Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Updates on things of importance

All the scabby stuff and dead hair has fallen off Jamie’s muzzle and he is now sporting a Harry Potter scar between his eyes and across the bridge of his muzzle. The skin is nice and pink and is healing well. I don’t know how long it will take the fur to grow back. Phoenix still denies any involvement.

My cold/virus/bronchitis/pneumonia/distemper has finally disintegrated into mild kennel cough. Yay.

Agility class starts tomorrow night. It will be fun to get back into some sort of structured training and will probably benefit me more than Phoenix because I get into all sorts of bad habits when I’m not practicing something regularly.

Nix and I didn’t do a lot of agility classwork last summer because obedience was our top priority. Not sure skipping agility class improved our obedience any but at the time, I didn’t see the sense in spending an evening of travel and training time focusing on a venue that was not my main priority. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy agility very much but I enjoy obedience more. Yeah. I’m weird that way.

The Farmer started planting corn today. This is kinda like Christmas at our house. It ushers in the spring planting season, which means meals at whack-a-doodle hours, obsessing over weather forecasts and a great deal of chaos in general. I love it.

Been looking at the calendar, trying to schedule my next obedience class to teach. My plan was to squeeze in an early summer class before the building got too hot in July and August and I’ve decided when my current Novice class ends, I’m going to teach . . . nothing.

The problem isn’t lack of facility or lack of students - it’s the  annoying reality that I work one night a week, have agility class one night a week and will be traveling many of the coming Fridays for trial weekends so adding a night of obedience class would give me a grand total of ONE weeknight at home each week. Can’t do it. Been there. Tried that. Didn’t work. Made me crazy. So I’ll take a break from teaching until fall. A break will be kind of nice.

Our next obedience trial is this weekend. Phoenix and I have been working mostly on heeling, especially normal-slow-normal transitions, right turns and right about turns, all of which have bitten us in the butt this spring, and go-outs. We’ve had so many days with gale-force winds I’ve gotten very creative in finding places to set up ring-gates where they won’t blow into the next county. Looking forward to seeing how much progress we’ve made and what Phoenix has to say about it all in the ring.

I’ve started teaching Phoenix “cue words,” aka Bridget Carlsen. Basically, you link an object of high desire (toy, food) with a cue word, get the dog totally psyched about it, then he gets the object. Useful in the ring when you need to rev up your dog between exercises. It’s basically a delayed gratification system, promising a reward to be delivered when the dog gives effort in obedience performance. Phoenix’s words are “ball” and “supper.” My summer project is to have these words cemented to a strong emotional reaction we can take into the ring by fall. Believe me, he is all about his ball and his supper.

Gardening. Ah, gardening. Yes. Ahem. I have potted up exactly 3 geraniums to date. And put Preen on all my perennial beds. That’s about the total existence of my gardening endeavors this spring. I have some clumps of yarrow that need to move from Point A to Point B and I might just be ambitious enough to get that done this afternoon. I can always use the excuse that the Three Cold Kings haven’t passed yet and overnight lows near or below freezing are still a strong possibility. But I’ve already got  a stop planned at a garden center after this weekend’s obedience trials so will probably come home with lots of color to be set out soon.

Yep - that covers all the important stuff: Jamie, Phoenix, Farmer, spring planting, spring gardening, agility and obedience training. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. I have my 'red neck' Green house set up.....going to try that GIANT pumpkin, okay, if I get a 50 pounder I'd be thrilled! I used to use "Wanna go for a Walkie' with Molly...she LOVED THAT, and it really got her up. "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and HAVE FUN!!