Saturday, 22 December 2007

The shortest day of the year

Ardis and Roxy sharing a sun beam, don thier gay apparrel and wait in joyful hope of longer,sunnier and warmer days.

The Shortest Day
By Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Dexter - January 15/93 to December 20/07


The Journey
When you bring a puppy into your life, you begin a journey. A journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet will also test your strength and courage. If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures -- jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.
If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information.
Your pace may be slower, except when heading home to the food dish, but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field. Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details; the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig.
Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop, we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. and we learn what any dog knows that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own, each day a gift from God.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you.
You will find yourself watching: summer insects collecting on a screen; how bizarre they are; how many kinds there are or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this, the point is in the doing, in not letting life's most important details slip by.
You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for the cat food brand your puppy must have, buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride. You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chew toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie with a puppy in hot pursuit, all in the name of love.
Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse, and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns your living room rug because your puppy loves the crinkly sound.
You will learn the true measure of love. The steadfast, undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together."
Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race and you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be. The one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go.
A pet's time on earth is far too short, especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for a while, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The dog that only yesterday was a puppy is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy now wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle gone to gray.
Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead, young and whole once more. "God speed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again. Bless their souls for sharing their lives with us by adding so much to our very existence.
Author Unknown...
"What a wonderful journey Dexter shared with his best friend Deb.
My hope is that all who were fortunate enough to meet or see Deb and Dex or see them play, share the same bond and friendhip with their canine companion."
If you care to leave a comment, I am sure Deb will read them PK

Monday, 12 November 2007

Update on Remy

I got this picture and update from Remy's new owner. She said Remy is doing great, running, tugging pinning Kinka (the cattle dog at her new home) and jumping up and over all sorts of things. They trust she knows how much she can do and have given up stopping her from doing all the things Labs love to do. If you want to read Remy's full story, click on the label below and it will bring up all the posts about her.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

To Everything there is a Season- Turn Turn

Today was one of those beautiful fall days that if you stretch them out they can make winter seem short. The temperature was to reach 10 degrees and there was no wind. I've been postponing putting the agility equipment away, as if some how that would delay the arrival of winter. But today was the day. At the first sign of anything happening in the back yard, Ardi thought we were going to practise a little agility, but when she saw me get the rake she decided it was a work day not a play day and headed off to check out the smells along the fence. After a short time, Ardi was on the deck eyes to the sky , then I heard a strange sound, I looked up to see see the biggest flock of geese heading south, check out this video.


Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Rally O Seminar with Pat Krebs Nov 3 & 4, 2007

On November 3 & 4th, 2007, KAOS Dogsports hosted a Rally O Seminar. Our facilitator was Pat Krebs from Prince George, BC. Pat was great and we all had a lot of fun and learned a lot. The seminar was followed by a Fun Match, we had 44 entries and there were some great runs with some very high scores. Check out some of the pictures taken at the seminar below.

Rally O Seminar Nov 3 & 4 2007

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Week 14 - Suzanne Clothier's Jumping Chute

This is a picture of the set up for week 14 of Suzanne Clothier's Jumping chute. Deb and I have been working Rush a 2 year ol Sheltie and Ardi an almost 7 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. This picture was taken when the jumps were set for Ardi. The set up is a Vertical Jump-2 Strides- Tire Jump-2 Strides-Vertical Jump-1 Stride- Higher Vertical-2 Strides-Crossed Vertical Jump-1 Stride-Oxer Jump.

The interesting thing about this set up, is that it adds many challenges at one time. It introduces 2 new jumps, we chose the tire and the cross vertical. Also adds one jump at higher then normal height and although the intitial instructions say there are 5 jumps, the instructions for set up include 6 jumps. One more then any of the previous 13 weeks. We thought it may be a test to see if anyone sticks with it to the 14th week. We could have eliminated the 6th jump, but decided to do it as out lined. It did present some challenges to both Ardi and Rush. Rush's challenge was the tire, but he found no problems with the other jumps. Ardi's challenge came at the cross vertical after the higher jump. The instructions for the program suggests you stay at the same lesson until the dogs have mastered the chute rhythmically and smoothly. Here are the clips of both Ardi and Rush completing the chute. We repeated the lesson 3 times and these were taken on the last repeat.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Full Moon - Autumn Moon - Harvest Moon

Reminds us that the days to play outdoors are numbered for 2007. So make the most of the time left.

