Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas in New Meadows

This weekend we went to visit our family in the mountains. When we arrived there was only a small amount of snow on the ground.
On Friday the guys went ice fishing while I took the dogs around the property to play.


Later in the day I discovered the PERFECT wall for photos. Something about the lighting was just right. So I had a little fun (and used some Christmas doggy treats) dressing up Indigo. She is so patient and good!

That night it started to snow....
and we woke up Saturday to a winter wonderland! Well, just six or seven inches but it sure sparkled beautifully in the morning sun!
We took Indi snowshoeing with us but left Rye home since we didn't want him to get sore jumping through the snow.

This is a hill that Indi has hiked with me before where she was very nervous and stayed right near me the whole time. That was last fall and what a difference a year made! She is a much more confident hiker now. She ran her heart out following trails, sticking her face in the snow and just having so much fun. We really enjoyed watching her explore.

Me and my dog (thanks for taking the photo, Jason!).

When we came back I let Rye out to play a little. Each dog got their turns with the frisbee but Rye just cannot wait til it's his turn. He chases Indi barking at her the whole time. She thinks it's awesome.
My brother is playing with me! My brother loves me!
Rye just says GIVE me that frisbee!

Back inside where Indi climbed up in the "dog chair" and went instantly to sleep and then the weekend was over and we had to drive home. We never like to leave!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Indi's Birthday

Indigo turned two years old on Wednesday. For her gift we did an extra agility lesson mid week. We worked weaves, contacts and start lines. For the contacts our teacher had me click for Indi's front feet hitting the ground while I moved ahead of her and she stayed on "target". Then the release word and I tossed her ball back to her to reward for position. We tempted her with a tunnel right after the A-frame and she held position perfectly. Such a good girl!
We worked a few challenging weave entries and she got them all.

She still has a tendancy to knock bars but I don't obsess over it. The fact that she'd rather do agility
than almost anything else is more important to me than keeping every bar up. Her enthusiasm is definitely contagious.

Then we went home for a second gift. A cardboard box.


Who needs new toys when there's cardboard?

To finish the day, a piece of salmon with birthday candles in it!

Rye waits patiently on the couch for the theatrics to be over so he can have some salmon.

To top it all off I got news that a photo I had entered in a calendar contest had won! We received the calendar today and Indi is "Miss April" for the Idaho Humane Society's friends for life calendar!

I entered this photo.

So excited!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fun on a rainy snowy day

Let's see how many different things Indigo can hold!

There's 1!

There's 2!

There's 3!

I could make a really yummy doggy pie with all these things!

There's 4

There's 5

There's 6

There's 7

Do you think she's hinting at something?

You could also practice silly tricks like this one.

When you've run out of things to do and it's still raining outside, just curl up together and read a book.

There's 8!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

An aging Rye

Today I was reading through a list of blogs written about aging in agility, here is a link if you wanted to go read.
It made me nostalgic and a little sad, thinking about Rye. I had to go watch some of his old agility runs on youtube. My goodness he was fast! Not always but sometimes! He was also nervous and that made him do things like run out of the ring to go find my husband on more than one occasion. A definite sign of stress. He had his moments of greatness though. Here is a favorite run.

Now we've gone so long without practicing that he can't weave 6 poles!
He sleeps very soundly. So soundly that I came home the other night from going out to eat at IHOP with sausages for the dogs, walked through the house to find him lying on his bed in the back room sleeping. I walked right up to him and held the sausage under his nose to wake him up. I wish I had my video camera! Quite adorable.
Even on our regular hikes he walks on the trail behind me more often than he goes out into the sagebrush.
I was starting to worry about him, his heart mainly. I took him to work for blood work and to have the vet listen to his heart. His murmur has not changed at all so that is great! He has no obvious arthritis, just less range of motion in his front wrists than normal. And his blood work came back completely normal. Very very happy.
So I guess he's just getting old. He'll be 13 in February.
I bought him a new toy, and Indi can't touch it. It stays in it's spot until we go to the park where Indi fetches her ball (over and over and over) and Rye plays with the Weiner Bear.

The Weiner Bear, body of a weiner dog and face of a bear...

Give me my Weiner Bear

An older video of Rye playing with a Kong frisbee. Definitely see a difference in energy! This was almost two years ago. Now he still does his adorable happy dance with a toy but for like 5 seconds and then he lays down with it.

Last weekend we took the dogs on a short vacation to Stanley, Idaho. We stayed in a hotel and hiked around Stanley Lake. Rye never once walked behind me on the trail. What is up with that? Is he bored of his home foothills that he has walked probably hundreds of times? Was he just invigorated by the new smells? Whatever the reasons, I was happy to see him having so much fun!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood, a very short story

Now remember Little Red Riding Hood, go straight to Grandma's house....

and stay on the path!

Yes, Mother.

Happy Halloween! 

and if you couldn't quite tell what Indi is supposed to be in this one, it's the big bad wolf of course! With Granny's hat!  
Side note:
 NOT that I believe wolves are evil, cuz they're not! They are beautiful, intelligent, secretive animals who deserve to be in the wild like they always have been and are vital to our ecosystem. End rant and thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

a trick for a treat, or a toy instead!

