Thursday, September 29, 2011

I can't believe it's Tell Me Thursday (#11)

Whoa - where have the last 3 weeks gone? I've been pretty busy so I haven't been posting lately but hopefully I'll get a break next week. But now it's time to play Tell Me Thursday brought to you by Laura over at Crooks and Crazies.

1. What movie do you love but are too embarrassed to admit you love it?

I have two:
Legally blonde - I can't even tell you how many times I've watched this movie! Love it - saw it on Broadway shortly after it opened and I don't even really like musicals. But this movie kind of describes my life - high school cheerleader suddenly decides she wants to go to Princeton to get a PhD in physics instead of art school. Lots of people laughed at me and thought I couldn't do it. I was totally like Elle, spent many days/nights at the library teaching myself everything I had missed learning in undergrad. But I did it!!!! WHOOOHOOOO!!!

Also - Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle - one of those really dumb movies that makes no sense but totally cracks me up. And it has Neil Patrick Harris in it!

2. Ann wants to know: How far do you drive/travel to attend trials, clinics, lessons? How far is too far?

The most I will drive is about 5.5 hours - about the limit on what I can drive all at once by myself. Also, there are enough trials within that radius that I do about 1-2 a month which is plenty for me. I would like to go to a Silvia Trkman seminar if she does them again in the US and for that I would consider flying to. But I'm not a member of any of the clubs so I never get advance notice and those seminars fill up right away.

3. What is your theme song (cira Ally McBeal)?

Hmmm... it changes. Lately it was "Back for the Attack" by The Impossibles because Nari just recovered from an injury and Starbuck made her agility comeback after taking a year off. But usually it's something from The Shins, The Strokes, The Impossibles, The Get Up Kids, Ultimate Fakebook or Wilco or Old 97's that plays in my head. Yeah, I have a lot of random theme songs playing in my head...

4. Laura S wants to know: If you had to choose a new dog activity, one that you had never done before, what would you choose?

Frisbee (I don't have any dogs that like frisbees) or possibly just a ton of random tricks, maybe freestyle.

5. What would your dog choose?

Starbuck - competitive eating. She once won a peanut butter eating contest and I think she's secretly training for the next one every time I feed her. She basically inhales her food.

Nari - walking/running and kitty hunting. This girl is obsessed about her walks. She starts yelling and talking when she sees us get out the leashes and putting our shoes on. And she totally remembers all of the kitty hideouts in the neighborhood. She has to check them every time we're on a walk to make sure there aren't any kitties hiding from her.

Alpha - tennis ball catching. I'm not a fan of the environment at flyball tournaments - too chaotic for little Alpha (have you ever been to a tournament before?? they are insane) - so Alpha would just prefer to catch tennis balls repeatedly. She also would probably choose freestyle because she loves learning new tricks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And..... it's Tell Me Thursday (#10)!

Another Thursday has snuck up on me again and that means it's time for Tell Me Thursday brought to you by Laura over at Crooks and Crazies!

Only one question for today and that is:

Going forward over the next six months, what are your goals?

My goals:
1. Run more, pretty much running at all will fulfill this one :)
2. With all of Laura's talk about Zumba, it's really making me what to do Zumba more than once every couple of months. So.... that means actually going to the gym on a schedule!
3. Go on a vacation with the husband that doesn't involve some type of dog sport :)
4. Go hiking more
5. Stop worrying so much about how the government's budgets/actions are going to effect my job...

Dog goals:
1. Run with my dogs more
2. Get Starbuck running in Masters
3. Make sure Nari stays happy while running in agility - she just got her MAD this past weekend and you can read about that HERE :) Sometimes she thinks too much (totally my fault) instead of going out there and running for fun. And try to complete an IHC course without going off course and going at a decent speed. 
4. Teach Alpha some more tricks
5. Do more strength exercises/tricks with the dogs

Okay - since this post has a serious lack of pictures, here's one for you:

What? You didn't know that physicists could fly? Well.... I can!! YEAH!!!

Starbuck and Nari take on the North Alabama Canine Cruisers USDAA trial!

Last Thursday I packed up all of our gear and loaded all 3 girls in the car and headed for Huntsville, AL. I went to this trial about a year ago and here is what was out in front of the AG building: 

What the heck is that thing supposed to be? It's basically an empty planter that someone stuck some toy Tonka trucks and horses in. Check out the horse that is driving that truck thingy! So totally random and weird!! No worries - because a year later, it's still there: 

Except in the past year apparently the dump truck has run over the horse. Oh yeah, and Nari has a HUGE ribbon around her neck this year from the trial!!!! WHOOHOOO!!! Nari's gone MAD!! She's now a Master Agility Dog (MAD)! Here is our picture with the judge: 

