moving day

This is the last post to this Word Press site. We finally have a new website, Power Paws Agility and the blog is integrated there.

The new website has been a big project and certainly a learning curve for me. I have learned a lot about websites I never knew I would want to know. And I discovered that just because I knew how to make a post on a Word Press blog that that knowledge would certainly not qualify me to create a new Word Press website! I know just enough about the inner workings of websites to get myself into trouble with my web gurus while I am playing around making changes and making them crazy at the same time. Thanks to Terry and Nathan for helping get me started, but most sincere thanks of all to my new web genius Chris!!

I have lots of good stuff planned for the new site like more articles and videos and a store. So, don’t be a stranger, come drop by and leave a comment on the blog if you like the pretty new digs:)

Thanks for reading,

NJG

PS: all the old blog posts have been moved over to the new site so you don’t have to search here if you are looking for an older post

Execution

I came across the incredible website of Derek Sivers a few months ago, and have sort of been absorbing it a piece at a time.  Sivers.org

Derek calls himself (from his home page) Entrepeneur, programmer and avid student of life.

I love his book Anything You Want

I got it in audible form so I could listen to him read it himself. It came with a couple hundred free songs that he has gathered over the years as well. And then I got a PERSONAL response back from him after I responded to his “thanks for buying my book email”. WOW. This guy must be super busy and he took time to respond to my mail. The hook was set.

I listened to all his TED Talks, some are just a few minutes long. This is my favorite. Listen to this three minute talk if you have any big goals in your life.

“Keep your goals to yourself”

I especially love his article:

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution

I love his concepts about execution. For those (of us) dreamers that only execute half of the ideas we have every day, his words really hit home. You will need to read his article yourself first before you read my comparison to execution in our sport of dog agility. His article describes how even a brilliant idea is worth nothing without execution. My Comparison of Dog Agility Execution to Derek Sivers “Ideas are just a multiplier of execution” Sivers Execution vs Dog Agility

Our most brilliant agility dogs while not “worth nothing” as they are still our treasured companions after all, will never experience the glory of a National or International podium without the handler’s brilliant execution. I have known many brilliant as well as many so-so or good dogs. I’ve known dogs who could be the fastest on the planet, and dogs who run at a middle speed but have perfect turns and the handler has perfect timing. The brilliant dogs don’t always win and the so-so or just good dogs don’t always lose.

It is all about the execution not just of a trial course, but the day to day training and conditioning and attention and the downright zen of it all. Even “average” dogs have been on world teams, and I have stood beside both brilliant and just “good” dogs and their handlers as teammates and as a coach on the podium as they accepted their awards.

What makes an awful dog? Physical and emotional issues beyond what most handlers are capable of solving, without going into the nature/nurture theory! What makes a brilliant dog? It is one born with brains and a body to match and a handler who can bring out the best in them. Most of us have dogs in the middle of those comparisons and it is the execution that changes some of those dogs from awful to brilliant.

I hope you can relate to my comparison between Derek’s Execution theories and mine as it relates to dog agility.

Go out there and execute.

Nancy Gyes

what I know now and wish I knew then…

At 4- That my passion for dogs would turn into a career.

At 18- How I wish I had taken a path to an advanced degree in animal behavior, I would surely love to have that piece of paper now!

In my 20′s- To train every behavior long before you ever need to use it. It took me some time to discover that you don’t train door/gate behaviors when you want to go out the door with four dogs crowding you to go for a walk. That you don’t train stays when it is imperative that your dog do so. That you don’t teach recalls when you really need your dog to come to save his life. You don’t wait to train your dog to tolerate physical exams while you are at the vet during an emergency. Train it BEFORE you need it.

30’s- That training with compulsion will take you three times as long as training with rewards.

