We have had almost 48 hours of rain here, from torrential downpours to light sprinkles. I have been working on re-charging my exercise routine as it has been practically non-existent in the hot weather we have had this summer. Since I hit the snooze button this morning, deciding to sleep another hour until 6:00am and not walk in the pouring rain, I took Blueberry to work with me, hoping to get a walk in on my lunch break. It stormed most of the morning and about noon let up to almost nothing. I was finally able to head out about 1:30 with Blueberry and we went to the park next door, which has some very nice walking areas and much of the path lies around the edge of Lake Parker. We made it halfway around the first time before it started raining harder. By the second time around it was a steady downpour so we were both quite wet by the time we got back to work. As you can see by the above picture, once Blueberry’s hair got wet, it went flat and curly. At least she looks cute like that, my hair just looks frizzy!!
Oh the fun we have in the kitchen and most times it is unplanned for. My kitchen is a small, galley kitchen, but I love being in there and cooking or baking. I always have a cooking partner in Jasmine, she is glued to my side just in case I might drop something on the floor. Chauncey and Blueberry are content to hang out in the living room and watch from there. Many times I will have some small thing in my cooking that I use for a reward and the cloth mats make good places to practice obedience.
Last night I had a bag of croutons on the counter and Jasmine showed up while I was waiting for the water to boil. Thinking quick, I started playing with her by getting her to back up a few steps and then fold back into her downs. She loves this and gets faster and faster doing this. I had to settle her down as she starts getting goofy and offering other behaviours as well trying to get more treats in a hurry.
Blueberry showed up when she heard Jasmine getting food so she did a few fold back downs as well and some stands. Blueberry has a totally different idea of training than Jasmine. She is much slower and takes her time to think things through where Jasmine just hurries through it all trying to get more rewards. Often with Jasmine I will just reward with a slow pet on the head and verbal praise as that calms her down to focus and realize that food is not the only reward for doing something correctly.
Chauncey showed up for the food and just got some for being Chauncey. There are definitely benefits of being the queen and retired from training:o) Always something to do in the kitchen with the girls.
All I wanted to do with this plan was to get in better condition, run a little in the morning with Blueberry and we both benefit in the long run. Then we start meeting our neighborhood rabbit on our early morning runs and now we have added a training program along with running.
I was at Maggie’s this past Saturday to groom her Poodles and during our conversation discussed how I was having to run and drag Blueberry by the bunny. Maggie told me to click and treat to get Blueberry’s attention on me and not the rabbit. Why do I not think of these things and Maggie does??
Thankfully, the bunny just sits on the side of the road and watches us go by, if he ran we would be in big trouble as Blueberry’s chase instinct would kick in. So, now I will be up at 5am exercising with Blueberry and trying to figure out how to click and treat while running. Such fun!!
I wanted to talk about the painful exercise part before I get into the technical training stuff:o) I have wanted to add an exercise program to my “losing weight” goals. I find that even after losing almost 40 pounds now, that I have to get my muscles back in shape. I am a very active person when it comes to being outside, riding horses, training the Poodles, working in the yard, or even hiking around the lake or into the woods to get a good picture. What I don’t like to do is formal exercise, other than walking. I have heard several friends talk about a website called “Couch to 5K” that they followed to help them get in shape. I decided to check it out and just be nosey. After reading through it (and finding an app for my iPhone) I decided to give it a try, what could it hurt, right? Apparently it could hurt me a lot when I headed out at 5am this morning with Blueberry, she was the guinea pig I chose to get in shape with me, to complete the first day’s goal.
The program has you run for 90 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds, with a warm-up walk and cool down walk. I made it through 6 of 8 walks and 7 of 9 runs before my body quit and screamed at me that I was an idiot to try this. All day I have been in pain and my legs don’t want to work right, they are so stiff. I am going to cut the first weeks routine in half and then next week see if I can do the full-time. Blueberry doesn’t help much as she would much prefer sniffing along the roadside to trying to get in condition, and the neighborhood rabbit didn’t help much by deciding that 5am is when he needs to sit on the edge of the road and then run when Blueberry comes by. Try jogging while pulling your Standard Poodle that wants to run backwards after the yummy looking bunny.
So, stick around and see if I live through this torture I am inflicting on myself. Oh, since I am talking about being organized, the app I found has a nice way to organize my runs for me, a journal to keep track of what happens and it records my progress of each weeks goals. It also have this lovely voice that keeps telling me to run when I have barely caught my breath and my legs are burning from the last 60 second run, if you haven’t figured it out by now, running is not an exercise I have ever been eager to try. I would much rather lift weights or do push-ups, which I do pretty well, thank you very much.
Now for the fun part of my organizing project, the girls training. I do need to squeeze something in this post about them since it is their blog. We have two weeks before our classes start back up at the training club and I sat down to review our past lessons and see what exercises need to be polished up and what just needs to be reviewed. Some days when I am training it seems like I have too much material to cover with each dog, even though I keep notes on what we work with and on each session, it still requires me to sit down every once in a while and review it all. I did that today and made a list for each dog of what exercises need some polish and what exercises I need to add to get to our goals for the show ring. Hopefully, this will help to keep each training session more focused on each individual dog’s needs. Now we being the technical part for those of you who become bored as soon as I mention “Poodles” and “Training” in my posts.
