Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meat and a Side Boob

Catchy title, no?

Leah and I took a 14 hour round trip road trip to WI today to pick up a great raw beef mix for the dogs.  It's muscle, organ, and bone ground together with tripe.  Pretty smelly stuff, but a fantastic price, and pretty complete.

As usual, a road trip of ours can't be uneventful.  We got a little lost in rural WI but managed to find the place.  It took about 10 minutes for us to load the car, then we started our trip back.  That's when things started to get a little....loose.

I do cross stitch on car trips and at dog shows, so my head is usually down.  I notice something waving at me from the left hand lane, and look up to see a shirtless guy on a motorcycle passing us. 

I guess at 70 MPH the only way to wave at vehicles is with a flappy side boob.  I get it; you can't take both hands off the handlebars, that'd be insane.  It's much more personable to wave a nipple from under your armpit at someone.

I said "OMG" and looked over to see a speechless Leah.  We both immediately thought of and then recited this episode of Family Guy:

And as is our custom, we took the joke farther than it ever needed to go.  The biker's name is Side Boob Joe.  We actually saw him examining his chafing on the side of the road.  He has a song, a motto, and a saying:

99 boxes of meat in the car;
99 boxes of meat;
Take 1 down, flap it around;
98 boxes of meat in the car.

The more you don't want to know; that's Side Boob Joe.

Whether you're on the road or off the road; keep it flappin.

The return trip went quickly, but my stomach hurts and Leah looks like she's been sobbing all day. 

The end.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Raw meat, psychics, tarot readings, and a test later....

So it's been a few months.  I'm going to blame it on "sh*t happens," which it did, but that's been flushed.  (hardy har har)

Rocket's training has been lax, for the most part.  BUT, I am going to create a new schedule for the next few months so that Kaylee and Rocket can both finish their BN's soon and move on to their CDs.

I've been contemplating actually taking agility lessons, so I can figure out how to be a better handler.  It's on the wish list, currently, behind putting a few titles behind MY name.  They aren't fun ones; they're insurance designations, meaning that I studied my *ss off on very, very dry material and passed hard tests.  I just passed my first AU test yesterday, meaning I have (I think) 1 left for my name to turn into "Aryn Fross, AU."  I'm going to keep going to add a "CPCU" behind that "AU"....

I'm converting Rocket and Allie over to a completely raw diet in the next two weeks.  Leah and I are making the trek to WI to pick up beef, and supplementing it with chicken from a mostly local supplier.  I bought a human size freezer to put in the garage, so we'll have plenty of supply to make trips to WI minimal.

As it turns out, Rocket's thyroid was low.  This was impairing his ability to gain weight.  He had literally no symptoms; his coat got a little off and he shivered a little more, but that was it.  He's been on meds for the last month, and has miraculously gained 5 lbs.  He's up to 80 now, and looks much better.  His appetite is more even and his coat is improving.  We found all this during his routine heartworm testing; I'm very glad we ran the bloodwork!

I went to my first Metaphysical Fair today.  Yes...I did.  It was very much a good time!  I had a pet communicator tell me that I had to read a specific Agility book; that Rocket and Allie would both excel in Agility, and that Ruby says we are "good friends, although she says that you should let her run loose, because she promises she'd come back and she'd be able to handle whatever happens."  Noodle, apparently, thinks very highly of herself.  Most of the conversation was pretty standard, I'd say - based on breed generalities.  BUT, a few things came across that you would have to know the dog to, I'd say it was a success.  I told Allie I was sorry about her allergy shots, but I guess Allie thinks they are great because she knows that I love her very much to get them for her.

Leah talked me into a tarot reading.  I applied for a job, and am a little apprehensive, but I got a lot of reassurance that my decision was a correct one.  It was a really positive experience.  I'm going to make sure I don't miss next year's fair.

In a few weeks, Rocket gets his first try at a lure coursing test.  The AKC now offers a coursing title for all non-sighthound breeds, and with his prey drive, he should be pretty successful. 

It was a long post, but I'll be keeping up with it more often, I promise!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First title!

Rocket and I finished his RN title yesterday.  Woo hoo!  He did a much better job this time that last weekend.  His only real "faux pas" was his transformation of a "front" into a "beg."  Adorable, yes, and the judge giggled, but points go missing, even on the cute stuff! 

It makes me feel a little better that yes, I can get a title on a dog with testicles. 

Today, we are heading back out into the show site for attention work.  Trying to teach a Doberman that we don't want them to pay attention to their environment is a long process, as it goes against their natural tendencies.  We will be triumphant!  Eventually.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/3 BN and 2/3 RN!

Yay!  Both Kaylee and Rocket managed to get 2 legs of their BN & RN titles.

They both did ok.  They qualified, but not necessarily in the fashion I wanted them too.  The theme this weekend was distractions, and I know for sure that we need to start training outside and in busy places.

If you know how my normal trial weekends go, there has to be some kind of drama involved.

The trial was in our club building.  We specifically chose a corner that was close to our ring and the exits, so we wouldn't be constantly dodging dogs.  Oh, how we were so, so wrong.....

