Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Abby the agility star!

Abby made an agility comeback this past weekend at our club's 'away' trial (we all went camping at the trial site - lots of fun!). We had 1 lone Snookers Q this summer, but other than that it had been a looong time since any significant numbers of Qs. I guess Abby decided it was time to step up our game...on Saturday we had Steeplechase, Standard, Snooker and Gamblers. Steeplechase was a gong show. I got us lost. It was the first run of the day, though, so that was ok. I also got us lost in our Std. run..no excuse. In Snooker we didn't get far enough in the closing. Then, in Adv. Gamblers, Abby Q'd. She was the only dog to complete the gamble AND she got the highest number of opening points overall and won us a bag of kibble* (* more about how this kibble became useful coming up). On Sunday, we had Team, Standard, Gamblers and Jumpers. In Team Abby ran clean but her partner didn't. She Q'd with a 1st in Standard, and Q'd again in Gamblers. We ran clean in Jumpers but were 2 seconds over time...and I'm not sure that any of the dogs ran under the 35 sec. time limit. It was a very very fast course time. So now Abby is a Masters Gambler - woohoo! Also very scary...

Now onto why the prize kibble came in handy - I agreed to foster 5 half BC puppies that desperately needed out of the shelter. They are very cute...of course. Also very much work. They are now the Movie Stars - Depp, Walker, Sandler, Vaughn and Jolie. They get speutered tomorrow and hopefully adopted very soon afterwards. They've been here since Thursday and my life is consumed by "puppies out, puppies in, puppies fed, puppies out" etc. *over and over and over*. At least they sleep all night. Ryan seems to think he's part of their litter. Wherever they go, he goes. Abby is being a good momma dog. She tells them to shut up when they are noisy in their crate and they have to stay still politely for her to sniff them as she pleases.

Ryan is just over 6 months and I can see him starting to listen a bit less than before. He's in a rally-o class so I'm finally teaching him to heel. Also to 'stay' since I haven't really taught that formally. I know, I know, bad puppy mom. He went through what seemed to be a bit of a fear stage the past few weeks where he would let out a "woo wooo WOOOOO" when we saw dogs out on the hiking trails. I made sure to treat him whenever he saw dogs and his barking seems to have stopped. He is still very much a puppy in his greetings with dogs and with people. Squirmy and licky and in your face. I'm just happy that he's so friendly :)

His growing has slowed down quite a bit. I found out that one of his brothers is 48 lbs - Ryan is only 31 right now! He's just a bit taller than Abby, so he's probably 19" or so. I have a feeling he still has some growing to do. My guess is he'll end up at 45 lbs. I'll just have to wait and see!

This Sunday was "Hyperbowl" - a reunion of everyone associated with the BC rescue. I was thinking about leaving Abby at home but I ended up taking her, and I'm glad I did. Even though there was a field with probably close to a 100 dogs and little kids running around and people with chuck-its, she was really good. I think there was just too much for her to focus on so she just decided to focus on me mostly. I barely saw Ryan - he was off running around and then flopping over for naps. He did get put on sheep for the first time. He is apparently pretty good for his age and he might have some talent when he's a bit older. That was pretty exciting for me and it's something I'd like to continue with him. I like the idea of doing different activities with Abby and Ryan. I will probably start agility with Ryan, but I might also like to do therapy work with him and herding while staying with agility and flyball for Abby. Ryan has a lot less drive than Abby. He concentrates and listens well but when we go out people don't stop and stare and point at him like they do with hyped up Abby. I can't remember if I wrote in here that one woman at flyball said she'd never seen a dog as "on" as Abby. Sigh.

Speaking of Abby, some of her 'bad behaviour' has returned. She jumped on people on the trails on 2 different occasions. I need to go back to bringing really good treats and keeping her close and then calling her back when we see people. I'd been lazy since she had been so good lately. I do have hope still that eventually she'll be able to ignore runners. In general her self control has improved so, so much. In the past she would have never been able to hold a 'down stay' while there were 5 fast puppies racing around, or 50 BCs chasing a ball. Now, though, she can do it. So I do have hope. It's just so hard when you make so much progress and then have a huge backslide.

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