Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I wasn't going to do it, but did anyway

Had time to really process this weekend and pick it apart, piece by piece.  No video which sucks but here is my analysis.

  Had 6 runs this weekend and only had one really decent run that was in any way good.  First run of the weekend was standard.  He had a good run, missed his weave pole entry but it was a super tough entry (discrimination with the dog walk and a dummy  jump on either side of the entry, drove to it hoping to eliminate the off course options and he didn't collect, went 2nd pole).  I will take that, something we need to work on.  Noticed that he wasn't really waiting for the okay to come out of my mouth all the way on the contacts.  Jumpers was yet another pull to the correct end of the tunnel like we had in standard on sunday in lawrence.  Even though i was shoulder pulling, calling, had his head, he released off of me and took the wrong end of the tunnel.  Was disappointed but oh well, obviously we need to work on pulling, sent him in the correct end and he again, released off of me and went to the other end of the tunnel.  I felt like he really wasn't listening and it was pointless to continue to run the very technical course if I didn't have his head so we did the walk of shame.  Bummer but had the one good run in standard to go off of.

Saturday was standard first again.  We had a jump to the teeter and then a slight turn to the right into the weaves.  There was a dummy jump as they came off the end of the teeter so they came down looking right at it and they couldn't see the weaves at all because of your position.  I figured instead of releasing him with "okay", I would release him with "go weave" since he needed to be in obstacle focus to find them.  He came down the teeter locked in on that jump, I said go weave, he released and went across my body out into no where.  Weird but oh well, must be another skill we need to work on.  Then did a really hard long line out of the weaves into the tunnel that was a hard entry.  I ran like hell, pushed and got it no problem, where as most dogs were biting the bullet and getting the wrong end (2 dogs in all of 20 inches qualified). Next contact was the a-frame.  Needed to do a FC to handle the rest and he self released off the contact and was gone and I was out of position.  Called him back, did the walk of shame.  No cookies, back in the crate.  Got him out a while later and did some behaviors that i could reward.  Did JWW and again, i didn't get him collected enough and he missed his first pole.  One of those things were i was  in decel,  thought he was to so I think i accelerated too early to get to the end of the poles and he just did the same.  That didn't bother me as much as standard as that was just on me and him being young and us having timing issues.  Oh well.  But after that run, after I had sat for a while, I got really bummed.  I was really mad at myself for not holding his contacts longer and thus causing my criteria to be too gray thus allowing him to think self releasing was okay.  Again, I can stay mad at myself for a really long time.  Finally had some people talk me out of my funk and I got over it.

Sunday I decided to work every single contact regardless of a Q or not.  I held every contact long enough to say good dog, okay.  Of course we had a minor mistake somewhere else and i pulled him off a jump, but I was happy with his contacts (even though we were 10 seconds slower than the 1st place dog, even with him missing a jump).  Jumpers had a spot that worried me and of course that is where we blew it.  Coming out of the weaves, it was a curving line right out over a triple and into an off course tunnel.  One of those if you support too much, you will get the off course tunnel but if you don't support enough they won't go out and take the triple.  Well I had the latter happen but he read my pull and came with so had to be happy.  I hate self fulfilling prophecies.

Well I do feel better after I analyzed every thing.  You know, I think it is time for some goal readjustment.  Of course AKC nationals is out of the picture.   I still want to go to USDAA nationals and think it is still a viable goal if I can get some training time in.  Getting ready for winter here in KS and while last winter was mild, who knows what this winter holds.  Hoping I can get to my friend's new indoor barn to do some training this winter.  My main goal right now for him is solid contacts.  I hate creepy contacts but I think letting him quick release has come back to bite me in the ass for sure now.  I vowed to never have a dog where the Q was more important than my criteria and I have to stick to those guns.  I think that is what bummed me out the most, the possibility that I caused his self releases and in all honesty, I am sure I did.  A fellow competitor pointed it out that most of us that had two on two offs this weekend sure were muddy in what our criteria was as she was for sure second guessing what we meant.  I think alot of us got wrapped up in the Q this weekend and again in all honesty, I think alot of us sacrificed Qs in the end because of it.  I have another show in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to redeeming myself and upholding my end of the training bargain.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I had a really bad weekend.  So weird.  Haven't had one of these in a long time.  The good news is that I truly am lucky to have an awesome dog and family that loves me.  I won't get into any long details but after having four bad runs and basically being mad at myself all day saturday to the point of tears, I had a talk with a good friend who really put things into perspective for me.  I have a happy, healthy dog and I know that this is just a game.  I hate that I can get so wrapped up into competition that I let my criteria slide.  I can stay mad at myself for a really, really long time but she snapped me out of it and made me feel like I should just let things go and go on.  She had been through some pretty scary and life threatening health issues, had a crappy hubby who basically was not by her side during any of it and even had had an emergency appendicitis surgery that monday and was running agility with her best friend by friday.  If she can go through life and those crazy circumstances with a smile on her face and a positive attitude and continue to enjoy life, then what was making me so upset and pouty was completely minuscule and should not be dwelled upon.  So i snapped out of it.  I look forward to our next agility show and I will uphold my criteria, even if it means loosing a Q.  I have been through this before with one dog and i will NOT do this again (please hold me to this:)