Casey enjoying a fall day at the agility field.

Zena going over the top at the Crocus Trial

Dex and Deb at the Agility Field Sept 30/07

Ardi helping in the yard Sept 29/07

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Brandon Trial Invaded by the....Irish?????

Flanna, Fergus, Ronin, Grady, Nancy, Zena, Monica and Aire

This past weekend, the Crocus Kennel Club trial in Brandon was invaded by Irish Setters. It was a huge surprise to pull into the parking lot and see someone walking 3 setters, little did we know there was a 4th somewhere. I don't think Monica had her vehicle in park before her feet hit the gravel scrambling to meet them.
What a pleasure it was to meet Nancy, her husband and their 4 Irish setters. The setters were lovely to watch all weekend.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Remy's New Beginning

Remy's last pose with Ardi and Roxy before going to her new home

On Friday Remy went to her new home. Remy's new home is with a young woman who has a couple of cats, and an Australian Cattle Dog. Her tail has pretty much healed, but she has to take it easy for the pelvis and hip to heal, not too much playing with her house mates yet. Remy still needs help getting in and out of the vehicle, she can do a few stairs, but has to be careful. Her new owner built her a ramp so she will never have to jump in and out of the truck.
First reports from Remy's new owner say it is like Remy has always been there. One thing that made me happy is that Remy got to keep her name, that is all she came with so it is good she can keep it.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Agility Field Visitors

This morning I headed to the agility field to get in a some agility practise before Retriever training. Ardi's weave pole entrances were non-existent in the last trial and we could use some polishing up.
I was the only one at the field, so worked a few things, put Ardi away, worked a few more, put her away. The last time, I left Ardi on the table and went to get my camera. When I came back I shooed her off the table and got her to lay down beside it, and took a seat on it myself.

It was a beautiful cool morning, she laid relaxing, while I tried to figure out a setting on the camera. Every once in a while I looked up from the camera to see her eyes half open as she basked in the sun. All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I could see her neck lengthen and her ears come forward, she remained motionless. I turned to look over my shoulder, and about 15 yards away were 6 young deer standing between the teeter and the dogwalk grazing in the middle of our field.

Slowly I reached and put my hand through Ardi's collar and with the other hand fumbled with the camera settings. One of the deer sneezed, and as silently as they arrived they sprung into action and were gone, but not before I snapped a couple of pictures.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Remi's Smile

Remi’s mobility continues to improve as does her spirit. She has spurts where she tries to play with Roxy and Ardi. She knows she is not too mobile or agile, but doesn't miss many opportunities to dazzle Roxy and Ardi with some of her puppy moves.

We found out that Remi won’t be 6 months old until Sept 16th, so she was not even 5 months old when she had her accident. Hopefully the fact that she is so young and has a lot of growing to do will be to her advantage in healing.

Right now there is an open wound about the size of a quarter on the underside of her tail. We have been applying warm compresses 3 times a day and flushing it with a Saline solution. When we aren’t home she wears a cone, she is very good about putting it on, but when she gets it off you can tell she is glad to be rid of it.

We have been teaching Remi to take turns for treats and petting with our 2 dogs. Being a pup she gets away with sticking her nose where it doesn’t always belong , but the day will come when her puppy licence expires with the other 2 dogs. Remi sits and downs despite her sore hip and back end. She has also learned a hand touch and to back off things when asked to leave them. We have been teaching her to spin and turn, luring her with a treat in a slow controlled motion, this really has her thinking about and using her back feet and controlling her back end. Remi is a quick study and is pretty sure she can do what the other dogs can. In due time Remi!!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Special House Guest

Introducing Remi.....a 6 month old Black Lab.

