Thursday, December 31, 2009

Training Foundations

OK, I am being proactive for next year.  I have gotten Miss Grace on a waiting list for agility foundations. Grace and I have taken some beginning classes, but I think I need to really strengthen our foundations, so I asked to be on the waiting list for the next foundation class at Agile Canines.  I have loved training Magic with Michelle, and really hope to be able to get him back into her classes, but honestly, Ham Lake is a long ways from South Minneapolis, and the new Agile Canines location is only 35-40 blocks away.

Magic is already enrolled in the Acting Class starting in February. I have tried to get him into this class for a long time.  Nothing may ever come of it, other than we have fun, but hey, he would be awfully cute in some advertising, so who knows.  I am still really thinking about attempting flyball. I have the class paperwork sitting on my desk, I just don't know if I want to start another sport with him? I should just let that go, but I haven't yet. I should get us back to agility classes, but I am just so bad about wanting to go out in the cold to do stuff in the winter, its hard for me to commit to that. Ok, so I am procrastinating and that is not a good way to start the year either. The other option is to try another actual obedience class and see if we can fix the heeling issue? 

I am looking to find a beginning obedience class for Siren. Not sure yet where I want to take her. I need to look at the options I guess. Anyone have a beginning obedience trainier that they really really liked and can recommend? 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 recap and goals for 2010

My goals for this year were pretty modest, and overall we were successful. These are the goals I posted last December:
 Grace earn her RA, and her UKC Ch.  Both done, additionally Grace earned her URO1 too.
 Magic maybe pick up a couple of agility titles. Done, AKC-NA, NJP and NADAC jumpers too. We also    managed to earn these UKC non agility titles,  URO1, FO, UWP
 Peace enjoy her times in the show ring, and pick up a few wins along the way.  Done obtaining her AKC and  UKC Ch all from bred by.  And I cannot forget Peace's Best in Show which was incredible for me.
 Siren train in obedience and tracking. Well we did some training, but not as much as I would have liked

I was more successful with the dog goals that I posted than I was with the personal goals that I did not post.
I did learn to knit, I am very slow, but I have completed several small things.  I also crocheted which was not on ny goal list last year, but I have enjoyed that tremndously. I have NOT finished the socks I started, I got to the heel and stopped.  Need to get that figured out. 
For 2010 I am again going to have modest goals.  With 4 dogs and a limited dog budget, I cannot train or trial as I would like.
Magic-Magic will hopefully do some more weight pulling. I would like to have him work toward his ARCH and see if maybe we can earn his CDX. Not sure on that though, as he really does not enjoy obedience as much as agility. But again with the limited budget, I can work on the obedience and rally more on my own than I can agility.
Grace-I love Grace, but she is much more of a challenge to work with. I would like to get her back to agility classes, as she hasn't been training since before the pups and that was almost 2 years ago.  She did go to an agility trial this year, even though she doesn't weave yet, and she had a great time, so I hope to get her back out training and maybe trialing.
Peace-As Peace was my focus last year, she gets to take the year off. We will work at home on training.
Siren-Siren will begin formal training. As in a training class.  I am not disciplined enough to work my dogs as they should be, on my own, so I am going to commit to getting at least one title on Siren this year.
So Siren and Grace will be the lucky winners of the training lottery this year.  They will get the most classes and opportunities, I think.  Magic will still probably be my most often trialed dog though.  We have 2 APDT opportunities each year and I am going to commit myself to both.
On a personal level, I need to work toward getting healthy. That means exercise. No excuses, it has to become a larger part of my life. With my other medical issues, simply becoming more physical will help me feel better. Maybe not at the time I am sweating, but the rest of the time!
I also need to learn how to do those heels on the socks. Those will be done in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back on line!

Some naughty dog in my house should have gotten coal in its stocking, but no one did. Seems someone decided to eat the phone line cord so I had no internet during the long weekend.  Yes, I probably could have gone out and bought a new one, but the roads were not great, and if we move the cars during the parking ban we may not find a new spot, I decided to wait until today.

We had a nice holiday and hope you all did too. Both of the afghans I made were really liked, as were the homemade jelly collections, and knit dishcloths.  Must be the economy but our whole family went with really practical gifts this year, which I really appreciate.  The dogs got their bucket of venison scraps and bones from the deer my brother shot (muzzle loading season) and processed himself.  Talk about happy dogs. Venison is a huge favorite here. For some reason though, I cannot convince him to let me have the stomach and organs-it seems he can handle the idea of me feeding the dogs raw scraps, but not offal. Oh well, free food for the dogs is always good, so I am not complaining. 