Blueberry-will be going into the jump skills class for the next 8 weeks and needs the versatility skills, plus some different ones.
1) Working on the right side really needs to get polished up and have time spent every session on this as she hates the right side.
2) Work on turns and pivots for jumping.
3) Need to have me in the standing position now for rounded jumping repetitions.
4) Speed up fold-back down and increasing the down time before releasing.
5) Work on swish poles with the broad-jump, alternate with plate work.
6) Pop-up stand needs to be faster and more consistent, less cookie and more hand signal.j
7) More polish for fronts, use chair, front box, and cookie toss through legs.
8) Build up time for sit & Down stays with Opposition Reflex.
9) Finish nose bridge work.
10) More beat the pop games.
Jasmine-will be taking Chauncey’s place in the Versatility 2 class and knows much of the work but is not as steady as the class requires for attention and holding still.
1) Need to refine her hand signals and start adding distance to them.
2) Keep adding opposition reflex work to her stand, she has to get her front feet solid.
3)Fronts need to be more solid and straight, she has to slow down earlier as to mot overshoot her front.
4) Add more distance to plate work, she needs to be close to 15 feet now.
5) Work on glove turns #1 & #3
6) Has to pick DB off floor and hold it longer.
7) Longer times for sits & downs.
8) Understands the “close” command, needs work on the “get back”.
9) More “round the clock” for her broad jump.
10) Longer touch on nose bridge work.
11) Needs to be able to go either direction on brick work.
12) Needs to be touching ring stansion from more distance.
Chauncey-no jumping and mostly having fun
1) Finish article search game in house.
2) add more plate work and pivot/turn work.
3) keep the db game revved up
I have been watching and waiting to get my next puppy. A breeder friend of mine, Joyce Carelli, has some very pretty and athletic Standard Poodles. I have watched her train Janie (CH Carlyn Calamity Jane NA JH), for hunt work, then watched Janie’s puppies come along. Derby (CH Carlyn’s Foolish Pleasure) was from Janie’s first litter. Both of them are brown. Janie’s second litter produced MaGregor (CH Carlyn Hard Spun), who is a awesome dog and very pretty. My next puppy will be from Derby, she was bred March 24th, so if all does well she will have puppies the end of May. So, late this summer I will be bringing home a new puppy to play with and train. I have a lot of plans, but also am being realistic about how much time we have to work on everything.
In Chauncey’s job description there is a paragraph about her skills as a consumate beggar. She is quite adapt at this skill and wins every time. As you can see in the photo above, Chauncey is working her wiles on my niece, Bailey, and won. Bailey shared her cheeseburger AND french fries with Chauncey. What I don’t have a picture of is how Chauncey actually got over half a cheeseburger from my other niece, Mac, about an hour earlier. Mac was sitting in my office quietly eating her happy meal when I heard her yell at Chauncey. Apparently Chauncey put her whole mouth on the cheeseburger, but didn’t take it, so Mac threw it away as she did not want to eat after the dog. Mac left the room a few minutes later and I just sat at my desk and watched, as Chauncey kept her eye on the trash can. When she thought I was not looking, she walked over to the can, gently removed a piece of paper that was on top, and then took the cheeseburger out and ate it on her bed. She thought she was pretty smart to get that cheeseburger. I won’t go into everything she figures out how to steal at home and how many lunches I have lost by walking out of the room for a minute and not securing my food.
Hello, my name is Blueberry and I am a thief. I am sitting in jail now awaiting the judge to forgive me and end my punishment. This is how my story goes, I am known in my hood for stealing my boss’ chapstick and underwear (don’t tell anyone that I told this). My boss came home the other day, changed, and left her jeans in the dirty clothes pile. Well, I smelled something really good in the pocket, so I took them to the couch in the living room (this is the assigned place for us thieves to divvy up the loot) and started to work. Well, I couldn’t get it to come out of the pocket, so I had to turn them inside out and chew a hole in the bottom of the pocket to get it loose. It was one of my favorites, strawberry chapstick, yummy!! I proceeded to eat it all, except a few small pieces of plastic. My boss was concerned this morning because I had pink on my foot (stupid me, that is how she figured out who did it) and she thought I was chewing on my own foot, yeah right!! I guess she found the hole in her pocket tonight when she came home from work and what I forgot to hide of the plastic pieces. Now I sit in my cell counting the minutes until the judge realizes that it was all my bosses fault. I am bored and all I have is a metal bowl to bang on the door. None of my gang will help, they are too scared of the boss.
For those of you that have dogs, when you go to the bathroom, they act like you have left them forever. My girls usually pace or make deep snuffing noises under the door. Chauncey usually has to come in before I shut the door so she is not left outside. I ran to use the bathroom at work before leaving and I kept seeing this nose and eye peek in at me, so I grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures. This is the view I kept seeing.