Ok 2018, whatcha got for me? I am ready for battle! 2018 HAS to be better than 2017. I won't accept anything less, dammit. So....it's time to set goals for the year. I am a little at a loss because I just am not sure where my ambitions will take me this year. I find myself without a big thing to work towards. I guess I will have to invent one! OK, another deep breath, here we go:
SHORT TERM GOALS
1. Earn an Excellent Q with Pretzel (in agility)
2. Finish Pretzel's Open titles in Jumpers and FAST
3. Pretzel - get to level 4 in CPE agility
4. Earn Noodle's Grand Championship
5. Have a healthy foal out of a healthy Corky
6. Earn a novice agility Q with Noodle
7. Earn Junior Hunter titles with Pretzel and Noodle
8. Earn an Obedience or Rally Q with Noodle
LONG TERM GOALS
1. Earn another Top 10 at Congress
2. Break into the Top 20 in Weimaraner conformation
3. Earn Pretzel's C-ATCH in CPE
4. Earn Pretzel and Noodle's Dual Championship
Those are doable goals, right? Though short term goal #5 is clearly out of my hands - I have ALWAYS done 110% of what I needed to do to ensure this goal, but have yet to achieve it. It's up to Corky, and God, both of which seem somewhat fickle on this topic.
Meanwhile, I am drowning in puppy poop and pee, my office stinks, but there are four of the most adorable beings looking at me right now that make it all worthwhile. OK...make that SIX of the most adorable beings. Pretzel and Noodle are still tops in my eyes (plus they poop outside, yay!).
Don't be fooled by the peaceful photo, these puppies are bold, energetic, and WILD! I spend my days cleaning poop, cleaning pee, trying to keep the puppies from tearing apart their grass potty patch, trying to keep them from tearing apart anything they can get their paws or mouth on. I sure wish I was more prepared for these puppies.
Today was Noodle's first agility class since the long December break, and her first time in the new advanced class. I had rented the training building on New Year's Eve and worked her and Pretzel - she was terrible. Absolutely ignored me, just did her own thing like i wasn't even there. I attribute this to the fact that she spent a week running like a wild animal on the beaches in Florida, and then when we got home I immediately got these puppies that took up ALL of my time, leaving her to her own devices.
Yesterday I rented the ARF building and just worked on focus exercises. By the end of the session she was doing really well. Today's class, however, started off wild and out of control, just as I feared. The first thing we did off leash was work on the automatic down on the table, and she leaped off and ran over to a terrier classmate and tried to engage in rough play (which, being a terrier, he did not appreciate!). This is beyond unacceptable, and it really had me tense for the rest of the class. I worried more about controlling her and keeping her focused on me than I did with the actual training. I hope and pray that she will settle in to a better routine and behave in the future.
Today's new thing we worked on was the "here" command - for instances like a tunnel discrimination where I might want her to avoid the closest tunnel entrance and go beyond it to a farther entrance. This will take some practice. Too bad this entire week we are averaging in the single digit temperatures. Way too cold to get anything done, and the "puppy palace" has taken over all of the free space in my office.
Overwhelmed? You bet. I am overwhelmed with these puppies, with the neglect I am showing to my own two dogs, worries about my family, training stresses, the list goes on and on. C'mon, 2018, it's only day #3!!!
Redirect! That might end up being my theme for 2018. Don't give up - Redirect instead! I am a goal-oriented person. Yeah, that's putting it mildly. A more accurate description would be that I am obsessive about setting goals and working towards them. Sometimes, though, ya gotta face reality and re-purpose your drive into a new or different venture. Easier said than done? Well, just watch me!
It was a busy, busy weekend. The two girl puppies left for their new homes - one to Wyoming and one to Colorado. I must admit I am sad to see them leave and go so far away from me. I want to see them grow up! On the other hand I must admit that cutting the litter in half means half the work,
and half the POOP! It is great to have a breather from the constant work, cleanup, and babysitting of these pups. The litter owner has been hospitalized, so it is good that they are with me now.