Nari looks pretty happy on that teeter - even though that teeter is EVIL! That has got to be the loudest, most off calibrated teeter we have ever encountered (you can hear all of it's 'pleasant' and 'soothing' sounds in the video below). And here's another proud and smiling Nari picture:

And here is a video of some of Nari's runs from the weekend:

It was a pretty awesome trial considering it was her first trial since the injury back in August. And I was so excited that we got to do the DAM team tournament with our favorite team - Jean Lavalley and Cheer (they are one of the top 16" competitors going for IFCS World Team this year). I was so excited when Jean emailed me out of the blue a month ago and asked if we wanted to team up with them this weekend. Despite Jean and Cheer getting the highest points for 16" and Nari getting the 2nd highest number of points for 16", our team ended up in 4th because our 3rd teammate got two E's and one really low scoring Snooker run. Oh well, at least Cheer and Nari got enough points to save our team Q!

Other highlights of the trial:

- Nari finished her Standard Agility Champion title and Q'd in pretty much all of her runs
- Starbuck finished her Starters Performance Jumpers title and Q'd in most of her runs as well!
- I lived through a weekend of traveling with 3 dogs all by myself even with the INSANE Alpha - that little Alpha sprout is seriously CRAZY!

Here is Alpha yelling at me for leaving her in the car while I unpack the trial gear: 

Yeah, Alpha likes to yell at me a lot when she's not getting all of the attention. While crated, Alpha someone managed to go through my bag (that was outside of the crate) and take out all of the new toys and chew up a pair of socks. Yep. She's insane. And I love it! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordy-Word Wednesday: B

This Wednesday, the letter is B! 

B is for: Best Buddies eat Breakfast in Bed! 

I traveled with all 3 girls all by myself this weekend and it actually went pretty well! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tell Me Thursday - 9 already?!

Another Thursday already so it's time to play Tell Me Thursday - brought to you by Laura over at Crooks and Crazies. 

And now onto the questions for this week:

1. If you're not at the 2011 Sheepdog finals this weekend what are you planning to do? 

My dogs are so not sheepdogs - I think they would act like crazy lunatics if they ever came close to sheep (probably would involve lots of barking by Nari, Alpha's always *pleasant* screaming when she gets excited and Starbuck I'm guessing would run after them). So we are going to be doing some agility this weekend. But I do think that sheepdogs are AMAZING - I am in awe of what they can do! 

2. One item you never walk onto the trial field (any trial field, or training class will suffice) without? 

My dog and my hair in a pony tail or two pigtail puffs. I try to keep it simple that way I don't get so OCD about needing a particular thing all of the time and freaking out if I don't have it. 

3. Katy wants to know if you have a pre-run ritual that you observe?

I take my dogs on a short walk, do a couple of practice jumps with them and give them a treat right before we enter the ring. Sometimes I ask Nari if she's ready and she'll do a play bow and yell back - it's pretty cute! 

4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss?

Maybe 15? But if you asked Starbuck, then not till 3 years ago. This girl is serious about her kissing. For some reason she likes to give upside down kisses. And then there are the eyeball kisses and ear kisses that she gives. 


And then Starbuck taught Nari how to give up the nose kisses. And of course there are teeth kisses. 

But Starbuck's specialty is jumping up on your lap and placing a paw on each of your shoulders and then totally forcing you to make out with her. There is no escape when she gets in that position. That's when she gets locked up in jail when we have a bunch of people over. 

And that girl has been known to go straight for the cleavage if you have a low cut shirt. Yep, she doesn't hold back at all. 

5. Bonnie  wants to know what you do for yard mud control during the winter? 

Winter?! I live in the south and it rarely snows down here. I think this is the most we've ever gotten:

And it shut down our whole area for about 3 days! We actually couldn't leave our house for 2 days because none of our cars could make it up the driveway. So we really don't have to worry about snow. We do get a lot of rain, when that happens no agility because the fields down here just aren't set up with any good drainage. Because we don't really get all that much snow, grass grows all year round so the field may be wet but they actually aren't all that muddy. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordy-Word Wednesday: A

Since everyone (okay, maybe not so many...) posts Wordless Wednesday pictures, I decided I'm going to start posting a Wordy-Word Wednesday!! 

And my Wordy-Word Wednesday is starting with the letter A this week! 

A is for AGILITY - of course :) 


By the way - we just got the results back from Alpha's latest blood test and her kidney values are completely normal!! YEAH!! So she's regained full function of her kidneys about 1 month after suffering acute renal failure. When she was admitted to the ICU her initial lepto tests were negative. But when they ran the lepto titers twice, she showed a slight increase (not as much as they would expect from a typical lepto case) to one or two types of lepto. Sooo.... she may have had lepto and since they treated it so aggressively so quickly her titers didn't have a strong enough change like they normally see. Or she had some other type of infection - but we will never know. We are just so happy that she's healthy and it looks like she will not have any long term problems! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What? It's Tell Me Thursday already!?!

