Always Training. Always Learning.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Children Are A Blessing

"Mommy you need help now?" My sons sweet little face peers around the corner "You need me to get gloves" he runs in front of me "can I put out Viowets articles?" I shake my head and try to continue training "Can I try dat?" he reaches for Violet's leash. I shake my head again and he starts to walk away. Not two minutes later I hear "Mommy need my help NOW?" I shake my head again and send Violet to get her dumbbell "I can get dumbbell faster than Violwet" he runs and takes the dumbbell out of Violets mouth as she tries complete the exercise. I send my son out of the training area only to hear "Mommy, mommy, MOOOOOOOMMY" I give in "What!" He walks over and whispers  "I need to go potty".

This banter goes on any time I attempt to train my dogs. My son is so eager to be a part of the training process that he can't contain his enthusiasm. However, it usually ends in me getting frustrated and having to end a training session before I can get anything accomplished.

To ad to this frustration I am now 7 months pregnant and it seems like baby girl knows when I start training. Her head, feet or arms always end up in the most uncomfortable places.
There is also the problem of me not being able to see my own feet or the dogs at times. It's really hard to require a straight front when all you can see is a wagging tail.

I am considering throwing in the towel until after the baby is born. That brings up a whole new set of problems. After baby girl arrives I will be sleep deprived, cranky and have a baby attached to me nearly 24/7. Don't get me wrong my husband pulls his own weight when it comes to the kids but with a full time job there is only so much he can do.

I am beginning to understand why you do not see a lot of young mothers at obedience trials.

The thing I am worried about the most is wasting Phlox's obvious talent. He has such fantastic work ethic and focus that I know with the right amount of training he could do amazing things.

Chase @ 7 months with Violet.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Charlie's First Audition

Charlie had an audition for a commercial today. He has never done anything like it before but since they didn't want a "pit bull" Charlie was chosen to come in and show the casting director what he could do.
He got to start the day with a bath and nail trim. Absolutely not his favorite way to wake up in the morning. After the torture that is the groomers we headed out.
We got to the office a little early and Charlie was being very calm and well behaved. Some of the men came over to love on him and he ate it up. While we were sitting in the waiting room I noticed that he was the only canine actor there. I started to think that maybe they hadn't found another dog to even audition. Then a little yellow lab walks in. A very well behaved little girl with no interest in the men moving around her. She is a therapy dog and gets out and about all the time so this was no biggy.
Finally they call me and Charlie in. Chuck was put on his mark and a man acted out what would be going on. It was going incredibly well until the man knelt down directly in front of him. Charlie's eyes lit up and you could see him thinking "He must want me to come to him" so Chuck got up and took a step towards him. No problem. I put him back on his mark and they did it again this time we added some head movement for Charlie. It took him a few seconds to figure out we wanted him to look side to side but he ended up doing a fine job.
All in all it took about 6 minutes and Charlie had a blast. Even if he had no idea what was going on.

That being said I do not believe he got the part. He isn't disappointed though he did get a trip to a new place and a chance to meet a ton of new people. Both very good rewards in his book.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Uh Oh Part 2

Low and behold this afternoon a limp has developed.  It's not very noticeable but she is favoring her left shoulder.

Ugh, if she isn't feeling better in a day or two it looks like a trip to the vet and sitting out the upcoming show.

Uh Oh

Violet's training yesterday seemed out of whack but I didn't think too much of it. Every one has off days and I thought it was just one of hers. So the jumps were low and the repetitions few.

After we got home from work my son and Violet were watching an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle. My son was laying on her like he usually does. All of a sudden Violet let out a scream and threw her head back. I assumed that my son had maybe jabbed her with a knee or elbow a little too hard. He is a rather large 3 year old after all.

This morning when the dogs were let out to potty I noticed that Violet was hanging back. Phlox came up to start a bit of rough housing and as soon as he pounced she let out a yelp. I started getting concerned. 

Then when we arrived at work I picked up her paw to examine her foot and she whimpered. Something is definitely up.

She is not favoring any limbs or limping at all. I can not pin point any painful areas because even though she is a huge drama queen for most everything she tends to hide her injuries pretty well.
So a few days of very limited exercise and training, some soothing baths and messages and we will see where we are. I am getting pressure from my mother to just let her retire for good. I'm not ready for that and I don't think that she is either.

Keep your fingers crossed that it's nothing career ending.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weekend Show

My little sister flew in for a visit this weekend. It just happened to coincide with the show this weekend. I didn't plan it that way but it couldn't have worked out better. I finally had some one to show Phlox for me.

Saturday we had a pretty good day. Phlox showed fairly well and ended up with first in his class. Unfortunately the judge had other plans for winners dog so no points just a blue ribbon.

Sunday was not our day. The judge seemed to prefer a heavier, larger dog. Phlox placed third. I was a little disappointed but I'm trying really hard to not get too emotionally involved in conformation. I tell myself that it's just an opinion, hold my breath and hope for the best.
Apparently there was a little drama after the judge picked BOB. People did not agree with her choice and voiced their disapproval rather loudly.

There were more dogs in the class.

Violet didn't get to go and hang out but she did get a new collar for her show in two weeks. At least she will look good while she pretends shes never heard a command in her life.  


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Place To Work

With Violets's utility debut looming I have been getting a little discouraged about our lack of training. Because of this my mother rented ring time at a local obedience club as a birthday gift. I get an entire regulation size obedience ring including jumps to my self an hour every week.

Today was our first time there. We had an absolute blast and she seemed to improve with every exercise we practiced. Our only problem was on the go outs. She seemed to be confused by the ring gates.

We did not do her articles due to the fact that I am starting over from square one. I'm just doing it out side this time. The upcoming show will be my very first outdoor trial and Miss V is not use to out door scent work.

Starting next week I will separate my ring time between Phlox and Violet. Phlox could use some time in a ring and I can set up Rally signs and get him use to full courses.