Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jailhouse Rock Flyball Tournament

Slider and I got to race in the Jailhouse Rock Flyball Tournament held in Huntsville,TX. We ran on an Open Team with Electric Dawgs from Austin, TX. And we had a blast!!! It was great fun to be back out on the racing lanes!!! My passing needs work but I was so proud of Slider! He has been running in 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions and handling it very well! Here are a few photos from the tournament...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Pictures 2009

Yesterday, Slider and I worked on our pictures for Christmas. And thanks to my sister, Maureen, the photographer we got some great shots.

These were a few of my favorites.

Our Return to Flyball

Slider and I recently started practicing with Electric Dawg's Flyball team in September. And we had the opportunity to run on an Open Team with them, the weekend of November 7th and 8th. The tournament was hosted by DogzRule and was held at the Bell County Convention Center in Belton, TX. It was the first flyball tournament held at this site and it was a great location!

Slider did fantastic! It was hard to believe that we had not run in Flyball since our move to Austin, TX. It was exactly 2 years to the date since we had run with our Florida team, KETCH THIS.

Slider ran in 2nd position and handled the passes beautifully. Slider usually ran 4th position on KETCH, so I was impressed how easily he adjusted to the change in running position. I had anticipated dropped balls or going around the last jump but Slider handled it beautifully and we had no issues.

The team ran very clean the majority of the races, and in the low 23's. The times surprised me since this was an Open Team and only Slider and Rave had worked together previously. Our other teammates were from Alamo Racing from San Antonio and Texas Heat.

It was such great fun to be out there in the racing lanes again with Slider!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Agility Update

Wow, I have been very lax about posting!!! But here are some highlights of our agility training:

* Slider is continuing to become more and more responsive to acceleration / deceleration, which is giving me much better control over him. But I need to work on when and at what point to decelerate. I have gotten into the habit of being consistently "powered up".... in my effort to try to keep up with Slider, which causes me to loose control of him and will make him be more obstacle focused. Fortunately, my instructor Robert is out on the field along with me calling out to remind me when to power down .... hmmm wonder if I can bring Robert out onto the field when we start to compete again!!! :-)

* Couple weeks ago we had a Jumpers course set up to run. While walking the course, I just knew this was not a Novice course. On our run, we did fantastic on the 1st half of the course but then I got lost and pushed Slider into an off course. This caused me to get flustered which in turn pushed Slider into his "avoidance behavior". I got him back and continued on to finish the course. On my 2nd run on this course, I tried to break it up into 2 sections and reward Slider in between. This helped keep the pressure down for both of us. Well, at the end of the class we were told we had just accomplished running a USDAA Master's Jumpers course with a few modifications.

* Last week was our introduction to AKC's FAST game. What fun!!! This was the first time Slider and I ran a course that required us to work at a distance. And my boy pulled it off!!! Looks like we do not have a problem of him being a Velcro Dog! Since, this was my first time with FAST, I probably did not maximize our potential for points and time. On our 2nd run Slider was running fast and responsive, so I decided to run "my course" 2 times and keep him up / running fast and smoothly and having fun. I believe they said we had 70 points in 48 seconds.... but I need to work on how I choose to run the course. Robert told me that I made the right decision for my dog ... keep him fast and having fun... as learning the games will come. The focus right now is for Slider and I to have fun and encourage his confidence and speed.

What I have learned over the past few weeks:

* Slider will slip into "avoidance mode" if I show stress or I am not clear on my communication.
* I am slow at my communication to him and need to work on thinking fast and on my feet
* If a course is above our level - I need to break it down into sections and reward Slider for his performance and keep him successful.
* Give total focus on Slider after his runs and reward / reward / reward and ask questions about my run later. I need to stay connected to him
* Keep reminding myself that we have been away for 18 months from training and have just been back for 11 weeks!
* Slider's technical ability in performing the obstacles is very strong but we need to become a team now.
* And to have FUN with him and remind myself of my mantra "Happy, Happy, Happy" when training... thanks Christina for reminding me of this!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Agility Class 7/06/09

Class continues to work on acceleration / deceleration and developing better handler focus vs obstacle focus. And after tonight's course, I can see a difference in Slider. He is beginning to focus much more on me than the obstacles! Yeah!!! Towards the end of class, we had a course that gave Slider and I some really good challenges. I messed up in the beginning by not decelerating. It was jump / tire / jump and back to the tunnel. Since, I did not decelerate I pushed Slider to the A-Frame after the 2nd jump. I brought Slider back to the start line, and watched myself more closely as to when I needed to take it easy / decelerate, and he responded beautifully!!

