Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Don't ya ???

Don't ya just luv love. The cold spell has highlighted Nuts is aging, yep showing the signs of creeping in to old age. The odd accident with the 'pee' and now the lameness has come back if he over does it. When I made the decision to retire him at 7 and half I did grieve that I would no longer have the joy of running him. But because he had arthritis, that would not have shown up until older age, I made that decision the guidance of a vet that I am fortunate to trust and admire. Come Feb  2011 he will be 11 and whilst that it no great age for me it sounds the clock of time marching on and it is scary as hell, (if such a place exists). I think that is the trouble with loving with dogs, their passage of time is not kind.

A great photo by a South African Couple whose name
escapes me = apologies

I sincerely hope that the passage of time will be  extremely kind and Nuts will make very very old bones as I could not be prouder to have him by my side. The thought of losing him scares me silly.

Nuts luvs football
I do not understand people that run dogs in agility that may make them lame or suffer wear and tear. Surely, if you know agility may be the cause then its time to find other things to do? But I guess each to their own, we all only try to do what we believe is right? To me agility is a bonus and when I had to give it up with Nuts, I selfishly shed many a tear, wailed at friends, who so kindly understood  As running him was such a delight even when it went totally 'arse up'  due to handling errors (excuse the expression, please). But even though he has not worked agility or obedience for 3 years or more, that bond has not changed at all. I think my love for being fit and hurling myself around an agility course  was consolidated with him. How could it not? And to Nuts I owe forever and a day.

So don't just luv Love? I know I do...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Awards time...

Agility Club Awards -2010 and nope
did not get the trophy in the picture!!
Agility Club - Awards. That time of year again, for AGMs and clapping hands and dogs being given an additional bath and groom, for which Zev is not impressed at all. Rivi however absolutely adores being groomed and keeps jumping on the grooming table to try and push in.

Agility Club Awards and yep trophy in
picuture ;-)

Well, well, Mr Bigs has his first big big trophy - this beautiful crystal bowl for the Agility Club - Annual Awards.

Then Zev also got his own one too, not letting the Mr Big have it all his own way, came second in his division and got his first beautiful crystal vase.

And my Rivioli, bless her even with the time out still managed to come 6th.  Great mementos of a cracking 2010 season.

Dixie - Dec 2010

The other pic is of Dixie, who we think has now finished most of her major growing and has had a season and just now needs to mature both physically and mentally. In the new year Marc will be starting her introduction to agility, but for now she has been over a low dog walk about 5 times not for dogwalk performance purposes but for confidence around different heights, so when she comes to learn the dogwalk it will be about performance rather that dealing with what it is too. Dixie already does the sofa, bed and wobble board with no problem. And as you can see from the photo powers out of going around cones and can focus on Marc even with all the other guys running around and having a cool time.
The Cool Kong King running with is
favourite toy

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Knowing what to drink or pick!

Puppy downs - Zev - Summer 2008
There is a saying "you can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drink". Which really has pararells with learning. Yep the mind is wandering and I pondered some possibilities
  1. You can go to a seminar in training and decide not to 'drink' from the trough i.e you are not receptive to the knowledge being offered
  2. You can cherry pick the ideas being floated around - try stuff out and decide whether to keep or not
  3. Or you can enbrace it totally and not be receptive to any further or different ideas
  4. Or can embrace it until you find something that works even better.
With the first - not much point in going or it may be that the seminar was not what you thought. Had that once it was 'toe-curling'. Still learned what I did not want to do. So in a sense I was receptive enough to understand what was being taught, but know myself enough to realise with the best will in the world it was not for me. With others the lesson taught have stayed with me, and I hear them in my mind as clear as if I had been told it today.

With the second 'cherry picking' how do you cherry pick from the knowledge that you are literally 'drinking' up? There is people's training, DVDs and books I have really enjoyed but I may not agree with them totally. That can be true of agility training, I can really admire how someone runs with their partner, but it don't mean I wanna be them or even I could be them. So its trial and error, some things really suit and others don't. I have to work it out and my guys indulge me through the process.

Waits so useful for posing as well as agility ;-)

With the third, should I try and fit a handling system? It might be at the beginning of learning a new sport and in agility there is oh so many elements, the speed, co-ordination, movement, directions both physically and verbally, dealing with training, dealing with competing, that a system provides a structure and a route to gaining a foundation in agility. I did not learn from a specific handling system when I started out, more like point at the obstacle and hope for the best! My poor, poor Storm, how did he put up with me???? 

With the fourth I have yet so stumble across so perfect a training system that it does it all ;-)

So I guess, for me handling is about knowing me, knowing and understanding my partner, and trying to analyse a course so that I can give the possible flow, bearing in mind our strengths.  If I get it right I will be able to direct my partner smoothly and there will be no 'wrong footing' or 'off course lines'. With training I try to use an approach that suits me, so like with waits, I like to 'bang' in the reward for the dog trying to do what I want whether it be a puppy wait or a wait for agility. So I guess I'm a cherry picker, with a systematic approach. It keeps me creative, inquisitive, willing to try new handling moves and techniques striving forward in the quest to keep on running a fast and exhilarating run.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Irrepressible - the Zev Man :-)

Yep it is those pesky dark winter nights getting in the way of being active. Luving Ugly Betty the 'blackout' episode is just one of the best and having just re watched Bridget Jones - Edge of Reason.  Its the bounce back spirit of it all, and the sheer optimism that something will always be better if we try hard enough. Yep, a good dose of feel good. Just what I needed when winter day light hours curtailing our outside fun a chance to curl up on the sofa with the guys.

And then I found this cutest picture of Zev as a puppy, the sheer joy it is one of those that I treasure.

Zev was just running round as pups do. He still does these same expressions.  That smiley face and being high on life.  Zev the irrepressible....