Blogging is kind of lonely.
I’ve been writing in this blog since Dylan was 5 months old. I started because of a community called Ruffdogs, which has long since disappeared. I made some friends there that I still have today. They kickstarted this whole thing.
I’ve documented Dylan’s entire competitive agility career here, from the days when he started his first training sessions to his retirement. The other dogs have made appearances, but the intention was always to talk about Dyl. And it has been wonderful and cathartic and personal, and then Dylan retired and I have no real motivation to blog any more. I couldn’t figure out why, for a long time.
Every single one of my dogs has many, many lessons to teach me. I’m still learning from all of them, every day. Dylan retired from competitive agility but he is still teaching, and this most recent lesson wasn’t about patience, or frustration, or persistance, or overcoming fear. It was about recognising that sometimes there is a better way to communicate with the world and the people around me.
Blogging has been me talking into the void, and not really looking for a reply other than what’s in my own head. Blogging has been kind of lonely. I’m beginning to realise that right now, there are better ways for me to talk to people.
Come talk to me on Twitter (that’s public, so you don’t need to follow me).
The dogs and I have Instagram too (that’s private, so you’ll need to send a follow request).
Or talk to me in person too; come find me at agility shows and say hi. (Just run up and say hi, no stalking required).
I have no idea where this year will take us. I know what I want, and that’s to compete again. We’ve been in training mode for two years, in agility and flyball, focusing on criteria and improving performance in different environments. I would like to push that now, put the training to the test and win some stuff.In a related sense, I want to get out of our comfort zone this year. I’ve already started, since Dylan is entered in our first Obedience competition at the end of the month. Actual obedience! I don’t find obedience very exciting but that’s part of the challenge. It matters more that Dylan enjoys it. Obedience has very clear criteria, and he likes that. I’ve also missed working with him, so it’s nice for us to find something we can do together.I want to set goals, because I feel like I need goals to push me on. But I wrote out some goals and then decided they were too unattainable. Impossible goals are no good for me. I need goals that are reachable. It’s a matter of when, rather than maybe.
- Rio and Daisy to get their 200pt Flyball Dog awards
- Rio to win out of Grade 3
- Dylan to get his P-Beg Ex award
Dylan has been lame. No particular reason for his lameness, he just came up sore one day. Left fore, I think carpal, hence a slow recovery. He is bored. Tough cookies, old man, you rest. I miss having him around. Dylan and I have been embarking on all kinds of adventures this summer. Not super-exciting-jetset adventures, but normal-dog adventures. We explore new places. We go to Good Citizen Dog Scheme class. Dylan passed his Bronze and Silver on the same day, in September. We’re working toward Gold. We started class and I realised I’ve never taught Dylan normal-dog stuff like loose-lead walking. Or how to be normal in a class full of other, normal, dogs. Normality is new for us.
Daisy is cheerful. I want to practise ball retrieves but we’re on our flyball break until the end of October, and I want to enforce that. We have been working on agility instead, but not as much as I had wanted to. Sheep, in our field, ruining plans. Weaving is next on the list, after minor things like getting her KC registered, and major things, like getting her measured. Measuring is the next big hurdle, since it combines Daisy’s biggest fear, strange people reaching over her and blocking all forms of escape. Hopefully I can minimise this to me reaching over her and offering her exits if she wants them, but we shall see how generous the measuring folks are feeling. She’s an obvious Small, which should help.
Kim is Kim. Increasingly deaf, and therefore both more and less noisy. She looks like an old dog now. Not so much muscle mass, gets a little bit confused by simple things like how to turn around. But she is still sound, still hungry, still demanding, still opinionated. She still does her normal walks, although it’s at a slightly slower pace. Sometimes she still wants to chase birds, and does so. This is not particularly good for her old bones. She’s getting a little wiser about squirrels, and just watches them with narrowed, thoughtful eyes.
The squirrels have it hard. Rio is a mighty huntress (in her mind).
The all-new shiny-woofs Those Noisy Dogs blog.
I finally got my act in gear and sorted out my hosting. Old hosting = gone, new hosting = currently working.
It is nice to be blogging publically again. I’ve missed it! I have been noting things down all summer, and I will update TND accordingly, but generally I’ve been away from writing regularly about the dogs. Although I have been running the blog at Phantoms Flyball so I’m not completely out of touch!
So, what have we been doing? Kim is still being her usual Queenly self. Dylan has been back in Anysize, because I miss running him. Rio is competing in G3 Jumping classes only, because she hates seesaws. Daisy is back in training for flyball and making superb progress, and is at her first agility competition in a month. And that makes it all sound so easy …
2013 was a year of Change. Some changes were embraced, some changes were not, some changes I still struggle with. Some I love and some I am frustrated with, often within the space of 5mins (I’m talking about you, Daisy Jones).2014 already promises lots of change; Dylan retiring from agility, Rio starting to compete in agility, Daisy to start doing … something. I’m ok with that. Small changes, not big changes.
I want the dogs I have right now to play with me and for us all to learn a little more.
I hope we travel safely, wherever we are going.
I hope all my friends have an amazing 2014.
Left to Right
Dylan, 7yr Border Collie / Rio, 2yr Australian Shepherd / Kim, 12yr JRT cross / Daisy, 11month JRT cross
Dylan had a great time this weekend at Selby Game Fair, where the girls were flyballing with their new teams. It’s a huge fair, and had lots of new experiences for the boy. He behaved beautifully for the most part, and wasn’t at all fazed by the helicopter landing and taking off, or the gunshots, or the fun-fair rides. In fact, the only thing that really freaked him out were prams, which wasn’t so good. He also developed something of a dislike for Border Terriers, which I really wasn’t happy about; everytime one walked past, he went nuts, either trying to back up and barking or actually leaping forward and snapping, which is very unlike the dog I know.
I know this problem is based on fear, but I can’t work out how or why he’s got so scared of BT’s. He was fine with every other terrier shaped dog there, so I guess this is just something we’ll have to work on. The sheer busyness of the game fair did cause problems, because when he encountered the BT’s it tended to be in huge crowds of people, meaning there was no way I could stop and calm him down, or remove him from the action.
Not many updates this month – I was busy with Crufts and Kim, obviously for the first part of the month, and then we have been moving clubs over these past few weeks. We’re now training with Leeds Owlers for flyball, and are in the process of looking for a new agility club for Kim. Unfortunately we haven’t found anywhere yet, which means Dylan’s agility work has come to a rather abrupt halt!
My lad has also been neutered this month, which has limited the amount I can realistically do with a puppy wearing a buster collar! We’ve been going over all the basics, of course, and I’ve started clicker-training his target. He’s working really nicely for the clicker, I think I just need a bit more confidence in using it. His target work is going really well; he will now run from a distance onto the target and stay on it until told otherwise, which I’m really pleased with.
His next big trip out will hopefully be to Carlton Towers to watch Kim & Mollie flyball with their new team-mates. Selby Game Fair is a big experience – it has Clay Pigeon Shooting, Flyball, Clever-Dogs, Disc Dogs, plus the normal agricultural fair stalls and tents etc. I’m confident that Dylan won’t be phased, but it’ll be an interesting day out! (P.S. Good Luck Jet, who is running in her first Starters comp at Selby. Go Jetly!)