Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Look, ma, no tunnel rolling!

Here are two videos from last weekend's agility trial.

For the last few months, we've been having a problem where Polly would go into a tunnel and ... not come out. What was she doing in there? Well, see, tunnels are nice and ridgy and those ridges feel really good to scratch your back against. So, Polly thought rolling in tunnels was great fun.

The judges thought it was great fun too, and with an amused smile NQed us for it. After a while I got tired of standing in the middle of an agility course, uselessly calling my dog, as she was having fun in a tunnel. We worked tunnels in practice, rewarded heavily every time she came out of the tunnel, and there was no rolling in tunnels last weekend. Not even one!

There was, however, tunnel sucking, where she would run through any off course tunnel she could, and expect a cookie on the way out. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Who was a good little agility labrador

Miss P and I went for a two day agility trial in Livermore. Thankfully it was indoors, because outside it was 105 degrees. Polly Q'ed in 6 out of 8 runs, with a quadruple Q on Sunday. Many ribbons were had.

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Kip did well too, and only minimally barked in the crate when Polly was running. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Doing "tricky math puzzles"

Being all educational and stuff this morning.

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This lasted about 5 minutes. Then he went back to watching cartoons. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nick swimming

Two and a half years of swim lessons did not go to waste


Miss P and I looking all agile at the Palo Alto trial.  Photo by Andrew.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Nick judging

Taught Nick to play the judge for Directed Jumping. The main trouble teaching him the difference between "Finish" and "Exercise Finished." For now, we decided to leave "Exercise Finished" out.

Please note that he has paper (a premium list, no less) and pen. He says we got a good score.

More dog torture

Kipling got assigned more exercises. Now he has to walk over stuff. As any good dog sport home, we always have lots of 3/4 inch PVC pipe and connectors around for making training equipment (added bonus: the child loves building stuff out of them too), so I built him some wide-spaced cavalettis.

Since I had the camera out, I took some videos of Polly working. Sound effects courtesy of Kip.

Directed jumping is going really well, except for the periodic no-sits at the post. Sometimes the no-sits become downs instead (especially in new locations). We are working on it.

Here's some signals. Lookit! I drift into my dog on the about turn. No wonder she heels wide.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Raised by labradors

I don't know what your child does at the swimming pool, but mine fetches bumpers. That's what happens when your formative years are spent in the company of labradors.


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Saturday, July 12, 2014

More physical therapy

Another exercise we were given was to walk in circles around cones. It makes the dog put more weight on one leg than the other. After doing that for a few days, I got lazy and now Kipling walks around the cones himself while I just stand in the middle. Yeah, I am lazy.

Physical therapy

Kipling's physical therapy for the next two weeks is to do weight shifting exercises from one front leg to the other. For the first few days I was lifting his legs by hand, and then I got tired of it and taught him to do it himself.

He doesn't like to lift his left leg because the right leg is weaker and he doesn't like to put weight on it. So he was cheating and rocking back in his sit to take the weight off. Well, we know how to fix rock-back sits now, don't we. Out comes the handy platform, no more rock-back sit. I learned that trick at Fenzi Academy.

Look how cute he is. This makes a cool trick too.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Life's a beach

Kostadis needed to do an actual open water swim before his half-Ironman next weekend, so we went to the beach. GOPR4732 Kostadis wore a wetsuit. Nick wore a sort-of wetsuit. GOPR4742 Surfer dude. GOPR4744 This is about as far as he got into the water, because it was cold! Quote of the day "Can we go to a little bit warmer beach? Is the Greece beach a little bit warmer?" GOPR4741 Kostadis didn't get eaten by sharks! GOPR4748

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tomato season

Welcome to Natty's wild and crazy house of canine fitness and rehab

Get that ice pack away from me, lady!

So the puppy had elbow surgery two and a half weeks ago. Bilateral elbow arthroscopy, fragmented coronoid removal, subtotal coronoidectomy, distal ulnar ostectomy with autogeneous fat graft. Phew! Say that three times fast! His stitches are finally out and now he has to do physical therapy and rehab to get the legs working right again.

The current regiment is

  1. 10 minute slow walk, making sure he puts weight on both legs.
  2. Physical therapy exercises including alternating front leg lifts and figure 8 walks around cones. Again, idea is to use both legs
  3. Ice pack for 10-15 minutes.
  4.  Massage

Depending on how cooperative he is for the ice and massage (usually he is not), this takes between 30 minutes and an hour. Three times a day. For the next two months.

But wait, there's more!

Miss Polly turned 6 recently (seriously? where does the time go?) While she's still as spry and crazy as ever, I started to notice that she no longer can go from sleeping on the couch all week to running agility on weekends. She still runs, but by the end of a two day agility weekend she gets slow and knocks bars. So I decided to start her on an exercise program.

Polly's current regiment is:

  1. 2-3 mile conditioning run alongside the bike.
  2. Core strength exercises with a balance disk
  3. Massage

Polly is very cooperative, so the whole thing takes about an hour. We do this 4 times a week, she has one day off, another day is agility class, and I also try to swim her once a week.

So, all total, that's about 3 hours of dog exercise per day on average.
What? Do you have things to do? Well, cancel them,
my fitness is more important.
Oh, and the husband is doing a half-ironman in two weeks. The only one who's not on an exercise program in this house is me, but that's because I keep running around accommodating everybody else's exercise. That keeps me pretty fit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

US as a soccer country.

Today, soccer news was on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News. Front! Page!

And then I read this article (warning, it's in Russian).

And my kid already has a US soccer jersey and we might be looking for a soccer team for him for the fall.

So yeah.