Thursday, February 25, 2010

tRicky T-Day! and Finally Some Agility!

I promised to do a tRicky T-day video this week so I kept my promise and here it is:

We've been working on this under arrest trick for awhile and I still don't really do it as well as mom would like me to. She has to cue me most of the time with "arrest, feet" and point to the wall. Sometimes I get confused and want to do my "corner" trick since it involves the wall too. Mom is hoping I will eventually just go put my feet on the wall and stay there while I get "frisked" (I don't like to stay up there) and then wait until she says "Ok!" But at least you can see where we are in the process - it's not a super hard trick or anything but mom thinks it's kind of cute.

I FINALLY got to do some agility this week! Monday was our last class with Jenn for awhile (until April). In this class we ran a course that Jenn set up to test us on all the moves we have learned in the past 6 weeks. So mom did a forward motion front cross (people who did lead-outs used a foundation recall to heel), a parallel send, another FMFC (that wrapped me around a wing jump and into a tunnel), a rear cross, the serpentine recall to heel, another rear cross, another front cross and then a tunnel-entrance discrimination. I ran the course fairly well considering I was a multi-tasking, swivel-headed, distracted dog (once again knowing for sure that everything I saw as I ran by was FOOD). After the run-through, we had to practice the hardest parts in smaller sequences. Then I was a little more focused.

Today we went to practice at our club. It was very quiet - not many people came today - so mom and I were the only ones in the building during my first turn in the ring. I was much more focused today and ran really fast -we did lots of rear crosses too! I even slipped in the weaves on the metal base because I was going so fast (fast for me, remember, not Miley-fast!). Wish we had video because I also did well during my second turn.

Doing agility felt good! I get one more chance this week - another practice on Friday. Then we have to cross our paws/fingers that the snow in our backyard melts and allows us to practice out there because I have a trial on March 7th and mom works that week and we can't get to any of the indoor practices. Let's all pray for warm weather!!!!! After all, Spring is only 24 days away!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Catching up

Mom has been busy working this week so I haven't had a chance to tell you anything that has been going on. Our yard is still completely snow-covered and mom made some trails for me so that I could run and play. Before that I couldn't go any where out there - the snow was just too deep. Yesterday and today we have had a little melting but the forecast is for MORE snow Sunday and all next week. Hard to believe.

On my birthday Monday we did get to go to class since it was in the morning. I think it would've been canceled had it been an evening class because we got tons of snow that day. Any way, the class was more a present for mom - there was a lot of talking and explaining and very little actual doing agility! Bummer for me. It was week 6 and we worked on backy-uppy's and extension recall to heel - so two more of the APHS recalls to heel. It was confusing to mom and she thinks she needs another lesson on both but especially the backy-uppy and we don't even think we can explain them to you. I know one thing we tried was a threadle using the backy-uppy. You know how we usually write out these long and drawn out recaps of class? Apparently not this week! LOL! Next week is our last class and we'll be running a course and trying to put some of our new knowledge to work! We did find out that Jenn found a new building to teach in so classes with her start again in April! WooHoo!

With mom working, we couldn't go to any practices this week but we're going twice next week! Here in the house we are working on learning a few new tricks and we apologize for not having a tRicky T-day video ready yesterday. Next Thursday we'll do something, I promise.

Today was actually sunny - probably the second sunny day of the entire month and we went for an awesome snowy walk at my favorite park. Then I got to go to Pet People and we bought more pumpkin and also my special bedtime-snack biscuit. And now I am trying to get some well-deserved rest:

Gotta zoom!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Today is my birthday!!

Look at what Sanne, El'bow and Hauwii did for my birthday! How cool!!! Thanks so much guys!

I am three years old today! Mom says she doesn't know where the time has gone and she can't believe I am three! Yesterday I got to go to my favorite park even though it was 27 degrees outside and still completely snow-covered - the sun was out and that was nice! Then I came home and had a marrow bone! Today we are supposed to get more snow and mom and I are hoping our class with Jenn will not be cancelled!

Mom made a video for me as a birthday present - she hopes you all enjoy it!

Gotta zoom!

