Nov 032014
 

0711.connery.teeter.LJAs one part of Connery Beagle’s Overcoming Very Bad Luck Journey through this life, he was given steroids through his adolescence.  This wasn’t particularly good for his developing tendons and ligaments.

We shifted him to Atopica as soon as it became an option, and then he was getting prednisone on the side as necessary.  But when he was 3 ½, after the final attack by yet another dog four times his size and amidst various other trauma, he went into a cortisol crisis with many ramifications and was declared off-limits to steroids.

Fast forward to another big part of the journey when he was seven.  Skipping the details (because there are so many of them), he ended up on a doggy inhaler.  These steroid drugs were not supposed to be systemic, so were thought to be okay. Continue reading »

Oct 062014
 

by Doranna

speech-bubble-mdThe broken brain.  It is Teh Stoopit.  It looks at things it’s known how to do forEVER and it says, “I got nuthin’.”

When it comes to the dogs, I can often see it coming…if not always.  “Nope, can’t teach this new skill right now, because it will break something that I need in the immediate future.”

When I was teaching agility and rally, I saw broken dog brains all the time.  Dogs learning how to back up would forget how to sit.  Dogs learning to stand from sit would forget how to finish to heel.  Dogs learning to stand from down would forget something else altogether. Continue reading »

Jun 042014
 

by Doranna

cb.dogwalkbay.crop.0058Qualifying!  Winning!  Titles!  W00t!  Rah!

Because hey, that stuff is fun.  It’s lots of fun.  The green Q ribbon is a revered thing.  Add a bit of placement ribbon color and…you know…

W00t!

But if it was the only marker of success, I can’t imagine many of us would keep training, keep entering…keep running.  Keep on with our little public humility lessons.  Because with some dogs, those placement ribbons never come, and with others, the Q ribbons are a rarity, and with still others, the lessons in humility are ongoing. Continue reading »

May 062014
 

yymm.dd.dart.storycover.28.NOT.SMDart, as usual, is teaching me lessons.

All three of the dogs stay pretty active, like little elementary school kids with a stack of play dates.  However, Connery is a mature boy with lots of seasoning who never did need a ton of proofing, while Rena is on a hiatus from most things (another story altogether.)

Meanwhile, Dart is a spark-bright boy who lives intensely, notices everything, out-thinks himself at every turn, and needs extensive proofing in all possible circumstances.  He needs to do, not to practice doing.

But there are only so many opportunities to do, especially in this area.  So when they come along, we make the most of them. Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 

by Doranna

THE GOOD:

Agility milestones for Connery Beagle!  Now that he’s earned a MACH3, Connery is running in Preferred classes (that is, jumping four inches lower).  He was always the shortest and heaviest dog in his jump height…Beagles are meant to be sturdy little things.  And he likes it Very Much!

He’s qualified in eleven of his twelve runs since then, and taken first place each time.  At ten years old there’s no telling how long he’ll have this much joy in running, but right now we’re having a blast with it!

connery_DSC6958-(ZF-1106-69731-1-002).SM Continue reading »

Mar 052014
 

A Blue Hound Beagles Blog

(A Dog Agility Blog Event: Starting your puppy)

0405.31.connery.bone.19Talk about awesome reinforcement timing!  This past month, in some weird universal coincidence, big lots of people (okay, a couple) asked me exactly this–when did I start training?  How?  And now here we are, officially chatting about it for the Blog Event!

So here’s my easy answer:  I start my puppies the moment they come home.

Now, anyone who’s gasping, “She puts her puppies over jumps/on the a-frame/dogwalk/WHUTEVER” should just slap their own heads.   Just pause right now and take care of that little chore for me.
Continue reading »

Feb 152014
 

by Doranna

I find that whatever I’m doing with my animals, I usually run into lessons that apply to writing.  Or to living.  All our critters have something to teach us–maybe some more than others.

ConneryBeagle: Me!  This must be about ME!

Oh, it must be.  And not just randomly, but because we are in celebration mode!

Celebrate! Continue reading »

Dec 112013
 

by Doranna & the Blue Hound Beagles
A Dog Agility Blog Event.  Sort of.

dogblogLast week the Dog Agility event went off as scheduled…without me.  Life Chaos came to something of a head last week (if one of many), and I regretfully not only didn’t manage the deadline, I didn’t even get started.

But this past weekend, I attended an agility trial that reminded me just how much the mental game matters.

As in, when your mental game is blown away, it changes everything about how you handle the events of a trial. Continue reading »