Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Update

Hokey ready with a paint brush

It's been a long time since I've gotten a chance to update my blog. October has been a busy-fest for me! Yes, I was on "vacation" for the first two weeks. No, it was not actually a real vacation. I painted in my house for 13 days straight. As you can see from these pictures, I had some help!

Poppy acting as my supervisor
Way too boring. She fell asleep on the job.

Inspecting my work

 After my whirlwind painting extravaganza, I went right into an agility trial mode, with 3 trials, 3 weekends in a row, which I'm still in the midst of. I hadn't trialed since July, so it was fun to be back at it. The BIG news is that Ollie finished another big championship title last Sunday - Performance Dog Champion (PDCH). This will probably be the last big championship title of his career. He also finished his performance snooker bronze title on Sunday. Here we are at the trial posing with his big PDCH ribbon:
PDCH Ollie - Kinetic Dog trial 10/21/12

He is now ADCH-Bronze PDCH C-ATCH Ollie PKCH-Bronze LAA-Bronze
Here he is at home posing with the same ribbon:

Speaking of squirrels, last week at Kinetic Dog, we ran on a PVP team with my friend Ivette White and her awesome little jack, Dasher (AKA The Brown Bullet). We've teamed together before and our long-standing team name is "The Squirrel Assassins" for obvious reasons. Our team placed 4th out of 21 teams overall, despite my total brain meltdown in snooker (Of all things! That's Ollie and my's strongest class). I hadn't been up that early in many, many months, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! ;-)

But, I digress. Here he is actually posing nice:

 A friend of mine, Dave Mueller, surprised me at the Keystone trial a couple of weeks ago by giving me a pin in recognition of Ollie accomplishing his Lifetime Achievement Award back in July. Agility people are the bestest!

In other news, Ollie turned 8 on the 16th (okay, so it's his made up birthday, but for all intents and purposes, he turned 8 that day). He celebrated by going to nosework class that night instead of Poppy and got to start doing vehicle searches. I am planning to switch off which dog, Ollie or Poppy, goes to class every other week from here on out. As we head toward his unofficial retirement from agility at the end of the year, I want to transition Ollie into a second career in nosework and I also need to take him to some kind of class every so often to simply to keep his spirits up. As I've seen during our break from trialing the past few months, he gets depressed seeing the girls leave the house on a regular basis to go to their various classes/lessons while he sits at home. He's been much happier and more playful since we started trialing again a couple of weeks ago and got to go to nosework class.

Hokey is learning to spell her name using the foam tiles I got to start work on her running contacts.
Hokey's training is coming along nicely. We are working on many, many things right now and I hope to have time to write some posts about them soon. We've run into some challenges along the lines of coming up with a way to mark certain behaviors without the ability to use a traditional clicker since some of the behaviors require her to be driving ahead of me and not be looking at me (i.e. situations where the use of my visual hand-flash "clicker" isn't desired). I am still working through the issues and experimenting. Working with a deaf dog definitely requires some out-of-the-box thinking!

Please stop painting and play with The Terrier instead

So that's the update! I hope to get some actual training posts together soon, but I do have agility trials through the first half of November, so we'll see if I can manage to carve out some time.