Friday, July 30, 2010

Velvet Ants?

The other day we had our neighbor join us on our walk. She got to walk Gracie, since I won't let anyone else walk me, BOL! Good thing we had our neighbor with us, because Gracie found something on the ground and was very interested.

Thankfully our friend instantly knew it wasn't good for her. It was a Mutillidae, which some folks call a velvet ant, or cow killer ant. Pic to the left is the one we saw, blurry 'cause Mum was trying to keep us all away and get a BB pic too, BOL!

It isn't actually an ant, but a wasp. The males have wings and the females don't. The females are red and black and furry, crawl around on the ground, and they look like they have Elvis velvet painting like baby clothes on, BOL!

They say the name "Cow Killer Ant" was given to the velvet ant because of the reputation of the female's sting. It is said that the sting is so painful that it could kill a cow. They say the sting won't actually kill, but just hurt real bad. Although if you'd have an allergy to them, I suspect there could be repercussions, like when I got a bee sting and my snout blew up to the size of a golf ball.

So it's great that our neighbor knew it could have been very bad for Gracie, and pulled her away real quick! So many new critters to learn about...

Whoa baby!

Whoa baby!!!

So we're driving to agility practice the other night. It's about a 30 minute drive down the interstate, not too far.

We got notice that this class session is an hour earlier than last session, so we ran into some commuter traffic that wasn't there our last sessions.

Mum got kinda nervous on our trip down. These folks drive really fast trying to get home from work down here! I don't know if it was the full moon, or they use those radar detector things, or if it's always like that, but dang...there are dangerous drivers!

Mum gets really protective when we are in the car and didn't like the speeding stuff at all! Anyways, we made it there safely, had a great time at practice, working some tunnel/dogwalk discrimination stuff, which I aced of course, BOL! Gracie did pretty well, she did have one moment of weakness and got her zoomies on, but after that she was pawsome!

Mum's looking at signing me up for an AKC trial in September that's about 40 minutes away. Oh, Mum, please????? Can we go?????? I only need 80 pts!

Gracie and the butterflies!

This morning we took a hike part way up the ridge. We were coming up from the ponds and when we rounded the top of the big hill two deer ran by about 15 feet in front of us. DOG, was that ever cool!

We all three kind of stood there and watched them leap by with their white tails, then after the quick shock wore off Gracie and I started barking and wanting to run after them. Too fun!

After that we walked down in the pasture. The hay and weeds aren't growing very fast cause it's been so dry, but spotted around are the orange flowers - Butterfly Weed - with butterflies all over them. Gracie loves teasing them!

video

This time she was really calm with them, usually she jumps at 'em and tries to nip 'em a bit.

Mum's lost a total of 18 lbs since we moved down here (even without apidexin, BOL!). She's loving that! I noticed the other night at agility practice that she's running faster - guess that means I'm gonna have to run faster, BOL!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Speaking of hiking!

We haven't been able to do much hiking lately because of the heat, but since we're getting used to it Mum has been planning some hiking for us to do when it gets just a little cooler.

BTW, Mum found out that her 'puter weather bug temp turns red when it ready 100 degrees, OMD!

There are some awesome parks all over around here, and we can't wait to visit them. We're even talking with some new friends about all of us getting together for a fun human/dog hiking day. Of course we'll be sure to be covered with our car insurance companies before heading out.

Would be super cool if it turned into a dog hiking club...we've heard about other folks doing that.

In searching around on the Internet, we found this great article from the folks at REI the other day entitled 'Hiking or Backpacking with Your Dog'.

It has lots of great info on precautions, care, trail etiquette, first aid, packing, water safety and more. And look! In the article she recommends our Raise A Green Dog blog too, cool!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Around the dog agility blog-o-sphere!

Oh my, it's been a while since we updated you on what's going on around the dog agility blog-o-sphere...so let's get to it!

EO 2010

EO 2010 gets underway this weekend in Liberec, Czech Republic. Practice will be held on Friday, with the event on Saturday and Sunday. Here are some important links:

List of registered participants sorted by country.
USA team members listed at the bottom of this page.
Meet the judges
Full competition program
Regulations/Rules

Agility Vision will be at EO video taping the finals of the event. The finals won't be live streamed this year, but you will be able to view the Video on Demand once it's uploaded (targeted for 8 PM ET, July 25th). You can pre-order the VOD by Friday, July 23rd to save $5 off the regular price of $19.99.