I have to take a moment to vent and moan on here. It's just crazy that I have these puppies, can see their quality and personalities, yet am not in the position to keep one. Do you have any idea how hard that is? My friends are getting new puppies right and left, but not me. And being without a show prospect right now is killing me. I mean, I know I could make it work if I had to take a puppy now, but we really aren't set up for it and I don't thin it would be fair to Noodle at this time in her training. She has already turned into a wild heathen being left to her own devices for the past few weeks while I focus on the puppies. I need to get back in to daily training with her (all I can say is good thing Obedience class was cancelled today due to the bad weather!).
So, I spend my days and nights caring for these puppies, but with a big bucket of sadness. It's a very weird mix of feelings.
Here are some stack photos from this weekend:
Black collar male
Blue collar male
Red collar female
Pink collar female
I received the photos from the puppies' photo shoot with Cherry Williams...they are awesome! Go check them out HERE!!!
Having only two pups cuts the workload WAY down! Both boys are really getting the hang of potty training, and the weather has finally warmed up so I can let them outside to do their thing. It looks like the blue collar boy will be heading to Connecticut this weekend. then it is just down to one puppy...Pretzel's mini-me.
Noodle had agility class today. I foolishly started thinking very positively - the class started off great. She was going awesome at her sequences, nailing her contacts and responding well to different handling scenarios. Then she became unglued and followed another dog into the tunnel, scaring the other dog. I am so frustrated, because just when I think things are going well, she does something completely embarrassing that worries me and stresses me out.
I had planned on driving to Cincinnati on Friday to do agility run-throughs with her, but we are supposed to get a big winter storm Friday into Saturday, so looks like that isn't going to happen now. Dang it...we need the practice! I kind of regret entering her in those two runs at the CPE trial next weekend.
Blue collar boy "Chevy" headed to his new home in Connecticut today. I have to admit I shed a couple tears at his leaving. He was my lap buddy, always pushing the other puppies off so he could get prime space in my lap. He will have a wonderful home on a horse farm.
And then, there was one. I call him Ford (to match blue collar, whom his new owner named "Chevy"). He is Pretzel's mini-me, and we are searching for the perfect home for this sensitive soul.
But on other exciting news, Pretzel will be bred again in a few weeks to an outstanding bitch, I am super excited to see this cross. once again, I am devastated that the timing is wrong for me to get a puppy from this breeding. We are planning on starting a major house addition/renovation in March and things will be torn up and crazy around here for a while. After that...who knows? Meanwhile, I will try to revitalize my dreams (which seem to all have dissipated in the past few months). I can't survive without goals or dreams. that's just the way I am wired.
I am torn up inside. I've run into a major problem that I am at a loss as to what to do to resolve it. I am broken-hearted, not only because of this issue, but of my so-called "friends" who apparently seem to be reacting to this with such glee, spreading and exaggerating things for their own enjoyment and gossip. I am in such a low I can't describe it, and I am not even comfortable talking about the details here. I will, though, just give me time. In the meantime, please remember that most people enjoy spreading bad news about others, and love amping up the story until there is very little truth left. Meanwhile, I am here in tears.
And no, Mark is fine! He is my only real rock of a friend when it comes down to it. he is keeping me from having a 100% meltdown...though I am balancing on the edge.
Today I had a much-needed day out doing field training with my dogs. It was darn cold! I haven't done this with them in several months, and you could tell. they were over-excited, and no one wanted to hold their point today.
We experimented and worked Noodle with two other Weims. She actually did really well working with the strange dogs. This was a good sign. My next goal is to work Pretzel with someone else, but we will have to wait until we have a female for him to brace with. We had to get after Noodle the first time she caught a bird because she did not want to retrieve it back to us. After that, she did really well in bringing it to hand. That was encouraging.
I really enjoy the field training - it is fun to learn something totally new, and the people I am training with are wonderful. SO nice to get out with non-judgmental people and just have fun.
So...Noodle was ousted from her agility class on Wednesday for being obnoxious, and this judgement even spilled over into her obedience class. Yes, her obnoxiousness with other dogs can get out of hand. She is not mean, but she is...um...exuberant and obnoxious (that seems to be the best way to describe her behavior). Of course, there are "friends" (please note the quotes) who are exaggerating the tale and making her out to be this evil dog.
