Friday, December 19, 2008

Ticks..... and the point is?!?!?!

Can someone please tell me the purpose by which a tick, namely the paralysis tick serves..... that is other than a lot of stress and heartache for many pet owners who live in the east coast of Australia?!?!?

We are heading up the coast over summer and I am SOOO paranoid about ticks! Never having dealt with them before I am just so worried about what might happen ARGH!!!

I have them on Advantix and they will be checked daily, but that's only mildly eased my stress!!!

So someone... please tell me... exactly what purpose do they serve?!!?!?

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Year that Was.... 2008

First of all – can I just say how much I love writing these posts, even though nobody might read them! I think it’s nice to sit back and reflect on the year that was and see how far you have come.

For me this year has been mixed with highs, lows and countless frustrations. I have always thought that this year hasn’t been as successful as the year that was, but in many ways it has. I think I have learnt and developed so much as a handler this year. I watch many of my earlier videos and I can see the improvement, so if nothing else, that is a huge advantage for us as a team.

As usual – I will start with my boof-head Leo.
Well the plan was for him to achieve the following titles:
CDX JDX, AD, possibly ADX and some games titles (SD & GD). Trialling by the end of the year in UD.
Things progressed a little differently however.

At our first agility trial of the year, Leo pulled off a lovely 1st place and his AD title. Hows that for a start to the year?! After this, I pretty much pulled him out of agility for a few months as I wanted to re-train his weaves and get better contacts. I continued with jumping, but not with agility for those reasons. 12 months passed since gaining his JD and it didn’t look like our JDX was coming any time soon. The story of my life – so close, yet so far… always one fault – be it one knocked bar, or one off course obstacle. After watching a few of his videos and talking to some friends, we decided a sabbatical might be good. Lets work on his drive and motivation – do what works and improve this dog to be what we know he can be. I am SO glad that I did this as to me, he has improved out of sight. We are a much better team, and I think that he has developed into a dog that has the possibility of going ‘all the way’ in his agility career (read masters titles). We came back with guns blazing and in almost straight runs, Leo gained his JDX title… at the nationals no less! Yes, that’s right, 2008 marked the year of the Nationals in Victoria. What an experience that was. I was just SO proud of how Leo ran those courses – with speed and some beautiful moments for both of us as a team. After that, we took another break for one reason or other (no trials, clashing dates etc) and came back for the last few trials of 2008. Leo walked away with a pass for his ADX too… so at least we are getting there.

We teamed up with a partner for strategic pairs and had a blast gaining his SPD title. Go Leo Go! No other games for us though (which would make it a little hard to get the other titles mentioned above :P). But on a lesser scale, I think Leo and I have achieved so much this year, even if it is not represented buy the titles. We have developed as a trialling team and I feel very comfortable with him now. I am more aware of what my handling is saying to him and I can work out how to run a course better to suit him. One of my happiest moments – going from a dog who couldn’t do distance at the start of the year, to a dog that managed quite a difficult distance challenge at Warringal on Saturday! (Now if only my computer hadn’t crashed, I might have been able to do a video compilation for you to show you the difference…meh – maybe I will!)

On the obedience side of things we had many set backs and stressful times. Countless passes were lost – so close, yet so far away. Knocking at the door so to speak. Worst was that we WERE sitting on a pass and some silly handler didn’t realise I couldn’t say his name for the change of position – before asking him to drop…. Boom, there goes a lovely pass and title (would have been 3 passes in 3 trials too!)…. I could have killed myself! In April, he finally gained his CDX, and has been flitting in and out of Open while we train for UD. He has done some lovely work – but unfortunately no more passes to sing home about. Once again, the Nationals were great. As for UD, well – that’s coming along real nice and I’m hoping that by early next year we will re-enter the rings. We’ll see. Leo’s obedience year has been quite quiet this time round. I have learnt so much training him for UD, it has really opened up my eyes training styles and such.

Yes a new venture…. Not really sure HOW we managed this, but Leo did gain his HT title… to me it looked more like chase the sheep and see what you get, but hey, it was fun!

Most Versatile Aussie:
Well this was one of our big events for the year. Even though we got no pass cards, I was very pleased with how they went. Leo was awarded Neuter in Show at the specialty, and also scored very well in the critique. He worked nicely considering the weather (yukky, humid weekend) and especially considering the dogs’ competed in herding, obedience and agility all in one day, I was just happy that they got out and worked! Looking forward to the next one!

So a busy year, with much to be proud of, even if it’s to the lesser degree. Hopes for 2009? I would like to be trialling in UD, perhaps with a pass under our belt, gain his ADX and JDO titles and perhaps this year a few games titles (SD or GD)… we’ll see. Might even give the PT a go (herding)….

Well where do I start with her?! Around July I think we entered the rings. My aim for her was to gain her CCD, CD, AD and JD titles.

Agility she started off with a bang – first trial, first pass, first place. Second trial, 2 more passes, JD title and again, 1st place in one I think. We didn’t enter AD until later in the year (August?) and since then she’s been a one fault wonder… close, but yet so far. We had some difficulty in JDX runs, with her loosing her confidence a little bit. Out of the ring we came to work on that and now she is back with a vengeance. I am really proud of Kinta’s agility achievements and think that she has a great career ahead of her. We still have to work on contacts and weave entries (from other obstacles), but on the whole, she is doing very well. She has been having a stop-start year, with seasons and all (right in time for the nationals)! So it feels like she’s been trialling for ages, but when you look back, she has only really done a handful.

Once again she started off well… first trial, first pass, first place. Second trial, second pass (possibly even second place!)… since then it was all downhill… LOL! She can be a little stress head so it took me a while to calm my nerves and learn a new way of handling for a more sensitive dog unlike bombproof Leo. It’s been an interesting curve trying to not quench my dog’s enthusiasm by my nerves. Many, MANY times we have blown a great pass… in fact I don’t believe she’s ever had a score below 188 or 89 (for CCD), but always we have done something silly in the ring which has cost us our pass. Because I hate the lead in CCD, I decided to go up to Novice once we were working well as a team. Again, very nice scores, one mistake… So close, and I am sure it will happen soon! No titles in Obedience to date.

Again – a new venture and after a period of pretending sheep didn’t exist, the instinct has kicked back in and she does show a lot of talent in this field (I certainly don’t!)… She gained her HT title as well :)

Well with all the other sports HOW do we find time? We don’t really!! Started the year with a Junior In Group and BCC.. After that it’s been more an ‘occasional’ challenge here and there.. I took her out of the ring for close to 6mths, and I am really pleased with how she is looking at the moment. We’ll see how she goes. At the moment we are sitting on 40-ish points, so we are slowly getting there :)

Most Versatile Aussie:
Once again no passes to sing home about, but very pleased that my 'green' dog could compete competently in 3 events in one day. Again - almost sitting on a pass in most events :P. Very pleased with her showing at the specialty, making the final cut for best gaited and a good look in for non-champ sweepstakes. She did win her class and Opposite Limit in Show though. Once again, a lovely critique by the judge for the MVA also.

On the whole I’m pleased with her. I often forget that while I’ve been training her for a while, we actually haven’t been trialling for long, especially once you include juggling all of our events, seasons and such. I still believe that we will get far, she just may take a little longer to mature and keep it all together than Leo. Hopes for next year?

Well we should embark on an exciting new venture of breeding. Kinta will be out for some time raising a litter of pups in 2009 which I am excited and nervous about all in the one breath. Once we hit the rings again though, I would love to get those CD and AD titles, before focussing on showing and getting that elusive CH title!!!

So that’s it from me – I hap-hazard year, where I think a lot of our growth and development has been ‘off’ the course. But that can only bode for good things to come… I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have such willing and ready to work dogs…. They are a joy to trial, despite my whinging and moaning that nothing can ever go right!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Somebody hates me!!!

