Roxy training diary month 19
December feature: Pseudonyms of the Poseurs
Roxy follows her nose
Bam-Bam Sleeps Like a Puppy
Bam-Bam and Jim Hang Out
Dylan Wants To Know:
What the #$%^ IS That?
Dec 29. To close out the year, Annie and I went to Batson Children's Hospital for a pet therapy visit. Susan Raphael and her sheltie Molly were there, also. There were, at times, more dogs than kids, and Annie was out of sorts — we expect some of that while her thyroid meds kick in. She did agree to pose for pictures wearing her Santa suit, but she was not happy about it.
Dec 21-27. Christmas Break was spent with our friends DeeDee and Royce Rose in Topeka, Kansas.
We drove up the Tuesday before Christmas, just ahead of a major winter storm. We ended up only driving through a lot of rain before crossing the cold front into dry but bitterly cold weather. We overnighted in St. Louis, where the Red Roof Inn has a policy of only one dog per room. We have a policy of one dog per crate which overrides Red Roof's policy. Everyone was quiet, but warm.
On the trip up, we got a phone call from our vet, Dr. Adams. He says Annie's blood test show her as hypothyroid, which may explain some of her recent blah moods. We had been blaming it on the depressing fact that she lives with Roxy and Roxy is such a suckup. Or so Annie tells us. The web says hypothyroid affects "middle-aged female dogs" primarily, so I have been telling Annie that she will live to 23 since she is, at 11 3/4, "middle aged".
The cattle dogs got to meet DeeDee's new puppy, Bam-Bam, who is just 9 weeks old. Bam-Bam is at that age where she is convinced that she is the cutest puppy who ever lived — and she's right. She has puppy breath and will cuddle up on your lap for a nice nap if you rub her tummy. Roxy taught Bam-Bam some songs, like Bark, Bark, Bark A Lot and Howl By Ya.
We also got to meet JB Bauersfeld and his ACD Pepper, who was a great Frisbee dog and will one day be a great agility dog as well. We all watched the tapes of Roxy's first agility runs and I think JB gained hope that he would not be the first person to be publicly humiliated by a cattle dog in the agility ring. My fall over Roxy and skinned knee is a big hit with everyone.
I got an iPod for Christmas. Kathy and Rosemary conspired on that one. Do I have the coolest wife and co-worker in the world, or what? I've been spending my days and nights loading CDs onto it. We're at 1500 songs and counting.
When the weather warmed up a little, the day after Christmas, we went out to learn a new method of variable surface tracking that DeeDee wanted to teach us. Since no one was around, we made use of an office complex with asphalt, concrete, pine bark mulch and grass and lots of corners and hiding places. Basically, it's a Hide And Seek game over different surfaces rather than a weenie hunt which is the other way of teaching tracking.
To our surprise, Annie (who has had a little bit of weenie training) didn't do so well; maybe she is out of sorts with her thyroid. She's never liked Hide And Seek very much anyway. Roxy, on the other hand, loves to play Hide and Seek in the house, and she liked it outside just as much. She fairly pulled Rosemary off her feet to follow the track. Notice me hiding in the bushes in the picture on the left.
Dec 17-19. One week to Christmas. Scary.
This weekend's dog agility was USDAA in Kiln, Mississippi. Roxy's first USDAA trial, you may remember, was a disaster. It's been ten weeks since then, and we have been doing other things but not USDAA trials. So I approached the weekend with some trepidation.
All in all, Roxy did pretty well. We got a lot of pretty, colored placement ribbons, but no Qs. We still have some teamwork issues to work out, and she tends to run off and get excited about something that is not necessarily the problem at hand.
Miraculously, Tien Tran was able to get two photos of Roxy actually doing agility equipment. She took a gorgeous one of Dylan in the weave poles, as well.
Once again, Dylan and Roxy were partners in Pairs Relay. We actually had two Starters Pairs runs this weekend. On Friday, Roxy ran her half of the course fine but Dylan E'd by skipping an obstacle. In the Sunday version, Dylan knocked some bars and took the tunnel twice for 10 faults, and then Roxy nailed the dead Q coffin shut with a knocked bar of her own and a skipped obstacle. No matter, because by then we were more than 20 seconds over course time.
Here are the Tien Tran photos for your enjoyment. Click on the pictures at right to get the full-screen version.
Tracey Roth, I know you are reading this: You rock. I want to hear about it when things break your way. That pesky Starters Gamblers leg is within your grasp. If the trial had lasted one more day, you would have taken the 0.4 seconds and 0.2 seconds down to 0.0 seconds and then we'd be celebrating.
