Roxy training diary month 37
June 2006


June 26.  As part of Dylan's physical therapy and rehab, he is supposed to do some 4" or 6" jumps.  Our equipment is set for something that looks lower than 4" off the ground (probably because of the grass) and then 8", so I put the bars on a slant so the average height would be around 6". 

Dylan was thrilled to be asked to wait at the "start line" while I led out.  He apparantly has missed doing agility as much as I have.  It probably would have been better if he hadn't decided to take the full-height A-frame instead of the tunnel when we went to the bottom yard, but he was at the top before I could stop him.  I just made certain he did a very controlled descent.

Here's a little movie taken just before we quit for the day.


Jun 25.  We had decided to use the day off and the gorgeous weather to go hiking up the Snowbasin side of Mt. Ogden.

Snowbasin's summer season opened Friday and it was a fantastic summer day for hiking.  Some of the early wildflowers were out, and Roxy and Rosemary and I took time to enjoy them.

It was an enjoyable trip, except for the part where we got lost.  Going straight uphill burns a lot of energy and tires you out.  Finally, in desperation, we did some backtracking and found the correct trail again.

We got lost again, but in a less severe way.

One day I will learn the trails up Snowbasin.  I thought my winter experience there would help, but many of the usual landmarks are gone.  Everything looks different, and I can't say the maps they give you are much help.

Roxy found a snowbank that had survived summer temperatures, and found it was refreshing to sit or lay down on the snow when your feet are tired. 

Roxy, the Flower of Utah Femininity

Snow in June

Eventually, we made it to the Needles Lodge but the meal we had looked forward to was not to be; they had closed. 

So we rode the gondola back down.  Roxy didn't like her second gondola ride much more than the first; because I figured she'd be a little skittish I carried her on this time.

She eventually settled in to a mildly apprehensive state, and watched the scenery as we rode down to Earl's Lodge at the base.

There, they had live music and food (although nothing that was "legal" for me to eat).  Rosemary had a bratwurst and I had a diet Coke.  Roxy got some ice from my drink.

The whole experience wiped her out, and now she is snoozing soundly next to my chair as I type.

It's a Long Way Down


Hey, This Place is Cool

Jun 23.  Roxy sez: Today was "Go Visit Your Human at Work Day".  So I did.

Rosemary brought me over to see Jim.  Everyone there was happy to see me, because I'm beautiful.  And smart.

I met another animal, called Cousin Itt.  Even though Cousin Itt is beautiful, she won't let anyone see her face. 

Cousin Itt and I took a Doritos break.  Nacho Cheese Doritos are great!  I will work for those.  I did sit, and down, and place, and "prairie dog".  Did I mention that I am beautiful and smart?  Everyone loves me.

Then I sat in Jim's chair and helped him with paperwork.  That was boring, but I was glad to help out.

Yesterday, on my walk in, I had the iPod going on "full random" mode.  Lo and behold, the song that came up was Shawn Colvin's "One Small Year".  That reminded me that it's almost a year since I moved out here.  Wow, things sure have changed for me in a year.  It was about three days short of a year ago when Pioneer Annie and I packed the rental truck and set off on our transcontinental trek to Deseret.  (If you click on the link, scroll to the bottom to see Pioneer Annie.  She had ditched the damn bonnet by the end of the month, since Pioneer Day was July 24.

My year here has been incredibly happy.  I'm awfully glad I made this move.  I hope it will work out for everyone else, as well.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to Me.

"One Small Year" — Shawn Colvin

One small year
It's been an eternity
It's taken all of me to get here
The hands of time
They pushed my down the street
They swept me off my feet to this place
And I don't know my face
Now all through the night I can pretend
The morning will make me whole again
Then everyday I can begin
To wait for the night again
One more tune
That will never be done
It's just another one for the moon
For the days in the ruin

Cousin Itt

Cousin Itt and Roxy Take a Dorito Break



Jun 20.  Tonight was a training class night, we'll call it Obedience II Two.  That would be "Obedience Tutu", which is a nice mental image, I think.

Roxy did better, but she is still more skittish of the other dogs (particularly a black lab) than I would like.  We'll work on that.

Since my Jun 17 gush/rant about Neko Case, many of you have inquired about her.  Okay, so no one except me knows who she is.  NPR's "All Songs Considered" did a show on her, which the nice folks at NPR have put here.

Neko Case is also responsible for one of my favorite quotes of all time, which can be found at the end of this interview. just ran a feature on the 10 Best Viral Videos of All Time.  I hadn't seen this one, which features Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey.  I just can't stop watching it. 




Jun 18.  Tried something new, training-wise, with Roxy today.