Ok - lets start with the techno stuff first. Seems that nobody will help me get my data/ photos etc off my E-HDD, even though theoretically they can, but won't because it will void the warranty.

Anyway - aside from that, I've been using for ages this product called Power Director for my videos to get them onto youtube etc. The reason being for some reason, not a lot of programs like my video camera - more money spinning I guess, to get you to buy the program.... or at least get it from somewhere :p. Anyways - when I bought this new computer it had on it the Power Director program on it. Though when I used it, the *sound* wasn't working, so re-loaded it..... only now *that* totally stuffed up didn't it!!! And do YA think I can find the CD?! Or even my Adobe Premiere CD?!!?!?!? They must be sitting with my lost photos of the dogs etc.... grrrrr...

So second part of why the world hates me - Well we had my obedience trial today.... ok - well not mine, but the one that I had the pleasure of organising. Most of it went off ok (except for the brief moment where I forgot about the competitor numbers so had a mad dash for home!)... least all of our judges turned up this time :P

Well Kinta did a really nice run (hence why I wanted to upload a video!).... sitting on a lovely pass of 192.... come to the stays... sit stay - no probs, nice and steady.... drop stay - no prob.... but oh... I just have to ITCH..... right HERE with 10 seconds to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHYYYYYYY! Does she have some allergy to pass cards?! Is there something in her brain that has told her to STAY away from all pass cards and challenge points?!?! I would love to know!

As you can guess it's pretty frustrating. She works SOOOO nice, but for some reason, it never seems to all come together at once.... I don't know what to do :-(

What's the upside of the whole weekend? Leo did some lovely runs in agility yesterday and Leo got his first ADX pass and 3rd place :D

Comming soon - my 'year that was' post (these were the last 2 trials of the year)... however I guess I might do it when I'm in a 'happier' mood :p

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gah - Technology!!!!

ok well some of you know that around 2 weeks ago a splurged and bought myself a brank spaking new laptop for watching DVDs, emailing and doing the odd job here and there. Since my life seems to be spent on a computer lately, I really wanted a laptop whereby I wasn't sitting in ONE room wasting my life away and this way, I could actually still chat to family etc :P.

I went all out and bought wireless router, 1TB hard disk drive (external), laptop, and all the bells and whisltes. Everything was going fine and it was an ongoing joke that watching DVDs on the laptop was clearer than watching it on the home TV :). I happily transferred all of my music, photos, videos and word doc's to the HDD so that I could work off both computers, and not clog up our home computer space. Down went the videos and photos into cyberspace as I deleted them (permanently) from the computer :p.

As you also might know I also fill the role for trial secretary for our local obedience club and their obedience trial. This is all well and good, but I'm buckling under the pressure this year as I seldom have enough time to do all of the entries and organising. I'd done 3/4 of this and yup, all saved on the HDD (I can tell that some of you know where this is going!)

Well last night - I hooked everything up so I could enter the last of the entries into the computer. I also intended on taking all of my photos across to the desktop just to be sure :). Plug in the HDD... computer doesn't recognise it.... unplug it, try it again.... nothing. The green light is on with the HDD but nobody is home... try it on our home computer... nothing..... try a different USB cable... nup.... call tech support and do a whole bunch of stuff.... all to no avail. Seems that it's given up the ghost (AFTER 2 WEEKS!) and I have buckleys chance of getting my files back.

So.... all my trial entries...... back to the drawing board (and no time to enter the info!)
All of my photos..... gone forever (last backed up CD I can *find* is Nov 2007, though I know I did it more recently, I can't find that disc can I?!)
All my trial videos..... gone forever....
All of my iTunes music.....Kaput!

As you can imagine... I am not a happy camper. Back to the store today before work to see if there is anything that can be done.... if not.... well..... what can you do!?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

She lives!

Ok - yes so, it's been a while! What on EARTH have I been up to for a month?!?!

Well we had our much awaited QLD trip which was a blast - had a really good time visiting theme parks and what not - I was most proud of myself I must say. I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to rides, so I was expecting to be the 'bag holder' for some of the rides at least :). First stop was Movie World - 2 of the best rides there Superman Escape and your Batwing Spaceshot. Well - we were lining up for Superman, Loz was telling us how much fun it was, well I was lining up crapping myself thinking, 'i'm not sure if I can handle this'... but at the same time, knowing if I pulled out I'd regret it. I HAD to try it at least once right?! Well the start of it is pretty tame - all the time I'm thinking "oh sh!t, oh Sh!t, oh Sh!t'" You are then shot out of the 'indoor area' fast... um... lets say 0 - 100kms fast!!! You go up a massive 'hill' (ok so it's not a hill, but my brain can't think of another word!) and then fall what felt like almost vertical down. Did I enjoy it?! Umm... enough to go on 3 more times!!!! Oh yes, I am now a self confirmed adrenaline junkie thanks to the Superman ride... it was AWESOME! Also my excuse for every other ride on our trip 'well if I can go on Superman, I can go on x, y, z'. Other rides we went on at Movie world? The Lethal Weapon, Scooby Doo and most of the others, however the Wild West Falls were closed *sob*.

Ok - so after Movie World we also went to Dreamworld... Here again I grappled with nerves (should I add in here that I'm not great with heights and hate any rides really where I'm falling backwards).... so going on the Tower of Terror or Giant Drop was a big ask and I wasn't sure if I could do it. Once again, I was encouraged to have a go. I almost didn't make it to the tower or terror... the falling backwards really wasn't sitting well with me. A typical conversation while lining up:

One of the 3 girls: "But you went on Superman, this won't be as scary as Superman"
Me: "Yes, but in this one we are falling BACKWARDS!"

Repeat this several times and you get the gist.

Did I enjoy it first time round - sort of, once I got over crapping myself... and I mean seriously crapping myself!! Well - I enjoyed it enough to go on an additional 4 times, and yes, each time it got more fun, till I was leaving my hands up in the air! ROFL.

So I guess after the ToT I had to do the Giant Drop too. Now that was fun, but nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be :P.... see.... adrenaline junky! Who doesn't find dropping 40 stories *that* scary!?

Other rides? The Claw, Motocoaster & Cyclone

We also went to Wet N Wild on yup, you guessed it, one of the coldest days we were there *rolls eyes*... Typical weather isn't it!

What else did we do? Hmm... I caught up with Maria, one of my trainer/ online friends which was great, and also went horseriding, shopping and general 'fun' stuff :). As per usual, we barely stopped :p A great trip :

Yes - I know this is a long post - but there is one more 'major' event I need to cover off too :)

ok - so our next big event was our 10th Anniversary Australian Shepherd Specialty show and Most Versatile Aussie (MVA) competition... this was held on cup weekend and we had down breed specialist from America judging our dogs :). Was a day I looked forward to all year :).

I was very pleased with how my dogs went. Leo won Neuter in Show (with some VERY pleasing comments from the judge, including the question "WHY is this dog de-sexed"!) and Kinta won her class. Both pleasing results with over 140 Aussies entered :)

The MVA consisted of the dogs competing in conformation (critiqued by Sheila Polk), herding, obedience and agility. No - we didn't get any passes (other than herding), but we got very nice critique (96/100 for Leo, 95/100 for Kinta! WOO HOO!) but I was really chuffed with their efforts... doing 3 disciplines in one day is no mean feat.. quite difficult for the dogs to switch between activities as anyone would expect :)

On the whole - dogs have been doing very nice work lately which is pleasing as well as frustrating! Why frustrating you may ask? Because they are working REALLY well, but with no passes to show for it! It's not like they can't do it, it's just that it never all goes right on the day, and no I'm not making excuses - it really is so! They really do work brilliantly, but I seem to be missing a link somewhere between training and trialing especially for Miss K. If you've trialled before you'd understand how frustrating this can be.