Dec 11. We took Roxy down to the conformation show (at a different site from the Rally and Obedience) to see the Australian Cattle Dogs show and to see if we could set up a reunion with Roxy's handler, Chris Moore. Roxy remembered Chris all right — just watch that tail go! It'll be another few months before Roxy gets back in the conformation show ring. She is starting to fill out and mature a bit, but she still needs to get a little more muscle on her before she is ready. Maybe next winter.
While we were there, we took advantage of a sale on Christmas-themed dog hats. Roxy got to wear a (temporary) halo.
Dec 10. Kodiak's 14th Birthday. Nothing better for your birthday than sardines for breakfast.
Roxy and Annie were entered in their first Rally event. (I'm sorry, I can't stand to call it "Rally-O", that's just too cutesy and bonhomic — I just invented that word, let's say "full of bonhomie" — for my tastes.)
Roxy's Novice obedience, as regular readers of this blog know, has some rough points. In plain English, her stays suck. It doesn't matter whether it's a stand for exam, or the group exercises, I just don't get good stays out of her.
So, we make lemons from lemonade. Her heeling is quite good, so Rally is perfect for her. Not too many stays. It's going to become a titling class on January 1 2005, so it was a good chance for us all to try it out and see how it went.
Roxy's warmup was horrible. It didn't look like things were going to go very well at all. Annie is always the pro; she is the one with obedience titles and she's always taken a no-nonsense attitude towards her obedience career. Even pouncing on the dumbbell is done with gravity and seriousness. ("That's what you wanted, right?") The girls were entered back-to-back, with Roxy going first, so Rosemary was pressed into handoff duty.
Imagine my surprise when the scores were posted and Roxy had an 87 (out of 100) and Annie an 89. If I had not blown one of the stations for both dogs (a ten-point deduction), we would have been in the placements. Annie was not as good as she could have been, and Roxy was a pleasant surprise. So, I guess it's some Rally for Roxy. It's a good opportunity for her to get some ring time without having to hassle with matches.
Dec 9. Big milestone. Roxy has become increasingly cute and clingy at bedtime. It's obvious she'd rather stay up on the bed and sleep out with the big dogs, instead of being confined to her crate. Rosemary can resist the influence of one pair of big brown eyes, but when Roxy and I begged together, she finally broke down and Roxy got to sleep on the bed overnight. She even woke Rosemary up in the middle of the night with a potty request. So far, nothing (that we know of) has been destroyed. There have been some minor squabbles over who gets to sleep where but it looks like it will all work out.
Dec 3-7. No Roxy training; I was away in Atlanta at the SACS meeting. Not too many dogs there, either. Of course the cattlekids pick one bad thing to do while I am away. Taking mud baths and tracking up the house is nothing new. Dylan finally took the initiative Sunday morning and snuck into the closet where the dog food is kept. It was a half hour or more before Annie and Roxy ratted him out and by then, he was swollen like a tick. He had broken into one of the bags and eaten his fill.
Dec 1-2. My mom (Pat Haefele) was here for a visit from the Friday after Thanksgiving to Thursday, December 2. Of course the dogs love her, and since she has no human grandchildren, the dogs are her grandchildren. Everyone vies to be the one who receives Grandma's special attention. Roxy tried singing to impress her Grandma, but I think Mom was kinda dubious about the whole thing. Annie's reaction was not ambivalent at all — Annie thinks Roxy is a little suck-up. Annie wishes Roxy would just go away. She was here first.
A brief technical note
Up until now, I have always written and edited the RoxyLog through handmade html. Starting this month, I'm using Macromedia Contribute for writing my html code. I have experimented with a number of different html editors over the years, and this is the first one I'm happy with. For example, in Microscrofulus' products, the code is bloated and impenetrable. With Contribute, the html is actually pretty clean and if you wanted to, you could actually follow and debug it.
I'm trying to keep the same "look and feel" as the "old" RoxyLog. If things don't work, or look weird in your browser, please let me know.
I'm still learning some of the ins and outs of the program. The RoxyLog is the simplest thing I do, so it seemed like a good place to start. Things will get complicated when I start trying to edit the web pages at work. I'll probably tackle the ACDs in Agility homepage next.
Just thought you would want to know.
Jim & Annie project an air of calm and confidence while reading "The Pet Goat" to children
JB & Pepper
Roxy Sings for Bam-Bam
Photos by Tien Tran.
Roxy is a Perfect Angel
Sardines for Breakfast
Roxy Sings for Grandma
Annie and Pat