Friday, April 6, 2012

This and That (plus ZING! video)

It feels weird to have a few completely unscheduled days in a row.  Weird, but also kind of cool. 
We can do "whatever we like!"

We didn't get to sheep Wednesday.  :-( 
My fault, actually...I was a bit under the weather and did not call the sheep lady to schedule a lesson.  I have a call in to her now, so hopefully we'll get out there this coming week, weather permitting. 

We did make it to the agility practice field that is NEAR the sheep, earlier this week.  So Riff got to stare through the fence at a few ewes.  Must admit that sheep, to me, are just "sheep."  But lambs...oh, my....aren't they adorable?  

First lamb of the season (iPhone pic).
Second lamb (ML's photo).  What a sweet face!
Do you think ML names the new lambs?  I would be hard-pressed not to....they are too cute.  These lambs almost make me feel Easter-y. 

Riff and I practiced discriminations at the agility field.  Our verbal commands, which I thought we had, have evaporated.  In Riff's defense, I was much further behind him than I had been previously, and I suspect we never actually had any verbal commands for discriminations.  I suspect all we had was an introductory foundation to physical cues.  When he couldn't see me, he made his own choice...and it didn't matter what I said. 

Yesterday, at the LeapDog practice field, we went back to practicing discriminations, trying to link them to verbals.  We made some progress...I think.  I know Riff got pretty tired. 

It's hard work, figuring out if I want the tunnel or the A-frame - especially if you end out taking the A-frame more often than you should (oops).  I obviously need to clean up my cues.  I need to remember to bring my video camera, study my body language, and make SURE Riff has a clear way of seeing what I want in time for him to make adjustments. And then, I need to make sure he connects those actions to verbal cues. This pupster wants to be quick, he needs plenty of warning for what to do next, and he reacts to the slightest shift in body language.  All good things...if only I could learn faster!  Ah, well.  We'll get there.  Perhaps I'll go into the backyard with the jump stanchions, slow everything way down, and see if that helps...

Before we played agility yesterday, we went out for a hike.  Spendid day. 

Riff was pretty sure we were walking way too slowly.

Riff didn't want to swim in the new little pond
on the washed-out section of the trail,but Keeper was willing.
This section was just completed a few months ago!  I wonder if they'll try to rebuild.

After last weekend's rain, the typically blue lake was "Big Muddy."

We took a hike this morning, too...but not into the "wilderness."  Today we stayed in town.  After strolling over to the "rich people's neighborhood" to check out how their gardens are doing, we stopped at the bakery and enjoyed a mocha.  Yum.    Of course after a "hike" like that (yawn), the dogs love having a good game of "find the toy" in our backyard.

The biggest and richest of the houses we walked by this morning.
(I'd be thrilled to have just the porch...)

This afternoon I've been determined to get the front yard ready for composting/mulching.  Got all the raking done (what a chore! jeez, those oak trees dump a lot of leaves), and the pruning is almost complete.  Must go to the garden supply store for dirt.  (Wonderful, rich dirt.)  Then we'll have to haul it and spread it....then fix all the drip irrigation we wreck doing all that...THEN the front yard will be ready for the summer. 

THEN I'll be able to start seriously planting some flowers in the backyard.  Um...after I do a bit of weeding.

Oh, dear.  I get tired just thinking about it.

Here...this will wake you up!  A video of the agility runs in Reno, for Gabrielle and ZING....2012 AKC National Champions!! FAST dog, terrific handler.

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