Anyway enough waffling from me - I'll try and post more regularly now, but as you can imagine, life has been busy :p.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Prefix approval

Well I got a letter in the mail yesterday - saying that I passed my breeders exam/ prefix has been approved (well one will assume that means you passed your exam, kind of silly to have a prefix, but not be a reg'd breeder!)

My kennel name is officially

Pawsitive Australian Shepherds

Jury is still out on that... when I put in on paper... it sounded good - I liked the fact that it had a performance ring to it.... now... I'm not so sure. I really wanted one of my first 3 preferences (haha - I can't even remember what my preferences were now except for those 3!).... now I think of registered names to ring with Pawsitive.... and they just don't work!

I'm sure i'll warm up to it in time... in the mean time - working on a new webpage for the kennels... fun, fun! NOT!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Leo & Kinta strike again

Well... seems my dynamic duo have done it again.... although HOW I have no idea! We went herding today to have some 'training' for the fast up and coming MVA competition (Most Versatile Aussie). Now since it's quite hard for me to find some sheep to practice on, not to mention some expert help, our 'training' was actually a herding trial. I thought this a good idea as it would give me an idea of what I have to do, not to mention if all else fails some info on what we could do better. Colin Webster was one judge and he is a well known stockman, so very handy to have around and teach us the proper way of teaching our dogs to herd. I learnt quite a bit today, as did the dogs... although half the time it felt like *I* was doing the herding and the dogs were just doing "come.... STOP..... come.... STOPPPPP!!!!" ROFL! Must think of a different command to stop though seeing as stop sounds an *awful* lot like DROP! hehehe!

Anyway - long story short - the pups managed to pull off 2 passes and their HT title each, making this Kinta's 2nd title this year, and Leo's 5th! To top it all off, we were also awarded Runner up HIGH IN TEST behind a wonderful working Aussie in Pre-Trial (next level up... much harder!). This ticks off for both dogs almost all of the titles I *wished* for this year... which is no mean feat. Leo hasn't managed so far to pull off his SD and GD, not surprisingly, since we haven't entered those yet!!! Kinta and Leo haven't managed to get their respective agility titles, but are really close, I can feel it! The only one I hope for Kinta still to get is her CD... but we'll see eh!?

OK - I'll stop being proud mumma now. What else have I been up to... hmm... well - I got to meet up with one of my friends from Syd yesterday at Vic Markets which was lovely as though we've spoken online for... oooh.. over a year now, we've never actually met! Was nice to put a face to the name!! I'm also counting down the days until we jet set off on our long awaited QLD holiday!!! SQUEE!!!

Work is still going great guns, though very busy most of the time. Good busy though!

Hmm... what is there really...not a whole lot - been taking it easy (surprisingly) and haven't done any agility/ obedience since their respective nationals dates! Also gearing up for the long awaited for MVA! Unfortunatley, I've been a bit under the weather most of the weekend simply due to a cold that's been going around the office.... and I thought I hadn't caught it! Alas - I spoke too soon!

Finally - here's a new vid for you to feast your eyes on - just a music vid - nothing flash :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Looking GOOD!

Some photos I took of the dogs today - after a bath! They are both looking really good and.... more mature I guess!!! I'm really pleased with these shots - but also annoyed that a) Leo isn't a show dog, and b) I didn't enter the Royal... as Kinta has more coat (sort of) than usual!!!! So much for 'oh I won't waste my money on the Royal as she'll be in season' HA! We all know how THAT turned out!

Dogs are also progressing nicely in their obedience... I think it's time to give agility a bit of a breather and do some obedience! LOL! Kinta is working lovely and Leo is too -he is really comfortable in his open work now and his UD is coming along nicely.... as per the comments at training today. No - we are nowhere near trialling level yet, but we are slowly chipping away at the block :)

Agility is good - just need to clean up a few things here and there - particularly with Kinta... but that could be a season thing (she seems less confident and slower for some reason...?!)

Oh - and the exciting news - we went to see WICKED on Saturday! Was it as good as London??? YUP! IT WAS AWESOME!!!! I'm still on a high about it! It was just.... amazing! The singers were fantastic - props, coreography... everything was just to die for! Did I mention how much I love this musical?!?!?!

That's about it for this weekend - I just wanted to share piccies of the kidlets really :P

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ups and Downs

Ok – so what’s the latest news? I’ll start from the start and see how far we go :p

The Nationals:
Well the gods didn’t decide to be nice to me and Kinta’s season didn’t lift in time. I am sure I provided much amusement for many having my daily checks with Kinta thinking ‘is she out yet’… LOL – methinks I couldn’t have gotten away with it since she was tarting around to anything and everything on 4 legs *rolls eyes*…. Then – as luck has it … guess who was OUT of season by Monday…. *sigh*

Firstly – the Nationals were AWESOME! Sooo much fun – and boy did the Leo run really well! In fact – I now have to re-think his label as ‘the dud’ as I think the tables have turned and he is a ‘dud’ no more :p. Leo had 6 runs over 2 days as I was stewarding on the Friday. In every run it was usually the cause of one small fault (tunnel suck, one bar down etc) that cost us our pass.. I couldn’t be prouder of him. On our very last run of the day (after a good dump of rain) – Leo decided that it was time to gain his 5th leg for his JDX title – not his fastest run I thought – but hey, still 10sec under time! We didn’t place or make it to the finals, but that doesn’t matter… and in hindsight, could be a good thing considering the amount of rain we had during / just before finals started! All in all – a great weekend, and a great dog to go home with J

Work is still going good and obviously keeping me very busy. I am really enjoying it, albeit making small errors now and again (like accidentally scheduling classes to clash with another :-O!) but on the whole I think it’s going well. Our seminars are doing well and I have some ideas clunking around upstairs and if I get a few seconds to think and air the brain, I might be able to put some into action! Leo adores my new ‘job’ as he gets to come in about once a week which of course means lots of people to steal food from and melt just simply by staring at them and giving them my big goofy grin with a butt wiggle…. Who can resist?!?!! Kinta on the other hand is finding the adjustment a little harder. She has decided in the 18mths we’ve had her that people at shows and in public are an excellent source of food and attention. In fact - her usual style at shows and such is to nab a person walking past with her paw and GLARE until they offer up either food or pats (Leo does this in a much more subtle way of either barking, jumping on them or nabbing them with both paws and licking their face)… Kinta also likes to get them into a false sense of security having people believe the breed is nice and calm, before she turns on her nutso gene! At home, Kinta is also much better, as crating before visitors come and while they settle in tends to get rid of the woofs. At work, she is a little uncertain of the coming and going (just in the office – everywhere else ie: seminars and such, people are GREAT) so we are working on that and helping her feel more comfortable!

Well – he is much happier now that the cone is off his head and he can re-gain some self dignity without the tablets being shoved down his throat and such. The wound is also healing nicely. The biopsy results came back to say that it was a malignant tumour, which we were hoping we got all out, but couldn’t be sure. Further tests on the biopsy showed that the tumour was in fact benign so Monty now has the all clear…. Thank goodness for that!

Last Weekend:
This consisted of Croydon’s agility trial where it was Leo’s turn to shine again. Leo picked up his 4th title for this year alone – being his first games title; strategic pairs… This was done in fine style with a 1st place J . What’s more is it was another day of ‘almosts’ – he almost got an excellent agility pass (and 1st place) but he popped out of the last weave. In our first Masters Jumping round, everybody was talking about how difficult it was (and it was!) but I was SO proud of Leo as he almost ran clear and would have, should the stupid handler have supported the jump for just a wee bit longer… not sure if he would have made time though – but still – I was really proud of his efforts!

