Friday, April 29, 2011

Grace works her recall!

You'll remember that I have a pretty darn good recall from a sit stay. We have to do sit stays working with recalls, since there's only Mum to work with us.

But Mum thinks that they have worked really well in keeping me focused even if I get distracted with a critter, since Mum has been able to pull me off a critter on occasion.

Before we left Tennessee...Mum and Gracie worked really hard on her recalls every day; just like Mum has been working with me. Since Gracie overcame her wacky eyed-ness in being in the big open pasture, (big open spaces are one of the things that stresses her out) Mum felt comfortable starting to work with her on recalls.

We all started with me in a long, long sit stay and recall, about 100-150 yards. Mum and Gracie would run away from me and then call me to them. This got Gracie running with Mum and getting the 'edge' off.

Then once I reached them, we would put Gracie in a sit stay and walk away from her...starting with five feet, increasing to ten and more until we got to about 50 or more feet away. Mum would say, 'ready 1, 2, 3' and release Gracie to run to us, with us running away and Gracie running full out to catch us. Then when Gracie reached us, Mum would fall on the ground and play fun with Gracie, with me in on the action, and letting Gracie lick our faces silly. Then Mum would give her a nice jackpot.

She here she is way off in the distance in the wide open spaces without modern furniture anywhere in site, BOL!

Gracie is getting very, very good at the recalls!!! Mum thinks they really helped in keeping her more focused at her recent B Match a couple of weekends ago. We're looking forward to finding a nice field around her so we can continue the work with Gracie with her recalls.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We made it!

We made it, we're at our new home!

On Tuesday we woke up early and gathered a few more of our toys and our bowls. The movers arrived in the morning, and packed up our stuff. (Gracie and I supervised :) Then we helped Mum clean up a bit, packed up Wolfie and Wiggy, and headed to our new cabin in the mountains.

We got there, and helped supervised the movers to get all our toys, beds and bowls in the right room. We didn't get much sleep that night with all the new noises, so woke up early to get our computer ready for the cable guy yesterday morning. He showed up right on time, and we had our computer up and running by about 11 AM. We new we couldn't get any cell phone coverage here at the cabin, so the great folks at Sprint sent us one of their new Airaves for free. It's a little mini cell phone tower.

Mum got it hooked up around noon and voila! We have five bars, just like they said it would do! Have to say that this little gadget is super cool. Then about Noon, the guys showed up to hook up our TV. Just in time for us to get notified that some Super Cell storms were headed our way. Have to say that those weather folks on TV were super busy yesterday! There were so many tornado warnings in counties all over the SE, they sure had much more than an online it degree, that's for sure!

What a wild night it was! We were very lucky, two tornadoes hit just south of us, and Super Cells were all around. We watched the radar, stayed in touch with friends and news outlets on Facebook.

At one time we got in the downstairs bath with Wolfie, Wiggy to ride out the worst part. Mum was super proud of us...we were attentive, eager to do whatever Mum wanted (even the kitties!). We were calm in the bathroom all the time, and we didn't get out until the Netbook radar said it was safe. What a wild second night in our new home.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the storm and to all the new friends we've made while living down here in the southeast, hoping they are all safe. The news says this is one of the worst outbreak of tornados in history in this area, with over 160 tornadoes spawned by this storm. We are feeling very fortunate right now....thank DOG!

So today we are unpacking, and helping Mum catch up with work. The weather is supposed to be nice this afternoon, so we may get in a nice, well deserved, little hike at the nearest trail head.

Monday, April 25, 2011

One last dip in the stream...

We are getting ready to head on over to our new cabin tomorrow...but before that, Mum took us on one more hike up the ridge for old times sake :)

I got a in a nice dip in the stream...a nice place to cool off after some long distance recalls in the pasture.

video

Next time we blog we'll be at our new place and hopefully be able to share lots of new pics, between Mum setting up the cabin, getting her office and management jobs in order, unpacking, laundry (which we got behind on) and pestering the kitties (since we'll have more room to chase 'em :).

Can't wait!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blooming!

Seems like everything grew up overnight here on our Mountain. We got to enjoy a nice little hike Friday afternoon and enjoy our Earth for Earth Day!

The Common Sweetshrub is growing and blooming everywhere!

