Saturday, May 30, 2009

Agility practice and more on the Flip!

First of all, I'd like to say that I had the class of my life on Wednesday night! I was feeling very confident and did everything much faster than my usual poke-along speed! People were asking mom what she was doing differently - she made up her mind to run faster and to be more confident herself and to not wait around for me. I guess it worked! Sorry there is no video to prove it all - typical! I even played with mom at the class and that is a big milestone for us!

The other day we practiced doing some 270 jumps (from our class the week before). We put our old camcorder on the tripod and warmed up with some tricks and then tried some sequences.

Then yesterday we set up the Flip camera on the tripod (in the same location as the other camera) and practiced some serpentines and pinwheels. Sorry the one jump in the serpentine is not in the camera view! Also the pinwheel is deeper than it looks on the video and mom didn't step into the pocket - she made me go and find the jump on my own.

We are liking the Flip more and more. It is really easy to operate and to carry around. It makes pretty decent quality videos. The only thing mom didn't like was the software. It is very basic but super simple to use. But she figured out how to get a Flip video into Windows Movie Maker. WMM won't accept a video clip from Flip but if you make a Flip movie, you can then import it into WMM and make a better movie from there. Diana asked if we thought the Flip would do well at a distance - we have seen video of agility trials and herding that turned out good. We are taking it to our next trial in June and we'll see.

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Class video

We took the Flip camera to class on Wednesday night and one of our former instructors was there and she was nice enough to stay around and video us! It was not our fastest, bestest class ever, but it was neat to have the video. That way mom was able to remember the sequences we did so that we could set them up at home and practice!

In the first half of the class we worked on discriminations (easier ones than last week) and contacts. I did great until we had a sequence with the table - I found a treat that was left over from the puppy class that happens before our class - some little puppy's lost treat became my treasure! My teeter is monumentally slow but did you see how one of my dogwalks was pretty fast?

In the second part of the class we worked on weave entries and 270 and serpentines. I work on serpentines at home, but in class they always seem to be angled differently or something. The 270 is something we haven't worked on much, but we have it set up in the yard right now to practice. (Yesterday I wasn't getting it at all until mom moved the jumps closer together). Any way, mom watched a very good classmate during this half to see how she walked the sequences. This worked out well for mom and theoretically well for me but not practically for me. So mom still needs to figure out how to run the sequences to motivate me. If she just stands there and expects me to run ahead and do all the work, it's just not going to happen right now! So get in there and run and do some front crosses, mom! I also got pretty distracted in the second half of class - I was a little tired from being outside all day long I guess.

Well, we hope you all have a good long weekend! We're still enjoying really nice weather here - although the last couple days have been too hot for me! Thursday evening we went to a bbq/birthday party at a friend's house - very fun. Today we are going out to grandma and grandpa's for another bbq - this time my cousin Wilson will be there! I am really looking forward to seeing him! 

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weave practice and some other stuff

We finally got the video to upload to YouTube. We ended up changing our browser to Google chrome on dad's advice. It worked but now our font is all different! And mom can't figure out how to change it! Any way, we put all 12 of our weave poles back in the ground and did a little practicing yesterday. The view of the poles isn't that great but hopefully you can see that I'm getting a little faster.

We have been pretty busy this week - we're doing lots of yard work and gardening since the weather has been so nice! I helped mom weed every where and then put out bag after bag of mulch. Last year we didn't mulch at all so it really needed to be done this year. I think it looks really good! Not to mention it all smells so good! I never get tired of going over and over the same areas just smelling and smelling.

The other day mom came home with a new toy - a Flip video camera! It is really cool and small and easy to use. She got the Utra HD and put a couple of test videos on YouTube to try out the Flip software. The only thing is their software is very basic and limited. So to get nicer editing, she wants to keep using Windows Movie Maker. But the Flip people made it difficult to use other people's editing software and mom thinks she'll have to convert the file type the Flip uses to something else. (Are your eyes glazing over yet? Mine are!). We are going to take it to our agility class tonight and hope someone will video us! (The weaving video was made with our old camera).

