Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reflections and goals

It has been super slow here at work so I have had time to read over a years worth of blog posts and reflect (yeah, I am super bored).  This week is the week that the university technically closes down but those of us who don't want to use our leave come up here anyway and slog around doing menial chores.  I started out the week busy but today and yesterday were super slow.  Of course I can't really leave, don't have anywhere really to go.  Today they are suppose to start day 1 of finishing the floor.  Looks like if things move according to schedule  (don't hold your breath because I am not holding mine) that this part of the house remodel will be done by saturday morning.  Lucky for me, I am heading to st. louis for a three day USDAA show so I will at least have a couple of nights in peace.  I am traveling with my friend who likes to get up super early so we shall see how my morning sickness copes.  Usually if I can get up and lay back down for a little bit, I am fine.  Still trying to figure out how to ferret my Keurig in her small car and all of my stuff.  I should get back on topic now.

What a year!  I have had so much fun running Deuce.  Of course we have had our lows (first USDAA show and 22 inch poles that he couldn't figure out so we got an E in every run) but we have had some great highs as well.  Are we where I want us to be yet, no but we are getting there.  He just runs faster and faster every time i run him so he is sometimes hard to figure out.  What worked last show or worked in practice may totally change.  We are still battling weave pole demons but I am hoping with going back and retraining the 2 x 2s that we have fortified how important entries are.  We shall see this weekend.  He now drives to the bottom of his dog walk almost 100% of the time and his a-frame has improved a ton.  He still wants to creep into position if I am doing a front cross at the bottom so I am trying to do all blinds as long as they are applicable at the end of the a-frame so I keep moving.  He does still surprise me though, like blowing his hold on the a-frame at the last show while I was doing my blind cross (hello, why are you on the wrong side) and occasionally not coming in for jumps when I am trying to execute a FC ( you can jump into the space I am giving you silly dog), but overall he has improved so much.  I am really happy with where we are right now and am keeping my finger's crossed that the weave pole entry issue is solved.  If not, we will continue to train and work hard in the coming year.

Goals are a little hard to think about right now.  All of that kind of changed when I got preggers.  I am going to try and show through april at least and then probably sit out may and of course June.  Where we go from there is a big mystery.  Daycare is going to eat up alot of my free money and am not sure how much I am going to be able to teach this coming year to supplement my show income.  Here lately with the house issues, my teaching has totally paid for everything show, so I am hoping I can get at least one if not two more sessions in before I calve (i mean have the baby:)  I would still like to go to USDAA nationals this year since it is so close but with a four month old baby, that may be up in the air as well.  I would also like to qualify for Tulsa 2013 but  we don't have much AKC coming up close by.  We only have one show in January local that is, and none in February unless i travel to St. louis, which I really, really don't like doing in winter.  March only has one AKC trial and then april has two and then I am done.  Heck, I may be done before that but will probably have someone else run him if I can't in april.  So I guess my goals for this year will mainly be get this weave pole problem under control and figure out how to show with a baby on my hip.  I know it can be done and I am one determined individual so I will try my hardest to get it done.  Oh well, here is to 2012 and what it brings!  Happy New Year!!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

2 x 2 weaves, Day 8

I was bad and gave Deuce a day off yesterday since it was christmas.  Figured he needed it anyway and we were gone most of the day anyway celebrating christmas with friends.  Our yard, which was covered in ice, is now covered in mud so I am going to be taking the poles on the road and tearing up other people's yards LOL!  We added the third set of poles  today so starting all the exercises over again.  Today I took my poles to the park and worked exercise 6 and 7 (where we move around the clock together).  He was great until we hit 11 again and he just wants to curl in and take that 2nd set of poles.  I tried releasing him and stepping towards him and putting my hand out and starting at 11 at the first set of poles and then moving to 11 on the second set and so on.    Seems like we will just struggle with this one like we did with the other entry he was having issues with.  He always seems to get through it even if it takes a couple of days.  I will start with this entry the next exercise and continue to work it till we get it with a better success rate.  1 time out of 10 SUCKS!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2 x 2s Day 7