Monday, October 22, 2012


So this is mommy hood.  I am physically exhausted.  I had a great weekend but it is SO much work dragging him and all of his stuff to the shows.  I am super lucky to have great friends who step up and help me but man, it really takes the fun out of showing.  I feel like poor deuce gets no attention other than when he runs.  I don't do super long warm ups or cool downs either so it is pretty much run, cookies, crate, sit for how many every hours, run cookies crate, car.  Poor guy.  The story of our weekend was mainly bars.  We had one crazy T2B run where he looked at the weave pole base (they had two sets with a space in between so a break in the base) and skipped that section that was missing.  So weird that they even notice that but he did and just skipped right around them.  Plus the surface had very slick packed spots but I am not one to complain about things like that.  We did do the walk of shame in standard on sunday.  He completely self released on the dog walk and we had already NQd so I thought that was a perfect time to get some training in.  The other runs were very, very nice.  We did get a Q in T2B on sunday and just barely got beat out by a very, very fast border collie by .03 of a second.  Always makes me smile when we are up there with those fast BCs.   Overall was very pleased with the trials and once again do believe that his bar knocking is an indication of lack of conditioning.  Once again, hubby will be working 12 hour shifts this week so not sure how much training I will actually get in.

We have yet another 3 day show this weekend and I am dreading it a little and this is one of the most fun shows we go to.  A four hour car ride for Mr. Andrew which will be very interesting since the longest we have done is 2.  Trying to figure out a way to break it up so maybe we could go down thursday night and then continue on friday morning.  He did scream some on the way home this last weekend.  He decided to take his big nap early so instead of it being at the normal time, when I would be driving, he was wide awake when I was driving.  He did play some with some toys I put back there and the screaming wasn't too bad but that was an hour and a half car ride with lots of places to pull off and take a break.  This ride will not have those convenient places.

Anyway, I know I shouldn't but thinking about buying a new crate.  I have no clue why when i know money is going to get tight that I immediately shop but I do.  I really like the new cabana crates and how portable they are for traveling.  My crates take a ton of room and all of them are in some state of broke.  It would be super nice to have a crate that breaks down that small for storage and set up.  AND the kicker is, they come in purple.  DOUBLE BONUS!  Me want, want, want!

Friday, October 19, 2012

dog show weekend + solid foods = hopefully not disgusting diapers

Another dog show weekend, YIPEEE!  Can't wait.  Going up tonight to stay with a friend who has again so graciously loaned out her guest bedroom and home to andrew and I.  Was planning on getting up super early and driving up but andrew is sleeping till 7 or later now so don't want to screw with that too much.  I can at least sleep till maybe 6:30 versus getting up at 5.  I will take that extra few hours or minutes!  Andrew has started a new trend of eating his solids and taking his bottle, napping, having a night time bottle and then crashing, that is until I put him in his bed and then he is wide awake.  The night before he was up till almost 2.  Last night it was more like 11 and he slept till 7.  Would have slept longer but one of the dogs barked and woke him up.  Andrew has been feeling better finally so we have moved back upstairs and the dogs are back in bed with me.  I missed them cuddling up.  Andrew has been sleeping in the bed some too and the dogs make a square around him.  Stella wants to constantly check his diapers so I have to remind her that when he is sleeping, she can't do that.  They are also enjoying licking the solid foods off of andrew after he is done eating.  The past few days it has been sweet potatoes which andrew adores and so do the dogs of course!