  • First you lose the time you took while trying to force your animal to do something
  • Next you lose the time it takes to rebuild your relationship and reestablish the trust you destroyed
  • And now it still takes the time to teach the behavior the right way using reinforcement, right after you extinguish all the bad behavior and start back at zero

40’s-

  • That teaching my students to play with their dogs would be way more important than teaching them to weave
  • The importance of goal setting and record keeping. I wish I had a better paper trail of where I have been and what I have done to teach skills to my dogs and what I was thinking at any given day, month or year in my career. I’d have started keeping better training logs and diaries.
  • Don’t bother to teach the dog what you don’t want him to do, just teach him what you DO want him to do. It takes twice as long to teach while moving in two directions at the same time.
  • I wish I had been able to look into the future and see where one short trip to Europe with Scud in 1996 on the AKC World Team would change my entire life!

Mid forties- I would have jumped on the first plane to Arkansas to train with Bob Bailey, instead of waiting 10 years

Late forties- That foundation and groundwork is the most important part of agility training, obstacles are easy.

50′s-

  • That standing still would be one of the most important lessons I would take away from my first week of training with Bob Bailey.
  • That Chicken Camp and Bob Bailey would be the most valuable of ALL my animal training lessons!
  • That training is a mechanical skill. (Bob Bailey)

Mid 50’s- That any dog can learn to retrieve if you understand how to use a clicker and some cookies.

Late Late fifties- How important massage is to my dogs’ and my own health

Last year – That my youngster Scoop would seem to be recovered from all his health issues and look as good as he did in training today.

Two months ago- That a sure fire way to insure that he stays sound would be to get a new puppy that I really was not quite ready for!

Last month- That focusing a little too much on food training and tricks can set back your game of tug with your puppy.

A puppy?

Last week-That even though I didn’t give her 100% of my heart for the first month for a variety of reasons, that it would be inevitable if I brought a puppy into my life that she would be mine and I would not be able to give her back.

Yesterday- That I might as well introduce her to everyone since she’s here to stay!

Meet Pie.

Photos of Pie by Lali Miramon

This post was inspired by blog action day on the subject of “If I knew then what I know now”.

http://dog-agility-blog-events.posterous.com/

I hope your career with your dog mostly has you looking forward not back, but sometimes it is fun to dream……

Nancy

Scoop OAJ

I can hardly believe that Scoop will be three years old in a month. I want my lost year back! Ok, enough whining:) Scoop and I went to his first competition in almost a year and he did really well. No Q’s on day one, but on the second day he got his third open jumpers leg to finish the title and this weekend he will run in EX jumpers for the first time. His last time in the AKC ring was exactly a year ago, his 2nd open jumpers leg was on 2.12.2011, almost exactly one year between open jumpers legs!

Here is a video of the jumpers run and the EX standard Q we almost got till I dumped him in the weaves and had to pay for it with his departure.

Scoop is still getting weekly massages and last week he got one on both Friday and Saturday, Maybe that was why he was good on Sunday!

My student Mary VanWormer sent me a link to a really interesting article on why massage heals. I found it an eye opener and it has even more confirmed the need to have body work done on my dogs. I am now trying to adjust the time I spend working on Scoop myself so that I save time after training and not necessarily before. I really don’t think I can make time for both! Warm-up, stretch, train, then a least a little time devoted to massaging his tightest parts.

I hope our success continues and am really looking forward to this weekend instead of with the trepidation I have felt for so long on his progress.

I hope your youngster is right on track and that you make some time and same some money to spend on those valuable massages for your competition partner!

NJG

cautious optimism

Scoop, 1.15.2012, Mia Grant Photo

That is what I am experiencing at the moment with Scoop’s health. For almost a month I have been actively training him, and we have not really had one bad day. YAHOO! Scoop’s final diagnosis it seems is another one of those health problems (like aspergillis) I never really wanted to learn about. Scoop has “bunchy muscles” I am told. The MRI and ultrasound and multiple x-rays all told a story of good structure and nothing to even consider that can be seen on a diagnostic machine. The ultrasound given by an incredible radiologist, Dr. Craig Long in Sacramento, showed no tears of any of the muscles in the rear, Ilio psoas just fine and all the rest as well.  So, since he really had no injury to rehab, we went back to training.

