The RoxyLog

Roxy training diary week 38
Sun Feb 22 to Sat Feb 28

The word for this week is: MUD. Lots of mud. Buckets of mud, dogs playing in mud, mud on the carpet, mud on the walls, mud in my bed. Muddy dogs playing in a muddy yard.

Spring in Mississippi means rain, and rain means mud. Our yard drainage has been getting steadily worse as the neighbor's yard fills up ours with more dirt, so it's getting to be time to get another swale dug in our back yard. In the meantime, MUD.

Teaching started, and MiniMed School started, so that meant little free time for Jim so little training went on. However, what little we worked on went well. We did the offset weaves a few times one morning, and she seems to be catching on but the weaves are still pretty ugly.

The pictures pretty much capture what's going on around here. The guys need their playtime, and when they go out, they find the mud, eat the mud, play in the mud, get up to their chests and chins in mud. They go out and sing in the mud.

Did I mention the mud?

Roxy Plays in the Mud

Singin' in the Mud

Roxy training diary weeks 36-37
Sun Feb 8 to Sat Feb 21

Not much to report for week 35, because Rosemary was out of town and I was spending most of my time just taking care of the guys and trying to keep things together at work.

Wednesday, Feb 18, Annie and I went to French Elementary for a pet therapy warmup. We're trying to get permission to go to Children's Hospital, so it seemed like a good idea to hang with the miniature peeps.

Thursday we spent at the doctor.

Saturday, Feb 21 was a beautiful day, and I took the kids out to the Dog Wash for some agility practice and just some running around time. With Roxy, I worked the seesaw, and we transitioned from the seesaw on the table to just the seesaw swinging free. We worked on the table itself some, and she still needs to keep still for five seconds. We did a pinwheel smooshed together, and then spread it out to about 2 feet apart. We also did some jump chute work with five jumps and a target.

The weave poles are coming along, but slowly. Annie and Dylan got to do the weave poles with a new distraction – Roxy. Annie could handle it, Dylan could not. So that's something else to work on for both of the red ones.

Roxy training diary week 35
Sun Feb 1 to Sat Feb 7

The big event this week was not the Super Bowl, and not even Janet Jackson's breast, but rather Roxy's first trip to camp and first time that she and her Dad got to take a trip together.

The occasion was the first ever Hatfield/Mah Novice/Young Dog Camp at their newish place outside of Jacksonville, Florida.

Before leaving Sunday, I got up early to make an entry in Roxy's second-ever AKC agility trial. Her first birthday is March 23 and we have her "debut" planned for April 8 and 9 in Kiln. I also wanted to enter her in a trial in Gonzales April 24 and 25, because the arena is so perfect for beginner dogs, well-enclosed in case she gets the zooms.

So, there I was at 5:45 am on Sunday, cup of Joe in hand, hitting the "refresh" button at Dog Events Online and waiting for the trial to open. Pretty cool, actually, although it did set me back a few bills for both the entries (Surprise! 3 dogs means more entry fees!) and the convenience fee.

Then we loaded up the van and hit the road about 7:30 am. Roxy and I made pretty good time. There was a little rain but all in all it was not a bad drive until we got to Tallahassee, then it started to pour.

It was clear by the time we got to Baldwin, where we were staying in a Best Western, but it was clear that the rain was headed our way.

Sure enough, things were pretty wet in camp on Monday morning. It wasn't cold, thankfully, but it was wet.

No matter, because it was great to be working with Pati and Stuart again. Roxy and I learned so much.

We first divided into two groups, and Roxy and I (either by virtue of her age, or her ability, or both) got put in what Pati called the "baby-baby dog" group. Within that group, we did pretty well with most things. Roxy got to shine at tunnels first off; she knew how to find her target pretty well throughout the three-day camp; and she really took to Pati's method of teaching pinwheels.

We talked a lot about "handler focus" vs. "obstacle focus" and Roxy definitely has the potential to be an "obstacle focus" dog, which is what I want. It'll be exciting, because it's clear that I whomped all the "obstacle focus" out of Annie and now she is a "handler focus" dog which works against us at times, especially in Gamblers.

Monday night was a good one. She was "dog"-tired from camp and I was pretty well beat, so we both fell asleep cuddling on the bed watching TV. By the time I woke up, I had been napping for better than an hour and my left contact was pretty well welded to my cornea. It was a difficult and painful process getting that baby released.

Tuesday, Roxy especially shone on the A frame. Pati likes the dogs to keep their center of gravity low and in the tummy area, to improve their performance and stability on the A frame. Her feeling is that this keeps the dogs from wanting to launch. Roxy naturally tucks into the correct position, with her back feet well under her ribcage. I attribute that to lots of time on the A frame at home, playing chase and King of the Mountain with Annie and Dylan.

By Wednesday, however, Roxy's brain was pretty well fried. She just wasn't motivated to work anymore, and we got to things that she's not so good at, namely the weaves and seesaw. So, we have some areas to work on.

Roxy Relaxes on the Porch at Camp

Roxy Plays with Rosie, the Boston Terrier

Roxy Owns the A Frame

RoxyLog December 2003 and January 2004 (weeks 26-34)

RoxyLog November 2003 (weeks 22-25)

RoxyLog October 2003 (weeks 17-21)

RoxyLog September 2003 (weeks 13-16)

RoxyLog August 2003 (weeks 9-12)

RoxyLog July 2003 (days 25-54)

RoxyLog June 2003 (days 1-24)