Our interesting neighbors this time were fellow Dobe owners.  As they aren't a dog you commonly see in trials around here, I'm always interested in finding out where the dog comes from.  At first glimpse, based on crop and body style, Leah and I assumed the dog in question was a rescue, probably 5-6 years old.  We didn't introduce ourselves, and neither did our neighbors.  Leah and I had our usual dog related discussions, but the one we had on Saturday was mostly based on how a commercial Doberman/Rottweiler breeder manages to sell dogs to people.  He sells them in "packages," each one with an increasing price and "pre-work" that has gone into the puppy.  So, for example, your Super Puppy will come with the puppy basics, anywhere from $2500-$3500 dollars.  Your puppy's parents most likely have little to no health testing, and were dogs that weren't good enough to make it in a European breeding program.  They have few actual titles - meaning ones that weren't "bought."  (For comparison, a puppy from a reputable breeder will cost you $1500-$2500, from tested, titled parents.)  If you choose to go with a "Grand Victor" puppy, by goly, not only do you pay out the *ss, but your puppy already had obedience work started.  SOOO easy! and convenient! 

I managed to snag a catalog for a check to see who our neighbors were.  Low and behold.....the commercial breeder strikes again.

Today our neighbors were very outgoing.  I was stopped on my way back into the building by the wife for a brief conversation.  Apparently, her and her husband had visited Rocket and Kaylee's breeder back in the day, but chose, again, to get their 3rd dog from the commercial breeder.  She described their almost 2 year old girl as "very dominant at the dog park" and that she felt a little bad that she hadn't stuck with posting her ears that much when she was a puppy. 

I'm not going to critique the dog or her performance.  I will say, however, that I've never actually seen double handling before, but now I know exactly what to look for.  (Sorry, lady, you can't actually stand outside the ring, immediately to the left of your husband, to help keep your dog down on the group down stay.)  I saw a few other behaviors that spoke volumes about the training methods used on the still very puppy-ish girl.

I learned a lot this weekend, and I'm excited to get to work!  Both dogs have so much potential, and I can't wait to see improvement!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2 days and counting.....Trial time!

I'm one of those people that gets super nervous when I know someone is going to be judging what I'm doing.  So knowing that in two days I'm going to have Rocket and Kaylee in a ring with a judge is a little nerve wracking, to say the least!

We went to a fun match a week or two ago.  The building was full, dogs were everywhere, so it was as close to a real trial environment as I could get it.  I wanted to see what they would give me, and I'm glad I did it - I got to see what I needed to work on a little more before this weekend and next Friday.

Kaylee was first.  She was thrown off by the signs on the beginner novice course ("WTF are these things?? I have to check them out...make sure they aren't covering WMDs) and the fact that her figure 8 was made up of people - actual, real people that smelled awesome.  Oh, and the judge, too.  So, to help make her comfortable, we've been heeling through and around rally signs, having a dog show CD play in the background, and suckering everyone we know into being a post for a figure 8.  She did good on the sit stay, the exam, and the recall.

Rocket's runs were similar to Kaylee's.  He was more distracted during the figure 8 by the crowd on the outside, though.  Silly boy.  I've been doing the same things with him to help condition him to a trial environment.  I saw very quick improvement on all areas that we needed work on, so I'm going to hope that they bring it on Saturday and Sunday.

Cross your fingers for Qs this weekend!!

On another note...I joined Twitter.  I follow a bunch of people, but I myself don't have many followers.  I got an email alert that I had a new follower, and low and behold, it's my TV man crush - Josh Gates!

I'm not ashamed to admit I love that man.  Is it the constantly ripped pants, or the endless sarcasm?  Whatever it is, I can't wait for the next season of Destination Truth.  Come on, Syfy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two weeks until our first Obed trial?!

This month has sort of flown by.  So many things going on that I haven't been paying attention to a calendar much!

My club is hosting a two day Obed trial on the 10th/11th of Feb.  Naturally, because I am apparently a glutton for punishment, I entered the trial without the "I'm sure of a Q" feeling that I used to rely on prior to mailing a check.

This will be the first trial for both Rocket and Kaylee.  Yes, I'm insane, and I'm showing two novice dogs at the same trial, and in the same classes.  We *should* be able to handle everything, and if they both do what they did last night while we were training, we should be able to pull Qs out of our butts for Beg Novice and Rally Novice.

In a perfect world, by Feb 18th, they will each be:

Bruda Up Like a Rocket BN RN TT CGC TDI; and
U-CH Bruda Whip Up a Dream Debut BN RN TT CGC TDI
(They'll be entered in another trial Fri the 17th, in the same classes.)

I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but I've been blessed to have the opportunity to train two fantastic dogs, and I know they both have bright futures!  Kaylee's only handicap is me, and Rocket's only handicaps are me and his two little friends. 

I'm still sticking with the goal of showing them both for their CDXs in Sept at Dobe Nationals this year.  :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Embellishment is what a bedazzler does.....

My dad's side of the family is naturally sarcastic, dry humored, and full of bullsh*t.  Growing up, I was exposed to all kinds of exaggerated tales and stories, gleefully shared for a family laugh.  Because of this, I can spot BS from a mile away.  Right now, I'm calling BS on a few things I've had the pleasure of reading or hearing about lately.

