes to all!

Gotta zoom!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009 edition!

Here it is - my holiday video!! And it could also be considered my tRicky t-day post too! Hope each and everyone of you has the happiest of holidays!

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mom was scared to death!

I had the most excellent adventure today! And mom had one of the worst days of her life. Dad and mom wanted to go somewhere not too muddy for a walk, so they picked the roads through the campground where we camped the summer before last. Most of the campground is closed for the winter, so the area is basically deserted and there is very little chance of traffic (except for the park rangers). I have been such a good boy about following trails and dragging my leash that mom had confidence in me even at this new location. She now regrets that decision - guess my good off-leash skills are not so good. We took off on our walk and it soon lead to an overpass of a pretty busy road and then (this is the part that mom and dad didn't remember about this area) the road parallels the campground road for quite awhile - it's a steep and brushy bank up to the road which only has a guard rail - no fence. Well as we were approaching the road, I could hear the cars and I got excited and ran ahead a little but mom called me and I came back to her. Then we went under the overpass and on the other side I got a really good view of the cars up there whizzing by and instinct overrode any sense at all and I took off!!!! I ran up the campground road and whipped around and ran back and I was running 50 miles per hour because I was going as fast as the cars I saw going by! WooHoo - it was so much fun and so exhilarating! I thought I might have heard mom and dad both yelling, "RICKY!! COME!!!" but I just couldn't stop. Mom is so thankful that I didn't think to run up the steep bank and that the park ranger didn't pick that moment to drive down the campground road. For mom this went on for what seemed like an eternity. She ran to try to catch up with me. Finally I could hear her and I stopped and sheepishly went up to her. She knew she shouldn't get mad at me for finally coming to her, but her last nerve was completely shot and she was very stern with me and grabbed me by my ruff and looked me straight in the eyes and said "no". Mom rarely just says "no" to me. I knew I was in big trouble, but I was so far over my excitement threshold that even though we tried to continue our walk in a new direction, I couldn't stop whining and pulling on the leash and choking myself. Mom ended up carrying me most of the way back to the car.

Mom is so mad at herself for letting me drag the leash in a new location and mad that after nearly three years of so much training and playing and working together, I would still blow her off so completely and almost get killed in the process ( well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but she is prone to that sort of thing). And she is mad to have been so stupid (so please - nobody lecture her about how stupid she was). She so wants me to be the kind of dog that will follow their mom any where, any time. We have that at certain places (our favorite park, for instance) but we just don't have that ability every where yet. I have a feeling that I am in for a major recall boot camp! As a matter of fact, a much more reliable recall is mom's number one priority now. From reading on the internet, she has some training ideas, but if anyone has some suggestions, let us know. But from today mom also realizes that my herding instincts may always override any training we do. We all learned a huge lesson today (and fortunately no one got hurt - mom still gets shaky when she thinks about it) - mom learned I can't be trusted as much as she thought I could be, and I learned that I can run as fast as a car!!!!

Gotta zoom (50 mph, at least!),


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Simple Things in Life

I'm just a simple dog who enjoys the simple things life has to offer me:

Happy Friday everyone! We're supposed to get our first snow of the season! I'll let you know.....

Gotta zoom!


Monday, December 14, 2009

For Diana

I just found Gabrielle Blackburn's YouTube channel - ZingQ - this weekend! Zing is possibly the fastest agility dog I have ever seen! Gabrielle is an awesome handler! She has three dogs - two Border Collies, Zing and Quiz, and a Sheltie named Q. All three obviously love the game!

This video made me think of Diana and Miley and all the issues they have with the table and with Miley being fast and crazy and totally in love with agility, and I thought Diana might like to see that she is not alone! Sit back and enjoy this one:

If you didn't know about Zing, watch some of the other videos when you have a chance. They are amazing!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, December 11, 2009


Yesterday mom and I went to visit grandma and grandpa! It was fun but I had to perform while I was there - you know, once people think you are smart and clever, they never stop demanding to see your new tricks and such. Well some times a dog has to put his paw down:

Today was sunny but still very cold. Mom took me outside after lunch and we did some dogwalks and went out around cones and did the weaves a few times for fun (the ground was rock hard so no jumping). While we were out there, we heard this noise and I barked and mom looked up and there was a flock of about 50 sandhill cranes flying over our house! Wow! Mom started jumping up and down and yelling and pointing at the sky! I thought she was having some sort of fit - I mean they're just some birds after all! But she was really excited because she had never seen a sandhill crane in her life and to have them fly right over our house - and they were calling and making such a racket. (Here's a link to what they sound like). Mom thought it was just so cool!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Proof!