Suddenly Mum stops dead in her tracks. She says...'what is that amazing smell?' Turns out it was Wild Azaeleas blooming proudly. Smells kind of like 'just sliced apples' we think...

Heading over to the pasture we found a couple of daisies , among the grasses just forming their seed heads...

And some portions of the pasture are filled with lots of blooming weeds...

Near the ponds we found the phlox blooming again this year...so beautiful!

And a few more weeds...to round out the color scheme.

It's been kind of warm here some days, up into the 80's, nice shorts weather, Mum says. Although the bugs have come out in full force, including the ticks. Arrrggghhhh....so annoying!

We've really enjoyed the wild life, flora and fauna here on our little Mountain...this weekend we pack up all our gear and head to our new cabin on another Mountain on Tuesday! Looking forward to settling in and seeing all there is to see in our new home; and sharing it with all of you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our big surprise!!! Your chance to communicate!

If you've been reading my blog for a couple of years, you know that I have a friend that on occasion, 'talks to me.' Yep, I said it, she 'talks to me.'

Coryelle Kramer is an animal communicator and has been helping animals and their humans relate since 2001. Coryelle also practices TTouch™ and is certified in both Bach Flower Therapy and Reiki. In the past, Coryelle has worked as a Vet Tech in New York City, and has been communicating with animals since she was just a wee pup herself.

I know this is something that not everyone believes in, heck sometimes me and Mum wonder if it possible. But I do have to say that over the past couple of years, Coryelle has given me and my Mum some interesting insight into what I, and my kittie bros, Wolfie and Wiggy, and my sis, Gracie, have been feeling.

Just a few weeks ago, we went through a tense week when Wolfie wasn't feeling so good. Mum suspected it was the new food that he had been enjoying for a while, but started not agreeing with him. He went several days of not wanting to eat (which is very dangerous for kitties) and Mum having to finger feed him. We took him to the emergency room and found all his tests were normal. We were scared, but sensed that over a few days he was starting to get back to his normal, mean old, kittie self. And the nice thing is that Coryelle confirmed it for us. Seems Wolfie thought the new raw food was just too rich for his blood and was making his tummy hurt. Now Wolfie is completely back to his normal self, eating his own food and even trying to get at Wiggy's again, thank DOG!

Also, over the past few trials, I've had a little bit of a jumping problem. Mum sensed that I just didn't want to go over the jumps, maybe it hurt, even though she didn't see any discomfort at all in me and vets confirmed that. So what was up with the running around the jumps? Coryelle said that I wasn't comfortable at the place that we had been trialing, since the first time I ran there I got an ouch. Which makes sense to Mum, since when I got better I was comfy and running my wacky, fast self at home, jumping over logs and such; and I was perfectly fine jumping over the jumps at the place where we practiced recently.

So, we will be anxious to see what happens at my next trial in May, since we'll be going to a very different place and competing outdoors, rather than a indoor horse arena like before.

But I digress...If you've read my last two blog posts, you'll know that we are bringing a big surprise to you today. Yep, that's right...Coryelle and I are 'resurrecting' our surprise from two years ago and bringing back the 'Ask Coryelle' day like we did back in March of 2009.

And today is the day!

Why? Because one of the things that Mum has always liked about me, and I about her, is that we're open - open to new experiences, and open to new ideas, and we wanted to share that with you. So with that...

Here is the big surprise!!!

Coryelle will be answering my blog reader's questions privately via email for free from 9:00 AM today until 9:00 PM today, ET. One question per person/per pup only though, K?

If you'd like to have a question answered by Coryelle, all you have to do is leave your question in the comment section of this post, along with your email and she will 'tap' into you and respond with an answer to your question privately via email; so you can feel comfy asking anything you want.

Could be a great opportunity, so why not try it out!

Oh, and if one question isn't enough, and you want to dive in deeper communicating with your Mum or your dog, Coryelle is offering a generous special running now through 8PM ET, April 26th. She's offering 60 minutes of consultation for $50.00, that's a $40.00 reduction from her usual fee of $90.00 per hour, and makes it more affordable for you to use or even give as a gift!

Learn more about Coryelle and her practice, visit her website, and her blog, and if you're on Twitter or Facebook, follow her.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We're going on another adventure!

