Saturday, November 13, 2010






SNOW DAY! DDARE


video




Yes, we have snow. Last Wednesday we set a high-temp record of 68 degrees, capping off the nicest Fall season in memory. When the other shoe dropped, it was a Sorel boot.

My friend Becky Hart and I started out this morning at 5:45 am with the intention of competing in LaCrosse. It was snowing pretty well, but we decided to see where the "snow/rain" line might be. We never found it, opting to abandon our plan as far south as Northfield, and I know it was a good decision.

When I got home, the snow was falling even more heavily so it was the perfect time to introduce DDare to snow. He was born in the desert, remember. Even rain was a pretty new thing. Of course he loved it. He chased the little snowballs made by his feet. He ate it. He ran in it, with his cousin Winn (also from the desert, and who loves snow.) They swam like dolphins. They chased each other. And I could have shot more video, but the big flakes hit the lens and melted, so I had to tuck it away after a few minutes.

Now, we're all sitting by a nice fire, watching the snow fall. It's piled up. It's awful snow, heavy and wet, and it's taking its toll on branches. It will likely melt this week, giving the ground a chance to freeze.

AGILITY




I haven't posted since our trip to USDAA Nationals in October, having had scarce time to muse.

What a great experience that was--eight clean runs, some placements, and a Performance Grand Prix Finals run. I finally had a chance to look at the video last week and reflect on the whole string. I wanted to see what my handling looked like, too, and was happy to see that I was handling as well as I think I can. I never assumed the fetal position--I take that as a sign that I wasn't nervous---I wasn't nervous! I truly ran with joy and had an absolutely swell time with Winn.
Locally, Winn earned his C-ATCH 2 at the Halloween CPE trial. I had promised that I would earn (or try to!) with a 51-point Snooker score. Snooker was our hardest class for a while, requiring different skills, and we worked together to master them. Here's the video:
(It was too large a file for Blogger to upload without timing out, but the show is only a minute or so)


MAGGIE
is done with chemo! She finished up after I got back home, and although the final treatment was one of the tougher drugs, she bounced back once again. It's been a few weeks, and last week Maggie returned to class. She ran with enthusiasm! I am so blessed to still have her with me. I am full of hope that she'll have many, many more good days. We will continue to trial, but I'm entering her in only a few runs. She's lost some muscle tone and I sure don't want to risk injury with her. She likes that idea, too, and comes out to run with determination. You know, she's within shouting distance of her C-ATCH 4 and NATCH 4, and might make it to those ribbons. Doesn't matter. She can run, or coach the team from her crate, whatever she decides to do.


MORE PUPPY-NESS
DDare continues to "do well" in class and is turning into such a nice dog in many ways. He loves to run. He is just as happy snoozing on the couch. We worked a lot on attention this past week, and it improved (go figure!). I broke down and bought him a Premier Easy-Walk harness , and it worked right away. I thought I could train this without it, but frankly I think that I can still train/reward him while he learns with this "aid". It is, after all, how Winn learned it.

We have had a good time, working on turns around a cone, sending to a target, and running along a plank. I am excited, thinking about what a nice dog I am going to have--because I have a nice puppy already! It's hard to believe he's seven months old already.

That's it for rambling today---I leave you with a photo from the Halloween trial, and promise to tell you the story behind it on another posting. Until then, YOU run with joy.