Sunday, October 28, 2012

I am keeping Bo company (not wasting time on the computer)

For some reason, John is not fully buying that I am being selfless and keeping Bo company...

The agility and obedience equipment have been stowed.  The kiddie pool is under the deck, and I have a Sazerac to indicate that happy hour has commenced.

I am not wasting time on the computer: I am staying here with Bo in his crate at my feet, keeping the incarcerated one company.  See -- it is a selfless act.

Tip was splendid this weekend.  2 Open JWW legs, and two wonderful open STD runs.  Today's should've been a Q and a clean run at 25 secs under course time, except the last 2 jumps I forgot what dog I was running.  instead of sticking with him, I sprinted way ahead (like he was Bo).  But when I do that for Tip, he tries to keep up, and ends up jumping flat ... and knocked the bar on the very last jump.  TOTALLY my fault! But he did great and nailed all his weave poles today. 

What was particualry impressive this afternoon was how well he rose above stress and feat to work.  I had worked the 24" excellent class, then there was a VERY fast course change (they only removed one jump and a dummy jump and moved the tunnel), So Tip as in his crate in the upper building for several hours.  I had him fully covered, in hopes that would keep him more relaxed.  Unfortunately, while I was working 24", the big 20" dogs arrived.  Even if he couldn't see them, the poor little guy could HEAR them all around him.  After I walked, I ran up to the upper building and grabbed Tip and some treats (and stripped off the extra clothes).  I carried him outside and he was visibly distressed.  He barely had time to pee, and I took him inside, during which we encountered several more big bouncy dogs, which terrified him more.  Just seeing him (they were perfectly harmless).  By the time I got him ringside he was pretty well shell-shocked, and I had about 1-2 minutes before our run.

Bless his heart:  I gave him a few bits of chicken, and did a couple little tricks, then just sat with him on my lap.  He got less terrified but was clearly not happy.  When it was our turn to go in the ring, he was clearly still a very stressed little dog.  What is most impressive about all this is how hard he tried to do what I wanted, in the face of being stressed.  That is why I am unhappy with myself, for going to fast at the end and blowing the valiant little dog's gift to me:  a perfect fast run, with no warm up, and while stressed and scared.  I know he was stressed, because he didn't light up at the end and was very happy to have me pick him up and hold him.  I won't be doing THAT again (leaving him alone crated in the upper building while it was loud and busy!)

So:  haul form the weekend:  2 Open JWW legs (4th and 1st).  Tip now has two Open JWW and one Open Standard leg!

for entertainment:  the video o Tip's Saturday's Open JWW run (I didn't realize we had Qed until much later!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The whining will continue until ...

Well, the good news is Bo is feeling MUCH better.  The bad news is he has another 3 weeks of mandatory 24-h crate rest.  He is not a fan of this.  It was OK when he was still in pain, because he did not want to do anything but be a sad little dog lump but now ... Thanksgiving can't come soon enough!

At least he has gotten accustomed to sleeping in the crate next to the bed.  Maybe I will continue this.  What a luxury to be able to turn over in the middle of the night!!!!

On to Tip: Life gives and takes away.  What it is giving is a chance for Tip to blossom, even without the real impact of is best little friend Bo.  I was pleased at how well he handled himself this past weekend, without his buddy.  And in class, he gets my full attention, which I think he enjoys and is thriving under.  We have a few more agility trials then it goes quiescent for most of the winter -- time to polish obedience for the National!  reminds me -- gotta make those hotel resevation.  Maybe I will do that right now...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

The sad news:  Bo has been diagnosed with some cervical disc issues and is on mandatory 24h crate rest for a month, as well as lots of meds.  I don't know whether he will recover to where he can work again or not.  However, I am glad to say he is already out of pain.  Last week he was walking funny and could not even shake his head! So I had to pull him out of the next 3 weekends worth of shows, and only Tip will be going. 

The good news: We just came back from the weekend of trials at Mattaponi, where Tip finished his NA and NAJ (with first places and clean runs that were 20-30 seconds under SCT).  He then topped off the weekend with a Q, clean run, and first place in Open standard!
CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way CD BN NA NAJ NJP PCA-VP
The first run of the weekend, I ran him like Bo, which stressed him and made him drop a bar and go visit the ring crew.  I then remembered what dog I was running and he did great -- he cannot take pressure.  Started off a bit slower (and controlled!) and after a couple obstacles sped up!  He nailed the weave poles all weekend.  In the novice classes I didn't always give him the perfect entry, but he slowed down and worked to get the entry and do the poles.  I was honestly dubious of his getting the 12 weaves in open, but he nailed the entry and did the weaves like the little machine we believe he is.

Tip is a serious little dog and doesn't want too much fussing before he starts, but man is he ever proud of himself when he finishes!  And I have just spent 15 minutes contemplating having a dog who is reliable but what if he isn't fast enough to make excellent course time!!!! arrrrgggghhhh.....

This weekend also showed how incredibly kind agility folks are.  I accidentally sprinted into a plexiglass wall ... I realized I was late for the class I was supposed to be working.  And forgot about the fact that I was in a plexiglass lined soccer field and slammed into the wall while sprinting for the far ring.  People were so kind and made sure I didn't have a concussion and got ice on it right away, so in fact I have no bruises on my face!  My knees are bruised and my left hand is a bit sore, but I came off remarkably lightly!