Remi came to stay with us temporarily on August 21/07 after we heard she had been surrendered to a Vet's Office in Moose Jaw.

Remi was accidentally run over by her family and required work on her pelvis and 1/3 of her tail had to be amputated. She needs some time to recoup before she can find a good permanent home. Since we lost our 15 month old pup Kitt a month ago, we find ourselves with some time and energy to give to a young pup.

Remi has been here for 3 days and our 2 dogs have pretty much accepted her. At first Roxy the 13 year old growled at her, probably because Remi awkwardly lumbers around when she walks. By the next morning Roxy was cleaning Remi's ears and slapping the floor in bows trying to get her off the dog bed to play. Ardi is too snobby to acknowledge she exists, but that is what she did when we brought our pup home, in short time the two were inseparable.

Update.....August 24, 2007
Some Good News. We will have some help finding a home for Remi. Lianne Daradics is the breeder of Charmlees Golden Retrievers and does a lot of Golden Rescue. Although Remi is not a golden, Lianne has graciously offered to help find her a new home...after all a retriever is a retriever.

Some not so Good news Later this afternoon we had to take Remi to the vet. The base of her tail has swollen to an enormous size. The vet will do emergency surgery tonight to relieve an abcess and remove some more of her tail. We will pick her up tomorrow at noon. Remi is one brave girl.

Some better news...the vet and clinic staff all saw a huge improvement in Remi's mobility, Remi was so happy to see all her friends at the clinic. You could tell she must have gotten some pretty special treatment at the Bellamy Harrison Clinic.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Buffalo Day's Exhibition

From August 1st to August 5 KAOS Dogsports provided 3 shows of entertainment each day at the Buffalo Days Exhibition.
Our group raced kids, did an Obedience Drill, raced relay style against each other, demonstrated flyball, 3 point barrel racing, musical chairs, disc and agility. It was a jam packed 5 days. The best crowd was on Friday at 3:00 and we again had some good crowds on Sunday. After each show the handlers and dogs made their way up thru the crowds to meet and greet the people.
We practise and train all year round, and although very tiring we all enjoy being able to show our stuff to the public.
Although everyone was exhausted by the end of the week, eveyone had a blast!!!

Pit Crew - the hardest working group you could ask for.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Agnes falls down alot

This has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time and it is dog related.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

A Pup on Loan

Del Brave Katepwa - "Kitt"
April 11/06 - July 14/07

A Pup on Loan
We never really owned her.
She came to share her journey with us.
Her stay was short.
She taught us much and asked little.
Her presence touched us.
Her absence left lessons learned and happy memories.
We were privileged to have tagged along on her journey.

Patti Kipper – July 24, 2007.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Jump Chute Work

We, my training partner Deb and her Sheltie Rush, are just starting the 9th Week of the Suzanne Clothier Natural Jumping Program. Hot weather is squelching our enthusism, temperatures upward of 35 degrees, with unbearable humidity sending temps to that of 49 degrees... yikes, it is hot. Not as hot as this little he is ...Rush burning up the lanes.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Summer Splash

Today we spent the afternoon enjoying some training and a splash at the Retriever grounds. It was a perfect day for a little training.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Summer Agility Field

A Retriever's view- - - from the dug out.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

How dogs see color.

Here is a really good site on what or how dogs see. There are some colors they see better, but more important is motion and contrast of color. I often wondered why hunters wore fluorescent orange and camouflage together, but this article also explains that to game and our dogs the orange blends in with the greens of camouflage or the colors found in the field.

I have done a lot of bird and bumper throwing for my training buddies and it is interesting to see how dogs mark and at what part of the retrieve the dog no longer relies on sight and begins to scent. That is what makes blinds so hard, because the dog should neither mark nor scent to the bird or bumper. Some scenting is probably okay, when I figure out how much I will be a better handler :o).

The training bumpers I have are a whole mish mash of colors, sizes and material. My girls both love and choose from the pile first an old green canvas bumper that has been sewn and taped, it is the prize of the bumper bag. Their least favorites are the 2 white fire hose bumpers I have. So their choices aren't based on color just favorites.

