The RoxyLog

Roxy training diary weeks 42 to 46
Sun Mar 21 to Sat Apr 24

Dear Diary:

Well, where to start? I haven't been keeping up the RoxyLog as much as I should, but then there have been no complaints, so who's to say it's being read at all?

Actually, things have been happening fast and furious, and there just hasn't been time to record it all.

We spent time preparing for Roxy's first-ever agility trial. She has to be a year old to compete in AKC, so the first available trial was Apr 9-10 in Kiln.

On Saturday, Cindy Tilly was judging. I had been planning to take her over a couple of jumps and then out. Pati Hatfield convinced me to try a whole course with her, but with the understanding that I would be happy with whatever she did.

As luck would have it, we were running novice JWW first, so there was nothing to slow her down. She did jump #1, then thought #4 would be a good one to try next, and so forth. It vaguely resembled an agility run, so we celebrated just getting out and trying when she got all done. There were an awful lot of letters on her scribe sheet.

Just for fun, I decided to challenge Judge Cindy Tilly. I went up to her between classes and pointed to one of the half-dozen or so 'F's on the sheet: "I know what this F is for, and this F, but do you remember what this F is for?" I asked.

She told me to get lost.

The standard runs went better than the jumpers runs, because with each contact obstacle we could check in with each other and work as a team. By Sunday morning's JWW run (judge Edie Allyn), she did her first set of 6 weave poles in competition. That was a milestone.

By Sunday's standard run, our last of the weekend, she actually seemed to be running the same course as me.

We worked on sequences a bit off and on at home. The agility field was a mess and needed to be sprayed with herbicide, so that restricted how much work we could do. We continued to work on the offset weaves and some sequences in the backyard.

Saturday, Apr 24, we were in Gonzales, Louisiana for another try at Novice Preferred agility. This time, Roxy measured up so she was jumping in the 16" class. (She is just above 18" at the withers, so whether she ends up in the 12" preferred class or 16" depends on the person measuring.) Looking at the Novice Standard course, I knew we had a pretty good shot, since it was a couple of jumps, then a contact obstacle, then a couple of more jumps, then another contact. That gave me a good chance to get her back working with me periodically.

Miracle of miracles, we got ourselves a leg in Novice Standard Preferred, so now she is one-third NAP.

The rest of the weekend was not as nice, but that was still far more than I expected. We now have a lot more skills to work on before her next outing.

We still don't know when she is going into season. Right now, I'm betting on early May, but you never know. We are signed up for a trial May 22 (just one day), so it will likely come in the middle of that.

Annie had a good weekend too. She went four for four in her "retirement" runs in Open Preferred. Since she moved up at the Kiln trial, she had one leg in Open Preferred Jumpers already. Adding the four new legs, she now has her Open Jumpers Preferred (OJP) title and is one leg away on her Open Agility Preferred (OAP) title.

As is traditional for our family, a can of sardines was in order. Annie and Roxy got to split a can, and that meant Roxy got to try sardines for the first time.

Roxy Pays Attention

Roxy Gets a Leg

Roxy's First Can of Sardines

Roxy training diary week 41
Sun Mar 14 to Sat Mar 20

In what has become an annual shindig, we celebrated Annie's 11th birthday at the Kiln, Mississippi USDAA agility trial.

Roxy hadn't had a birthday party before. Ironically, we were celebrating Annie's 10th birthday in Kiln at the exact moment Roxy and her littermates were being whelped. How time flies.

Annie, Roxy and Dylan knew something was up (top picture) and spent a lot of time hanging around the closet door, hoping for a miracle.

It arrived in the form of a Three Dog Bakery cake (second picture from top). It was personalized for both Annie and Roxy, since they share a birthday. This year, we went with the carob chip since we had the peanut butter flavor last year.

Roxy licks her flews at the thought of a piece of cake (third picture from the top).

Among the guests at the birthday party were: Nimble (fourth picture from the top); Annie (left picture bottom row), Roxy (second from left), Rikki wearing two hats, one Clifford the Big Red dog hat and one Princess hat; Dylan chowing down; and Roxy chowing down. Maggie Downey's younger dog Carly also attended, but we didn't get her picture posted.

In fact, Dylan chowed down so effectively that he needed to be rescued. I had cut him a piece of cake which was too big for him to swallow and too big for him to chew, so he just wedged it in his mouth and refused to give it up. I was worried that he would choke, so I had to go in and break it up with my fingers so he could chew it (and my fingers) enough to swallow.

Roxy training diary week 40
Sun Mar 7 to Sat Mar 13

This week was just routine, for the most part. We did a bit of work with agility.

