The RoxyLog

Roxy training diary month 13
June 2004

Week of June 27: Spent the day at Roxy's fourth agility trial. In 12 ring appearances, she's got three qualifying scores, which is a pretty good percentage, considering. Today, she excelled at Jumpers with Weaves but had a little more difficulty in Standard. Every time I run with her I'm reminded how "obstacle-focused" she is. Both runs today started with her taking off like she was shot from a gun. The standard run was jump – dog walk; she was up at the top ramp of the dog walk before I could catch up with her. She got sucked in by a table. Who ever heard of a table-sucking dog? Other dogs suck to tunnels or seesaws; Roxy sucks to tables. She was a bit apprehensive about the closed tunnel (chute) as well. All things to work on between now and her next trial, which is 8 weeks away.

Still no estrous cycle. Monday, she will visit the vet and we will maybe draw some blood and make sure her thyroid hormones are okay.

Week of June 20: Working on Roxy's stays, maybe two or three minutes a day. Boy, her stays suck. I am working with her both from the sit-front and down position, and I can take a step to the side, maybe out to 4 o'clock or 8 o'clock (taking a clock face with Roxy at 6 o'clock). By the end of this week, I'm hoping to make it around the back, but each time I try that, she busts and we have to start over. She just can't bear to not look.

So there we were, watching Gigli – truly one of the worst movies either of us has ever seen – and Roxy alerts to something in the backyard. She insists there is something out there. So, disbelieving, we open the door and let Roxy out in the pouring rain. She comes running back in, and Rosemary screams, "She has a rat!" We walled her off with baby gates and finally got her to release what she had. It wasn't a rat, but rather a young rabbit, about the size of a rat. I wasn't sure whether to dispatch it myself or let it try to recover, so I put it out in a box in the carport. Checking later, it was quite dead. It looks as though she broke its back. So, here's the box score so far. Annie 0, Dylan 0, Kodiak 1 rabbit plus 1 squirrel he swallowed whole, Roxy 1 rabbit.

One year ago, Roxy took her first out-of-town trip with us, four days after arriving at our house, when we made our annual pilgrimage to the USDAA Regionals in Perry, Georgia.

This time, it was an opportunity to retrace some of our steps, and re-introduce Roxy to the people who had seen her last when she was a wee pupkin. Now, of course, she is fully grown.

Annie has qualified for this year's Cynosport World Games (a.k.a. Grand Prix) to be held in November in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, her two qualifying scores only entitle her to a berth in the quarterfinals. It's quite possible that we would drive 1300 miles one way only to spend a few seconds in the ring. So, it was important to us to try and get a top 50% berth in the Performance Grand Prix Regional Qualifier, so that I could ensure her of two runs – at a minimum.

Of course I screwed that up, by giving her a wrong course over the A-frame in Round 1. Otherwise, it was a beautiful run and I'm not sad I gave it a try with her. She worked beautifully for me.

Roxy will not be old enough to run in USDAA until September, so for her, it was a bit of a vacation. Annie got a chance to see what her retirement will be like. There was lots of swimming, and she even took time to give swim lessons to a Border Collie.

The weather was stormy, so Roxy and I only got one good chance to walk and work on her heeling. We will have to make it a point to go to PetSmart for some air-conditioned heeling practice.

So we did go, on Tuesday night after we graduated another group of Basic Home Manners folks. Roxy and I had walked two miles before class, then she got to do the "demo dog" thing during class, so she was suitably tired out. We did some heeling practice, and did a 3-foot recall and some brief stays with me stepping to one side or the other. She's not solid enough for me to wander around much more than that.

Roxy, Then and Now

Wet But Happy Dogs

Roxy training diary weeks 47 to 52
Sun Apr 25 to Sat Jun 5

Celebrating One Year of RoxyLogs !

I know, let's have a contest. Email me and tell me what your favorite RoxyLog installment is, then we can have a "RoxyLog Greatest Hits" page to save me writing new stuff. Maybe it will serve to entertain the small, but select, group of RoxyLog Aficionados.

Time to switch the RoxyLog over to a monthly basis; it's just too much to do every week plus there is not that much to report now that the kid is growing up.

Roxy's agility career proceeds apace. She was a bit disappointed that we went to the USDAA trial in Holly Spring the weekend of May 8-9, and she did not get to run once! She now thinks it's her due to run every time we go to a trial. Of course, she's too young to do USDAA until September, so she'll just have to wait. For her, it's like waiting for Christmas.

When she finally did get to run, we let her loose at an AKC trial in Memphis two weekends after. We just went for the single day (May 22) and no one else got to run, but she had a blast. She was a little wild on her Standard run, and we had to leave the ring in disgrace (she started freelancing and judge Lisa Layton calls that training in the ring) so I wasn't holding out much hope for her Jumpers run. In the past, she's been doing much better at Standard because the rhythm of jump - contact - jump gives me some natural control points and a chance for her to check back in with me. Well, to my surprise she lit up the Jumpers course. She was a bit wild – she got her maximum two runouts and did a good bit of wandering – but in the event, she was only 4-seconds-and-change over the standard course time so she squeaked by with an 86. Now she has one each of a standard and jumpers leg in AKC Preferred.

Another squeaker was her height card measurement. I had her pegged at 18 inches plus a Red Cattledog Hair (18" + 1 RCH) but when she was measured by a Certified Measuring Official she came out at exactly 18". That leaves her in the 16" height class in regular AKC competition or 12" in Preferred, which is where she's staying until she settles down a bit. That temporary card will stay with her until March 2005 when I need to get a permanent card on her. Either way – under 18" or over it – won't matter to me.

I decided to shoot for a fall debut in Novice obedience. Toward that end, I've been working on Roxy's heeling. We've been trying to walk for a mile or more three times a week, weather permitting. Much of the time in this El Nino year, (or is it a La Nada year?) the weather has not cooperated at all. I've got a pretty good start on heads-up heeling and an automatic sit. Her recall is pretty good.

What's non-existent, and needs work, is her fronts and finishes, stays, and stand. We've got some time to work on those. I've set August 7 as a goal to shoot for, with no intention of actually making it by then, but in all likelihood it will be more like September or October before she's really ready. The local October trial is sandwiched in between trips to San Diego and Boston for me, and if Annie shines in the Regionals, a trip to Phoenix right after Boston. Whew. Makes me tired just thinking about it. I don't know how I feel about taking Roxy into the obedience ring with just two days' tune-up after my San Diego trip. I also don't know about taking Annie all the way to Phoenix and starting a two-day drive the morning after I return from Boston.

To celebrate Roxy's one-year anniversary, we went to Mall Wart ("Your Source for Cheap Plastic Crap") and bought our own piece of cheap plastic crap, in this case a children's wading pool. Pictures of the event are at right and below; as you can see, it doesn't have to be expensive plastic crap for the dogs to take delight in it.

I just learned a new word from reading the New York Times so I feel compelled to use it in a sentence. I'm feeling particularly marcescent at work lately. That's why dog training is so much more fun.

We feel like we're finally making progress on the housetraining front. She has very few accidents any more, and it seems like she finally "gets it". Sheesh. Took long enough.

Will this bitch ever go into season? Stay tuned to this channel for more updates.

Dylan Gets a Faceful

Roxy Gets a Faceful

Dylan Waits

Roxy Waits

Roxy Bites

"MY damn tub", says Annie

Dylan Towels Off

It Was All a Blur


Dylan Poses Wet

RoxyLog March and April 2004 (weeks 39-46)

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)