Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ziggy's the Winner! (and a saint)

The Trio frequently do frapping circuits around the house in the evening.  The circuit goes:  around coffee table, down hall, turn around in The Child's room, back down the hall, repeat with the occasional break for wrestling added in. The Child usually joins in, making it a barking, giggling extravaganza.  Such fun! (as long as you don't mind noise)

One night The Child decided that frap time was a race and that Ziggy was the winner!  (Ziggy is the fastest of the 3 - he just rarely wants to go fast).  As the winner, Ziggy got awarded a sticker to wear on his forehead.  Lucky Ziggy!!

Ziggy was very patient as the sticker was placed.

Here's a better shot of it.  Apparently Ziggy is to be recycled.

Unfortunately kid stickers aren't very sticky, so this one fell off quickly.  The Child is industrious though, and it was very important that Ziggy wore his prize, so out came a new sticker and the tape...

Here's the new award, securely taped on:

Ziggy can be thankful that Scotch tape doesn't stick well to Corgi fur, either.  The award promptly fell off with Ziggy's first head rub.  Bravo to Ziggy on his patience.  I think Z was happy that he got a nice head rub and that he was able to sneak in a couple good licks!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Denzil's 2010 Goals

Some background on Denzil:
Denzil is by far the most driven of my 3 corgis.  He really seems to have a border collie personality in a corgi body.  The problem with this is that Denzil "writes checks that his body can't cash."  Denzil has problems with his knees.  We took him to the Iowa State University vet school, and the vet we saw thought the lameness was caused by luxated patellas.  We recently took him back to our vet and got new,  high quality digital xrays done of his knees.  Based on these new images, our vet thinks Denz has tears in his cruciate ligaments.  To keep Denzil comfortable he gets one Deramaxx every other day, gets on-leash walks only, and we try to minimize the amount of frapping, which is challenging, given his personality.

On the up side, we also got new digital photos of his back taken at the same time as his knees, and everything looks good there.

With that in mind, here are my goals for Denzil.....


Develop a plan to gain and maintain Denzil’s long term soundness by March 31
§  Confirm diagnosis of injured cruciate ligaments
o   Another visit to ISU for confirmatory diagnosis? - if so, by Mar 15
o   Talk to our vet – how can we confirm? - by Feb 12
§  Determine treatment options
o   Pain maintenance?
o   Rehabilitation/physical therapy?
o   Surgical?
o   New, lower-key, "retirement" home for him?  My parents??
o   Other????

Train 3 new tricks by December 31
§  Determine low-impact tricks that Denzil can learn
o   Research and determine 4 trick options by January 31
§  Develop options on how to train tricks
§  Train and demonstrate tricks
o   One trick by April 30
o   Trick #2 by August 30
o   Trick #3 by December 31

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ziggy's 2010 goals


Get RA and RE titles by December 31
§  Determine areas that we need to focus on January 31
o   Perform each exercise, and mark a Good, Fair, Poor
o   Integrate Fair & Poor exercises into weekly training plan
§  Practice Rally with Precision
o   This is prep for the obedience ring, so all Rally work needs to be done with “1/2 point” precision
o   Intention is to use Rally as a chance to do ring work in “wow” mode to build Ziggy’s confidence
o   After RAE title obtained, take Z back in the ring for his CD
o   Attend SCKC Rally class 2 times per month
§  Possible Rally trials
o   Clinton KC in Dewitt - April 3 & 4
o   ICDOC in Amanas April 9, 10, 11
o   Scott County in Rock Island – May 15 & 16 (2 trials each day)
o   Des Moines and/or Peoria – fall 2010