Okay so I know SG says you should be weaving 12 poles in 12 days but since Deuce knows how to weave, spending more time on the accuracy of entries with MEB's method than the actually weaving part.  Today we started doing all of our sessions outside.  Mother nature is blessing us with unusually warm weather and the icy parts are starting to melt.  Tomorrow is suppose to be 54!  YIKES!  We have a show next friday so I am hoping we will be ready.  I feel like tomorrow we will be able to add the third set of poles and start all the work over with.  I was suppose to go do some work today but it was so beautiful out that I wanted to get weave pole work done instead.  Plus, I like watching the flooring guys work because then I know they are actually doing work.  Session 1 and 2 today were just doing exercise 10 and starting exercise 11 plus adding that tough entry that he was having trouble with the past couple of days.  I am happy to report that through all of those struggles, I think he finally has it now!  He has been 100% on the entry where he is at 3 and I am 1.  He was also getting a very tough entry on exercise 11 where he is at 9 and I am at 3.  GOOD BOY!  Will try and take advantage of this nice weather and do a couple of more sessions this afternoon.

Session 2 and 3.  Great sessions.  He only missed one entry out of both sessions.  He had great drive and was looking straight ahead for his reward.  Started using my motion as part of the equation and look forward to adding another set of poles tomorrow and taking our show in the road.   This has been a really fun process and I really look forward to using this with stella when she is ready to be trained on weaves!

Friday, December 23, 2011

2 x 2s day 6

Session 1.  Had to stay inside this morning.  Heavy frost made the ice and the not so icy patches too slick to be outside.  Started with Exercise 8 again and got stuck on me at 1 and him at 3, even when I moved further and further back.  If i am right next to him at 3 with him, he gets it.  If i am any distance away, he goes in the second pole.  Hmmmm........I got one good entry and moved up and then would come back to see if I could repeat the success.  He was nailing everything else, even when I was at 11 and he was at 9.  Ended on him getting it correctly and will start there again before we move to exercise 9.  Not sure why this entry is so hard for him.  I have to say usually on course he beats me to weaves so maybe he just isn't use to me being in front of him?  Taking the dogs to the other house today on my way to work.  Just don't want them here crated in the downstairs while they are working on the floor.  They claim they are going to get it fixed and a coat of stain on it today.  I am not holding my breath.

A very quick session 2.  Had 5 minutes before i had to leave for work.  Weaves were still set up.  Thought I would try my luck on that tough entry again.  Still having issues.  Sometimes will get it if I step towards him sometimes not.  Sometimes will get it if I have my hand up sometimes not.  Still haven't figured out the key to this one.  Ended it when he had one successful entry at 3, BIG party.  Will go onto exercise 9 but will work this particular entry in randomly throughout to see if i can work it some more.  Hate to see him have so many failures on this entry:(  Hoping to get off at a decent hour so i can work outside.

Session 3 and 4.  Got off work while it was still light out.  Found a small non icy patch to put him and the poles.  Started off with that tough entry.  Still not getting it.  Maybe 1 out of 4 tries he got it.  Focused on the rest of exercise 9 and just randomly worked that entry in.  He nailed every other entry in that exercise but still having trouble with the entry at 3.  I guess this will just be our waterloo.  Will continue to work it on on the exercises we are currently on.  Will start exercise 10 tomorrow.  Suppose to be a beautiful day so I should be able to get outside and maybe even go to the park and work.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 x2 weaves day 5

Started off the day with a migraine.  I really, really didn't want to train or go to work but i have to.  My morning sickness is running my life right now and dammit, I have too much to do to let it get me down.  I am hoping I am not getting sick but worried it might be from smelling floor fumes as I am congested and run down feeling.  We still have a week of this but are moving out when they start the finish on the living room floor.  I think since that room is twice the size of the dining room and the fact that we can't be upstairs is too dangerous for us to be in the house.  Should only be out three days and then we can move back in and enjoy our beautiful floors.  Not sure when we will get the kitchen floor done, need to rebuild the subfloor first.  May take a floor break just to get back our sanity for a little while.

Session 1.  We worked two sets of poles and us both moving around the clock together (exercise 6 and 7).  Where as Deuce really struggled last night, this morning he was perfect (well almost).  He missed two entries on the first try and that was because he gets so excited, if i don't reset him and make him sit and calm down, he just runs at them balls to the wall and takes what he gets.  He LOVES this game!  We are ready to move on to exercise 8-11 where we both move around the clock independantly.  I have been saying go weave a few times accidently so trying to keep my mouth shut and let him offer still.  I hope I can get done at a decent hour today at work and go outside and do some work.  He drives to the poles and drives though them but want to be on grass where he can really dig.