Yeah...right. I am torn up inside, not only from what a few people are saying (betrayal by friends always hurts the worst), but also by my lack of knowledge in how to fix this problem.
Give up on my girl? Are you freaking crazy?
She has more talent in her little paw than most dogs, she deserves a chance.
I just need to get my thinking cap on and figure out a program. Apparently this is a road I am going to have to travel alone. After a couple days, I have gotten my determination back.
Remember, I entered Noodle in two agility runs at the CPE trial this weekend. I entered her in the very last run each day. Since she is level 1, 24", she will probably be the very last dog to go each day. The crowd will be nonexistent. Perfect!
Well, here we go! Agility trial all day, and Noodle's first run of her career at the end of the day. We started off by getting Noodle officially measured by the judge - she measured 24 1/4". That seems about right.
Pretzel had 4 runs today. He was pretty tired from field training yesterday, so his runs were not spectacular. He did Q and earn a first place in Snooker, of all things! He was stress-sniffing an awful lot today...not sure if he was sensing my inner turmoil. That might have thrown him off his A game. He is so sensitive to me, it makes it tough sometimes!
So, the end of the day drew near, and it was time for Noodle's debut. I was a little nervous, but pretty excited. My friends all stayed to watch, so there was a decent number of people around. Our run today was "Colors" - this was a super-fast short course that had two courses intertwined, and you had to pick one and stay on that particular course. I picked the one best suited for Noodle.
What can I say? I could not ask for a better debut run!!! She held her start line stay perfectly, and ran CLEAN for a Q and first place!!! I came out of the ring and actually started crying. My "juvenile delinquent", just a few days before her 18 month birthday, went out and NAILED her very first run of her career. I couldn't be happier...seriously.
Day two of our agility trial...I approached this with a very positive attitude! The day started off slow. Pretzel was a bit sluggish, still sniffing around. However, he managed to pull off a Q in the one event we needed a Q in to advance - Wildcard. Finally we are out of level 3, and in level 4 in all CPE events. YES! It was pretty cool to see Pretzel's best buddy, the Airedale named Aeros, win his C-ATCH award today. What a cool accomplishment.
I was sitting around, just killing time, when I glanced over to see the printout of the running order. I noticed that Noodle's name was left off the list for Jumpers, which is the last event of the day. Worried,
I went to the show secretary and asked her about it. She pulled up m entry form, and here I had circled Jackpot instead of Jumpers
(hey, they both begin with J, right?). OK, and guess what class was just finishing their walkthrough? Yep...I was going to have to go in this class cold. Thank God I happen to check the sheet and noticed my error before the class had started!!!
I grabbed Noodle and immediately started working focus exercises with her. I had a very short amount of time to get her focused and ready to run. This run was Jackpot, which meant that the first part of the tun i was able to do whatever obstacles I wanted for points (you have to earn a minimum number of points), and then when the buzzer went off I had a limited amount of time to do the "gamble", which was a series of obstacles behind a tape line that i had to send Noodle through.
I hurriedly came up with some sort of plan, and off we went. once again she held her start line perfectly, and she nailed the jumps, did her weaves PERFECTLY, and held her 2-on, 2-off contact on the A-Frame. We had time to spare, so I scrambled to do a few extra jumps while waiting for the buzzer. the buzzer went off, I got her collected and circled around, and off we went on the gamble, and NAILED it. Another Q, and another first place!!! I can't begin to describe my emotions. All the stress and heartache of this week was wiped away. She worked in complete partnership with me, never taking her eyes off me or even offering to go do her own thing. It was amazing, and exhilarating, and just plain freaking awesome!
How to Train Your Weim to be Obnoxious, Volume One
Noodle is so fun to watch with "Marshall" (the puppy formerly known as Ford). She is training him to be a wild Weim like herself. I like that she is really bringing him out of his shell and giving him confidence. he now escapes his pen regularly and cavorts around my office, not worrying at all about the other big dogs hanging out in there.
Marshall will leave for his new home in Georgia this weekend. he is going to a wonderful home, he will be loved by a family, live on a horse farm, and actually have a show career. I can't wait to follow Pretzel's "mini-me" into the future.
