Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ups and downs

chill had class tonight - i had wanted to go for a walk and train before class too, but i was too tired. this whole having to work to afford my dogs and afford my lifestyle is ridiculous. isn't it time to retire yet?

chill's grandpa (who is about to turn 14) had a seizure this morning :( everyone is pretty upset - i was glad i got to see him tonight at class, but he's not able to walk well since the seizure and we're all holding our breath. old animals are so hard.

chill in class was a mixture of He Who Cannot Control His Teeth and wonderfullness. Who would have ever thought I would enjoy petting a fuzzy. We started with heeling - last week Kathy had me lengthen my heeling leash to try to cut down on his hopping for the cookie. This week that resulted in a jumper collie, since chill viewed that as an open invitation to jump higher (which he can). When he did settle down he was cute though - very nice! I have to remember to make eye contact and also push forward - the problem is i tend to lean over him to my left and it makes me drift. nothing like walking like youre drunk :)

then worked turns - about, right and left, and then about at a gate and then halt at the gate. chill did nicely on some of them - not consistent enough for me, but we will get there. he stopped that weird rain man head movement for the left turns so that was nice, but its hard to move fast when you have multiple dogs doing squares without being roadkill in the way.

worked sit for exam and my dog is retarded and when i tossed the cookie it landed in his ear fuzz and he lost it. must be hard when you have so much fluff it steals your food

(the doberbitches are seeing dead people in the cat room and barking and growling. i now have the official loudest house in the neighborhood).

worked recalls - one at a time, restrained full length. he had some mad speed for this, and the second one even managed an almost nice front :)

so class was nice. im wiped and my body is fighting some plague (for a change). the energizer collie is not tired, however, and would like to herd cats. is it possible herding cats will become a titling sport at any time? because all my dogs would kick ass at that.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

classy dogs

so we're back in classes - consistently, and all dogs.

its still hard going without rah there - it still feels odd. there are times when i accidentally call the other dogs his name, or people who dont know he's gone ask about him. and it seems like half the shows i go to, or judges i see, are milestones for him. this is the judge he finished his first title under. this is the show he finished his CD. this is the show he finished his UD. this is where he earned his highest score... you know. those things. im just nostalgic.

chill is officially in novice. he's doing very well - i have to remember to do things right for him because more than any other dogs ive had, he's VERY sensitive to my body motion. i also have to keep his head up and my hand back with the cookie - when he's up his little feet fly. he's smart, but he's also calculating. we're working on drive for recalls and little tiny things (kathy is grooming me for perfection with him - because she knows im anal retentive and want to be a competitor, we're looking at little things like eye flickers and such... ) he loves his db and we're working on retrieving to hand because he learned from the dobermans (ha) to run with his prize just out of reach sometimes :) also working on fronts and getting perfect ones - that's where i lost points with all my other dogs, and IMO f/f is what separates OTCH dogs from the others.

cherry is in novice on thursdays - she's also doing well. she has momentary "blue" moments - where she sees dead people or has butt monsters (HAS TO ITCH HER TAIL) but she has been working full classes, giving me 100% effort (still aiming for 110!!!!) and she's damned cute when she does it. for her we have to rework left turns to get her back end engaged, and we also have to work on her fronts. i also need to work separately on her transitions and motivational things because we need to have games and things we can do without toys and tugs.

we've done some training outside too, with distraction - outside of my yard, too! (I KNOW DONT BE SHOCKED) - at least one of these dogs may actually be able to show outside. im aiming for 5-10 minutes of great happy active work rather than spending an hour drilling - and cherry gave me wonderful heeling and was CUTE as a button. chill is actually a little more distracted outside because he hears EVERYTHING - cherry spooks more but chill has radar. so i am not getting him 100% on me.

agility we've worked a bit, but right now im trying to decide how best to divide my time and effort  (And finances). i really would like to focus on obedience - its where my true desire lies, and quite honestly i think i might stop agility (didn't we just start?) because i can take them back. we have some foundation things, and i will use the exercises to teach good jumping skills - but i also need much more control - cherry not necessarily but chill is a speed demon and i can see him hurting himself. not sure, jury is out.

