Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weave Poles 101

The Guardian of the Royal Palace
Given Us a Royal Present

Yipee!  by Lady McKenzie

It is so difficult to stave off the boredom and drudgery of our everyday life at the Palace.  Sure, there is the school that we attend where we receive our continuing education at least 3 times per week.  And there are the wonderful  bike rides and long afternoon walks.  There are the regular games in the back of the Palace where flying discs and balls fill the air and we get to practice our catching techniques.    And there are the great times, like last Saturday, when I went on an expedition.  
2012 Tulsa Boxer Rescue Bark Walk
(There was a day in the Park dedicated to all the homeless Boxers of Tulsa and it was my Royal Duty to go out and support them.  I took some of them on bike rides and I think I did a lot to lift their spirits).  Then there are the times when we are left out with the Royal Gardener and we are allowed to play our own games while she toils away in the sun bringing beauty to the Royal Gardens.  But seriously, all of this put together only fills up about 5 to 6 hours in the day!  The rest of the time, we have to manage the running of the household for that old bat, Nessie the Monster.  I don't know how she ever got to be a Duchess.  She's really a grump and is always demanding that we get up and wiggle our butts (Oh dear! Pardon my French!) and get busy doing work.  I think I should be the Duchess!  I'd sure tell her!
As the eldest and the Duchess, I tend to be a disciplinarian.  Well, someone has to do it!  Those Chamberlains get away with absolute nonsense!  Ah...  Sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it.....
Well, at any rate, she does keep us in wonderful gifts on the odd occasion.  And today was just one of those days!  And what a wonderful gift it was!  Both Lord Malcolm and I did not hesitate to go and take advantage of it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Duchess and the Chamber-Pot

A Very Intimate Discussion

by Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg

{to be read in a Royal British Accent}

As a Royal Duchess, I always knew that one day, the time would come for me to have need of a Royal Chamber-pot inspector.  It comes with age, you know.  The older one gets, it seems, the more likely one has need of regular poop inspections.  I do understand that this subject may be a wee bit on the 'intimate' side of regular conversation, but as one ages, one tends not to mind these types of subjects.  Perhaps it is  because we have lived through so much in our lives all ready that a discussion such as this just doesn't warrant the 'taboo' list of topics that it once did when we were much stronger and younger.

On the other hand, I really never imagined in my wildest dreams that the Royal Chamber-pot inspector that I would hire would not be for me-self.  I have had to hire a professional Chamber-pot inspector for me silly and unruly Chamberlain, the Lady McKenzie.  As I'm sure you've heard by now, she was into much mischief last week.  Indeed, it has only been a week since you heard of the story of someone eating a 4 1/2 foot long braided soft leather leash.  Everyone of course, assumed it was Lord Malcolm since he eats everything.  ( see posts dated.....9.30.11, 12.5.11, 1.10.12, and 2.11.12)  But, as we began to discover on Thursday, when the first symptom occurred, it was the Lady McKenzie who had apparently succumbed to the temptation of swallowing foreign and inedible objects. 

Nessie the (proper) Monster, Duchess of Hagg

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Step Forward.....and Three Steps Back

She Keeps Tryin' to Train Us
But We Just Want
to Do Fun Stuff!
and Besides;
We Only Work for Food!

