March 23, 2011

Thunder, play and roses

Had my camera on me today and got some photos of an impressive thunderhead cloud and of Dazzle playing after Treibball class.

It was a very weird weather day. It would go from completely clear skies, to dark/torrential rain/high wind then back to clear skies!

We even got some hail earlier today (but since it was over 70 degrees, it melted quickly):

Unfortunately, the storms brought in much colder air and lows will be the 20's with high's only in the 40's for the next several days.  I think it's an extinction burst from winter and that winter will soon be DONE!

Dazzle had a blast playing with a new girlfriend at the training center tonight after class...

They were moving so fast, my camera couldn't get a clear shot!

 Dazzle being a flirt...

Yesterday, I got some additional photos of the LOVELY roses my husband got me.  I set them outside to get better light and of course the dogs had to check them out. :-)

 REALLY stop and smell the roses :-)

 I love how this one turned out:

March 21, 2011

10th Anniversary!

My husband and I celebrate our 10th Anniversary today and when I went into our office, I found 10 beautiful roses and the sweetest card waiting for me!  Oh, and a dark chocolate (candy) bunny too :-)
I love him very much and hope for many, MANY more years together!

ClickerExpo 2011

Just got home from the ClickerExpo 2011 in Chicago (a 3-day training conference about Clicker Training).  It was really great!  LOTS of great people and LOTS of great info!  I always come home more motivated to train my dogs with some new "tools" in my training "toolbox" :-)

Dazzle checks out the goodie bag we got at check-in:

Dazzle showed-off his badges to MANY of the attendees who had not heard of Dog Scouts.  I handed out lots of brochures too!

 The main hall:

Dogs of ALL sizes and breeds/mixes participated!:

 Dazzle and I had a front row seat for the panel discussion. On the table on the left side of the screen was one of the prize baskets we won! It was filled with goodies from the store):

 Part of the crowd of attendees listening to the panel discussion:

 This dog was SO adorable as he was learning to use platforms for training!  I don't know how old he was, but he acted like a clumsy puppy. :-)

Dazzle also participated in the platforms session, but the photos I asked another attendee to take of us didn't show the platform- oops :-) But I really appreciate the effort!  I just needed to be more clear in my directions about what I was looking for. :-) No problem though, I'm sure I'll soon be posting video of Dazzle working on platforms!

I had planned to take more photos, but most of the indoor spaces were too dark for my camera to get a good shot and most of the sessions we attended were "lectures" so this is what most looked like:
Dazzle did SO GOOD at laying quietly and not getting over excited too much.  I had several people comment that he was the calmest Malinois they had ever known.  I always made sure to explain that it was only due to the MANY MANY hours of training we had done to GET that calm behavior! :-) Yes, it really CAN be done!

On the way home, we kept seeing signs for Fair Oaks dairy farm and they made us curious enough to stop and check it out.  What a cool place!  We didn't take the whole educational tour, but we did visit their store for cheeses made on site, lunch and ice cream made with milk from their cows.

The store had observational windows that allowed you to look in on their process of making cheese and ice cream:

I saw a photo op with this cow Dazzle wanted to greet...

 He went right up and snifffed her nose:

 Then I had him pose:

 Then we got silly :-)

 Their climbing wall looked like a container of their milk!  They also had a kiddie train, public garden, playground and an entire educational tour.

Just north of Fayetteville, there are several miles of windmills I had no idea where there. I stopped counting at 300!  On our way to the Expo, it was a much clearer day (with much higher winds!), but I didn't have my camera. It was mesmerizing to see them all turning about the same speed in the high winds.

On our way home, it was really overcast so you can't see how the windmills went on for as far as the eye could see on a clear day!  And this was the case for several miles of the highway. 

 From a distance they looked randomly set, but they are actually set in long rows:

 These were outside a gas station we stopped at and they made me laugh so I took a photo: :-)

A really great trip!  I'm already looking forward to next year.  They haven't announced the East coast location/dates yet though.

March 16, 2011

Treibball - Too Far, Too fast

I took Dazzle into the yard to get some Treibball photos.  First photo was great (above).  Then I asked him to "push"...

At first, he was doing well. He was attempting to get to the other side of the ball before he pushed it, that's good!

Then he got it rolling a bit away from me and his excitement rose...

He got a little over the top...

I had him stop (which he did) and we started again.  But the exitement was too much!  I kept taking photos, thinking I might get some good ones.  But the lighting was bad (too late in the day) and he was moving too fast for my camera.

 We have just started with nose pushes on the ball, so this really was asking him for WAY too much!

And then the over stimulation got the better of him...

This is how NOT to play Treibball. Yes, he popped it :-( 
Hopefully I haven't set back our training too much in my haste to get some photos.  Unfortunately the photo that is incorrect was the clearest shot! Grrr

March 09, 2011


I wasn't sure how to caption this so I asked my friends on Facebook and my favorite answers were:
"You are in my eyes and in my soul...."
(I'm actually reflected in his eyes)
"Look into my are getting will go to the store and get a nice big tug and bring it back to me to chew.......when I bark you will wake up and do as I've commanded"

Regardless of how it's captioned, I think it turned out to be a really cool shot! I think you can see a larger version if you click on the photo.

March 07, 2011

Deep bite

Dazzle prefers to grip with his back teeth.  Not sure HOW he gets the Jolly Ball that far into his mouth and can still breathe!

He does this all the time, just happened to have the camera handy today.

First Level 3 Q

Our second day of trials started off well.  He had a perfect score when he started the "honor" (down stay while the next dog does their course) but outside the ring, two dogs scuffled and he popped up into a sit for 2 seconds before going back into the required down.  Unfortunately, that 2 seconds of sitting meant we couldn't Q.  I don't blame him though, that would be like expecting a person to remain laying on the floor with their back to two strangers that came in and started a serious yelling/knife fight.

The second run of the day was just as nice AND he stayed in the down :-) So we got a perfect score and 4th place.  Because 8 of the 16 dogs we were competing against also got perfect scores (tough competition!) the placement ribbons are determined by the time it took to complete the course.  We were 4th fastest.

I'm VERY pleased with his performance this weekend (just need to work on his curiosity about food bowls :-) 

March 05, 2011

New URO-2 title!

Dazzle earned the last 2 legs (Q's) needed to get his level 2 Rally Obedience title through UKC today!  His first run was beautiful and he scored a perfect score of 100.  There were 20 dogs in the B class we were competing against and it was really stiff competition!  SEVEN of the dogs got a score of 100 and no one earned below a 93 and no NQ's. And we somehow got the fastest time to earn the first place blue ribbon!

Dazzle relaxing in his crate showing off his ribbon and new toy

Our second run wasn't nearly as pretty as my non-food motivated dog just HAD to sniff every single bowl in the off-set figure 8.  I KNOW he wouldn't have eaten anything from those bowls if it had been available or offered to him, so I don't know why he had to give each bowl a 3-5 second sniff. The judge was very generous not to NQ him so we got the third level 2 Q and the title!

We'll be moving up to level 3 tomorrow.  Hopefully there won't be food bowls in tomorrow's courses :-)

March 03, 2011


I attended a 4 day conference this past weekend in Columbus where we enjoyed 2 days each of Kathy Sdao and Ken Rameriez.  Both are wonderful speakers and very knowledgeable clicker trainers. Lots of people I knew were there, some I hadn't seen since last year. I had a great time and learned new things.  Dazzle did great, sleeping through the sessions until he heard the applause that he learned meant a stretch break or trip to the bathroom :-) He also provided a lot of fur therapy to the other attendees. Thank-you to Chad and Sarah (& Morgan) for your hospitality!