Thursday, 29 January 2009

Confused and Tagged

Ha, how can I ignore the Zev Man's Daddy for tagging. Although totally confused, how do you tag? But I have also changed the rules. I have named two people I want to start their own blog as it would be really nice.
The photo is of the Easter Celebration Show last year, when it was so cold and snowed. And I was not even competing, I had just gone along to support Marc, whilst he did, being the 'perfect wifey and all that'.
Open a document or file folder
Click on the fifth folder
and then the fifth photo
Post the photo and describe it
Then name two other people to become bloggers:
Lesley Olden and Caroline Young, come on you two get blogging

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Guys Songs - meanings and memories

Its 'funny' how we begin to associate certain songs with our guys. Music is a real trigger for setting the right emotions or recalling how you feel. Nuts has three key songs, the first is Barry White's 'Your my first, my last, my everything'. His second, was pointed out to me by Marc, the song forever showing me and Nuts inseparable, which is Frank Sinatra's 'Me and My Shadow', the third and 'yep' even cornier but I really don't care is Carly Simon's 'Nobody Does It Better'. With these they provoke powerful memories of great runs, good times, a bond and the joy of having a great canine partner by your side. Little Mister Big has a big big song to go with his big personality and his charisma, which is 'Its a Man's, Man's, Man's World by James Brown.

Rivioli, has two songs so far. Which is John Denver's 'The Eagle and the Hawk' which characterises determination and the ability to soar and bounce back. I think as Marc said he thought getting Rivi was an easy option, but came to the conclusion she is anything but! The second is Pointer Sisters 'I'm So Excited' which sums up how I felt leading up to when we had our first competitive run together. The sheer joy of competing and running, and for those few sweet seconds, the rest of the world completely disappearing. And that was before I even knew we had won the class! Rivi is truly remarkable, as she was the first collie since having Nuts, that is able to walk equally along his side. And that is something indeed. With the Zev, it has to be 'Wild Thing' by the Troggs, this little/big man is indeed wild, the words shy, retiring sheltie has bypassed him completely ;-).

And for me, the agility champs worlds music, especially the song by Opus 'Life is Life', it helps keeps great memories more potent and vivid. As our journey progresses and deepens I am sure that we will have some more songs to keep memories treasured.

The photos show Nuts at the Worlds in 2006, and weird as talking about memories I cant recall who took them, so cannot acknowledge. I think it was some kind people from South Africa, but not totally sure. But I can remember the sheer exhilaration of the competition.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Profound thoughts or Not;-)

Today, merrily writing email I wrote "Shelties are like chocolate they erode will power and all intentions of being good" for when it comes to resisting their charm it is darn impossible. Once you have one, like Zev, you just want another! Like REALLY REALLY.

Whilst on the train of thoughts, it came up in an agility conversation, and someone was putting themselves down, I said you need Lanny Bassham. The conversation halted as they thought I said you 'need a bashing'. I was like "sorry, but violence is not a motivator for me", so I rapidly explained Lanny Bassham's great book 'With Winning In Mind', and then amid much laughter they saw I was advocating raising belief in one's self and ability. After all what is the point of doing something and never really believing in yourself. This book enabled me to really embrace the concepts and implement them, and now when 'doubting thomas' sits on my shoulder I think of LB's book and smile and shrug the 'doubting thomas' off. So LB thank you :-), just wish I had found you sooner, bit like shelties really.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

January 09 Agility Foundation Training

Blimey, we did this bit of training on Sunday, based on the Salo Jumping DVD and trying to get the video together has been a learning curve indeed, especially the audio, and editing out the playing otherwise the video would have lasted about 20 minutes. Far to Long. Then I wanted to get rid of noise. I talk far too much ha ha. Then I thought yaah, lets put some music with it, only my song of choice has copy right issues. Boohoo.
The training was really interesting and we did the excercises, to really try and gain an impression of how they guys moved. If you are interested in how dogs move, you will see that they are all very different. Rivi, i thought was the most at ease along with little Mr Big. Who very much has the attitude, "anything they can do, I CAN". Raz, puts so much effort into it and for a massively powerful dog he adjusted his stride really well. Wing's looks awkward, but this I think stems but to her initial training before she was rehomed to us. It took her a long time to understand we have a chilled training approach and confidence/attitude is key. When you do different stuff, she takes a little while to go 'oh, i get it, this is a good thing' Zev's end of contact training is awesome to me, as you can directly see the difference with him and Rivi. He has done this contact board 3 sessions, yep that was he third session. He has generalised his targeting and release cues. His attitude, is "yeah, me me, my turn NOW" I love it. Rivi, the darling girl is gradually coming back into training, she is so much happier again. My happyoli, long may it continue! :-)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Agility Training - Trying New Things

Today, I have tried my new a-f training and it is great. Rivi, went to do a perfect stop at the line break between the blue and white. I think it is the sheer depth of the contact size, and possibly perhaps, that she sees the line as the positional cue, rather than the line between the end of the contact and the ground. But a little free-shaping later and she was driving down to the end. She has not stopped half way on the full size equipment, but I was not convince, that her confidence was leaping forward as I would expect. She has wagged her tail a few times, but I wanted or felt their needed to be more conviction in the behaviour. Zev found it all a 'hoot' and he saw it differently and was straight down to the end. He seems to have generalised from the my bits of cardboard to this swish bit of a-f. Although he wants to do more, than I will let him. Early days, Zevvy Man.......early days.

Having a real high with challenging and moving my training and understanding forward. Another is learning from the Susan Salo - Jumping Foundation DVD. It is great, it contains so much information and I feel so humbled by the sheer knowledge that she has built up and shared. It is serious viewing, and lightbulbs were pinging off in my brain. Last night I did the first element, and with Rivi, Zev and Big, and it was not jumping it is focus on the task, facilitating the landing, taking off, and drive to the reward, without jumping. It was fascinating to watch our guys learning curves, doing the exercise as they were having a go with so much confidence and rapidly gaining technique.

p.s A couple of people kindly posted complimentary comments, but doh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hit delete instead of publish. Please accept my apologies, I clearly need to train my fingers better ;-)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Gearing up for Training Contacts

Yes, Marc has finished making it for me, my simulated a-frame contact that lies flat on the ground and is light enough for me to move by myself. This all came about due to my brain wave on how to assist Rivi, have an even better A-frame, after watching DVD of runs at Newton Heath and UKA last year. It is the a-frame equivalent of the cardboard cut outs that I use to shape our guys contact behaviours for the sew-saw and dw. With the A-frame the width and depth changes for Rivi the key 'drive thru/to' area, since the dw and s-s are so narrow that she has one choice really which is to drive down to the end. I want a 2on-2off, but with extremely quick releases, but maintaining an instant stop if required, along with her driving down the middle rather than the edge of the a-f. Phew! This training aid will enable me to shape the behaviour more specifically without asking her to do the actual contact equipment. Its a complete Doh really, should have thought of this sooner! Why should I assume the generalisation between the d-w, s-s and a-f?
p.s So pleased with it I have now requested a d-w and s-s version, so I can do away with using cardboard;-)