Session 2.  Finally got outside.  Can you believe it is just now getting dark and it is 5:30 YIPEEE!  Found a patch free of ice and got some work done with speed.  He still seems to get going so fast that he misses sometimes.  I will probably try and get a session in again tomorrow morning outside if the weather permits and repeat what we did today.  I mainly just worked around the clock with him on my left and him on my right but me with him on the clock.  He still at first missed his entry with him on the right and me at 11 oclock.  Finally found it and got it successfully twice both times with huge parties.  Same thing on the other side, when I got to say 2, he kept going in the wrong pole.  Got it wrong several times but I was bound and determined to let him struggle and figure it out.  Man was he driving to the poles and out of the poles like a madman.  Who knew the food tube was that cool?  Anyway, again, he finally got it twice in a row and I had HUGE parties both times and quit.  Will start with those two again next time I am outside.  Will try and get one more session tonight in the bedroom with the two sets and work me being on separate sides of the clock than he.  Suppose to be a nice weekend so hoping we can get some good outside work in this weekend.  Speed is a huge factor in him missing so the more distance I can get from the poles so he can work up speed, the better.

Session 3.   Did not go very well at all.  Started having me at 1 and him at 5, 4, 3.  Got stuck at 4, got past it but got really stuck at three.  He did want to go get that entry correct, he wanted to just come to the pole I was closest to.  Since the article did not say when I do the around the clock work if I should stand at 1 near the first set of poles or the second set, and I was at the second set, went back to standing at the first.  Finally got two correct entries, big party, quitting time.  Will start with those two entries tomorrow during first session.  EXHAUSTED!  Injected 300 beetles today and then moved stuff from our house to the house we will camp out at.  Needed to go to bed about an hour ago!  Not looking forward to camping at this house but anything is better than nothing.  We will have a radio, heat, no fumes:) and bathrooms so what more could we want?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2 x 2 weaves Day 4

So day 4 may be a short day depending on how far we get with the moving tonight.  I did get one session in this morning (between dry heaving, thanks morning sickness). We completed exercise 11 with no missed entries.  He really seems to have gotten it now.  Tony actually sat upstairs last night and watched and was so excited to see Deuce figuring things out.  He said he could see the wheels in deuce's brain turning.  I love any exercise that makes them think, especially shaping exercises.  Today we introduce the second set of 2.  I want to start that before I go to work if this dry heaving will go away.

Session 2.  Introduction of second set of poles.  Much like SG's method, we introduce two sets of poles but both sets of poles are at 6 and 12 with a four foot distance between them and the reward at first being the two poles.  This is getting a little complicated in our bedroom as I am running out of space.  Having to set him up 3/5 feet away from the first pole and having the two sets and four feet apart is a little tight with all the dog crates in the bedroom right now.  I just might have to, once the dining room doesn't have so much in it, make that the crate room or perhaps clear a space in the junk room.  The junk room stays nice and cool in the winter but we would have to do something about the summer time.  Going to have to do something soon anyway as the baby's crib will be in our bedroom in 6 months anyway.  I digress.  At first he just wanted to do all four at one which since he already knows weaves, but I made sure he stopped and got his reward in between.  Then he seemed to get a little confused, like he was saying, isn't this one obstacle mom?  I still am not saying anything other than releasing him from his wait before he does any poles.  The recommendation is to go back and start all the around the clock work again with the poles apart and then after you are done, put them together and fade out the reward. Just wondering if I can skip ahead since he already knows how to weave.  Decisions,decisions.

Session 3.  Decided to work in a different location.  Added the second set of poles and did so in living room which is hardwood.  We worked around the clock but he couldn't get good footing and kept on slipping.  Again the toughest entries say 10 and 11 with him on my right and 2 and 3 with him on my left was very tough for him after he had done them so well the previous exercises.  Of course it is a different place so I have to take my sets as many places as I can.  He finally got both in session 4 but after many wrong attempts.  I will start tomorrow at this spot and see if our work paid off.  I also would love to get outside where we have more room but they are predicting snow again tomorrow.  Right now we have a layer of icy snow on the ground which isn't much better than the carpet or the hardwood.  I think for the harder entries, especially the entry where he is on my left and he has to enter and wrap back that I will put the poles apart and treat those as two separate entries.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2 x 2 weaves Day 3

So I am stuck at home so I have all day to work with Deuce.  I find it very hard to keep sessions short so I am going to start taking a timer with me so I am not tempted to go over time.  Today we are starting out with my position and his position changing around the clock.  The poles are still at 12 and 6.

