Opened up my email this morning to the surprise of an invitation to Xterra Worlds in Maui in October. A couple of weeks ago my coach asked me if I planned on going if I qualified and I told her I wasn't sure I'd qualify and I'd almost certainly not go if I did. I've been struggling with the heat this summer and Maui has humidity on top of heat, something we don't have here. It would be fun to swim in the ocean but nothing else about the race seems fun other than that it's WORLDS and shouldn't I be excited about going to WORLDS? While I would like the experience of it, the logistics and $$$ involved are daunting. It's a whopping $525 just to enter! Then there's Lola. Jonny would have to stay home with Lola and I'd feel bad going to Hawaii without him. It's a long, hard race in race conditions that don't suit me but there is a perverse side of me that likes a challenge. I have until Sept. 14 to decide.
I introduced Ruby to jumping the other day and while she doesn't immediately scream Agility Dog, it doesn't look so bad on video.
It's been 10 years since I've taught a dog to jump so my training skills could be better as well. I pulled out Linda Mecklenberg's 'Developing Jumping Skills' book last night to give myself a refresher. Her writing can be a bit tedious because she's trying to give precise instructions but I followed her methods for Strummer and was pleased with his jumping. I think One Mind offers a free trial period and I might try that out. I love the DVD I have from them but there's no foundation stuff on it. Not sure if their website/online program offers foundation training. Ruby's not a fan of shaping, she sits down and stares at me rather than offering behaviors so we're going to continue to work on that.
I also bought Silvia Trkman's Foundation DVD and I'm borrowing her Cik and Cap DVD from my training partner and she has a lot of good stuff. I'm not a fan of the constant chatter she provides her dog on course but I think I went too far the other way with Strummer and didn't provide enough verbal cues. So this time around I'm going to work a bit more with training verbals. Don't think I'll ever get to the point of yelling, 'Tunnel! Tunnel! Tunnel!' a million times before the tunnel but I think using more verbals will be an interesting experiment. I also borrowed her 'Ready Steady Go' DVD from the agility club library and there was some good stuff in there too. Ruby is getting more excited about playing but she still needs to be in the right mood. She actually pulled the stuffing out of a toy the other day! Never thought I'd be so happy to see that. I even took photos but somehow I can't find them now.
In other good news I'm tentatively declaring victory over the wasps. I still see them in my yard and vegetable garden but it's been a couple of days since I've seen any coming and going from the wall. I found out it would have cost $135 to have someone come out and exterminate them, a fee I gladly would paid, but they would use pesticides, some kind of foam or something sprayed at the gap between the foundation wall and siding. The wasps going in would carry the pesticide inside the wall to kill of the hive which is fine but what about the wasps coming out? I worried about having chemical laden wasps lying dead in my yard and Ruby eating them or having them get in my vegetable garden which is right next to the wasp infested wall. So I was glad not to have to resort to that. At least I have my yard back and the dogs can come and go freely. Horrible bastard wasps. This fall I'm going to seal every crack and gap I can find and in the spring I'm going to be more vigilant for possible hives forming.
If we are even here in the spring. Every day the San Juans beckon more and more. A house/ranch that looked almost perfect to us came on the market some weeks ago and quickly went under contract. Which was weird because the house is small (1340 s.f.) for most Americans and kinda weird looking from the outside. But there are outbuildings for animals, a guest house, fenced fields, even a fenced arena. In a beautiful location right next to Mesa Verde but only 2.8 miles from town on a straight country road (no mountain driving). And senior water rights! I figured that was maybe why it was snatched up so quickly, most houses sit on the market for months out there. But something happened and it's back on the market. And of course we can't get down there to look at it because of Lola plus there's the concern of why did the deal fall through? So we'll see.
Miss Lola. Totally worth all the travel restrictions.