I am so excited, I'm doing my 'Sheltie' spin!!!

Mum told me that we're going on another adventure, yep that's right! We've been living in a cabin in the Mountains of Tennessee for about a year now, and realized that we got our first 'Adventure Experiment' pretty right the first time, but that there are a few things we needed to fix; like being closer to a place to train for agility, closer to where we can purchase more organic foods for me, Mum, Gracie, Wolfie and Wiggy, and a few more little items.

So over the past few months Mum has been talking with lots of folks in lots of areas around where we live, because we like the climate here; not too hot, not too cold, some snow, and lots of hiking ops. And she found a great new place for us to enjoy for a while.

We're moving to a cool cabin in the Mountains of Northeast Georgia next week. It's about two hours from where we are living now, closer to agility training and trials in the Atlanta area, and lots and lots of hiking ops for us.

Here's a cool photo of our new cabin taken when they got a little snow up there not too long ago.

We heard that this past Winter they got over 33 inches of snow up there on the Mountain, but like here it warmed up after several days and was gone. Just our kind of snow, that's fur sure.

We'll have a little more space in the cabin, a little more convenience, and a nice little front 'yard' that Mum's already lining up for help in building our temporary fence the week we get there. The kitties will have more places to look outside and enjoy nature from the lower windows and hide from me and Gracie :), 'cause we will have an upstairs now too.

We are so excited, we can't wait to get there!

Remember, we've got a big surprise coming to you on the blog this coming Friday, so be sure and check back, K? Here's a hint; it's something we've done before, and lots of folks really enjoyed it. It's something free and something that could really help you get to know your Mum (or pup :) even better! Stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting closer!

We had fun at the trial this past weekend. Three days of glorious agility!

Seems I had some good moments, and some odd ones too. Mum's sure that I don't hurt, but I am still having some jumping issues, so she is still having to really manage my jumps to make sure I take them. You can tell in the vid that it's slowing me down some.

Mum's thinking that since I got hurt at this location and had to take off a few months that I may have built up some kind of fear of jumping there. I'll take the jumps if Mum is close by the jump or sends me to one, but if she's ahead and it's watching me super closely, I will avoid them and run around them. I actually managed to squeeze through about six inches between the jump and Mum on my first run of the weekend. Made Mum's eyes get wide, BOL!

Mum definitely saw some improvement with me taking the jumps more on my own as the weekend progressed. Will be anxious to see what happens at my next trial.

We accumulated 27 points, so only need 20 for my MACH. We have a good chance to get it at my next trial, which we think will be near Atlanta in mid-May. Can't wait! Mum scoped out the trial info for the next possible trial and looks like it's outdoors undercover which will be way more fun for me.

I took Q's in all three JWW runs, but not my speedy self with all that jumping problem stuff. And I got one of my STD Q's with some good points. Had one jump run around in my first STD run and a tunnel bobble on my last STD run, so just little minor things, and didn't get very many points. But that's OK...next time!

Gracie also got to run in the B Match, and we were very proud of her! She was pretty darn focused, that one. She even did her weaves in public, so cool! Mum hasn't been really focusing on the technical stuff with Gracie, so she's bailing her DW occasionally and the teeter, (WHEE!!!), but Mum's not worried, she just wants Gracie to have fun out there and focus!!! :)

The video shows my STD run and Gracie second B Match run.


BTW, Mum ran the entire weekend in her new Five Finger shoes that the nice folks at Appalachian Ourdoors sent us to test out and she was loving it! She says it's easier to do front crosses and run faster, all without hgh supplements, BOL! All three like of us that!

We have made some pawsome friends here and really enjoy seeing them when we trial. We won't be going back to this site, because we have some news to share later in the week. But we sure hope to see them in the Atlanta area in the future!!! Mum also talked at the trial with a trainer in the Atlanta area that Gracie and I may be taking a few lessons from, can't wait for that!

Hope you had a great weekend. And, we have some other big news coming near the end of the week, stay tune!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guess what I'm doing this weekend?

I get to do my favorite thing this weekend! Wheee...Agility!!!

A little of this...but hoping I come out of the chute a little straighter, oops!

And a little of this...

And a little of this...hoping they have rubberized contacts, 'cause Mum would like me to have all my toes on the board (check out my back toes), oops!