What in the world are bunchy muscles I ask? Apparently not the kind of long and soft kind I want. When I look at him it just does not sound right. He is lean and long and doesn’t look like he has some kind of chunky muscle builder muscles. Actually he does seem to be one big long muscle, but I thought that was supposed to be good. Scoop is moving better, jump freely, and not showing the obvious discomfort of the past 9 months. I think this is because he now gets weekly or semi-weekly deep tissue massages by my human therapist.

This is the same masseuse that cured the foot ailment that almost derailed MY career last year. Each week Scoop is found to have incredible tightness and knots in different areas and the therapist is slowly working his way through eliminating them. I don’t know if we will reach a point that maybe a monthly therapy will be enough to keep him moving well, but that is what I am dreaming about.

I know he is getting better because in the past Scoop had gigantic bar knocking issues, and seemed to never be able to hit a weave entry, for this past month he has rarely taken a bar, and maybe only missed a couple weave entries, and I can tell you that I am trying hard to find every tough one there is to train.

I know the weave issues have not been training ones, he simply could not bend his body around the first gate. Especially on 90 degree entries, on a left hand entry he would make the first gate and have to skip the second. On a right hand wrap he could not get wrapped around the first pole, he always entered the second gate. The difference now is totally remarkable. And his A-frame at the moment is the one I dreamed of when I started training. Scoop could just never seem to get the oomph over the top of the frame that would drive him deep into yellow. I am asking the universe to let me have this dog, this frame, these weaves and his nice jump style!

Scoop is wild right now in training. I am having to work as hard on all the foundation skills as the agility work. After all the months of hit and miss training his excitement to be back in the field really working has him almost “off his stick” as they say. Stays and lineups and self-control are all high on our training list.

I took some photos of Scoop at Precision Body Therapy with his therapist, Edward.  Scoop seems to really love the sessions and actively participates at times stretching into the work. Interesting to observe the interaction of dog and therapist. I am sure Scoop knows that Edward is helping him.

Hope your juvenile agility dog gets to experience this kind of great therapy at some point in his life. I for one can’t wait till I can go back to spending my massage money on ME:)

NJG

momentum

It’s been a while since I wrote about Early Take Off. Like lots of projects it is often difficult to maintain momentum when the goals are grand and the steps to reach that goal are small and mostly informative in nature. Some time ago I wrote a  Q. and A. about Early Take Off based on questions which I have been asked over the years, I am just getting around to publishing it. You can read it here and it will have a special page of it’s own  here on my site. Linda Mecklenburg has written more on the subject and I hope to help keep that momentum going with this article. Read Linda’s new pages on ETS on her website http://www.awesomepaws.us/.

I hope you will share it with others, and keep the information and dialogue open about this frustrating syndrome.

I promise to write about how well Scoop is doing soon. With the help of Cindy Difranco’s massage video I just might be able to keep him moving soundly. I love the video, and think you will too.  http://www.difrancodogz.com/

All the best to you and yours, and sincere hopes for a fab 2012!

NJG

Questions and Answers about Early Takeoff,  by Nancy Gyes

Q: Why do dogs drop their head and add the little steps before they take off for a jump?

NJG: That is sometimes referred to as stutter stepping or measuring. Many, but not all ETS dogs add a small step and drop their head just before they take off early for the jump. Some dogs only do this on spreads or on jumps that are at least 20 feet apart and on a straight approach. Some dogs just take off early without the head drop. It is one of the known symptoms of ETS, and we do not know for sure why some dogs do or don’t do this. As the dog drops his head he might be trying to locate the jump by moving his head up and down.

Not all dogs that add steps and drop their head have ETS. At times an injury or body discomfort can cause a dog to add steps before they jump. Dogs that are uncomfortable jumping do not usually stutter step as well as take off early, they might even take off quite close to the jump.

Q: Why do some dogs jump short distances just fine but take off early for a jump once the distance between jumps gets to around 20 feet or more?

