Monday, June 25, 2007

woo hoo!

Ok - feast or famine - either I post once a week, or I inundate you all with posts every other day to spread my news ;).

Turns out that is WAS worth it afterall to have the dogs miserable and wet on Friday night as we had some successes at the show on Sat. Kinta misbehaved in the 'challenge' run off so only pulled of a RBCC (reserve challenge - no points).... Summer, Leo's half sister (the Ben x Skye litter I went to see in Oct last year) received the challenge, which is no mean feat for a minor pup!!! The markings between Summer and Leo are very similar - we were comparing them yesterday and they *do* look like two peas in a pod in some ways and so very different in others ;). Jezza, Leo's 1/2 brother was also at the show (Shona x Sully litter - Ana's Oct litter) and again, he is so similar to Leo in characteristics - a fun loving, laid back clown ;).

It was a fun day out, but boy - was it l-o-n-g, with a capital L! Judging started at 9am, but we didn't start packing up intil 4pm! Put it this way - at lunch (12:30ish) they were only judging GSD's so I went out to get some lunch (don't like what they have at the showgrounds) - by the time I came back.... they were *still* judging GSDs!!!

I was very proud of Miss K - she behaved liked she should in group and....... pulled off her 1st PUPPY IN GROUP award! Yipee!!!! LOL. Then - I thought she was getting a 'look at' for 'in show' - until the judge appointed the Grey next to us for 'puppy in show' *g*. All in all - she settled down in the afternoon and was very well behaved. It was also the first time we returned to the showgrounds since her 'scare' with the Bullmastiff and that seems to be all in the past. She was very exuberant, very confident and just plain silly ;). To top the day off, Kinta's 1/2 brother 'Cricket' (same sire) was awarded BEST IN GROUP which was a huge thrill ;). So I guess it was a day for 'Dash' (K's Sire) babies :D.

On a side note - never again am I not going to walk her though ;). We got home so late on Saturday and I figured since she had been out all day it wouldn't *really* matter if she and Leo didn't have their afternoon ramble..... hmmm... take her to obedience on Sunday and she was just plain feral! This girl has waaay too much energy than she knows what to do with. Barking at everyone ("I'm here, pay attention to ME! Don't take Leo.... take ME!!!!") and anything just to get attention, absolutely FERAL off lead when we let them have a run, but I guess in her favour she was very responsive ;). She was good in class though and I was most impressed with her work and enthusiasm (agian, she had re-gained her confidence in class!!!). So I guess I can't stay too cross at her ;).

Leo had his first go in Open yesterday (practice ring) and it probably was a little more 'formal' than I should have run him through, but in hindsight it was probably a good idea to do it this way so that we know where we are at, what we need to work on etc. Well, after 3 weeks of no training, Leo was super keen to come back into it again and although his heeling was a little less refined, his enthusiasm couldn't be faulted. The first time he did the retrieve over the jump and he did it perfectly ;)! But it did point out things we need to work on:

*Left turns - still messy - back to refining this again
*polishing up heelwork again
*DOR - getting a nice fast *drop* without anticipation - I have been a little skeptical about putting this together as the first time I ever did (with lots of drop practice with 2 toys, informal stuff etc), he did it perfectly, then the next 'straight' recall he anticipated *rolls eyes* - maybe it was coz he wasn't sure but I am very aware of it and might practice with 2 recalls in the ring - 1 straight and one DOR - varying which comes first etc....
*D/B - having difficulty building speed OUT to the d/b - he is fine coming back, pickup is clean etc, present beaut... but the d/b is 'dead' and therefore not worth a full out 'charge' to get it ;). We have tried a few things, but doesn't seem to build up the enthusiasm enough - so any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
*Broad jump - as expected - cuts a little so we have bars on one end to stop that - but i'm also going to train a 'straight' jump (over - throw toy straight out) so that he doesn't cut as much
*change of position - the 'sit' - he will creep forward MAJORLY which I knew he would. So, like I did with the drop, I'm going to change the command to get a nice 'rise' up.... *Bows down to Sarah and worships the ground she walks on* VBG!