And a little of this...hope they have 24" inch poles...

And hopefully some more of this too!

And I'd love if I get to mix in just a little of this stuff, whee!!!!

The chicken is cooking on the stove, my favorite white cheddar cheese is chillin' in the fridge, my nails are trimmed, fur between the toes trimmed up too, car is gased up, checked into the cheapest auto insurance, (just kidding, we got the bestest coverage :), packing the car later tonight, setting the alarm to get up earlier. Love, love that routine, makes my 'sheltie' spin, BOL!

I am ready for three glorious days of running agility with my Mum! Can't wait!

Thank you to Anthony Mosley of Anthony Mosley Photography, Kathleen Shaffer of Pupart.net; Horace Howell Photography; V.W. Perry; and Ken Siems of PSD Photos for the great photos of me do my thang!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Madness Agility Showcase going on this weekend!

Four USDAA agility clubs (Head Over Tails Agility, MadCo Agility, Mid-Atlantic Madness, and Virginia Ruff Riders) have combined forces to offer the second annual Mid-Atlantic Agility Showcase, April 8-10 in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.

All class types at all levels are being offered during this three ring extravaganza, in addition to all tournaments: Team, Grand Prix, and Steeplechase, and Performance Versatility Pairs, Performance Grand Prix, and Performance Speed Jumping. Judges are Bob Griffin, Scott Chamberlain and Greg Beck.

A Triathlon class will also be offered with a winning purse of $4,000.00. The Triathalon is an invitational event composed of three rounds. To qualify for an invitation into the Championship or Performance Triathlons, the dog must have earned a qualifying score in a Grand Prix or Steeplechase class (or Performance Grand Prix or Performance Speed Jumping class) at any USDAA event between the dates of April 5, 2010 and April 7, 2011. Visit the web page for information on how the Triathalon works.

The Mid-Atlantic Spring Festival is being livestreamed free-of-charge at www.cynosport.tv.

More links:

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Big storm the other night and other stuff...

We had a super big storm the other night...lots of loud banging, cracking and rain. We're pretty lucky 'cause that stuff doesn't really bother us too much. Just one big loud crack made us raise our heads...then we went right back to sleep.

But in the middle of the night we heard something unusual. And we saw what it was in the morning on our walk. Luckily Mum thought she should move our Rover to a safer place because she knew the storm was coming and that it was probably going to be a big one. So she moved it away from the 60-70 foot pine trees.

Good thing because what we saw in the morning made us breathe a sigh of relief! Right next to where the car had been parked was a big downed limb from one of the 60 foot trees. Whew...lucky us, our dog agility car is safe!!! And the cabin too....that's why folks look into that adt pulse pricing to help monitor and secure their home, fur sure!

We ventured out more on our walk and saw lots of downed trees...

We put the logs to good use and did a little 'environmental agility' as they say....here's a quick vid of me walking the log!

video

Spring has sprung on the Mountain here...the Dogwoods are blooming...

And the little woodland flowers too. Viola...

Bloodroot...

Everything is green, and the wild chives have popped up all over the pasture. You can see them taller than the grass, dotted all along this area of the pasture near the northwest fence...

Lots of new smells, mud and yuck to explore around here in the Spring, gotta love that! Hope all of you are getting a little sun and warmth your way.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Training yesterday!

Yesterday we had a pawsome Sunday fun day!

Gracie and I got to go up to Knoxville and do agility training with some great new friends. The weather was amazing...78 degrees, sunny and oh so yummy! What a great gift after days of chilly temps and wet.

Mum got there before anyone else, so she scoped out the place. It was a huge, and I mean huge, fenced in field with the agility set up in the level corner. There was more open space than I think I have ever seen.

So Mum took Gracie down to the agility field and worked on her running DW, on a lowered DW. She did pawsome, so they moved to the regular dogwalk and she did great again! Then worked on some teeter, some jumping, and frame.

But Mum really wanted to take this op to work with Gracie on some recall work, since the field was so big. She put Gracie in a sit stay, like she does me in the pasture, then walked about 100 yards away and called the Grace-ster. She came running to Mum like a mad woman, full blast.

