Sunday, September 16, 2012

Echo's First QQ In Agility

The dogs(Echo and Whisper) and I did two days of agility over Labor Day weekend. It was a hot weekend in the Central Valley of California but a successful weekend.  Echo earned her third Excellent Jumpers leg with a first place for her AXJ. The next day she earned her first QQ.

Because of the heat 90+degrees in the sun with no breeze and her false pregnancy she is less than amped to do agility.  Still considering one year ago today she was not willing to do agility, she was running out of the ring I think she has come a long way. Early on in training she  hit a metal jump, screamed and was lame for quite a while. I think she may have had a bone bruise. She is mentally a very soft dog and in her mind agility=pain. Taking to her to new agility training classes made no difference, she was still too scared to try. It took months of being in an agility training class(the one where the injury happened) being fed treats and watching Whisper and Lyric training with big rewards before she was willing to try again. With any pressure-such as me loudly calling her back to the correct jump and  making her think she has made a mistake or  hearing dogs scream for their turn she would shut down, stop trying and run to the gate to leave. Slowly but surely she came around to trying again.

I am as proud of her accomplishments as I am of Whisper's achievements. They both have taught me a lot about dog training, motivation and most importantly patience.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Besides dogs one of my other passions is gardening. I love to go out in the garden and look at the birds, bugs and bees. The other day I was pruning in the front yard and found this-a pregnant preying mantis.
Walking amongst the flowers is incredibly relaxing. Watching the bees fly in and out of the flowers pollinating is a glimpse into another world. A California carpenter bee on sage.

My favorite birds are the hummingbirds, goldfinch and California quail.
I have recently planted a cutting flower garden and was pleasantly surprised by the number of goldfinch attracted to the flowers. Above is a goldfinch sitting in a Mexican Sunflower.
They also seem to love the Cosmos and Dahlias. How many goldfinch do you count?