Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Johnny Depp eat your heart out!  Max is supposed to be a space alien but he declined to wear the hood with all of the little blue horns sticking out.  "Mom this is SO undignified".  You take what you can get!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back Home

I got back home Monday night.  I missed agility class for both dogs this week because Rylie goes on Monday and we went to Spamalot last night (It was great fun and I'm not even a Monty Python fan).  My trainer took pity on me and offered me the use of her yard tonight (Max has a trial next weekend).  We had fun.  I practiced contacts and weaves with Max.  As long as I remember not to peel away from him I think he'll be okay.

With Rylie I was excited to try twelve weave poles for the first time.  After doing two sets of six a few times I put them together and he flew through the twelve.

I've toyed with giving my dogs a break from agility for the winter as my trainer is going away (heaven knows how I'd keep Rylie occupied) but it's so good for my mental health I think I'll try and find another class.  Although I made a good friend in my obedience instructor last winter and I think she's a fine instructor I just didn't find it a lot of fun.  I'd consider giving freestyle dance a try but I'm about as graceful as an elephant stampeding.  I won't totally rule it out though if the agility thing doesn't pan out because one of the things I do enjoy about getting older is that I seem to have gained the ability to laugh at myself and do things I'll never be great at just because they are fun.

Max and I have our trial next weekend - for the first time I'm putting him in three runs.  Then next month I'm taking Rylie to a two day seminar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Missing My Guys

I am in B.C. visiting my parents and as I expected I am missing my guys like crazy.  I toyed with the idea of bringing one of them with me but it was a very long day of travelling and whichever one I left behind would have been sooooo lonely.  They are probably having a great time wrapping Daddy around their little paws.  The night before I left I took both dogs to agility class.  Usually they have class on different nights but I switched Max's night so he wouldn't have to miss.  They were both content (or at least I didn't hear them) during their hour in the car.  Max went first - he really likes the cooler weather.  His twelve weave poles were awesome.  I was very pleased.  The class he went to had two dogs he'd been in class with for a year.  For a year he ignored them and their attempts to play (good boy Max) but on Monday night he took off from me as soon as they came in the agility yard to run over and say hello.  I'm pretty sure my trainer has never seen him so naughty.  I ended up having to put a leash on him but I was glad to see him having so much fun.

When it was Rylie's turn I realized just how much trouble I am going to be in running him!  We were doing  a sequence and I sent him through a tunnel - I was planning to cross in front of him to turn him before the next jump.  Try as I could the closest I could get was getting to the tunnel exit at the same time as Rylie - I had to backstep because he was barrelling out of the tunnel to the next jump!  If he could talk he'd say "It's okay mama - I've got it - just get out of my way".   I knew I'd have to handle them differently but having back to back class really brings the point home.  My classmate and trainer said I looked like a soccer player when I was back stepping to avoid him - in truth I was just trying to stay on my feet and avoid a collision - pretty sure I didn't look nearly as graceful as a soccer player!

I checked the AAC website and Max now has his own page since they put up his Q run in September.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walk in the woods

We are lucky enough to live within a few minutes walk of a lovely bush.  Today I took my camera along as the doglets and I went for our morning walk.  This has to be a current favourite picture.  Last night Max and I went with my trainer and her masters dog to an outdoor training facility to practice.  Max will be running his first standard course next month and we haven't really done all the contacts in sequence yet.   He did really well.  I had a couple of handling bobbles but Max is the best first agility dog.  At this point he doesn't have blazing speed but that means even if I'm late in my cues he usually manages to take the obstacle that I want him to.  He's very thoughtful and attentive.  It was a new venue for him and he'd never met my handlers BC - who sometimes doesn't like other dogs at all.  She was lovely with Max - she was the one who came up to say hello to him.   I think I better start my own training program though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Canine Olympaws

We had a great day yesterday at Olympaws. The weather didn't co-operate so it was moved inside. The event was a fundraiser for St. John's ambulance therapy dogs. My goal - other than to support this great cause was to have my two in an environment with lots of different dogs and people. Being Cavaliers, of course they soaked up all the attention - canine and human! The only time Rylie got upset was when the agility club did a demo and didn't ask him. He was pretty sure he could do all this stuff!

After that we headed to an agility demo where Rylie and Max did get to strut their stuff. It was cold and wet and I think nearly all the spectators were also participants but oh well - a good time was had by all.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I realized today (well okay I've thought this for a little while now) that Max is becoming naughty. The thing is I can't get myself to get too worked up about it. I did get upset when he ran down the street the other night but when he chased the squirrel in the park I just decided that I'd take him back there to train with distraction. Watching him chase birds in the yard today I realized that I'm just so darn happy to see him run that I can't bear to call him off. There were a few months this spring and early summer when he didn't seem to run at all and I guess I was more worried than I even let myself believe. It's so nice to have my Max back.