Kinta had a nice Novice Agility round, but (like Leo) popped out at the last weaver. Her excellent jumping left something to be desired – she was very slow and just didn’t seem fussed/ confident about anything!? Anyway – considering she is still so new to trialing, I can’t give up on her just yet! Having said that….could be a season thing too… LOL. At least it points out where we need to concentrate for both dogs (same problems)… hahaha
Yesterday – we basically spent the day with dad – walked along the new trial near eastlink – from Mitcham to Springvale Rd… was quite a nice walk J and the dogs were suitable exhausted once we got home J …. Sort of (well it lasted all of 30mins!)

Video’s of both are on youtube btw!

Well – I finally got my breeders exam in the mail, so over the coming weeks I will complete this… hopefully all will go well and I’ll have a kennel name soon (one I like please!)… As for actual breeding – we know that Kinta is being bred next season – puppies may be born at home (nothing in concrete yet) and we do have a few ideas for sires, but again, nothing in concrete yet! I guess nothing is set until the deed is done :p

So… that’s the latest… I think! LOL! So excited – I have a few weeks off trials – so am going to see WICKED on Saturday (woot woot!) which I saw almost 2 yrs ago to the day… And the next couple of weekends we might go and do some scouting around at some houses and see what we can find…. I’m so excited that soon I might have my own place!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Murphy Hates ME!

And before anybody asks... no - I do not mean Murphy the Aussie ;-).

Gee - I can't believe it's been a whole month since my last post! This time - I can't exactly use the excuse of 'well nothing much has been happening' because truck loads have!

Settling in more to the new job now and I must say, I absolutely love it! I find out more developments every day and I feel that I really can and will grow into this role! It's just got so much potential!!! I'm so happy that I've actually found something that I want to get up and go to work in the morning for!

Downsides... I do find it harder to motivate myself to go out at nights for training, but I think that's more a case of 'new job, lots of responsibilities' and general brain exhaustion! Not to mention the horrible wet weather we've been having which has just made it plain yuk to do anything in! The poor pooches are SO neglected as I just *don't* want to walk them lately coz it's just disgusting out there! Good thing I still do though 'eh?!

OK - so why exactly does Murphy hate me?! Hmm... well lets start with the Obedience nationals!

I was sooo proud of both of my dogs efforts - some lovely work by both!

Lets start with Kinta - who should have passed with a score of 97/100 putting her in 1st place and 7 points ahead of any other dog that passed that day (at least in our ring)!... enter stand for exam - which she held a treat... until I returned around her and she decided to plop back in heel! Doh! That was the State Trials.

Nationals - not as good as the day before.... but still sitting on a reasonably good score.. and a 1st or 2nd place... come to the sit stay and she lies down! ARGH!!! Ah well... thems the breaks right?!

Anyways, obedience wise, since I hate the lead I don't think I am going to complete her CCD title... instead we will brush up on a few things (clearly her SFE and Stays!) and enter Novice come October I think.

Next bad news - I entered Kinta in the Nationals as she (thankfully) didn't drop coat until the beginning of August, which generally tells me she wont' be in for at least another month. So off I send a cheque for $72 as well as entries for the Hastings and Croydon trial (weekend before and after Nat's). So over $100 in entries all up. No swelling, no 'boy' interest or anything. I have her at work Monday and she is being a little 'weird' around people - just glued to my leg pretty much.... then I bring her in Tuesday... and I notice blood on the floor... my first thought 'how on earth did you hurt yourself?!'... then it dawns on me... yup, she's in season alright - a whole month early! I noticed no swelling or anything! So bye bye nationals! Unless of course someone *is* watching over me and gives her a very short cycle :p

Now - enter Leo:

He actually doesn't have that bad a run except for the Obedience Nationals.

State trials he did reasonably well (again, I was absolutely thrilled with his ring work) and boy - was he happy to be out again after about a 3 month sabbatical! Sitting on a pass of 186 (our dreaded number) and come stays he stands up, sits down again!

Anyways - here is a video of his efforts

Come nationals he is doing brilliantly... lost only 3 points in the exercises he completely properly... come DOR - and he looks away briefly as I give the signal... oops! Beautiful straight recall! To make me feel better, he also brings the d/b back to the judge instead of over the jump *rolls eyes*

Video again:

I'm not sure if I have mentioned his successes lately (yes it's been that long), but he did brilliantly at our last agility trial picking up two more JDX passes leaving us with one more needed for our JDX title (hopefully at the nationals or upcoming trials!) - Video of one of his runs on the day (3rd place, nice time behind some very fast dogs!)

OK - so you're probably thinking... well why does Murphy hate you so much... this all 'aint that bad!

Well - enter Monty:

Poor Monty has had a lump on his shoulder which has been quite suspicious so I took him to the vets to have a look - they had no idea what it was, so they took a needle aspiration and sent it off.... results back... still no idea, but some lymphocytes etc detected. So - Off to my vet to get it removed, which I did today... All removed as well as full blood profile, urine samples and thyroid tests since he is now 9, I wanted to make sure that there were no other signs that this lump could be serious and he *has* been eating a LOT lately (food he shouldn't) so wanted the clean bill of health. All went well, but gee... those vet bills sure to bite! $800 later and I'm really missing the $100 I wasted on Kinta's entries!

Well fingers crossed the lump doesn't come back... although I must admit - I have been getting amusement out of watching the poor kid walk backwards so that he doesn't (in his mind) bang his head on anything. He is sooo despondent poor guy!

Some pics:

On the whole though - have been enjoying watching the olympics and having a general relaxing few weeks (no trials!)... Ah HAH! That's why I don't want to get off my a$$ and walk the dogs... OLYMPICS!!!! tee hee!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy birthday little girl

I can't believe it, but my little midget is 2 yrs old today! Boy time has flown! When/where/ HOW did that happen!!?!?!? She is an awesome little girl and she and I share a very special bond. It's hard to believe that I almost didn't end up with her! I can't wait to see what the future holds for us... even if she didn't turn out *quite* as crazy as we planned ;-).

This week has also marked the first week at my new job... and an exciting and stressful one it's been. Going to be longer hours, as it includes some night work (up until 9pm at night), but that also means that I get to go in later on those days, and yup, my dogs are becoming 'education dogs' (haha - technically I could assess them myself!) and thus, if I need them, they can come into work with me :). Don't know what Peggy the office cat will think though ;-).

Everybody I'm working with is great and so far are pleased with my work. I've been shadowing a little bit, the girl I'm taking over, as well as in the latter half of the week, mostly doing the work with her helping out :). I am still in awe really that I have landed this job... which is more a job that I dreamed of, and never really thought I'd ever have the opportunity of doing :).

OK - so what exactly does the job involve? Well - basically a lot of phone calls/ consults for clients with behavioural issues (dogs and cats... the cat bit requires a bit more research on my behalf!) as well as over-seeing basically the evening dog training classes (although the trainers are awesome that we have on staff).... Weekly we run talks to the general public in relation to general behavioural problems and things of that ilk (barking dogs, environmental enrichment etc, etc.).... Finally I'm also working with the shelter dogs and doing assessments, when needed on those... a task that isn't always fun.

I'm really looking forward to what I can make out of this role. There is plenty of room for growth and development as well as just the general experience I can gain out of a role like this! I really can't wait to see what evolves from here as time goes on!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Latest news

Ok so it's been a while.... yes, I know - slack and all that - but what other excuse is there!

