Friday, December 30, 2011

Documenting my findings, in HD

Here is a video of a training session I had with Abbey this morning. I quickly took a video with my iPhone so I had some of these sessions documented. If you notice, Abbey is COMPLETELY naked...yep. She was having a skin issue, so we are letting the air get to it and are going to re-grow in that lovely coat she has. I usually DO NOT trim Abbey that low anymore because she has a very nice mid-length coat, but you know...doggie first.

Now, this is a video of Abbey performing the behaviours that I described in the previous post. Leaving the cookies alone. In our next session we are actually going to upgrade the value of the treats, BUT Abbey is just as enticed by this boring kibble.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Rehab and Retrain: Handler and Dog Team Effort

Everyone who reads our blog knows that Abbey and I have had a pretty rough year in 2011. While Abbey is still the best little dog that the shelter could have turned out on a Christmas night (anyone who doesn't get it, feel free to ask), she turned 7 on the 15th of December and I not only want to get started on more consistent strength building exercises, but diet, and joint supplements as well. Of course, these are all technical things that I consider part of her "rehab" before we start trialing again. The exciting part of the beginning of this coming year is going to be the training. Back in November, I began teaching Abbey how to keep the majority of her overall focus on ME. Abbey is very heavily food motivated and sometimes will not accept playing with a toy. I wanted to change this behaviour. I also wanted to make sure she stayed more focused on the tasks I was giving her NOT on the food that was about to come. Well, after about 6 weeks of on and off training, Abbey has had a MAJOR breakthrough.

TODAY: December 29th, 2011

I took Abbey into the backyard with a bowl filled with cookies and kibble, a holiday tugging wreath, and my car keys. I know that the car keys part sounds really odd right about now, but trust me there's a reason. Abbey has been learning how to retrieve, so I was testing her focus on her task by having the bowl of "treats" on the floor while I asked her to perform specific tasks. Mind you, Abbey and I had practiced variations of this, but this is the FIRST time that the treats were within her sight and where she could reach them. After retrieving the car keys several times without going for the treats and actually waiting for me to reward her, I decided to move on to something harder. I played the bang it game! But Abbey's reward wasn't the bowl of treats it was her wreath toy...or so it would seem. At the beginning of training this behaviour I was using toys as a catalyst for Abbey's #1 reward...FOOD! But the overall enthusiasm for said "catalyst" has grown exponentially. Abbey banged the teeter and jumped up to tug the toy with vigor and excitement several times with the bowl of treats RIGHT beside her. When I thought we had tugged enough I would say "drop" and she would immediately drop the toy and I would reach into the bowl to get a treat.

Raising the overall criteria...well this part is where I knew Abbey and I were moving forward. We did a full teeter and I threw the toy with the bowl of treats right beside her. She CHASED the toy after the teeter brought it to me, we tugged for a bit, and then I said "drop" and I reached into the bowl for her treat. JACKPOT, obviously!! I repeated this 3 times. Abbey nailed it all three times, chasing the toy and bringing it back with enthusiasm (by the way, the teaching of the retrieve also helped build that behaviour). I added the tunnel, which is the only other obstacle I have, and Abbey performed stupendously! She took the teeter and tunnel, came to me to TUG like a monster and then of course I rewarded her with her ULTIMATE currency. I am so pleased that I took the time to train this!

Abbey has also been getting a lot more exposure. I have been taking her out to the park across the street. This is mostly to help her little (almost completely diminished) reaction issue. I took her out on Tuesday and she actually enjoyed her time running in the field with a little baby! They were like two peas in a pod!

Now, I have spent all this time talking about Abbey's rehab and re-training, but I haven't mentioned anything about mine. I also realize most of you probably don't even care about my part in this BUT the title does say handler and dog "team effort." So what am I doing? Well it isn't nearly as much as what Abbey is partaking in. I am losing weight, working on better stamina, and being a more involved handler with my dog. Have I not been involved with her? No, I wouldn't say that, but I vow to be MORE involved than I have been. This dog deserves a lot more in my opinion. Plus I also vow to be a more patient and understanding pet parent.

There you have it! Abbey's amazing training session and details on our rehab efforts! Hope you come back to read our blog again soon as there will be very few YT videos this year. Most of them won't even be up until the very, very end of 2012. Your entire All-American fix will come from the All-American blog ;o). Come read about US!

