Monday, November 23

Action Packed Weekend!

Saturday, Merlin had a CPE Games Workshop held at BRAG, the local agility club. We were in for six runs: Fullhouse, Jackpot, Nontraditional Jackpot, Colors, Wildcard, and Snooker. I had taken the class last February with Popper, but desperately needed to work on handling skills with Merlin, so we signed up.

Merlin was amazing! I got compliments from many folks on his stamina (all six runs full throttle), focus, and drive. Popper didn't get a single "fake Q" when we participated previously, but Merlin Q'd in every run except the two Jackpots. The second Jackpot Q was my fault when I picked a poor path, but the first one was Merlin's obsession with the a-frame and running to it when not directed to (repeatedly), and on the Gamble, the jump bars weren't set for his run. At all. So he ran around them (he's weird like that). Oh well, no biggie. :) I was very pleased with Merlin's performance! He had some awesome entries into the weave poles, something Popper has still never pulled off in a trial-like atmosphere. It's hard for me to run Merlin because he has an extremely different running style than my other dog, Popper. Basically, everything he does is opposite - he wants a lot of distance from me, he wants to go at the speed of light, and if I'm slow to make a decision, he'll go on and perform without me. Popper likes me close, tends to not run as fast as doggly possible, and if I slow down or stop, he'll turn around and start sniffing everything. Popper also needs constant interaction, eye contact and attention throughout the run, or his attention drifts. Merlin has a great work ethic and doesn't need the "good boy, yes, great" throughout the whole run.

Popper's main action of the weekend is that he is getting crated from now on when I leave the house, even for a few minutes. I'd noticed that things I'd put on the stove would mysteriously end up on the floor. The last straw was yesterday when I took Roofus for a quick walk. I had a small bag of pumpkin muffins that I set on the back of the stove, and when I came home, there was just an empty bag shredded on the floor. He would have had to jump ONTO the stove to get those muffins! I've also noticed small doggie footprints in the dust on my piano. He apparently walks on my piano when I'm not at home. So Popper clearly cannot be trusted to be loose in the house when there is no one to supervise, so back to the crate for him. He actually really does love the crate; I stopped using it years ago because he became quite aggressive about anyone near "his" crate, whether he was in it or not. The crate is in my SO's room, and his door is always shut, so it's not a concern now.

Last night, I was cutting away a clump of fur from Roofus when I discovered that underneath it was an open wound, roughly the size and depth of a small dog tooth. After shaving the area, cleaning it, and applying antibiotics, I believe it was an injury sustained a few days ago when Merlin got super excited when Roofus ran out of the kitchen suddenly. He attacked Roofus, and Popper got into the fray as well. I'm pretty sure one of the two sunk a tooth into him (grr!). I had assumed it was another hot spot and did not put two and two together until I saw the wound. It's looking much better this morning, although Roofus is pretty sad in an e-collar.

A lot of dog action this weekend at my house! I'm counting the days until I can take Popper on a three mile trek, run Merlin in a real agility trial, and take the stupid e-collar off my poor sheepdog!

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