Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yay! Yay! Yaaaaay!!!!

Hmm.... lets see - I got a phone call yesterday to say that MY CAR IS HERE!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!! Now all I need to do is organise the bank cheque and a time to get there to pick up my car (with someone else who can drive my current car back home!). I can't go this weekend as I have a trial on the weekend, but.... I want my car now! Unfortunately there has been no interest in my current car, so will have to try and push that sale - something tells me I don't need TWO cars ;).

Other news:

Leo has another double trial on Saturday - I am incredibly nervous for this one but I need to calm down!!!!! If anyone has some tips that would be great!!!! He is working so nicely at the moment, but for some reason I am getting stuck on the darned title - how can I forget about it and just enjoy the trial??!?!?!

Kinta and Leo have just recently stopped their hooning around which has me a little confused.... they still play, but not as nutty as they are usually (ie: no longer 24/7).... hmmm..... I think I can connect it to Kinta though who is going through a 'tough' time of it at the moment though - I dont' think she knows if she is coming or going the poor little girlie! Being about 3-4 weeks after her season now, the hormones are probably playing around.... add to that being at the 'headstrong' 10mth old age AND the 2nd fear period..... so I think that accounts for their changes of behaviour - Just the past few days she has gone back to her usual self at home (was previously a little quiet) although still a little quiet out and about. She is also thinking she needs to run away from big bouncy dark coloured dogs.... so have been giving her lots of *positive* exposure to nutty dogs.... seems to be going really well! What I didn't want to happen during this period happened last weekend at a show. I'm starting to loose faith in the set up and common sense at the show scene recently. People park their crates far too close together, there isn't ANY room to move, not to mention people tie dogs to crates/trolleys so you have even less room to move about. People don't care about their dogs behaviour and you have to walk past dogs lunging/ barking/ lunging through crates etc,etc..... all very stressing... I dunno - maybe I was more aware of it coz of K's response? She did get a big fright though when I was walking her back from going to the toilet and she got lunged at (in a friendly way) by a Bullmastiff - it scared her out of her wits.... so perhaps fueling her a little as to big/black dogs can be a little intimidating!!!

But - on a good note from the show - Kinta and I picked up our first challenge points on the weekend!!!! It was a small show, only bitch (of age) entered so we got a 6pt challenge (now only 94 pts to go!) . I found it a little of an anti-climax, as I would have liked to beat at least ONE dog to get it - at least then I know someone else thinks she is good enough quality to gain a challenge and not just getting it as 'default' per-se. I must say - it will be hard for me to rake up these points though, if I always come up against Ana's dogs ;).

Leo also turned THREE on Friday! I can't believe it's been 3 years already since he was a little bubba ;). I've learnt soo much in those 3 years and he is such a good boy - I'm starting to get really excited about what I *might* be able to achieve with him, now that his maturity is kicking in and he is settling down. Not a top dog.... but definitely a great dog ;).

The two of them together are getting a little cheeky too - getting a bit rough with other dogs - so thanks to Sarah for some advice, hopefully we can sort this out so they will continue to 'play nice'.... Poor Mallie - a friends RT aussie that we went for a walk with got picked on by my two! I felt soo bad! But i'm going to keep a sterner eye on them now so I can stop them from building up to 'terrorists' again ;).

On news aside from dogs - Mum, Kylie and myself have booked tickets to see Miss Saigon (AGAIN for Mum and I, a first for Kylie!) I am soo excited and hope I haven't talked it up too much Kylie!!! I'm also reading 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire at the moment, which is proving to be highly addictive - and yes, is what the musical is based on. I think it will fast be added onto my 'favourites' list ;). Speaking of which - WICKED is coming out to the theaters in Melbourne in JULY next year so I am thrilled and can't wait!!!! Again - hopefully I haven't talked it up too much that everybody who heard of it from me is going to be utterly dissapointed!!!!

Went to see Pirates 3 on the weekend after everybody said they had seen it without me *hmph*! I loved it and OMG - Orlando Bloom was such a hottie in it! Wouldn't have cared if the whole movie was about him ;).... I don't know if anyone is a Pirate fan here (and hasn't seen the movie) so I won't say the ending - but I WILL say that I wasn't overly happy with the predicament of one Pirate - I didn't think it was fair!!!!

Anyway - thats it from me - i'll let you know how we go on Sat - ooh and Kylie - it is up your end so I might call in AFTER the trial (i'll be guessing after 5pm) if you are home to have a catch up and pick up my undercover wear?!?! Coz as you know - I do always invite myself over *ROFL*!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We did it!!!!

Just a quick post of the weekend :).