Earn NAP & NJP titles by December 31
§  Determine areas of obstacle focus by February 28th
o   Evaluate current obstacle performance (soliciting instructor input as well) to determine good, fair, poor rating
o   Develop plan to improve each obstacle performance
§  Weaves
·      Train with channel weaves
§  A-Frame
·      Train running contacts
§  Teeter
·      Continue to build confidence by slowly raising teeter
§  Tunnels
§  Dog walk
§  Table
§  Jumps
·      Continue Susan Salo jump training
o   Develop plan to close the gaps
§  Complete six “out-of-class” practice runs by first AKC trial date
§  Compete in at least 2 local NADAC events in spring & early summer
o   Gain ring experience
o   Focus on Hoopers and Tunnelers
o   Goals for NADAC are to build partnership, improve handling, and encourage Ziggy “gallop” on course
§  Focus AKC trials:
o   Scott County in Davenport – August 14-15
o   DMOTC in Des Moines – mid September
o   Scott County in Daveport – October 2-3

Continue to build Ziggy’s focus and confidence
§  Attend 4 Show n Go’s or other practice events by Dec 31
o   Identify local show n go schedules and map dates to calendar by February 15
§  Continue “dog about town” work
o   Train at two new training locations per month

Friday, January 15, 2010

Maggie's 2010 Goals

The last post included MY goals for 2010 - what I'm committing to do as a dog person.  Now for the dogs...

The title of "Maggie's 2010 Goals" might be a bit misleading... these are actually MY goals for Maggie.  I suspect that Maggie's goals would include finding new types of stink to roll in, and finding new pieces of furniture to lay on.

A little background on Maggie:  Maggie is retired from agility (she's 10.5 years old), and just earned her CDX.  Maggie LOVES LOVES LOVES to work, so she needs a job.  


Train Maggie to do all Utility exercises by Sept 31
§  Begin to take Utility lessons at the end of February
o   Take SCKC class beginning in Feb
o   After class is over, continue with private lessons every other week
§  Research and buy equipment needed for Utility work
o   What size of articles/dumbbells to buy?
o   Purchase by Feb 5th

Investigate showing Maggie in Graduate Open
§  Once she knows the Utility exercises, should be pursue a GN title?
§  Watch GN at our May show, or Clinton or Amanas (if offered)
o   What are the exercises?  Could Maggie do them w/out too much stress?
§  If this looks promising (or maybe even Utility?) – enter Maggie in one show by Dec 31

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goals not resolutions

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions.  I can't seem to keep them.  The way I set resolutions they tend to be too broad and sweeping (e.g.:  I won't eat chocolate).  Clearly, not attainable.

Since I do believe that one needs to know where they want to go, this year I'm setting goals instead.  Goals for what I want to do with me.  Goals for what I want to do with the dogs.  Since there's something to making goals public to hold one accountable for results, I'm going to post these goals on my blog in the coming days.

To kick things off, I'll start with posting my dog-related goals.   Here goes:

Lani's goals for 2010

My overall goal is to become a better dog trainer, handler, and more reliable partner for my dogs.

Improve my dog training ability
§  Attend 2 seminars in 2010 to learn new training philosophies
o   Janice Gunn seminar in July
§  In February - Ask around re:  audit or participate? – then sign up
o   Ask SCKC list to post upcoming clinics/seminars that they hear about
o   Consider traveling for private lessons if desireable/possible/necessary
§  Read Clean Run and Front & Finish magazines each month
§  Read 4 dog training books – agility, obedience, or “dog psychology” by Dec 31

Learn about rules and ring procedure for Utility
§  Attend 2 local dog shows solely to watch Utility competitors
o   What are the exercises, and in what order are they done?
o   What commands and cues do folks use?
o   How do the successful teams warm up?
o   How do the successful teams transition between exercises?

Improve my level of fitness and agility (after all, I’m half of the team)
§  Lose 19 lbs by August 1, 2010
§  Incorporate one new human agility exercise each month
o   By Jan 19th – review and identify 12 exercises in the (human) agility training book I bought that will help improve my (dog) agility handling ability/footwork

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's an enigma

Today the weather was horrible, the roads were nasty, the bridge I take to get to work was closed for a while due to a wreck, and all of my meetings could be done over the phone, so I decided to work remotely.

The human boys were also snowed into today, so I retreated to the guest bedroom to work.  Maggie was hanging out with me - laying on floor by the bed.  The canine boys were banned from the room, as they thought it was time to bark and wrestle, and it's a bit hard to have a conference call with that in the background.