UPDATE: Results from European Open 2010 (EO 2010)...

Agility Individuals Large
Agility Individuals Medium
Agility Individuals Small

Jumping Individuals Large
Jumping Individuals Medium
Jumping Individuals Small

Final Individuals Large
Final Individuals Medium
Final Individuals Small

Teams Large
Teams MS

NADAC

The 2010 NADAC Championships will be held September 23-26, 2010 at the Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities in Gillette, Wyoming. Entries close on August 3rd.

Agility Vision will be at the event video taping all runs. Special packages are available. Visit their website for more info.

USDAA

Some news via USDAA...

View the new rule changes including allowing 24" weave pole spacing, displaceable tire, new Veterans Program and more. Some new rules effective July 1, 2010, others effective for the 2011 and subsequent tournament and/or calendar year.

Results from the Rocky Mountain and SouthWest regionals have been posted. EDIT: You can now view some of the results from the NorthWest regionals.

More info for Cynosport, October 12-17, 2010 in Louisville have been posted, including info on agility.

AKC

New rules coming into effect for AKC agility from the May Board Meeting and include positionless table, 24" weave pole spacing, no more multipliers, no more up contact judging and more. Here is the link to the Board Meeting minutes, the link to the full new regulations, and a nice overview of all the changes courtesy of Magica Goldens blog.

2010 FCI Agility World Championships

The final US team for 2010 FCI Agility World Championship, October 1, 2 & 3, 2010, Reiden, Germany has been announced, including those who qualified at the tryouts and those named to the team. Other country participants are starting to be added to the main site. You can also follow the FCI Agility World Championships on Twitter, (hashtag #agiwm).

Agility Vision has a special preorder price of $24.99 now through September 17th or the first 1,000 orders (whichever comes first) for their Live Stream and Video on Demand of the entire 2010 FCI event. Click here to order the special package.

If you purchase this video package you will receive a coupon code that you can use in the Clean Run store for $5off the 2010 FCI DVD. The full 2-DVD set of the "Best of the 2010 FCI Agility World Championships" will be available via Clean Run bringing you hundreds of runs from the event, including all of the runs by Team USA and Team Canada. The DVD will not be available until late November. However, Clean Run is currently accepting pre-orders. Place your order by October 3rd to receive the early bird DVD discount: $5 off the regular price of $29.95, plus free shipping.

Other stuff:

Silvia Trkman is planning an online video tutorial teaching her famous Cik/Cap turns that can shave seconds off your course time. Here's a teaser video (below), first video of the tutorial is live as of today. Here is info for purchasing (about $57 USD). Looks like she may be planning more tutorials for heeling and tricks, coming soon.


And don't miss this new vid of Silvia's new pup Le.

Silvia will also be in the US next year doing seminars in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, the end of January, beginning of February. Here is the info (click on upcoming seminars) for the Florida seminar, Jan 24-28 in Tampa. Watch her website for more info on other upcoming seminars.

The first Dog Olympic Games will be held October 14-17 in Lignano Sabbiadoro in Northern Italy and is planned to be an event held every two years, featuring Agility, Disc Dog, Dog Dance, Flyball, Obedience, Rally, Nature Testing and more.

Happy to see Linda Mecklenburg has been uploading some new YouTube videos in the past few weeks. If you haven't subscribed yet, do it! Always great to watch great teams.

Better late than never :) Here are some great runs (and interesting courses) from the AKC World Team Tryouts, thanks to Agility Vision.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gracie may just be an agility dog afterall!

Mum and I are so proud of our Gracie Girl. She was amazing at agility practice this week. Sure wish we had some video...but it's probably good we didn't jinx anything :)

This week's practice was about handling. They had two 'rings' set up in the building. Hot as usual, since it doesn't have much air conditioning, but we don't care, we just want to run!

The first course was a toughie; jump, straight to a short chute, and then straight into the weaves, three more jumps with lots of off course ops, back into the weaves, and four more jumps with more off course ops - kind of a down and back set up.

