Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why didn't I hear about this?

Seriously.... AKC judges convicted of animal cruelty? Aren't judges, ya know, supposed to know how to properly care for dogs?

"The visit turned up 18 bichon frise dogs that were "living in unsanitary conditions and had heavily matted coats, long nails and open tumors on some of the dogs that were untreated," police said."


"On April 28, Aguirre returned to the kennel, where Winkler relinquished "an emaciated and sickly border collie," police said."


"The three dog wardens then returned June 4 to the kennel and discovered three Neapolitan Mastiff dogs "in health conditions that indicate that necessary vet care had not been provided...The wardens returned June 7 to find "two of the Neapolitan mastiffs were deceased, one of which was disposed of outside of the kennel in a wheelbarrow," police said."

As a person who comes from an extensive AKC background, this makes me really sad.

More info:


Monday, November 22, 2010

Yeesh, I Apologize

I haven't been around much this month. Maybe y'all have noticed. This is because real life... well, at least "school" life... has kicked up the intensity a notch as the end of the semester comes to a close. Right now, I'm on Thanksgiving break. Although I am making sure to get in my fair share of down time, the giant stack of papers to grade, as well as the paper I know I have to write for one of my own classes, are looming over my head.

I'll tell you what... I am SO ready for this grad school thing to be over. I am so burned out it's insane. I didn't know this level of burn-out existed! I literally don't want to do anything. I've lost all passion and interest in my thesis subject. Teaching is a bit of a chore. I'm just so tired. Ugh.

Okay, whiny moment over. Sorry about that :)

At least I have the dogs to brighten my day. They are totally my saving grace right now. Agility (and herding... though I haven't been out to Dianne's as much as I'd like this fall) has been a welcome distraction to the drudgery of school. I have really enjoyed building my working relationship with Cedar through learning this agility thing together. She is a blast, and so talented and enthusiastic. Our first trial was unbelievably amazing. Aside from all the winning we did, I was the most pleased with how relaxed Cedar and I managed to stay. Cedar tends to get nervous in new/exciting situations, and I tend to be ultra competitive and pretty intense in competition. But both of us were relaxed, happy, and focused. I hardly ever felt insecure or anxious. It felt like we'd always been competing in agility. Pretty cool. I'm curious to see how we do next year when we start competing in more trials and different organizations.

Some pix from practice yesterday:

I can't wait to start doing more herding, too. It's been hard to get out to Dianne's regularly with how busy my schedule has been. But I miss it. A lot. And I bet Moss does, too. I love working him on sheep and can't wait to get out and do it more regularly again.

P.S. It's been snowing for the past day or two. We don't have much yet, only a few inches, but more is expected this week, and it's supposed to get really cold. Brr! At least it makes for good photo ops :)

Here's my street yesterday, when it first started snowing:

Here it is this morning:

Some pix of the collies in the snow:

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm on Thanksgiving break! I finally get a week "off"... well, minus the paper I have to write and the student work to grade... but still, some down time will be nice. I need a breather.

Plus, my birthday is on Sunday, and I have agility practice both days this weekend :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Agility Trial Results!

Wow... what a great weekend!

Cedar surpassed all of my expectations for our first agility trial. We qualified in 9 out of 17 runs and finished two titles (NAC- Novice Agility Certificate and NJC- Novice Jumpers Certificate)with mostly first placements! We also got legs in Chances, Touch N Go, and Hoopers. She finished first place in all but one qualifying run... where she placed second :)

But better than all the Q's was how well Cedar behaved herself in the trial environment. She was AWESOME... very little stress, great focus, good start line and contacts, and sat quietly in her crate when we weren't running. She had a great time, visiting happily with everyone and getting lots of attention. She was great in competition, listened well (for the most part) and extremely fast. She averaged about 4 yards per second, even with quite a few bobbles in most of our runs :-P.

Overall, it was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again! It was great finally getting out there and competing... guess all our hard work finally is paying off!

Here's a photo of both of us looking really tired with all our ribbons! You can't see them all... I'll try and get a better pic tomorrow :) I also have a ton of video footage to sort through and edit... but I promise to share some videos when I get them done!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Cedar totally ROCKED at agility practice today, but due to the torrential rain, I didn't get any pictures or video :( We ran the same course as yesterday, but backwards, I was really proud of how well we did on a couple things, particularly the teeter. It was so wet that she slipped mid-tilt and almost fell off, but she held her ground and stuck with it. For a dog that had some pretty serious teeter phobias until about a month ago, that was pretty impressive! She did really well on her distance work again... and impressed quite a few people who attended practice-- including an AKC agility judge who had never met us before :) I'm so pleased. This agility stuff is a lot of fun!

Off the the store to get some hard apple cider and some stuff to make homemade mac n cheese... the perfect meal for a dreary, cold fall day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tick tock....

The NADAC trial is looming closer on the horizon and I still don't feel as nervous as I probably should. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few days, but mainly, right now, I'm just really excited. :)

We had class this morning, and it went pretty well. We ran an AKC Excellent-level Standard course. Overall, Cedar did awesome... she nailed her contacts and weaves, and totally rocked the distance challenge we worked in for training purposes. From the table, I had to sent her out away from me to the chute, and then direct her through a sequence of jumps from about 20 ft away, while I was on the other side of the dog walk. Quite the challenge for a baby dog!

Her teeter was good (except for the first time, when she was hell bent on not slowing down and ran full speed up and off it, like the teeter was a launch ramp. Definitely NOT what I had planned! It didn't seem to phase her, though.

The one thing that she didn't do that well is the table. She wasn't wanting to collect herself before jumping onto it, and thus, flew off it a few times. It had just been repainted, but without sand, so it was a lot slicker than she was used to, so that might have contributed to the problem. But she needs to learn that there are all different types of tables out there.

Open practice tomorrow... I'll try and get some video...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just in time...

for our first trial, Cedar's new agility lead from Rush To Tug came in the mail!

It looks great, feels wonderful on my hands, and fits Cedar really well. For those of you that don't know about Rush To Tug, the company is owned by a junior agility handler in Alaska, Reesa Hauge. Her products are top quality and custom-fit for each individual dog. You can choose from a variety of styles and colors, and even get your lead customized like I did. Check out her website here.

It looks really good on Cedar:

And she really likes tugging on it!

My little fiend <3

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