Hails to 2012 "Improving the Self"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Car Trouble?!

No, I am not referring to the engine or transmission, I am referring to transporting my dog. Today I decided to do a little experiment to see why Abbey has issues with riding in the car. At one point these problems had gone away and then maybe towards the beginning of this year became apparent again. For a long while we enjoyed nice leisurely rides with Abbey in the car simply sleeping her way up and down the highway. Now, I have a dog that's so stressed she thinks the world is going to end just by hopping into the back seat. Since this behviour cannot become a constant, I decided to start desensitizing Abbey to getting into the car and hanging out in the car in situations I feel she is feeling the discomfort. At first she was so nerve racked she wouldn't even take a treat for being in the car. After a couple minutes of coaxing I decided I would allow her the freedom to exit the car and then see if she wouldn't make the choice to come into the car with me herself since there would be a wealth of yummy treats involved.

After another few minutes, Abbey decided hopping into the car wasn't so bad. I decided that perhaps the fact that it was blistering hot in the car everytime we went to get into it, part of Abbey's discomfort was the heat. Now, I don't have a garage I can park the car into to reduce this effect, BUT what I can do is start the car before Abbey gets into it so that it's already cooled off. Now, adding all these factors together, I did play a little game to get Abbey revved and excited to jump into the car. This worked for a time, but then she ran to the door. I concluded that it was definitely just way too hot. It is a good 95 degrees outside to be sure. I didn't leave empty handed, though. I was able to assess what may work in the future to calm her and also know to use maybe a little more high value treats (real meat or cheese). I also was thinking of getting her a seat belt. This may make rides a bit easier for her to endure.

I am going to work on this training until the day of our which point I hope to have a little bit more confident Abbey.

More to Come
~All American Team

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Practice of the Season

Abbey has finally gotten to see agility equipment again!! About time too, she almost forgot about DW and teeter performance.

We had a nice training session today, lots of fun. Got a super fast DW out of her (1.45 seconds to be exact) and beautiful jump wraps. I have decided, next time, to keep our session shorter as she got tired after running and training for an hour.

I am going to try and work more on Abbey's toy and tugging drive. She is VERY food driven and although she LIKES her toys, I think it's necessary to continue to build a higher toy drive so that I have more than one trick in my arsenal during training.

Hopefully soon I will have a job to be able to support the need that have to go and train more often. I have my fingers crossed, keep sending positivity our way.

~All American Team

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tricks and Training

Abbey and I are honing and working on some new tricks. Though I have always taught tricks to Abbey I have never bothered honing or generalizing any of them. I was more of a, we will do them in the house and practice them in the house and then when guests come over we will show off. I have come to realize, though, that generalizing tricks and behaviours consequently builds a more well rounded canine companion. A few things that I have noticed is that Abbey is uncomfortable in certain settings. For instance, PetSmart. Since this isn't something I like (i.e. my dog being fearful or uncomfortable in certain environments) I aim to change it. How? Well, first off Abbey and I will be taking more frequent visits to Pet Superstores in our neighbourhood. I will also bring high value treats like chicken, beef dogs, or cheese. On one of our few...scarce...trips to PetSmart Abbey was above threshold to accept pieces of kibble for about 10-20 minutes, but after extended time would accept kibble as a reward form. I figure if I use something of higher value in the beginning it will not only build a better and stronger POSITIVE association, but I will have her attention throughout the experience.

Right now, I am working on tricks like cleaning up toys, handing me objects, and the "where's your nose" trick to get me started on my technique for teaching Abbey how to generalize. Abbey's verbal cuing isn't that strong so she relies heavily on my hand signals to tell her what trick to do. I want to improve on this so I am teaching the tricks in a variety of situations and ONLY rewarding the tricks that I have cued. Abbey also has an intense prey drive...especially for cat chasing. Since I am really not that crazy about THAT behaviour either I am going to try and adjust/fix it. Unfortunately this will take some thinking on my part as I am unsure how to approach it. If anyone has any ideas, it would be very much appreciated.

So far, your bed NOT mine is going quite well, unless Abbey feels that I have been sleeping too long and need to rise and shine because it's a beautiful day. Reactive training needs to get back on track. She was doing extremely well and then somewhere in there mommy made a booboo. Of course it was mommy's fault, it always is.