Of course Gracie shot out of the chute like a cannon, so Mum had a treat ready for focus after, to get Gracie to settle into the weaves. Worked like a charm. Gracie took the weaves like a pro, then she was off to the jumps like a bat out of 'you know.' Mum was ready for a treat again after a wrap around the third jump, then back into the weaves to a two jump serp, with a tempting off course jump, right in Gracie's face. Treat again, then straight to another jump, wrap and another jump for the big finish.

Dang, Gracie was amazing!!! She didn't run off at all, totally was keeping an eye on Mum the entire time for direction. She looked like a real agility dog!!! We are so proud of her!

Then the trainer upped the anti, and strew tons of toys and knuckle bones around the next little course - two jump serp, another jump straight to a tire, then the teeter, bordered by a tunnel and weaves off course ops. Mum took her through the jumps and tire in a straight a line as possible, then rear crossed the teeter (first time that's ever happened with Gracie) and she banged that thang like no body's business. Big treat time!!! (BTW, this pic is from one of Gracie's previous CPE trials and one of Mum's favs :)

Then it was to the left to the jump, through the tunnel with that tire right in her face. Mum was ready for a treat again to get her focus, then around the teeter back to the weaves, a jump, wrap and back around to the weaves again, a front cross back to the tire, a rear cross to a jump, then back to take the second original serp jump, passing the first serp jump into the tunnel. And what did Gracie do at that tunnel exit with all those folks and dogs watching right in front of her at the exit? She looked back for Mum, OMD! No run off again to go visit them!

Whatta girl! And with all those toys and knuckle bones lying around, she only stopped for the knuckle bone and one toy...Mum said 'leave' and she went right on through the course. Mum had no idea Gracie had such a great 'leave!'

So finally....a great class for the Grace-ster, total focus, total concentration, total joy and fun, total of four runs, with a total of four big ole jackpots after! We're knocking wood over here!!!

Mum was ecstatic!

Oh, and I did great too :) Really good speed on all the technical stuff, and a great bang on the teeter with that rear cross.

So we're off next week and then start the following week another six weeks of class. So excited, and can't wait!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Holy ticks Batman!

We've been telling you about the ticks and how many there are. Well, the other day Mum notices I was licking my paws a little more than the usual 'cleaning up licking stuff', and wondered what was going on.

The next morning, she found out what it was! When she woke up, this is what she found on the bed where I was sleeping! Click on it to 'bigify.'


Over 100+ little tiny ticks, all dead. And I had been crawling with them the night before! OMD! Mum thinks these little things took some of the best prenatal vitamins ever!!!

We found out that they are called 'seed ticks,' little tiny ticks the size of a pinhead. They are the same as Dog Ticks, but are in the nymph stage, the stage just before they become an adult. And you can get into a nest of them where the eggs turned into larvae, then into the 'seed ticks,' and get them all over you! Some folks call it getting 'tick bombed.' Can you believe this?

How creepy! So far I've been lucky, before and since, and haven't run into a nest of them. And Gracie didn't suffer this fate. Good thing I was treated, because they say these ticks can spread dreaded tick disease too! Ewwwww.....

Having fun keeping track of our walking and hiking!

The other day Mum came across an app for our BlackBerry that we're now using to track of all of our walks and hikes.

We've been testing out Roadrunner GPS and it's been pretty fun. Not only does it track distance, calories (human ones, you know) burned, time, pace and speed; but it also tracks elevation, which is one of the reasons we really like this one.

We found some free ones, but they sure didn't measure up. We've been trying out the 15 day trial, and Mum's gonna buy it, only $4.99 after the trial is up.

Here's kind of how it works. You start the app, and then it finds a satellite signal to keep track of you. You can pause for potty breaks if you want during your walk/hike.

When you're done walking, you press the stop button, and you can view at all your stats and even a Google map of your walk/run/hike. Then you have the option of uploading to their site (to share or keep private). When you get home you can login in see all your walks! According to RoadRunner GPS we've been doing about 15 miles a week, that we've tracked so far...keeping us from those diet pill side effects, fur sure, BOL!

So if you're looking for a good walk/run/hike tracking app for your mobile, this is the one we recommend. Works on lots of types of phones too.

Dog escape artists!

BOL!!! We came across a 'really bad dog' the other day on YouTube. Check out SpiderDog!!! DOG, he can climb!