That's right, another week goes by and another Tell Me Thursday brought to you by Laura at Crooks and Crazies!! And now onto the questions for week 8!

1. What is the biggest thing that grossed you out over the past week?

So, I was at our holistic vet this week and she's been teaching us doggie massage, acupuncture, first aid, etc., and one of the things she was telling us about was these super nasty bugs to look out for - of course I've already forgotten what they are called. They are the ones that lay eggs under your (or your dog's) skin and then when they hatch they are these nasty wormy things that poke out of a hole in the skin to breath. OMG - SO DISGUSTING!!! My dogs better not get those because I think I would die - SO NASTY!!!

2. What do you feed your dogs?

We feed a combo of Orijen (switch between the regular and the fish) and homemade food suggested by our holistic vet. The woman at the kennel where we board our dogs said the homemade food "smelled like death" but the dogs LOVE it. I actually use it as a treat while we are training. It's just ground beef, veggies, sweet potatoes, some fruit and supplements so I'm not sure how it ends up smelling like death sometimes.

And sometimes I go to the doggie bakery and get them awesome treats like these mini pizzas:

3. If you could move anywhere where would you live?

Okay, this is probably lame to most of you but Madison, WI. We used to live there and I love how you can take public transportation anywhere in the city or everyone bikes. It's pretty dog friendly, reminds me of european cities. So I guess if not Madison, WI than somewhere in europe - I really like Belgium when I visited.

4. What is the funniest thought that occurred to you (or thing that happened to you) this week?

So I was walking our 3 leashed, small dogs around the neighborhood the other day. And some lovely neighbor of mine decided to walk their dog off-leash (totally illegal here). Their off-leash dog decided to run up to my dogs to say hello, but unfortunately since my dogs had been attacked by 2 off-leash boxers a couple of months ago they started freaking out! The neighbor then tried to call their dog back but of course their dog had no recall. So while I was trying to block the off-leash dog from getting to my dogs, all 3 of my dogs decided it was just best to run around me in circles, while screaming their little heads off and totally hog tie me!! Once they had securely fastened my legs together with their leashes, I fell over and started rolling down the hill with them attached to me! Since the neighbor lady still hadn't successfully called her dog away from us she started beating her dog with an umbrella!! By this time I was at the bottom of the hill in someone else's yard laughing my butt off (all of our dogs were fine) while the neighbor lady was so embarrassed from having to beat her poor dog with an umbrella. No worries - the dog was pretty friendly (and the beating was just a light shooing, not actually hurting the dog) but mine are still trying to get over being jumped by two boxers. 

Anyway, here is what the girls looked like prior to the ridiculous event:

Okay, so I totally posted this photo the other day - but they look so darn cute in their harnesses. Why is it always the people who shouldn't be walking their dogs off-leash are the first to do so? Ugh!! 

5. If you couldn't have your breed of choice, what would be next on your list?

Lately I've been thinking about getting a Jack Russell or Sheltie or possibly a Pyrenean Shepherd. Basically a small breed good for agility - I like dogs that are cute and fast. 

And here is a random cute picture of Nari snuggled in a kitty bed with a little toy husky:

Crazy girl! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sleepy Sunday!

Starbuck is quite the princess. She must sleep on 5 beds! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #7

Alright, it's Thursday so that means it's time for another Tell Me Thursday brought to you by Laura at Crooks and Crazies!! 

And now onto the questions... 

1. What five things can't you live without?
The husband 
The doggies 
Cheese curds (I'm a WI girl) 
Comfy shoes 
Culver's (most delicious fast food ever)

2. How do you transport your dogs? This question suggested by several peeps, including Mara. 

After some stupid teenager ruined my old car I picked up what I call "The Transporter" earlier this year. 

Isn't it beautiful? It's a Subaru Outback and it pretty much always has crates rattling around in the back. And I usually have the back seats down so it's basically a two-seater most of the time. Sometimes I'm a little lazy and just throw all the dogs into one crate for very short trips but they don't mind. 

Oh, and this baby has heated seats!!! YES!!! I pulled my hamstring last week so even though it's 90+ outside I'm riding around with my seat cranked up to high and it is awesome. 

3. What role does obedience play in your training or running of your dog(s)?

I think that obedience is pretty boring so I try to do a lot of trick training. It helps my dogs learn how to learn and that it's okay to make mistakes. But I'm always working on a good recall and a fast down which both come in handy when it comes to agility. 

4. At what point do you start putting commands on your dogs? 

When I'm teaching something new I usually wait a day or so before I start adding the command. And then I start by having them do the trick and then saying "Good [name of trick]". Then I'll add in the command once they start to offer the trick without me having to lure them. 

5. Do you talk to strangers in elevators? Question posted by Laura #1. 

Ummm... sometimes there are scary people in elevators :)