Well i thought moving to wordpress would make my life easier but thats just not happening. I cant keep up with the blog si have subscribed to so I have moved my blog back to Blogger at http://natalie-winter.blogspot.com/ I know some people have subscribed here so please re subscribe over there and you will still get my blogs plus you can access the blogs that I like to look at. I am always on the lookout for new blogs to follow so let me know if you come across any. Especially Koolie or agility related. So…..See you over at Blogger…..with our pretty girly page…..I hope…….
Bug -a -lug – over and out…..
One day I was dreaming of owning a Koolie, the next day she is turning 2. What an amazing 2 years we have had! Out of the 8 dogs I have owned, by far she is the easiest to live with and the most fun to work with ( Mickey – close your ears!). Everyday is a party, Everyday she is happy and everyday she makes me smile. I cant ask for any more than that from her.
I had made this movie when she was 18 months and if you have not seen it yet , you can see what and action packed life she leads. She is one lucky Koolie……
Her Agility is progressing well with finally some real training. I seem to always be full of excuses for her but she had to take a back seat for a while so I could get my cavalier Maverick up to speed for the ADAA Nationals. Maverick was the only dog I had in the advanced level to try out for the world team to compete at the World Agility Championships in Texas in May 2012.
I am pleased to say the work payed off and I made the team and Bug was a great supporter of Mav over the tryout weekend. Those that know Cavaliers know that they need other dogs around them ( if not on them) and Bug and Mav get on so well. She would be the only person in the family that actually gets him I would say. Anyway, back to Bug. I am so pleased to say she is finally doing 4 weave poles and is really enjoying figuring things out. Now I have a whole lot of life things all sorted, I can really go out and enjoy working with my Girl.
Today she has taught me that life can pass in a flash and you should take time to enjoy those moments before they go right on by.
Well the 2 x 2 has been coming along nicely. We have been hindered by school holidays as we dont need to be adding that type of distraction to our training just yet ( kids) but have managed a few sessions. I do love how when she misses she will actually stop and look at me, then the poles, then me, then walk to the poles like they are going to tell her the reason that the udder didnt eventuate.
We had suffered a week of severe and damaging winds here which resulted in my training paddock being inundated with sticks and leaves. I could not just mow them in as I didnt want her to to step on broken sticks so I have spent a good 6 days hand raking my field. I thought I had a very small training area but alas – apparently I dont. Well not when you have to hand rake it.
I have modified my dog walk, repainted all my contacts ( pink), had the kids out pulling up the fireweed and paid them in Gumball’s ( always works), set up my training course and then of course, the rain starts which will be here the whole week.
Now this is a bit of a worry as we need to be weaving with in the next 2 weeks so I have even more work ahead of me. Oh well, always up for a challenge. So at least I have everything ready to go to really start with her properly – except the weather. Time to curl up in front of the fire with a good book and a great dog.
Today she taught me that even though its raining outside today, you can still have the best time every by chasing the sprinkler rain, hail or shine.
Well, nothing like sending off your entries for the Grand Prix in October to get you motivated. Motivated in the way that I have sent “Bug’s” entry off, and in every event she is in, she has to weave. Now that is not such a big problem for a trained agility dog but there in lies my problem. We are yet to tackle those pesky poles 🙂 Now that should create a potentially interesting couple of days for us, so now I have no option but to get off my butt and get training.
I love the 2 x 2 method. Having said that I have trained 2 dogs with it. One from the book which has lead to no end of problems for that dog, (purely because of my interpretation of it), and one from the DVD. The book dog has struggled since day one and has to be micro managed the whole way and continues to need micro managing , where Ben the dog trained from the DVD, has the most beautiful weavers and entires. I think having had 2 dogs already trained with this method with very mixed results, I am well equipped for the third one and happy to say that because she is a thinking dog that really helps.
We are still on the 2 poles but she has had a lightbulb moment today and figured that you had to go in a certain side so that was great. So, we are well on our way – if only I can stop procrastinating and make myself train every day on them.
Today instead of teaching me, she has reminded me to allow her to fail and let her work her way through tough situations in order for her to succeed.
Sometime ago my idealistic bubble was popped in a rather sad way. I thought that most people doing dogs sports were in it for the right reason. How naive I was after doing this sport for 20 years. I was very saddened to find that some people moved their dogs on because “they were not winning”. I guess on reflection, those people that have this attitude really don’t have the slightest Idea on what winning really is.
I think Bug is a winner. I think this because she wins when it comes to being first in for a pat. She wins for being the dog that literally makes me laugh multiple times a day ( it the Koole dag factor and those with Koolies will know exactly what I am talking about). She wins the hogging stakes in the bed having my husband complain that with a King size bed and koolie in it, he still has to hang his leg out the side. She wins when she seeks me out and just stands next to me for no hidden reason. I could go on about how she is a winner but you get the drift.
So what is winning? Is it the dog that is locked away from animal andhuman contact so that it will want to be with its owner when it goes in the ring and comes home with the shinny blue ribbon – only to go back in a crate until the next event? or is it the dog that is a part of your life no matter what and that makes your heart sing the winner. I know my choice and actually feel very sorry for the dogs that live with the former.
Today she taught me that the best part of winning is a run on the beach, in the sun without a cloud in the sky, and she is a girl with the biggest grin who is now sound asleep at my feet. She definitely won today 🙂
So…What do you think constitutes a winner??????????
There is nothing like the odd fun run when you have a dog that is sort of ready but not really to go in the ring. I think taking them in for a bit of ring experience is a good thing providing you can work with the dog in the ring like in gamblers etc. ADAA’s new not for competition is a great way to play in a trial environment. Or at least that was my plan with my 2 elementary runs yesterday.
Run 1 was nothing short of a train wreck. You know those run that you know everyone will remember and comment about what a “fun” dog she is going to be ( which is code for – you aint got a hope in hell of keeping up with her). It was a combination of bad handling but more so not allowing us time to get it together before we went in.
Run 2 was one of those runs that was a light bulb moment for me where I realised exactly what a brilliant dog I have on my hands. I decided last minute to not do a NFC run and put the toy away and ran the course. The course was very complicated for novice dogs but she ran very well even allowing me a very beautiful layer of a jump as she knew her job to the tunnel and was going to make sure she followed it through. The end result was a qualification, 1st place and she did the course in 27 seconds when the course time was 45. Yes, she is going to be “fun”!
What she taught me today was that she deserves and needs a start line routine of her own and time to get her head in the game. Just another thing to add to the long list of training jobs.
so maybe by moving my blog it might encourage me to work on it a little more. Well thats all part of the whishful thinking isnt it. I admit, I was slack with the old blog but that was in part that it was hard to get to. I use the worldpress blog for my photography blog so its just makes sense to have them both in the same place. Well thats today’s excuse.
Bug has come along in leaps and bounds lately with little or next to now work put into her. I have been to 2 “training” trials where I put her in just for some experience and low and behold she ended up qualifying in both! Now thats a scary thought given she is only just been shown the weave poles….