It's our tRicky T-Day and we just don't have anything exciting to share. You all know how my pick-up-toys trick is going and it hasn't gotten any better! We keep working on a few others too but some tricks just need time to sink in.
Any way, mom taught me this trick so that if I am ever in my life inclined to catch a frisbee, I will have some cool moves to go along with it!
We did go to the club for agility practice this morning and I had fun! No agility in 10 days seems to have agreed with me! I did FAST weaves and teeter and tunnels and had no hesitation on jumps including the double. Mom didn't babysit me at the double today either - she ran past it and she made me do it as part of a 180. Of course, I am really comfortable in that building but I am still proud of myself!
Wish we had video of my agility but we don't. Mom also had me practicing with my dumbbell. I am not very confident there yet and won't go and retrieve it. But I did get better at walking with it and we got a little video of that. We need to practice in other places a lot more so that I can feel confident outside of the house.
Now for something non-dog related - mom and dad are playing a concert tomorrow night that is supposed to be a gala celebration of the orchestra's 60th birthday. But because nothing ever is really easy in the music world around here check out the controversy surrounding the famous soloist for tomorrow's event:
I had to miss my class today again (for the second week in a row) because mom had to WORK! Bummer. I am getting so far behind. Last week they worked on forward and lateral sends and the handler moving downstream for a front cross. I don't know yet what they worked on today.
Tomorrow we are planning to go to practice at our club. Finally I can do some agility!
In the meantime, we've been pretending that it isn't cold and snowy and going out to walk at my favorite park. On Sunday, it was sunny and 17 degrees. But mom bundled up and we went out. We had an awesome time! Apparently even though the city does not plow our neighborhood streets, they do plow the bike path through the park. I got to be off-leash on the bike path (which could never happen during nice weather due to all the joggers and bikers). Believe it or not, there were still some diehard joggers out and I was a good boy and sat and stayed while each one passed. But I also got to run ahead and come back and go ahead and come back - it was FUN! Then we went yesterday too and did much of the same thing except that it was cloudy and 25. Today felt like a heat wave at 38 but I was stuck inside most of the day while mom WORKED!
Mom is studying her Developing Handling Skills book and really enjoying it but it is slow going. She fell into classes with Jenn and the APHS and never taught me that stuff from the beginning so the book is filling in a lot of gaps in her knowledge. But we think it is an excellent system and makes sense - all based on a dog's natural ability to read motion. Some times it seems to mom like there is so much to remember but really it is a lot of common sense. One of the big rules is not to say "Here" or "Come" or use the dog's name as a turning cue. Why not, mom always wondered. Well because if you use verbals to get your dog to turn then it starts to override the dogs ability and desire to watch your motion and negates all you have been trying to do. Put that way makes lots of sense to us!
Mom is feeling better today - not 100% but definitely better! Thanks to everyone for your concerned comments! I am feeling ok too - I actually had to get another round of antibiotics because I still have that bacteria in my system and have not gotten back to normal pooping. I SWEAR I have not been eating more bunny poop (well, maybe one tiny piece here and there - that's all I can sneak as mom has been watching me like a hawk even while being sick)!
I think my tricky t-day trick is a totally logical progression from my puppy in the bowl trick. My aim is not great yet though as you will see!
We are getting tons of snow again. Mom took yesterday off from work but is going today - snow or no snow (but it's for sure snow). She has two rehearsals and will come home in between for me to have dinner. I sure hope she makes it!
Winter is awful this year! Will it ever be Spring?
So Mom felt better yesterday but in the evening still had a little bit of a fever. This morning she decided she had finally better go to the doctor! The doctor didn't know what was wrong with her - he said it sounded more like a virus (flu-type maybe) but could be bacterial. He sent her home with an antibiotic prescription but told her not to fill it if she feels better tomorrow. He thinks she is almost over whatever it is. Crazy. But he told her she made the right decision to come in since she had had a fever off and on for a week.
We couldn't go to the trial this morning. Mom has been sick off and on since Wednesday - like bronchitis or something - and she has had a fever each afternoon that then seems to go away. But this morning she woke up with a fever and a headache plus the cough. She has not been sleeping at night either. So she told me we couldn't go. Oh well - I don't mind hanging out here at home any way!
I'll just rest on my chute laurels from yesterday - LOL!
We went to my first-ever USDAA trial today held at a training facility near us. It was a one-ring Starters/P1 and Advanced/P2 trial. We signed up for two of the first classes of the day - Gamblers and Standard. I had to get measured by the judge before I could run and that judge measured me at a whopping 15 1/2" tall! No way (I am officially 14" for AKC) but I was nervous and standing with my back arched. Good thing we weren't worried about a cut-off height or anything. Mom entered me in the Performance level so that I could jump 12" (like preferred in AKC).
First up was P1 Gamblers. Mom asked for advice in understanding the rules on the course map and then made up a plan. 1357 system means that jumps are worth 1 point each, tunnels are 3 points, contacts are 5 points and the weave poles are 7 points. I had to get 18 points (I think) in 30 seconds (I got 20) and then when the buzzer sounded, I had 16 seconds (I think) to complete the gamble (the obstacles on the other side of the dotted line and mom was not allowed to cross the line). She was shocked to see the gamble - jump, chute, jump - but she was more surprised at the result you'll see in the video!
After gamblers we waited less than an hour and a half and did the P1 Standard course. This course had a STC of 70 seconds and should've been a piece of cake for me but I decided to make it interesting by pretending not to know how to do a down on the table and cut the timing very close - LOL!
So I did well and everything - especially with the chutes - but I was not faster like mom was hoping I would be. I felt fine though. Maybe tomorrow will be different. I am just doing P1 Jumpers and Standard on Sunday. Today we were done and home by 11:30AM. Crazy, huh?