We're seeing some progress on the offset weave poles. She's almost to the point where the two bases can be pushed together (an offset of maybe 4") but at the beginning of each session we have to take a step or two back and start over with the weave poles a few inches wider apart than where we left them.

Once we've done several sets, over a period of about 5 minutes, her ditz-brain is back on track and now she can even do the BigDog weave poles, more towards the end of a session.

She's doing well on the tire, and so Rosemary set it up to 16" for her. We're working all kinds of approach angles. She really likes the tire.

We also did some combinations of weave poles, tunnel, table. Her table is pretty cute; she flings herself into position and looks up like, "Hey, ain't I grand?"

We're also doing some pinwheels, and have the jumps pretty much spread out and she's still doing them.

Next week, weather permitting, we'll need to do some jump chutes and keep working on the weaves.

We're still not sure about whether she is going into heat or not. She's being awfully subtle about it if she is.

The big news of the week is having her hips and elbows X-rayed, partly so we can get an OFA prelim and partly so we can make sure she is sound for agility. As an added bonus, we get to see what's up with her growth plates.

It was all good news. I'm no expert, but the hips look like they'll be OFA Good to me, and I don't see any osteophytes or abnormal junk in the elbow X-rays. Also, she had a complete blood panel done and all her values were within normal limits -- in fact, middle-normal on everything. So we have a baseline to compare other things to when she gets older or if she gets sick.

Roxy's Hips

Roxy's Elbows

Roxy training diary week 39
Sun Feb 29 to Sat Mar 6

Well, more rain and more mud (see last month's Roxylog for mud pics) but it finally let up Saturday and so we got some socialization and agility training in.

Saturday's errand was to go to the mall and get Rosemary some new glasses to go with her new Borg implant (Resistance Is Futile). We're calling her Seven of Nine and it ain't her Jeri Ryan boob job – it's the new lens in her right eye. (That hyperlink is for you, Kathy.) New lens means new glasses, so up to the LensCrafters in the mall for a nice pair. Of glasses.

While we were waiting, Annie and I got out and did some heeling and staying and general obedience next to the mall entrance, which got her lots of sorely-needed attention. Then it was Roxy's turn, and she actually surprised me with some credible heads-up heeling going from and back to the van. We took two trips, once out to the entrance and then back to check on Dylan and Annie and make sure they didn't get overheated. She broke stride a few times, but she was a great little girl and that put me in a glowing happy mood. We did some tricks and such for the people going to and fro at the mall entrance. She got petted by one couple and did a touch stick routine and flat plastic target training for them; they were mystified as to the purpose but agreed it was pretty neat. She does a nice little drop on hand signal too, and other than the chewing gum which proved to have an irresistable pull, she pretty much paid attention.

Then it was on to agility practice. Erin and Galadriel did some jump chute work and pinwheel practice a la Pati and Stuart (see February Roxylog) so we did some too.

Roxy still has a tendency to fling herself over jumps, going for the big air. I'd prefer she flatten that jump out just a bit but I guess I should be happy she's clearing the bars by about three or four feet. I think more chute work is in order to fix that deal. She was pulling out of the middle jump of the pinwheel so we need to work on that too.

On a bright note, her seesaw is spectacular. She's overcome any fear she has of it and she's just riding that sucker down. She's spending more time than she needs to at the pivot, but then she's walking down from there and that's what I want so overall I'm pretty happy. Her A frame and dogwalk are fine, with nice smooth running contacts, and her table is pretty good although we'll need some more attention span to make it through 5 seconds of table count. She has a bad tendency to pop up.

So, the mission for the next few weeks is to master the table and weaves.

Roxy took time after agility practice to Vogue on the red rocks they had brought in to The Dog Wash.

Two scary thoughts this week. Scary Thought 1: Roxy will be a year old in less than three weeks. Time to order a cake. Scary Thought 2: Roxy's first agility trial is about a month away. I hope I have the strength to just run her over a few obstacles and have fun and not get all excited about trying to finish a course before she's ready.

Dylan and Roxy have become fast friends. They spend a lot of time playing in the house. Generally, Roxy lays on her back and Dylan bites her like a corn cob from one end to the other, typewriter fashion. Sometimes, like in this picture, Roxy pretends to be Montecore the Tiger while Dylan plays Roy Horn. She's only trying to protect him from the flashbulbs.

After that, Dylan needs his relaxation. He spends a lot of time sleeping with his white parts exposed, while Roxy's thing is to make various groaning and moaning noises like an old Ford Fairlane with bad springs. She's a world-class sigh-er.

Roxy Puts on the Feed Bag

Roxy Does Her Montecore Impersonation

Roxy Flings Herself Over a Jump

Red Rox

Dylan Throws Himself into Rest

RoxyLog February 2004 (weeks 35-38)

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)