plan for the next few months - matches. need to get out in new places and work our skills.

oh, and berlin also went back to class - she's back in nosework. my trainer is glad i brought her back, because she says she's a natural. it's been almost a year since she was in class, but she didn't forget a single thing. we need to work on some corner hides, but she checked everything - walls, tables, inside things - what a good girl! she says she was meant to sniff out stuff :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

things to work on

just a mental note more for me:

need to formalize a retrieve with a front - my dogs will drop their objects and front, not hold them. need to fix that :) no more retrieving without bringing to front!

also - worked weave entrances, bang it (end teeter performance) and fast platz on a table. both baby dogs were great. also worked fronts and recalls with cherry and she was bouncy as hell

berlin may or may not have given me a black eye when she attacked me (aka jumped up when i was leaning down) when we were working.

tonight: fronts. fronts fronts fronts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

moving on up

this week is chills last week in baby classes - next week he moves up to novice!
and cherry goes back to class this week - i took time off because she needed a month to recover from her spay/pexy, and we reworked some things with privates.
of course, they cant both be in novice so cherry is moving to a different class on a different day.

we started back with agility and foundation work too - both dogs love it (of course)
berlin may be going back to nosework in a few weeks too... (if i can afford it, ha!)

class tonight with chill was good. hes been a little off... hard to put my word on it, but quieter and tiring more than usual. i dont know if this is maturation or if something is wrong. i get this way if my dogs sleep too much ha ha ha ha ha.

anyway in class his heeling is getting super pushy. i need to remember to keep my cookie back because hes starting to heel like rah and kathy yelled at me :) hes pushing and pushing and pushing and i need to start pushing back into his space. hes so funny though for left turns he cranks his head around and i need to break that because its so obvious!!!!

worked fronts and recalls and attention with them - hes having problems when other people throw toys and he's supposed to be focused. one sounded like a db hitting the floor and his ears were ALL over the place... like mother like son. will need to work on that for his entire career im sure. worked stays (sit and down) and chill has forgotten how to stand on command so we have to visit that this week :)

on his heeling i have to remember to make eye contact. all the other dobes besides rah have never wanted eye contact and doing it pushed them back - kathy says i need to look at him and push him because hes starting to forge and get crazy. and hes also starting to anticipate and cheat even when he doesnt know whats going on.

hes such a good boy though and tries.

both baby dogs are in foundation agility and love it - we are working on contacts, flatwork, starting jump grids and boxwork. little geniuses!

videos and pics to follow! we may be going out to the schutzhund club on saturday. berlin wants to bark at people and i think chill wants to bite (i mean herd) everything.

Friday, August 3, 2012


i know it sounds silly in some ways, but on most days its really hard for me to find the motivation to train any of the dogs. for so many reasons - they aren't rah, rah's not here, rah was different/easier/more fun, rinse lather and repeat.

i know what i should be doing, but honestly most days i have the best intentions but i am not.

i need to start. but its so hard.

(even worse that this weekend, rah and i should have been at the all star tournament. and we're not).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OohRah 6/29/05 - 7/17/12

Rah is gone. It's hard to even write those words, but so many of you knew him that I have to tell everyone, share him with everyone even in his death. 

I still remember the day I met him - in the main office at DRU in NH he barged in and caused a ruckus, falling off the couch. I can't tell you why I brought him home, but he didn't kill cats and Willow didn't hate him so that was a start. I was told this blue dog, taken from a gang in CT and esconced to NH in hiding, was destined to be returned repeatedly because he was nonstop - he needed a job and he needed to be worked. They were right - after four days of no sleep at all, I was all set to return the dog that panted and circled, didn't know how to lay down, and had not slept a wink - then he curled up on the couch with me and I was hooked. 