This vid got me thinking about the other dog 'escape artists' I've seen on YouTube over the years. Who can forget this beagle and his antics...leaving his bros and sisters and going on the lamb? Hope he didn't need any North Carolina health insurance because of his great escape!


And of course one of my absolute favorites, this guy really knows how to help out a pal, BOL!


One time when I was at an agility fun run, I escaped from my soft crate.

OK, fellow pups, here's how I did it!

There was a tiny bit of fur caught in the top of the zipper of my crate. So, I just slipped my nail in there and the zipper opened right up! Then all I had to do was run my nail down the zipper and voila, I had an opening for my great escape!

Where did I escape too? Mum of course, she was out there getting ready to run Gracie, and I just couldn't stand that!!!

So have you ever escaped anything? Tell, tell!

I'd sure like to go canoeing again!

We've been having a blast hiking around our new home in Tennessee and Mum is starting to look into other adventures for us.

I remember, when I was just a year old, Mum took me with her on a canoe trip down the White River when we lived in Indiana. Believe it or not, I loved it! It was my first time in a boat (and it was my first time on a crowded school bus too, going to the launch site). We were packed in there like sardines that just checked out apidexin reviews, BOL!

Once we got Gracie, Mum didn't think she could handle both of us in a canoe...but we'd sure like to try sometime, maybe if we bring a friend with us, hmmmm...

Anyway, here's a great video to intro your dog to watercraft safely...and we recommend a life jacket too, to be on the safe side. I'm wearing the Ruff Rider K-9 Float Coat in my photo, fits great and has a great secure handle to grab me up if needed.

Intro to Watercraft from Walker Parks on Vimeo.

So Mum, when we going?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Having fun at practice!

Wednesday nights Gracie, Mum and I have been going to agility practice. DOG, is it nice to be back running again!

This past week they set up a fast class course for us to practice. OK, I admit it, I've never done Fast Class ever! But since I've done lots of gamblers classes in USDAA, Mum thought this would be fun for both of us and it was!

Mum planned out a nice fun, open, fast course for me, since we've been doing a lot of technical stuff lately. Check this out...


It was pretty hot in the facility when we ran, but I sure didn't care. I'm really getting used to the heat down here, Mum's been very proud. And of course we're all taking our multivitamins, to keep up our strength during our 95 degree walks.

We've only been doing three miles in this heat, in the early morning and later evening, instead of the five miles we usually do when it's cooler.

Back to the practice....well, Gracie's run through this Fast Class course was a whole different story, she had some great moments and, again, some heavy 'run off' moments. She's much better with a more technical course to help her keep her focus, but Mum wanted to see what she would do with a Novice like course, since that's what she'll see when we start competing again.

Mum's learned some things for Gracie taking this class, and she's trying to work on with the Grace-ster - queuing much earlier, and exaggerating her body commands, and treating more often at key places where Gracie needs to pay a lot of attenion. Mum thinks that Gracie needs more literal info from Mum, since she's still trying to read and learn Mum's commands at high speeds. And Mum thinks she's become a bit complacent in her body movements after running me for these past few years, since I read her like a good book. So they are working on that...

Gracie did have some great moments at class - she took those four jumps and the tunnel in the beginning like a lightening bolt and a pro...she made her frame contact and was a big, ole blur going over it. And she was pretty good in getting to the tunnel after the frame. But then she lost her brain again, and just had to get her zoomies on.

Mum also thinks that since we don't have a fenced area to run freely in yet, that Gracie just has to run wild and free. Generally Gracie is getting her zoomies on in her first run, then she starts to pay more attention in subsequent runs. Which is good.

Gracie has become the class clown...everyone loves to watch her wacky runs :)

Fun ways to do agility!

Mum and I came across a few videos of fun, alternative ways to do agility, and wanted to share 'em with you!

This one is a video from the 2008 Royal Horse show in Toronto Ontario that occurs annually in November. It's a horse/dog relay, cool! Hope they don't have any adipex side effects after that, BOL!


This one is from the IHDAA (Idaho Horse and Dog Agility Association), which we don't believe is active as a new venue, but thought it was kinda interesting, nonetheless!


And here's more SuperDogs action at the Royal Fair/Royal Horse show in Canada...check out those wacky tunnels, they look like fun!