A LOT has happened since my last post... the most important is that I have a new job. I start on the 14th, so for a week, I am now 'unemployed' haha- now that's going to be tough! For those that *don't* already know, this new job involves me doing what I love day in and out, it's closer to home and is just generally a better job! Basically I'll be working as an animal behaviourist, as well as doing some public education about dogs, dog behaviour & training! I honestly can't wait to start.... but am also very nervous that I am not good enough for the job! Either way it has to be better than my previous job... right?! On the up side, it means that I get to go to a lot more seminars about dog behaviour and such.... without tearing holes into my pocket! In fact, I am going to one this Wednesday night - very excited!!! See... can you tell I'll just *love* this new job!

Last week we spent 3 days down at the penninsula between Rosebud and Sorrento thanks to sir Leo for winning the 'top Victorian obedience dog of the year 2007' (which I might add he isn't really, but only about 10 dogs entered the competition, and we won... also came about 4th nationally... but as I said, a very small competition)! Photos can be found here... I'm quite proud of them if I do say so myself (the photos.... as well as the dogs)!.. Who knows, I might be a budding photographer yet.... ha!

On the doggy front, we came *so* close to adding another title to Miss K's name.. in the form of CCD... we had a trial on Saturday and she gained one pass in the morning (89/100) and was sitting on a score of 97/100 in the afternoon.... pity she couldn't hold the stays for more than 50seconds :(. As some of you may know, we've had a bit of a rocky start trialling this girl as she is just a sensitive little soul and picks up on my nerves and changes in body posture easily... so I've had to learn the hard way not to expect so much, cool down and just enjoy the ride. The last trial on Saturday, really showed what she is capable of. After a brief consideration of blowing CCD to the wind (HATE the lead), I decided to stick with it for the nationals where we will hopefully walk away with her title, and all ready to trial in Novice once her season is over :). I have a lot of faith in this girl, I just need to learn to take the pressure off both her and myself!

Leo has also been doing very well - he had a bully run through in Open yesterday at club, as well as some (rather messy) mat work. He has really been getting better with age and I can't wait to bring him out for the nationals into open as he really knows what he is doing now and is comfortable with his task. As for agility - that bar knocking is still an issue, so hopefully Susan Salo will become available (from our club) soon so that I can learn on how to help him along with this :D. Lots of hard work, but I think all this training will pay off in the end!

Other than that - I've just been leading a very busy life trying to keep up with the social side of things, as well as finalising the project at work (handed in last Monday) and just generally... barely keeping on top of things!

Looks like it's time to start organising for the next obedience trial too.... oh boy! Does it ever stop!? But then, life would be boring if I took it slow, wouldn't it?!

So - until next time....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Awe- Struck

Ok... so I was driving to the agility trial yesterday complaining how I only ever get one pass in a day, if any at all :P. When I usually run 4-6 runs, I thought I could do with a little more LOL! I told the dogs when they got in the car (after trying to ride in the backseat) that they could ride 'up front' (ie: backseat) if they got 2 passes...

As you know - Kinta made her debut at Morwell and while she did well in the AM trial, her PM trial made me wonder if I was pushing her and perhaps she wasn't quite ready yet. I was prepared to pull her out again and train her up more for the nationals, if I didn't feel she was ready after Warringal (yesterday's trial).

Anyway... seems *something* was going right yesterday (I think it was the 'lucky shoes'... ie: new shoes I wore for the first time)... Here is what we walked away with:

Novice Jumping (AM):
3rd Place - Kinta .... SCT - 38sec, CT 23.33sec

Excellent Jumping (AM):
4th Place - Leo..... SCT 40sec, CT 37.07sec

Novice Jumping (PM):
1st Place - Kinta..... SCT 33 sec.... CT: 21.31sec **JD TITLE**

Novice Strategic Pairs:
2nd Place - Leo...... SCT 65sec CT - 47.32sec

Excellent Jumping (PM)
3rd Place - Leo.... SCT 37sec CT 29.78sec

Yep - that's right.... for our 5 runs of the day... we walked away with 5 passes!!! What's more is Kinta got her JD title in 2 trials!!! TWO TRIALS!! I still can't believe it! All the runs were just fantastic to run, especially Leo's since he was running slow and I couldn't work out why. It wasn't until later I realised he had a split toenail! Poor tyke ran all those runs with a sore foot :(. So considering he was still well under time, I was quite happy with that effort as it means my 'speed training' is paying off as he runs much faster than that when all of his feet are functioning normally :p.

Video's from the day:

I still can't believe it...... LOL! Oh - and guess who got to 'shotgun' on the way home :P

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Frustration, happy tidings and such

Ok - so as you remember - the last post I wrote - I sent the dogs away for a 'holiday' while I fences got done.... well... in typical tradie manner.... they are still NOT done!!! Just a little bit frustrating as I sent the dogs away so that the fences could be down overnight, done without the tradies getting hassled or with me being stressed about the dogs getting out. Hopefully they'll get done today (yup 2 weeks later), and thankfully the parents are home to watch the dogs for us :). Just a little bit annoying!

I have had a reasonably busy last couple of weeks - at work, because our project is due soon, but also at home with the dogs also. Last weekend (first weekend of June) I went to Shepparton for an agility seminar held by Deb Kelly. It was really good and I picked up a lot of things re: my handling etc. As to whether I can apply it or not is another story *vbg*!

This weekend just gone was spent in Traralgon where I stayed with a friend whilst trialling the mutts at Sale/ Morwell (Sale on Sunday, Morwell Monday... hehe nice bit of alliteration there!)

Kinta was entered in CCD on Sunday and that effort was just abysmal. Shows what a difference it makes when I haven't had anybody call an exercise for me for a while (well... with Kinta anyway!). She totally lost it after she missed the stands, and watching the vids, I certainly lost it to! All of my finesse and nice body language went out the window, so we made a disastrous team! Hopefully we can clean up our act for our next trial, and be the remarkable team I know we can be!!! LOL! Still... it was an enjoyable day and it did point out what/ where we can work on... won't take long i'm sure as the foundations are there, we just need to work more as a *team* together :)

Morwell was Kinta's agility debut. Both dogs did really well - as we haven't trialled since the start of March in agility. No passes for Leo unfortunately - as the PM jumping was my fault (what seemed like good ideas for a FC when walking, certainly was NOT when running with a dog!). In the AM, he missed out on a pass as he knocked a bar. The jump was at an angle, I think he turned a little too sharp and clipped it with his back legs :(. It's getting frustrating as he is more than capable of doing the courses, but we are yet to receive a pass... all because of one error!! You can watch his jumping runs here (agility run didn't tape):

Kinta did well - although as luck would have it, her best run wasn't caught on tape! She did very well and got a Jumping pass in her first ever run... and... wait for it- first place too!!! yippee!!! The 2nd jumping run was very similar to Leo's and yup - bad places for me to turn which stuffed the dog up again :p. She had fun though! Agility was a mess, but I'm not really worried about that seeing as I don't think she is quite ready for that (her contacts/ weaves). She'll be a jumping dog for a while until I am totally sure that she will be ready for agility (Leo too infact!)

Her runs are here:

Nothing much else to be said in other news - Leo's scent work is going excellently and we are almost up to a full set. I'm just totally amazed at how quickly and how well he picked up on this... and he just *Loves* it!!! Yippee!!!

*sigh* I just hope that Kinta turns out to be everything I hoped she would and I haven't stuffed her up!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What do to, what to do

Some of you might be aware that the Nationals are looming..... Agility and Obedience nationals to be held in Melbourne through August (start of August for Obedience, end of August for Agility).... so the question is.... what to enter!

I sent Leo's entries off yesterday - early bird entries... I closed my eyes and entered him in 6 events, just agility/ jumping - 4 runs on Sat and a minimum of 2 runs on Sunday (finals are run in the afternoon)...