Ricky - the birthday boy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's Day marks our one-year anniversary of trialing! Yep, one year ago today I made my AKC agility trial debut! I ran in Nov A JWW and Nov A STD and Q'ed and got first place in both!

In the past year I have done 9 standard runs - 3 Nov. STD, and 6 Open STD (2 Q's and 4 NQ's) and 11 JWW runs - 3 Nov.JWW, 5 Open JWW (3 Q's and 2NQ's - bad sand surface), and 3 Exec. A JWW - all resulting in my NA, NAJ, OAJ, and AXJ titles! We took a lot of classes and practiced in the backyard where we focused mainly on getting me to run faster and to enjoy the game. It seems to be working. Our last trial day was January 3 - here's the video:

So we're very excited to get started on our second year of trialing - our first chances are March 7 and then March 13-14. Then we have a couple days in April. Not sure how many trials we'll get to this year - they are not being held at the horse barn where we started trialing any more and so we have to travel farther. And I'm not sure how much money we will have to spend on trials. For now, besides having fun whenever we go, our goals this year are to get my AX and maybe my MXJ (but we are 10 Q's away from that and so a more realistic goal might be to get 5 Q's in Exc. B JWW).

Hope you all have a very special Valentine's Day - I send lots of licks and even a hug or two (not a fan of cuddling but I make an exception on VD Day) to all my blogging buddies!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

tRicky T-Day!

This week's trick is a game we have been playing for a while now (probably 3 months or more) and we kept waiting for it to be perfected but it just isn't happening! But through the magic of editing, we made a video showing only the good stuff! :) The object is word discrimination and distance (with a little body language thrown in). Sometimes I think I know better than mom and do my own thing instead of listening to her (but not in the video - LOL!).

We are pretty snowed in here - it's very tough to walk in the neighborhood but we do try. We also try to play in the yard, but that's difficult too. It's not as bad here as lots of other places but it's bad enough! I am just keeping my paws crossed that we can go to practice at the club tomorrow morning - our first agility (other than a jump in the bedroom and a tunnel in another bedroom) since Feb.1st!!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, February 8, 2010

A Yummy Bone and 10 Things

I was the luckiest dog in the world yesterday when mom gave me my very first raw beef marrow bone! Mom is pretty squeamish about such things and I was under strict orders to STAY on that towel but it didn't take away from the joy of chewing on that bone! It had amazingly good marrow inside and delicious strands of meat and fat on the outside. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

El'bow and Hauwaii and Eva asked us last week to list the 10 things that make me happy - so I have been thinking and thinking about what 10 things I want to list. Yesterday I would've said that marrow bone was the one and only thing that makes me happy -BOL!

Here goes:

1. Barking - just like my friend Misty, I love to bark and will use any occasion to do it

2. Jumping - not necessarily agility jumping, but jumping in the air out of excitement

3. Squirrels and cars - no need to explain

4. Chicken!! - actually almost any food I have tried except bananas and oranges

5. My backyard neighbors - 3 terriers (2 Cairns and a Westie) - especially the black Cairn - I'm obsessed with him

6. Learning new tricks - (of course this is related to #4)

7. Off-leash walks

8. Trips to grandma and grandpa's

9. Going to my favorite pet store - Pet People rules!

10. Blogging - this is really the #1 thing that makes me happy! I love all my blogging friends and feel very fortunate to have all of you in my life!

Gotta zoom!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowy Saturday

It's a very snowy Saturday here!

Grandpa took some pretty pictures this morning out at his house. They got more snow than we did.
Mom tried to capture the size of the snowflakes that fell for awhile yesterday. If you look at the fish pond and biggify, you should be able to see the huge flakes.
More photos from grandpa's yard (out of order because of blogger)! Look at the red-bellied woodpecker hiding in the tree!

No weaving today ( and no show n go - cancelled due to all this snow)!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

tRicky T-Day!

We made a super short video a couple months ago of me hugging a toy (it was shortly after Lian posted about Sing and Sizzle learning the same trick). The motion to hug with my feet was easy for me since I already knew how to put my paws around the cane in one of my cane tricks. I am still working on this trick - trying to hold the toy for a longer time and also trying to sit up pretty (beg) and hold it. But we thought we'd share this one good shot of me hugging any way. Blink and you'll miss it!