I get it.  I'm a competitive person.  I'm sure I've exaggerated my share of stories - after all, it's genetic in my family.  ;)  But what I don't get, and what I don't think I'll ever understand, are people that consistently change and embellish things, simply for attention.  I'm a pretty honest person, so I fail to grasp the point of out and out lying, just to sound "good" or "better."  What's the point?  Isn't lying harder than keeping to the "real" story?

Absolutely NO ONE is perfect. 

There are only two souls you really need to please on this planet - yours and your dogs.  If you aren't happy with yourself - make a change.  If you aren't happy with your dog - change yourself.  Your dog loves you for exactly who YOU are.  They don't give a rip about how awesome you sound.  They don't care how many ribbons you win, or how much experience you think you have.  They don't care what other people think of you.

All they care about is that you love them back.

Don't lie about your faults, shortcomings, and skills.  Don't lie about your dog and their abilities.  Don't lie about things you've done (or not done), or share others' experiences and knowledge as your own.  Stop caring about the opinions of people you don't love, and START being honest.  The only victims in this story are the dogs you share your life with - all because you thought lies made for a better story than the truth.  Spend more time with your dogs, and you'll learn how to be humble, honest, and happy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm going to attempt to make something.....

....using everything in this picture.

I'll take another picture when I get the first set done!

I wonder what they could be..........  ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Agility Trial - Day 2

I learned my lesson from yesterday - don't keep a dog named Rocket cooped up in a crate for 6 hours before running a course!

I let him sniff his merry way all around the stable grounds, then brought him back inside and worked Obed stuff.  Lots of attention, fronts, backing up, and spins with tons and tons of reward.  He was so easily distracted yesterday that I concentrated on when he was giving me attention, and it worked - he would purposely look at another dog and then offer eye contact 1 second later.  I think we got through to one another that horse barn does not automatically = assclownery.

Jumpers was first.  We managed 13 out of 16 jumps!  My goal for the day was 1, so he did a good job.  There was still sniffing, and greeting the ring crew, and I know that I had a handler error or two.

Hoopers was next.  We only had one course fault, but we were over the course time.  BUT, we only had one fault!!

Tunnelers was last.  This dog thinks that tunnels are FANTASTIC.  He was quick and soooo responsive - it was like driving a sports car.  I hope that was a glimpse of things to come in the future!  His only fault was mine - the course was a ton of circles, and in my rush to get in front of him, I directed him to the tunnel and hauled butt, but it wasn't enough to shove him in the tunnel.  Instead, he decided that the shortest route to the tunnel following the correct tunnel was to jump ON the tunnel in his way and use it like a spring board.  Didn't throw off his concentration a bit - he ran right to the next tunnel on the course and continued on his merry way.  He finished only 6 seconds over course time and had the one fault, but otherwise it was a fantastic finish to the day.

I think we both learned a lot.  I need to work on his level of comfort with distractions and his attention span.  I'm looking forward to our next NADAC trial!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Agility Trial

I'm calling it that, because I paid for entry fees.  :)

I entered a NADAC trial this weekend, just to see what Rocket and I would be able to handle.  I only entered Jumpers, and it was the last class of the day.  Knowing that my dog has a tendency to get wound up and then sulk when he's not given something to do, I left him in his crate all day, with the exception of two potty breaks and a short warmup on a jump.

He was doing great during our warm up.  I put him away to walk the course, and somehow, in 5 minutes, a horny, disobedient assclown took the place of my well behaved, ready to tackle a course dog.

We were at the starting line.  "Good Luck" says the judge.  I take off his leash, give him a wait, and take a two jump lead out.  I call him.....and he took off.

Not over the first jump.  Or the second.  Or the third.  Do you see a pattern?  We completed NO jumps out of a 15 jump course.  Instead, we visited the leash runner, scared the crap out of a sheltie too close to ring gating, made a beeline for the judge, and then left the ring to sniff another sheltie.

On the plus side, he did come back to me when I called him from in the ring while he was out of it?

Keep your fingers crossed that we can get at least 1 jump tomorrow!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Training Goals - Jan & Feb

I'd like to make it a yearly schedule, but I've found that I can't schedule out reliably that far, so two months is it!

There are two shows in February that I'm planning on entering Kaylee and Rocket in.  Our club show on the 10/11th, and CCKC the following Friday and Saturday.  I'm hoping that in those 4 shows both Kaylee and Rocket can earn their CDs and RNs.  They have spent significant time in both of the venues, and I'm really going to be getting them used to having strangers follow us in a pattern and standing behind them in the next month.  I want them to be as prepared as I can get them!

It looks like I'm adding a third dog to the Dobe rotation.  Yesterday, Leah and I went and picked up Jadore - Bruda Jadore by Shadai - and brought her back to Casa Sizzle for a new experience.  To help her get some Obed under her belt, I've added her to my training schedule.  She's such a sweetheart, and an eternally happy dog.  She is a littermate to Jayne, and Rocket's half sister.  Tomorrow will be her first adventure with a clicker.  I'm really hoping she enjoys it!