The question is Kinta. I've left her entries till later - missing the 'early bird' (saving $2 each run) simply because 'will she or wont she' be in season! She *shouldn't* be in season... but at the risk of wasting $60 - I'll wait and see thanks! At least the timing of her coat drop will give me a reasonable indicator. If I suspect she might be, I'll enter less events, If I think she won't - then I'll enter all events... but imagine....
running 12 runs over 2 days!!! OMG!!! I'll be killing myself running between rings!!!

So everybody please - hope that my girl plays nice and keeps to a SIX month cycle - by which she will come into season at the end of Sept, not the end of August!!! (we've had one 5.5mth and one 6mth cycle so far...)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Leo is 4 today!

It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years since this little pip squeak was born! Not to mention.... was he really *that* small!!?!?!?

So much has changed in 4 short years... it's hard to imagine that 'back then' I knew nothing about the dog world, obedience, showing, agility or anything that I'm totally obsessed with now. It's hard to believe that I'd never thought of breeding/ showing and when I inquired after Leo only said I might *try* obedience and agility!

I remember the day I picked him up like it was yesterday ;). We'd been over the week before just to have a 'look' at some puppies... because after having lost my Rusty-Girl only a few weeks ago, I didn't feel ready for a puppy, but I wanted to make sure that when I did go looking, I was going to get the right one. I went to a couple of shows before hand, put my name on the puppy register for a red female around Christmas time. I had received an email earlier in the week saying this breeder had a lovely blue merle boy that she thinks I should look at (Jayne, the puppy officer) as he will be ideal for obedience/ agility etc,etc,etc. I thought 'oh yeah, this will be ok to look at coz it's a blue, and I want a red. Not to mention it's a boy and I want a girl!' After speaking to Ana on the phone, I decided i'll go down and have a look at the litter... one thing I was adamant about was that I did *not* want a black tri female (hahaha).

Well - they say the pup chooses you, and I must say I think it's true. The entire time I was there, Leo's sisters came and went, pretty indifferent to us, they just wanted cuddles from anyone... but Leo... no - he slept on my feet the whole time - he would play with me when I knelt down to play with him, but admittedly - he wouldn't leave my side. I knew we were sold when my mum was smitten with him ;). We went to look at other litters (yes, one including a red female!) and I knew I had to have him..

If I had any doubts - it was certainly washed away the week later when we went to pick him up and he ran straight out of the crate and back into my lap!

I mean... who could resist a face such as this:

The day we picked him up...

Checking to see what mum is doing!

So much for 'outdoor dog only'!!!!

Retrieving already (he loooved that toy!)!

One cool dude!

Seriously chilled out!

Since then -I've achieved so much with him... He's a great dog to live with, has a brilliant temperament, happy and silly demeanor and is a great dog to train. I've made plenty of mistakes with him, but he just keeps on trying and the results at the end are just so rewarding. I wish I could do more with him - he was a great therapy dog, but it just doesn't fit in anymore. He is literally everything I could ever want in a dog! I hope that we continue to build on this relationship we have to reach our higher goals but most of all have fun getting there!

Soo... how did the birthday boy spend his day? Well he had a raving party last night (a la movie night at Traceys' house), obedience this morning (he did awesome - signals heelwork for the first time and he nailed it as well as metal & wood scents!!!! *insert happy dance here*) and Mr Joey over for a play this afternoon. A nice night inside tonight followed by a juicy bone... ah bliss! What more could a boy want ;)

Happy birthday mate!

Now - as for me - I am going to be *very* despondent this week... our fences are getting done which means Kinta is spending the week with the breeders and Leo is being shipped off to a friends place.... I'm dog-less all week!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Meet Mr Jojo (or Dodo as his mum likes to call him!)

Joey is Tracey's new pup who came for a visit to our place today.... we intended to go for a walk, but one thing led to another and we went shopping (boring stuff, groceries and mothers day shopping) and got stuck watching Greys Anatomy instead ;-). With Kinta away on a showing weekend with her '2nd family', Leo and Joey had some fun together. It really makes it clear that 3 can be a crowd, as Leo was a lot more playful with Joey since Kinta wasn't here... whereas he can be a bit of a snob when she is around *especially* if she doesn't feel like playing! LOL! Kinta is usually quite firm with Joey, so it was nice for the boys to just have some 'chillin' time.

So... here are some piccies!

Catch me if you can!

A ritual of Joey's - everybody needs a good teeth clean!
Leo "I believe I can flyyyy"
C'mon Leo (aka toy hog) .... share the toy!


PLEASE!!!!! (with a cherry on top?!)
Oh CMON!!!
Yep - it's official! Leo's a TOY HOG!
At least Auntie Amanda lets me have a go ;-)
Well - until next time -that's all folks!

Friday, May 09, 2008

By popular demand....

A new post!!! ROFL!

Question?! What *was* my last post about?!?!!?

Well - Kinta has finally entered (Kind of) the trialling circuit having her first NADAC agility trial last Sunday. She did extremely well and came back with 3 out of 4 passes.... A real pity about her NQ as she just knocked a couple of bars. It pointed out a few things I need to work on with her - but.... she shows promise. I'm so proud of her. Here are photos of Leo and Kinta on the day. Keep scrolling through as there are a few of each dog. Leo also did well at this trial and managed 2 out of 4 passes. I was really pleased with him as he was confident, fast and we all had an absolute blast! Leo missed one pass because I pulled him off the last jump (I didn't keep running straight) and he clipped it! Stupid, stupid handler! As for the 2nd pass he missed out on - he went a *little* crazy in his last run of the day (tunnelers) and went into the wrong end of the tunnel! Oops!

Unfortunately - no video footage as I didn't have anybody to tape for me :)

Am looking forward to next weekend as it will be Kinta's first obedience trial and I honestly can't wait to get her out - pass or fail!!! She is such a trooper :P

On other news, my little baby girl is going on a holiday without me this weekend :(. Going showing with her breeders. I'm gonna miss the crazy thing! Doubt she'll miss me though - she always has such fun with them.

A bit of drama - seems that Miss K is having a false pregnancy after her latest season - nothing drastic, but she did have a bit of discharge last week, which prompted a visit to the vet. It also got me wondering if she has not had phantoms before, as her boobs always are a little inflamed for some weeks after her season - but that is the only symptom she seems to have. Anyways the topic was brought up about breeding, and it looks like I have to start thinking about that.... so fun times ahead.....

I'm also seriously contemplating the thoughts of buying my own place in the near future. But it seems, while I have the means to get a loan to buy a modest (not shabby, but not fancy or big) place, in the area I want (haha - near KCC), meeting the repayments may be a little tough.... It's frustrating because I am *so* close it isn't funny... and I want my own independence etc. I plan to house share, but don't want to be dependent on it lest it doesn't work out/ can't find anyone etc,etc... then if you don't have someone, how will you make the repayments if ya get my gist. It's not like i'm living in the city and people are queuing up to be your roomie ;)... So I guess the decision now lies do I buy at the end of this year, and then rent it out - paying off as much as possible until I can afford to move in (still got to work out how I can do this and still get the first home buyers grant)... or do I hang out for a bit more, and buy when I have the money (and possibly when the housing prices are starting to rise again)..... Decisions, decisions! I wish I knew!!! Does anybody have a crystal ball to tell me what to do?!