Sorry, no tRicky T-Day video today! We are working hard on a few new tricks, but they are still not ready for primetime!

However, we went to our agility class last night and our instructor was nice enough to video us! Only two dogs showed up for the class - not sure where everyone was. It was ok with me though - we got to run the course twice and also practice hard parts of it. I'll let the video speak for itself:

This weekend is the AKC Invitationals out in Long Beach, CA. Once again this year my favorite trainer Deb and her Russell Terrier Bug are competing in agility and my grandma Catherine Zinsky and her Border Collie Kyle are competing in obedience (hoping to top their fourth place finish from last year). We wish them and all the other competitors the best!

I am busy working on my holiday video - it was going well until mom screwed up and deleted part of it! I am hoping to have it done in the next week so stay tuned!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

tRicky T-Day! and Last Night's Class Saga

Sara, Oreo and Misty are always so consistent with learning and videoing their tricks for Tricky T-Day - they inspire us to keep posting our trick attempts! Right now we have several tricks in the works but they just aren't ready for video yet! However we read Amanda's post from over at manymuddypaws the other day and she mentioned that her dogs know the "chin" trick - sounded cute so we learned that this week. Also in this month's Clean Run magazine, Sassie Joiris showed her method of training handstand. As you know, we have been working on this for a long, long time using the books up against the wall method. I can get my back feet up on a pretty tall stack of books now but one problem is the books are too deep (far from the wall) so I am not leaning against the wall. Also I get frustrated if the books are too high and I think I can't get my little legs up there. So Sassie graduates the dog to using a plank-like thingy against the wall that starts at an angle and then can basically be put flat against the wall and then removed and the dog can use the wall only. Brilliant! So as an added bonus to this week's tRicky T-Day chin trick, we added our very first attempts at using a plank-like thingy - in our case the lid to a storage container. Mom uses her leg and the couch to keep it from moving. It is a little too slippery and we need to use something else but I think my first tries went well and we can see some real potential. (We're still a LONG way off from being able to do a real handstand though)!

Ok, now for the saga from last night! It was pouring down rain when it was close to the time we leave for our Wednesday evening class - class starts at 6:30 but we leave around 5:30/5:40 because of rush hour traffic. Without traffic the trip would take 20 minutes. So because people in Central Ohio can't drive in rain (not even snow, just rain), we left earlier - 5:20 - and what a nightmare! We live right near a major highway - got on the road and it was bumper to bumper/stop and go from the minute we started out. Mom decided to abandon the highway when it took 15 minutes to go maybe 4 miles. We got off and took a parallel road to downtown and then tried to get on the highway again. After waiting 10 minutes at a stop light to turn left, we finally got on and we were immediately completely at a standstill. Once again we got off the highway and just headed in the general direction we needed to go. Mom doesn't know that area of town very well. So she called grandpa and he interrupted his dinner and got a map and talked mom through a very convoluted route that finally - 65 minutes later - got us to the class! You might be wondering why we didn't just turn around and go home - well the traffic was just as bad in the opposite direction. There was just no where to go! We feel very lucky that we got there safely and with a couple minutes to spare!

And mom is very happy we persevered because only two other people came to class and we got to run lots of sequences without feeling rushed and I did great! Maybe sitting in a car for an hour agrees with me? I did the chute fast (we got to practice it a little too) and mom put a piece of chicken as a target at the end of the dogwalk and I literally flew over it - proved that I can RUN the dogwalk with the right motivation (too bad we can't put food in strategic places all over an agility course at a trial!). I got some difficult weave entries and did some fancy jumping. All in all the torturous drive was worth it. Already they are predicting rain for next Wednesday - what time do you think we will need to leave the house?

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

My first deer antler (awesome once I figured out what I was supposed to do with it)!

Note: naturally shed deer antler - no deer are harmed to obtain this product!

Gotta zoom!