New York City plunged into whiteness yet again with the second blizzard in two weeks. Totals from early this afternoon were around fifteen inches, but I think it was closer to a foot and a half.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Do you know the saying, "It's not you, it's me?"
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Before I get into training news (yeah, I've had a lot of that lately, I know -- blame the snow that's still on the ground), here are the pictures I promised from last week's Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
Marge's favorite breed was the Border Terrier. She liked the terrier group last year, too. Out of all the hours I spent watching, this was the breed that she watched the closest. I don't think it's a coincidence that she had played with an old Border Terrier friend the day before. It was really cute to see her watching the screen so intently.
Here was the layout, as best as I could remember it. I didn't even get CLOSE to running this whole course. It was one of the hardest courses I've ever seen. All of the contact approaches were extremely difficult.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
So, the whole week has gone by and I still haven't found the energy to catch back up with blogging. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I've been neglectful! You see, I'm back to a five-day schedule at college, after a winter of sleeping in every single day (and before that, a three-day schedule). I need to wake up before 8 more days than not, and I still haven't gotten accustomed to it. I've taken naps both yesterday and today.. and I NEVER nap.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday was quite a full day, with two trips to the training hall in one afternoon.
- The opening was tough. I had to send Marge into the tunnel and then get into position for the next jump. Finding that position was tricky - the best thing to do was to stand so that Marge would come out of the tunnel and approach me, fully facing her, and then send her on to the second jump.
- Her weaves were a little funky tonight but not terrible. She missed the entry once and then skipped a pole another time. They got better as the night went on, so I think maybe we were both rushing a bit in the beginning.
- Her A-Frame was beautiful. I think we did it 3 or 4 times and she hit her contact every single time. I had the post-it target there for her to mark, but I think we're going to make it smaller next time we train.
- I front crossed the A-Frame and used to wall to help me guide Marge straight to the table. No issues there.
- Her teeter was a little slow, but she did it. She actually went off course at one point to go do it. Teeter suck, if you will.
- After tunnel 8 it was a back cross over 9, and then another back from 11 to 12, and then a back into the tunnel.
- No problems with 14 and 15 - I tried having her come around 15 both ways, and it seemed like pulling her through the middle was the better option.
- I HAD to front cross after jump 17 to get her into the correct tunnel entrance. I tried pushing and it just didn't work.
(I know I was MIA this weekend. I've begun catching up, but have a lot more blogs to read!)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
It seems that Marge has an admirer here in blog land. When I checked my e-mail, I saw that Fudge decided to send her a Valentine's card.
Friday, February 12, 2010
It's hard to believe our walk this afternoon took an hour, because we really didn't walk all that far. Plodding through the remnants of a blizzard is tough! But, in the end, it was worth it..
I figured the beach would be deserted, and I was right. (Sorry for the cruddy cell phone pics!) Marge, who walked at a snail's pace through the snow, picked up her heels a little once on the beach. She even had a small burst of zoomies. I actually thought she'd be more energetic than she was, but I'm guessing she was already tired after having to walk the whole way there.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Yeah.. looks like walks are going to be tough for a while. The final snow total was seventeen inches.
Needless to say, we turned for home after a few minutes of Marge trying to swim her way through the snow. I guess we'll have to entertain ourselves mostly indoors for the next few days.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
When the American Kennel Club first revealed their Canine Partners program, I had no real interest in it.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Ever have one of those days where everything just seems to be working well? That was our training session Monday.
The black circle sequence was interesting. I started out with Marge on my right, ran along with her up to jump 2, let her pass me and told her to weave. So, the back cross happened in between the jump and the weaves. Location was SO important.. if I got too far out in front, she missed the entry or screwed up on the second or third pole. It goes back to one of my biggest handling flaws - that I try to outrun Marge. Rather than beating her, this exercise helped me realize I need to a) stay right with her in some scenarios and b) trust her!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sorry for lack of an interesting title, but I couldn't think of anything more descriptive to introduce these pictures from yesterday's snow.
We've been laying low this weekend... much to Marge's dismay. The beginnings of a cold have scared me inside. In the mean time, Marge is enjoying her dinner inside her Kibble Nibble and I'm pretending to do school work.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
It's a nice day. The sun is shining, it's a little windy but nothing unmanageable, and I finished class about six minutes after ten in the morning. It seemed like the perfect time to head over to one of our island's parks.
My good dog Marge and I got ourselves in the car and arrived at our destination soon enough. Upon arriving, we headed straight up a steep hill to make our way into the wooded trails. I figured we'd walk those first and then walk back to the car using the paved route along the stream and lake.
It started out well enough, Marge's body hauling me on my hands and knees (yes, really) up the slippery and snowy hill and her nose expertly leading us into the forest. We walked on like that for awhile, totally alone, the everyday sights and sounds of the rest of the world blocked by massive tree trunks and muted by the crackle of leaves under our feet.
We made our way into a clearing - it's a no-go during the summer, when picnickers dominate the scene. But, for now, it was quiet. Marge reluctantly posed on a picnic table for me and then continued letting her scent receptors lead her (and me) around.
She found a smelly spot and threw herself to the floor. Usually, I don't grant her this pleasure, but because it didn't look like anything that would stick to her, I allowed her to do as she wanted. Besides, I told myself, this outing was supposed to be all about her having fun and relaxing.
Just minutes after her back scratch in the leaves, loud bangs rang out through the air. I assume they were from a nearby construction site. Marge went in to instant panic.
I tried my hardest to not get frustrated or upset, and she seemed to bounce back pretty quickly - at least more quickly than our episode with the hockey rink in another park a few weeks ago. Fortunately, a small dog went by moments after, and this seemed to reassure Marge a little bit. I threw treats into the leaves for her to nose and dig her way through to them. Although she was still frightened, she was willing to play this little game.
She was also willing to jump over this log, which I believe is the same downed tree she leapt over last January. I didn't rediscover its location until now.
I wasn't sure what to do - she was doing better, but there were still some construction noises resonating through the air. I began to walk back to my car, thinking that I'd maybe walk her in the quiet area of the park across the street and then head home.
By dumb luck, Marge stopped to sniff something along the road as we walked, and I turned my body around. I saw something that both swelled my heart and sank it at the same time. My mind now totally immersed and locked on to this sight, I abruptly turned 180 degrees and walked briskly, straight back into the park that I had just exited.
I knew Marge might react and I'd have to reassure her. I knew we might hear the dreaded and faraway sounds yet again. But, I simply could not help myself. This is not an every day sight around here.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
***Before we get to our regularly scheduled training update, we want to make everyone aware that Mango Minster is currently taking place -- Marge's category, Sporty Dogs, is being voted on tonight and tomorrow morning! Go on over and pick your favorite.***
As you can see, she's doing pretty well with picking it up and even going out to get it. It's a little tougher to get her to sit still with it, but I'm trying. I wanted to focus solely on having her sit with it before moving on to any other part of the training, but because she's finding it so tough, I need to shake it up to keep it interesting and fun for her.
A rescue from Georgia bounced around from shelter to shelter and state to state with her siblings, Marge did not have the luxury of living in a home - my home - until just past her first birthday. A life behind bars had taken its toll on Marge, whose obvious fear of people, noise, and city life in general left a lot for her to learn about how to get by in New York.
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