Regular readers of this here space will recall that Roxy has been going through a phase where she's timid and fearful, but only at agility trials.  Needless to say, this makes for some pretty lousy runs.

The June 10 entry (below) notes that Julie Stiles suggested the "In Focus" program.  So, I ordered it and read it. 

One of the things you need to do for a shy dog like Roxy is to go into the ring, do two obstacles (or one, or none), then leave and go have a party.  Wow, that's hard to do when you've paid $20 for the run and you know your dog is capable of doing it.

Then a light bulb came on.  I had entered a trial in Blackfoot, Idaho (about two hours' drive north of here) for Friday and Sunday.  I had to cancel because of my LASIK.  But the entry was still "live", so I could just show up and pretend to run Roxy.

Since I am not supposed to exercise for a week after the surgery, a real agility run was out of the question in any case.

It looked like a perfect setup.  The opening needed a lead-out past the first (tire) jump, and Roxy never, ever holds her leadout.  So I could leave her, she'd break her leadout, then we'd leave.

Except she held her leadout, and then before I knew it was on obstacle #2, the dog walk.  After that, we left.

Rosemary was stationed outside the ring exit.  I had warned the person behind me what was up.  We blasted out of there, running and playing, and Rosemary gave Roxy a jar of baby food.  Maybe this will work.



Jun 17.  Two weeks ago, I was scanning the local paper and saw an announcement of a Neko Case concert just an hour’s drive away.

The fly in the ointment: I had already scheduled a LASIK for the day before the concert.

Well…I wasn’t going to let that deter me from seeing my Favorite Singer of All Time.

So, I had the LASIK on Friday, actually felt pretty good, and convinced Rosemary to drive me up to Park City really early so I could get a good seat.

I’d never been to the club before, and I had no idea how the seating was arranged.

The show is scheduled to start at 9 pm, so we showed up at 5:30. The doors are locked. A stairway leads upstairs to the club, and the door is ajar; inside Neko and her band are doing a sound check. So, we just sat down and chilled.

A guy comes by (I found out later he was the light guy) and said, “Are you with the band? Can I help you?”

I said, “no” and explained what we were up to. I was told the doors open at 8 pm and so we left, got something to eat, then I formed the line at about 7 pm.

I pretty much figured my dream of meeting Neko Case was shot, then and there.

Although we had our first choice of places to park ourselves, I messed that up, and we ended up in chairs against the wall maybe 30 feet from the stage.

A whole bunch of people came in, and filled the mosh pit between us and the stage. We all figured out that by perching on the counter behind us, we could see pretty well, so we sat through the whole show like that.

It was incredible.

After the show, there was a booth set up for merchandise so I went over there to try and score a poster or a t-shirt. (I already have every piece of music she’s ever recorded.) There I was, thinking about what I wanted to buy, and I looked up and said to myself, “that saleswoman has on the same t-shirt as Neko Case wore on stage.”

Well, duh. It was Neko Case.

So I gave her my business card (yeah, I’m a geek…) and she reads the title and sort of looks impressed. I said, “it’s not really all that big a deal.”

She said, “so, you are the guy who fills the candy machine?” and we chuckled, and I said yes, that’s about it, and she signed my poster, as you can see here.

I met Neko Case.  Wow.

Lisa, the poster shows Lloyd.  You can see where she added an arrow pointing to Lloyd that says (naturally), "Lloyd".   The story of Lloyd is here.

Feeling much better after my LASIK on Friday.  The eyes are not settled down yet, and it will be awhile before I "see right", but as of today I have good vision at infinity (that is, finding the antennas on Mt. Ogden or the snow that still remains on Ben Lomond) but not very good closer than 20 feet or so.

I had a followup visit today and Dr. Clayson says this is normal, so we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Not much pain from the procedure.  Yesterday, after the surgery, it felt like I had been camping out in a sandy desert but that was about the extent of it.  Today, a little catch now and then but nothing to write home about.

I am using the magic 'ctrl-+' feature to make Web pages bigger, so I can fool around on the computer again.  Today's find: an actual 64-page report, commissioned by the BBC, on the nastiest words you shouldn't say on TV or radio.  Needless to say, if you're offended by bad language, don't read it.  An actual table, listing the words in order from nastiest to mildest, is found in Appendix 2.


Jun 13.  Today's quick rundown: my sister's birthday, Roxy goes to school, and Jeff Goldblum is watching you poop.

Happy Birthday, Lisa.  Don't worry; since you live in Bow Mar, not Ogden, there is no Standard-Examiner to print your age and your annual salary.  Your brother is not nearly as lucky.