Go to this site to read the Canine Color Vision Article.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

There are no mistakes

Regionals are fast approaching and the excitement is building. With the excitement comes a little apprehension and nervousness. I have all the confidence in Ardi, but need to focus less on my handling short comings. I found this paragraph helpful.
"There are no mistakes. What we call a “mistake” is just something we didn’t plan, didn’t prepare, and perhaps didn’t prefer to have happen. It’s not what we had in mind for some reason or other. So what! "

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Unleashed Wrath

Every morning we walk our dogs at about 5:45. Because there are 3 dogs and only two of us, Bonnie usually takes the pup and I take the 2 older dogs. We head in different directions, mostly because trying to enjoy a walk with Kitt is easier without the distractions of the other 2.

The walk consists of a 15-minute brisk walk on leash, no sniffing or peeing until we get to the park where we walk the perimeter of trees. This morning I walked the dogs to the park as usual, as we circled the trees I saw an adult golden retriever coming around the trees, I took a quick look and the only person I could see was about 30 yards away, power walking. I stamped my foot and said "shoo"… the dog stopped in its tracks. Roxy our 12yr old ShepX exploded in barking, hackles up, Ardis joined in with her deep bark. I asked them both to sit, they did I took a tight grip of the leash. Now the owner was calling “ Kaaatie…Kaaatie come…….here” The dog didn’t budge, now Roxy was screaming. The screams seemed to push the speed walker off the sidewalk and in our direction. When she got in ear shot she started apologizing profusely, “I’m really sorry…I’m so….sorry”. I stood while she gathered her dog up and as she grabbed the dogs collar she jerked it’s collar and shouted 2 times “BAD DOG”. The dog cowered and in a puzzled, inquiring voice I said “You know I really don’t think it is the dogs fault” Well she came unglued, you would have though I slapped her in the face. She yelled, “I don’t need the wrath of you, coming down on me this morning” snapped the dogs leash on, pulled the dog and as she left she said “I was having a nice morning until I met you.” I stood there dumbfounded loosened my grip on the leashes and said “Come on girls let’s go home”

Sunday, 29 April 2007

What's in a dog's name?

Roxy -Black Diamond Rox
Roxy is a rescue from the Humane Society. She was found hanging around the City bus garages after a late summer storm. The name Roxy just seemed to suit her. Later when we registered her with AMBOR in order to compete in ASCA obedience we picked the name Black Diamond Rox. Roxy was totally black and had a very shiny coat, she also has a black mark on her tongue that is shaped like a diamond.

Kate - Lady Kate
Kate was the favorite pup of the breeder's daughter, she named her Lady. We picked the name Kate, but kept Lady in her registered name as Kate really did think her self a Lady.

Ardis - Oakenpride’s Ardwinna
Ardis – Latin meaning eager; fervent.
Ardwinna- from Britain – other names Dea Arduinna
Ardwinna was a Woodland and animal Goddess who haunted the forests of Ardennes riding a wild boar. She commanded a fine for any animal killed on her land, yet asked for animal sacrifices on her feast day.
Rules over: Animals, familiars, woodlands.

Ribbon - Nordais Pride of the Ring (Ardis' Dam)
Ribbon is named after her breeder's first Chessie "Pride" (Westernoak's Yukon Pride). She didn't want to call her "Pride" again, so made her registered name "Nordais Pride of the Ring". Now when you go in the ring and win... what do you get? A "Ribbon"!!! and Ribbon has done a lot of winning for her!!!

Curry - Meadowoods Quiet Riot (Ardis' Sire)
Curry’s name 'Quiet Riot' comes from the rodeo. Quiet Riot was one of the top bucking bulls at that time. Curry's mother, Zippy, and sister, Spring, were named after the top bucking horses of 94 and 97, Zippy Delivery and Spring Fling.
The Meadowood name came about because they have a large meadow on one side of their property surrounded by oak and redwood trees.

