Friday, October 29, 2010

More dogwalk training, more fire

Was driving to the training field this morning at around 9 am and smelled smoke.  There was some smoke visible in the air but I couldn't see where it was coming from.  Until I got to the training field.  Then the source of the fire was  a little hard to miss as you can see from the video.  It didn't look to be close to my house so I wasn't too worried but as I drove home the smoke got thicker, the light turning that apocalyptic orange.  Again.  This fire is much closer to town and in fact parts of town are evacuated.  Unfortunately the winds are blowing the fire towards me and they just moved the evacuation boundary closer to me so it's now less than 2 miles away (the fire is probably 3 miles away).  I'm not to the point of worrying or packing up the car because the winds have died down a bit.  There's still a high wind warning and it is windy but not enough that I'm going to start tearing the house apart and packing up.  I think they expanded the evacuation zone because the firefighters are doing a back burn and not because the fire spread of it's own accord.  But that's only a guess.  I'm about a mile from the line where the power is being intentionally cut so I'm planning on the possibility of losing power at any time.  The smoke is bad, no biking or dog walking for me today.  Went out for not even 1/2 an hour to take some photos and my shirt smelled like a fireplace when I got home, had to take it off it was so bad.  So many people out there running and biking in the muck because it's otherwise a beautiful warm day in the 70's.  I won't do it though, my throat is sore enough with just sitting at my desk and the short photo ride I took.

As for the dog training:

7/9 hits, 78%, same as the trail a few weeks ago.  I shot some video on Weds. as well but it was hard to see the contact zone and I had a frustrating session of rewarding all 3 of his misses (7/10, 70%).  The misses were so subtle, even with the video I had to slow it way down to see them.  No obvious leaping like he did at the start of the video I posted, more like he simply strided right over even though he was doing what looked like the same gait he does when he hits.  I was hoping to get better footage of the slight misses to post to Silvia's forum but of course this time around he didn't do it.  The one rewarded miss was a tunnel/turn and I was standing back at the tunnel exit and couldn't see the contact properly but somehow I thought he had gotten it.  Because I'm psychic or something.  Don't know what I was thinking.  No subtle misses though, I'll try again this weekend if the smoke ever clears.

I'm also not thrilled with the stress on his ACL's when he does those tight turns to the tunnel.  Seeing those in slow motion made me cringe and kept me from my sleep last night.  I won't let him chase balls because I hate that screeching to a stop then turning tightly and here I am intentionally training it.  I'll have to figure out a better end performance but right now I can't quite picture it.  Today's performances weren't as bad as those on Weds. but still, yikes!  I only asked him to do it so I had an example to send to Silvia, maybe she's got a way she handles that challenge.

Some photos of the fire taken from my neighborhood.

Views from Wonderland Lake

Slurry bomber


  1. The running contacts are looking good. I dont throw the tennis ball anymore either because of how she torks her back. Ill throw a big stuff round ball that she just scoops up and doenst have to stop to get it. Diana

  2. Yeah, liking the running contacts. You're right, the near misses are hard to tell from watching the video. I learned an interesting thing from the judging clinic--you have to be in a position where you can kind of look down on the contact zone, and then you can see the hits or misses pretty easily. I haven't figured out how I can use that in training, though--because you want to be acting like you would in competition. But there, for what it's worth, is my info.

  3. I have a big stuffed ball, I should give it a try. If I throw toys I either throw it right to them or I'll put them in a stay then throw the toy into tall grass or somewhere where they can't see it so they have to slow to a trot or walk to find it. I'll throw the toy as a reward for agility but not very far so he can't get any speed up.

  4. Yeah, that's my problem right now, trying to judge the contact while running and not being in ideal position. I used to be able to tell from the sound of his gait but now he's missing even while doing the proper gait. I think this is the source of my 70% success rate-I'm not noticing the misses and worse I'm rewarding them.