OohRah was my party boy. It took over a year to see him lay down in the house of his own volition outside of the crate (and I thought he was sick). He was the worst pet known to man - he stole and ate so many things that he was a pro at induced vomiting. Thanksgiving turkey, 6 lbs of chili, a whole pizza, banana cream pies - he was quick, he was stealthy, and he knew how to break into the trash. The night before I lost him, he stole all the tupperware out of the sink methodically to clean them one by one.

OohRah was a big dog. Not just because he stood 32", but he filled a room. He demanded attention, he demanded to be watched, he demanded that everyone focus on him all the time. He was the class clown. If anyone laughed while he showed, he got a glint in his eye and bad things were guaranteed to happen. He was to the end, a showman. Many remember his first venture into obedience at DPCA nationals in 2007 - him biting me in the ring, running around, jumping ring gates. I still remember all the wonderful things said to me, urging me not to give up on the blue dog. He bit me in the ring the day he finished his UD too. 
OohRah was a first for so many things. He was my Novice A dog. He was my first CD, first CDX, first UD, first UDX leg. He was my first dog to get rankings. He was my first blue. He was my first tournament dog. He was the first dog I ever had to get an agility leg, the first to try bitework, tracking, flyball - so many things we did together. Anything I have done, he was the first. 

OohRah was NOT my first dog with DCM. At 4.5 years old, in routine screening with his cardiologist he was diagnosed with occult DCM in the arrhythmogenic form. I was devastated, but it didn't stop us. We had just finished his CDX (a success at DPCA nationals 2009 where he walked away with multiple blue ribbons) and he was preparing for utility. I decided that this diagnosis would not rule our lives - if Rah wanted to show and train we would. And we did. 

OohRah was the third dog in the nation to participate in the Stem Cell Study at University of FL vet school. I made the scariest decision of my life when I let them inject stem cells into his heart, knowing he could not wake up - but he did, and he flourished. He was the first dog to make it to the completion of the study and he did the entire time showing, having fun, and living his life. I am forever thankful for all who supported us and the time it may have given us. I am also thankful for his wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Goodwin at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in NJ - aggressive treatment gave me what time I had. Never enough, but it was time. 

OohRah was a party through and through. Every day I showed him, every time I entered the ring people watched and people laughed. There were many tears shed when we finished our UD - it took a village not because he didn't want to do it - but because he wanted to do it too much. Anyone who watched him could see that. I will forever be thankful to the Walkers for believing in us when so many others didn't and for being with me throughout the way and crying with me each time I needed to (including last night). Every morning, every night - I laughed and thanked whomever you thank for a dog like this. 

Rah was my special boy. There's an emptiness here without him, and I will spend the rest of my life looking for another dog like him. Not just because he was a great doberman, but because he was an amazing dog. He had heart and he gave everything he had and then some. Everything he did, he did for him - he loved the show ring, he loved life, and he loved living it. He was hard headed and obstinate, he ignored what he didn't want to do and ruled the house and my life. I had 6 marvelous years with him, and it will never be enough. 

Rah collapsed running in the yard of a fatal arrhythmia - he had eaten cereal with me for breakfast, barked at the neighbors, and run loose in the parking lot at work. He had almost knocked my coffee over, taking me out while running, and did his "Rah scream" while playing bitey face with his sister as I herded them both into the yard. His last moments were barking and running - He was gone before he ever hit the ground.

Keep chasing your lights Rah, and know that I will miss you more than I could ever say. You will forever be the dog that everyone else has to measure up to - and they will forever come up short. No one can ever be what you were -  my blueberry, my noodle. 

Wherever you are, I hope it's Six Flags forever. More flags, More fun. 

