Wednesday, June 25, 2008

101 Ways

To drive your dogs crazy, laugh yourself silly, flatten a box, practice your clicker training using a cardboard box.

Some/most of you may have heard of the '101 ways' thing before (I'm pretty sure somebody had a post about it not too long ago, but I can't remember who); it's a great way to not only stimulate your dogs and practice shaping behavior, but it's also some of the best entertainment around! Who needs tv when you can do this? I think the winner for this event was Holly, who came up with 'bite the box' as a clickable behavior. Oh doG, she was so CUTE!! I must admit, this game is slightly less fun for/with Mikey, since his way of handling frustration is just to sit there and bark at me, instead of offer behaviors. Poor boy; he would much rather have someone just show him what to do, which I suppose is not entirely bad, since it translates to a boy that really, really, hones in and follows directions in agility.

Good thing we didn't get rained out tonight for agility class, so that Mikey could do something he likes, ahem, just a bit more. . .

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh Boy! My Favorite!

We're going to the hill country/river for my birthday in September! I can't wait!

Some pics from our last river adventure. . .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Clean and Minty Fresh

Well, pepperminty fresh. *New Product Alert* I tried Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, in peppermint, this weekend. Loved it! Don't let the name put you off. I originally heard about this product from the Pet Connection blog, and then ran into it at a local store in the fru fru (organic soaps, lotions and potions) section. Why do I love it so much, beside it being something both the dogs and I can use? It lathers like crazy with a 1:8 dilution, and rinces out in a FLASH! The worst part of bathing Holly and Mikey is the hours (feels like) I spend trying to rinse all the shampoo out. It was so easy rinsing (and smelled so nice) that I also washed collars and leashes.

In other news, I was vividly reminded today of why there is no trialing in summer here (unless it's indoors). My dad and I went over to Leaps 'n Bounds this morning for a little agility play. We set up an Excellent course from a trial map my dad had floating around in his car and had a great time! But man, was it HOT! We were finished and back on the road for home by 10:00 am, but it was already pretty miserable; my hair was so wet that I looked like I had just stepped out of the shower.

As hot has it was, I must humbly admit that I am starting to kick butt! I haven't talked about it here, but over the past two plus months I have made some huge changes in my eating habits, as well as modifying my exercise routine. I have been following the Primal Blueprint, for the most part, and I am thrilled with the results. I'm running faster and stronger, less winded, and catch my breath more quickly after running a course. My primary goal in changing my earing habits was to have some kind of positive affect on my rheumatoid arthritis, but the improvements in my ability to run agility have been a very pleasant added benifit! I can't wait for the start of the fall season!!

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately; I've been spending most of my time, both physically and mentally (if you know what I mean), at my other blog. As my rheumatoid arthritis has gotten worse, I've been obsessing a bit and spending most of my internet time researching and blogging about my finds.

Plus, we've entered into a more or less down time of year for anything but run of the mill dog activities. Living in the Houston area, summer is just a sucky time to do much of anything outside (I suppose the opposite of Michigan in winter). And this year the temps have blasted up particularly early and it's already as miserably hot as we normally expect in late July and August; high temps in the upper 90's, low temps in the mid to upper 70's, all with HIGH humidity. Bleh!

No more agility trials until it begins to cool down in late fall. Holly and Mikey and I are still going to class, but we will be taking off the month of August, and possibly July too. Partly because it's just so darn hot and humid that class is getting unpleasant (temps are in the upper 80's at class time), but also because it's hard to keep either dog in the best shape, since it's just too hot for any prolonged, intense exercise. Poor Mikey particularly has trouble with the heat.

And no Reliant this year. My dad and I both are taking this year off. None of our dogs is ready, or going to be ready for obedience/rally. And I'm not thrilled with the idea of running Mikey (or myself) on the thin carpet over concrete flooring that is used at Reliant for agility; not surprisingly, there are a lot of injuries in the agility rings at Reliant every year. And I'm not real thrilled with the idea of showing Mikey in breed at Reliant this year either. I don't think he would be very competitive at his age against all the up and coming youngsters, so I'll hold out for something small and local later in the year. I haven't yet decided if I will take the day off (or maybe half a day?) to come to the specialty/club meeting at Reliant. Since I resigned from the Board, I haven't really seen or heard much from anyone, and it would be nice. . .

Well, besides a lot of work related stress (anyone need a statistician/SAS programmer?), that about covers the reasons for my lack of posting. I have a bunch of random pictures that, if I ever get around to downloading from my camera, I promise to post.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Agility Trial Pics

Better late than never! Enjoy!

I got a kick out of these two. Mikey hardly ever barks on course, but every once in a while. . .

Even though his head got a little chopped in this pic, I love it! Talk about drive! Wow! Work it Mikey!