Session 1.  Started out with exercise 8.  Everything went very smoothly when he was on my right and we were rotating around the clock with me at 1 and him going from 6 to 3.  No problems there at all.  Problems started when I was at 11 and he was on my left rotating from 6 to 9 particularly when he was at 8 and 9.  Gave him a few tries and then would go back a step, get success at that step, and then move forward again.  By the end he finally figured out to not just go through the poles but to wrap that first pole and come in.  It was hard not to step in and help but I kept my mouth shut and just let him figure it out. I figured moving back a step was enough help.  I am going to start my next session with a review of that and then hopefully progress to exercise 9.

Session 2.  Started out with a quick review of exercise 8.  He breezed through them this time, even getting the hardest entry on the first try.  Wow, I sure do love shaping exercises!  He must have had his thinking cap on more this time because we were going through the exercise very quickly until we got to the very last one.  I was at 5 and he was at 9 and he wanted to just go through the poles, not wrap that first pole and go forward away from me.  After a couple of times of backing back up on the clock, he got it and then was good to go.  Will start the next session with that entry and see how he does.

Session 3.  For whatever reason we struggled with exercise 10 and had to break it down and just do the first part.  He really has struggles with me being at the 4 oclock position and him being on the other side of the poles.  He finally at the end got the hardest entry and I stopped after one successful time after all of our struggles.  I would simply try a postion, he wouldn't get it and after two tries i would move one position back on the clock.  Maybe I am not moving back quick enough?  Maybe after one wrong try i should set him up for success?  We will review the beginning of exercise 10 and see where we are at in the next session.

Session 4.  Took a very long break before session 4 started.  He got all the entries on the first try which tells me he must have been tired on session 3.  I am trying to keep the sessions under 5 minutes and keep him up and happy.  He nailed the hardest entry on exercise 11, which was me at 3 and him at 8.  I am so proud!  I would like to do one more session to finish up exercise 11 but will gage it by how alert and ready to go he is.

Fell asleep on the couch so no session five.  Not sure how much I will get done on day 4 as we will be moving all of our living room tonight to the dining room and then moving out of the house so they can finish the floor in the living room.  This whole house thing has been a nightmare but i think I see an end in sight.  Once the living room is finished, tony can rebuild the deck and the kitchen subfloor and then we can have that floor laid and be DONE (other than a few small dry wall patch jobs)!  Our loans are going through at the bank so we may even be able to get a new hot water tank and water softner so we can actually use the big whirlpool tub in the master bath.  I keep thinking maybe this whole sewer thing is a blessing in disguise because it forced us to get all the projects in the house finished before the baby comes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2 x 2 day 2

Okay so had to switch things up a little bit.  I was having issues with where deuce was suppose to be and where i was suppose to be and decided that MEB's article about 2 x 2s defined things alot better for the literal side of me.  Here is a link to her article I am following it religiously.  I like that she gives such specific instructions.  Stand here, put your dog here, dog goes here, treat goes here.  Only the correct entry is rewarded that makes sense to me.  Was having issues believing that having him on my right  and sending him through two poles ahead of me was teaching him the correct entry.  Long story but I am very, very literal:)   In MEB's article, dog always enters with poles in the left shoulder.  I think both methods are aweome, it is just MEB's article helped me by telling me exactly where i needed to stand at exactly what time.  Of course doing everything in the bedroom since it is snowing and icing outside.  We are up to step 3 left side.  He is driving to the correct entry very nicely almost every time when he is on my right.  He has trouble when the poles are at 6 and 12 and I am at like 10 or 11 when he is on my right.  He is getting better for sure.  He was just running straight through the poles, now he is running out and around the first pole with it on his left shoulder and driving to his reward.  I have done two sessions and am about to do session three where we work around the clock with him on my left.  Will update after I do.