Another interesting Kinta finding - as you know - she is definately no longer a *reserved* Aussie when it comes to meeting people in public (stranger, what stranger??). She is absolutely lovable and kisses and cuddles for anyone who dares look at her ;). Even men & kids now :D. BUT here is the interesting thing - she is definately more 'reserved' at home - which is fine as that is her 'territory' etc. Usually she will 'stop' barking when I tell her that 'enough is enough'.... however anyone she met in the first 2 weeks of her staying at our place (with the exception of people she met on the first day - Kylie and Sarah) she will keep up the barking/ carrying on. Is she 'reserved' of them - I don't think so as she will readily go up for pats - she just wants to have her say (my house etc).... bring her inside to say 'hi' - all cuddles and kisses - they come outside "barwoowoowoo"..... I wonder if it is connected and she 'remembers' the feeling of insecurity? It has me stumped as I certianly don't want her to continue the behaviour yet i'm not going to 'scold' her for it, particularly if it is happening out of the 'memory banks' - ie: remembers the first time she saw them and remembers feeling insecure..... who knows?! But interesting none-the-less.

Well - to finish it off.... some piccies of my now 11mth old winner ;)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, June 22, 2007

Poor little tykes!

Ok - I am SO NOT HAPPY JAN right now!


We have a show tomorrow, so have to come home from work and wash the dogs (Leo *has* to get done as he is plain filthy and I don't want to bring out the bath again tomorrow ;) ). Thats fine except that by the time I get home from work it is usually dark and being a Friday, I usually just want to collapse infront of the TV!

So anyway - i'm driving home, planning out how i'm going to wash the hounds and finish them so I still have time to relax.... then.... it starts to rain! As most of you know - the dogs aren't *really* allowed inside all that much, and despite my efforts last week, couldn't convince Mum to let me wash K in the bath tub (which no-one uses!). So there was no hope for me to get both of them washed inside. So - set up in the garage- pull over buckets of water and wash them in the doggy bath (with the plug in etc,etc). All is well, except for two grumpy dogs who really dislike bath time, despite their masters reassurance that it isn't 'all' bad and it will be over soon....

Onto drying the doggies..... I half dry Leo and then put him away to start on Kinta so she doesn't get too cold..... then... the unthinkable happens - the dryer breaks! So now I have 2 wet doggies, no other way to dry them completely (of course they are towel dried as much as I can) and a *cold* winters night!!! So right now, my poor little guys are sitting inside, on their mats, with their coats on (pre-heated over the heater) and a Mum feeling incredibly guilty and sorry for them.... Kinta is even shivering! As for the looks on their faces.... well... the lines "I told you we didn't need a bath" comes to mind! Poor little guys!

On top of that, because of my big expense this month ie: new car, although I have the money to buy a dryer, i'm really trying hard to save - particularly until I sell my old car. I don't want to be having the barest minimum in my bank account. So after having an expensive month and on top of everything else having to re-stock on pet food and the worming/flea treatments, I really don't *want* to spend any more on the dogs.... having said that - I do think that a 'force' dryer is the way to go in order to stop throwing away $50 every 6-12mths for a new hair dryer!!

Ok - rant over... time for some pics to show how forlorn the dogs are (after all, it was a picture perfect moment!)

The thought - "I told you so" comes to mind!

Snapped a second too late - Leo's head was resting on Kinta :-(

Thats what I wanted!!

Kinta Close-up
Leo close-up

Monday, June 18, 2007


LOL - thought it was time for a post! Haven't done one for a while and had a very busy weekend so things to tell ya know! LOL!

Natrually all the news is about dogs - coz what else is there to life really?! Honestly - i've been exhausted all week so other than seeing Miss Saigon again on Tuesday night, i've done nothing except sit infront of the TV, play with the dogs and sleep ;). Miss Saigon was good, although not as good as the first time we saw it. Disappointing as i'd talked it up soo much for Kylie - i'm sure she would have been a teeny weeny bit disappointed also ;). Still enjoyable and well worth it though ;).

