Roxy training diary month 20
January 2005

Jan 29.  Almost the end of the month.  I haven't trained Roxy the last two days, and what's my excuse?  Rain, probably, although that isn't a very good one.  I did some kitchen drops with all three cattle dogs but that was about it.

Today's mail brought a retirement card for Annie that we received from the ever-wonderful Liz Sharpe.  Liz' Thorn is Roxy's sister.  You can see Thorn as a puppy in the June 2003 RoxyLog; Thorn and Roxy were the two sisters left behind after everyone else had gone.  In the picture at the bottom of the page with the two dogs playing "jaw wrestling", Thorn is the one on top.  Thorn stayed with Denise Frick for about a year, and finally went out to Liz.  Thanks, Liz, for the nice card.  I will read it to Annie.

I received an email from my Mom, who had visited with the Painters (the breeders of Roxy's sire and dam, Tate and Twist) last weekend at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  She says Roxy is going up to the Painter's for training.  News to me!  Marilyn, are you inviting us to Cow Camp this year?  Roxy's dad, Tate, is still looking for his second CD leg.  It seems that he decided that a down was much more comfortable than a sit during the group exercises.  We're keeping our paws crossed for him tomorrow.  Roxy's debut in the Novice B Obedience ring is still months, if not years, away.


Jan 26.  Annie and Kodi got their teeth cleaned today.  A bad tooth was one explanation for Annie's behavior, but we've ruled that out.  She just had some plaque and wear.  So, arthritis and/or senile cataracts are the most likely explanations.

Dr. Rebecca Elder, who has a cooler web page than anyone else in cattledogs, actually "named" one of her puppies "Jim", after I bugged her about it on the ACD email list.  See pictures of Jim.  Don't Jim and Ingrid make a cute couple?

Rebecca's Kit and my Roxy are cousins.  They look a lot alike (although Kit is blue and Roxy red), and they act a lot the same, at least from Rebecca's stories.  Here's a sample of Rebecca's description of a young Comrade Kit:

"Comrade Kit picked up the purple bunny and began to gallop and bound around the yard again. 'Run 423 feet and toss the bunny! Bunny goes 3 feet up and 2 feet to the side, I leap for the bunny, darn I missed. Run 423 feet and toss the bunny! Bunny goes 5 feet up and straight down! I catch the bunny! Bounce seven feet ahead without touching the ground! Buzz around Comrade Slate's head five times. Run 423 feet and toss the bunny,' she chanted as she ran."Tales of the Castle, vol. 2

That's Roxy's cousin, all right.

Roxy has somehow lost her A-frame contacts, as we found to our detriment in last weekend's trial.  So tonight at our weekly agility get-together, that's what she and I worked on.  We are using a Pati Mah "rock back" technique and it was hard to get Roxy to re-learn it.  Once I got the point across to her, however, she dropped right into it.  Maybe we can get our contacts back before the next trial.  We did some work on the tunnel-dog walk discrimination and more weave pole practice, too.

Jan 21-23.  Bittersweet.

This weekend was a four-day trial in Kiln, Mississippi.  We signed up for three of the four days.   On Friday, the day we arrived, Annie's first class was Excellent Standard.  She was very slow at first, but once she got started, she ran very well, scoring only the two refusals from the early part of her run.  She was, of course, over time as well.

Normally, Jumpers is one of Annie's favorite classes, but Friday she just left at the start line.  Rosemary and I had agreed beforehand that if she did that, it would be Annie's retirement.  So, Annie is now retired from agility.  It's so sad.  We almost made it to ten years in the ring — Annie's first trial was in April 1995 when she was a wee sprite of 2 years old.

Roxy, on the other hand, is doing great.  This was the first time we've tried to trial her three consecutive days in agility.  She was really close on five of her six runs, and on the sixth, she actually qualified.  So now she has two legs each in Novice B Standard and Novice B Jumpers with Weaves.  On three of the runs, she had 3 refusals/runouts — you are allowed two in Novice — but overall, we were really "connected" and running as a team consistently.  I've seen that in isolated runs in other trials, but never every run on the weekend.  One of the runs had two runouts and a wrong course, but was well over time, and the last run Sunday (Novice B Standard) she knocked a bar and missed her A-frame contact but was well under time.  So all in all, she is getting very close.  Regardless of whether she starts to qualify, she will stay in Novice for a while until I start getting some clean runs consistently.  Among other things, I would like a much better weave pole performance before taking her into Open.

We have two "off" weekends, then another trial in Kiln, this one USDAA.

Erin is doing great!  She qualified on three out of her four runs and is now just one leg away from an OA and OAJ on Galadriel. 

Tuesday night is the first Basic Home Manners class of 2005 and Wednesday is our regular practice night, so I am looking forward to more practicing with Roxy.  This week, we'll work on weaves and contacts and attention on the agility field, and on stays for obedience.

Jan 19.  Okay, so I probably screwed myself on a couple of quizzes in my Gross Anatomy class yesterday and today, but I had a good excuse.  I was writing a grant.  That's out the door now, so time to think about Roxy some more.  Yesterday, despite the cold, I took Rox for a mile-long walk around the neighborhood and today we all got together for Wednesday agility practice.  I got Roxy to do obedience stays at a distance of about four feet for about 30 seconds each for the sits and downs.  That's not where we need to be, but it's progress.  Could the bribe (gift) we sent to Denise be working?  We are expecting Roxy's OBM any day now.

Annie may be getting close to retirement in agility.  Last trial, she just plain refused to run, so we excused ourselves.  She did the same in practice tonight.  If I see the same thing in this weekend's trial, then it may be time to pack our tent and give up agility competition.  It's sad.




