Friday, October 29, 2010

A Fun Hike!

Dad, mom and I went for a fun hike today at one of our favorite places - Clear Creek Metro Park. It takes us about 45 minutes to get there, but boy is it worth it! We had the whole place to ourselves! It was supposed to be a sunny day but when we got there (around 12:30PM) it was cloudy and in the upper 40s. Mom even had to wear ear muffs because the breeze was so cool. It was perfect weather for me though! We did the pet trail - which is a dirt road up to the top of the ridge - and then on our way back we went on the Lake Trail (it technically did not say "no pets"). That trail was awesome - it went through forest and then a hemlock forest and then down to a little lake. We didn't get great photos but here are some so you can see any way.

We walked for a little over an hour and by that time, the sun came out. I got the zoomies really bad at the grassy picnic area and dad tried to get video, but I was way too fast. We did see an amazing flock of migrating grackles - it was very cool - and here is a little video so you can see and hear them too!

Sorry about the lack of a tRicky T-Day video yet again this week! We ARE still playing, Sara and Oreo, so don't give up on us! Thank you for keeping it going all these weeks that we miss!

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday's class

Serpentines and lateral sends were the theme of yesterday's class. I jumped 8" but there weren't any doubles or triples in the set up for us to try out. We warmed up with some serpentine recalls to heel over one jump. Mom was glad we had been practicing those at home so we had no trouble. Then we did a weave exercise with lateral motion. Jenn had the handlers start close to their dogs at the entries and then move laterally away as the dog continued weaving. She moved the lateral distance farther and farther away but my weaves are super independent ( sorry but I have to brag a little!) and it was no problem for me!

Then we moved on to the actual sequences with serpentines. We discussed single-sided handling and side-change handling. A general rule is if after the serpentine you are heading to any obstacle that is on the same side as the serp entry, then single sided makes sense. If you need to go to an obstacle on the other side of the serp, then side change may work better - so a FMFC. Think about the tightest line possible to help your dog get through the serp. So recalling him at his jump height from the bar and good lateral motion can create tighter lines. The good lateral motion involves having a good send to the first jump in the serp. Handlers need to remember to keep their shoulders straight while moving laterally until the dog commits to the jump. Finally, the single-sided serp handling is a trained skill for the dog and it is appropriate to say the dog's name before he commits to the second jump (I think I have that part right?).

Besides traditional serpentines, we practiced doing the first two jumps and then having the dog come through between the 2nd and the 3rd. It's hard to explain but we made a video and here's what we tried to do:

1. Lead out, single-sided to pull through between the 2nd and 3rd jump of the serp
2. No lead out, regular 3 jumps single-sided serp
3. No lead out, pull through
4. Lead out, double front cross bringing dog between the 2nd and 3rd jump - this is a safer option and is what we would do in a trial
5. No lead out, double front cross
6. Serp from the other direction (sorry you couldn't see the weaves at the end)

I don't understand why the video is the correct size in the preview but when I publish the post, the video is too big. Silly. Sorry but to see the video properly, you have to double click on the center of it and watch it at YouTube.

Gotta zoom!


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Double

Dr. Jan wanted to see me jumping a double jump so we made this video for her and just decided to share it with everyone. I had no trouble today and even jumped the jump when mom wasn't looking (before we started working together).

Mom went back and looked at parts of my trial videos from the past few months this afternoon and was sad to see that she had to go all the way back to March 2010 to see me jumping more freely. She didn't realize that I had been having trouble for so many months. She knew that I had refused some jumps but she thought it was her handling or me being slow and not confident or it was just my jumping style (or lack there of). Mom doesn't really know what to think any more.

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

tRicky T-Day!

We are really out of ideas for tricks! There are some tricks that we keep working on from time to time - handstand, limp, open door, roll up in blanket, holding different objects. But these tricks don't seem to get any better!

So because we still want to keep participating, here is our trick for today that I actually learned today! Mom is trying to get me to drive to the box and turn and sit quickly. The first times I tried it in the upstairs bedroom and hallway were the best (of course we didn't have the camera on), then later we moved to the living room and then finally outside. The distance outside is pretty good but it's hard to tell in the video. Also I decided to lie down one time since mom forgot to say sit. For anyone who trains obedience - is this one way to train go outs? And if so, what command do you use and how do you fade the box?