Kitt -Del Brave Katepwa
Katepwa is a Cree word meaning "Who Calls?".
In Saskatchewan, 45 minutes from Regina is the Qu’appelle Valley where there are 4 lakes making up the Calling Lakes and Echo Valley Provincial Park. This area is rich in history and lore. Legend tells of a young Indian brave canoeing home from a hunting trip one evening when he thought he heard someone calling his name. "Kâ-têpwêt?", "who calls? he asked aloud. There was no reply. "Qu'appelle?" he tried again, this time in French. Then came a reply from the hills on the other side of the placid, moonlit lake: "Qu'appelle?" It was his echo.
I spent many summers, while growing up, at my uncles cabin at Katepwa lake, with lots of fond memories. We never noticed until someone told us that Katepwa echos Kate. Kate was our 10 year old Chesapeake we lost 3 months before we got Kitt.

Merry -Meadowoods Merron Del Brave (Kitt's Dam)
Merron means mermaid in gaelic and Merry is typical of chesapeakes in their love of water.
Del Brave is derived from the breeders first stud dog’s registered name, Meadowoods Home of the Brave. Del means "of the" in Spanish.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Spring Fling or was it a FRAP?

Last night we checked out our summer agility field. Where we walked the dogs off leash last year, is a huge slough. Kitt and her pal Aire took off and headed directly to the slough. We could not get them out they ran and dived and slide and spun and chased for a good 10 minutes.

Aire(6 months) and Kitt (8months) on a F.R.A.P. Last Fall

The slough is not deep enough to swim in, but too wide to walk out and get the pups. Ardi went in after them once and they paid no heed to her and nearly knocked her over with their antics,she came out indignant that they would not pay her any mind. We took the two big dogs back to the vehicle and brought a bumper out, waved it in the air. Eventually they noticed and came on the run. We gathered the pups up and took them to the vehicles.
I don't think I will ever forget the look of joy, fun and freedom the 2 young dogs had as they cavorted in the slough. I hope to see this same joy as they grow, train and eventually compete in whatever dog sport they choose.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

She's too young to drive!!!

The snow is just about gone for the 2nd time and I am really anxious to get Kitt out and try the things we've been working on over the winter. I’m itching to work on some retrieving marks, get to the wide open spaces, string together a few agility obstacles and try out some new skills.

I really have to keep the reins on myself. I think this is where many young dogs and not so experienced trainers (like me) run into trouble. In retriever training they call it the transition period, it is where you go from yard work to field work.. The distractions to the dog are higher, skills learned singly are now being put together and it is hard not to have high expectations. Like anything else, my expectations should be based on the work and effort I have put in. I think Cheryl Bartlett talked about this at Puppy Agility Camp.

Okay, so I’ve got a bit of a plan for the retriever stuff, I'm still scratching my head about agility, I know I’m not going to hand the keys over to Kitt and let her drive. Any suggestions or advice for making these transitions would be very helpful and appreciated.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Happy 1st Birthday Kitt

Let the party begin !!!!!!!!

April 11th is Kitt's 1st birthday. She is shown laying beside her buddy Ardi.

Kitt is a pup in training. Kitt's first year has been spent working on house manners and basic obedience, foundation agility skills, and some structured retriever work to enhance the natural retrieving ability she came with. She is a great swimmer and is proving to be a pretty good marker. She will be starting her 1st formal Retriever class next week. With Kitt around there is never a dull moment and no object will be left un-retrieved.

Here are some pictures from Kitt's 1st year

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Great Outdoor Expo

Today Ardi and I went to the Great Outdoor Expo in Moose Jaw to man the booth and represent the Retriever Club for a couple of hours. It was fun and it really made me realize how rich Saskatchewan is in resources.
Some of the displays included Archery , Boat Safety, Predator Calling, Falconry, Ducks Unlimited, Stone Sculptors, Knife Makers, Saskatchewan Environment, Saskatchewan Assoc. of Conservation Officers and the list goes on.Ardi did well despite being mistaken for a Weimaraner a few times everyone thought she was a beautiful dog.

