Monday, February 23, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility, week 3

Once again, we had the whining and high pitched barking session before class.
At the least, I suppose I can say that Chan is really enjoying them.

We just did a few runs over some of the obstacles this week.
As usual, Chandler bounced all over the course and ran around in circles during the first one.
I think it is a combination of excitement, and needing more practice getting from one obstacle to the next.

I also think I need to practice his obedience commands a bit. He doesn't listen well when excited.

Later runs were a bit better, but I was giving him a treat after each obstacle, which at least kept him better focused.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility, week 2

(Better late than was last Monday.)

I should have known Chandler would be in rare form for class the minute we walked into the training room.
We were about 5 minutes early, and he started to whine and cry. "Whiny boy" was a tad bit impatient to get out on the obstacles. So I dragged him into the bathroom, where he couldn't see the action. He cried, and cried, and cried.

We finally did get to our first practice set of three obstacles. One jump, the pause table, the A frame, and then two more jumps. Chan bounced over the jump, sprang onto the pause table, and immediately bounded off-something he had never done, since he is used to jumping up on Kit's photography table and staying there to pose. It took a couple tries to get "excited boy" to actually lie down on the table, and then we heeled to the A-frame. Up and problem...except there was a plastic lid target at the base of the other side. Chan thinks targets are long as you're not using them to target, that would be BORING. Yep, one second and he'd snatched that target up and was proudly prancing around putting tooth-holes in it. I did get him over the finals jumps, but he had to take a break to sniff around and investigate that portion of the training room...after all, those bags on the bench might have treats in them!

Have I mentioned that my dog is sometimes a silly juvenile delinquent?

Next on the schedule was an introduction to the baby teeter. Its end was set up to land on the pause table, so there really wasn't a big drop, and the instructor was also slowing the drop. We did a few repetitions, systematically adding a tunnel, a jump, and another tunnel to the beginning of the run. Chan seemed to settle down a bit, and I'm very pleased the teeter didn't seem to freak him out, although he did jump off and have to restart once or twice. Yes...he did successfully steal and attempt to take off with the target the instructor had placed at the end of the teeter. I think I'm going to have to quit using them with him, or make them too boring to play with.

Hopefully he'll be a little less wild next class. I think I'd better take him out for an afternoon run or something.

Friday, February 20, 2009

...and on an amusing note.

The "Adult size XL 14-16 footed pajamas with glow in the dark Pterodactyls"
seem to be a hotly contested item in the silent auction.

Of course, the amiable bickering over them on the Yahoo ES forum is the MOST amusing part. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be careful where your donated pennies go...

I know I said yesterday that I won't give money to the HSUS because I don't like their policies.
I usually recommend supporting local rescues and shelters.
However, I was just reminded that you should also check these out before donating.
Find out what policies the shelter has before donating.
Does every animal get a fair behavioral assessment?

These cats didn't.
Hat tip to Smartdogs.

Another question to ask is what are the conditions at the shelter?
Hat tip to Raised by Wolves.

Neither of these shelters would get my support...aside from removing animals to rescue groups that are prepared to foster them.

Just something to think about. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why I will never send money to HSUS

Chander had a pit bull girlfriend down in Naugatuck. They're great dogs, in my opinion, and probably more emotionally stable and resilient than my beloved herding breed. It is a shame they attract so many irresponsible dog owners. They can be dog aggressive, but so can English Shepherds, Akitas, and a lot of other breeds.

I'm not sure if I will ever own one, however. Frankly, people want to kill them, and my heart would break if anything ever happened.

If Chan got lost, most people would probably say "Hey, there is one of those dogs from the movie "Babe", here boy...don't be shy." If I had a pit, I'd have to worry about people panicking and shooting it.

There are around 300 English Shepherds in Montana that got removed from a bad situation. People have been working their tails off to save and socialize these dogs so they can hopefully be placed in homes after the trial.

150 pit bulls in Wilkes County, NC that had been removed from a bad situation got their trial recently. Yesterday, at a judge's order, they were all killed without any kind of temperament evaluation. This includes 60 puppies that were born while the dogs were in custody waiting for the trial date, and pups nursed to health in a foster home.

Vick's dogs are very, very lucky. Because of the high profile of the case, they had a chance. These North Carolina dogs never had a chance...and the HSUS pushed for their deaths.

They will never get any of my money, and I will tell others to NEVER give them money.