Hope everyone else had the holiday they desired, whether busy, or peaceful, Christian or not! Peace to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Magic and I want to wish a Merry Christmas to all our readers. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Carpal Tunnel from crocheting

I do it every time, I swear.  Remember the afghan I crocheted?  Well, that went really well and I loved making it. Loved it so much I decided to do another one for another christmas gift. But, this one I decided to make more like a typical granny afghan, with multiple colors per hexagon.  Now, the other one I did in a month.  A month!  I started this one the first of November, and its December 21st and it is still not done!!  Yes, I am on the homestretch, but dang, this one is taking forever.  Of course it doesn't help that I chose to do this one in black, and well, I can't see the yarn with my glasses on, but can't see the football game on TV without my glasses, so spent the whole game last night flipping glasses on and off. (And they lost, they really should not have lost, very dissappointing)  This morning my arm is just aching, and I have to go home tonight and finish this darn thig, and then spend a few hours picking all the dog hair off the darn thing.  Ah well, holiday stress...

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A quiet weekend just spent trying to get all the holiday stuff done.  Magic and I did start working on a new trick. I am asking him to push a box across the floor with his nose.  It only took 2 sessions for him to understand the concept, now we are working on distance. Next I am thinking about teaching him to put things into a box, but I am still thinking about that one. I have been working really hard trying to get him to hold and carry the dumbell, or a toy without dropping it and am not sure if teaching this right now is a good idea.

Otherwise, the dogs have enjoyed the relatively decent winter weather with lots of playtime outside.  Gotta love that. Except for when Grace went between Kazin and the fence and got peed on. Oh well.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Updated Reading List

You know, I used to read books.  Now I read blogs, while I listen to books. Best of both worlds!
I am in the process of updating the blog links.  The list is already huge and there are quite a few more that I religiously read that I will be adding.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfection, hah, I think NOT

Over on Susan Garrett's blog she has a thought provoking post on seeking perfection. I can honestly say, and you can easily tell when watching my dogs, perfection has not been our goal.  Versatility, cooperation, teamwork and fun have been my goals.  I do not fault those who have goals for those high level titles at all.  Someday I may have those goals. But early on I had several experiences that made me realize that, for me, its about me having fun AND my dog having fun.  Mostly its about my dog having fun.

Early on in my training with Magic I was at a class early so I was watching the prior class. There was a lady there with her dog doing some scentwork. She dropped the article in the pile, went back and sent her dog. The dog trotted out to the pile, picked the right article, and started back. On the way back, she dropped the article and sneezed several quick sneezes. (not sure whether her sneeze caused her to drop it, or she dropped it to sneeze) Before the poor little dog had stopped sneezing, the trainer was pinching that poor dogs ear and forcing her to pick up the dumbbell. The next send to the pile she went out picked the dumbell and slowly came back, but not straight, not perfect-she got another ear pinch.  The rest of the time she worked that cute little dog, her head and tail were down and she worked. She worked well, but she clearly was not enjoying herself.  This team often earns high in trial, but at what expense?

I want my dogs to enjoy the ride as much as I do.  I really don't want to force them to do the things they hate. Yes, originally I wanted to work toward Magic's CDX, but he hates heeling, and although I will work this year towards trying to help him enjoy it, I won't force the issue.  He seems to love the weight pulling.  He charges to the front of the cart to get hooked up.  I think if he could talk he would tell me that agility is great! I am pretty sure that if I could throw a toy for 6 hours a day he would race after it for 6 hours a day. Are we awesome in any of those, nope, but we are having fun. Even when we leave the agility course and I am calling him a goober and asking him to tell me when did "tunnel" start to mean take the frame, its being said in the a goofy loving voice and his tail is wagging and we are both happy.  I am not a great trainer,  I am not consistent enough, nor steady enough to be one, and I KNOW our mistakes are my fault. Yes I am proud of the titles we have earned, but I am also proud of my dog even when he does lay down during the heeling pattern and wait for me to get back.

Please if you ever see me lose it at a trial or in training where I take it out on the dog, STOP me, set me down and remind me, that is not the person I am nor the person I want to be.  Please.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cardi Claus Visited today!

Thank yo so much to Kota, Sedona, Chance and Piper, and of course to Traci too.  Let me just tell you, the doggie cookies are a HUGE hit.  They all mobbed me while I was opening the package noses twitching all the while.  Thank you so much for the candy and the cactus ornament too.  It will go high on the tree to protect it from naughty dogs.
This has been fun and I hope we continue this in the years to come.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Training in Minneapolis

I have to admit, I am so very lucky to live in a city with so much dog opportunity.  We have many training facililities available, with 3 that are within a couple of miles from me, and several more within about a half hours travel. We also have waiting lists at many of these facilities.  I was on a wait list for agility at one place for over 2 years.  I finally got into another or may still be waiting.  A couple of the schools offer some tracking, or therapy dog training. Oh yes, we also have flyball at several. One had dockdiving, but Magic sinks, so I really haven't paid attention to that anywhere else so it may be available. But for most basic classes, you can get into them without too much delay. However, for some of the more limited classes, wait lists can be lengthy.