Ardi spent most of her time watching the Falcons who were across the isle and down from us about 3 booths. When not doing that she was checking out the bow hunters booth next to us where someone had been eating french fries. All in all it was 2 hours well spent and I think Ardi was a good ambassador for the club and her breed.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Obedience - What to do at the Trial

By Sue Cone
and the Katmai Chesapeakes CH/OTCH Getty UDX, and Hannah CD

CH Am/Can OTCH Abby WD, OTCH Libby UDX2 JH & OTCH Sam UDX3 WD -- you'll always walk with me.

You got up early, had everything you need with you, and here you are at the trial, hopefully at least an hour before you are due in the ring.

The first thing is to know your dog. She may need a walk around the show grounds to get acclimated. She may do best crated in your car, or crated under a tent, or on a rug next to your chair. What won’t work is dragging her around the show for hours – she’ll be mentally tired when you hit the ring.

Knowing your dog includes knowing what warm-up is best. One good way to handle this is to do a bit of warm-up when you arrive, and then a little bit more right before you go into the ring. Warm-up your fronts and finishes, and pivots and signals if you are in Utility. Remember – all warm-ups must be done on lead with no corrections. And please do them far enough from the ring that you can’t possibly distract a working dog.

Unless you are first in the ring, watch some runs carefully. Know where the first exercise starts. Plan how you will move from exercise to exercise. Does your dog set-up best if you turn left into her, which is a reminder for her to tuck her rear in? Or to the right to remind her to hurry? Check your ring card for your handling reminders.

A few minutes before your turn , get your dog up and attentive to you. This is not the time to chat with your friends – if you want your dog’s attention, you must give her total attention in return. You could do some quiet play, or little heeling “doodles” (like tiny Rally moves) or a bunch of short fronts. You are aiming for a dog with ears up, eyes bright, and completely focused on you. When invited into the ring, move confidently to the starting place, praise your dog, and keep your attention on her. I suggest not conversing with the judge, which, while polite, will take your attention off your dog.

And off you go. Be sure to keep your dog’s focus between exercises and keep her moving attentively with you. Don’t just walk off to the next set-up place and leave your dog floundering behind you. (Hint – practice moving from set-up to set-up as part of your training.) If you have taught some ring tricks, like having the dog jump up to touch your hand, use them as you move to the next exercise to keep your dog happy and focused.

Never forget that it is extremely important for your dog to have a good time in the ring. Should disaster befall, and you blow an exercise, never, ever get down on your dog. A frown, a disgusted look, your body language will be read by your dog. All you can do in the ring is to work on the dog;s attitude for the next time you trial. Our Chesapeakes can be very sensitive, and if you get down on them in the ring, they are going to remember it the next time you show them. If you have a good time, smiling and happy, then so will they.

And always remember, win or lose, leg or not, you go home from the trial with the best dog there – yours!

LongMeadow Susquehann CD

Sue's, "Hannah"on stay who ALWAYS crosses her paws, and always the right over the left.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Jane October 1996- March 29, 2007

Ch. Kaweah’s Head Over Heels CD, FG40K, AGN, NJC,NGC, NAD,ADC
Today Jane is playing flyball and all the other things she loved at the Rainbow Bridge.
Jane was the first Blue Merle Australian Shepherd I ever saw, and if her icy blue eyes didn't stop you in your tracks and make you take a second look, her zest for doing eveything with speed and enthusiasm did.
When she gets to the rainbow bridge, she will run down the center of the bridge and her flyball buddies waiting will know it is her, step aside and there will be some grand flyball racing.
Please feel free to leave a comment about Jane, hopefully Sherry and Alex can read them in the future.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Official Weather Watcher

Poor weather is keeping us from getting out side. Rain, wind and snow.

Sometimes we just get out and play in the park even though everyone ends up needing a bath.

I've been doing some retrieving with both Ardi and Kitt and shadow handling with Kitt the pup.

I'm trying to teach Kitt to wrap around me and sit on my right as well as my left. So far I can't think of any way to do it except luring for now, I'll keep thinking though.