Another tough situation for us was the last 2 obstacles: tunnel back to a jump to finish the course. Well, Slider tends to power out of tunnels so I thought that I would not make the jump. So, as he was going to the tunnel I told him "easy tunnel," and as he came out I was able to direct him "back / jump" and he did it!!!! I was very pleased with how he ran the course for me tonight!!! So, he had a jackpot of chicken after the run!!!

I'm enjoying that the courses are more challenging than what I would see in Novice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Agility Class 6/15/09

Good class this evening. We're continuing our focus on the following:
Acceleration / Deceleration
Handler Focus
Tighter Wraps on jumps

After several exercises we ran a course with some tricky spots needing obstacle discrimination. Slider handled the course very nicely and I did not loose him in the tricky areas. I had really nice obstacle discrimation where the obstacles were layered... so I was really pleased with his performance. We had one really difficult angle on a jump to the teeter. I was really concerned about him not hitting his contact. I had seen a couple of the dogs jumping up onto the side of the teeter... missing the contact. Slider collected himself nicely and hit his contact!!! Added bonus is that it was a new teeter that he handled with ease the
1st time. The 2nd time he hit the contact but hesitated at the pivot, as if his brain just realized hey this "teeter is different". He worked thru it nicely and we worked the teeter later in the evening with no problems and I did a jackpot reward just to keep him up. Overall, I was extremely pleased with his performance this evening!

Hoping to get over to the field over the weekend to work the teeter more and repeat some of the exercises that we did this evening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Puppy Memories

As the Baseball Boy's 5th Birthday gets closer...I've been going thru old postings to Gaylans Golden's List, and pictures of Slider's homecoming. And I wanted to share a post that I had done that tells the tale of our travel adventures from Gayle's house to Tampa, Florida.


Hi everyone!!!

Sorry I am late in posting!!!! We were all pretty exhausted here in Tampa,
yesterday!!! What a whirlwind weekend! It started for me at 3 am Friday morning
as I got ready to catch the first flight out to New York!
This email is a bit long, but we covered alot of ground as we began our trip

Here is an account of our travel adventures!!!!

Well, Julie and I had a very "vocal" trip to the station. So that had me a bit
concerned for the trip back to NYC...would all the other passengers get to "enjoy"
Sliders voice? Luckily, he settled down a bit as we waited for the train to arrive.I
knew he was stressing because he would not touch his kong or any treats while we
waited. As he settled down and he would only whimper once and a while. He was
very good on the train and would only start to cry when the train stopped. The
train was crowed so I did not say anything and I just slipped my hand into the
sherpa and placed my hand on him. This settled him down immediately. At the
Yonkers stop I slipped him out a bit and let a couple people pet him, he
responded very well and then he laid down quietly.

Slider did great in the hotel room, did some investigating and followed me
around. He used his piddle pad later in the evening on his own :-). I was
happy, as I wasn't too crazy about going out into the city again after 10:30 pm.
I wasn't quite sure how to let him sleep safely and quietly during the night,
so I put him into the sherpa and placed him on the bed with me, so he could see
and smell me. This worked great!!!! He slept the entire night 11 pm to 6
am!!!! Then it was off for a potty trip in the morning and packing to leave.
We took a short trip to Grand Centeral Station around 7:30 am and took some
pictures of the Train Station for my 4 year old nephew who adores trains. I
wanted to get a picture of me and Slider at the station but it was pretty quiet
- no one to approach and bother for a photo opp!!!!