For now those are the things we are working on, comments and encouragement are always welcome here. We love to hear from others.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Abbey has decided that she would like to go green with the rest of the family and start recycling the extra water bottles that we sometimes have in the house. Well, Abbey, looks like you are off to a grrreat start ;-).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Your Bed Not Mine

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning and organizing my room. Among one of the things I did was strip my bed down to its bare bones and add new bedding. For a very long time I never had a problem with dogs in the bed, but since my dog sheds and it was getting into my linens, I decided to go with a new approach. My bed is my bed and your bed is your bed. So I put some pillows and blankets together and made a makeshift dog bed. Last night I reinforced sleeping in the "dog bed" to Abbey. Now, for most people this may actually take a couple weeks to retrain...not me. On night #1 (which was last night) Abbey slept in her bed the entire time not even thinking once to come into bed with me. I woke up and praised her for sleeping in her bed and this morning built a high value to her bed as she sometimes wants to jump into mine. When I leave the house, so as not to encourage self-reinforcing or rewarding, I close the room door. The dogs sleep on the couches while I am gone as I don't mind them on the furniture in our living area (plus it's leather, it can easily be wiped down). I have resorted also to FURminating Abbey every day to reduce the shedding hair that's in the house.

I am trying to start better, "cleaner", habits with my dogs since I was diagnosed allergic last year. There's no way that I want to go through the agony that was giving up a dog again. So even if it means extra vaccuming, grooming, and the purchase of an air dogs are staying with me. NO EXCEPTIONS. My first major step was getting them out of my bed and into their own. Abbey seems quite comfortable though a little confused, but I'm sure after a few more weeks of reinforcing the behaviour she will be totally fine with not having access to my bed. She still has plenty of added liberties around the house that she can indulge in.

Really quick note: ABBEY CAN NOW DO A HANDSTAND WITHOUT THE AID OF A BOARD. She still resorts to the board of course from time to time for help/reassurance, but I don't find that to be a problem.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What's been Up?!

Abbey and I had to stop biking for the time being because it was just WAY too darn hot to do any type of exertion out doors. This totally trumps my idea to get her in shape before trial season hits. Well, until we went swimming at my friend's of course. That was a lot of fun and I'm considering doing dock diving next year over the summer. That way Abbey stays in good shape year round and keeps cool!! I am very excited about getting into it and I think Abbey is too. She has become extremely consistent with jumping off the edge of the pool and I no longer need to coax her. We will begin biking again once winter rolls along. We may not be participating in very many trials this year as I have lost my job and don't know when I'll be receiving another form of income just yet.

All in all, Abbey is doing really wonderful and continues to blow my mind. She has been doing really well with her drumming, has ALMOST learned to cross her paws and knows how to do some fancy leg exercises to keep those muscles strong.

WARNING, WARNING: we have a tick infestation and I need to call the exterminator ASAP. Not only that I need to call the pet friendly exterminator at Flea Busters. Who am I calling? FLEA BUSTERS (also kills ticks and mosquitos). Seriously, as if enough things weren't wrong with the world. The intense heat that leaves you cooped up inside all day unless you feel like frying your breakfast on the pavement...and now TICKS. These bloodsucking offenders get on my last nerve. After every soak, dip, spray, and preventative imaginable I have just thrown in the towel, people. These little devils just WON'T die!

So now that you are updated on our misfortunes and shortcomings, I ask you wish us luck. I will post pictures when all is well and right in our universe.

Until next time,
The All American Team

Friday, July 22, 2011

Biker Dog!

Abbey has officially started a new exercise regimen which allows her to build up endurance and speed while I get to work on my leg power. Give Up? Abbey now runs alongside the bike. If you are wondering how long it took to train or if it was a previous fear...NOPE! I just didn't have a bike until now. If you're wondering about Abbey...she took to it quite well. Only slight hesitations and she learned not to run in front of the big wheel real quick ;). (Got you on the butt didn't it, girly...OUCH mama, ya think?!). She then learned that she cannot stop to go sniff the flowers or else mommy takes a nasty spill. Apparently she had to test this theory 3 times. I honestly believe she though it was funny to watch me jerk up. Why? Because the second time she did it was to take a pee and she did it all too casually. But I digress. PICTURES...that's how you follow up a post like

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Pinch when you can Click?