Went shopping on Saturday and spent my little heart out! I knew my whole 'work' wardrobe needed a re-vamp so I was expecting to buy up big, but it still hurts when you do! LOL! Luckily, I didn't buy anything I didn't really *need*! I did get a lovely pair of knee high boots though - so they set me back a bit - sooo comfortable - i'm wearing them right now! LOL - definately not ones I want to leave out for Kinta to chew though ROFL!

Sunday proved to be a very successful day. Leo and I had entered an obedience trial at Berwick - a double trial and boy was it a looong day! Check-in started at 7:45 and with Berwick being about 45mins from home I left at 7am. Of course, before I left and while I was still getting ready, we had a slight blackout - so that meant no breakfast for me! Add to that - what self-respecting bakery would be open at 7am on a Sunday! LOL - so finally got down to Boronia and picked up some brekky and lunch..... on my way - then disaster struck. I was fairly certian of the way to get there but was confused when i'd turned of B'wd Hwy and wasnt' coming across any roundabouts as per the map said! ARGH! time: 7:30 already - so just starting to panic that i'm going to miss check in and not be able to compete in the AM trial... Luckily I *was* going the right way, just wasn't as far ahead on the map as I thought *sigh of relief*! Got to Berwick at 8am - just in time for check in! Looked at the catalogue and OMG - i'm 2nd in the ring - so quickly had to unpack the car, set up, toilet Leo, relax MY nerves and then go in the ring *eep!*. Leo worked really well - could have done better in a few exercises but was great otherwise..... Qualie score - 189/200 and FIRST!!!!! I was really pleased with his efforts! The judge laughed at my command for the distance signal ("park") and Leo missed a sit (in both trials) int he lead up to the recall! But for a dog that wasn't looking promising on Saturday - I couldn't be more pleased (we had forgotten what 'come' meant and were anticipating the drop at distance :) ). I was incredibly proud however with the score for our heeling..... drum roll please...... 38/40!!

There was a long wait between the AM and PM trials because of a big UD class.... so during that time I had Leo out with me socialising. In hindsight, I guess I should have left him in his crate, but I just felt so mean! So he was out and about with me. LOL. PM trial we were 3rd in the ring.... you could tell he was tired as when we got back to our crate he went right in for a nap :). Woke him up again and into the ring we go - wasn't as good this time, but still good enough... Qualie score 179/200 and second (suprisingly!). I guess that means we had a good day out! LOL! He did a few silly errors, like holding a 'bow' in the distance signal before deciding to drop, and missing the sit in the lead up again in the recall (he has never done it before, so to do it TWICE?!?!).... But either way i'm really pleased with him :D. One more pass to go before I can add CD to the end of his name... but as to when that will come... who knows :). We have another double trial in 2 weeks on the 2nd of June..... hopefully he'll do well but I don't want to stress myself out - so we'll see :). 2 trials to get one pass... hopefully the odds are in my favour!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Recent happenings

Well, well, well. I am typing this from my new work laptop which has kindly been leased to me so that I am more 'mobile' with my work. I hope there are not too many 'catches' with this!!! LOL! At the moment I am still enjoying work although I can't say I enjoyed my experience yesterday! I had to ring around a few people in regards to some recruitment for a study that I am on. I had to ring a particular 'dog training' company and the response I got from the gentleman I talked to was far from gracious! I have never spoken to someone quite so rude, who had no reason to be ever before! I swear, if I met him in person, the interview would not have gone down well. I was made to feel like a worthless nobody who knew nothing, not to mention, I think I was about 1.5inches high!!! I have later found out that previous dealings with said person is the same no matter who has rung him, so at least I know it wasn't just me!! LOL! All I can say is that they certainly have put all their efforts into positive dog training and evidently have none left for their human counterparts! Almost all of my dealings with either this company or anyone from it has been unpleasant and left me gobsmacked! Ah well...... I know not all of them are like that but it does make you wonder......

On a much lighter note, what else have I been up to? Well, I took the dogs to the chiro on Saturday as Leo's back end was sore (possibly from his escapade the week before!) and I was still a little concerned about Kinta's neck after her escapade last week (did I mention the dramas of last week *VBG*!). The chiro was very impressed with both of them claiming them to be extremely fit and in good nick. Kinta's shoulders were understandably out as was Leo's back. Nothing major. It turned out to be an expensive trip though as I was rushing from one place to the next and I scratched my car :-(! Yes, the one I am trying to sell!!! Grrr.... so now I will have to pay to get it detailed as it is not a job that can be fixed up at home!

