a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: tap--tap--Is This Thing On?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

tap--tap--Is This Thing On?

SUMMARY: I dunno, guess I've been busy with stuff other than agility lately.

Feels somewhat as if I'm working towards easing out of dog agility. I don't have much lately to say that's related to dog agility, and the whole purpose of this blog was to capture my training work, my competition experiences, my failures and successes and dogs dogs dogs. So somehow it feels odd to just ramble on about unrelated things or post photos of random topics.

Random topics around downtown San Jose

And, in case those weren't random enough--

I couldn't actually bear to wait two months between trials, so at the last minute, I entered both dogs in *one* day of a CPE trial out in Turlock. I had two goals:
  • Practice just RUNNING with Boost, not stopping, not going back for stuff that we missed or trying to Q.
  • Run Tika in a couple of classes at 16" and see how she looks and whether she likes it.
Mixed success on the first count--once, I forgot my goal and as usual stopped when she ran by a jump; on a couple of occasions, she ended up in front of me facing me, so it's hard to keep running full-speed in that case. She actually had a lovely Full House run, high scoring, but she knocked the wrong bar in my plan and I forgot to go back and take a critical obstacle, so tons of points but no Q.

For Full House with Tika, I just picked a course that didn't have tight turns, weaves, or the dogwalk in it, didn't bother counting points, just wanted to run and have a good time. Turns out that we accidentally had just enough points to Q, which was our collective only Q of the entire day-- 1 out of 7 runs. That has got to be my lowest-Qing CPE trial Ev-Er but since that wasn't my goal, I didn't mind so much.

Tika indeed ran nicely--obvious still that she doesn't hear me clearly or trust to get ahead of me where she can't see what I'm doing (turns back to check), but her eyes were bright and she was fast and she grabbed my feet at the end, which is a sure sign of Tika pleasure.

So I've started running her in class a couple of runs a night at 16" after 3 months of no runs.

And I've entered her in one class at day in Veterans 16" at the next USDAA trial.

So funny to have my big girl who used to jump 26" jumping only 16",  but I think it's much better for her than the 20-22" she's been jumping for the last 3 1/2 years, and she has looked like she wanted to participate when I've run Boost, so now she can. She sure looked comfortable and natural doing it.

Photo by Carlene Chandler

Her stamina is low, but then, so is mine--I'm just not getting out much or doing much. Sometimes I'm really tired. The counter to that is that I've got a contract that I'm really enjoying for work, but with one thing and another, it's taking more of my time and attention.  Have done 6-mile hikes in the hills the last 2 weekends, but with so little keeping in shape, they were quite hard for me. And for Tika, too, I think.

Hiking at Almaden Quicksilver
Hounds Tongue (seems appropriate)

 Foundations of the old pump house for the mines

Hiking at Santa Teresa
A peek at San Jose over the edge of the hill--
there were deer, too, but they didn't stick around for 5 dogs.
 Mount Umunhum with Cold War radar tower in the distance
Photo by Lisa Williams
 Coyote Valley section of San Jose, with Santa Teresa Golf Course below us
 California poppies and California gilia

We've walked over to the park to do frisbee on occasion, but less often than we had been for a little while.
Boost waits for us to catch up.

At the park.

Rambling on.  Not sure that I even have solid goals now in agility. I'd really still like to eventually get Boost's two Snooker Super-Qs for her ADCH, but except for occasional spurts of enthusiasm, I mostly have gotten to where I don't feel that I care that much any more. Mostly in the yard we play *around* the agility equipment, although I keep making Boost do jumps to get the toy instead of running around them all the time.

So--on I go, doing whatever it is that I do, and the dogs are bored a lot. Poor suffering dogs.

Bored-est Collie Boost's artistic output using cardboard and pinecones.

Ahhhh, retirement.


  1. Some nice shots above! Love the stairs, blue windows and Tiki jumping especially!

    1. Thanks! I'm having fun on occasional lunchbreaks while working downtown--so many photo ops that are different from the usual scenery and dogs.

  2. Awww..she is just so beautiful. Love her launching herself over the jump and of course snuggling. Also love the city shots...and the ones with the hills in the distance. Must feel really weird for you to sort out what you're going to do next. I certainly don't mind the random blog posts! My blog started out focused on me going back to college at 50..and morphed into much randomness. Works for me. Might work for you too!

    1. It might have been useful to me to blog about my thought processes related to agility. Hmm, guess I have a little bit, but nothing conclusive. We'll see what happens. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Great pictures. Sometimes I find it easier not to have long term goals in agility and just have goals for each trial.

    1. That is a good point. I seem to be evolving in that direction.

  4. Wow, your camera takes really good pictures!

    Just kidding -- of course I mean YOU take really good pictures. Those around-the-town ones are so cool; you have such an eye for things. Feel free to share those any time.