Monday, December 29

After Christmas Stuff

What did I get for Christmas?

The flu.

Thanks a lot Santa!

And it's no joke trying to run your dog through an agility course when you'd much rather be sleeping underneath the electric blanket in your snug, warm bed, oblivious to everything and heavily medicated.

But Santa Paws brought Popper and Merlin a new 18' agility tunnel, so of course I HAVE to try it out. I put together a mini course that goes tire jump, two side by side bar jumps (for working on handling), then the tunnel in a half circle, then back over one of the bar jumps and back through the tire. I have the weave poles set up too, but I'm rather unconcerned about them at this point because Popper won't encounter them in the upcoming trial. He was being a bit antsy about tunnels, but he has shown absolutely no anxiety over his new one. Zooms right in, around, and out, no problem.

Of course, they say how they run at home and at class can often be quite different from how they run at a trial.

I'm pretty amazed at how well Popper listens to me. I've gotten a lot better at handling, and if he's paying attention (which is hard, one of my instructors told me he has the attention span of a gnat) he's unstoppable. I'm a bit worried he's going to be mightily ticked off at me for sticking him in a crate all day at the trial, though, and when he's sulky, well, let's just say he may plop his butt down and ignore me instead of running through the course.

Friday, December 19

Dogs Listen More than We Give Credit

Two stories-
Yesterday I was watching "Single Santa Seeking Mrs Claus" and there was a part where Quark goes, but she doesn't believe in Santa! I looked at the tv and said, "That's probably because there IS NO SANTA!"

And at that instant, three dog heads popped up and gave me a look. A scathing look of disbelief and hatred. I spent the next several minutes apologizing to my boys (the girls are hard of hearing) and telling them there really is a Santa Paws. When my SO got home, he told the boys that people like me don't get presents from Santa. :p

Second -
Today Blossom was doing her normal whining and squeaking because she couldn't get past the other dogs into my room to lay down while I work. I managed to make a path for her and got her settled onto her doggie bed (with her quilt snuggled up just right.) I said, "Okay, NOW are you happy?" And she promptly rolled over onto her back for a belly rub.

I think I'm going slightly bonkers with no one around all day but the dogs...

Thursday, December 18

Happy Birthday Merlin!

Merlin, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, turns four years old today! How time flies. I still remember when he was five weeks old and a little ball of fur that looked like my brother's golden hamster he had as a child. Which is, of course, how Merlin got his name.

Have a great one today, Merlin!

Monday, December 15

Power out

At least once a month we have a power outtage that lasts for more than a few minutes. I live in an area where people are stupid and like to hit power lines. Normally we get a quick off-on once a week, a couple times a month we get a few minutes, and then there's that one that lasts longer.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, yet another idiot hit the power lines and we lost electricity for nearly two hours. It was a cold, cold night so I had to set to protecting my saltwater tanks immediately (fresh water being much more tolerant). I have one of my tanks hooked up to a battery backup, so it continued to function and heat the water just fine. One major concern with my SW tanks is that they are both nanos, so they lose heat REALLY fast! The other tank I wrapped in thick towels and began manually circulating the water.

My un-backuped nano lost 2 degrees but corals and fish were just fine. Little Nemo gave me a bit of a scare the next morning when I fed Lorelei, and he did not appear. I fed her again and he shot up to the surface for his share. Guess he was just sleeping. :) The smaller nano did not lose much heat at all, and the battery backup died about 45 minutes before the power came back on.

Note to self: Buy two really big battery backups...

Saturday, December 13

Sadistic Mini Macaw

This morning I got Havoc out for a shower. I have a perch in the shower so we can both shower at the same time.

First, she refused to spread open her wings or do anything but stand there until she had a thorough tickling - around her face, under her wings, and on her tummy. Then, while I was getting ready to exit the bathroom with her, with parrot in one hand and bathrobe in the other, she reaches out and grabs my bathrobe. I said, "NO Havoc, this is MINE." She looked at me for a split second, before reaching down and biting my finger. And then she laughed maniacally.

I think I've just been snarked by a bird.

Friday, December 12

Rally and Fun Games

Anyone in Central Ohio interested in doing some casual classes with fido should check out I signed Roofus, my big sheepdog, up for a "games day" class and a Rally workshop. It's nice because they offer weekend workshops and things on Saturdays fairly cheap, and you don't have to commit to a weekly class. It's about an hour's drive for me, so I don't particularly want to drive out there every week for a class. The prices are extremely reasonable, however, if you would want to. I'm doing the rally workshop to see if Roo enjoys it, and if it's something that we'll be able to do. There's another training facility much closer at Wild Weavers ( that I may sign up for in March if all goes well.

I'll post about how the games day goes... it's on the 20th, and $10 if anyone else is interested. We're going to do egg races and musical sit... should be interested to do egg races with a big clumsy oaf. :D hehe

Tuesday, December 9

Popper's going to trial

It seems like lately all my posts have been about dog agility - and I suppose that's true. But it's become a big part of my life, so I have a lot to say on the subject!

I just sent off the form for Popper's FIRST EVER agility trial. It's not until February 1st, and I've already got a lot of knots and butterflies in my stomach. See, I really hate performing, and I don't like pressure. When I was deciding whether to be a music major or a biology major, I choose biology simply because I couldn't even stand to THINK about performing in front of people. I get so nervous my hands shake and I want to pass out, vomit, or a delightful combination of the two.

I am doing dog agility for FUN - and I want it to stay fun. You would think that would make a difference, but I played music for fun too, and it still terrified me. I have no idea what I'm scared about - if Popper messes up, that's okay. It's his first one. Sure I'd love for him to zoom out and get a Q (unlikely), but I anticipate he'll go off sniffing or begging for treats from the judge. I guess I might be more worried about ME screwing up - sending him to the wrong obstacle, running into an obstacle... it's pretty likely. I'd be mad at myself for ruining the run, but I don't think I'd ever be mad at da pop pop.

I've entered him in a CPE trial, level 1 Standard and Colors. I wanted to do Wildcard instead of Standard, but it was on a different day. I want to sort of slide into the sport with as little trouble as possible, and keeping him crated for two straight days would probably piss him off. He's the kind of dog that would smile about it and give you kisses, and then the first time you left him alone, he'd trot off and destroy your most treasured posession in retaliation. So we'll try standard, which unfortunately is before colors (unfortunate because it's a longer course), but at least maybe he'll "click on" and do colors really well. :) Assuming I don't mess up...

We decorated our Christmas tree last week... it's right next to Havoc's cage. Everytime my SO would bend in to string the lights or to put up an ornament, she'd stretch her beak out and try to bite him. At the end of the day, his shirt looked like confetti.

Wednesday, December 3

Fantastic agility class last night!

Last night was our next-to-last class.. and boy, Popper could do no wrong! We learned rear crosses - he did it perfectly the first time. He did his "away" command flawlessly. The next station was weave poles - he did twelve in a row on both sides, and you only need to do 6 straight poles to pass the class! At the teeter station, doing ground to ground wasn't such a big deal, he's done that for months... but last night she set up a mini obstacle course so he had to do teeter, teeter, teeter, teeter in a big circle. We got creative and threw in rear crosses, front crosses and the dog walk too.

Now I'm seriously considering entering him in the trial in February. Agility is so effortless for him!