The dogs had a very busy weekend. Saturday morning I took them to Ruffey Lake for a nice long run. They loved it but I am sure they could have run all day if they could! They were then out all morning with me and later that afternoon I went on my 'bike riding' escapade again, doing 3ks with each dog - yes.... which in turn meant taking one out - doing a bit with that dog, coming home and taking the next one out! Am I mad or what?! I was a tad annoyed when I took Kinta out (her first go) and although she behaved beautifully, some lovely ladies thought it would be most amusing *not* to call their dogs back so that they could sit back and laugh at me while I tried to control my dog and continue moving (on the bike!) at the same time! I didn't want to stop as Kinta then will quickly get it into that fuzzy head of hers that yes, it is ok that every time we are on the bike to say hello to other dogs! Hmph!

Sunday morning started off with some obedience training and I was incredibly pleased with both dogs. Leo was super enthusiastic about the whole ordeal, which was lovely to see. Kinta, well I am just over the moon with this little girl. I have put hardly any work into her and she is just wowing me with her retention, focus and ability to pick things up! With all the 'lack of' work I have done she is still flying through the class and probably near completion of the next level class (looking at their standards!) What a little trooper! Sarah - I am almost certain she is related to Murphy and NOT Leo as she has since taken up 'talking' throughout her training, much to the amusement of her class members. Nothing like someone saying 'drop' and the dog talking it through with you! LOL! Nobody in class believes me that she is actually the devil incarnate though, as she has switched into 'work mode' and is the most angelic dog there! I have told them to come and see her out of class just to see what a cheeky imp she can be!

Sunday afternoon - seeing as it was mothers day saw us going for a nice long walk through the 'Mullum Mullum' creek trial near Donvale through to Warrandyte area. I think it was about an 11km walk all up! So by the end of the weekend the dogs were completely stuffed having been out with us ALL weekend! Can't say they complained though ;)

I have noticed a few behavioural changes in Kinta since her season (2wks ago). I was most suprised to see her get a little 'snitchy' at a fellow Aussie, Alfie. For some reason she felt the need to 'put him in his place' although, she did this quite nicely. Just had a quick word with him, told him who was boss and then continued the game. I was shocked to see her do it, not sure what spurred it on, but she hasn't done it since to any dog! Mum also told me tonight that Kinta has been hiding under our decking all day today and wouldn't really come out. It has been raining all day, but she did have the entire yard (including the decking) and I was suprised that she was not with Leo and also 'hiding' if that was indeed what she was doing. It is fair to say that she has simply not bonded with Mum as neither is interested in the other. In fact Leo also no longer shows much interest in Mum..... but it seems that Kinta still has some reservations. Mum is about the *only* person she shows it to..... including strangers.... so that has me stumped! As to the hiding - i'm not sure if it is just an 'out of the blue' behaviour, a 'season related' behaviour or something I should be concerned about. I will keep my eye on it though.

This weekend - another busy one for me. Off to DFO in Essondon with some friends on Sat which I am very excited about as I will get to meet up with a whole bunch of uni mates I haven't seen for a while. A few can't make it, but there is always next time ;). Sunday I have my next obedience trial with Leo - a double trial at Berwick. I hope he does well - he is in fine form and *should* do well, but who knows what the day (and nerves) will bring. He had to add to that by not holding his sit-stay for the first time since Nov last year at training last week! Lets hope it was just a once off as in hindsight I think I was staring at him and my hands were in front and not behind me (could confuse the distance signal etc. as I have noticed this happening). Usually I make it clear to him that 'wait' is hands in front and 'stay' is hands behind - I think it makes him a lot more confident!

Small brag for me - agility training on Tuesday night - we had a rather tight masters agility course set up. We ran through the first 1/2 quite a bit as many were struggling. It was a bit wet so the equip was slippery so I ran Leo a little 'slow' on the contacts. He was doing really well and I think only stuffed up a handful of times due to handler pointing the wrong way. When class ended I asked if I could run through the whole course 'just to see'..... wouldn't you believe it, but Leo completed the ENTIRE MASTERS COURSE on a CLEAR ROUND!!!!!!! Guess who is soo proud!! It was a lovely smooth run too! He did the weavers brilliantly...... did I mention he weaved :D :D :D!

Ok - enough from the gasbag over here - hope everyone has/is having a lovely week! Not long till the weekend now ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Drama, Drama, Drama

I have taken the day off work today as I have a bout of Laryngitis and can't talk - or at least when I do it is v-e-r-y croaky! I feel really guilty though as I still have a tonne of work to do, not to mention a meeting i'm meant to be at for 11:30!!! But if I don't stop and relax then i'll take ages to get better!! ho hum!