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's class

I went back to class today for the first time in 3 weeks! Today's class was all about forward sends. Actually it started out with a startline stay exercise. I had to sit and wait and let mom take off my leash and then put it back on, then sit and wait while she lead out and came back, then do it again while she did jumping jacks and then pounded on the floor and then pretended to release me with a word that is not my release word (ok) and motion - mom said "pizza" and put her arm in the air. All easy for me, I did not break my startline. Any way, you get the idea - proof your startline stays!

Our first sequence was DW, forward send, and then back down a line of jumps that included a double. I jumped 12" and looked fine but refused the double. Mom kept going and I happily finished the sequence. After that mom moved me down to 8". The next sequence had the double in it too and I jumped it at 8". So mom thinks I am either still a little sore or I have lost my confidence about doing the spread jumps since it hurt so much to do them in August and September. Hopefully that is all it is.

The good news today is I did the chute both times!

Random forward send thoughts (nothing new - just reminders):

1. the handler needs to keep both of her shoulders facing forward toward the jump until the dog commits

2. the handler can go as close to the jump as necessary for her dog - send does not mean distance

3. a good forward send helps get the handler into a better position (ahead) to show the dog where to go next (like if you are not changing sides, the handler needs to see that the dog is committed and then turn and RUN)

4. don't forget to practice sends to a jump that is parallel to you (ie. dog is heading toward the jump upright thingy and not heading straight on toward the bar). A "parallel" send is a really good skill to have

We are pulling out of the one day of the trial we were entered in this weekend (Friday). Mom wants me to be stronger and more confident before we trial again and doesn't want me to continue to practice refusing the big jumps. We are going to keep jumping 8" in class for awhile and work at home on getting me going again. There's no hurry now. The next trial we might enter is New Year's weekend. Plenty of time to relax and keep working on foundation stuff.

Gotta zoom!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Day before Class

Mom's getting nervous about our class tomorrow - she's hoping I don't show any signs of my back problem. I told her I am ready and for her to stop worrying!

We fixed 5 of my jumps this weekend and added jump cups (Dawn told us about this website awhile ago and we just got around to doing something about it) so that those 5 jumps are all 12" and the bar will come down if I hit it. Mom wants to be able to monitor my jumping a little better and also teach me that if I knock a bar, it's not the end of the world and I should go on (if I knock bars in trials, I get all weirded out).

Here is the video of me trying the jumps out today - my first time doing more than two jumps in a row since September 26. Do I look ok? A couple times mom thought she saw me add extra strides. Might just be my jumping style though since I am a cautious, want-to-get-it-right kind of dog.

Gotta zoom!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Training Challenge #10 and Recalls to Heel

This week we went back to the site of training challenge #1 - Antrim Lake. We couldn't believe that it had already been two months since we were there. We had been meaning to repeat this challenge much sooner. And we should have - I was a B-A-D dog! I did much better the last time we were there. This time I lunged and barked and whined at cars. I told mom what could she expect - I had been resting my back for two weeks and I needed to release some of that pent up energy! So I pulled and barked my way along the path near the highway. Then when we got to the backside of the lake and I was allowed to drag my leash, I did a little better. We went down on the footpath in the woods that parallels the main path (that's where the wordless Wednesday photos came from) and I wanted back up on the main path so badly - every time there was an access, I either ran half-way up it or looked pleadingly at mom - when it finally came time to get back up there, I flew up and scared the poop out of a jogger! Mom apologized and felt bad for the girl. See - I had absolutely no manners out there.

We know we need to repeat all of the training challenges we have done this summer. It was good to get out there and try new things each week but one time didn't solve any of my issues.

Any way, how do all of you who are participating in the training challenge feel about ending the challenge for now and picking it up again in the Spring? We are really impressed by everyone's results this summer! I think we all got out there and got out of our comfort zones and learned a lot! We appreciate all of your support and encouragement! I feel like the training challenge was a huge success thanks to all of you!

