October 31st, 2008


Happy Halloween!

We don't get many trick-or-treaters where we live but we did have 2 stop by a little early.

The first was dressed as a little Arab boy. Very cute.

The he left and just a few minutes later this little pirate came by.

Is it just me or do these two look vey similar?

Happy Halloween/Samhain Everyone!

He's baaaaaaaaacccckkkkk!

 After more than 3 months of worry and concern (never mind the expense)I'm happy to report that Devon is almost completely weaned off the prednisone and is back to his normal naughty, happy and bouncy self. His last CBC shows that he's probably got a normal number of platelets (the platelets are still clumping so it's hard to tell exactly how many but the estimate is "adequate") and that his bone marrow is making new ones. This is most likely due to the Atopica which his doctor says can also start being reduced in a few weeks.
I've actually already done a little agility training with him along with the usual shaping stuff and new obedience training we started. He seems to have a new drive for agility but it could just be that the weather has turned brisk and he's finally feeling like his old self.

Last night at his first Rally class he was really obnoxious--barking at me, jumping up at me unwilling to wait quietly while the other dogs had their turn. It's been a long time since he's been that obnoxious. But he did really well for our very first time on a Rally course and never having been trained in Obedience. Other than targeting the signs a couple of times he was doing very well. We even sneaked in a teeter once or twice and he jammed it down and stuck his little 2on/2off like an elite gymnast.

But can I just say that I may have been out of my mind when I signed up to take two outdoor training classes on the same night when it's cold enough to freeze and I have to be out there with nowhere to warm up for three hours. What was I thinking?? Luckily the class I'm teaching for the local humane organization is in their warm, well lighted and spacious building with indoor toilets. I mostly signed on to teach so I could use their building to train during the long, cold winter nights but I also think I might enjoy teaching this class. It's modeled after the ones I first encountered at Susan Garrett's and subsequently have been taking from agilemindsmel with first Devon and now Zodi. It's all about training and building a relationship with your dog while getting their bodies and minds ready for performance sports. I'm also signed up to teach a course analysis workshop which should be fun, too. I'm going to have the handlers play a round or virtual agility which I also first learned at Susan Garrett's. I think it really helps give the handler more empathy for what our poor dogs go through when we're not clear and consistent with our handling.

I sure wish I could get more info on what's going on out in Scottsdale. I can't seem to log on to my video account that I set up on the "cynosport" website. I've tried everything I know how to do and it just tell me that my log in has failed. And I really doubt that I'll get an answer if I email the office and ask them what the problem is :-)

And I am SO happy to hear that the nationals will (probably) be moved next year. It's really time to give the East coast people and dogs a break from flying or driving that far so they can get whistled off the first time the dog knocks a bar. Sorry, just couldn't help it. It seems so wrong to me that people aren't just given x number of seconds to finish the course and then whistled off if they go over time. It takes me way more time to get myself off a course when my plan is interrupted than when I just finish the course. And I'll bet most people are the same way. After all, most of us never practice how to stop in the middle of a run and leave the ring as quickly as possible. Maybe we should so that our dogs don't get freaked out by it and think something's wrong but really, if someone's paying all that money and putting in so much effort, can't you just let them have their 35-45 seconds on course? Would it really add that much time?

Oh well, I would have really liked to go to Scottsdale to watch the nationals but I couldn't justify the expense and time without feeling like I really had a chance. Maybe next year I can go with Devon if it's not too far away (like Texas, for example). Florida would be great but  somebody reported that PA was one site being considered and I couldn't imagine anywhere in PA where it wouldn't be frozen in November.

Now, North Carolina would be a good choice;-) It's warm but not too warm in November. It's cheap (relatively) and there are lots of big, beautiful horse farms in Southern Pines and Pinehurst that might be  perfect. Ken! Hey, Ken! You listenin'?