Yesterday I went to the dog park with Abbey and a couple of her canine buddies. We spent part of the afternoon there walking around the park...I let Abbey on some of the agility equipment and it was overall a really great time. As we were exiting the park, there was a training class in session instructed by a man I am unfamiliar with. Every last one of his students were in a prong collar. Now, I'm very much against prongs, choke, and shock collars because I think that the use of any one of them is taking the easy way out and that you aren't teaching your dog anything. At most, in my opinion, a dog is learning to react to a form of pain or discomfort...or performing a behaviour to try and avoid the pain or discomfort.
There are so many people who argue that positive reinforcement is not real training because we initially use a form of motivation (food or toys) to get our dogs to perform the desired behaviours. There are so many people that believe that if the treats are no longer there for the dog to receive then the dog will no longer perform the behaviours we want. This is completely false. In fact, I have encountered more negative reinforcement trainers that cannot walk their dogs on a normal collar than R+ trainers. I have never seen one person who started their dog on a prong collar, choke chain, or shock collar that goes out for a walk and doesn't still have to use the damn collar. The freaking training tool you started with DOES NOT get removed!! As an advocate for R+, if trained properly, I can proudly say that I don't walk around with cookies in my pockets! Abbey responds to sit, down, wait, come, EVERYTHING except for maybe complex tricks without a treat or cookie present. In R+ we teach, they learn, we live happily. No pinching necessary.
Everyone grab a clicker and actually have success training your dog. Interact with your dog. Learn from your dog. You should never have to continue using your training tool throughout your dog's life. So, more proof that using aversive methods are ineffective? They never go away.

Why Pinch when you can CLICK?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You can't stop the beat!

Over the past couple of months (on and off) I have been teaching Abbey how to do Silvia Trkman's drum trick. After plenty of trial and error and bucket changes, Abbey is beginning to tap out a few ratta tat tats on her "drum." Well, with hot dogs as her main motivation I don't blame her.

Today, however, she really started BEATING on the bucket/drum. She even added her own personal flare and flavor to it. I'm going to start video taping her progress and then later compile it into a video once we have achieved the final product. I have no doubt that she will be my best little drummer.

You can't stop the BEAT!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Run Thrus, Training, and DACOF

Alrighty! So A couple weeks ago Abbey attended run thrus at her former training centre Paws in Motion. I decided to run an excellent course, not because I wanted to show off Abbey's superior I actually wanted to practice some handling skills. Abbey has the entire package, in reality it's me as her handler that needs a few tweaks. Well, she ran beautifully all 3 times. Of course, my handling improved all 3 times but I did note some things that I wanted to work on. First off I NEED to teach Abbey to turn tighter. Our course times are fast, but they'd be even better if I get a chance to work on that. 2, my directionals. I need to be more clear when cueing her and I need to cue her earlier.

Not too long after this run thru, we got a call from Paws and were asked to join the DACOF team last minute. For you who are unaware DACOF is the Dog Agility Competition Of Florida. One team dog got injured and our former trainer called us to fill in a week before DACOF. We attended one official practice where we played our first game of FAST and where I forgot all of the other courses as I was running. I won't admit to being nervous...nope.

When we finally got to DACOF Abbey decided she would prove me wrong again TENFOLD by Qing in every run, taking home 3 placements, and earning 2nd best 16'' Novice dog. AMAZING, WONDERFUL, and EXCEPTIONAL don't even quite cover it. She hauled ASS especially on Sunday. I was so so proud.

A small note though, over the summer we are going to be losing some more weight. Abbey gained a few pounds from not being as active over the off season. So we are going to be doing some conditioning and cutting back on those yummy treats grandma sneaks us when mommy isn't looking. =). Other than that...we will keep you posted on everything else. Our next trial should be our Anniversary Trial at Tailwaggers Learning Centre in October. Be prepared!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Distance Practice and Better Appraoches

Today in the yard I have figured out that Abbey definitely understands her distance cues now and spends less time barking at me and looking for exactly where I want her to go. I find that great, but during said learning process she learned how to take her own personal short cut up the teeter which doesn't include making the up contact. So, this week I decided I would nip that in the bud before it became a permanent habit. So out came the reinforcement planter pots.

