Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year of Firsts


Go Izzie Go!, originally uploaded by mandypug.

This past year has been full of action. I've done more with Izzie than ever, taken more classes than ever, and logged more kilometres on the odometer than ever.

In July we earned our first title ever. Just a Canine Good Neighbour, but still this is my first dog of my own and lets face it there are a hell of a lot of dogs out there that couldn't pass the CGN test (and it's a pretty easy test imho).

In August we competed in our first trial ever. At that trial, on our first run ever, we earned our first Q and our first first place ribbon.

In November we earned our first agility title, Starters Games Dog of Canada and we're only one Q away from our Agility Dog of Canada title.

We have 8 Qs in 6 trials. Not too shabby i think for a complete newbie to the sport with my first dog who was not raised for agility that was nearly completely shut down when we started with Go Dog Go. Not too shabby at all.

This may have been the year of Agility, but we did other things too!

We also started on Obedience and Rally training, mostly heel work. Never really thought I'd be interested in that stuff but it's surprisingly fun and a very well trained obedience dog is cool to watch.

Izzie and I also ventured into the world of team sports, particularly Scent Hurdle. I'd never taught a retrieve before and Izzie isn't particularly inclined to pick up things other than food. However i taught it to her, took about a week, and she's now a retrieving fool!

Izzie also saw sheep for the first time, which was super cool and kind of funny.

Anyways, we've had a lot of success and learning in 2011 and while we did not obtain our goal (and i hate goals, i never make them) of both starters titles by the end of the year we came very close and Izzie has been running awesome and clean and i couldn't be more proud. I'm definitely looking forward to what 2012 might bring us!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Face


Peanut Butter Face, originally uploaded by mandypug.

Too cute not to share!
Dogs are fun when you shove a dollop of peanut butter in their mouths, especially Izzie.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mishmash the Second

It's the end of December and there's no snow and has been blue skies and warmth. This is weird even though wind here brings warmth. I wonder what mother nature has in store for us though, this can't last...

I learned how to gamble at the casino on Tuesday night with my friend AND came away with $160. Spent it at Lululemon and feel pretty good about it, gotta win a jackpot next time though!

Izzie's rally training is coming along nicely, she's getting more and more comfortable with the leash each time we work on it. I'm getting over my issues too.

I've become so wrapped up in clean and perfect accurate runs that i micromanage and freak Izzie out. Must work on letting loose and trusting Izzie's training and taking some chances, it makes her go faster and i imagine it's more fun for her too. She knows what she's doing and i need to stop babying her and take advantage of my straight lines (or Jolayne will yell at me).

I haven't shaved my legs in like two months.

Free shaping is hilarious. Izzie lifted up her back end and planted it squarely into her training bag tonight without touching the edges of the bag, i had to laugh.

Lululemon reusable bags make the BEST training bags. Izzie got a new one for Christmas, I got the hoodie that was inside of it.

Izzie and I went to watch Gyp and Sarah and Pike and Cindy herding a couple weeks ago. Izzie and i ended up in the arena with the sheep for about 5 minutes and it was FUN! Not that we'll pursue it but Izzie was really thinking in there and was pretty intrigued by the fact that if she stepped toward the sheep they'd move away from her. Perhaps she was telling them "Bah Ram Ewe!"

That'll Do Pug..., originally uploaded by mandypug.

Thanks Shay for the funny photoshop job!

My Little Dog

A heartbeat at my feet., originally uploaded by mandypug.

Having a little mushy moment today... I couldn't love this little dog more than i do, she is perfection to me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crafty


Lookit that you lucky readers, two posts in one day! I finished up my little project early and wanted to show you all what i did with the prop in the last post.

Combine a cheap leash rack from a discount store with some old picture hanging wire kicking around in the garage, add lots of brilliant wrapping of the wire around the pegs and voila! A ribbon rack to display Izzie's awards!

Her ribbons were just hanging on a hook, not displayed, in my room and i kinda need that hook to hang other things on so i figured it's about time Izzie got her own ribbon display.

Now to find somewhere to hang it!

One Word


So much better than you..., originally uploaded by mandypug.

You know those self study survey type questions that are often on high school "personal development" assignments? I always hated those (almost as much as goal setting actually), especially the "Describe yourself with one word" question. I could never pick a word for myself.

Izzie, however complex, can pretty much be described with one word and everyone would probably agree. Izzie is a princess.


She's still sweet though despite being royalty, unable to rule with an iron paw like the Queen Jane does. She's just too nice.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Pugmas!

Fill it up!, originally uploaded by mandypug.

Someone is impatient waiting for Santa Paws...

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's like getting underwear for christmas...


Really expensive underwear, but not the frilly lacy pretty kind from Victoria Secret. The practical kind that may not look special but has special abilities (like spanx i suppose). That's what this coat is for Izzie. Practical underwear.

I've been wanting to get Izzie a Back on Track coat for quite a while but the price tag was a bit scary. However the thought of Izzie possibly not being in top shape and getting injured because i don't do everything i can for her is even scarier! So when Sarah became a distributor for this company i jumped at the chance to get Izzie one.

Back on Track products are made of a special ceramic fabric that radiates heat back toward the body. This helps heal and prevent sore, stiff muscles. While Izzie doesn't seem to have any problems or injuries, I'd like to be proactive and try and do everything to prevent them. Plus I'm sure the better she feels, the better she'll perform and the more she'll enjoy her activities.

It's my job to keep my Super Pug in super shape.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Motivation


Crate Gamer, originally uploaded by mandypug.
I'll write about the 2x4 trial later, I'm still thinking about it and absorbing some things that have been said about our results.


Izzie is a very hard dog to motivate, which makes her slow. Her interest in toys and play is almost nonexistent. She was a super playful puppy and I'm kicking myself now for squashing that. However I never had a thought to do agility with her when I got her or was raising her so really I can't place full blame on myself for not channelling the drive she had for toys and play. At that point I just needed a good dog that wouldn't chew on everyone’s feet and wasn't bothering everyone to play 24/7. She loves food but I find it hard to get her "up" for food in a trial or even practise environment. That could be me being more serious than at mealtime at home. It could also be that I’m not a terribly fun person; I’m not a squeaky voiced jumping around like an idiot happy person (and those people freak me out). So I find it hard to be exciting. I'm shy and the thought of jumping around and making a fool of myself makes me want to curl up in a ball and die.

Izzie really loves agility, I know she does. She knows the routes to the outdoor field and now the barn and she perks up and wags her whole body when she figures out where we're going. She's not hesitant about any obstacles either. I just need to get her motivated to play the game with speed.

So I’ve got to do something about this. She’s already on a toy diet as much as I can to try and build their value; she already has to earn her food and all her treats too. If I push her back on the chest to rev her up she just screams like I’m trying to kill her (my classmates have witnessed this too) and slinks away even though I’ve never done anything to hurt her EVER and she doesn’t have an injury there.

I already have crate games and it’s something that is recommended for building motivation, so we’re going to be doing that at home for a while to try and get her going. Getting her used to collar restraints or pushed back by me or something too maybe.

She’s my first competition dog so I really have no idea what I should do. I feel honestly a little defeated I guess, I’m trying to think of the positives of not only how far we’ve come since the start but the success and improvement we’ve had since we started trialling in August; but the speed thing keeps getting brought up and it kind of starts to overshadow things.

We’ll see how crate games works and I’ll research more ideas. I know something will help get Izzie motivated (maybe I need to be drugged or drunk or something to make me more fun?), I don’t know what it is yet but we’ll find it and do it and it will work.