Saturday saw Leo & myself off to a double agility trial at Warringal. Kinta came along for the 'social' and I believe it was her first trial in a while (the other one she came to was in March). So I thought now is the time to start bringing her out again. We were working on some 'bark control' coz like Leo used to be she likes to 'have her say' if I take Leo away to work him *rolls eyes* - evidently I wasn't touching wood hard enough when I told Sarah that the two of them don't bark when I take the other out to train *VBG*! So we went to the trial armed with chicken necks, roast chicken, pigs ears, kongs and bones for the dogs - some for Kinta and her 'quiet training' (I go away with Leo and look at what you get!!) and some for Leo and his runs! To say I was pleased with Leo would be the understatement of the century. This dog gave me his ALL on Saturday and ran the BEST runs he has probably ever given me! He even left me stunned and sprinting to keep up with him!!!! On the whole - we walked away with 1 pass out of 4 - our 2nd Jumping pass (Novice) - 3rd place (about 8-9 qualies in total) and beating some fast dogs along the way - SCT 31sec - Leo's CT - 20.21 sec - not a bad effort!! So only 1 more pass to go for our JD title (see I told you i'll have my 5 titles by the end of the year!!). As for the other 3 runs - they were brilliant, but he just clipped a bar in each round :-(.

Nikki and I have come up with the idea that we'll train him at 600 for a while now until he 'learns' what height to jump, before giving him the chance to jump 500 again. Reason being, i've been jumping him at 500 so that I don't stress his joints out etc. So I might limit his agility classes (once a week, rather than twice - do a bit more obedience and then only give him more practice as he gets better with his jumping). We are getting closer to our agility passes now - with hardly any mistakes made - so fingers crossed it will be coming soon ;).

Kinta behaved really well at the trial but we have since found out that when she is tired she gets a bit 'cautious' or 'suspicious'. The more tired she is - the more reserved she becomes. Sat night we had visitors over and she was barking and growling at them ALL night from outside - but as soon as you bring her in and tell her it is 'ok' she was all kisses..... which is exactly what the breed standard says for a 'reserved' aussie - I swear she has been reading some of my aussie books! But she will only take the 'ok' from me - won't listen to anyone else! K also had a show on Sunday - we didn't come away with anything but she is behaving really well in the ring now and since we will be showing a LOT more now, one can only hope that she'll start winning some points soon!! LOL! This was her first time back in the show scene after the 'bullmastiff' scare and she remembered alright! For about the first 1/2 hr she kept WELL CLEAR of all crates and dogs, but after spending some time in the safety of her own crate, she soon acclimatised and was her normal self again before it was time for her to go in the ring - all wiggles and cuddles ;). I've seriously got to stop worrying though every time she shows a slight deviation from her normal happy self though..... i'm terrible!

Aside from the doggy news - nothing much else happening except the 'same old'..... probably going to start some 'open' training with Leo in the next week or two.... he is super keen to get back to work and I must admit - i'm keen to learn some new stuff to teach him also - I just want some 'hands on' direction first ;).

Well I promised Dad i'll free the computer soon so I best get off - pretty dull post if your not a doggy person but I swear - nothing else has been happening :D. Good thing most of you are like me ;)!

Jut thought i'd add a bit here. I'm currently reading "Wicked" - the book that "wicked" the musical (my latest obsession) was based on. I must say that I am loving it! Really well written, can get a bit crude at times which is a 'shock' as it just seems to pop in there ;). I really like the way he has drawn the characters too. BUT.... it seems that the musical was only loosely based on the book. I am noticing things that have not yet happened in the book, yet did happen in the musical. Of course I didn't expect it to be the *same* and the outline is true to each other - just a few changes, I guess to 'simplify' the story (for young kids) as well as for musical style, but there are definitely less twists etc. They also have 'exaggerated' a few things which doesn't really seem to happen in the novel. I am worried now that if I lend the book to Kylie she may not like the musical when we go see it in Melbourne 2008 - LOL. But I enjoy both as separate entities of each other.