NJG: Since dogs cannot tell us what they see we can only speculate that since ETS dogs have greater difficulty jumping the longer distances, that they have more problems seeing or perceiving where the jump is when it is at a distance greater than around 15 feet.

Q: When *should* a dog take off for a jump?

NJG: Each dog has a comfortable takeoff distance for a jump. If the dog takes off 8 feet from a jump, but lands 8 feet from the jump, then that might be considered jumping long, but the jump distance is equal on ascent and descent of the jump and so is not considered “early”.

Q: How early is early?

NJG: On occasion a dog without ETS takes off at a slightly greater distance than they land on a jump. It could be a sign of beginning stages of ETS or it could be nothing at all. If your dog consistently takes off 7 feet from a jump but lands only 3 or 4 feet past the jump that would be considered early.

Q: Is ETS a problem with depth perception, and is there a test for that?

NJG: There is no eye test for depth perception in dogs. Our dogs cannot tell us exactly what they see and don’t see, and there is nothing in the dogs’ eye that is able to be measured to test their depth perception. Dogs’ eyes are different from ours and they do not have as good depth perception as people. We don’t know for sure how this affects their jumping.

Q: My sheltie usually jumps fine, but sometimes takes off a bit early for a triple, is that ETS?

NJG: It could be. Once you have your dog’s vision checked and you have also ruled out any kind of strain or injury that your dog might have, you would then begin to suspect ETS, especially if any of your dogs’ siblings, parents or other relations have ETS.

Q: My students’ dog jumps worse in the poorly lighted barn where we train, is that normal?

NJG: Some ETS dogs jump worse in poorly lighted buildings or under lights outdoors at night. Some struggle with different footings, like matting or dirt when they usually train on grass. If your dog is already stressing about their jumping it would be normal to expect a dog to struggle even more on different surfaces or in different lighting they are not familiar with.

Q: What kind of vision tests should be done on my dog? Are they expensive?

NJG: You should have a retinoscopy. In the SF Bay Area the test costs about $200. It could be more or less depending on the Animal Opthamologist you use.

Q: What is a retinoscopy, and do they put the dog to sleep to do it?

NJG: Your dogs’ eyes are looked at by the veterinarian using a retinoscope  and your dog will be awake and usually the owner is with the dog. The entire testing might last an hour.

Q: The local animal eye doctor does not do the recommended vision tests, where should I go?

NJG: You need to look for a veterinarian who is a Diplomate in Veterinary Opthamology, and that has tested many dogs using Retinoscopy. Some Veterinary Opthamologists have the machine but are not well versed in its’ use. Try doing a google search in your area or call some of the local Veterinary eye clinics for information. The retinoscopy is a test to determine a dog’s acuity. This potentially would determine if the dog is near or far-sighted, or if the difference between the eyes is great enough to warrant a prescription for contacts.

Q: My dog’s eyes have been checked and they are totally normal, is that common with ETS dogs?

NJG: Yes it is. ETS dogs usually test for being considered to have a normal range of vision.

Q: If ETS is a vision problem, why can’t you test a dog’s eyes to diagnose it?

NJG: There are many different kinds of diseases in people and animals, and not all of them are able to be diagnosed with specific testing. Some diseases are diagnosed by elimination of other diseases being present which CAN be tested. We are still hoping that advanced research may indeed discover something about our dogs’ eyes that will point to an answer regarding ETS.

Q: Why does my ETS dog jump angled jumps and jumps on a circle better than straight on approaches?

NJG: The current thinking is that since the jump is on an angle, that your dog has an easier time distinguishing the distance, and height of the jump since you have wings which are offset from each other. This could give your dog more perspective of the jump. There are some writings on dog vision which discuss the difference in how dogs see horizontal lines differently from vertical lines. This might explain why our ETS dogs need the vertical wings to help them analyze where the horizontal jump bar is. The most difficult jump for an ETS dog to distinguish is a jump that is placed 21 feet or greater from the previous jump and the dog has a straight approach to that jump, and the jump has multiple bars like a spread.

