Saturday, August 30, 2008


Thanks for all of the well wishes and offers of dinners and help - I love you guys! One of the things that is very hard for me is asking for and accepting help - even if I need it. I'm just so used to being self-reliant that it's really frustrating to admit that I can't do something. It's all the little things that I can't do that are driving me mad - emptying the trash, making the bed, opening cans and bottles, taking stuff out of the oven (microwave too), changing the pool filter, clipping the dogs' toenails, putting my hair in a pony tail...silly stuff that I always have taken for granted. I can't drive on the meds and I can't see straight off the meds - took the bus to a work lunch yesterday - I had forgotten why I don't take the bus! Weird people and it takes forever to get anywhere - but the curry was excellent at the Tiny Thai (as always of course) and it got me out of the house - which was good.

Went to the fair to work today - didn't take meds so I could drive was ok until about 12 hours after the last dose and then I was one hurtin' cowgirl!! I'm back on track now though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm broken!

Well it was such an awesome summer! I knew the "ride" had to end sometime. I went out to Lake Iroquois this evening to throw some bumpers for Teller. Had a great session and thought I'd let Teller do some fishing - put him on leash as a boat was coming in and walked into the water down the concrete ramp and down I went. Went straight into the ER - soaking wet with the boys stuck in the car - and waited for two hours. X-rays saw a couple of I'm splinted until I can get a cast (week or so). The splint covers the elbow and halfway up my upper arm - which is going to make training tough - breed handling impossible (CCA and Conformation at the nats), agility difficult and TDB for the hunt test rally and obedience....Not to mention working - I do a lot of typing and while I'm usually pretty speedy this one handed hunt and peck stuff sucks!

I'm in a lot of pain - and I've got a high pain threshold - so I know it's bad! They gave me really good drugs - which are going to make me stupid. Ultimately I'll be OK - probably no surgery - but I'm really bummed right now. I can't even dress myself or get my bra off - I couldn't even take my dinner out of the's really hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel....and throws a lot of stuff up in the air right now...

P.S. - it took me 30 minutes to type this. So bummed!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Field Training

Well, I think I've mustered the nerve to enter Teller in the Junior Hunt test at the National. We went out tonight and did some bumpers with my neighbor throwing the bumper for me - Teller held his line and raced out to the bumper and back. We don't have a great formal sit in heel to give the bird back, but I'm not going to sweat that part with him yet - he's happily retrieving the bumper to hand. The junior hunter is just singles - which works in our favor - the WC has some doubles - I need to keep it simple for my own benefit!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Well 5:30 this morning came WAY TOO freakin early for my liking. It was cool this morning and super foggy on the interstate driving down to Stowe. Once we got there the sun came out and it was moderately hot - I was definitely a shade-seeking critter for sure! Here's the run-down from today's runs:

Standard I:
In all a good start - We had a bobble at the offside weave entry - but he came back OK and did a good job - I need to support him more on some jumps - he's a green dog who's doing really well - but he's still a green dog and I have to remember that. Second Place!

Standard II:
Comic relief for the day! Again I need to support him more and work on contact/tunnel discrimination. I haven't done a lot of this with him and certainly need to work more. Another offside bobble at the weaves - this time he popped out at pole four, came back in and popped out at pole four then got them - Again, I didn't support him enough in the weaves and we got disconnected (it was really me not him). He did manage to pick up the cone at the end of the dogwalk (while hitting his contact) and carry it through the rest of the course (several jumps and the Aframe).

I did an alternate jumpers course - I didn't walk it because I didn't want to be tempted to do more than I should have - so I did a two jump lead-out, was VERY careful to support him on the jumps that I had lead out, then did a left turn and partied out over the last jump - I needed to be a better handler than I was in the standard run and in this case that meant making the jumpers run SUPER successful and ensure that I didn't make any mistakes with him. He's such a giving dog when he's working and I need to hold up my end of the team.

