Monday, February 24, 2014

Agility in February

Another trial over and done. Indi and I did two days last weekend and had lots of fun together. It wasn't the most successful of trials but I came away knowing exactly what I want to work on.
We started with Novice FAST. We didn't get the distance challenge so did not qualify but got to work the a-frame contact twice which was nice. Need to work on taking the jump out of a tunnel no matter how far away I am!
Then we ran in Open Standard and qualified meaning we got our title! It wasn't a perfect run but she did hit a really nice hard weave entry easily. We need to work on running straight to the table and getting on it without doing anything in between!
Her pretty title ribbon.

I have to laugh. We still don't have any qualifying legs in Novice Jumpers! Even so, this run was my favorite of the whole weekend. Just that one silly bar!

On Saturday we ran in Excellent Standard for our first time. Fun! Need to work on giving earlier cues so she knows she is taking THAT jump and THAT jump before she has already passed it! Oh and staying on the table.
Here is our first try at Excellent Standard, just for fun! Not really sure why the last two jumps didn't work out.

Here is a picture of our title with Judge Lavar Griffin. Fun trial!

photo by Randy Gaines

Love my baby girl!

photo by Randy Gaines

Sunday, February 16, 2014

V day and Rye's Birthday!

On Friday Rye turned 13 years old! Sadly for him it also happened to be an agility trial for Indi and I so we didn't get to plan anything fun. He did get a special dinner though!
I took these pictures earlier this week.

My sweet sweet boy. All Rye wants is to make us happy. That is all he has ever wanted. And please please don't make too much noise!

and food! Give him lots of yummy food and he is a happy boy. He may bite your fingers when taking an item from your hand but he does not feel guilty about that.

And please remember to share the toy throwing with him! He may decide after you throw whether or not he will go after it but that is ok!

I took Indi to a skate park down town for some interesting backdrops and I really like how these came out! I got these before the teenagers appeared with their skateboards and took over the park.

I feel so lucky to have my Rye dog so healthy and youthful still! What a wonderful dog you are. Love you Rye!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

barks and recycling!

Here and there I make dog collars. I go to thrift stores and buy neat belts and then turn them into a collar. I thought it would be fun to share the process!
Here is a belt I bought recently. Man made material but still sturdy enough to last for quite a while or until I decide I want a new one!

The buckle that comes on the belt usually isn't what I want so I shop at our local leather supply store for a new one. I like the kind with the cross bar in the center. This belt actually had a buckle similar to what I like but just not very sturdy looking so I still replaced it.
First thing, measure your dog's neck and then measure the belt. It took me a few tries to get the exact length I like with enough to spare but not too much. Cut the belt to your desired length, with the end of the belt being the end of the dog collar.

Next I use a little tool I bought at the leather store to punch an oblong hole in the center, about three inches from the end of the "start" of the collar with the rubber mallet. I work on a wooden cutting board. This will be where you slip the buckle part through. Make sure to leave room for the D ring to be attached next.

Next, take your leather hole punch (also bought at the leather store) and set it on the smallest punch. Punch two holes right up near the center bar of the buckle, in line with each other. Put your rivets in place on either side of the folded belt. Set one rivet in place on top of the plate of the rivet thingy then put the rivet rod on top and using your rubber mallet, pound a few times to set the rivet. Do the same for the other rivet. I found that pounding the rivets in works best if you set the whole thing right at the edge of the cutting board or else the buckle gets in your way.

Hole punch, rivet rod and rivet plate thingy

My cat Rivet.

D rings come in many sizes of course. I always take my belt in with me to make sure I get the right size buckle and D ring.
Slide your D ring onto the collar from the end and in between the pieces of belt, right up next to the rivets you just placed. Punch two more holes on the opposite side of the D ring to secure it. Rivet that into place.

And then you're done! I usually pick belts that have a nice finished end to them, and I especially like the ones that have the eyelet pieces to protect the adjustment holes. This belt already had the eyelets. If it doesn't that is fine too and you might have to punch additional holes to fit your dog's neck just right. If the end is too long you can always cut some off and burn it but I try not to since I think it looks better before cutting it. It's easier to just make sure it is the exact right fit before starting.

The finished collar.

Hope this is useful to someone! It's a fun craft and I think my favorite part is looking through all the belts at the second hand store and picturing them as dog collars.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

practicing agility

Two Saturdays ago we went to a practice, here is a video.

The beginning didn't end up on tape but I wish it had! Indi actually held her start line stay, twice! She appears to have traded her start line stay for her two on two off contacts. I could not get her to stop on a-frame or dogwalk! Other than that, it was a little wild and didn't exactly feel controlled but was fun none the less. Throughout the following week at home we practiced actually stopping at the bottoms of the contacts. Indi stops, I say YES and then my release word and then toss her the ball.
Looking very much forward to a show this coming Friday and Saturday! Hoping that I can run fast enough for my dog and be where I need to be when I need to be there.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snake River birds of prey area

Yesterday we took the dogs hiking at a beautiful place along the Snake River, about an hour from Boise. The river on one side and these massive cliffs on the other side where falcons nest and ravens soar. See the ravens? You can hear them as you walk along the cliffs.

That blue sky was just so perfect!

The rocks at the base of the cliffs are inhabited by rock chucks, a kind of marmot. They have this piercing whistle that really drives the dogs crazy! They can't get all the way up to where the rock chucks are but they hear them and know it must be some kind of animal.
Both dogs really had a fantastic time climbing rocks and peeking into hiding holes.

Neat moss covered rocks.


Giant squishy feet!

A piece of a tiny jawbone.

Indi stopped to listen when she noticed the pigeons cooing in the cliffs.

My funny husband.

What an absolutely perfect day!