Once Gracie got to Mum she started playing with her, rolling around on the ground with her and more before she gave Gracie a big jackpot. Then they worked the same type of recall in the other direction. Gracie ran past Mum, like she has done before, but Mum really thought she had her attention, so when she went past her, she called Gracie again, and Gracie turned right around and came to Mum, wow! That was huge for both of them...so proud of Gracie :)

When our friends got there, Mum took me down to the field. We wanted to work my running DW, just to make sure it's still in check. But mostly we wanted to work on jumps (since I got into this little bad habit about running around them at the last couple of trials.)

My running dogwalk looked pretty darn good, got it at 100% even with lots of pushing and forward motion from Mum. My weaves were pretty spunky too, which Mum loved. And when we got to some jump work, Mum worked on serps, threadles, pull thrus, 180s, 360's and some backy-uppy's and I handled it all like a pro. Mum ran me about three times during the time we were there, so much fun!

I'm soooo ready for my next trial on April 15-17th, can' wait!

Mum worked Gracie on some little sequences. She made her DW about 80% and her frame about 90%. And she even did weaves in public! Mum was really proud of that! Gracie didn't get to run as much as I did, but she had blast.

We got to train with some new friends we met at the last trial, including Speed, who we went hiking with weeks ago. One of our new friends has a new red BC pup, Fitz, about 14 weeks old. Fitz is the same size as I, even at 14 weeks. Gonna be a big boy :) Mum was super proud of me, I really wanted to play with Fitz, but sometimes I'm just not good with puppies. Mum wants me to be, just so I'm ready when we add another pup to our family. She was so proud of me, I was great with Fitz (and he was a boy too, which made it even grander, because I'm really better with girl pups). So Mum, when do I get a new brother? :) A new pup would be make for one of many great fathers day gifts even though I'm not a dad :)

When we got home, we got in a nice little hike, and did some tricks in the pasture too. It was the most fun day in weeks, thanks Mum!!!

Hope all of you had a great weekend too!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

AKC National Agility Championships are going on now!

The AKC National Agility Championships are going on now through Sunday, April 1-3, 2011, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia!

Over 1000 dog/handler teams are competing this weekend in the most competitive AKC national event of the year. Check out some of these fun stats, re: breed breakdown, MACH dogs #'s, etc.

Here's the schedule:

Thursday, March 30th
T2B Exhibition (course)

Friday, April 1 - Running Order

ISC JWW - Results, Course
ISC Standard - Results, Course

ISTT - Round 1 - Results by Height 26" 24" 20" 18" 16" 14" 12" 8" 4"
ISTT - Round 2 - Results by Height 26" 24" 20" 18" 16" 14" 12" 8" 4"

Saturday, April 2 - Running Order

Round 1: JWW - Full Results, Results by Height 26" 24" 20" 16" 12" 8" 4" Course
Round 2: Standard - Full Results, Results by Height 26" 24" 20" 16" 12" 8" 4" Course

Sunday, April 3 - Running Order

Round 3: Hybrid Class - Results, 26" 24" 20" 16" 12" 8" 4" Course
Round 4: Finals/Challengers - Results, Info by Height 26" 24" 20" 16" 12" 8" 4" Course
Finals - Results, Course, Running Order

Final Winners!
Championship

‎8" Andrea Samuels & Sparkle
12" Patti Gagnon & Sparkle
16" Ashley Deacon & Luka
20" Rosanne Demascio & Drifter
24" Tracy Golden & Blink
26" Tori Self & Revolution

Preferred

20" Kelly Armstrong & Devon
16" Naci Berkoz & Rusty
12" Margaret Howes & Angel
8" Sandi Osborne & Skyler
4" Barbara Scanlan & Taylor


Here are other links to the important stuff:

All Results
Ring Results on TwitterUpdates via Facebook
Subscribe to results via email

Bow-Wow Video will be videotaping every run of every dog in every ring all three days.

For those unable to attend this year, here is the qualifying info for 2012. And future dates for future AKC National Agility Championships:

2013, 2016 and 2019 AKC National Agility Championship events will be held at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex at Expo Square in Tulsa, OK on the following dates:

March 15-17, 2013
March 18-20, 2016
March 15-17, 2019

Other future dates, TBD.

We'll update links as info becomes available; and add some vids we find. Good luck to everyone competing!!!!
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