Touch and Go:
Teller seems to like the touch and go - though neither of us really understand those damn hoop things!!! TnG had tunnels, hoops, the dogwalk and the A-Frame. I haven't done hoops with Teller because I didn't think we'd see them in anything but hoopers. We got around the first 3/4 of the course without a problem then he came out of a tunnel and I cued him to the hoop and he didn't understand what I was asking - so we had to regroup and then finish the course - we did regroup and finished successfully. Another Second Place.

I knew that Teller would LOVE this class and he totally did - a course of just tunnels!!! His run was gorgeous - he was having fun and we finished well under time (SCT was 32 seconds). Another Second Place.

Teller apparently likes RED this weekend! So the haul for the weekend was one First, six Seconds and one Fourth. Two Touch and Go legs, One Standard Leg and one Tunnelers Leg. Eight toys and three placement biscuits. Not too shabby for my baby's first weekend out on the agility field. I was so pleased that he finished the weekend as happily as he began the weekend - didn't have any puppy brainfarts - stayed with me even when I was a BAD handler and he lavished his adoring public (spectators and fellow exhibitors) with love and lots of tail wags. Every time he stepped into the ring he did so with confidence and his "hey y'all - look at me" attitude. I'm THRILLED that he didn't once mug the judge, the ring crew, gate steward, timer or scribe! I worked out of my truck this weekend and both dogs settled beautifully when it wasn't their turns to run or go for a walk. So many successes! Now Teller is done until the national - I really can't wait!

Here's today's video - just Standard I, Touch and Go and Tunnelers:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tellerific Day at the NADAC Trial

I entered Teller in the local NADAC trial because I wanted to see where he was training-wise. He's super in practice - how does that hold up in competition? We're entered at the National and I needed to validate that decision. I chose to start him in NADAC instead of AKC because I don't compete in NADAC events and I hoped that I wouldn't be tempted to go for legs and titles (thus freeing things up to have fun with Teller while not applying any pressure) and because NADAC allows training in the ring (if something was broken I could spend time to fix it instead of getting whistled out of the ring.

So we got up at 5:30 (AM) and left the house around 6:15ish - got to Topnotch Field around 7 - the classes ran Elite, Open then Novice and started with Chances, Weavers, Standard 1, Standard 2, Hoopers and finally Jumpers. Two things worth noting before I outline the runs. First is that hoopers is a weird class without intuitive rules - I was entered with Teller because I opted for the "Costco Package" that included all of the runs for a discounted price and also because I figured if I needed it I could use it for a startline training and boogie out of the ring... Second...both the weavers class and the touch and go class had hoops in them - which Teller had never seen before. So I make my way over to the practice hoop and sent Teller through it - not an issue - he got it (he didn't see the point - but he got it). OK Onward and upward - here's the rundown from today:

The first class of the day - the real test of what Teller is going to do. He held a nice startline and other than getting sucked back into the tunnel (not sure what happened there), then me failing to support him on the second half of the gamble and then choosing the tunnel over the dogwalk on the discrimination it was a nice run - more things to be pleased than to be concerned about. Other than that weird Tunnel thing he was with me and focused the entire time - SO much fun!!! Chances is pass/fail - and we failed BUT - even with that nonsense he was under time in a venue with MUCH tighter times than AKC.

Weavers uses the same course for all three levels - a very trappy course for a baby dog - Tunnel to hoop to hoop to weaves with a tunnel off the second hoop. Teller eyed in on that tunnel and galloped happily through it - I can't fault him for enjoying himself - and he got his off-side entry when he came back. Another couple of bobbles but he finished just a bit over time even with all of those mistakes - and from the video he's ABSOLUTELY having fun!!! Second Place!

Standard 1:
Another nice run and I'm bummed it wasn't on video - it was "filmed" but I can't find it on the camera - I think the videographer forgot to hit the record button - no big deal. It was a beautiful run but Teller knocked two bars - both were my fault when I wasn't clear with direction and he looked over his shoulder to see where I was and what was next. First Place!

Standard 2:
Super run - Gawd I love my WOO!!! Clean run 15 seconds under time (remember this is NADAC time)! Second Place and standard leg.

