a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: January 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Random Updates

SUMMARY: Boost, Tika

Last week in class, Boost and I did not get through a single exercise without knocking one or more bars. Usually more. Haven't really been practicing. That could have something to do with it. Started doing some jumps again today.

On the other hand, today she carried her frisbee all the way to the park, 2/3 of a mile. That's a record for her.

No class this past week due to rain.

Tika is doing fine. Seems deafer and has less stamina all the time, but ohhhhh so gradually. Still can leap straight into the air with all four feet when I get the leashes for Walkies, and run full speed after a frisbee.

She's taking 3 different meds. Found that I could get her a pet prescription card at Walgreens for $20 and get one of the meds there at less than from the vet. Just ordered more meds from KVVet.com, about half the price of the vet's office. As he said, i can probably get better prices from companies that buy huge quantities of these things at a time than from their office, which buys small amounts at a time. (Small practice.)

That all helps immensely. Closer to $100 a month than the $200/month I'd been worried about. Still--that adds up over the year.

Tika didn't make Top Ten in anything this year, no surprise--competed less often and not as fast as she'd been. But still #16 in Jumpers and I think still around 26th in Standard and Snooker (Gamblers we stopped competing in at all).

Just sent in my entry for our first agility trial since November. Very very weird to fill out an entry for only one dog. I've competed in 273 trials through the years, and these are the only ones for which I entered only one dog:
  • 1996/97, had only Remington: 11 trials.
  • 2005, tried to retire Jake so running only Tika: 3 trials.
  • 2006, only Tika for some random trials, not sure why I ran Jake in some and not others: 6 trials
  • 2006, only Tika--Jake died and Boost not ready: 1 trial
  • 2007, USDAA nationals, only Tika, Boost not qualified: 1 trial
  • 2009, Boost out with sore abdominals so only Tika, 2 trials
  • 2009, Tika swollen toe so only Boost, 1 trial
That was over 50 trials ago. And all of those I considered to be simply temporary. This time--there's no one else in the lineup. Just feels weird.

But still not sure what my future agility plans are. Still fermenting.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hi. Happy 2013.

SUMMARY: Agility class tonight.

Have not been doing or thinking about agility much. Haven't been practicing at home--yard is muddy, has been wet and coldish, I've been busy. Class was in hiatus for 2 weeks, then I had a cough and didn't go the following week, so tonight was the first time in 4 weeks that we've been to class.

Boost was VERY happy to be there.

She ran very nicely, very fast, good contacts, sending away to stuff nicely so I could get into position, etc. Her weave pole speed is still amazing to all who see it. She is fun to run! Our issues were:
  • Knocking a bar
  • Not being able to enter the weaves correctly when turning left (a known long-time issue)
  • knocking a bar
  • knocking a bar
  • knocking a bar
  • ...well, like that.
Since Tika is now retired, I try to think up ways to keep her feeling appreciated and active. While other folks were running, I'd take her out to a couple of jumps (at 12") or tunnel that no one was using and do a tiny bit of agility with her, then a bunch of tricks. Funny thing: Discovered that if I just hold her still at the beginning of a set of weaves and let her go to do the weaves, she doesn't do them. She and I both have to be running towards them.  Anyway, she seemed to enjoy herself, and she got lots of treats.

On the way home down the twisty mountain road, my speed was about 35MPH on a straight-away (speed limit 40) when a skunk ran out of the weeds and straight across the road directly in front of me. By hitting the brakes hard and swerving behind him as he ran, I avoided hitting him. But, as I sat there at a standstill with the car at a bit of an angle on the narrow road, as soon as he got to the other side, he raised his tail in my direction. I managed to burn rubber out of there before he got me. Wouldn't that have been gratitude for saving his life?

Now I can go back to not doing or thinking about agility much for the next week.