Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Iowa - Part 1: Watching Fishes

Over the 4th of July (yes, we are that far behind...) we took a pilgrimage back to Iowa to visit my family.
The dogs' favorite part of the trip? Watching the fishes in my mom's awesome pond  :)

Porter "assumes the position"

This year Stout did not fall in!

But he did get wet. He likes to stand in the waterfall...

I guess he can see the fish better from up there?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Distance Work

After my private lessons on Saturday, I decided to practice some of our distance skills for NADAC.

I ran Stout first, not expecting him to succeed. Once again, I need to quit underestimating the little guy: he nailed it! I was so proud of him (as you'll note from my reaction in the video)  :)

So then I got Porter out. The "distance king" was a little rusty  :)  I was shocked by this, until I watched the video. I was kind of lazy in my handling because I did expect him to nail it. And I should have thrown my reward out sooner, before he became pattern trained. But he finally got it in the end.

And then there is a little 12 pole weave comparison at the end. Stout is rocking those poles!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Can you see what they are looking at?
It's a mini-burro! They are like the corgis of the donkey world  :)  Big ears, short legs...


Now I have a frame of reference for when I call Porter a "little jackass..."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Porter!

Porter turned 8 years old yesterday! To celebrate, we did all his favorite things (even some that were not included in the video). Enjoy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blind Crosses Vs. Rear Crosses

In Stout's online class with Silvia Trkman, our latest assignment was to run a course with rear crosses & then blind crosses. I ran it with both dogs to compare.

If anyone knows me in real life, you know that I was always very against blind crosses  :)  My tagline was "never let your dog see your ass!"

Well, I hate to admit that I have jumped on the blind cross bandwagon...

I still need to work on them quite a bit. Porter is not letting go of my "no blind crosses" mantra very easily. Stout is very open-minded  :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


At our last NADAC trial in June, we got our first exposure to the organization’s newest obstacle: the barrel.

I was fairly ambivalent about the whole barrel thing (or "TSB" as Karissa calls them). I wasn’t happy about the introduction of another random obstacle (I heard a lot of flack about the hoops), but I didn’t pay it much attention since I thought we wouldn’t see them until 2014.

I was wrong.


It wasn’t hard to make Porter go around it. I mean, let’s face it, it’s fairly straight forward. But I just don’t like surprises.

It wasn’t 2014, and yet here was a barrel. I knew we could start seeing them earlier, but only if it was advertised in the premium beforehand. And it wasn’t!

Or was it?

Well, I went back & looked…

Yep, right there:


Luckily, I already knew from one of Karissa’s posts that it was useless to argue about it. So I didn’t make that big of a fool of myself  :)

One of my students (jokingly) told me that he would like a refund because I hadn’t taught him all the obstacles he would see. Fair enough.

But now I am going to have even more trouble getting people to try NADAC. It’s fairly easy to introduce new people to the venue. But because of hoops, non-staked weave poles, lack of a teeter, low jump heights, non-slatted contacts, and now this god-forsaken barrel, I’m going to have a hell of a time getting seasoned competitors to give it a try.

I just hate to see our relatively few NADAC trials fail. And these barrels aren't going to help!

Oh well.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lisa Bonker Seminar

Over the weekend I audited another Lisa Bonker agility seminar.

If you recall, back in March, Stout had a working spot in her seminar (he debuted his "groundhog start line"). I was a little too slow to secure a working spot this time  :(

Photo from our last NADAC trial

Even without a working spot, I still had a great time & learned a lot. This was a continuation of our previous seminar, so we built upon things she had already taught us.

I just really like the way she teaches. I've been to quite a few bad seminars: boring, too detailed, too easy, too condescending, brash, etc. But I've never come away with anything but an excitement to get out & train after Lisa's.

Porter doing some hoops at the last NADAC trial

And I really enjoy hanging out with my NADAC friends  :)  The RuFF group is great - I wish I lived closer so I could train with them more often!

Porter doing the NADAC A-Frame at our last trial

And after a weekend spent surrounded by NADAC, I have decided that I will send in my entry for Champs  :)  Time to start polishing up Porter's distance skills!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Another Hike In The Woods, This Time With Ticks!

John & I took the dogs on another hike down at the Kentucky River Palisades. We ventured back to the Sally Brown Nature Preserve.
We took the trail to the right. For future reference: do not take the trail to the right again until fall!

It started out pleasant enough, until the trail wound through a large grassy area. We came out the other side crawling with ticks! Ugh.

We were able to brush most of them off us & the dogs before they got to the skin. Most of them...  Ugh.

Sorry if I grossed anyone out! But I can't look at these photos and not think about the ticks...

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Rainy Day Walk

Because of a routine that I sometimes wish I'd never started, the dogs demand to be walked every afternoon after work. Rain, sleet, snow, or 100 degree days, they expect their walk.
I've learned to deal with the weather (although I dislike the really hot & humid), so I always oblige them. And I have learned to actually love the rainy day walks, for the reasons you'll see below.

My summer rain gear: shorts, rubber boots, & a rain coat.
At least no one else is out in the rain to see me dressed like this...
So why do I like the rainy walks? Because we come across stuff like this in the park:

A little turtle! And it's not even a snapping turtle :)

Stout's previous turtle encounter was with a very large snapping one.
Yes, he got snapped at, hence the trepidation you see above  :)

Once the turtle was safely inside it's shell, Stout was more comfortable getting a good sniff.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Loch Ness Cardi Monster

What is that out there?

Yes, that brown thing swimming with the Labradors?

Is that a...?

OMG, it's a Loch Ness Cardi Monster!

Stout had the best time at the celebration just swimming around with the water dogs.

He just paddled around, trying to steal their sticks

There he goes, making another lap...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best Friends Obedience: 30th Anniversary Celebration

On Saturday, the dogs, John, & I all attended the 30th Anniversary Celebration for Best Friends Obedience.
I attended my first agility class with Best Friends 11 years ago with my Pembroke, Rigue. Porter & Stout both enjoyed their puppy classes. And now I've been an agility instructor with them for 4 years.

To celebrate the occasion, they held a large picnic at one of the instructor's homes. There was agility run-thru's, obedience & rally run-thru's, a cookout, and even a bonfire.

Note Dally in the crate: she refuses to be in the x-pen with others.
I was in charge of the doggie games. So of course, I made sure we did the best game ever: the Weenie Bob!  :)
Porter held his own again in the Weenie Bob, but was narrowly beaten by 2 Aussies... by a half-second  :( 

Dezi, Lili, Chance & Maya also came out

Check back Thursday to see Stout's favorite thing from the celebration!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good Bye Google Reader :(

Just a quick note today to say good bye to the website that has enabled me to keep up to date on all my favorite blogs out there: Google Reader.

I have used it for years, and was quite distraught when I heard it was ending.

Through some research, I have decided to switch to Feedly.

It was extremely easy to switch over. But the biggest problem? It's not compatible with Internet Explorer. So now I will also be switching over to Google Chrome...

So I may be behind in reading other blogs for a few days as I get used to the switch!