Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is that a castle? In Kentucky?!

Yes, less than 5 miles form our house is a real castle!

The castle has a long, strange history. Until a few years ago, no one really knew what lay beyond the walls. There were stories from people who had snuck in, but it was never open to the public.

I remember telling my brother that William Shatner lived there! There were also rumors that Lee Majors had owned it.

It's still not open to the public except for special events. But the gates were open, and another car pulled in, so I just followed them up the driveway a little ways...

So the Brew Crew were my incentive to try to get a little closer. I just can't resist a photo op  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Friday night fun!

Last Friday night we went out to Goose Creek Dog Sports for some agility run-thru'sand to catch up with friends.

The boys also got to meet the newest member of the Small Dog Posse, Dezi!

Little Dezi is a wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Pequeno puppy. She is adorable!

And extremely hard to photograph  :)  She's a quick little girl!

The quickest way is always straight across...

After running a couple courses, we took the dogs up to the pond to cool down.

Dally says the water's great!

Stout was kind enough to show Dezi to the shore...
 after she realized she could not walk on water!

Porter welcomes her to the group

And this photo cracks me up...
That's pure happiness right there!

Please come back for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow! I have a few "family" photos to share  :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Porter!

Yesterday was Porter's 7th birthday!

I wish I had some old puppy photos to share, but those were lost in the "Great Hard-Drive Crash of 2011."

So instead, you can see how Porter spent his birthday yesterday!

First, we spent the morning herding sheep. Which was then followed by ice cream!

Making sure he gets the last drop!

I made him share with Stout...

 We then stopped by the Bluegrass Barkery on our way to the campground for another special treat.

Trying to decide...

"I'll take the pizza, that looks delicious!"

Nom nom nom

Stout got his own pizza

"Man, that's tasty!

Once all crumbs were cleaned from the sidewalk, we headed to the campground. Porter loves camping in the Vanagon!

Actually, he loves patrolling the campsites for food. Especially the abandoned fire pits...

We finished up Porter's special day with raw rib bones.

"What? I love rib bones!"

Nom nom nom

Stout enjoyed his first rib bone too!

And since I didn't have a blog last year, here is a video I made of his festivities on his 6th birthday:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stout in Training

Stout turned 8 months old on July 17th, so I decided I better start training more than tricks!

He travels with me every Monday night out to Goose Creek Dog Sports to hang out while I teach my 2 agility classes. This allows us to spend some 1-on-1 time together, and he gets to practice being quiet in a crate (which is the reason why Porter does not come! He cannot chill quietly in a crate while I teach...)

Yes, this beautiful facility is one of the places I teach & train at!

Before class, between classes, and after class, I work with Stout a little bit. Thus far we've kept it light & fun, usually practicing our trick training for our online class with Silvia Trkman. But now that the class has ended, we've slowly began transitioning to more foundational skills for agility.

And by "foundational skills," I mean I've mostly been playing with toys with him  :)  Yep, a bulk of my training time has been spent tugging, fetching, & chasing.

Why? Well, because everyone says it's important  :)  And because Porter could not care less about toys. There have been times when training Porter that some things would have been much easier if he had been toy-motivated (like 2x2 weaves) or if he could fetch (like our distance work for NADAC).

So that's why I'm nurturing Stout's interest in toys. I just want to have every tool available to me in the future.

In the video I'm using one of those mesh shower pouf / sponge things (or what is left of one anyway) and a microfiber duster thing on a leash. Yeah, Stout loves my Dollar Store dog toys  :) I encourage everone to think outside the box when it comes to toys!

We did the wrapping poles in our online class, but I'm now looking for some speed & enthusiasm. And maybe a little more of an attention span... Make sure you watch the end to see him get the cone stuck on his snout. I may be dragging one of those around on a leash next week for his toy!  :)

You'll notice in the video too how he does his "alligator roll" when I go to reach for his collar. It's his way of also twisting the toy out of my grip. I'm ok with this for now. We work on release work & impulse control in different exercises. At this point I wanted him having as much fun as possible. If he had grabbed my hand though, we would have stopped all play for a time-out.

Besides the exercise above, I've also practiced sending him into a tunnel & having him chase me & the toy as he comes out. We've also worked on the wobble board & done some shadow handling. I am not in a rush, he's still just a baby  :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More swimming!

The rain finally cleared out, so we took the boys to Veteran's Park for a little swimming and fish herding.

I got a couple good photos, so decided to change the blog header too.

Porter spent most of his time herding fishes.

Stout broke out his newfound swimming skills again! So proud of him!

Love his ruffled fur after swimming!

And I just pulled a tick off my neck while typing this. Yuck! Now I have to go shower...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Watch out! Porter's driving!

Don't worry, he's not driving my car  :)  He's driving his sheep!

While we've done some driving here & there, our entire lesson last night was focused on it. And he did well.

I just have this overwhelming fear that this will erode the wide flanks I've worked so hard to establish  :)

This photo is from lure coursing, but Porter often approaches sheep the same way  :)

You know you have a dog who loves herding when he's willing to work for an hour in the pouring rain. And I do mean pouring! We were soaked.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Have we finally turned a corner?

Porter & I had another good weekend in agility! Are we finally turning a corner in our trialing journey? I don’t know, and frankly, I’m not going to worry about it! All I know is that we are having fun, he’s running fast, & most of all, he’s doing his weaves! He ran like a well-oiled little corgi machine.

Our Standard Run from Saturday

After struggling for so long with his weaving issues, it feels good to run a course fluently & smoothly. There’s no retreating to redo the weaves. No more of my hands thrown up in the air as he skips a pole. No more “Oh Porter” from my friends as he dribbles out of the poles. But… I know from past experience that we could revert right back to that.

Our Standard Run from Sunday

And that’s why I’m reluctant to say more than we’ve “turned a corner.” I can still see the corner in my rear-view mirror. The dust hasn’t settled, I can still read the sign. Who knows, we may just be taking a quick drive around the block only to end up right back at the same corner!

Our JWW Run from Sunday

So I’m simply enjoying this new trialing experience. I’m living one class at a time, 12 poles at a time…
But this all makes me sound a little too zen, because I am really f’n thrilled that we scored 2 QQ’s over the weekend! And it was under a Cardigan judge!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More Iowa Photos!

Here are the last of the photos from Iowa  :(

Be sure to check out the video at the bottom: Stout swims!

Miles & Stout
Stout totally freaked out the first time he saw Miles come out of the water. He didn't recognize him!

Neither Porter nor Cracker swam. They were the waders of the bunch...

But at least Porter's legs don't look like this when he gets out of the water!

A collage of Maizee shaking

And just one shot of Stout shaking

"Awww, cool belly"

Stout was perplexed by Maizee dunking her head under the water.

Then she would fling it up and shake water everywhere...

"Awww, refreshing!"

John was trying to coax Porter out deeper

Cracker watched safely from shore

Little river otter

And Stout swims!

Stout followed Maizee & Miles in the first time as they went out to swim. He paddled back to shore. But then he did it again & again, without chasing them out there. I think he really enjoyed it! But as you can see on the video, I think John was a little nervous...  :)