About agility class, I never wrote about our class last week. It was the 2nd novice competition class but our 1st since I missed one when I had that pain in my neck/shoulder. Class was very fun - this time there are four shelties in it! I am the only one who jumps 12" though. Mom and I had a lot of fun. We got more advice on how to teach obstacle discrimination - specifically tunnel and dogwalk. I am inclined to take whatever obstacle is in front of me and I don't really listen to what mom says. So we need to work a lot on that. 

Ok, more problems with this blog format. I wanted to put the video at the top of the post and write all my stuff underneath it, but I haven't been able to. Oh well.  

Gotta zoom!


7 Things

Dawn and Katie tagged us to play the "7 things I love most" game. So I'll try to name some things I love that I don't normally talk about (like we all know I love chasing cars, barking, chicken, etc.):

#1. the mail - I jump all over mom and bark wildly when she brings in the mail.
#2. paper towels - the sound of one being torn off the roll sends me into a frenzy
#3. squirt bottle - this often comes out in conjunction with the paper towel
#4. shower - when mom says she's gonna take a shower, I get all excited and jump and bark
#5. shoes - if mom is getting ready to go some where, I attack her shoes (on or off her feet)
#6. purse - when mom comes home, I bark at and try to bite at her purse
#7. lettuce - I go crazy and whine and run around the room when mom gets out salad fixings

Yes, I know these are weird "likes"! Can't explain them - they are what they are!

Mom and I tried all day yesterday to get YouTube to upload a video so we could post about what's been going on. Maybe it will work today!

Gotta zoom,


Sunday, May 10, 2009

My 2nd Agility Trial!

Here's the story:

On Thursday we talked to Dr. Jan and she said that since I seemed to be doing so well, I should take just one more dose of rimadyl (that made a total of 3 doses - 2 on Wednesday and 1 on Thursday) and start doing some regular activity and see how it goes. She said that I would tell mom if something was wrong. So we walked twice on Thursday and I also did a little running in the yard and some stair climbing. But mom and dad also worked on Thursday, so I still got some rest.

Then on Friday, mom pretty much let me do whatever I wanted (while she kept a very close eye on me)! We did our morning walk, and then in the afternoon, I ran like a mad dog around the yard! I got the zoomies really bad, I herded birds and squirrels, I raced around trying to chase motorcycle noises, and I even did a couple jumps and weaves. Mom watched me for any signs of soreness or pain. But I felt fine!! Believe me, I would've told mom if it hurt at all (just like I told her on Tuesday evening).

So we decided to go to the trial yesterday morning to at least get measured and then maybe do the JWW run since no contacts were involved. We got measured for our first official measurement at 14"! Hurray - that means I still got to jump 12"! Then we waited around for about 2 hours - we went on a little walk, pottied, warmed up and then it was finally my turn to run! Everything went well in the JWW - I felt great! We talked with my favorite trainer Deb and she said that I looked fine and mom thought I looked fine and happy to be there.

We went home for a little break (fortunately the trial is only 20 minutes from home). When I didn't show any signs of being tired or sore at home, mom decided to take me back and try the STD run. We had to wait 3 hours for my turn! While we were waiting, we got our second official measurement - 14"!!!!! I am officially a 12" jump-height dog!!!! No more worries about that! What a big relief for mom - I wasn't concerned about it at all, but she sure was! Yesterday the temperature was only around 70, but the humidity was high and it was dusty and hot in the building (horse barn). It was finally time for the STD run. The course started tire - aframe. So mom knew that if I felt good, we would know right away with the aframe. I went up and over the aframe with no problems! Maybe it was the humidity or the fact that we had waited around so long, but my STD run was not so fast - my weaves and teeter were super slow. But after I committed to going through the chute, I had some fast jumps and then I ran up the dogwalk and wow! What was that smell? I almost forgot what I was doing and then I heard mom and finished the dogwalk and the last jump and then I was done! 1st and Q again! (I won't tell you how many dogs were in my 12" novice class - but let's just say the competition was not too severe!)