I am slowly getting back into agility. Mom has been very careful with me this week. We have been doing warm-up exercises like the ones in Clean Run this month. And we are doing the stretching exercises shown in this Agility Nerd post. I have also been doing a little ball work. I have been jumping one jump and occasionally two and then yesterday I got to do 6 weaves twice! While I was injured we worked on recalls to heel on the flat. Now we are adding a jump. I think I am looking pretty good but mom still wishes I would blast off the startline. She is happy that I seem to be more focused and happy to be working. We made a video - nothing very exciting. First foundation RTH. Then extension RTH. Then backy-uppy RTH. These are the ones we were doing on the flat. The foundation one is the most important one, I think.

My class starts up again on Tuesday. We'll see how I do. I have one day of a trial scheduled for Friday and mom is not sure she wants me to go. That is my last trial until New Year's Day. So either we go and try it or we cancel and give me two more months off from trialing. If I look good in my class, maybe we'll go?

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teeny Tiny tRicky T- Day!

Ok, mom thinks this is very cute and the video was edited down from over two minutes to 8 seconds! LOL! We recommend that you watch in full screen and don't blink or you will miss it!!!

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm ok!

I just came back from seeing Dr. Jan at her house again - she was nice enough to re-examine me to see if my back pain was gone. Well, she said I feel much better! She checked my spine and my knees again. She pushed on exactly the same spot along my lower back that last time brought me to my knees but not today. So she says I am good to go back to my usual routine but that mom should ease me into the agility stuff. Fine by us! We have a whole week to go until our class starts again so we have plenty of time to go slow. The real test will be when I try a spread jump for the first time. We won't do that until next week at least and maybe not even then. Luckily at class we can do as little or as much as we think I can.

Now all I need is for mom to stop worrying! She has been a mess! And even now that she got the good news about me, she is still having trouble letting go of the worry and believing that I am ok. She hasn't been able to keep her mind on doing fun stuff with me - no trick-training, no training challenges, no blog posts. She has been either at work or at home obsessing and worrying about me. I am hoping that she feels better about things soon and that we can get back to having some fun!!

Gotta zoom (apparently I am finally legally allowed to)!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dax is already a star!

Remember the little border collie puppy Dax that my mom shamelessly played with while she was on vacation in San Diego and I was pining away for her at grandma and grandpa's last month? He would be my uncle Dax, I guess. Any way, he is the already the star of his own video! He is learning how to be a great obedience dog like his brothers Kyle and Kellan. Check him out - he is doing so well and it is really cool to be able to see a master obedience trainer at work with a puppy!

My vet Dr. Jan called yesterday to hear how I was doing. Mom told her I am full of energy and that on Tuesday, I took off in the backyard to chase the mailman at the fence and was running super fast and jumped a hosta with full extension - I flew through the air and it felt so good! Dr. Jan told mom to start trying me just a little with low jumping. So I got to do some warm up tricks - fun! - and then did some recalls to heel over an 8 in. jump and it was AWESOME! I was so very happy to be doing something again! I still have a lot of resting to do but I think I get to do a little more jumping later today. Guess only time will tell if I am healed or not.

Gotta zoom (soon)!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Training Challenge #9 (hard to really call this a training challenge but we're going to instead of just not posting one this week)

Many of you have already been faced with this training challenge or are also facing it right now the same as us. The challenge - no training! And dealing with baby gates and stairs! LOL! We live in a split level house - it's upstairs to the bedrooms and downstairs to the lower level, the garage and the backyard. I usually go up and down these stairs 500 million times a day. Since I am not allowed to do stairs for 14 days (10 more to go - we started counting over when I got the Deramaxx), mom carries me up and down and up and down while moving the baby gates from top to bottom and back.

The no training part of the challenge is really difficult for us! We miss it so much! I jumped my last jump a week ago. (I feel for all of you who have been in rehab for so long - like Miley). We try to work on tricks, etc. but it's hard to keep me from boinging (reminds me of Oreo when he was going through his 3+ months of rest and rehab). Mom started to teach me some crate games - we don't have the official Susan Garrett DVD but we watched this video to get an idea of how to start:

We are also still working on recalls to heel on the flat but just in the house and over a very small distance. I am driving toward mom better now - of course because I am dying to do something!!

One thing is for sure - this week's training challenge definitely meets the criteria of "out of our comfort zone"!

Gotta zoom (I wish)!