Touch and GO:
Teller was ON FIRE! He's now running his fifth class of the day and he's STILL fast, STILL having fun, listening and getting his contacts. Well under time and a second place by tenths of a second.

I did a HUGE lead-out on this one and totally failed to support him on the three jumps that I had led out. He got the first one and went around #2. So I took him back and he never disconnected - we had to go back for a couple of jumps (my fault for again not supporting him and also baby/green dog stuff) - but he stayed in the game and when all was said and done he was only slightly over time (can you believe that). Fourth Place!

We didn't leave grounds until 7:45 PM!!! It was a LONG day and I'm still up! I haven't eaten dinner yet either - so I think I'll skip dinner and go to bed after I get the video uploaded. In all I think Teller got better with each run (jumpers was 100% my fault) and I'm so pleased that he's coming together so darn well...He's a SUPER WOO!

Not to outdone, Murphy wasn't entered but came along for the ride. Some old friends stopped by to see the boys - missed Teller's run but Murphy came out to say hello. The kids were really into dogs and wanted to see Murph weave (he was happy to show off) and jump. Afterwards the kids lined up and got to jump Murphy over a jump (take a jump, get a cookie - nice work if you can get it). The kids were all late with their jump commands so I just sent Murph over the jump and had the kids running next to him - they thought they did it and Murph got lots of cookies and some much appreciated attention (center of attention).

Teller is ACTUALLY tired - but he's also very pleased with himself - I swear he's SMILING!!! It's nearly 11pm and I've got to get up at 5:30 tomorrow - I suspect I'll wake up at 5:30 and then lounge in bed (can you technically lounge in bed at 5:30am?) until 6 and then get myself on the road. I can't wait to see what he does tomorrow!!!

Here are the runs from today:

Friday, August 15, 2008

NOMAD NADAC tomorrow...

Teller has his first agility trial tomorrow - a two day in Stowe. It's NADAC - not a venue I'm particularly vested in (at all might be a better term) so it'll be easy for me to go and have fun - not take anything too seriously and see where Teller is training-wise. I'll bring my camera and hopefully get someone to film us - if I do of course it'll be posted here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Announcing Magica Goldens!

It got to be time for me to do a logo and a kennel/LLC name. I went back and forth for a long time about what to pick. One of the rejects were Kaseigold - after Kasei, my first golden; Another was Diamondwood - the name of the house I have designed and hope to build one day (too long). Magica combines Teller's registered name "Light and Magic" with "Erica" - the logo is below - The sillhouette is Teller gaiting with Emily Burdon at one of the shows (St Francis I think), the rosette is Purple (Winners), Blue (first place) and Green (Qualifying score in obedience and agility). The M in the center of the rosette is for Magica, but also for Murphy (it was Smurf afterall who got me into this dog stuff!)....

Festival of fools...

Teller and I went down to Burlington City Hall Park today to perform in Burlington's Festival of Fools (think jugglers, comedy acts, etc). Teller did his sneeze trick (I fake sneeze and he grabs a hanky out of my pocket). He also balanced a tennis ball on his nose and did his drunk driving PSA (three beer cans and a coke can - Make the right choice). He showed off his spins, his gunshot downs, hand signals, touch...The crowd loved him and he got to do meet and greet with literally hundreds of people! Teller won the contest - got a nice toy and gift certificate, we recommended 10-15 people to Waggles all of whom wanted their dogs to be just like Teller (they don't know of which they ask!) It was quite the morning. He went for a swim when we got home and now he's sacked out.

Next weekend is the NOMAD trial in Stowe - Teller's agility debut!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Teller's commercial

We filmed Teller's commercial yesterday morning - he nailed all of his shots on the first or second try and our "do overs" were camera angle related. It was so much fun! The store was open while we were filming so there were some waiting while customers navigated the store - or in some cases came over to see and pet Teller (who graciously adored his public - granting everyone an audience). Teller wrapped up his part in 45 minutes (which is good). So they told me two-three weeks for editing, then I'll get a DVD (and I have permission to post it here and on youtube).

Let's hope all this show-biz stuff doesn't go to his fuzzy blonde head - there's room for only one diva around here!