Q: I was told by my trainer not to get ahead of my dog so much, does it help to run right next to a dog that jumps early?

NJG: ETS dogs seem to struggle at times to find exactly where the jump bar is, so when the handler is a considerable distance forward of the jump, that gives the dog one more thing to consider in deciding where to take off for the jump. These dogs often do best when the handler does not run out too far ahead of the dog. This can be especially important when your dog jumps a spread.

Q: Do some dogs recover from ETS?

NJG: If your dog really has ETS they do not actually “recover”. Sometimes the dogs are only minimally affected, and for many years of competition the handler can manage the places on the course that the dog might take off too early. Over the years there have even been dogs with ETS on the AKC World Team, and many of those dogs and of course others compete at the highest level. Other dogs are affected more intensely and it is obvious that they are struggling too much to be jumped at regular completion heights.

Q: My friends and trainer tell me my dog is injured and I should not compete with her. I have had her checked by every kind of expert there is and they say she is totally sound. I think she has ETS, what should I do?

NJG: First, make an appointment for a full eye exam. There is no diagnostic tool yet for ETS, that is one of the goals for the trainers and veterinarians who are interested in helping owners with ETS dogs. Go to Linda Mecklenburg’s webpages and read the three articles on ETS and leave your name and information about your dog in the comments section at the bottom of the ETS pages. Awesome Paws- ETS

Leave your dog’s name, current age and age of onset of problem, eye test results if have have them and a link to a video of your dog jumping if you have it available.

Q: I have never corrected my dog for dropped bars, and I train very positively with her. I have been told that I have created the problem of early jumping by training incorrectly. Is there something I could have done to make my dog jump like this?

NJG: No, ETS is not “handler induced”. Almost all dogs can jump if they are sound, built reasonably well, and have normal vision. We can help or hinder our dogs’ who seem to have ETS, but in my opinion you cannot “give” your dog the symptoms of ETS, (taking off early). By correcting an ETS dog when they jump early or crash bars the problem can seem to get worse as the dog loses confidence, and the dog takes off even earlier to avoid touching the bar, which then leads to a circle of even worse jumping.

Q: What kind of jump drills could help my ETS dog?

NJG: Some owners of ETS dogs have found that training on straight lines can acerbate the problem. They do well with confidence building on training arcs and circles. The way to keep an ETS dog happy is with building confidence and adding lots of reinforcements to the kinds of patterns your dog already jumps well.

Video tape your dog so that you can watch them jumping in slow motion and possibly discover the areas that your dog seems uncomfortable. Repeated exposure to grids where your dog takes off early and appears uncomfortable may not be the right kind of training for your dog, especially if the bars are coming down. Build up your dogs’ confidence, use lots of rewards and absolutely no corrections. For some dogs even stopping to reset the bar points out an error to your dog and they may jump less confidently and henceforth, earlier, after you fix a downed bar.

Q: What can I do to help further the studies on dogs that take off early?

NJG: Your participation in open discussions about ETS may help your dogs as well as many others in the future. There is good reason to stay optimistic for many of our ETS dogs. Lots of dogs do not get progressively worse. We want to support handlers and dogs who are currently in this situation so that as many as possible can continue to participate in the sport they love in the most functional way possible. There is much to be learned by our dogs that show less severe signs. They ARE however related to the ones showing more extreme signs. We want to support the people who have ETS dogs and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from them.

What makes them worse, what makes them better? We can learn from that. Those handlers who believe their dogs may have vision problems are seeing patterns in how they can help them cope better in the way they train and handle. We can learn more about what the problem may be by observing these handlers who are very aware of their dogs’ tendencies to take off early. We also can look at familial patterns, as ETS seems to be hereditary since some families of dogs produce more ETS dogs.  While we hope a genetic study will be forthcoming, it may take a while for the DNA project to get started and for the studies to find the links.

Thanks for remaining open minded and supportive of research about ETS. With your help we may discover the cause of this problem and hopefully the cure.

