Archive for February, 2011

Crack Balls

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago at agility class, Micah had to run over and “snark” at another dog. He does this occasionally. Not a lot, but occasionally. Especially if there is someone new in class that he’s not familiar with. After working with him for. . . what . . . 4+ years now? I started thinking that I might be trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Even though he is physically Perfect for agility (lean and leggy), his inability to focus is getting me down. I started to entertain the idea that we may never be able to really excel at this sport, and I might have to look for something else to do with him.

micah_400p3

Tonight at agility class at Dog City Training Center, Micah discovered the “crack balls”. (We just call them that because it seems that ALL dogs LOVE them). He has a special toy at home that he’s totally nuts about, but I think the new crack ball will give it a run for it’s money. He was absolutely spastic as I placed the ball on top of a shelf while it was our turn to run; jumping and {{{quivering}}} and yipping for the ball. Please momma, please momma, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!!

I tried to get him to come but he was having none of it. So my instructor suggested that I put the ball in my pocket and throw it for him as a reward at the end. It was a good idea – at least in theory. He had a lot of trouble completing his sequences because he kept pulling off to come (try to) get the ball. However – his level of excitement was unbelievable, and he was TOTALLY focused on ME. As she pointed out, he didn’t so much as LOOK at another dog during the entire hour we were there. And that’s saying a LOT for Micah.

crackball

Since this was our first attempt at training with a toy instead of food, I do realize that this was the roughest night. I’m sure that as he gets accustomed to using the ball, he will be able to focus a bit more, just knowing that the ball is coming. I’m very excited about this new possibility.

Maybe there’s hope for us yet. Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned.

Fun Party Trick

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Dang it!!! I just can’t get the video link to work. Not so computer savvy - but REALLY wanted to show the VIDEO!!!!

So I’ll have to settle for this not so great quality pic of Micah - the most fun boy EVER - and his new party trick called “feet”.

"feet"

Here’s one more that is really poor quality - but shows what good “vertical lift” he’s getting.

More "feet"

Good Boy Micah!!

Weather - Weather - WEATHER!!!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Tuesday morning Tessa (my elderly Great Dane) woke me up at 5:00am to go outside and (of course) EAT!! When I opened the door we were bombarded with tiny icicles hurling themselves at us at lightning speed. It was BAD out there. The wind was HOWLING!!! So what started accumulating on the ground and the roads, was ice. Millions of little chunks of ice that melded together to make our lives miserable.

Winter in Dallas isn’t really like winter at all. I mean, when you can do your Christmas shopping in a tee shirt and shorts, it’s really not winter. I’m from Minnesota, OK? Where winter really IS winter. The only time Dallas really feels like winter is during an ice storm, and I will admit that my Minnesota driving experience doesn’t help me there at all. I can drive on snow – I know how to do that – how to put the car in low and NOT spin your tires. You know, all the standard common sense stuff. But there really isn’t much you can do on ice.

imgice2

I HAD to drive to my part time (once a week) job Tues night, and even though I’m only a few minutes away, it was a scary proposition. The streets were just ice. Might as well have been a skating rink. So I started braking early when coming to a stop light. My disk brakes went into overtime. Sliding, sliding, sliding, and finally coming to a stop. Then when the light turned green there was still no guarantee that someone wouldn’t t-bone you because they couldn’t stop for THEIR red light.!!!! Like I said – SCARY!! Luckily there weren’t that many cars on the road.

imgice1

The media always amazes me during these weather outbreaks. It’s like they are foaming at the mouth for some juicy weather disaster.

Today is day 3 of the storm. Actually it only stormed once, and the ice that is on the road now is the same ice that’s been there since early Tues a.m. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing new happening right now, weather wise. And yet, the media breaks into my favorite programs every 10 minutes to show us pictures of 18 wheelers stuck on bridges, cars sliding into each other, folks a little short of grey matter standing behind pickups and jeeps – trying to PUSH them on the ice. Now there’s a good idea!

REALLY???? Are you SO desperate for news that we must drag this out for days on end??? I haven’t even been able to get any national weather (except for the ½ hour a day that the national news is on). No Early Show – just local weather. More and More and MORE local weather.

The true irony of the last few days is that Dallas is hosting the Superbowl this weekend. All of the football fan super-money that was supposed to be flowing into Dallas is being hijacked by the ice storm.

I guess God does have a sense of humor after all.