Jan 16.  Roxy beat Annie in Rally today.  Judge Jean Lynch has a pretty light pencil, we found at Pensacola last weekend, so Roxy's pretty fine performance was scored a 99/100.  (I would have given it about a 97, but I was pretty happy with it all the same.)  Our runs were early, but we stayed around for a while to see if we would get a placement.  There were several dogs tied at 99, and as each 100 was posted we got pushed a little lower until the fourth 100 was up and we decided to go.  Annie was fairly poopy and scored a 98.  I kept teasing Annie about how Roxy "demolished" her, how she was "trounced" by Roxy, and that Roxy completely "dominated" her, but neither Annie nor Rosemary found that very funny.  Tomorrow I'll work and Rosemary will get to try her hand at the Rally thing.


Jan 15.  Roxy got her first title today.  Okay, so it was a Rally Novice (RN) title.  And Rally really sucks.  And her score was the second-lowest of 32 dogs (81/100).  But this is her first title, so I guess that counts for something.  So, plebes, you may now refer to her as Hit N Heel No Red Light RN. 

Annie (Plateau's Poke Salad Annie CD NA OA CDX OAJ AD AX AXJ AAD SM NAP NJP OAP OJP RN) is not impressed.  She wants you to know that if you count her CGC, HIC and QW, she has 18 titles.

Did I mention that Rally sucks?  The nicest part was getting to see Tracey Roth, who got 4th place with her Husky Nikita.  Annie did pretty well, with a 97; I was hoping to get a placement but I would have needed a 100 or a fast 99 so we missed by a bit.  Judge Margery West is one of my favorite obedience judges, so that was nice too.  As far as I know, these are the about the ninth or tenth ACDs to get RN titles.  I'll have to check in a few days when the AKC website has the results up, or if someone reading this wants to check in AKC Awards, let me know.

In keeping with family tradition, Annie and Roxy split a can of sardines. 

The surface was carpet over plastic over dirt, which was not ideal.  I was hoping to get Roxy some time on rubber mats over concrete to prepare her for the obedience ring. 

Appropriately, the music I am listening to as I write this is Mascott, "Off Blue".  "I gotta get my mind off blue" and onto red.  If you like acoustic guitar with vocals, quiet, reflective music with phenomenal lyrics, then try "Dreamer's Book" by Mascott.  It occupies a place of honor in my new iPod that my fly wife bought me for Christmas.  That iPod is the illest gift I ever received, mos def.

Here's another favorite lyric from Kendall Jane Meade (who is Mascott): "I used to look for answers / in my hands or in the stars / now I wait for dreams to tell me what they are"

Jan 8-12.  Roxy and her posse went to Pensacola, Florida for a weekend of agility and Rally fun. 

The pointlessness and general suckitude of Rally Obedience was amply demonstrated at the trial.  Since it's a new class — it only started being a "regular" or title-earning class on January 1 — there were beaucoup entries.  Everyone is in Novice.  There were 76 entries (about 1/6 were new people, i.e. Novice A, with other 5/6 like me in Novice B).  Out of those 76, 69 showed up.  Of those 69, how many qualified? Well, 69 of us.  Sunday was a little more rigorous.  One person got NQ'd so there were only 68 qualifying scores.  Roxy's scores were 89/100 on Saturday and 94/100 on Sunday (70 needed to qualify).  Believe me, she was not that good.  Annie did even better, with a 94 and 98.  It was like doing obedience in Lake Wobegon, because all the dogs were above average.  So now both Annie and Roxy are 2/3 RN.  We have a trial here in town this weekend, and I fully expect to finish both of them.  When Roxy has her RN, I'm sorely tempted to go by the Human Resources office and have her apply for a job.  We need more nurses.  Something tells me they wouldn't get the joke.

The agility was not very good.  We haven't been practicing, and boy did it show.  Even though it was a little late for a New Year's resolution, I decided it was time to work on at least heeling practice.  Monday morning I took both girls out to the backyard for some light agility practice.  On Monday night, I took Annie, and then Roxy, for some heeling around the neighborhood.  Wednesday night, we got together with the Coxes and with Chaffin Bozeman and did ourselves some agility and heeling practice.  Roxy was finding the weave entry from all kinds of weird angles.  Wow, practicing really does improve performance.



Roxy's First Title; Annie's 15th

Roxy Celebrates

Annie Celebrates


Jan 1 . Happy New Year!

If you missed the last few updates to the RoxyLog — the last update was Dec 29 — just click on the December 2004 link here, or select it from the table below.

Roxy, Annie and I got up a little early and let Rosemary and Dylan sleep in.  After Roxy and I read the morning paper, I decided to bake some Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie based on a recipe I found online and had tried at DeeDee's. 

Somehow, some of the batter got spilled on Roxy's head and withers.  She went all around the kitchen looking for the source of the smell, but could not find it.  Annie would not lower herself to licking it off.  Finally, Dylan woke up and took care of it for us.

I should probably make New Years' Resolutions for Roxy's training.  Here are a few.

  • Roxy and I will earn the NA in AKC Novice agility during 2005, and continue competing in Novice until she consistently has clean runs at that level.
  • Roxy and I will earn the Novice Rally title in AKC Novice Rally Obedience.
  • Roxy and I will compete in Novice B obedience, earning at least one leg.
  • Roxy and I will earn at least one Standard leg and two games legs in USDAA Agility.
  • Roxy and I will train in agility at least three times a week.
  • Roxy and I will train in obedience at least three times a week.

Roxy, Roxy, Pumpkin Head

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