Dragonfly Goose

Goose necklace

Lori gave this to me on Thursday.
Once again Goose is on course with me.

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Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends

I’ve got this week’s notes, this week’s course maps. I’ve reviewed and clipped video. Made notes on the Schoolwork sheet. That’s as far as I’m taking it this week….and probably for a while. Even made the appropriate tweaks to my Daily Workflow, giving myself permission to let go.

Today I’m editing video of Professor Goose, specifically the Techniques folder, and making notes. I’m going to narrate that video. It’s the best way to tell our story.

Lori and Kathi are trialing this weekend, yesterday and today. Lori has shared all the course maps. Both have shared video. I’m chomping at the bit to trial again! First things first. When I know the dates of my cataract surgeries, maybe I’ll be able to fit in a trial at Shaffer the end of September. Of higher priority is getting through this year’s three procedures, healthy, rested, having cash flowed all medical expenses. The recovery periods will affect my weekend schedules. My clients were super regarding April’s schedule. I missed no income, but did have to work a few Play Days. 🙂

Thursday, third class, was basically a private lesson due to fellow students’ vacations and Pat’s shoulder surgery.  Lori suggested obedience things with Elliot in hopes of more handler focus. Tanner, Elliot and I played Tricks with the platform and box. Gonna try for Tricks titles on Norma Jean, Elliot and Tanner. Tricks are fun!

Painted the far wall downstairs yesterday. One more coat on that and on to the long wall. It’s looking really good down there! Moved the table and chair to the opposite wall, which opened up square footage for training. Yes!

Back on a roll with my phone camera. Pulled out several photography books and will set up a photo shoot to play with this week. Both of my ‘real’ cameras, using all the lenses…just to reacquaint myself.

Right now? I’m headed in for a nap!


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Play. I’m not so good at playing. I’m a doer. It’s something I’m working on especially as I ease into ‘retirement’ the If You’re Not in the Obit Eat Breakfast style. Learning to be, not do. It seems there’s a correlation between play and be…although perhaps I’m thinking too much.

Some time ago my sister Lori commented that as children we weren’t allowed to play until all our work was done. Flylady says we hate to clean because as children we had to clean our rooms (perfectly) before we were allowed to play on weekends. There is merit to these observations.

In the past I have coveted the tools other agility handlers have in their toolbox. Tugging. Toy drive. Chasing a ball. Even their food treats. Lots of other dogs think kibble is a super fun treat. Ha! Not my dogs! I pack the Super Duper Treats – Doggie Crack, Meat-de-jour Brownies, chicken sausages, chicken bites, liver bites. That would be real liver cut into tiny pieces, not liver bites purchased off the shelf.

Something my agility teacher Lori said a while back popped into my mind. “But your dogs play with you.” …which means, when I think about it, my dogs always have their biggest reward on hand while we run. 🙂

Yesterday Kathi shared: Interesting! On my memories today up popped videos of Merry’s first run and Autumn’s first run. . .both at adams county fairgrounds. Both girls were happy and running. What in the hell did I do to make em not like agility. .. okay, Merry is older and has had shoulder ouchies. . .and Autumn was dieing and I didn’t know it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make me keep this fun for Lindy, Arnold and Rita. . . or else I should find something else to do. Kinda breaks my heart 😞

We had a long soul-searching discussion. Video has been so helpful to me. Sure, it’s great when it all comes together and the run looks effortless. But that’s not the reality of agility training. I remember when I switched up Schoolwork to ‘complete the run’, appropriate at that time since I was always stopping when I made an error. It’s a kick in the pants to finish a run and, over time, that became my criteria – subconscious or not – for success. Just recently I added ‘Plan to train your dog’ to Schoolwork, shifting the focus back to actual training rather than running.


Play! Denise Fenzi wrote the book. Kathi gave me the book. It’s time to reread the book! The dogs ‘get it’ when we readily communicate what we’re doing next on the agility course.  An elaborate game of chase, there are so many moving – literally and physically – parts to running a course together. The snag comes in our ability to communicate that without getting frustrated with ourselves or the dog when there’s miscommunication. I wholeheartedly believe that’s where the breakdown begins and (most) dogs start to think the game isn’t all that fun.

So here I am…learning to play. Play with each individual dog. Play with photography. Play in my garden. Play with my needle and thread. Play with videography. It’s a paradigm shift to go from ‘doing’ these things to ‘being’ in the moment with these things. A concept to play with, for sure.

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The Runway Queen

Oh what fun I had with this!

AKC is testing the Achiever Dog program this year. The intention is to encourage people to try various things with their dogs. Zopa earned it with her Novice Tricks title. Surprised me when it came in the mail. Her one weekend of conformation exhibition all those years ago, along with an agility title and a tricks title is what it took.

Another Master’s Q for Edie would have done it…but I’m not really trialing this year. Lori suggested Novice Tricks. Perfect! Bonus? Edie has her CGC, so 5 tricks not 10. Knowing Lori and Lisa would get a kick out of an actual ‘performance’ I set the stage for The Runway Queen.  Her spins at the beginning of the runway were off camera. 😦 I obstacle handled her because I wanted her trotting along the runway rather than running. 🙂

I love Lori’s laugh when I announced, “she’s the Runway Queen” and Lisa’s request for a pawtograph after her performance. Lori also commented on how the breeze was catching Edie’s hair – perfect for a model on the runway!

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Zopa’s Sweet Ride

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Zopa’s new startline

This wrap-n-go start engages the dog, puts you Feet Forward and gives you a few steps headstart.

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