Weekend Update and New Photos

It was a busy weekend. They are always busy. Saturday AM did a few errands with Wally then came back to the house to put together the tire for my tire jump. I also invested in an x-pen for the puppies which has already proven to be worth its weight in gold. We usually take Gel with us and leave Kessie (Wally’s dog) and Midge together in my fenced-in area. They play and have a wonderful time together. Gel got to accompany us inside PetsMart, Tractor Supply and Northern Tool. He was quite thrilled with that.

Had the puppies out while we were working on the tire which wasn’t such a great idea as they were into everything! After we finished the tire we loaded the puppies up into their crate and drove down to the back pasture where I have the temporary fence set up for the sheep. We had intended to place some plastic T-posts in the areas where the sheep were pushing the fence over and escaping. When we got down there, the sheep had pushed the fence over and were not in sight. Great. We then drove up to my neighbor’s house through the back fields in search of the sheep. Gel was in the bed of the truck with me and the puppies in the crate. Midge and Kessie were in the front with Wally.

Sure enough the sheep were up at the neighbor’s. I gave Gel permission to exit the truck bed, sent him to round up the sheep and then we headed off in the truck back down to the temporary fencing. It was like the Wild West! Gel kept the sheep going behind the truck. He’s never moved sheep in this manner before, but that didn’t faze him. Got the sheep put back up, worked Midge and Kessie for a few minutes, then remembered I had to get to an agility lesson in Salisbury which is about an hour and fifteen minutes away. I had intended on leaving about quarter of one and when I remembered to ask what time it was, it was 1:30! Flew back to the house, put the puppies and Midge in the outside run, took a shower, loaded up Gel and got on the road. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn getting to the lesson which made me even more late! Finally got to the lesson about 3:30, missing the walk through and first run of the first sequence.

I thought Gel might have been tired from moving the sheep as far as he did, but by the time he arrived at the lesson, he was pumped and ready to go. I had a friend video tape the session and it was neat to watch how we worked together. Gel is so intent on me and what I want from him. My handling sucked in the first sequence. The second was easier and we did fine except the weave poles. It was a hard entry, which he got, but he didn’t start weaving. Once I got him in the weaves he stayed in and he was fast.

After the class was over I re-ran the first sequence and made headway as far as my timing goes. I can cue Gel several jumps ahead of an obstacle like the tunnel and he does it! All Gel needs is my direction and he does what I need him to do!

Got home around 7 and had to clean the inside puppy pen. While the floor was drying I went outside and played with the puppies. When it started to get dark I brought them inside. Within ten minutes they had completely trashed their clean pen. I am trying to get them to use a litter box in the corner of their pen, which, for the most part, is working. The problem is getting a type of litter or liner in there that they don’t either tug out of the box or strew all over the place. Right now I’m using Yesterday’s News litter which is working pretty well. It would be better if the puppies didn’t play in the litter box.

Sunday morning got up to drive to Statesville (about an hour away) to meet the man I get rabbits from (Roger). The plan was to bring the puppies so Roger could meet them and they could go for their first real car ride. I expected to spend an hour in the car with screaming puppies, but they were amazingly quiet! When we arrived at the designated meeting place (in front of Lowes) I set up the x-pen and Roger and I put the puppies in it. All the puppies seemed perfectly comfortable in a new (noisy) place and being handled by someone new to them. After about ten minutes I loaded the puppies back up and drove over to Lowes. I put the puppies in a shopping cart and wheeled them around Lowes. I about had to force people to pet them! If I saw someone pushing a cartful of puppies I would be right there to pet them. Many people thought I was trying to give them away! What a sad world we live in that people would think that a person would be peddling free puppies in Lowes. It was quite cool Sunday morning and bringing the puppies into a warm environment from the cold put them to sleep. They slept a good part of the time inside Lowes. I spent about an hour in the store. They were just as quiet on the way home.

One of the puppies is going to an active pet home. That family was due to come to visit Sunday afternoon. My house was a mess! I put the puppies out in their x-pen in the shade and cleaned for a few hours. The family arrived at 2:00. First they played with Gel and Midge, and then fed the sheep, and then I brought the puppies out. The boys were more interested in the pond than they were the puppies so we all moved down to the pond. I had a wonderful time! I took almost 100 photographs. The puppies were wonderful! The children were having such a good time; they didn’t pack up to leave until almost 5:00.

Next Sunday I’m scheduled to take the puppies to a very good trainer to have puppy aptitude testing done. I was on the fence as to whether I wanted to drive three hours one way to have this test done, but the puppies are all in all so even in temperament I can’t decide who should go where. I know which one I’m keeping, but she picked me. Next Tuesday three of the puppies leave to go to Canada. I didn’t want to let them go so soon, but one of the woman (Katherine) taking a puppy is coming down from Ontario to Atlanta for a disc dog competition and can hand carry all three back with her. I prefer to do that over shipping them. They will all stay with Katherine until the next weekend before they are split up again and they are all going to dog savvy homes with other appropriate dogs to learn from so they should be okay. I don’t know what I’m going to do with just two puppies.

Gel is officially entered in an AKC agility trial October 13 and 14 and an AKC herding trial November 10 and 11. After our runs on Saturday I feel more confident. All I need to do is get his weave pole performance solid and make sure he understands that knocking jumps is inappropriate. I believe that the only time he knocks jumps is if I miscue him, although I know there are some times that he gets a bit too pumped and isn’t as careful jumping as he should be. I can set a long row of jumps of varying heights and he jumps only as high as he has to for each jump so he does pay attention to his jumping. He is all in all a really nice dog.

In general Midge was good with the visitors on Sunday. I had to keep an eye on her if the children started jumping around too much because that disturbed her. She was very sweet with them when they were still. After we finished the tire jump on Saturday, I got Midge to jump through it several times. While I’ll miss the puppies, it will be good to have more time available to train my dogs.