On another note - I watched Anne of Green Gables the other day - with directors commentary. It really peeved me off! LOL - hardly any of the film was shot on PEI (which I already knew), but the thing that irked me the most was that Sullivan (director) was taking all the credit for *his* movie and how great *his* trilogy was!!!! He even said a few times that 'this bit wasn't in the novel, but I thought it added more to the film' - WHEN IT WAS IN THE BOOK!!!! Grr - I really, really REALLY don't like this director anymore. I haven't seen the other films he has made after the 3rd Anne (Anne: the continuing story) - whereby he completely ruined the series - didn't even loosely base it on the books - made it up himself!!! HOW can you title a film after something when you haven't even used the originals to base it on... LOL. I have heard though that his other films (Emily of New Moon and Road to Avonlea) are just as bad (Both are LMM novels). What is his reasoning..... the books were too boring *sigh*! I admit - he did a great job with AoGG and AoGG - the sequel - but after that.... down the drainpipe for me....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Photos & Weekend

Ok - well first things first - I took some 'happy snaps' of my new car. So without further ado...:

And of course - most important: The boot :)
(as you can see - already 'dog-e-fied')! And now - the terrible two - showing how to 'use' the boot ;)
and no - Kinta isn't hiding - she just loves to find the corners and snuggle in the car.... Leo likes to sit there and say "Pat me!".

As for the weekend - this was my first weekend 'off' since about EASTER so I was going to have a lovely sleep in etc. But Scott was coming home for the weekend so I went to pick him up from the airport at 7:30am - so there went my sleep in!!! We then meandered around Vic Markets for the morning, walked around the botanical gardens etc, before trapsing home! I wasn't too much fun as I was so tired, but big brother still conned me to going out with them on Sat night (He was determined to get me pissed ;) ). Had a great night out - came home in the wee hours of the morning *finally* had my sleep in on Sunday and didn't do much else otherwise ;). So a nice weekend, but I was very disappointed to have to get up and go to WORK this morning! Thats right - coz it isn't a 'national' public holiday - I had to go to work :-(. Life is NOT fair!!!

The Dogs:

The dogs have had a busy weekend despite my 'relaxing' - took them to Ruffey Lake on sat where they proceeded to romp as usual - gawd knows where they get their energy from! Yesterday I took them to Brighton beach for another romp (and to fill my car with sand *rolls eyes*!). Methinks they were a little tired today as the relo's were over this morning (while I was at work) and I took them for a walk tonight (I got home while it was still light!!) and whilst they were interested in chasing the frisbee, they weren't there usual nutty selves.... as for training - forget it!

Anyway - here are some photos of Leo. He has been such a clown all weekend, but evidently, such a happy nature was too hard to keep up and today he is not interested thank-you! Even on our walk - doing simple obedience stuff (sit at curb, drop in the park) he would do ever-so s-l-o-w-l-y! Honestly! Bring him home to do obedience and THEN only is he interested! Admittedly - I've hardly done any training coz i've been really busy and *tired* and IMO, what is the point in training if your heart isn't in it - coz the dogs won't do it to their best ;)

Leo parading his title/ first place ribbons :-)
The spunky man himself (with his coat back!)

OK - what about Kinta - well - Friday she was in BIG trouble as I got home in daylight (again!) and took them for a run in the park. She has proceeded to arse off a number of times - just carging a million miles an hour burning off the excess energy. Now that usually isn't a problem IF she comes back when I call her.... but I got the finger! LOL! She also has lately got an obsession with the fences backing onto the park and pacing around there.... so she REALLY had it given to her and poor Leo 'hit the deck' thinking I was going off at him.... reason again why you SHOULDN'T loose your temper..... but she was just SO naughty *slaps herself on hand*.

Training wise - I also haven't done much with Kinta, and her 'fronts' need a lot of work. She'll either sit too far back or ram her nose into places she shouldn't and then rock back into a sit.... she is really weird that way - always has been.... Leo will naturally scoot sit, but Kinta won't - so will have to work on that. She was a little confused in the 'mucking around' we did tonight - but I put that more down to my heart not being in it (read what I read before - LOL).
The princess herself:

This girl is SO hard to photograph - she always pulls faces/ moves/ does *something*!
Would have been a GREAT shot if the whites hadn't over-exposed a tad :(.

A nice head shot :-).

I'm off to see Miss Saigon AGAIN tomorrow night - which should be good, but I can bet i'll be exhausted. I have a busy weekend too - with a double agility trial on Sat - i'm going to take K for some social and 'bark control' and Sunday I have a show with Kinta so hopefully that goes well!