More information and bloggage links on this situation.
Hat tip to Lassie Get Help.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Silent Auction for the Montana Dogs!

The American Working Farmcollie Association is holding a silent auction to benefit the seized hoarding/puppymill English Shepherds in Montana.

Go to their website
...and click on the link for the auction.

(Edit: the scroll bar seems to be appearing and disappearing, you may need to use your down arrow to view all auction items.)

There's a bunch of books in there,
some naturally colored yarn,
goat milk soaps,
and hamburger from pastured/grass fed cattle.

Heck, I think I would go for the hamburger if I had my own place...
that stuff is supposed to be good. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Ashke!

14 years of cattitude!
I love my mew.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Advanced Beginner's Agility class

There's not so much notable this time around.
We still have lots of enthusiasm and no steering.
Chan wants to move at 50 miles per hour-
when he wasn't searching for fallen treats.

He's going over 16 inch jumps with no problems, as far as I can tell.
Last night was our first try with 6 weave poles.
The instructor pretty much ended up offseting them so there was a channel down the middle.
Chan did a lot of popping out of the weaves...
I'm wondering if he was getting too excited about the food lure.

The Border Collie is back in class...Chan did well with him last night.
He's actually a very nice smooshy dog...if a bit BC ocd. *laugh*
He got really growly/barky and upset over one of the goldens, however.
She (the golden) was looking at him.
I'm betting it wasn't a nice look,
as this is the same golden that had a puppy upside down and screaming in one of our family dog classes.
She doesn't seem to mess with Chan, but I'll keep an eye on her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Beginner's Agility Class

Well, Monday was the last beginner's class.
The border collie wasn't there, so Chan wasn't as revved up.

We did a sequence of two jumps, a tire, two more jumps, and the tunnel.
The first time around Chan proved he was faster than me, and still has steering problems.
He kept whirling around to look at me.
The instructor thinks he's herding me...I personally think it was an enthusiastic "WHAT"S NEXT MOM?!"
Evidence for my view is that on the second run, (reverse order, except for the tunnel at the end again)
Chan zipped over the first three jumps and through the tire,and only whirled at the last jump.
I interpret this as him having figured out what the sequence was.
I don't think he knows any vocabulary yet but "tunnel".

Afterward we started preparing for the teeter with a plank with a block put under it.
Chan did have a slight tendency to step off to the side at the end, but didn't seem freaked out by the arrangement, so I'm happy. I'd expected more problems with footing shifting underneath him.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The veterinarian called.

...of course she called right when we were outside finishing up our walk, and Chan was barking up a storm because the mailman was arriving. The mailman brings biscuits. Yes, he ate the mailman's biscuits. Sheesh.

She said the doxy could be bothering him a bit, and it would be ok to humor him a bit regarding food until it is gone.

So, I wrapped his pills in the cats' cooked chicken breast, gave them to him at 5 pm, and then shredded more chicken into tiny pieces to mix with his uneaten kibble.

He ate it. looks like we're going to be spoiling the boy for close to two more weeks.
Thankfully, the chicken is on sale this week...

Minor Chandler Update

No call from the vet yet...

Further muddying the picture:
He'll eat his tiny turkey dog biscuits.
He'll eat his Old Mother Hubbard peanut butter biscuits.
He'll eat his cottage cheese with probiotic mixed in.
He'll eat Casey's (neighbor's dog) kibble soggy and abandoned on the sidewalk, if he finds one.

He WON"T eat his Eagle Pack Holistic lamb kibble, or the Evo beef kibble.

I don't know if he's just being fussy (very atypical), or if he doesn't feel well and is making exceptions for treats. This would be so much simpler if he wasn't on meds. :(

Call in to the veterinarian...

So Chan has had an "iffy" appetite for about a week.

Of course, last Sunday was perhaps due to eating a lot of meaty refrigerated dog treats, meatballs, and cheese while working on his focus during Libby's class...

And Tuesday morning perhaps from having a bunch more treats during agility...

But he was mostly fine the other days.

But he didn't want to eat this morning...and the only think I think he got into was about an eighth of a can of Instinct cat food yesterday evening, which should not be enough to throw him off.

I did get him to eat his doxycycline wrapped in 1/2 a slice of american cheese, but that is it.
I'm wondering if almost 3 weeks of the antibiotic is messing with his system...?

So, hopefully my vet will call back soon...I don't know if I should just let his stomach rest, or take him in.