I've been trying to hook up with the local obedience club for many months now.  Their training director, who is supposed to be in charge of enrolling people like me in classes for money, apparently doesn't answer her emails.  I just checked, and my first email to her was dated Mar 25.  No response.  So, Rosemary and I decided on the Gonzo approach, so we just showed up with a dog.

Amazingly, that worked, and Roxy is now enrolled in so-called Obedience II, which I suppose is about equivalent to a second grade for dogs.  I was running late, having been stuck in Davis County traffic trying to return from a trip to Salt Lake, so Rosemary and Roxy nailed down the first half of class and Roxy and I worked the second half.

Unfortunately, in all the excitement, no photographs.

Instead, I leave you with a recent discovery I made.  About three years ago, a group of people started the website, which was devoted to printing out and posting the picture at right in bathrooms all over the world.  I missed out on this joke when it was fresh, but on the off chance that some of my regular readers haven't seen it, here it is.  The site is no longer active.  You'll have to improvise if you want to stick this poster in a bathroom somewhere, but don't hold me responsible for the consequences.



Jun 11.  Today's agility was not much better than yesterday's.

Roxy again seemed distracted and out-of-sorts.  To top it off, we were almost done with the Open Standard course (having skipped about half the obstacles), and headed for the table (fourth from the last obstacle), when Roxy veered off to take a dump on the course.  That, of course, got us kicked out of the ring.  I thought we were good, because she had taken a dump on the way from the car to her crate earlier this morning.  I was wrong.

The trial was not particularly well-run and I now have a new judge for my "do not show to" list.  In fact, I may not sign up for another trial run by this club.  They were pretty disorganized and downright rude about it.  The entry was tiny, and yet it took forever to get through the day.  There was an inexplicable 45 minute disappearance by the judge before our Open run.  Then, after that, with only two classes left to run (about 15 dogs in all), everyone said, "Lunch break!" and disappeared again.  That used up another hour.  Sheesh.

Meanwhile, I tried to get Roxy to play some frisbee, but she wouldn't even engage in her favorite game.  We hung out with Barb Petty and Kristin Sittler and tried to get Roxy to chill a bit, but she seemed very tentative and shy.

Jumpers was not much better.  I got a run-by on the first jump, and Roxy did a couple of things, but couldn't finish the weaves, so we started looking for an exit strategy.  We got out of there after that. 

With my LASIK scheduled for Friday (woo hoo!), we have a four-week break.  For her next AKC trial in mid-July, I decided to bump her back down to Novice B, on the theory that I am the one making her nervous and upset. 

Maybe if I don't care, she'll perk up a bit.  Since we already have the Novice title, there's nothing to prove there.  Also, I might start doing some serious obedience work with her and think in terms of a CD by the end of the year.

While we were sitting around, I starting working on her retrieve with a few hold exercises I learned from Dee Dee these many moons ago.  She had a major breakthrough when I switched from the plastic dumbbell to the wooden spoon — she grabbed at the spoon.  We need to work on duration and holding, but it's a start.  She's not too keen on holding onto my finger yet. 

She also does a great touch stick.  I didn't use the clicker because were surrounded by agility, obedience and Rally-O! rings, and nothing is more annoying that being at a trial where someone is outside the ring with a damn clicker.


Happy Roxy

Jun 10.  Roxy and I attended another agility trial, this time an AKC trial nearby.

The show site is only about 20 minutes south of our house, and last night's driving rain and thunderstorms turned into a beautiful, clear, cool summer day, so it was a great day to be outside.

Roxy once again decided that she didn't really want to be in the ring, so although we had some flashes of brilliance and incredible sequences, mostly we just ran around the course taking whatever she was in the mood to do.  It was entertaining and fun for both Roxy and the audience, just not for me.

Julie Stiles (the agility handler, not the actress) suggested a book and video called "In Focus" which I've ordered from the fine folks at CleanRun Productions.  While you're there, why not buy yourself another copy of my book?  You know you want to.

Local ACD enthusiast and all-around great person Brandy Arnoldus came to visit.

Dylan Is Bored by His Adoring Public

Brandy is on ACD-L and is a charter member of the RoxyLog Aficionados.  Her two kids and three dogs came to visit as well.  The two youngest dogs, ACD Jaegermeister and BC Luna, played frisbee with Roxy for a while. 

Dylan is released to walk, but not jump, so he came out for a bit and met with his adoring public.

Roxy, Jaeger, Luna, and a Frisbee


Got Herding?


June 9.   Rosemary and Dylan made the trip to Bountiful today.  Dylan had his Fentanyl patch removed and was told he looked mahvellous.  He was given permission to do anything he wanted to do as long as it was boring.  [That's my interpretation, knowing how cattledogs view the world.]  How exciting can leash walks be, anyway? 

