Tuesday, April 28, 2009


What else is there to say except that the A-frame continues to be the bane of my existence?

Sure I have other problems. Debt, an upcoming move…well really just those two. I'm back on a diet, not really a problem actually. Really that's a cause for celebration if I want to fit into my pants without looking like a sausage – and I do.

Back to the A-frame. Instead of leaping into the air from near the top of the A-frame as he was doing when we were trying out running contacts, DJ has now instituted a kind of 4 on the floor style-not-doing-the-right-thing.

He is more likely to touch yellow with this and I would prefer a less strenuous contact performance for the little guy than 2o2o however, his contact behavior has tended to migrate more than anything else we've ever trained or practiced. So for that reason, I have to only reinforce 2o2o, nothing close or approximating. Only one thing.
I think that's where I went wrong initially, just kind of loosey goosey standards like oh well he did touch yellow and now here we are.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is an old picture of Deej from a year or so ago. His nails look much better now.

DJ's feet are finally looking normal, even the back ones! It's so exciting! He still clicks a little walking on the tile but all his nails are off the ground when he's standing -- to varying degrees, some more than others. Especially those extra fast growing pointer toes on his front feet.

All in all his nails are not perfect but they're a totally respectable length. And all with his full cooperation...amazing!

I find myself obsessing over them though, and making plans for the next day's nail trimming session.

I am still using clippers, not a Dremel. That's still a challenge. But we're working on it, I don't know that he will ever like the feel of it.

BUT, with the clippers, he's finally comfortable enough that I can take my time, mostly. Its so much easier to trim his nails when I can take a second to see that I'm not going to cut them too short. It's much less painful for him when I can just snip off a little bit at a time.

Thankfully the quicks have receded on all of his front toes so that also helps. Even I don't slice into them, it clearly hurts him if its cut too close.

I see where I went wrong in the beginning trying to get them short right away instead of just patiently doing a little at a time, it was just so hard to believe it would ever be possible! Really I think nail trimming may be our most exciting accomplishment to date.

Its just ridiculous how proud of us I am! Now if only I could get some pictures, I just need a spare $50 to buy another battery for my digital camera. Though at this point that camera is so old...about 6 years old actually, I should just buy a new one.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tailwagger's USDAA trial April 17 - 19

I've been feeling discouraged by moronic mistakes I make at trial. The past two trials I've totally screwed up a couple of things.


This past weekend, in the performance speed jumping finals – first time we've ever made it in! I dropped my arm when I should have pushed DJ out to the second to last jump and dropped out connection he came in to me and we missed the jump.

I should be feeling good, it was fun, we Q'd in a bunch of stuff and are slowly making our way out of starters. We've only done 5 USDAA trials now and just need one more starters Q to get to Advanced, we have 3 Qs in the games classes. I think, at least 2 in some.

Three for sure in Jumpers and Pairs. Maybe just two in Snooker and Gamblers but I think three. Who knows I'm too lazy to figure it out at the moment.

Its just so discouraging to do such dumb stuff. We're both still green, we've only been trialing for 1 year, I should give myself a pass and just chalk it up to a learning experience.

I'm very competitive though and just seethe comparing myself to the Really Good People.

Of course they make mistakes too, the most common one seems to be dropped bars and timing issues there…

but with DJ the place where I've been going wrong is in pulling him off the jump entirely when I look ahead to where we're going.

Its all just for fun and such. Right, of course. But it is a competition and a test of skills and its frustrating to see myself making dumb mistakes.

Its all so confusing, on the one hand its "only" dog agility and on the other hand it’s a such a time, money, effort, thought – sink.
Poor DJ, he's a good man and does the best he can with the handler he's stuck with.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Things I need

I need:

More dogs – 2 more dogs to do dog stuff with! Herding, Frisbee-catching, agility doing dogs!

Better handling skillz. I think if I had more dogs I wouldn't get so fried from waiting at trials thus maybe I wouldn't need better handling skills, just less brain wasting stress.

Mostly just another dog or two.

I'm planning on calling one breeder tonight to ask some questions, put out some feelers, I don't think I'll be able to actually get a puppy until late this year, at the earliest.

And I do want a puppy, at least once. I promised my boyfriend that after the puppy our next dog will be an old man dog from a rescue. Unless he somehow finds the time to start doing agility, then gets addicted then it will be a slightly younger rescue dog. (min pin of course)

But first, a puppy. I saw a Pyrenean shepherd at a trial recently and talked to the owner a bit. Those are seriously cute dogs…I've corresponded with a breeder to find out why they have such a strange reputation.

But I have to admit I'm feeling the pull of border collies. They seem like so much fun.

The thing is and this is kind of stupid but I don't want to run in the smaller classes in agility I'd rather do 16 inch or 20, at least in AKC, for now…which puts min pins out of the running, they're just so darn small, I really like DJ's size, he's small but not *that* small.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trial recap

Finally DJ got his AX. In fact he got all his contacts for three days of the trial. We only Q'd twice in standard however because I forgot a jump on the third day. My butt is sore from kicking myself over all the mistakes I made this weekend.

For some reason DJ was popping out of the weave poles in JWW everyday until Sunday…when we didn’t Q because I somehow caused him to crash through a jump with spazzy bad handling.

I suspect though I'm not sure…that he was popping out because I didn't warm him up properly before jumpers.

Especially on Friday because it was pouring buckets of rain by the time we ran, and probably not coincidentally that was our worst run of the weekend.

Stretching seems to help him a ton. Though his shoulders aren't totally upright, they're not as laid back as they could be and he tends to get a little tight. He did get a massage on Saturday and got really loose – in fact he was even enjoying it by the end and just stood there sleepy-eyed soaking it up! That was after half a slice of cheese and about a quarter ounce of steak.

So…there's a USDAA trial in two weeks, then there's one in early May then the last one over Memorial Day all the way in Palmetto. There's also a trial in Palmetto the 24 and 25 of this month. Premiums are due in on Friday…

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More trialing!

This weekend is a four-day trial…should be interesting.

The bad news is that its going to be like a sauna with high humidity and of course, heat. Check in doesn't start until 8:30 but I'm going to get there around…well, hopefully before 7 to stake out a spot.

That is worst part of trialing around here…almost everything is under cover so its kind of a race to get a good spot in shade. I could put up a canopy.

Will I get a good spot, will we finally get into Ex. B in Standard, will DJ ever do a contact in trial again and will I move up to Excellent FAST. So many questions.