My Mom, God rest her soul, had a lot of sayings.  She was from Scotland and I guess they have a saying for every situation that can come up in life.  They also have a song for every situation, but that would go with a different story.  One of her sayings was crystal clear to me today.  "Every time I take one good step forward, I seem to slip three steps back!"  I recently read a really funny blog about a dog trainer who is training 'Devil Dog', shortened to DD.  He must live on a farm in the country.  His blog was quite hilarious as I found myself laughing out loud with tears in my eyes as I was reading it.  It was on Victoria Stilwell's 'Positively' blog.  I can't find the post I'm referring to though.  They don't have a good archive section.  Anyway, this guy works every day training DD on the usual basics and especially on a recall.  He was proud of how well this pup was doing.  Then one day, -- it was raining of course, -- he was out with all his dogs checking on the farm animals and DD got out, chased all the cattle and sheep, tore something up that was really needed, all the while the guy was trying to chase DD down, calling 'COME' and cursing to no avail when he slipped in sheep doo and fell in the mud and hit his head and passed out.  Of course, when he came to, DD was sitting (proudly) in the back seat of the pick up with all the other dogs and a lot of mud and doo doo while the guy, very much in pain and covered in goo and doo was hobbling into the truck to try and get home.  The reason I was laughing so hard, (And I don't do the story justice.  I wish I could find a link to it for you) was because this is exactly how I feel when training my yea-hoos.  No matter how hard you train, or how good you are at training, sometimes dogs will just be dogs.  And the lesson is, training lasts a lifetime.  In my case, I hope it's the dogs' lifetime and not mine.  I feel my life getting shorter every day and I really think I've met my match with these two.  They may be the death of me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Malcolm Rocks!

A new session of classes has started at the Dog Club.   I have been working with Malcolm and McKenzie in the 'off time' on Sit/Stay, Come (I use the word Here -- and I'm still using the parachute chord; when will they ever 'get it' ?), automatic Sits when I stop, and moving Sits and Downs.  You would think, that as much as I work with them, they would start to really get a clue.  Still, they are pretty consistent with the automatic sits when I stop moving.  McKenzie thinks it's great fun to run to the end of the parachute chord and then wait for me to call 'Here'.  She can't wait for the command sometimes.  She bounds over, gazelle like, and sits in front of me.  Her sit is usually crooked, but I'm glad she comes.  The other day, I laughed my tookus off because she came bounding over and then did a fast spin.  I laughed so she did 3 more fast spins and then sat crooked in front of me.  She is a crazy dog.
Malcolm running through a field with his daddy

So, when the sessions started this week, you would think that the dogs would take it in stride.  Oh, Come on!  It could never be that easy.  Not in my lifetime.  I always have to remember that I picked out very beautiful but very crazy dogs.  Malcolm acts like he's never seen another dog before so he's back to the old habit of lunging and pulling.  I guess it's because there are different dogs that he doesn't know in his class.  At least now, I know how to 'nip it in the bud'.  But I had to correct that behavior about 4 times tonight.  I think he was just testing to see if I would still mind.  Well.  Yes, Malcolm.  I DO mind.  And so does everyone else.

I have McKenzie the Frenzie (her new name, lol)  enrolled in 2 classes, Rally and Agility 3.  I've got her in Rally because the discipline will help to quell her wild side, I hope.  I'm counting on the obedience to help in Agility.  She did very well in her first 2 sessions.  We had no 'bolting' around the agility ring although she wasn't at her best.  She wasn't paying too much attention to me perhaps because of the new dogs in the class.  I hope that by next week, they will remember what we're there for.
McKenzie waiting for action

Malcolm had his Agility class tonight.  I messed up on the first couple of runs but he stayed with me.  When I finally got it right, DANG!  Malcolm rocked!  And I will say, that he doesn't seem as generally enthusiastic about Agility as McKenzie.  He's a bit slower and more interested in sniffing the floor for dead bugs and lost treats (remember, this is the dog that will eat anything and everything) than really running fast.  But tonight.  Wow.  He really went for it!  And he followed me!  That was really exciting.  Plus, (and this is the big one) he was the only dog in the class that did the weave poles perfectly every time he was asked.  He loves the weaves!  (McKenzie is just learning them.  Remember, she was held back in the beginning agility because of teeter totter issues).  

Sometimes, when things go so wrong as they often do, I wonder why I even bother trying to train these animals.  It can really seem hopeless.  Then, on that day when they really do well...... Wow.  I can really see tons of improvement since I started training them.  Yes.  It's a slow process.  No.  They won't come when called if they are not attached to something.   But I continue to work every day and I know that some day, they will be perfect at it.  I might be dead.  But they will be perfect.  Can someone tell me how long it will take?  I all ready know that answer.  As long as it  takes.
Tired puppies are still the best puppies.  That's Nessie in the middle.