Abbey, of course being the genius she is, figured out what I wanted the first try. Oooh, mommy wants me to go ROUND the planter pots and hit the yellow on the teeter going UP too! Yes, sweetie that's exactly what mommy wants you to do. Nice Job. A couple more reps and we'll be finished. Abbey of course decided she would do the last few reps perfect and get a jackpot.

Now I can't wait to go to the field to really put everything to the test.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Look Ma No Hands!!

Today I decided I should probably do some agility in the yard with Abbey to keep all those good distance skills she has been gaining SHARP. I tried a new tactic, though. I tried using a verbal cue only...NO HANDS.

Whenever we run our dogs a lot of us to get them to move away from us use those flying arms. I decided to see how Abbey would react if she didn't have that crutch. Abbey the totally awesome proved to me that there is more going on in that noggin than I give her credit for (and I think she's bloody smart). She took her verbal cue like she's been doing it all her life and as I pulled away she pushed out going around the cones (planter pots) and coming around to a perfect approach on the teeter.

I need to now go and generalize this at the field and other areas, but Abbey and distance are now becoming better friends which is improving her speed because it means that I can get ahead of her more often. A lagging handler never prospers.

So today, Abbey said "look Ma, NO HANDS!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All Wags and No Woofs

What with the channel change on YouTube and school killing me everyday I haven't been able to do much blog updating, BUT never fear I didn't forget.

Abbey and I have been taking walks to park when it isn't too hot or rainy (which is not ver often because it's the rainy AND hot season here in South Florida), and last week we went to the park and there were other people there walking their dogs. Of course Abbey had been doing great not reacting to other people, but other dogs?? Eh, I wasn't going to expect much silence out of her that day. Well, Abbey shocked the heck out of me, she didn't react NOT ONCE to the other 2 dogs in the park. Lucky enough for her I felt the need to bring hot dogs with me this trip, so for her most amazing effort to watch the doggies walk by, notice them and not bark, she received some yummy beef franks =).

We also had some fun playing on the playground equipment where a lady and her baby were awe-struck over the fact that Abbey chooses to go down the slide next to her mommy. Well, of course!! She's 6 years old she knows how to do the slide by herself by now, right? OH! You mean because she's a dog...LOL. Well, just like your baby she's been doing it since she was little.

All in all, a wonderful day with my rescue baby. Also, a new note...there might be an addition to the team within the next year and a half, but you didn't hear that from me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Poor Armani

No I am not referring to the suit at all. I am referring to the dog. Yes, yesterday evening a dog leaped into my car as I was leaving my friend's house. His name was Armani. I can't tell you how shocked I was. I took him home, but kept him in the yard because it was late and Bella really doesn't appreciate foreign dogs in her house...Abbey doesn't care. In any case, this morning I decided that I'd give him a hair cut before his owners came to get him because he desperately needed one and I was so sad at what I found. He was covered in mats and ticks. Ewwww. That's no fun for ANY doggie. That poor dog was so uncomfortable that I was even physically relived after I clipped him.

Those Pictures I Promised

Gee Abbey, what happened??

Tennis Ball Fuzz, in the mouth

Do you want the ball?!!

Ha! Of course she wants the ball.

This is what Abbey and I do when we're, well...bored!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Out...WAY Out

So I finally found a way to work on Abbey's distance skills right in my own backyard...literally. I have these two huge palm trees that stand right by one another...a respectable distance away...and there's a enough space where Abbey can get around them. Much like with the cones people put up when teaching puppies flatwork. So I am beginning to use the palm planters as my means to getting my dog to go "out" and away from me. Abbey is such a velcro puppy and we haven't been able to do any type of gamblers or distance game because, well, she just WON'T.

I made this discovery yesterday and started working on it. At first she did what she usually does when she's too unsure to move away from me, she looked at me and barked feverishly. After a couple repetitions, though she was in business as usual. I was very excited with how she progressed even from yesterday to today. It almost makes me want to buy a set of cones so that we can try this out in the front yard...forbidden territory. I want to go to the field and practice. That would be especially exciting. For now, though, we're kicking it in the backyard.