Its also nice that we have a variety of venues available, along with AKC.  We have UKC for conformation, obedience, rally and weight pulling.  We have NADAC, ASCA, USDAA, CPE, TDAA for agility. We have 2 trials per year of APDT rally and now also St Huberts Obedience.  I am sure there is more I don't know about. Quite a variety of options.

I was thinking about my goals for next year.  Being fairly new to dog training and competition, I really want to do it all.  Poor Magic, he is my gotta do it all guy. I really want to try teacup agility, but Grace may be more suited to that.  I am thinking though, as much as Magic loves balls, I think we need to try flyball.  I dont know if I can handle the barking, but it does look fun.   I guess the first step for next year is to sit down and figure out a training and trialling budget. Then I can decide priorities for each dog.  Meanwhile. I still need to train more basics to the girls who practically mobbed me last night thinking that maybe I have food I am not sharing!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little things excite me

I am really tickled today.  There is a class that is offered at one of the local dog training facilities.  I have wanted to get Magic into this class for quite some time, but I always seem to miss the signup. Its at a traiing facility that is not very close to me, so I have to watch the website for it,  Well last week I found that I missed it again.  Its already full. So I called tham and asked if possibly it was possible to pre-sign up for the next class whenever it may be.  The instructor said she didn't know when the next one would be, probably not until much later in the year.  Well I got a call from her today, and she has enough people interested already, she is having a second session starting at the end of February.  I can't wait!

Ok, so maybe this is not something that most people get excited about, but I am. 

Busy Week!

Last week and weekend was one of those times where it seemed like I was just going and doing non stop.  I am sure that this time of year pretty much everyone is in that position.  I have been working on holiday gifts, another afghan and some dishcloths. I did all my holiday baking on Saturday.  I am sure a few more things will get thrown in, but if I dont bake anything else, we will still get fatter. Save me from myself, someone.

The dogs are doing great. They love the snow. We have been having more dog races in the yard than we had all summer I think. Peace and Siren learned some very nice jumping form.  Last fall I put up a fence so I can close off part of the yard come spring to try to save the grass a bit.  Its just that black plastic fence stuff, about 3 feet high. Well, my naughty boy Magic learned early on that it has enough give, that if he goes over it and hits it a bit it he will be fine-yes my 12.25 inch corgi can jump 3 feet.  Well last week part of the top of the fence fell down, creating a nice low gate to leap over, about 14 inches tall, but as its plastic fallen over it also has about a 12 inch spread too.  Grace had no problem with this jump, but Siren and Peace, well it was a bit of a challenge for them.  They had a few tries where they hit the fence or just  misjudged it  But now, well, I was watching them yesterday and both og them have developed a beautiful arching jump. Even when racing around and over, both girls go over with lovely form.  Now, I just hope that will carry over to agility when we start training.
Have a great week, everyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Its Official - Picture added

Ch. Daybreake's Peaceful Dreams! 

I just checked the AKC site and it's there.  Woohoo!  And her show picture came too, I can't wait to get it scanned in. (added) Peace is only my second show dog and the first one I bred, so it is exciting for me.  She may not be the best cardigan out there, but she is one of my favorites. (She is such a goober-girl it would be hard not to love her.)

After the holidays are over and my mad christmas gift finishing rush is over I need to do her scrapbook.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looks like Winter is on the way

It's been a warmer, dryer winter so far, but it looks like that may be coming to an end. The high today for Minneapolis is 25, with snow predicted in a day or so. The dogs like the snow and don't seem to mind the cold, but I don't like the cold at all. With my anemia I am almost always cold, even in summer often, so I am not looking forward to the arrival of winter. On the other hand though, I love a snowy Christmas.

I think I finally have convinced Peace that the tunnel is not so scary. We have been working on it this weekend. She is such a silly girl, sleeps underneath the blankets,but scared of the open ended tunnel. Oh well, we made some progress and she is starting to go through. I amy try feeding her dinner in the tunnel to see if she becomes more comfy.

Magic is working on the head down down. Siren, well we are working on understanding heel position. Sometimes she seems to get it, but not always, so we will keep working. No rush, not planning on anything too soon. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Well, I seem to be going through one of those really non ambitious periods of time.  I really don't feel like doing anything!  I know I should train the dogs, I should clean the house, I should go christmas shopping.....Nothing seems to get me going.  So, I need a challenge? Any thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cardi Exchange Gift is off

in the mail today.  This is so much fun!