2008 CDSP #11 Nov B
2008 APDT #17 ARCH
2009 F&F All Breed #10 Open A
2009 F&F Working Group #3 Open A
2009 F&F Doberman #2 Open A
2010 CDSP #17 Nov C
2010 CDSP #9 Open A
2010 All Star #7 Super Rally
2011 CDSP #16 Open C

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rah is gone

i dont know how else to do this, or what else to say. but rah died this morning. i still cant believe he's gone.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

the littles go to a match (video proof!)

last weekend i took three new dogs to matches, and one new handler.

my boyfriends sister has the "showyourdog" bug and has her young english cocker spaniel (incidentally, my dogs very bestest friends!) in obedience classes - hes ready to start matching and has his first entry (in rally) this month.

so i took rock it!, cherrybomb and chill to the match. it was everyones first real match - cherry and chill have had one at our own training building, but this is the first time ive asked them to perform in front of others at another training building.

the dogs did spectacular! i was so concerned cherry would disconnect from me, but she was a super star! she was so attentive and focused and up and bouncy i was so pleased! chill was his super star self and while we had some issues with clapping that we had to work out he did so well ! rock it and chrissi were amazing too - i didnt want to be too forceful but i had a lot of hints for her because she's brand new to this - i wish i had someone to hold my hand when i started, and i WISH someone had told me that 5 minutes of awesome high energy fun training is better than 30 minutes of half hearted. i want my dogs 100% into me, and in the beginning i want play and fun - and she had her little english cocker spaniel heads up prancing in heeling and tugging like a doberman :)

without further adieu, i do have videos of two of the entries :)
i used a few of them in a training discussion on another forum - because i used a physical correction on chill, i use an ignore and reset on cherry with her heeling, and i have to look at see if i can find NRMs in there.


the bomb!

what these videos have taught me: i need to start really working fronts on the babies. for real.

oh. and i need to get cherry her PAL.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

not really training related

i still have to go out and train the dogs sometime today but right now we're digesting a late lunch.

yesterday chill accompanied me to both sides of my family's houses for parties and get togethers. he was, as expected, a huge hit and lovable all around.

things he likes: babies
things he doesn't like: pools

he was awesomely well behaved (things i dont get with the dobermans!)

but he had fun.

played with the hose:

you know hes going in to lick the baby, right? 

baby licking is hard work

i may be biased, but i think this little thing is quite adorable

Friday, June 15, 2012

all the to-do about a blog...

we hit the big time when my blog was featured on a facebook group :)
nothing major, but its nice to be in groups where i can discuss training. hopefully we all learn something, right?

matched the baby dogs last weekend. they did great - the first run cherry was scattered and distracted, afraid of the post and her coffee mug and couldnt pull it together. her second run she was able to focus on me and work and push and heel and be a smart baby dog. i think she just needs a lot more time than any of my other dogs ahve needed to adjust to a location - even if its her training building, because everyone and everything was different. she had quite a few good SFE's with great focus, and in the end she was bouncing in heel.

chill on the other hand could care less. he's a super star and just takes everything in stride. he worked and focused on me the entire time both runs. we did heeling, attention work, db work, marking, sit/stand/down work, and just did a lot of work. he was even able to work at the ring gates with other dogs sniffing him through the gate -w hat a good boy!

time to get matching again. cherry was finally spayed so i can ILP/PAL her soon, and then id like to do beginner novice with her sometime this year. and maybe some rally?

i leave you with this:
the cuteness of my littles.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


so i havent been posting much, because ive been having issues. ive got a lot going on here, but the dog training has been tough - mostly because cherry and i were having major issues.

 chill is sweet and drivey and sensitive and biddable and wonderful. he loves heeling, he loves trying, and i adore him.

 cherry i love, but i was so concerned about her working. she started acting spooky and spacey a few months ago, and i was concerned something was wrong - was she going into heat (no), was her thyroid off (no), was anything else going on (not that i could find). i had friends tell me she needed anxiety meds, i tried DAP collars, diffusers, i was banging my head against the wall. all of a sudden she had no attention at training, no ability to focus on me, no desire to look up. all our previous issues (she never liked moving watch, for instance), were magnified. she would go off sniffing in the middle of working, she would try to wander to visit dogs, she would glance at anything around the room and focus on it like it was the newest most exciting thing. hell, she actually laid down in the middle of class once and started rolling on her back. she couldn't work more than 10-15 minutes without a "cherrybomb brain break".