Abbey's teeter and DW still aren't 100% where I'd like them to be so we are going to work, work, work on that. We also need to try out more independent weaves while keeping that same speed she's got. We're in Masters now...AHHHH...and kind of have to know what we're doing. But wait, I'm still a starters level handler...shoot. Okay, we'll TRY to know what we're doing.

Anyway, right now Abbey is lying next to me completely pooped after our morning session of training. And in the next five minutes she'll want to play ball.

Oh, about those pictures...when they show up, they show up, okay? ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dog Park Mayhem and Madness

Okay, I know that in my last post I promised something along the lines of photos...yeeeaaaah, I'll get to those. I took them, I just didn't upload them. I'm SORRY! Chemistry is taking over my life. Lab reports galore and homework online. Seriously, who does homework online successfully??! I DON'T!! Alright so to the story at hand that is actually what this post is supposed to be about...

Abbey, Bella, and I went to Tropical Park Dog Park this week to spend some time with one another. Also so that I could see how well my NOT training them has been going. Seriously, all I have been working on is tricks, I haven't gotten out the front door to save my life. So, surprisingly enough, I walk out of the car (dear god, that's a real mission, the little boogers don't sit still) and the first thing we 3 run into is a rather large and blonde Golden Retriever. Me? I'm like wigging out. No clicker, no treats...yeah, I really played this one up well. The dogs? Woof, woof...pull...sniff, I like this doggie, can we be friends?! WHAAAAT!!??? Maybe I shouldn't train them, they behave better. Perplexed I just tell the owner of the golden that my dogs are super friendly they just bark at first. If you consider 2 minute woofs a bark if you know my 2. Anywho, the perfect little dearlings then went into the dog park and were the picture of perfection. Bella came when called, Abbey was nice and played with the other dogs, she even ran the agility equipment no treats or anything just for kicks. Oookay guys, like, what happened??

All in all the only off point was a Husky that, quite literally, tore into Bella's back leaving an angry scratch that caused the poor thing to scream bloody murder across the entire park attracting every dog in hearing distance...which was EVERY dog. I was blistering mad at the owner because she wasn't controlling her dog and the dog not only went to pick on Abbey it went to pick on several other dogs which it also caused to scream! Abbey on the other hand was the only tough nut of the bunch she took the bullying from the husky for about thirty seconds and then turned around and clocked him in the face open mouthed just for effect. Didn't hurt him, just gave him a good strong warning. At this point, of course, I decided I would leave. As we were leaving I thought perhaps I had put poor Abbey through too much stress, her being the victim of several dog attacks as it is, but no a pit mix walked in as we walked out and Abbey with the sweetest wagging tail ever said "hi" and calmly walked past.

Yep, that's my story. The two nutcase dogs that I lived with were an upstanding example of America's dog population. Come on, is that so totally AWESOME!!! Seriously, though, I still have things to work on. =).

That's all for today. I'll keep you posted on more miraculous mishaps.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Few and Far Between

Well, I played with Abbey a bit today with Abbey working on our cross your paws trick. That's going well and Abbey is quite the enthusiastic worker. The only problem has been that we haven't quite gotten into a groove yet. Oh yes, we're getting there I swear. Chemistry class does surprisingly take up time...aaand I have the worst time management skills of any human being. For a brief time in December Abbey got to her enjoy a few days with me where she went to the dog park and went swimming. In January we had the trial...and now we're trying to adjust our busy and hectic schedules to our linking. I know I sound like a broken record. But despite the repetativeness of my words, improvements have been made. I found out Abbey likes Shetland Sheepdogs, can be clicker trained to do anything but has a mind of her own, and loves new tricks so much that she goes through spazzed offerings just to get the clicker to sound.

GOOD NEWS: Bella learned how to give her paw. Bella, the little puppy who HATES having her paws touched learned how to give her paw. Ahh the wonders of clicker training.

I'm going to upload pictures of what Abbey and I have been doing in my next blog post including her antics with the tennis ball. Keep reading about us, we'll keep blogging.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If you want to Watch Us Run!

Advanced Jumpers Q

Advanced Standard NQ

Steeplechase CLEAN

Advanced Snooker NQ

Advanced Jumpers Q and Title

Pictures of the Poochie!

in the truck on our way to Winter Park, FL

Abbey checking out the sites at a rest stop

Her and I that morning before we left the house!