Update:  Session 3.  Reminder of around the clock with dog on my right.   He is now getting that tough entry like a pro.  Started round the clock on my left.  Was having issues with him looking back as he enters the poles.  It is way easier to reward him when he is on my right.  I don't like the fact that he is driving to the poles and then almost stopping and looking back when he gets into the when he is on my left.  I am throwing ahead but seem to have issues when he is on my left.  Had gone back to individual cookies but now am back to food tube.  Of course space is limiting what we can do too.  He is getting close to the bed when he is going from my left side.  Next session will have him on my left and right with the poles switched 12 and 6 on the other end.  I am looking forward to doing  step four from the article tomorrow:)

Update: Session 4.  Final session of the night.  Deuce is nicely finding his entries no matter where we are on the clock.  I have to think sometimes about what is right and sometimes I have to walk out his path when the entries are hard.  I think this is harder for me than him.  He isn't looking back as much at all now that I am throwing his treat tube.  I fully feel like we are ready for step 4 tomorrow.  With the snow and ice that is coming down now, I have a feeling we will be stuck at home with nothing to do other than play with the two by twos anyway.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2 x 2 day one

So i am going back and doing the 2 x 2 method with Deuce to try and build value on entries.  I bought a set of 6 since he essentially knows how to weave.  If I like the method, I will probably teach Stella this way too.  Since this is his blog, I am going to write about my training sessions here.  I am going to try and get 3 short sessions a day but we are suppose to get rain and snow for the next two days so I may have to do most of the training in our bedroom which isn't hugely ideal but no choice.  There is plenty of room for him to drive to his reward line as our master bedroom is pretty big.

Session 1.  Shaping the poles.  Well, don't try and shape two poles if you have already used poles for something else.  We used poles stuck in the ground for cik and cap so he immediately started offering wrapping around the poles.  He did figure it out that of course that wasn't what I wanted but it took a little while of him being really frustrated with me.  I had a flag out for my reward line and I started out very close and moved back as he started getting it.  I wish he was toy motivated as throwing the treat sometimes wasn't the easiest.  I hit him a couple of times and a couple of times he turned before I could get the treat thrown but overall I think it went well.  For the next session later today, I hope to move around the arc and see if I get him through the poles again.  I think that is all I will do today and will introduce the next set tomorrow.  Going to watch the video or at least the beginning again to make sure I am doing this right.  I am so worried about screwing this up!

Session 2.  Decided to move the 2 x 2 set upstairs in the bedroom so he could find his cookies quicker.  Of course that meant baby gating the other dogs outside the bedroom and stella being the little agility dog she is kept jumping the baby gate to join us.  Watched the video again and decided since he was offering going through the poles with alot of enthusiasm that i would go ahead and next session put the poles at 2 and 8.  Started out with them straight, did a few rewards, then put them at 2 and 8.  He seems to have the most trouble when I am close to 8 on the arc.  He still wants to occasionally go around the poles and wrap like cik and cap and then when he doesn't get rewarded, he gets frustrated and barks and then turbo offers behaviors.  I have to call him back and get him revved up beside me and then try again.  It seems to be so hard to not offer any type of lure.  I keep on wanting to help him when he is having trouble by stepping forward or saying okay.  When he gets stuck in a position, I just get him to jump up on me or play with him really quickly so he gets out of whatever position he is offering.  Am going to do one more session today and call it quits.  It is really hard to not want to do more when he is doing well. I am trying to keep my sessions 5 minutes or less.

Session 3.  Started in the bedroom again.  Was getting drive and hardly any of the wrapping of the poles.  Decided after a few tries that we needed to go outside so I could add speed.  Also started using the food tube so he could find the reward.  That helped with my throws as well so i got hardly any turning back and looking at me.  By the end of the third session, he was driving through the poles no matter where I was on the clock or which side he was on.  Tomorrow, will add two sets of two.  Will probably be back in the bedroom since it is suppose to snow and rain.  This method is cool because it does let them reason through problems and let them think of the solution themselves.  I am sure using the channels and channeling them in out is kind of a crutch to them in a way. This is why I didn't use wires or gates when teaching deuce weaves originally as they are all crutches in their own way and hard to fade.  I am keeping my fingers crossed we have as much success in the future! Really wish there was some one local to work with that could help me make sure I am doing it right!  Deuce has it, I am the problem child!


I decided to go and play NADAC for a day just to see how deuce handled their weave poles.  I had forgotten they put hoops in every class now and that they didn't stake down the poles anymore.  We had a round of touch and go, a round of weaves, two rounds of standard, jumpers and chances.  Touch and go was funny because deuce didn't realize that big black rubber sheeted thing was the a-frame.  After he did it once he figured it out but I wish I had had someone video taping him and the look on his face when he approached it.  He also really didn't think the hoops were anything to be done.  I didn't want him jumping them  and had put him through the ones in the practice area, but he still didn't really get them which sucks because it screws up your handling when you have to baby something.  SO the first run was kind of a wreck, me trying to get him through stupid hoops and him not seeing them at all sometimes.  We still managed a Q LOL!