We took a photo of Dylan and his therapist, Marianne, playing kissyface.  Camera delay caused us to miss the tongue action (on Dylan's part, not Marianne's).  Dylan does love his therapist!  Despite all that was done to him on Tuesday, he was absolutely irate when Rosemary pulled off the freeway in Bountiful and headed east to Burger King rather than immediately turning west toward the clinic.

In his latest video, David Hasselhoff learns an important lesson about the

flammability of intestinal gases.

People ask me all the time, "Jim, where can I get the new David Hasselhoff video of his boffo hit single Secret Agent Man?"

My research on the topic of flatulence ignition led me to today's Site of the Day.  My favorite video clip?  Well, that would be this one.


June 8.   Thanks go to all of Dylan's family, friends, and fans all over the country who have sent him get well soon messages.  We heard from the LWW / Kluwer-Wolters chapter of his fan club this morning.

He must be feeling better because he is NOT happy being asked to rest in his crate or x-pen.  I'd play the TV for him but he usually wants to join the action which is not compatible with staying quiet.  Even The Weather Channel isn't safe because they can suddenly show dogs, other animals, things blowing up, or scantily-clad young women (his favorite) in commercials.  No, I still haven't had the heart to tell him that the Spice Girls broke up.


June 7.  At just 24 hours after surgery, Dylan has perked up considerably.  He received gifts from two of his admirerers (female, of course).  Shelley Conroy, Dean of the WSU College of Health Professions, who knows about these things, brought him a little vial of a Chinese healing oil from Shanghai.  Greta von Plant (see September 17, 2005) presented Dylan with a get well octopus.  Since it has six legs instead of eight, Jim calls it a hexapus.   We are amazed at how good Dylan is looking and how well he's getting around.  Yes, they worked on that disk from the front of his neck! 

A get-well gift from Greta von Plant. Dylan, his hexapus, and his incision. Wait, I thought these things had 8 legs!


Privacy, Please

Jun 6.  We were all concerned for Dylan, because he had his back surgery today.

His surgery was mid-day, and by late afternoon he was ready to come home, which was a pleasant surprise.  His back legs are working, although it's hard to tell how well until the anesthesia wears off completely.

He has a Fentanyl patch for pain control.  We know this because it says "Fentanyl patch" on the surgical tape covering it.


It's amazing that just eight hours after the start of his surgery (when these pictures were taken), he's home and doing fine.  As far as we can tell, he should make a complete recovery.

The rest of Roxy's weekend was not as great as her first day in Team.  We had some moments of greatness, but nothing that made more than 2/3 of a course.  I took the judge, Darlene Woz, back to the airport — with a stop at the Red Iguana for dinner — and we discussed Roxy's shyness/stress problems.  Darlene agrees with me that continuing to take her in the ring is the best thing, but I just need to do a better job of appearing to be having fun. 


Jun 3.  Today was the start of a three-day USDAA trial down in Sandy at Lynnleigh Farms.

The Colorado contingent was there, so we got to see Charlie Manlove and his cattledog Mattie, shown here running the Gamblers course.

Dylan, of course, had to scratch, so I pulled a draw teammate.  I told the trial secretary that I hoped my partner had a good sense of humor.

As it turned out, I was partnered with Daisy Mae, a Pug mix, and Shannon Paulson, a purebred human.  It was Shannon's first time in USDAA, so Roxy and I did not disappoint her too greatly with our difficulties. 

Gamblers was pretty rough.  It got much, much better in Jumpers; even though we had a wrong-course elimination, it was a gorgeous run save that.   I was happy, given that these are Masters'/PIII level courses.

The wheels fell off in standard, and after that, we were in fifth place out of six teams.

Mattie and Charlie


Things improved from there.  We had the highest combined total in Snooker (which, of course, is weighted so that it counts the least).  Daisy Mae and Shannon used the same Snooker plan as Roxy and I, and they scored 45 points with it, while Roxy and I had 19. 

In team events, the Relay counts heaviest, and the main thing is to stay on the course and not get an elimination fault, like a wrong course.  Both of us were able to do that, and the third and fourth place teams each pulled an E, so we moved up to third place overall.  I was very proud of Roxy, because she handled some difficult courses without freaking out too much.



Previous RoxyLogs
2003 2004 2005   
The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)
RoxyLog October 2005 (month 29)
RoxyLog November 2005 (month 30)
RoxyLog December 2005 (month 31)
2006 2007 2008    
RoxyLog January 2006 (month 32) January January    
RoxyLog February 2006 (month 33)
RoxyLog March 2006 (month 34)
RoxyLog April 2006 (month 35)
RoxyLog May 2006 (month 36)