Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Training 39

About Those Walks...
I finally decided that the right thing to do was to set my alarm clock for the crack of dawn and take Marge for some early morning walks.  Thus far, it's worked.  We walked on Friday morning, Saturday morning, and this morning.  The temperature is lower, there are no fireworks or construction or any other comparable noises. It's NICE.

I've decided that, for the interim at least, I'm better off avoiding her worst noise triggers (fireworks, etc.) rather than working through them.  Some have suggested that I get a behaviorist to help me out - but I admit, it's really tough to convince myself that it's necessary, since we really only have big problems for two months out of the year.  Thankfully, this summer does seem to be going better than last, so perhaps each year will get a little better on its own.

I don't plan on doing it every day, since getting out of bed every morning at 6:30 AM is really hard for me (definitely not a morning person), but this new walk time still likely means an additional two or three forty-minute walks every week.  Add that on to the shorter walks we take, our training sessions, playing with toys in the yard, meals in treat toys, and going to class, and I feel pretty good about the amount of exercise Marge is getting based on the fact that it's the middle of August.

The above photo was taken on the same day that Louie and I went plane spotting.  We took Marge down to the boardwalk for a stroll, and although it was pretty busy, she handled it OK.  Bringing along her favorite treats certainly helped.

Back in the Show Ring
On Saturday, Marge will be back in the APDT Rally ring for the first time since April.  I'm really excited.  We'll be running in Level 1B (to start accumulating some Championship points for our ARCH title) and Level 2A (to try to get our first qualifying leg out of three for our RL2).

The Level 2 run will be a brand new thing for us.  We haven't yet finished our Rally Advanced class, which covers the Level 2 signs, but I am confident that we have practiced enough and know enough of them to put in a good effort at the trial.  The only sign I might avoid is the new Bonus exercise that they added, in which Marge must recall to me while the judge basically walks alongside her.  We haven't practiced it and it's not mandatory, so I'll omit it if it's a part of the course (it may not be).

It's going to be a bigger trial than the last time.  I'm figuring there will be around 20-30 dogs there, which is more than she's ever experienced at an indoor trial. Fortunately, I'm going to the club the night before to help set up (I'm in charge of lunch at the trial), so I'm going to take some of my stuff along, too, and get Marge's crate ready so that when she gets there the following morning, I have one less thing to worry about.

Wish us luck!

Things have been going pretty well, lately.  Though I hate the fact that I'll be going back to school in a few weeks (and also hate the fact that I'm spending those last few weeks being VERY busy), I'm thankful that the summer is beginning to wind down and Marge's life is starting to get colorful again.

P.S. - Thanks for all of your thoughts regarding Competition Obedience in my last post.  I'm supposed to be going to observe a class at my club tomorrow night, as long as I don't get sick (feeling kind of run-down today...).  I'm excited that this may be a new avenue for Marge and I to explore and bond together in.

And, thanks to our new friends at Furbaby Chat for this lovely award!


George The Lad August 10, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

Congrats on your award, sorry missed you off me list!
See Yea George xxx

Cyndi and Stumpy August 10, 2010 at 8:08 PM  

Sam, 6:30 is NOT the crack of dawn! Ha! You're cracking me up! Early morning is, however, the best time of the day to do anything (Imean that literally!)

Can't wait for your next comp!

Sam August 10, 2010 at 8:17 PM  

Oh, but it IS the crack of dawn for me.. I can't tell you what I have to go through to get myself up! I have to set the alarm out of reach, so that I have to get up in order to shut it off!

AC August 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

It really sounds like Marge is making it through the summer pretty darn well! I laughed at myself when I noticed how tense I got looking at the picture of Marge on the boardwalk. It was a reflex thinking of how Kona would flip into a blind panic in that scene! Wait to go Marge for making it through.

Have fun with Rally. ..looking forward to a full report later.

Sara August 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

I'm with AC, Oreo couldn't walk there either.

We do most of our walks before 7am to avoid as many people/dogs as possible. Makes it easier on everyone.

Good Luck at your rally trial. You and marge have accomplished so much in such a short amounts of time.