Until next time!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Leo strikes again!

Well - remember at the end of last year when I said that I wanted to achieve 7 titles with Leo this year?!?!?! I have since reduced that to 5 taking out the SD and SPD (agility games) as I won't be trying that this year! But we are certianly well on our way with 2 of our obedience titles under our belt now!!! Yep, thats right - Leo didn't disappoint (well... he almost did!) and we achieved our CD (Novice) obedience title on Saturday. So Leo will now be known as...


Aren't we a clever boy then?! I am so proud of his efforts as he only started trialling for Novice in April. He gained his title in 5 trials (seems to be a pattern as he did the same in CCD!) but all of this was within 3wks (since his first pass at the end of May)! All trials he did really well - gaining excellent heeling scores except for (would you believe) our title pass :(. Usually high 30s (over 35) with only one below (24!!!). The places where he failed was just unfortunate or 'bad luck' but I guess that is the 'fun' of trialling right! So the titles still to get is JD (1/3 of the way there!), AD and HT (don't know if we will *ever* get this!). I am sooo proud of my boy, but he is absolutely exhausted today!!!

Just to recap his passes were: 189 & 1st place, 179 & 2nd place, 183 & 1st place.... I know we always say it... but if Leo had heeled like he did in the morning for our title pass, our score would have been 193 - he just 'threw away' 10 points in the fig 8 that even the judge said she was dissapointed!!!

Enter Kinta aka wild child, feral puppy, psychotic- i'm-jumping-out-of-my-skin dog! Yep, you guessed it - she seems to have 'recovered' from her fiasco last week and back to bullying Leo (and other dogs - but I was able to get her under control and she stopped!!!), jumping on Leo's back, stealing his toys (she wasn't playing for a bit but is now super keen - tugging and all!!!) and pretty much just being an absolute feral nightmare! I never thought i'd hear myself say this..... but...... thank gawd coz I really missed my feral girl! Soo nice to have her back to her normal self! She was still a little unsure in our obedience class but I think that is because some of the dogs are so unpredictable (sitting one minute, surging at her the next) and with inexperienced handlers, it does make a difference! She was a lot more confident though so hopefully in a few weeks she'll be fine.... mind you - we have no troubles off lead and if we get told off by another dog we 'respect' them,.... but just like to bully others *vbg*!

I had a bit of a play around with K in the trial ring today also as I needed some help with my signals and her fronts etc. I didn't want to ask my instructor as I wanted trialling advice... What she does is she tries to 'target' my hand every time I tell her to drop/stand. We had a bit of a play around and we came up with a few ideas - she will do her positions with the teeniest signal because her eyes are glued to me!!! So we have a few things to practice now! The 'triallers' were very impressed with her heeling etc, so i'm glad that our training is going in the right direction!

I was also given some 'open' training, but Leo was just there for the social - it was more training for me on *how* to train everything.... One of the triallers also gave me my own set of scent articles (minus the leather) so apparently i'm meant to head off to train this! Boy - they are keen and expecting me to go far hey!!! LOL!

Other news (coz that is probably enough about dogs!):

I also picked up my new CAR on Friday night!!! I absolutely LOOOVE it!! Well... except for one minor draw back. The boot is not as big as I thought it would be and is actually smaller than my modified Echo boot. The advantage being that I still have back seats in this car! So excellent for passengers and the hounds on a day out (yep, there is still room for the both in the boot) but not so great for showing. I can fit both of the soft crates in the boot (with the dogs on top of them), but unfortunately, the trolley (yes, I just bought a 2nd hand trolley!) only *just* doesn't fit - say by about 2 inches because the boot caves in a fraction. There is also not enough height for the trolley to stand upright (not to mention it is *heavy*!! So when I go to shows, or decide to take 2 wire crates, I will still only be able to take 1 passenger (possibly 2, if the crates will only take up one side of the back, but I doubt it) as the trolley etc can fit in the back seat area (either folded down or not...). Either way, I am very pleased with the car and figure that is only a minor issue ;). Photos will come soon when I can take them in daylight (couldn't this weekend - too busy!).

I think that is about all of my news - nothing much else to report really ;)