Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Empire of Dirt

The snow has finally melted. The weathermen were positively disappointed that we missed the record by 2 or 3 days for most consecutive days of snow on the ground. I'm sorry but after not seeing my yard, the agility field, the trails, my driveway for over 60 days in a row I could care less about some stupid record. The agility field is in great shape, dry with no mud. I took all 3 dogs out there this morning and what a great feeling that was, finally some normalcy back in my life. I worked on some jumping and tunnels with Strummer. He has the most awesome table and I barely had to do anything to train it. However he's the first dog I've had who's had trouble with the tire jump. He keeps running in the space between the tire and the frame. I'll have to block it off with a wing or something until he gets more fluent with it. He's doing really well with finding the proper entry with just 2 weave poles. Still needs a bit of work on the far off side entry but I'm guessing he'll soon have that down. I've been taking a plank with me to work and obedience class so we can work on his contacts and he's doing great with that. I've started adding in distractions, calling him to me, sending him, running with him, etc. and he gets the position almost every time. Best of all though was that he was able to work at the field today with all kinds of chaos going on around him-people setting up a course, a loose dog, some crated dogs, some dogs running and barking on the fenceline next to the field. He ran off a few times to say hi to the other people but came right away when I called him.

Lola's still in rehab but she got to work on a cavaletti and got to walk through the weaves with every other pole missing. She's allowed to run off leash now and can start running with me. She is so happy these days, grinning from ear to ear. The past 2 months have been tough on her and she's been seriously moping.

Cody got to run a course from a European judge. It was surprisingly open and fast with a few fun tricky bits thrown in. I'd always assumed the European courses were very tight and trappy. We got to show off our distance skills as there were several places on the course where they helped a lot. I guess NADAC is good for something. He ran it clean except for the very last jump. I assumed he had it and slowed up a bit causing him to pull off. Will I ever learn it's not over til it's over? He had one very wide turn so we worked that part of the course for a bit. Poor guy, it was so obvious he had no idea how to read cues for the turn. I worked some drills with him during the week for this very thing but it's going to take some more practice.

This afternoon I was back on my bike and finally able to hit the trails. They were 95% dry though I did have a problem going up Ice Hill which is very steep and long. I can't ride the whole thing even when I'm in good shape and today the very top was still covered in mud and snow. The snow was on a steep angle across the very last part of the trail and I had a bit of a 'moment' wondering if I could make it. I had to carry my bike on some parts then sidestep up the snow bank and hope my cleated bike shoes held their grip. It turned out to be no problem as long as I didn't look down. Otherwise a brilliant ride, saw a bald eagle and finally the prarie dogs! It's been months since I've seen those sassy little rodents.

Yesterday was a trail run and I'm up to 37 minutes, over 3 miles. The 5k should be a piece of cake as long as I don't injure myself. I did manage to fall off the sidewalk from a complete standstill yesterday. I'm sure Strummer was somehow responsible. There are always dogs at the scene of my most stupid mishaps. Knee's a bit swollen where I landed but otherwise everything seems o.k. Anyway, it was so joyous to be running on solid dirt again. Can't wait til I can work up to some longer distances and maybe even some hills if I'm good.

Last but not least I can't help but share some dirt from the Colorado agility list. The flap over allowing mixed breeds into AKC events sure has brought out the worst in some people. I could get angry over it or I could just laugh my ass off. Some of those people must have spent too much time playing under the power lines as kids. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

I'm sorry that people with mixed breed dogs want to compete in AKC, but what part of "the sport of purebred dogs" do you not understand.
"It's hard enough to get into an AKC agility trial around here with a purebred, I'd hate to be shut out of a spot at an AKC trial by a mixed breed.There are enough other venues around that any breed or mix can play in, let AKC trials be for AKC recognized breeds."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"What people are doing now with designer dogs is creating mutts and scamming the gullible into thinking they're getting something special."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"I wouldn't want to discourage mixes from participating in agility, but also agree with some of the previous posts, that there are other venues that they can compete in.”

I personally have no issue with mixed breeds competing in AKC events as long as they are a separate venue from purebreed events and do not have an impact on points, placements, championships for purebred dogs

And here we go, my all time personal favorite that also demonstrates why you should always check your house for gas leaks before posting to the internet:

"I think those that worry about mixed breeds being less than obedient, there could be a ruling that all dogs have to have some form of obedience training before entering certain events (purebred and mixed breeds). I have never attended any of the other venues, but am sure that most mixed breed owners are just as concerned abouttheir dogs' behavior at these events as most of the purebreds owners.

My first dog was a mixed breed border collie and he spurred my interest in obedience and behaviors. From there I became more interested in purebreds. So I feel AKC is on the right track as far as mentoring the mixed breeds."


No this wasn't taken out of context as their was no context to take it out of. Nobody had mentioned anything about mixes being disobedient, this person started going off all on her own. I can't even imagine what she thinks the AKC wants to mentor me about. Frankly I'd love to know.


  1. Great to hear you are up and running again, Elayne.

    Do please send some of that snow to the French Alps before I hit the slopes (not literally, I hope) in April.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.