I got up to get some water, and here's what I saw upon my return:

Oh, look how cute she is.  "Don't move me, mom":

We quickly worked things out so that I could have a place to sit:

A sweet story about working remotely with a dog at my side.  What makes this an enigma?

Let me explain.

When Maggie was an agility dog she ran 8" Preferred (meaning she only had to jump 8" tall jumps).  She was quite a good working dog, but her Q (Qualifying) rate wasn't very high - particularly in jumpers.  I estimate that 99% of Maggie's NQ's were the result of having one jump down.

Her "signature" in agility was this noise:  tick, tick, tick, tick.  She would click her nails on nearly every jump.  All of this ticking lead to not-so-infrequent jump bars down.

Fun agility anecdote.  Still, why the enigma?

Here's why:

How does a 10.5 year old dog that used to "tick" her way through a course of 8" high jumps manage to easily jump up on a bed that's nearly 26" high?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Doggie New Year's Eve Eve

My dog center training instructors held a New Year's Eve Eve party for dogs, their handlers and their families.  They set up an agility course, everybody brings treats (for people and dogs) and it's a great night of socializing.

I took Ziggy with me, and we had lots of fun.

Lani's highlights: 

Taking Ziggy around 1/2 of an Excellent agility course.  I left out some obstacles to make it more of a Novice level course.  Things he did really well include galloping over the full-height A-Frame with no hesitation (good boy!), taking the full-height dog walk 3 times (only one time was called for, but he enjoyed it, so we did a couple more), going through the chute without hesitation, and not having ANY jumps down!  Our instructor watched the run and mentioned that Z did really well (given his level of training).

Another highlight was one of my even-crazier-than-me dog person friends teaching Ziggy how give kisses.  She holds a treat in her mouth and says, "give me a kiss" - encouraging the dog to lick the treat out of her lips.  Ziggy, the little tramp, thought this was a great game.

Ziggy's highlights:
Sampling all of the yummy dog treats people brought, getting to play with my Beardie! friends (Beardies! are fun!!), getting to run the dog walk 3 times, and getting cookies from strangers.

Here are some photos from the night:

In addition to bringing people snacks, I decided to bake some dog treats.
My sister-in law sent me a dog treat recipe book and cookie cutters for Christmas,
so I figured "why not?"

Here's a picture of the QC Dog Center building:

I LOVE this facility.  It's climate controlled, big, and has fantastic footing.
This isn't our kennel club building, but we rent it once a week and hold our agility trials there.
This is also where I take take lessons each week.
If I ever won the lottery......

Here's Ziggy looking cute, using the eyes that suck everyone in...

Here's Ziggy with Lacey, his beautiful and well-trained Sheltie friend.

This socializing is kind of boring, Mom.  I need to rest.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pictures from Maggie training Z

In my last post, I mentioned that I'd try to take the camera with me the next time Maggie trained Ziggy on the agility equipment.  And, hey, I actually remembered to do it!

Before you go any further, I need to issue a disclaimer:  The photos aren't the best.  One - I need to learn how to use my camera properly (who knew there were so many settings that one could mess up?!?).  Two - it's hard to take photos while sending two dogs across agility equipment.  Well, hard for me anyway.  Perhaps photography is not my "fall back" career....

Here's some of the fun!

First, set both dogs up in the proper order (fast, confident Maggie first):

Next send them over the lowered dog walk:

Oh, a little slow with camera.   Try to get them running toward the camera.

Almost got the shot.  But look how quick they are!

Missed again.  Ziggy didn't quite keep up on this one.
I threw the ball for Maggie so she kicked it into high gear.

But look, Ziggy took the lead this time!  Brave boy.
This one was not set up.  Ziggy just decided it would be fun to run the dog walk again!

Ok, how about taking a rest on the table?
I must admit that Z has a better table performance than M.
I can send him from further away and he has an "automatic" down.
Maybe I am learning something as the years go by...

Now let's do the A-Frame.
This was a "spontaneous" one as well - note how Ziggy still has his toy in his mouth.

And finally, a cute picture of Maggie.  She wants to know why the play has ended.
Can't we go just one more time?  Please....

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