Did get out on sunday and worked deuce some.  Had to leave stella because i was giving a lesson prior to working deuce and the dog had some anxiety issues that would have gone through the roof if stella had been there screaming.  Hated to do that to her but the paying client gets the courtesy of a nice, peaceful lesson.  Deuce was knocking bars left and right.  I watched him and tried to figure out what was going on.  My final conclusion is he is very out of shape.  It was windy that day and hotter than it has been and he was panting after the first short sequence.  He kept knocking the backside jump to the weaves and he was literally throwing himself over the bar and turning at the same time and it came down no matter what.  Tried to just give huge rewards when the bar stayed up.  The sequence also called for me to fade laterally away from the weaves to get a very important FC in to get him in a tricky tunnel entry.  He kept popping so I had to get out my treat and train and channel out the end of the poles and have big rewards for staying in.  Eventually he did  it fine without the channels and the reward but it was weird that he all the sudden was clingy.  Trying to figure out the best way to keep him in shape.  Wish that we had swimming available to us but we it isn't a possibility.  Vet school has an underwater treadmill but they won't let us agility folks use it for conditioning.  Need to do some jump chutes per suggested by a good friend but I barely have time to comb my hair right now.  I have had two weeks were I have only gotten one run in a week.  My per mile time is getting worse instead of better.  This first race is probably going to be a huge bomb but oh well.  Andrew has started on solids now so that is taking a huge hunk of my afternoon/night time.  By the time I prepare his bottles, feed him his solids, feed him a small bottle and then either bath him or clean him up, it is almost 9 pm and I can't run or train that late.  I keep thinking this whole kid thing will get easier as he gets older but it seems to be getting harder and more time consuming instead.

Then there is this.  I finally got the word that we are officially loosing funding.  I have to admit, even though I knew this was a big possibility, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a huge cry fest and then a huge freak out, find a job right that minute fest.  I even applied for some secretary positions just to get my foot in the door somewhere.  A job that I thought I had in my pocket just in case fell through and two of the science jobs I checked on were filled.  URGH.  I can't afford to be a stay at home mom. I can't afford mentally not to do agility. I guess if worse comes to worse, I will have to take a break.  I am still trying to watch all the job channels and apply for anything that looks remotely good.  There is a possibility that I might get a small grant to keep me on till next year.  We are going to reapply through another funding source but they only take grant proposals once a year and we have passed the deadline for this year. I keep praying and try not to worry because God has always taken care of me and my family and we do have money saved up just in case since my hubby gets laid off occasionally at his work as well.

Anyway, here's to a good weekend and hopefully no disgusting diapers thanks to the solids he is eating!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GLOC weekend

Back from lincoln and have a slow day at work so I thought I would blog for a second.  Life has been a bit hectic lately.  Trying to run to get back in shape and to loose weight and trying to spend equal time with dog/baby/husband/house.  Not doing so hot.  Dogs are getting pretty much 0 amount of my time with the house right behind them.  I even had to stop sleeping with them  because they had started waking me up at 4 am to convince me that they needed to eat/go out and andrew is now sleeping till at least 6 am if not later.  Hubby is sleeping up stairs with them while andrew is sick and I am sleeping in guest room with andrew with the door shut and the humidifier on high.  Stella and deuce are not impressed and I do miss them but it has been kind of nice having a whole bed to myself.  Andrew is sick again.  This marks the second or third cold he has had and it just started to get cold outside.  I attribute that to daycare and the myriad of germs that come and go.  In just a few weeks though, andrew will be the only one there but I am sure she will fill back up quickly.  I have a feeling the little girl that is in kindergarten is bringing in the fun stuff in the afternoon.  I am hoping this means that he will have a stellar immune system when he is older.  My plans are to enroll him in preschool when he is 3 but may go earlier.  According to my mom, I was a sickly child after I started preschool so maybe we have started andrew early and he will be done with sickness by the time we start school.  

Anyway, back to lincoln.    Had a great weekend.  We had several one bar runs.  One of my aussie friends taped some of my runs and I am glad, because deuce  isn't normally a bar dog.  The surface was okay, not the best but certainly not even close the worst.  I did have him worked on saturday after he crashed the double but she couldn't find any issues.  He was taking off early for jumps all weekend and I have NO clue what that means.  Is that something I am doing?  Two bars were either before or after fronts so maybe so.  One bar it looked like he was stuck in some loose dirt and couldn't get off the ground correctly.  That bar commonly came down for alot of teams so not too worried about that one.  We did finally have one run that equaled a Q but again he hit a bar and it luckily went back into the jump cups instead of on the ground.  He was running really well and I was not in reactive handler mode.  I was very pleased with the weekend, despite the bars.  We have two more shows on dirt coming up this month so I will make sure to get my trainer to watch him just in case.  I really like having someone tape me.  All of his runs felt so smooth yet as I watch them, I see me bending over, not getting into position quick enough and flailing about with my arms.  I really need to work on this.  I look very uncoordinated and icky.  Maybe I can blame this on the pregnancy too?