 i was lost. this dog could be on but now she was off more than anything else, she had no desire to engage me, and nothing i was doing seemed to bring her back. worse, she seemed to be getting softer and softer - the sound of other dogs collars would make her turn and stare, she got attacked three times int eh space of a week by other dogs (She must have a kick me sign attached to her tail!), and quite honestly none of us were enjoying work. people suggested seeing a behaviorist (to tell her what? my dog is an awesome pet, great with people and dogs, doesnt destroy things, but she wont heel with her head up and at TRAINING only she's a marshmallow?). there was even mention of rehoming her to a house that doesn't have her arch nemesis - oohrah (who still hates her).

 cherry and i had a private lesson with my trainer on sunday (chills breeder). i was so concerned about my dog shutting down, my dog being so soft, my dog being so sensitive. well she's not. kathy had me bring her out and work her and even in a quiet building with no dogs, cherry chose to start being distracted and spooky. kathy had chill's gpa blake out and cherry knows and loves this dog - but she was acting all afraid. kathy told me to tell her to leave it, and come here. JESUS FRIGGIN CHRIST. cherry turned and left it and stared at me. and that was apparently the key - letting her know exactly what was inappropriate and what she was supposed to be doing.   lo and behold, cherry worked an hour and 20 minutes.

we broke down heeling and used a special toy - we took it slow and wouldnt let her take a step without attention on me. if she lapsed she got pops for not following, or a reminder to look up. 20 minutes in, she was doing loose leash walking with attention on her own volition. she couldnt take her eyes off of me.

 kathys assessment? i had a lazy bitch. cherry found out when she was confused, didnt want to, or plain had something else she wanted to do, if she did all her behaviors she got out of work and i gave her a break. she worked through every one of her previous "stress" moments without any problems and had happy ears, an up wagging tail (no way to hide her feelings when she has a big flag!) and bright eyes. in short, she was playing me. we formulated a plan for classes and how i would approach training - i found out a lot about her and how much she actually does love this (another dog that gets TURNED ON by left turns!)

i left the lesson feeling triumphant but hesitant about wednesday class - the true test.

but it went perfectly. cherry was a different dog (because i was a different handler). i warmed her up barely at all - she did 35 seconds exactly of PERFECT moving watch with her chicken, and then started flying into heel position - i couldnt keep her out. when they started to heel, i stood off to the side and worked her slow heeling attention work, both with food and toys. after 5-7 minutes, i joined the class for a few runs. then while they kept heeling, i went and worked on fronts and running to a target. she was flying through the air, barking, spinning, jumping all over me. we did stands and kathy had me hold her chicken out - she never even FLICKED AN EYE at anyone who approached (as opposed to her normal whole head turn). she was positively quivering. recalls were great and at one point she fronted and actually started BARKING at me to demand a reward - kathy asked if i had asked her to bark and i said no, and she said good for her. the entire night if she flicked a head away she came back immediately, understanding that this was what i wanted. she never once sniffed the floor. if she got too focused i used a leave it, come here and she did it.

this is a game changer for both of us, but im just glad to get my cb back!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

new classes last night

last night was the start of a new session with the doggies. and i guess the start of the new era at the somjen household - we the ooh-roo dogs are retired and staying home, and the chillicherr duo are the up and comings.

chill started class last night for the first time ever. in some ways i always feel bad for my dogs when we start - i feel like i dont do much foundation or teach my dogs aything - a puppy in class like 2-3 weeks older than him was able to sit and control himself and stare at his owner, and chill can't be on the ground and focus more than 2-3 seconds. though iam hopeful that i may FINALLY have a dog that can settle outside the crate ha ha.

but chill is a little natural at this. i get why people have border collies - its not because they are obedience superstars - its because they STARE ha ha. he's got natural attention and focus. it isn't long right now. but its there! he also is SUPER smart and caught on very quickly that when things like the dog next to him squeaking the toy if he looked at me i gave him a cookie. if he sat calmly in front of me i gave him a cookie. so every distraction there he immediately turned back to me - and i was stunned, because this is the basis of obedience essentially and he caught on at least a little bit at day one?!?!?!?!?!?!

