Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kakamatua

Its a 3 day weekend here this weekend with Monday being a stat holiday. Of course being a nurse, we don't get holidays like everyone else and I'm again on stinking night shift the entire weekend and on into Monday. And of course the weathers gorgeous, meaning every man child and dog is out and about, mowing their lawns, trimming hedges, being noisy. I mean come on, I'm trying to sleep! So yesterday instead of wasting my time trying to sleep I went out to Kakamatua beach/inlet with Helen, her husband Noel-John, Leilei, and our dogs:
Pepper
Snoopy
Arrow
and Kaha

It was the first time I'd been out there and it truly is awesome. A wee foresty walk that opens up onto a streamy sandy bit that leads to a big inlet with is a huge sand flat at low tide. The dogs had a blast, running, chasing and being chased, getting wet, getting sandy, going loopy. It was really great. Much better than sleeping, although it made for a rather long night at work last night!
Within moments of getting off the leash:
Oh, look! Water!
Woohoo!
Weeeeeee
Ahhhh!!!! Deep!

Help!!
Phewf, dry land, careful Kaha, that waters dangerous!
Gee Snoop, its not deep, you've just got to get longer legs!



Racing

The water on the sand flats was so warm, as Leilei put it, it was like someone had peed on the sand!
LOTS of zooooooming
Checking stuff out



No one's throwing my ball, I'll just get a stick

Chasing ducks

Pepper, jumping stuff again
Beautiful Snoop Finally, some ball time

(Sorry Arrow, I didn't click fast enough to get you in!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weave

This is what we've been working on for about the past two weeks




video



We've trained the weaves vaguely using Susan Garretts 2x2 method, training was pretty sporadic at first because of the stupid weather. Initially I used 6 garden stakes covered in white tape, and because of our small garden we were carting those stupid poles to all the parks we go to. But as Pepper got the idea and got faster (which happened surprisingly quickly) the poles weren't cutting it - she was running right through them as she could just bash them out of the way. So a lady who is in the same dog club and who I also work with very kindly offered me her "proper" competition weaves to borrow - just the nicest thing, and I'm so so grateful. The above video only shows 8 poles as that's all we can fit into out garden (we have a back yard too but its an annoying shape and part concrete.) but we've been training with 12 at the park down the road (these weaves are a little less portable than my flimsy poles!) Mostly we train using a toy for drive but someone ate someones last ball yesterday. I'm really pleased with how she's going, now to work on proofing entries.


Pepper got an awesome new collar this week - courtesy of our friend Helen from "AroundaHound" - she makes gorgeous handmade martingale collars out of cool fabrics, they're so well made and now Pepper's pretty much the hippest dog on the block - so thanks heaps Helen, can't wait for my next one!




We meet up with Helen, her husband Noel-John and their dogs Snoopy & Arrow for a f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g cold walk at the beach earlier in the week. It was getting dark so the pictures are a bit blurry. Peppers not terribly sociable with other dogs - she'd rather play with her ball, but when Snoopy's around it a different story, man does she love that dog! While we froze they had a blast and acted like looneys.




"Ready Snoopy?"


"Gooooo!"
Arrow was very restrained and the only dog to stay still to have his picture taken!
It's hard work training and playing, can't go past a good snooze in the sun to recover.

Oh and this "I love my AroundaHound collar" photo got an extra smile courtesy of Leilei - thanks :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Starting agility and a 3rd prize


So we started agility training finally last week, after having to wait an extra 3 months because of Peppers scabbie paw problems. The instructors of the class we're in seem really nice, so friendly and helpful and totally positive and into clicker training. One of them has the most awesome beautiful black and tan Kelpie that I think I'm in love with and want to steal. They take things really quietly for the first 8 weeks, with more focus on handling the dog correctly rather than equipment at this early stage which I think is the right approach.

We went to our second ever obedience show today, was originally going to go for a walk to the beach with the "aroundahound" crew but the weather wasn't playing ball so I decided to head out to Ardmore for a look at the last minute. We entered elementary and Pepper was great fun again - two lapses of attention in the ring during the short bit of heelwork, outside she was very very good though, and certainly an improvement on the last time. Again a perfect recall and nailed her stays. We always seem to be right beside a dog that breaks - this time we were in the middle of two, very nerve racking but she was a good girl and didn't move a muscle. We got third! (cue obligatory ribbon shot)


And won a sweet giant tennis ball that was rapidly destroyed and partially consumed.


And in honor of Bodies tongue tied blog post a few days ago, here is Peppers super unsophisticated side tongue effort.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My dog is an accident waiting to happen

The weather finally seems to have turned – after what seems like literally months of persistent heavy never ending rain, the sun has come out! And its been sunny for 4 days in a row (and counting!) I love love love summer.
We haven’t been to the off leash dog park just down the road for many months, its just been too wet there, the one time we did venture there the mud was over the top of my gumboots in some spots, and it’s a pretty crap place to go at the best of times anyway. But its passable for when I’m working night shift and haven’t the energy to go far.

So, anyway. We popped down there 2 days ago and Pepper was doing the whole “zoomy zoomy” dog thing speeding around when “crrrrrack” she smacked right into a really big rock that was hidden in the long grass. It made such a sickening noise and she somersaulted twice and then started crying and wouldn’t get up. As I ran over, oh god, all I could think was broken leg. Then she was up and not weight bearing. And then……. She ran off chasing another dog. Totally fine. I know she hit it hard but man she’s a real drama queen. Way to give me a heart attack.




We've been exploring different beaches as because of daylight saving starting some of our usual ones are off limits during the day. Today we went to St Leonards Beach in Takapuna, it was gorgeous, we stayed for nearly 2hours cause there were heaps of other dogs that were good players.




And the long haul up the steps to get home.