I also have another video to share with you - remember my power of extreme focus on the cheese video from last week's tRicky t-day? You know - where nothing mom did would make me look away from the cheese? The truth is I actually do know the "watch me" game and that same night, we made a video of me looking away from the pile of carrots on the floor and up into mom's eyes - mom cut her head off in the video so you'll just have to trust me that I am looking right at her! LOL! And for those of you who think carrots are much easier to ignore than cheese - well you don't know how much I LOVE carrots!

Worked on my emergency recall again today - we went to a park that we don't frequent much. There are some big grassy areas and lots of places where I can see cars going by on the roads. Mom put my 30 ft. long line on and held one end but pretty much let me wander where ever I wanted. When I got 30 ft. away, she blew the whistle and I came flying back to her and found out she had brought turkey!! Then we walked around and mom waited for me to see the cars - I got all excited and fixated on them and started to run towards the road (it was still quite a distance away - a football field length away probably and I was on the long ling - don't worry - mom was taking NO chances) and she blew the whistle and I whipped my head around and ran to her and got tons of turkey!! Mom did the same thing to me about 3 more times (in different places as we were walking around) and I chose her over the car each time! Hurray for me! But I was definitely far enough away to be under threshhold. And mom did not wait for me to fixate and fixate on the cars before she blew the whistle. Still we feel it was a positive recall day!

Gotta zoom!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Handling Class Week 5

No real detailed description of this week's class this time (grandpa will be happy!). I wish we had taken a photo of the jump set up so we could share it with you and also remember it better. This week's class was on sends again - focusing this time on parallel sends. As baby dogs we practice "go around" and that is the basis for the parallel send. I still love the "go around" game but I didn't know I was really learning the send. Any way, the handler needs to keep her shoulders straight pointing ahead to the parallel jump until the dog commits and then she can move in the direction of the next jump. Many handlers forget to do this and either pull their dog off the jump or cause a refusal. We also practiced off-set 180 jumps and a wrap after the second jump. Jenn told mom to try to keep herself moving in the jumps and not to stand around (mom can stand and wait for me if I am in a tunnel or chute and can't see mom but she shouldn't stop moving in jump sequences).

Next week we don't have class (Jenn is probably traveling somewhere) and after that only two more classes to go. We just found out that Jenn is not teaching any more until summer so we're not sure what class we'll do for March and April (maybe May too). Mom is super disappointed because she was already counting on taking Jenn's class again. The training club where we go is closing in Dec. 2010 - we don't know all the details about why - and we're not sure why Jenn isn't teaching there any more after this. Probably there is a lot going on that we are not aware of.

In other training news, mom thinks she taught me to pivot using Marie's suggestions but she used a window blind rod instead of a dowel (I thought the dowel was like my cane and offered all my cane tricks) - with the window blind rod, mom sort of nudged my thigh (flank, rear) a little so I would move my rear end first. That didn't take long because it reminded me of my flip trick and also my backwards circle trick. Here it is:

Am I doing it? I still need to learn how to get into a better heel position and how to do it on the right side.

After a month of practicing every day, I had my first failure on the emergency whistle recall! Mom is really bummed out about it. She tried it out at my grandparents' house yesterday for the first time - I came on the first try but when she tried to surprise me the second time, I was way too engrossed in some exotic smell (they have a lot of deer in their yard at night) and I didn't even LOOK at mom let alone give her my usual whiplash head turn. She didn't blow twice - she just came over and got me and ran back to where she had tried to call me. Then she set me up on a wait and walked a little distance away and tried again and of course, this time I listened. So it showed mom that she has been too smug in thinking I had the recall down! It proves to her that I now need to practice in new areas other than my yard and the park. Recall bootcamp continues for me!

We are looking forward to milder temperatures this week (above freezing at least) and may get in some agility practice in the backyard even if it is a little muddy. Mom is itching to get out there and try some of the stuff we are learning in class. Only 48 days to Spring everybody!!!!

Gotta zoom!