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Posted by on 20.08.2017 in Devi

This was a very busy week in our house!  We had a houseguest the latter part of the week, and this weekend I’ve been riding in a clinic.  I came home at 5pm yesterday and was asleep by 8(!!).  Clinic riding is fun, but it is about as exhausting as a show.  Speaking of shows, Merlé and I are competing next weekend, so I imagine that I’ll be totally drained just in time for labor day.

Devi and I had some strange animal encounters this week on our morning walks.  We’re out and about by 5:10am, and it’s fairly dark out.  We often see bunnies and cats, but that’s about the extent.  This week we saw all of the following:  1) robin that had fallen from a tree 2) cicada that hadn’t hatched out of it’s beetle shell (I am sure there is a proper term for this stage of the cicada lifecycle, but I don’t know what it is) and 3) a RAT!  Unfortunately we encountered the rat in our own yard.  We were relaxing outside, around 5:45am, Devi was just sitting next to me in the driveway.  I saw something scurry across the driveway and before I knew it, Devi was up and had pinned it against the fence.  She picked it up in her mouth, and when it squeaked, so she dropped it.  It then escaped into the neighbor’s yard.  I looked for it but couldn’t find it, but I think I saw it again the following day.  Icky.

 

Like a cat, Devi’s motto is “If I fits, I sits”

 

Posted by on 06.08.2017 in Devi

Devi had quite the exciting weekend – Jake’s parents were here to visit AND the resident barn dogs were away so Devi had free run at the barn.  Saturday was beautiful – lows in the mid 60s and highs in the low 80s, with fairly low humidity.  We had a good time with the Hugheys, and Devi was pretty worn out from all the activity.  All in all, a great weekend!

Lest you think that I am the only one that lets the dog sit in their lap…!

This is a 70-lb lap bouv. She actually fell asleep in this position.

 

Posted by on 23.07.2017 in Devi

It has been especially steamy this past week.  Temperatures have been above 90, even at 9pm.  We have changed Devi’s whole schedule around; we used to walk her as soon as we got home from work (6pm), now she eats first and goes for her evening walk at 8pm.  Even at 8pm, one gets sweaty taking a leisurely stroll, but at least I don’t worry about the sidewalks burning Devi’s paws.  In other news, Jake just returned from a trip to Vermont, and I am headed off to San Diego next week.  I’m sure Devi will keep Jake in line while I am gone 😉

Posted by on 09.07.2017 in Devi

This week we have a picture extravaganza!  We just returned from a 3 day trip to southern Illinois, where we spent time hiking and just hanging out.  We didn’t have more than a bar or two of cell phone service, and most of the time we didn’t even have that.  The house we stayed in didn’t have WIFI, either, so I have a huge backlog of email to work through tomorrow.  It was very peaceful to not have to worry about work, though!

On our trip we hiked about 7 miles, most of which was in wooded areas.  We hiked the Little Grand Canyon trail along with most of the trails in Ferne Clyffe State Park.  We found lots of little streams and a couple of waterfalls.  Devi enjoyed some swimming and wading.  We saw lots of wildlife, including a couple of fawns that couldn’t have been more than a day old.  Devi was bigger than they were!

We finished off our mini-vacation with a stop at Jake’s uncle’s house in southeastern Missouri for a family get-together. Devi was allowed to run free with their dog (rat terrier, not a fan of Devi) and their daughter’s dog (lab mix, 4 months old, very interested in Devi).  Devi ignored the rat terrier the whole time, even when she came up to Devi barking, and acted like she was going to bite at her legs.  Good girl!  Devi also enjoyed having the run of the property, and wore herself out.  Don’t worry though, she left time to make friends with all the people.  She allowed everyone the chance to give her butt scratches… 🙂  Jake’s aunt grows gourds to make bird houses for purple martins, and she was showing us what the gourds look like before she treats them.  Devi got a lot of laughs when she grabbed the gourd by it’s stem and ran around with it like she’d won a big prize.  I didn’t act fast enough to get a picture of it, but it was pretty funny!

 

 

Posted by on 25.06.2017 in Devi

It has been a slow news week here in Nashville.  The weather has been iffy, but we’ve snuck some runs in while we could, and some yard play in when we couldn’t.

Posted by on 18.06.2017 in Devi

Devi and I have been working on our precision heeling, and are slowly making progress.  She’s gotten pretty reliable on her pivot disc, but as soon as I remove it, she reverts back to gluing her head to my thigh.  I don’t see a ton of point in taking her to shows when I know we’re going to lose 5 points automatically in heeling without making any “mistakes”.  We will probably spend the next few months working on this with the goal of re-entering competitions in the winter months.