I had to share a little trick that Indi and I have been working on. I suppose it's a freestyle move.
It is a half turn and then she backs up under my legs. I think it's pretty cute!

Someday we will put together a routine and set it to music!
Training it was pretty simple since she already loves to come up behind me and shove her head under my legs. From there she has learned to walk backward and forward with me. Next she learned to stay standing with her back to me, harder than I thought it would be! Then walk back under my legs from that position. Then we added the spin. I admit, I just kind of faked it til she got it!

The view from up here...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Agility and Rally-O in October

Two weeks ago we competed in our first Rally Obedience trial together. I entered one day only since I didn't want to try and do agility and Rally at the same time. I didn't have a very clear idea of how she would do but we actually qualified! On the way into the ring she jumped up at me and was very excited, as in agility. I tried to have her sit in heel but she sat crooked and behind me. The judge asked if we were ready, I said uh, yes and then we started. I forgot to wait for the judge to tell us forward! She was nice and did not hold it against us. On the course Indi was very focused! I was impressed! Our only error was that she got up from her sit when I was walking around her in a sit stay. We didn't go back to fix it so we lost 10 points. 
I'm a little afraid that this was just a fluke! Maybe next time in the ring she won't be so focused? Or maybe I have a really awesome dog! I really didn't expect her to be so focused in a new place with no toys or treats and no action of agility!

Then we went on to compete in our fifth and final AKC trial for the year. We got one Q in Novice fast for our second leg and.....that was it! On every other run we knocked a bar (or two).

However, that did not mean we didn't enjoy ourselves!

Indi continued her trend of not exactly waiting until my "ok" to leave the start line. Except for the last run of the weekend which was a Standard course where she did wait til my release word! It was a beautiful run, so very fast but alas we did not get it on tape and she knocked two bars right near the end. Here is our best Jumpers run. Our last chance at qualifying in Novice Jumpers for the year, failed because of one bar! Oh well!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

kennel stress

Up until the last three weeks I have still been taking Indi to work with me. We have kennels for boarding dogs in the back that she stays in. We don't have that many kennels and we try to keep noisy dogs on one side and quiet dogs on the other. I do keep her on the quiet side even though she is at times a barker.
She has over time developed some anxiety about other dogs walking past her kennel. You would think she was going to kill the dog on the other side the way she reacts!
For a long time now I have been taking half of her breakfast to work with me (kibble) and tossing it into her kennel every time I walk a dog past her. I finally decided that was not working. She would bark like mad as the other dog went past and THEN turn around and eat her food.
So thanks to Patricia McConnell's blog from a few weeks ago about noise levels in kennels I have a new system!
The sheet! Why didn't I think of it myself?

It helps a lot! I also still throw kibble over the door each time I walk a dog past. She does bark occasionally but not nearly like she was doing before. She does not bark just to hear herself talk like some dogs, only as a reaction to another dog. At home she barks at the neighbor dogs but hey, they started it!

And of course she gets to go outside with me on my breaks and play ball or play with approved doggy group playmates.
Chester the Pointer is definitely approved!

She is growing up and does not always want to play with other dogs like she used to. She mostly wants me to throw her ball.
The almighty ball...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

fall photos

Our burning bush is on fire this year!

Eyes wide, just before the catch.

and of course, some dress up hats


Sunday, October 6, 2013


Last weekend we drove the dogs to Pocatello Idaho for Indi's fourth AKC agility trial. Along the way we stopped at Massacre Rocks state park to let the dogs run. Such a cool spot!

Rye really does not like warm weather. For one thing he doesn't and has never handled the heat very well. For another, it seems the only thing we do when it's hot is throw a toy in the water for that black beast sister of his. He watches. He looks forlorn.
Cool weather makes Rye HAPPY!

 He may be 12.5 years old but he has not slowed down at all if it's cold enough to run!                        

Then, on to agility...

Indi has decided FOR SURE that agility is the BEST THING EVER. All summer I have asked her to stay in various places, cementing it into her brain. She knows it very well! At our agility teacher's house she can stay. At the river she can stay. At the park. For dinner. Backyard. When we use the practice jump ringside, she can stay! As soon as we enter the ring, she can't stay anymore. I have turned into one of those handlers who walks slowly away from their dog at the start line, hand up, palm out, repeating No, sit! Stay! Stay! No, sit, stay! and then she goes...
I KNOW that the best thing probably would be to take her off course and waste the run and entry fee when she does that. That maybe it would teach her that she has to stay. The thought of doing that just breaks my heart! I don't think I am strong enough! She loves it so much that all she wants to do is be able to GO and for me to stop her I think would deflate her more than a little. I can't!
Also related to staying, she is not very solid on her two on two off contacts. She can somehow stay on the table!
This weekend was worse than previous on the stay subject but the best we have done so far together!
Indi tried out Novice Fast and got a Q. Got a Q and a first place in her first Open Standard class and another Q and first in Standard on Saturday. We still don't have any Novice Jumpers legs! Friday she was one knocked bar away from qualifying and Saturday, her genius handler sent her over a wrong jump. Both were beautiful runs even so.

She is beyond fun to run with!

Here is a video of our best run, Saturday's Open Standard.

So proud of her!