Happy Holidays

The dogs and I are home alone today, enjoying a very quiet Christmas. Jim is with his family in Seattle and for a variety of reasons I decided to stay home. Our house sitter Joan was busy at her other job, and deep down I know I also wanted to stay away from my regular pilgrimage to Washington state and my family. With my Mother gone now, I was just not up to visiting siblings and driving right past our family home where strangers now reside.

Scoop and Ace and I are going out to train in the agility yard that is mine all mine today:) no guests, no classes, no students to share our space with today. Then I will take all 6 dogs on a long walk around our little 15 acre haven and enjoy the beautiful winter day.

Marcy took some goofy Christmas photos of us this week, and I learned a bit more about creating cards in photoshop while putting together our annual card. It was fun and I made quite a few versions as E-cards and a totally different one to print. Yeah, VERY late to put cards in the mail but I will get away with calling them New Years Cards! Even 15 year old Wicked obliged to hold still wearing a Santa hat long enough for her cute photo. She is almost totally deaf and blind and there is no way to tell her to stay, but she was so cute acting her usual silly self. Here are a couple photos that should have made the card.

I am looking forward to my husband Jim coming home so I can open up the Christmas presents hidden in his office. I *almost* wanted to open the edges of the wrapping paper and peek inside like I did as a kid, but I am resisting like the adult I am supposed to be! I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday with your family and your pups this year. Enjoy every moment, and never forget how short a time we have on this planet and with our precious friends and loved ones.

Happy Holiday and Best Wishes for a fabulous 2012!

turkeys

Seven of them walked past my office window this morning so I snuck out quietly and stood behind the redwood tree to snap a few photos. They blend into the surroundings so well, they are perfectly camouflaged. The dogs fuss at them from behind the fence sometimes but they don’t seem to care. Occasionally when the dogs are all put up for a meal or hanging in the house, the turkeys fly into the dog yard to investigate the dogs’ refuge. Our local wildlife are very used to the dogs and cats being safely tucked behind the fences and they meander within a few feet of the dogs totally confident that the wire will keep them separated. We don’t see the turkeys everyday, and it is such a coincidence that they came for a visit today as last night I watched a great Nature show on TV called My Life as a Turkey. If you see it on the tube,
don’t miss this really interesting program about imprinting and living with a flock of wild turkeys.

I got home last night from the 3 day AKC Show at Rancho Murietta.  Ace and I had a good time hanging with friends and running in the trial. Ace got three doubles and a triple, AKC lingo for qualifying in agility, jumping and FAST all on the same day. Our only error all weekend was not qualifying in one of the FAST classes offered. I put too much power and speed on the send and overshot a tunnel. Totally fine, I really only do FAST classes to get on the contacts if they have them as I show so seldom I like to take advantage of the opportunity to train them in a ring setting. “The dark arts”  as I call the skill required to be competitive in gamblers and FAST classes is not really my forte, that is my husbands specialty! Jim and I like to joke that he teaches them to send, then I teach them all to get reeled back in.

Hmmm… that sounds like job security!
I found a cute pic of Scoop from exactly one year ago, happily holding of one his favorite toys.
Scoop stayed home with Jim, I didn’t want to be tempted to take him for a hike or get him revved up watching agility and not be able to do anything with that pent up energy. We are headed back to the neurologist and orthopedist offices this week on the continuing search for a specific diagnosis for his discomfort. In the meantime he is just hanging out in the house bored unless we play calm clicker training games.
I was helping a friend this week to clicker train a retrieve on her sheltie. Have I mentioned that I think all dogs should have a manufactured retrieve? There are some skills that are so important to making agility training easier, and a good retrieve is one of them. If you can train a dog, you can train a retrieve, I see absolutely no reason for anyone to have the excuse that their dog won’t play with toys so they obviously can’t retrieve. And I would ask, what does toy play or tugging have to do with the perfect retrieve of any item you designate?
Well???
I hope you have as great retrieve on your youngster as I do on mine, and if you don’t, well get on it!
Nancy

searching

The past couple weeks have been all about searching. I have been prowling the internet searching for a design for a new website that will integrate this blog and do lots of other stuff my site can’t do right now. Hopefully this is the last post I will write on this WP format, and that seamlessly these posts will show up on my website.