On top of that - if I buy - I say bye bye to my traveling.... for a while at least.... do I want to... or do I want to go on one last fling first?! *sigh*... I *really* wish I knew. Now... where are those sexy, millionaires that I was always told about?!?! Better yet - in those fairytales - weren't there things called 'princes in shining armour'.... where did mine go?! Is he lost?! How can I speed him along in his trek to find me (maybe buy him a GPS?!)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

La di dah

Again - another non-eventful week over here! Mind you it was lovely to have a nice break on the weekend (3 day weekend... bring it on!). Downside is of course that this is the LAST allocated long-weekend for us until CHRISTMAS as the queens birthday/ cup weekend is not recognised by the university... so will have to be taken as annual leave (aka cup weekend ;-) ). I have to keep telling myself "2 weeks for christmas, 2 weeks for christmas".

Sooo... what did I get up to?! Well Fri/ Sat was spent showing at Lancefield/ Sunbury. Was an enjoyable weekend and we picked up a few points too :). Nothing overly exciting as they were small shows in the way of Aussies. Still over 1200 dogs each day I think?! Anyways - at the moment i'm trying various things to improve Kinta's coat, or rather quantity of it. Her coat is actually quite nice and healthy, but it just lacks...... volume! So I've changed her diet and also going to wash her in "royal jelly" to see if that will make a difference at all!

Saturday night was spent with the gals - and yet another Harry Potter night (ok, so the first 2 weren't planned that way, it was more a 'come over for dinner and watch a movie' by which time were were already suckered into HP!). Sat it was kind of planned as we knew we were going to end up watching it anyways ;). We have gone a little 'up market' of late - read: rather than ordering pizza's we have been cooking dinner!!! Surprisingly no-one is dead yet.... I think the closest we came was at MY dinner.... not because of the taste of it (Chicken Parma... self crumbed and all thank you very much :p )... but because the bl**dy non-stick greaseproof paper apparently isn't non-stick!!!! ROFL!

Job hunting is still.... well.... hunting ;). No news there.

Very excited about this weekend - we have our ASCV open show on Saturday - Leo and Kinta entered. Will be interesting to see results as our aspiring judge is a fellow Aussie breeder, so it's always nice to know the type and style that they like :). No points are awarded at open shows, just so you know :p. The main part of the excitement however is that we also have an agility trial on Sunday - a NADAC one (ie: not the usual trials we go to) and Kinta's first trial! I'm very excited about it as I'm curious to see how both dogs will go, Leo too as I've been working on him a lot lately to get a bit of speed on him.

I have also commenced Leo's UD training. Am using Morgan Spector's method of teaching Leo scent work and all seems to be going well so far. I am sure we'll come up with a zillion glitches, but I have a heap of people to call on if the going gets tough! So far:

Lesson 1 - he indicated pretty well up to about 4 articles - when he occasionally started to pick up the wrong one. Ended the session on a high and feeling quite proud of ourselves.

Lesson 2 - seemed that lesson 1 didn't go as well planned as I thought - turned out Leo thought the idea was to pick up ANY article (possibly caused by my too eager clicks when he 'sniffed' the right one). Went right back to start and I *think* we are on the right track now. He will 'search' for the right scent and will confidently pick it up when he has found it - sometimes he searches for a while, other times he picks it up immediately. Much higher success rate. Up to 3-4 articles now.

Another lesson tonight, and the next... then he'll have a few days break. I always like to give them a break after a 'new' exercise has been introduced as it sort of lets the whole scenario 'sink in' and I seem to get a really good response from doing this (whether I am right or not, who knows!!!)

That's it from me I think... back to work!

ETA - now seriously guys - comment on the blog - I haven't had a comment since Feb and am feeling un-loved... I know people are reading ;).... Please..... *bribes with pieces of chocolate*

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FINALLY - we have a pass!!!

Ok - so it's been a while, I've almost forgotten what it feels like!!! Since my birthday weekend we have not had one pass card/ challenge certificate awarded to us! Despite coming so close a number of times, we haven't quite cracked it yet! Sunday was our CDODC's obedience trial. I could barely sleep the night before, tossing and turning thinking of at least a million things that could go wrong, or worse, something i'd forgotten to do! Everything was pretty much smooth sailing (thankfully), except for the teeny tiny error of hmm... a judge not turning up!!! Scary stuff! Luckily one of the stewards was a judge, so we were able to get her to fill in for us *phew!*.

On top of all of that I was also trialling Leo. Enter a dog who, for the past 3 days has flatly refused to pick up his d/b on the first go (ewww mum that's plastic!)... due to my wooden one being in a very unstable condition (going to break at any stage now), I had to get Leo used to the plastic one. Well - he *still* wasn't picking it up on first go Sunday morning and I was walking around wondering if I should withdraw if he doesn't pick it up, OR continue on.... I still haven't decided what I would have done...

Thankfully - the dog picked up the d/b BOTH times AND came back over the hurdle for the ROH. Held his stays beautifully too :). We finally passed with a score of 184, 2nd place and... our CDX title! WOO HOO! I know it isn't exactly the longest time in Open, quite a short stint actually, but since he got his first 2 so quick, there was no bleedingly obvious reason as to why he kept (just) failing, it felt like ages!! I'm so pleased that he got there in the end! I guess now it's time to brush up Kinta and bring her out hey?! On the whole, I'm very excited as we can now officially start training for UD!!!

That was pretty much the extent of our weekend, given that Sat arvo was spent finalising stuff for the trial.

I'm also very excited as I have entered both Leo and Kinta in our first NADAC trials! I think these courses will be a great way to build up Leo's speed (he goes back to novice, more flowing courses... plus a tunnelers one!) and a good way to see just how close Kinta is to trialling level. I'm really looking forward to it on the 4th May. Our agility training has been completely re-vamped now that i'm taking it more 'seriously' than I have previously so I'm going back and re-training a lot of things as well as changing my approach etc. I can really see the difference!

On another note - of late I've taken a real keen interest in this breed called Pyrenean Shepherds. I've been trying to find out as much information about them as possible, which is not an easy task given the breeds rarity, not to mention there are NONE in Australia. It's super hard to find anything really worthwhile reading on the breed (there's only so many times you can read a standard, and only so much information it gives you) much less in English (sorry but my Dutch/ Sweedish/ French is not THAT good!).... I'd love to learn more about the breed as I believe they are related to the Aussies and I really find the breed endearing! Anyone with info - email me please!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

General dullness...

I just had an amusing thought.... Outside of the dogs, there really is not much to tell (or that you guys would be interested in!)... so when the dogs aren't doing anything spectacular and it is just the week in, week out training... I have NOTHING to say! Plus - I'm trying to be a little creative here and have posts that don't involve the dogs, but hey, what can I say - they are my life!

Don't you hate it when people ask you "so what have you been up to lately?!" The best answer I usually can come up with is "nothing much" - which generally is the case, because lets face it, the stuff I get up to isn't that interesting to 90% of the people that ask! But if "nothing much" is what I get up to, it certainly keeps me very busy! Frankly I'm exhausted! It's that time of year again..... Croydon's obedience trial, and again I have the pleasure of being trial secretary... a task I loathe and love. I enjoy it - because it is a good way of meeting others in the obedience fraternity - I hate it, because in the last few weeks, I have a constant nagging feeling that I've forgotten something, have I done everything and OMG it's only xxxx days away!!! The number of times I have had that feeling this week.....

What else does "nothing much" consist of - hmm... of course there is the general training, which seems to make up 90% of my life and AH commitments. The dogs are going really well, Leo is super enthusiastic and his speed around the agility course is definitely improving. For those of you who don't know I have been working to try and get him to run faster etc. I think it's working! Kinta is also going well and her agility is coming on in leaps and bounds. I am at the point now where I have to be REALLY careful because she is so close to being good, and I want the good with speed. If I push her too much, she will be good, but lacking in speed. If that makes sense. Basically we are at the stage of one step forward, two steps back. Obedience wise, she has certainly matured a lot in that department and is working really nice, especially considering her young age!