so mostly for my own knowledge (not that i think i ever look back here to remember what we do, which is also a problem) - things we worked on for chill:
1) tuck sits
2) fold back downs
3) the name game
4) moving towards you on the name game
5) moving towards you as you back up with the name game
6) controlling a settle/cuddle
7) the start of come here - collar grab and feeding/coming up to face.
8) self control - having to sit still for a few seconds and stare at us before the cookie was produced

i think thats about it - he was very good and super for all of this and it made me excited to train him!!!! and he also played like a monster when he needed a break - he tugged like mad! he was also a bad boy and got hung in the air once because he bit me badly on the hand (BAD DOG) because he was getting tired bitey in the last 10 minutes - but we did cuddle last and he was able to last the entire class.

so then we went to cherry - cherry missed 2 sessions of attention i think when i stopped classes in october when rah was hurt... so she was a little bit behind the class when we started back last session - but i think she's caught up pretty well and is probably towards the top of the class - some of that may be beacuse ive trained a dog for competition before seriously (some of the others have put CDs but never went higher). but by virtue of starting chill's class at the bottom in the super star puppy class, cherry had to move up to the big dog novice class - some of these dogs have CDs or CD legs (with 197s!) and some are certainly ready to show, there are OTCH handlers in there (!!) and then... baby cherry face. she worked so hard but it was a lot for her and at one point we sat out for 5 minutes because she needed a brain break!

we started with cherrys weakest exercise - the moving watch. she's getting better and when she is ON she's friggin adorable with this - she prances her ears are up and her eyes are HUGE (theres this thing with the light colored eyes on the blues - when they stare at you they dilate over and over again a little bit - rah did it and so does cherry!) and she's so into me - and then kathy was mean. kathy started throwing DUMBBELLS!!!! cherry's mind was BLOWN. some dogs were afraid. some dogs were curious. cherry was MUST. RETRIEVE. DUMBBELL. she loves it. she loves retrieving. she, like rah, is a stupidhead for them and she saw this and her mind was done. she was frozen and could not be reached at first. so we had to stop class for a few of us and work on "come here" again and incorporate that into the db distraction work. she got a little nervous then because she wanted to look at the db, but she knew she shouldn't - ears would go back at the throw and then she would sneak a peek, but as long as she looked back quickly we were good. eventually she figured out what to do and we rewarded heavily - but after over 20 minutes of this cherry was FRIED! we did heeling next and she was cute - probably only 20 seconds or so at a time, and i would stop her if she had enough - remember last week was the first time we even incorporated halts and now we are group heeling ha ha. but she's honest and tries hard - and she has the cutest left turns where she flings her butt behind me! she worked hard but by the change of paces i could see her brain start to check out - so she got to lay down and rest and cuddle with me for 5 minutes until she was starting to play and chew on her leash...

then we worked on easy things - backing up in the stand or the down... she knows this already but need to clean up cues. and then we went to stand - and i want to clean up her stand cue and get her going on just a verbal and get her kick back cleaned up (i trained the stand differently than everyone else in class) - so i went off to the side and did that, and then worked on attenetion in the front of the dog for a few seconds. but cherry is funny and part of the switch from stand in front of me to stand next to me involved a hop and i thought it was cute and rewarded it - so now she flies up in the air and kicks her back legs up and out - its hilarious. its SO MUCH MORE EFFORT than is required and kathy saw it and started cracking up - its like when she spins - she literally gets 4 feet of air when she spins instead of just going quick. but she does it because people laugh (reminiscent of rah, who puts on a show?!?!?!). we ended class with group stays - again, her first! and she rocked - i rewarded and stayed 2 feet away, feeding every 20 seconds and she was awesome. i know its early to say, but maybe i will actually have a doberman that does a curled down?!?!?!?!?

side note- cherry is getting really good with "tell me" too - she loves to speak!