Have had drama's all weekend on this neck of the woods. Friday I came home and as per usual went out to say howdy to the dogs. I called Kinta (who was lying on the back step of the decking) and she didn't move! Heart went to my mouth and I imagined a whole array of terrible things.... called again - no movement. I then opened the gate (dogs are seperated during the day) and her head was stuck in the bottom railing!!! For those that haven't been to our house (or those that have) we have steps going from our decking to the downstairs grassed/paved area which have railings on either side... really small gaps between the 3 bars of wood that make up the railing. No idea how she got her head stuck, but stuck she did! Of course to make matters worse, she may have got her head in but there was NO WAY it was coming out! So I had to slowly maneuver her body up the steps to get her head out the largest hole! Out she came - a little panic stricken but not much else.... then noticed she wasn't weight bearing on one of her legs.... so off to the vet we go. Luckily all she had done was sprained her shoulder so a few days rest and some anti-inflammatories were on order. Hmph - after having 3 weeks couped up around the house she clearly didn't want the busy weekend we had planned for her to expel some energy! Kinta is also NOT the dog you want to keep quiet as she simply can't sit still! So all weekend she was driving me up the wall ;). Mind you, when I think of what could have happened, I don't mind so much (NB: the steps that she was lying on are also 'open steps' so if she lost her footing she could have slipped and pretty much hung herself!). Goodness knows how long she was there for too. So this weekends plans are to barricade the railings to prevent further head sticking episodes!

Went for a lovely 'bushwalk' with the Croydon trialling group Sat morning around Mt Evelyn which was great - unfortunately Kinta had to stay home though ;). More drama was instore however when the boys (3 of 'em) all ran off in hot persuit of *something*. 5 mins later we called them back and for some strange reason Leo came back but not the other two. 20 mins later still nothing. By this stage the group had seperated with a couple of us going down to the lower path to look for the two MIA dogs and a few of us to stay on path should they come back the way they came. 40 mins later one dog returns so we grab him and put him on lead. TWO HOURS later, still no dog #3.... so we decide to go home and start getting fliers out and the word out there. Once we got back though Dog # 3's owners phone had a message from the breeder saying that the dog was at the Animal Aid Shelter safe and sound. In under 1 hr the said dog had been found, taken to the shelter, scanned and breeder contacted!!! Hows that for speedy service! Good thing it all turned out well!

Sunday I went herding again with Leo who on the first run showed *no* interest in the sheep again. Such a stark contrast to what he was like when we first started, I searched my brain for *why* he would turn off in such a manner. The only thing I could think of was the last herding day (just before he switched off the sheep) Leo was charging after the sheep and we tried to get him to change direction with the rake. He was in the wrong spot with the rake and the two collided.... since then, no work :(. We put him in again with another dog and that woke him up and he was herding again for the last 5 mins... so i'm happy with that :-).... see how he goes next time :).

On the training front all is going well for Leo although admittedly I haven't done too much. I would be doing a bit this week, but time has got the better of me (not to mention you can't do too much without a voice!).

Kinta I think is showing signs of 4 weeks of pent up energy. For most of last week she was naughty, but not (touches wood) destructively so. She has been putting her paws up on the billiard table while i'm at work and pulling *anything* she can find down for a play. On walks she is a holy terror pulling me here and there and generally not listening. So back on the halter we go ;). Off lead she is still excellent and comes when I call her. Monday night I took them for a walk and they went silly together. Lady came up with a small Jack Russel and asked if it was ok for them to play - fine on all accounts. They had a great game of chasey and then the JR got a little scared. I was a little late to pick up on it otherwise I would have called my two faster (and they would have come).... the owner however, in a panic started to kick my dogs out of the way so she could pick her dog up. I don't *really* begrudge her the way she responded, but really! Picking her dog up (not to mention, kicking mine!) is probably the WORST thing to do! I know I was in the wrong and should have called my two off earlier, but the 'game' changed from 'fun' to 'scarey' so quick I was just a little delayed.

Kinta also has a bad habit (that we are working on) of charging - to other dogs on lead, or as soon as I release off lead - charging off.... not too far, but sometimes around a corner etc, out of sight, which I don't like. Working on it but boy she is a hand full this week! Nothing a bit of training cant fix! The problem is that she always comes straight back when you call her (or is that a good thing?!) ;)! Gotta love her though! I know once she calms down she'll be a great dog, but hopefully I'll be able to knock some sense back into her..... and soon!!! This girl doesn't stop!!! LOL!

On that note though - her training really is going well and she is SO responsive. Will do things in a split second and she really is a joy to train.... just need to work a little more on a few bits of manners!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cool Photos

Check out this link!!!!

Very cool pics :D

Why you shouldn't buy from pet shops (even though the video is made by PETA it does have some credibility ;) )

Also - I know some of you were looking at the links I posted of Leo the mini poodle (DOL's poodle) that was rescued from a puppy farmer - he was in a similar, if not worse state than many of these dogs. Here's a video of how he is now :D.