Oooh - the dogs also had a go at herding last weekend, the first time in about a year I think. Much to my surprise Leo has re-gained his enthusiasm about sheep, while Kinta has decided that mum was tricking, the sheep were there merely as a distraction and there was NO WAY she was falling for that trick!!! LOL! The trainer said that Kinta probably had tonnes of instinct but was just confused and not used to the whole scenario - more exposure should help! I'd love to give them both more exposure, but access to sheep and TIME are big factors :(.

Ok - so other than that I really, really have nothing to tell. There has been no drama, no stories to tell of over here!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This is getting so frustrating!! I have a dog that loves to work... and does it well..... I often get told that people love watching him work because he is just so happy around the ring!! He can do well.... again - he was on fire today. Yep you guessed it, another obedience trial down the drain.... Brilliant work by Leo - he was all cylinders go. He heeled well (went wide on a few turns, but he was up and with me, focusing and even ignoring a few distracting things on the ground!)... Only minimal marks lost in the other exercises. He and I were having a blast :D. That was until the ROH and the silly sausage thought that bringing the d/b back to our judge, rather than going over the hurdle seemed like a good alternative.... He then of course corrected himself and brought the d/b back to me, before sitting in front of the judge.... but still!!! So - here comes the blow.... had he done it well - we would have likely scored..... yep - 191!!!!!! Testament to how good he was working!

Don't get me wrong, I still have an absolute blast out there.... and I still enjoy it... but c'mon!!! Maybe 2007 was his year and he no longer wants to perform *vbg*.... or maybe he doesn't want Kinta to come out and steal his thunder (a likely story).... but I hate it that we get so close, yet not quite there......

Unless.... this is still punishment for me saying his name when I shouldn't have LOL!

Ah well - he's a good dog, he will get there eventually.... maybe we'll even get his OC one day (I'd love that!)... but at the moment, his career as sausage meat, or perhaps a life in a new home is looking better and better (haha - joking, joking... love him too much!)

On a positive note - Miss K got RBCC.... again yesterday.... to Indi - Leo's sister :P. She is yet another 'frustrating' case - coming close, yet not quite there for those darned challenge points!

I have dud's I tell ya.... DUD'S!!!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

186 is NOT a lucky number

*sigh* for the THIRD time this weekend, Leo and I were unable to sustain a pass for our CDX title... and yep, you guessed it, had we passed, our score would have been..... 186!!! That's also the THIRD time in a row we have blown a pass of 186!! ROFL!

Sooo... what has he done to blow the passes?

Trial 1:
NOT the dogs fault, but for the Change of Positions (COP) I accidentally said his name when I shouldn't have..... not doing THAT again!!!

Trial 2:
Very hot and humid by this time and he dropped in the sit-stay :-(

Trial 3:
Apparently there was an interesting smell right where the d/b landed, which was far too interesting to leave and thus finish the exercise (ROH)... when I called out "OI!" he quickly snapped around, picked up d/b and finished the exercise perfectly :-(.

Another go this weekend...... but I certainly don't have my hopes up! If he doesn't get it soon, I'm going to pull him out for a bit and give Kinta her shot as I don't want to trial 2 dogs, at least in the initial phases..... so.... I wonder how much of this is Leo's antics so that Miss K won't have a go in the obedience ring.... hmmm..... *vbg*!

Had a lovely Easter weekend showing and relaxing. Last day off today -then back to work tomorrow. We didn't get anywhere in the shows either, but it was always a nice morning out :).

As for the job hunting.... rang a few recruitment agencies today, and unless I have min. 2yrs sales experience, I'm not even going to get a look in.... ummm.... HOW exactly am I to GET the sales experience, if no-one is willing to give me the experience?!?!?!?


Friday, March 21, 2008

Photo overload!

OK - Apologies for the photo overload. I was mucking around in the yard with the pups today, throwing their toys and keeping my finger on the button (fast shutter speed option where it takes heaps of pics one after the other). I was amazed at the quality that came out as you would expect photos of a lesser quality and the shots were ones I wouldn't have been able to get normally.

On other news - we had a show today - Kinta thought it great fun, but we got nowhere (huge Bitch entry - it was an 11pt challenge!!)... more showing tomorrow and Monday ;)

Sharing their toy - notice their foot timing is identical ;-)

Couch buddies

Head shot of Leo that I really like

Kinta shot - shame about the reflection of the light

Reasonable gaiting shot!

Learning to beg

I just love this shot of Kinta - so expressive!

Ball catching expertise

Now with some Kinta style ;)

More toy sharing - you can really tell they are great mates :D

And of course.... barking dogs!!

Coz my two always have something to say!!

OMG!!!! It's a ball!!!! (she totally looks freaked in this shot!!) PMSL

Lastly - the ring-in - Monty - attacking the tug-toy

clean up - after the 'kill'

I do have HEAPS more, and some stacked shots of Miss K, but I'll save them for a later date ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Latest happenings

Ok - apologies for my recent lack of posts! I've either been too busy, or I can't be bothered updating you all on recent happenings (haha - I know... my bad!).

On the general scale of things though - nothing exciting has really happened, just the promise of a few things. We've had a few more trials (Leo) since my last post, but have no passes to brag of. His last agility trial he did real well - ran some nice rounds, but didn't get any clear rounds. Our main disappointment however would have to be our Obedience trial Saturday just gone. Leo *should* have passed with a score of 186, but his stupid mother said his name before commanding 'down' (or "park" as we like to say).... as I didn't realise you couldn't!!!! Well.... I learnt the hard way ;-). To say I was annoyed at myself was an understatement!!!! To make matters worse, he worked brilliantly in the arvo, sitting on another pass, and blew the sit-stay (too hot!).

Both dog's obedience however has been coming along really well. Each Tuesday night we have been going to Cranbourne for FOOs (Friends of Obedience) which has been really helpful. Leo has perked up a lot with his training, and I look forward to our continuing trials together. Kinta is also going well, but sometimes finds it hard to concentrate because of the happenings around her. Last night in particular she found hard... there must have been the smell of rabbits in the air or something, because every time we got to one end of the ring, she would momentarily lose concentration!!!! Ah well - as the saying goes..... practice, practice, practice!

Agility is an interesting one. I'm hoping to put Leo right down again to foundation level as doing various things just doesn't seem to be building up his speed long-term. So I think the best thing I can do is to go right back to the start and let him know that the name of the game is accuracy AND speed. I think this is probably the best way I can get the results I want from him. Kinta on the other hand is coming along like you would expect ;-).

On the social front - it's just been the usual - a few happenings here and there. Wicked tickets are being organised, as well as trips to QLD (we are staying here) for October. I'm really excited about this trip, but not sure how we are going to fit in everything we want!!!! Holidays are also being planned for a few nights away thanks to Leo... places we can stay at are our choices of these places. This is thanks to Leo doing very well last year in his obedience and winning dog trials Vic Obedience dog of the year. I think we'll stay at Andrews nest. At the moment, I'm also going through the net, trying to find some good comedy festival shows.... i've always wanted to go, but missed the mark on the dates!!! Hopefully I can scam a few people into coming with me too ;-).

Job front.... lets see - I have had one interview, but am going to turn the job down. It was for a vet nursing position, and if that was something I wanted to do long-term it would be a good opportunity.... but it's not, and I don't think it would actually help me further in my career. I would be getting 1/2 my pay, and will have to give up (yes, give up!) all of my dog training/ trialling as they would expect me to work every Saturday until someone more junior than me came along. Not to mention, I would be finishing work later and thus couldn't make it to training. Just not feasible for me. So we'll keep looking and see what we can find!

I really don't think there is much else to tell..... So have a happy easter everyone and hopefully I'll keep my blog a little more updated from now on!!!