The infamous picture with the luggage Abbey always takes

Her at 4:00 am saying "you pack, I'll wait here"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

That's why She's "The Air Up There"

Abbey and I just returned from an agility trial in Winter Park, FL. FUN FUN FUN! I've learned a thousand and one things. What are some of those things? That my handling skills need major improvement because Abbey is just waay to fast for me and I am slowing my poor girl down. Also, that I need to work more on startline stays. Sometimes she does it and sometimes I'm breaking my ankle to keep up with the little booger. So...highlights and totally awesome points. She nearly Qualified in Steeplechase, and Had a beautiful snooker opening with the fastest weaves ever. What happened, you say? The handler happened. Yeah, yeah, I know...I'm WORKING on it.

So...what did we come home with? Q and 3rd in Advanced Relay, Q and 2nd in Advanced Jumpers, aaaannnnd...Q, 4th, and TITLE in advanced jumpers. YES, that's right, we're on to MASTERS!!! Come on, come on you know you're excited for us. I'm just in shock because she zipped through advanced jumpers like it was nothing and now we're in masters...MASTERS?!! Nuh uh!!

Well, at the moment I want SLEEEP and I will get to the posting of pictures in a wee bit. MAYBE...MAYBE I will post videos too...but don't get too excited ;).

People, you should all know "There's No Q Like a ResQ"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Get those Contacts!!!

Abbey and I played agility today!!

At the field where we usually train they got some BRAND NEW CONTACTS!! They still have the old ones, yes, but they had NEW ONES. Hahaha, New Year, New Contacts...ALL AWESOME!! Now, these are just some raw video clips that I took for those of you who love to watch my crazy mutt in training -cough-NAT-cough-. She is doing SO WELL!! I am proud of how she performed on a brand new never before seen teeter (which was actually a pretty loud one). I am glad she didn't get freaked by the slightly louder DW as well. As a matter of fact I think we have come a pretty long way!!

She's so cute going after her disc and playing in the water tub. It was VERY hot today (83 degrees) and she performed stupendously. Our trial this weekend is going to be cold so I don't know how that will affect us. She's already fast...any faster and she'll break my ankle. Hopefully she'll give me time to think, LOL, think so that I know which obstacle to take while she's zooming past me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolution #1

At the beginning of the past year I wanted many things for myself. A better diet, a better exercise program. What did I get? Stress, stress, stress. So, since I have entered a new beginning once again with this BRAND NEW YEAR I've decided to put into effect my past resolutions. A better diet, a better exercise program. Yesterday I got started on working towards a more healthful diet eating minimal animal/meat products and indulging in more veggies. Do I still eat meats, YES I do, but I have limited it to mostly chicken/fowl and fish. I also limited it to once (and if I'm desperate twice) each week. I've also made an improvement on portion size and learned a thing or two about filling foods.

Where did I go? Whole Foods Organic Market. Yes, one of my most favourite grocery shopping centers...for my dogs. It's where I used to go to buy the girl's organic buffalo and lean ground beef. I knew, of course, that they had delicious and nutritious items for people as well, I just didn't bother to take the time and get into it. So while I was in there I bought some organic goat cheese, spinach, romaine hearts, kale, bananas, and other sorts of food related paraphernalia so that I could begin created awesome healthy meals ;)! Oh right SHROOMS can't forget about those. I'm crazy about mushrooms.

Alright, so, New Years Resolution #1:

Happy New Year!!! Our Engines are Revvin It's 2011!!

Happy New Year to all of our ravenous rabid readers!!! You may have noticed that all of our previous posts from previous years are GONE! *gasp* No, no, no Ashley what have you done, you say? YES YES YES We are starting off bright and new in the All-American Team blog periodical. Our reports won't be few and far between any longer! You will hear about every canine catastrophe, poochie premiere, and revolutionary rover. Trials, tricks, and traveling, will be typed, taped, and...if necessary...telegraphed!! On those dastardly days where I have nothing to debate or divulge, you will be feverishly filled with fast action PHOTOGRAPHY!

So be prepared to read about everything from dogs to diet. Fresh and new and always fun, it's 2011 with the All American Team...WATCH 'EM RUN!!!