Grandpa came with grandma today to his first agility trial! He had fun watching all the dogs and really enjoyed seeing me run in person! It was awesome having them both there! And thanks again to grandma for more good video-ing! :)
My class posts aren't very interesting any more. I can't get outside to make demo videos and we are refining our skills - going back over handling moves and trying to make them better - so there isn't a whole lot to talk about. Today we worked on forward motion front crosses again - this time making more of an effort to think about whether we wanted true collection (the FMFC placed your jump height away from the landing side of the jump), relative collection or more extension. And we were reminded that of course the handler has to be ahead of the dog to do the FMFC and also has to get her outside arm up and ready before the dog commits to the jump. FMFC are really just recalls to heel in motion so think about that especially when practicing them at one jump.
I did pretty well - I did refuse the double in my first sequence but did it after that. I read mom's FC well etc. After mom and I ran a longish sequence and did it right, one lady in our class yelled out some thing like, "Well it's easy to do if you have a slow dog!" Mom yelled back (half teasing but half serious too) - "Shut up!" I mean mom sounded like she was kidding and she doesn't go around telling people to shut up. But seriously, we were sort of hurt by that comment. We know that my slower speed allows time for mom to get information to me but if we do something well, can't we just feel good about it?
Pretty exciting, huh? Can you believe I went from not being able to walk or to sit holding the dumbbell and now I can jump with it? We can't wait for nicer weather to be able to try this outside!
I scared mom this morning by not wanting to eat! I threw up a little white foamy stuff when I got up (my tummy was too empty) and then didn't want to eat (I did eventually). I was very subdued and quiet and mom was worried. Grandma and grandpa came over for awhile to help with a plumbing problem while mom and dad were at work and they kept me company. By the time mom came home for lunch, I felt a lot better and mom was really relieved!
We finally went back to class yesterday! It was fun to be there again. Tuesday's class was all about rear crosses - not our favorite thing. Our warm up was startline stay exercises and I BROKE my startline at least twice - mom was thrilled! Each handler had their dog stay at a jump and then had to play tricks on the dog - jump up and down, pound on the ground, run past the dog, call the dog with a word like"pizza" instead of the release word, etc. We had done those before and I never moved a muscle. Yesterday I broke and I didn't get rewarded with a treat but I could tell mom was happy that I was so excited to play!
Our rear crosses went ok. The first drill was jump, rear cross, jump, and then either the dogwalk, the teeter or another jump. We were working on different kinds of rear crosses - driving forward for more extension or decelerating for collection. We are now supposed to think about the forward or lateral components of the RC and not just about the mechanics of doing one. I got to jump the double a bunch of times and mom made sure to run with me and to keep me straight going over it.
The most exciting thing that happened at class was I tugged with my sock toy twice!! I have never tugged on a toy there ever before! Mom was ecstatic! She is hoping that some day she can get me to tug before running in a trial - that is a LONG way off but at least I tugged a little between my turns.
I am sad to report that I am having another bout of diarrhea - it started last night and I had mom up at 4:30AM. This afternoon I really didn't feel good and wanted to cuddle with mom so she knew something was really wrong. Dr. Jan just went back to work at the clinic so we got an appointment. Apparently I have clostridium bacteria in my system again - from eating too much bunny poop! Mom always tells me to leave it because it will make me sick and darn it if she wasn't right! I am on an antibiotic now and we are hoping I will feel much better soon. Diarrhea is no fun (especially with a furry Sheltie)!
Happy New Year everybody! Grandma, mom and I went to one day of a trial today - my first trial since September when my back hurt and I was refusing jumps all over the place. In December we went to practice doubles and triples at my club every Wednesday and I've been doing very well there. So our goal was to do the jumps and have fun.
First up was the standard course. It was pretty twisty-turny and had turns after each spread jump. I don't know if you can see on the video but the triple jump (#6) had wings and they put the wings in line with the middle jump of the triple and not with the highest bar. A lot of dogs misjudged it and crashed. I fell into that trap too and knocked the top bar (although it is also hard to see in the video). But mom was glad that I recovered from that - I was not fast and I was very careful over all the rest of the jumps, but I did not refuse them. I even did the double at #14. I did the chute with just the tiniest bit of hesitation - really one of my best chutes in a trial. And of course my finish was fast - :)
After that was JWW. The course was fairly simple so don't you know, mom had to go and mess it up! I started out slow but steady. Then mom got to #7 and forgot what she was doing and took me over the off course (#13). I'm sorry but that was just plain stupid!! She got back on track and I skipped jump #13. I think it was because mom yelled so enthusiastically about me clearing the double at #12 that she threw me off! (Too bad my jumping of #13 earlier didn't count). I did the spread jumps and I flew through the tunnel at the end!
(Sorry but the first 3 jumps of the STD run are not in the video - the video starts at #4 teeter - thank you grandma for videoing though - we really appreciate it!)
So no Qs today but some positive things happened I guess. In two weeks we are going to try our first-ever USDAA trial. It is being held at a training building not far from here. I am going to run in Performance Starters. At the performance level I can jump 12" and there are no spread jumps! (If I jumped at the championship level I would have to jump 16" and mom doesn't want me to). We'll see if we like it. I am going to do Gamblers on the first day and we don't really know how to do it - I think it is like FAST, right?
Well, the holidays are over and mom and dad go back to work this week. I like having them at home with me but I am thinking that I won't have a problem taking some good long naps!
My name is Ricky (Covewind Little Ricky, AX,AXJ,CGC) and I am a six year old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. I do agility and I like to learn tricks too! This blog is about all that and some other stuff as well!