We were then off to the bus to go to LGA. Slider did alittle fussing on the
bus, but nothing to annoy people. It was a very small shuttle that was
packed!!!! We arrived at LGA at 8:30am. My flight was at 11:00 am. I wanted
to arrrive early since I had a pup and I wanted a smooth check in. I am so glad
that I did!!!! I did curb side check in for my luggage and proceeded inside to
check Slider in. What a nightmare!!!!!! The lines were unbelievable!!!!! I
felt like I was at Disney on a Memorial Day weekend!!!! Slider and I proceeded
thru the "S" shaped lines...felt like we were cattle being herded to the farm. Slider was a DREAM!!!!!!!!!! He was quiet and did not fuss at all during
this whole adventure!!!!!!!!! We were in line from 8:45 am to 10:00 am!!!!!
We finally checked Slider in and proceeded to Security!!! I think Slider going
thru Security is what alot of people needed at this time. Smiles and
ahhhhhhhhhhhh's came across what had previously been some very angry /
frustrated passengers. Security was a breeze for him. Then it was off to
quickly buy 2 "I love NY" shirts for my nephews, a quick Burger King Breakfast
sandwich to go and onto the gate. Made it to the gate in record time, the 2 of
us moved really fast!!! :-) An added bonus: security, stores, food court and
gate all in close range to each other!!!! Great for multi - tasking!!!!!

The attendents at the gate were nice enough to give Slider a seat of his own for
the trip back!!!! Boy, do people love Goldens!!!! He stayed on the seat in
his Sherpa as we waited to taxi and then he had to go under the seat in front of
me when taking off or landing. He was PERFECT!!!!!!!!! He slept the entire
flight - 2 hrs and 45 mins!!!!!!!!! And not one sound!!!!! We were one of the
last to get off the plane since we were seated towards the back and I did
not want to crowd him - as the flight was very full. Before leaving the plane the
entire flight crew asked if I could wait a few minutes so they could see
Slider. So, Slider got to meet all the flight attendents, Pilot and
Co-Pilot!!!!! You can imagine their joy and excitement as his beautiful Golden
face popped out of the Sherpa!!!!!The flight home for us was a great

My boss then picked us up and off to the Hyatt for a water and potty break!!! I
didn't think Diane was going to give him back!!!! Slider got to meet lots of
people as we hung out in the Purchasing / Security office....had to wait for a
thunderstorm to settle down so I could get my car. Slider even played a game of
retrieving with my Food and Beverage Director, John. And he was not afraid at
all!!!! John is about 6'6" tall and built like a Football player. Very
intimidating or you would think!!! But, there's Slider talking to him and
bringing a toy for him to throw!!!! This puppy is very confident!!!!

Then it was off to meet Casey. I picked Casey up from my vet's kennel and my friend,
Christine, took Slider to the park where we were to meet. I choose a park that
Casey had not been to, so it was very neutral. Casey and Slider hit it
off!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Casey even "barked" at him. Casey usually only barks when
extremely excited or if someone is at the door. Otherwise, he is an extremely
quiet Golden. They greeted each other politely and Slider licked Casey on the
lips. We then went for a brief walk, since Slider is not use to a leash, yet.

Casey and Slider have done very well at home!!!! No issues or conserns. Slider has
also done very well with his crate. I put him in his crate with a Kong so I could take Casey to BlockBuster and to pickup some Taco Bell - no cooking tonight for me .
When Casey and I got home, I waited outside my front door for a few minutes and I did not hear any whinning or barking. And much to my delight, Slider slept the entire night - 8:30 to 5:30 am. He has also done extremely well with potty training -first day and no accidents!!! Now that's off to a good start!!!! He has also done very well with going out and going potty immediately. So we have a "party" everytime that happens!!!

So, I'd have to say Day 1 was a great success!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He does like to
talk for attention but when I don't acknowledge him, I've noticed his barking
lets up quicker each time. He is a great boy!!!! Thank You!!!!!

As for our 7 week plan - I think Slider and I have covered alot of ground in
just 24 hours!!!!! Car, train, bus and plan....I think all we have left for
modes of transportation is a boat!!!! If I had an extra day in NYC we could
have taken the Ferry!!!!

Thank You Gayle, Bob and Cathi for a wonderful and confident pup!!!!

Now it's off for a quick nap...getting up at 5:30am on vacation is not permitted, unless one is off to the airport or a doggie event!!!! Have to rest in
preparation for todays adventures!!!!!