Here are the course maps for anyone who is interested:

So we ended up having a good day! We really appreciated everyone's advice and comments on whether we should trial or not! And believe me, we did not ignore your advice! Most people said to stay at home and wait for the next trial and until the last minute, that's exactly what we were going to do. But the more mom watched me run and jump on Friday, the more she thought maybe it would be possible to go. And fortunately, it worked out ok!

Hope everybody has a wonderful Mother's Day today!

Gotta zoom!


We have some 'splaining to do!

We'll explain later.......
Gotta zoom!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Well I am feeling better, I guess. I had a very boring day yesterday. Mom put me on a leash inside and outside the house. She carried me up and down the stairs (we have a tri-level house so there are a lot of stairs), kept me from running and jumping, and basically made me rest all day. Dr. Jan highly recommended to us that mom give me the rimadyl. She said the benefits of the anti- inflammatory would outweigh the possible side effects of me being sick to my stomach. So mom gave it to me with lots of canned food to coat it and I kept it down and was fine. Whew - big sigh of relief. So it's difficult to tell if I am better because maybe the medicine is making my shoulder hurt less? Or maybe I am just ok and don't really need the medicine or rest any more? Just hard to tell.

Today mom and dad have to work most of the day so I will be forced to rest again. But mom is going to take me on my regular walk (if I seem fine while we are out there) and let me do a little on my own - like potty and some stair climbing. We're supposed to stay on the rimadyl for 2-3 days. This is Thursday so the big question is - How do we know if I'm well enough to go to the trial on Saturday? If I am well, then we want to go. But we also don't want to risk re-injury or making it all worse. Mom would rather miss this trial than have me be seriously hurt and out of commission for months. But she is a big worrier and maybe I really am ok to go. What would you guys do and how would you evaluate your dog's fitness?

Thanks to everybody for all your comments - we really appreciate your good wishes for my speedy recovery!

Gotta go walking!


PS. The morning walk went just fine - mom says I am acting normal. So now is it the rimadyl or am I all better?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You won't believe it.....

You're never going to believe it, but you know how my second trial is this Saturday? Well, yesterday late afternoon I did something to my neck or shoulder and it hurt so much that all I wanted to do was cuddle with mom. (I hate cuddling, you know). Mom was so upset - I didn't want to run or play or bark at dogs, squirrels, people, cars, etc. Even when I was sick before with diarrhea or the time I vomitted all night long, I was still myself - still Ricky. Last evening mom said I was like a different dog. I stood around with my head hanging down. So subdued and quiet and clingy. Mom called Dr. Jan and she suggested crate rest and warm heat on my neck. We had some rimadyl left over from when I was neutered, but mom was afraid to give it to me (remember the aspirin episode), so we decided to try resting in the crate all night. When mom let me out this morning, I was wagging my tail and licking her and best of all, I stretched really well a few times! Mom is thrilled to see that I am better. But she is still going to be careful with me today - no jumping, no stairs - and we are going to miss our first agility class tonight. We are keeping our fingers crossed again for the trial though. Maybe we'll be able to do it. But really, can you believe it?

Gotta rest up again!!


Monday, May 4, 2009

It's May!

May is here! And we're spending so much time outside that we barely have time to blog! This is a great problem to have! We're so glad winter is over!!!!!!!!!!!

Our bridal veil bush is in full bloom and does a great job of hiding a bunch of stuff:

The front flower garden is really coming along. The irisies are blooming so early this year:
These big yellow ones are some of mom's favorites:

We got new patio furniture (we used to have a very small bistro table with two chairs that we borrowed from grandpa and grandma and used for years) complete with umbrella. Mom made me sit in a chair - I was not too happy about it:

Now four people can sit and eat - so grown-up, isn't it?

In the backyard the irises are getting ready to bloom. See, they have lots of buds:

We have been doing backyard agility but not taping any of it. I start my novice competition class again this Wednesday evening. And on Saturday (cross your fingers and hold your breath that we stay healthy this time) we go to our second AKC trial!
And now it's my DINNERTIME!
Gotta zoom!