Frankie Furter and Ernie August 10, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

Hey Marge CONGRATULATIONS on your award!!! I'm not a morning kinda guy. I would rather NOT walk than do it... before breakfast. hehehe

LauraK August 10, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

Wow, sounds like Marge has quite the busy schedule- I don't think she'll ever be bored in her life with you :) So many fun things to do!

She's walking down that street like a champ- you'd never guess she's a nervous dog from that photo! So awesome to see!

And good luck at your trial- I REALLY need to look into getting Homer more into Rally. He is just dying for a job. Looking forward to hearing about you gals kicking some butt!

Dawn August 10, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

Katie didn't like walking on a boardwalk either, but she adjusted. Good job with the early walks...maybe they will convert you into a morning person! LOL!

Thanks for the heads up about the DeVitt book!

LauraK August 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Oh and I forgot to tell you the other day that my dad flies Boeing 757s/767s- I'm sure Louie knows all about them :) I hope you get to go flying soon, it's so fun!

The Army of Four August 10, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

We wish you all the luck in the world!!!
We make sure our mom and dad are up by 0530 every day so we can go on walks. Mom isn't a morning biped, either, but she knows if she wants to have nice walks with us, she's got to do it!
Tail wags,

houndstooth August 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

I hope you and Marge find some time for some fun stuff before you go back to school! Wishing you lots of luck next weekend!

doberkim August 10, 2010 at 10:06 PM  

good luck this weekend - are there still openings at the APDT trial?

Kathy Mocharnuk August 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

I love that picture of you and Marge walking together with her looking at you ;-), very sweet. GOOD LUCK this weekend, that is very exciting.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! August 11, 2010 at 1:29 AM  

My mom knows better!

That is too early fur me!

Best of lukhk!

Anonymous August 11, 2010 at 5:13 AM  

Sounds like Marge is getting more exercise than many a dog. She's a lucky gal to have you as her human :)

Mom's gonna drag my butt out for a walk at around 6:30am this morning too. Mom's a morning person. I try to be :)

I'll be waggin you on at your competition!

Gus, Louie and Callie August 11, 2010 at 5:32 PM  

That sounds like a great time for a walk. Mom is always up at 4:30 during the week and we make sure she doesn't sleep past 6 on the weekends.. Hmm you think she needs a nap?
Good luck at school...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Sue August 12, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

We get up at 4:30 every morning thanks to Bailey. The sun isn't even up yet. I do go back to bed most days.

We're wishing you the very best of luck this weekend. I don't think we'll be ready for a trial this fall. Noah and Norma Jean both need to be in a class to get used to being around strange people and dogs.

Anonymous August 13, 2010 at 6:26 PM  

Big smile now :))))

Your award's been doubled :) By none other than I, Roo. Just wanted to let you know I was thinkin bout ya :)

PeeS: The acceptance rules are a bit of work. So no worries if you just want to smile and nod ;)

Diana August 13, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

Good luck on Saturday!!! Diana

Sierra Rose August 14, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

Lovely walk time! Crisp air, and low morning light. Sounds nice :)
Hope the comp today went great!!! We know you have practiced a lot, and are quite a great team!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Kari in Alaska August 15, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

Marge looks super happy in that pic! If mine would get up that early for a walk, I would walk in the early am as well!

Don't forget, we moved to http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Unknown August 16, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

I get up at 4:30 to take mine for a stroll. I hope everything went great on Saturday! I'm sure it did.

By the way, I've given you an award! http://myhorsemyrules.blogspot.com/

BRUTUS August 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

Hey there! I'm getting around to catching up on some favorite blogs thanks to some unexpected down-time at work. Just read you last few posts, sounds like things are good for you. I can see Marge being fantastic in obedience, should be no problem for her to get her CD. I will be venturing into Novice obedience at our national specialty next month, and worry most about the stand for exam (although it's because Brutus is pathologicaly friendly and will probably lick the judge to death...). Just one more hurdle, right? The more I work & progress with Brutus the better I can "use" our formal training to help him through stressful situations, so hopefully that will be true for you and Marge as well. Our hearts will always be in agility too (we just need one more leg for our OAJ now if you can believe that) but the obeience really is good for us, even if it's not as fun! Kinda like taking vitamins, I always say!


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