so this week i want to work the dogs. for the first time in months i am actually excited because both dogs were amazing last night and while it wont be rah and berlin, i can and will have fun showing these guys. amy was right - its still my OTCH quest, its just not rah, but he was the start. and he will always be the start, but these guys are the next step, my next options.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

always late

i had planned on updating more, but again life gets in the way.

i had hopes of bringing rah out of retirement - his favorite shows are coming up and the judging panel is amazing for him.
but whatever is going on with his elbow is still there - hes mostly sound, but he wont drop - for signals or the DOR.
so i guess his retirement is for real. i started crying when i emptied his stuff out of my training bag but its time to make way.

cherry is doing really well. she's a good girl and tries so hard - she has a lot of rahs good qualities and less of his bad ones. shes still learning focus, and her response to commands is ... well... blue : ) but she tries hard. she's softer and more sensitive than him, but she's got lots of drive and she's more biddable. she's very willing to offer me behaviors and she's super cute with a great sense of humor.

chill is a butthead. he's a tough dog and i love him - his class starts next week. he's very funny and VERY cuddly - and he's a lot like my dobermans. i can see border collies becoming fixtures in this house. i was so nervous about adding something else to the house, but he's an awesome dog. the surprising thing is how cuddly he is - just as much as my dobes. and hes much more self-controlled at a young age than ANY of my dobes. he comes out of his crate and rolls over for me to rub his belly. if i sit on the ground he runs over and jumps in my lap and collapses for cuddles.

he also loves the girl dobes - he wont ever be meeting rah for obvious reasons - but the girl dobes love him. and he LOVES people - he sees them and he starts wagging furiously and his ears go back and he licks licks licks. he's going to be interesting to train but he's wickedly smart.

so, im toying with changing the name of the blog... or maybe the description. this isn't rah anymore, this isn't my novice A dogs. or should i start a new one?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

its been so long

and ive thought about this post for awhile but its been hard to write.

i took a big break from obedience. rah and i went up to nationals with cherry bomb, and rah was terrible. not any fault of his own really, but something was off. he was not performing because something was hurting. we came close to qualifying utility one day, and rah got called on his jump height and had to jump 30 inches and i regret that... but he came back hurt.

ive spent months trying to figure it out but the end result is, and it pains me so much to say this, rah is probably retired from obedience.

i never thought id ever have to retire him. i thought (and i know this is morbid) that he'd be dead before he couldnt work. i simply cannot keep him sound.

he has neck pain, and it manifests in a right front leg lameness. i know, in my heart, theres a good chance this is wobblers. i dont want to get my hopes up beacuse he is sound when hes only hanging out and being a pet - but work makes him lame. i cant keep him in active shape and ready to show because he keeps coming up lame.

so im forced to retire him too. its painful and hurts so much - to lose BOTH my competition dogs in the same year.

once rah got hurt, i didnt have it in me to work. i couldnt go to training, i couldnt show up, i didnt want to be around them. i even pulled cherry from classes - everything she did was a comparison to rah and it just didnt work. to top it off she also got injured and had issues but those seemed to have thankfully cleared up - if it recurs it will be MRI time for her too.

i missed obedience, but it still hurts to this day. i havent brought myself back to class, but ive started working cherry again at home. and i thought long and hard about it, but i got another dog.

introducing: katwalk calm like a bomb

some of you may know, but this is one of the border collies born and raised in my house this year. he was born 11/20 to my trainers bitch, secret, currently working on her OTCH. i had to change breeds - i cant take all the health problems in mine and i need something that will stand a CHANCE at least of being healthy.

so far the puppy currently known as chill is 7.5 weeks and hanging in his crate, we are working on housebreaking but hes also a little genius. is this what happens when your puppies are raised with obedience from the start and the clicker comes out at 5 weeks? he knows sit/down/back/twist/spin/front/get close and tugs like a MANIAC. he's fearless and while his littermates are all still here, he's chilling (haha) in his crate separate because he's a very confident puppy with teeth a mile long and needs to learn some control as well - he was certainly confident enough to be kicked out of the litter early!

so, thats me. hopefully i will be back here for some more regular posting, but its sad that it wont be with rah. i dont know what else to say...