I have been searching for the answer to Scoop’s continued discomfort in his rear, especially in his left hip area. More x-rays and even an MRI only told us that he really DOES have great hips, and his pelvis isn’t malformed or some such thing. So back to the nebulous soft tissue treatments. For now he does not even get to go for runs in the field, he is on leash walking which is driving him nuts and he is telling me vocally daily that he wants to DO something. I could be playing lots of little tricks and games, but sort of find a lack of inspiration other than keeping his brain engaged a bit. We are just treading water for now.

The search also continues to find the right level of anti-seizure medication for Panic. He was 11 two days ago, happy birthday P. He is also “Silvertips’ High Anxiety”. wonder what in the world I was thinking with those names?? The boy has naughty spots galore and I think I have a grey hair for each one of them.

I am off to teach a seminar here at the house today. LONG commute to work, hmmm, about a hundred feet I think:)

I hope you also have wonderful plans for your weekend which include playing with your agility dogs!

Nancy

world travelin’

I have been home from the Agility World Championships just over a week but it feels like a month. The schedule went something like this… unpack bags, write CR article all one day, more desk work, herding lessons, more herding, more playing with my friend from North Carolina Maureen Robinson, many hours of desk & email catch-up, jumping workshop, pack the RV, drive 4 hours to Yosemite, hike and play 2.5 days then drive 4 hours home, unpack, dog massages, obsess on getting ready for power paws camp, many hours of teaching, camp work, teach, camp work , teach, swim & walk dogs & repeat as necessary! Whew.

Looking at the schedule it reads like a lot of play time, wonder why I am dead tired and feel like I have been working too many hours:)

The Agility World Championships were incredible. Being with Ashley and Luka every step of the way to their Gold Medal was amazing, no less though than the wonderful celebrations we had afterwards. Check out the video of Ashley’s Gold Medal run and trip to the podium as well as Tori’s jumpers run which immediatley preceeds it on this video.

I am very proud of our team and all they accomplished. Tori, the totally hip and poised 19 year old from Florida with her perfect little border collie Rev won the Team Jumping class and were just a dropped bar away from an individual gold medal! Barb Davis had a phenomenal 2nd place finish in jumping and JD and Tantrum took a 4th in team jumping. There was lots’ more good stuff, check it all out!

http://www.akc.org/events/agility/world/2011/placements.cfm

Today I was entered in a trial and thought better of attending….too much paperwork and fighting off my annual cold. I am going out to pack the car though and get ready to go to one of our only local agility trials for the next couple days. Unfortunately without Scoop entered in a single class. I wish I thought he was on the mend, but after another vet examination, I am left with still more questions about why he still has some discomfort in his rear assembly. I have 2 orthopedist appointments coming up, surely one won’t be able to convince me what is really going on, and since I am planning on wanting a second opinion, it is already scheduled. Did I mention that I am completely obsessed with getting to the bottom of what might be ailing this dog or any other I have ever owned? I hate not knowing if they are in any kind of discomfort. The latest theory is that even though Scoop’s hips looked good in radiographs, there might still be a problem. Sigh. Before I left for Europe 3 weeks ago I decided to lay Scoop off from all field running and of course agility. He swam and hung out in the yard, but no other exercise. The first jumping in three weeks didn’t go very well, even after the break, and we are on hiatus until I have answer. I am slightly regretting the  herding lessons I took with my friend Maureen Robinson last week, now that I think he is still broken, but on the flat he is sound as a dollar and raring to go and we had soooo much fun.

I will put up some great Yosemite and World Championships photos as soon as I get my hands on them.

I hope you are headed for a fun weekend of agility or hiking or adventuring with your dogs, I know I am looking forward to this weekend with mine!

Nancy