In other news, poor Devi got attacked by a loose dog this past week.  She was on a walk (leashed) with Jake and a neighbor’s large dog escaped its yard, ran over, and jumped Devi.  Jake was able to head the dog off when it came back for round 2, and no harm was done to Devi.  In all honesty, she didn’t seem concerned about it at all, but Jake was livid (and so was I when he got home and told me about it!).  Here’s to a dog with a solid temperament!

 

Posted by on 14.06.2017 in Devi

Stray doggie.

This past week was another hectic one!  On Tuesday morning, Devi and I went for a run in the park, and ran straight into a dog.  Limping around, at 5am, in the fog.  No owner.  We jogged home and I left Devi, and drove back down to the park hoping that someone else had picked the dog up.  No luck.  He was super friendly, had no problem hopping in the car with me, and so I brought him home.  He was older, and obese, and had a collar but no tag.  I took him to the vet when they opened – no microchip.  I tried to get him an appointment at the humane society, but it turns out, they don’t accept dogs over the age of 8.  He’s pretty close to 8 if he’s not there already.  His leg was clearly causing him pain, so I took him to the vet, and they turned him over to metro animal control.  They have a vet on staff and by all accounts, they are doing a really good job of caring for dogs.  I’ve been keeping an eye on him via their website, and he looks much better.  Still no sign of his people though…  (and really, who believes that an injured dog just happened to wander out into the middle of a park at 5AM?).  Anyway, I hope some kind soul adopts him.  Jake would murder me if I took him 😉

Merle in her favorite gait, canter!

The other big news for the week is regarding horses!  Merlé and I went to our first show together.  We had 2 rides on Saturday and one on Sunday.  The first ride on Saturday was a total disaster.  Merlé’s last competitions (prior to me taking the reins) were in FEI (international level) dressage.  In those tests, you enter the arena at a canter.  So, what does she want to do with me?, enter the arena at a canter.  Too bad that in my test, you are *supposed* to enter at a trot.  So, we cantered the first part of the trot work, and then it became clear that she was not going to trot, so I just withdrew from the test.  The second test was only an hour later, but she managed to trot in, and we ended up scoring a 66% for first place.  On Sunday we repeated the test that we flubbed the day before, and while it wasn’t perfect (and she still tried to tell me we should be cantering), we got through it.  We ended up with a 63% and another first place.

Poor Devi wants to know when the blog posts are going to be about HER again?!  🙂

Posted by on 04.06.2017 in Devi

It was a busy work week for me, and poor Devi was feeling a bit neglected.  I worked from home on Friday, which she enjoyed, but she didn’t get to accompany me anywhere this weekend.  It’s gotten too hot for her to come to the barn unless I know that the owner’s dog will be away, so poor Devi had to stay home with Jake while I went to ride.  Training wise, we are still working on our precision heeling.  She’s starting to get it, but she needs pretty constant reminders to keep her head off my leg.  I’m sure it will come, with time.  We’ve also started to work on Denise’s engagement class, which so far has been interesting.  Devi is pretty engaged at home, so we’re keeping up with the class work just fine, but I will be interested to see how she does when we practice in more difficult environments.

Posted by on 29.05.2017 in Devi

I am happy to report that we made our return to obedience class this past week.  The instructor was polite and even complimentary of our performance, so that was a nice change.  There are only 2 weeks left in class, and I won’t be sad when this session is over.  In other training news, Devi and I are working through Denise Fenzi’s precision heeling course again.  Devi’s heeling is very enthusiastic, but she’s gotten in the habit of gluing her head to my left thigh, so I am trying to fix that.  We’re making progress.  We are also taking Denise’s class on engagement, which starts June 1st.  I’m hoping to learn a few games for us to play when Devi is in a show so that I can better judge her mental readiness for work.

Posted by on 21.05.2017 in Devi

This weekend Devi got a long overdue haircut; now she’s nearly naked!  We’re on day #4 of 80+ degrees so I hope that she will be more comfortable when we go running.  I haven’t run with her in a couple of weeks, first because she hurt her paw, and then because it has been so hot and humid.  I’m looking forward to having my running buddy back!

 

I’ve also started to work though our old Precision Heeling coursework – I have rewarded too many times with my right hand and created a wrap.  So, back to the basics we go!  I have also decided I will return to our in person obedience class, if for no reason other than to not let the instructor ruin it for me.  I was thinking about posting about the incident on the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy FB group.  It’s usually a safe place to get a “there, there” and commiserate with likeminded people.  Well, I am sure glad I didn’t do it, because as I was scrolling through my FB news feed this morning, I saw that the instructor herself is a member of that FB group.  What she is doing there I do not know, since clearly the way FDSA trains is not the way she trains, but the fact remains, she’s a member.  Will keep that in mind going forward… 😉