Saturday, May 21, 2011


Woke up to a beautiful (but unforecasted) sunny day.  My original plan was to take my bike and ride a 20k trail at our local conservation area.  Common sense prevailed however - since I haven't been on my bike for a couple of years and engineering guy just put a new tube in the tire for me it seemed wiser to take a shorter trip, closer to home.  I biked to the bank to get money to go to the first farmer's market of the season.  I actually biked right by the market but the dogs and I walk down every Saturday morning so I didn't stop.

My farmer's market scores today were asparagus (yummy), homemade bread, organic spinach, and homemade soap.  I just missed out on the lettuce.

It occurred to me while walking down with the dogs how grateful I am that I can walk with them.  It's something I take for granted nearly every day.

Now I have to choose between indoor work and yard work.  I know I'd rather be outside but the dust bunnies are starting to have babies!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My favourite things

On Saturday night I was telling someone that my favourite "thing" is my iphone.  On Saturday night that was true.  On Sunday Max and I went to an agility trial in the rain.  My favourite thing is now my shiny new black rubber shoes that kept my feet toasty warm and dry.

  Sadly my feet were the only part of my body that stayed warm and dry.  I didn't have rain pants (I do now!),  I don't own a hat and I didn't put my waterproof jacket on until I was already wet (yeah I know it doesn't do much good then).

Poor Max was pretty cold and wet too despite the raincoat I brought for him.  I ended up wrapping him in a blanket and sitting with him in the car between runs.  We were supposed to be in three runs but pulled out of the last one.  Despite the weather we both had fun.  Max ran a really good standard run - he   did a couple of off course obstacles but all in all I was happy.  I wasn't sure what to expect for his advanced gamblers run.  It was our first advanced gamblers and our fourth gamblers ever.  He was amazing!  It was a really lovely course and we racked up a lot of points.   I didn't really have any expectation that Max would do the gamble as it was 6 weave poles, teeter, jump.  I  was really hoping we'd be able to manage the weaves.  Well not only did he get the weaves but the same  dog who absolutely refused to do a teeter in January did the teeter fourteen feet away from me and carried on to the jump.  I was so proud of him!

I took Rylie on Saturday.  The weather was much nicer.  He had two good runs and Q'd in both his jumpers and his gamblers run.  We are still getting used to doing full courses so we weren't without our bobbles but he's a really good boy and pays attention.

We've been doing a lot of agility lately and getting some much needed practice on courses.  I'm so pleased with how both dogs are doing.  We're having a lot of fun.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I've been MIA for awhile.  I've been here and reading blogs but life has gotten incredibly hectic.

My nest is no longer quite as empty.  Engineering Guy finished his third year (where does the time go) and is home for what will probably be his last summer.

The dogs and I have been participating in Susan Garrett's recallers course which is just winding up.  I have been lucky enough to attend a few seminars with Susan in person but I almost think that I get more out of the online courses as there is not quite as much material to digest at once.

One of my deepest wishes is that I had been more aware of positive training methods when my Golden was alive but I am a firm believer that every dog comes to us for a reason and I know that Zeus' legacy to me was to make me determined to have a well trained dog without using force or punishment.  I've been so blessed to find my own trainer who is also one of Susan's instructors and who introduced me to Susan's methods.

Did my dog's get better recall through this course - honestly I'm not sure as I think their recalls were already pretty good.  I know I have learned a tremendous amount about dog training and how to work through problems.  The other thing that happened is that my relationship with Rylie has improved dramatically.  Rylie is an awesome dog  - he has always been a Daddy's boy.  He loves his momma but he follows Daddy around and it's sometimes hard to keep his attention if Daddy is in sight. That has  been great for working distractions.  This course has changed that dramatically without even trying though.  What momma wants - momma gets cause momma is da bomb!  Max has always been a momma's boy and I don't notice as much change in him but I have to say I'm super excited in the changes in Rylie.

This week I switched up their classes.  I took Max to class with the baby dogs because I wanted to work on his teeter (which he did without a second thought -so go figure).  We had a starters jumpers run set up  because a couple of the dogs in the prior class were going to be competing in their first trial.  My trainer challenged me to get a front cross in at a certain obstacle.  I figured not a problem since Max isn't exactly a speed demon - well he fooled me.  He rocked the easy course.  The second time around I got the front cross in but only because I sent him and let him find three obstacles on his own.   He beat me to the finish.  My trainer said any time Max beats you consider it an awesome run - and I did!

Rylie went with the older dogs and the sequence was a bit trickier.   I found I couldn't send him to the same extent and I couldn't keep up with him either!  We do have some work to do but it was great fun.

Both dogs did realy well in class with strange dogs.  I love Cavaliers - they are so adaptable.