The second round was weaves and i was excited to see how he handled tunnels to weaves.  We had three sets of weaves to accomplish and he missed the first two sets on the first try.  They were coming straight out of tunnels but I was decelerated standing there telling him go weave and he wasn't even trying.  He got the third set as it was a gentle curve into them and he wasn't running top speed so he got a HUGE verbal YES, good dog.  I was still very frustrated with his run.  He didn't Q because the last tunnel went straight to the alley way out and he just couldn't stop and ran right out of the ring.  Doesn't matter, doing this for fun so the Qs are nothing to me in this venue.  It was more the fact he didn't try AT ALL to get the entries.  Next run was standard so decided to try the one try and you are done method.  Again, the poles were after a nice gentle curve so no reason why he should miss them.  I was telling him go weave two obstacles back.  He blew past them right into the second pole.  I called him back, put him in heel position and we left heeling out of the ring.  He had this very surprised look on his face and was even more surprised when he was promptly put in his crate without any of his normal post run cookies.  I had taken stella with me which was a good thing because I got her out and played with her and lavished her with praise and cookies.  We even went for a nice long walk without deuce at all.  Came back and ran round two in which the course was reversed, putting the weaves as the second obstacle.  The hoop was the first so he had a very clear view of the weaves and I led out just like i normally would and released and said go weave.  He NAILED them!!!!  Of course I tried to set him back far enough that he had some speed coming into them but it wasn't like the speed he has on course when they are further in the course.  We had a big verbal party and went on to smoke the course and win a first with a great time and a great YPS.  Of course it was novice and nadac but it was fun to have a good run.  This is why i get frustrated though because I know if he had his entries, we could be up there with the good BCs in time and placements.  The next two runs didn't have weaves as they were jumpers and chances.  He had a great run in jumpers with another YPS over 6 and a second place to one of the most awesome goldens in our area.  Chances was a wreck and probably shouldn't stayed so late just for it since i am not serious about NADAC but i had paid my money and didn't want to waste it.

I wanted to go back today and run standard again but when I got up, my body said no way jose, so I just went back to sleep.  Of course thanks to stella, only got another hour of sleep but it was worth it.  Today deuce and i embark on our two by two journey.  I bought a set of 6 poles in the 2 x 2 configuration and they guy had them in his truck so was able to bring them home with my yesterday.  I am still leery of the program, not because it is hard, just because I am scared of screwing it up and screwing him up.  I have the DVD and the articles from clean run but like to have someone in person showing me every step of the way.  I have two weeks till my next show so hope i can have some progress by then.  I may drag them upstairs into my bedroom or take them with us to the house we will be staying in while our floors are being done.  They are suppose to be done with the dining room floor by tuesday or wed and then start on the living room floor by thursday.  I just hope they can be done by christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A whole lot of nothing

We have been blessed with an unusually warm and mild winter so far and I haven't really been able to take advantage of it.  We have been so wrapped up in our house issues that I just haven't had much time to devote to agility other than teaching on monday nights and an occasional practice.  I taught a seminar on beginning agility obstacles and foundation skills this saturday for three hours and early a little bit of money so I guess I am going to enter the local NADAC trial just for fun and just to get out of the house.  We had finally decided to do most of the repairs ourselves due to the crazy estimates we were getting from contractors and just contract out the hardwood floor and the tile in the kitchen.  They are suppose to start laying the new floor in the dining room today and then refinish it all week and then the floor in the living room will be refinished next week in time for Christmas.  I am not so much worried about everything this week as we can block off the dining room from the dogs and just live upstairs if the smell is bad but next week will be an entirely different story.  We can't get upstairs from anywhere other than the living room and the only bathroom with a shower is off of the living room and we were expressly told NO WAY can we walk on the floor till it is finished (up to 4 days).  SO the week before Christmas I am trying to find someone to either let us keep our dogs at their house or let us and the dogs stay or something.  We can always camp out on cots in our kitchen but I am worried about the dogs being crated so close to the smell and the noise.  Boarding is so hard to find right now and the expense of it would be pretty high so hoping we can find some nice person to take us and the dogs in.  Once we get the hardwood floors laid and refinished, I think it will be all down hill from there.  The kitchen floor will be an easy fix and I am waiting an estimate now on having someone come in and lay the tile for us.  My hubby seems to think we can do it but I am not so sure we can really save time and money doing it ourselves.  In fact, while we have the hardwood guys there, might just price having them hardwood that room too.  I keep thinking to just look at the light at the end of the tunnel and not the inconvience that we are incurring now.  Wouldn't you know too that now that we are going to have to walk our dogs again since we won't be able to get to the back part of the house, it is suppose to rain the rest of the week?  Just my luck:)

I had fully intended on starting on the first part of the weaves training this week and it just hadn't happened.  Will hope this really nice weather continues so I can hopefully get started soon!