Noodle, Noodle, Noodle...source of great joy and great worry! This morning after she at her breakfast (and she actually ate almost the whole meal...yay!), she threw up a small handful of food. No biggie, right? She was her usual wild self all day, playing with Marshall the Puppy, bugging me for training, running in and out of the house into the rain...usual stuff. This evening, right before I was going to feed them dinner, she threw up again. This time, it was a whole lot of blood. I managed to catch it in a bag...it was a LOT of blood! Off we went to the emergency vet!
The vet took x-rays, did blood tests, palpated her...found NOTHING. The best she could come up with was that she had some sort of irritation in her stomach that caused this. The blood is a mystery. She sent us home with some medicine to coat her stomach and some bland food to feed her the next few days. I hate it when these things happen and are a mystery! Yes, I am relieved that it isn't a blockage or an illness...but i am also worried because I have no idea what caused this. Thankfully she feels fine, and is not sick. I will be watching her closely. Obsessive dog owner warning!!!
Tonight I rented the agility training building with my friend and we worked her dog and Noodle together. She also had a friend's dog with her that she was dogsitting. Lots of great distractions for Noodle. I was thrilled with how Noodle acted. She lost focus one time and ran over to the other dog, but I was able to work her through it, and every time after that I was able to call her back before she interfered with anyone else.
Progress! Her focus was really good, even though I could see she was quivery with excitement over the other barking dog.
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other."
- Walter Elliot
Yes it is! So here's to one more short race I feel like I've won. I am feeling confident, and really really excited about Noodle's agility career. I just wish I didn't have to go about it alone. Oh well...we will keep working!
So crazy thought...I had entered Pretzel in one day of an AKC agility trial in Ocala, Florida next month (we will be heading down there for Mark's family reunion). The order is small to tall, and Novice Standard is the last class. Might be a good opportunity to enter Noodle - another class at the end of the day when most of the crowds will be gone. You know, I think I will! I'm totally feeling it.
Man, it feels SO good to have something to be working towards. I am not good when I am adrift without a goal. I have purpose in my stride, and a direction I am headed. Yeah, it feels so good!
The weather broke finally, so we headed west to do some field training. of course, when it reaches 50 degrees after having 7-8 inches of snow, that can only mean one thing: MUD. The interior of my car may never recover, but the dogs sure had fun.
For the second time, it seems my dogs' training went out the window. Neither dog would hold their point long enough for me to flush. Noodle just flash pointed and then dove for the bird. Pretzel hunted waaaay far away from me, held his point for a little bit, but by the time I got to him he had already gone after the bird. We went back and did a little more work with the dogs on a check cord and the bird on a pole, and the were doing much better at that. When we went back to turning them loose, they reverted back to their bad habits. I can see I need to work a lot more "whoa" training at home and get them listening to me.
Either way, it was a great day. Dogs had a blast, and I enjoyed getting out in the sunshine. I got some great pictures of Pretzel on point. He is so flashy and beautiful on point. So intense!
Well, today I said goodbye to Marshall, a.k.a. Ford, a.k.a.
Pretzel's Mini Me. He went to his new home in Georgia today. I couldn't ask for a better home, he will be loved by a family and they will be hitting the show ring with him!
I can't deny I am really really excited to see how he does in the show ring. He is the puppy that is most like Pretzel. He has such great potential! It's really cool to think of a little piece of my Pretzel will be living on in his 4 puppies.
But wait, there's more! Yes, Pretzel is going to be bred again this coming week! I won't reveal the breeder or who the bitch is quite yet, but let's just say I am very excited! of course, all of these puppies are coming at the wrong time. I can't take a puppy any time soon, we are planning a major house addition starting in March, and life will be a torn-up muddy mess for many many months. Dang.
So, I took all of the puppy pens down this evening. My office and the family room look huge now that those pens are down. It is nice to have room to move again (and nice to have the pee smell out of my office...yay!).
Pretzel was busy this week making new puppies! I won't reveal who he had his hot date with...at least not yet. I will say she is absolutely gorgeous and sweet. Puppies due at the beginning of April, if all goes well. Yay!