Monday, December 5, 2011

another USDAA weekend and i am happy

So i mailed in my entry to the new years USDAA trial.  I probably am being incredibly stupid by doing so but oh well, you don't think when you feed addictions right?  Just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't snow and I don't loose 200 bucks for no reason.  I just love USDAA and of course as I have been writing am seriously thinking about giving up AKC this coming year just to do USDAA.  We didn't have team this trial but we did have tournaments and all the regular classes.  Saturday I was a little discouraged.  Deuce missed every weave pole entry no matter how I handled them, ahead of him, with him, behind him, sending to them, whatever.   My trainer was there to watch and said he wasn't even trying to hit them at all.  I guess lucky for me, refusals don't matter in advanced so I was able to get a correction in and reset and go at them again.  Except for steeplechase, he always managed to get in them a second time.  He even got a Q in advanced standard with that one refusal because of course the refusals didn't count.  He missed them in gamblers, missed them in steeplechase and in standard.  I was pretty down and then of course jumpers was last and i went out and handled it horribly and didn't get the Q.  I did get sickly as the day went on and even considered having some one else run him in steeplechase and jumpers.  I was upset thinking maybe running him and being preggers wasn't going to work.  Thank goodness my mom and my good friends were there to cheer me up.  I only had a small pity party thanks to them.  The next day of course, Deuce was 3/4 on weaves getting them in grand prix for our first Q for nationals and in every other course but standard, which was the last course of the day and had a very funky entry that i don't think I have ever even worked before.  All in all I got a snooker Q, a pairs Q (thanks to my teammate for doing the side that had weaves LOL), a standard Q, and his first grand prix Q.  That helped lessen the load for the next show since I am doing team as well.

Overall thoughts for the weekend are I am now fully committed to doing the 2 x 2 method now.  Watched the dvd, read a bunch of MEB's articles and talked with others who have done the method and I now feel ready to tackle the method.  Will have to figure out how to train them indoors so will need to build some 2 x 2 sets and probably do some stick in the ground poles outside as well.  Maybe someone will loan me their sets and make it easier.  I know I should have just given in to doing this method sooner but I was truly scared of the method.  I was really worried I would screw it up.  Now I feel comfortable with it.  I did feel like this weekend deuce yet again kicked in a new gear.  I am very proud of it for sure but it made my handling a little messy.  I also blame being preggers on some of this as I felt like I was running in glue in a couple of times.  I got really, really winded in gamblers but i think it was because of my stupid handling path I chose since the 5 pt obstacle was way on the other side of the ring from the gamble.  Won't do that again!  Thought I was going to pass out!  Snooker was also very interesting as he always wants to run so extended when i am running full out so had to call him to heel and reset him several times to make sure he took the correct path.  He also ran past the jump a couple of times when it was a FC on a 180.  We need to work that because he has to come in to me and take that jump no matter what.  I don't want to only be able to handle that type of 180 with him staying on the same side and me holding.  I like to be moving and he needs to get over that!  He also didn't want to come in on a FC once and instead jumped the jump behind me, something that he hasn't done in a long, long time.  It all goes back to I have collection on the start line now but am still lacking it when I am in the middle of the course.  Gives us more to work on i guess.  Wouldn't be interesting if he was perfect.

I did see some flashes of big dog in him and I am proud.  He still is only 2 and he likes to remind me of that occasionally.  My take away message from this show is yes, i have a big problem with entries and my current route of training is not working so back to the drawing board.  I need to work on my timing on jumpers courses, my Nemesis, especially in USDAA.  Steeplechase still seems like a lost cause with us so I need to examine why.  I need to stop thinking along the lines that I have a time limit because baby or not, he as the rest of his life to have an agility career and there is no reason to rush anything or make any goals that aren't attainable.  This was my first run of the weekend which was gamblers.  It was my favorite run other than the knocked bar before the a-frame. (i give up.  I have tried to upload this video 4 times now.  I just give up)