the sheltiechick blog

Playing in the Leaves

We were going to head out to the Farmer’s Market this morning, but didn’t get to. So instead, we played in the leaves in the backyard!

It’s lovely weather today.

Auggie is rather proud of himself. For what, I’m not sure, but he is indeed proud.

Warning: Dog Never Stops Smiling.

Pounce into leaf pile in three…



Knuckle Bone For The Knuckle Head

After a lot of consideration and recommendations from other people, I decided it would be a fun treat for Auggie to get him a knuckle bone. He has some tartar built up on his teeth that I cannot get at to scrape off (his top tooth closes over the bottom tooth RIGHT where I need to scrape) and I want to do whatever I can to avoid having him need a tooth cleaning at any point in his life.

So I requested the butcher at the grocery save me a knuckle bone, and I went to pick it up yesterday.

The bone is BIGGER than Auggie’s head – but why should that stop him?

Fancy Auggie gets his raw meat on a plate. (I couldn’t think of a good reason to take it off the styrofoam from the butcher before he started chewing it.)

Auggie says “What do I do with this? Do I… lick it?”

“Ohhhh, I do THIS!!”

“This is delicious!”

“Ommm nom nom nom nom”

“Now I nom on this side of my mouth!” (That’s right, buddy, get those teeth clean on BOTH sides.)

“Sinew is a delectable treat.”

It’s gotten nice and filthy by this point…

Dirt is just like sprinkles!

I gave it to him for about fifteen minutes, then washed all the dirt off it, chucked it into a plastic bag, and stuck it into the freezer. He’ll get it again tonight, and hopefully after a few days he’ll be able to start really getting to work and getting his teeth nice and clean!

Trial #3, Day 2

Early success can be kind of a bad thing.
You sort of start to expect the good luck to continue.
When it doesn’t, you’re not sure what to make of it.

Today’s JWW course was a LOT better for my lame brain than yesterday. A tunnel separated the first third of jumps from the second third; weave poles separated the second third from the final third of jumps.
However, Mister Auggie HIT THE BRAKES on the weaves after doing 10 of them. Hit the brakes! I was prepared for him to pop out of the last jump – he has been doing that lately – but not a complete stop! It might have been faster to pull him all the way back to the beginning and have him start over, but I decided to simply direct him through the last two jumps. However, this took time – time that put us too far over to qualify.

Still a very good run. Auggie is not the fastest dog in the world, and I am really more concerned with accuracy before speed… but there are times that he forces me to change my plan. I walked the course with a front cross after jump – oh, I dunno, 10 or so – and he was WAY ahead of me as he soared over that jump. There was no hustling to get in front of him. The front cross was because an off-course jump was set directly in front and I was hoping to cross and block him off from that jump. Because I did not make my cross, I instead had to CALL CALL CALL and stop him from off-coursing.
And he responded to my call off, which makes me very proud… but not as proud as what happened next, because (and I don’t even remember doing this, but I have seen the video so I know it happened!) I still wanted to be on the inside of the jumps and curl him around into the weaves. So my body decided to do a rear cross over a jump… and rear cross we did. He was fantastic, especially for a dog that really hates to lose sight of me and dislikes rear crosses.

Standard, on the other hand.
He was distracted. He was tired. Two days may just be too much for my little guy right now. Until he matures some, we may not be doing two days anymore.
First disaster: I had two choices – try and do a front cross in an area I didn’t think I had room to cross, or try and rear cross him into a tunnel. As I said, this dog hates rear crosses, especially into a tunnel. I made the wrong choice… I should have tried the front cross. He wouldn’t go into the tunnel. He almost decided to go into the WRONG side of the tunnel. He stopped in the middle of the tunnel bend to take a sniffy-sniffy at the sand bags holding the tunnel. He FINALLY got into the tunnel.
Second disaster: He came out of the tunnel and was supposed to go over a triple jump. He CRASHED into the jump. I do not mean he knocked a bar, I mean he crashed into it. It was actually hard to see if he even really attempted to jump the bars as opposed to just charging right through them.
Third disaster: He skipped the tire jump. Who cares. He already knocked a bar so that’s a NQ. I’m not wasting time when he’s obviously already stressed and tired by trying to get him back around and through the tire jump.
Fourth disaster: He came off the a-frame and crashed into another jump. I slowed and almost stopped. I thought he was hurt. He kept going, so I had to speed up again to catch up.
Fifth disaster: He crashes into yet another jump. At this point, I seriously almost waved to the judge and said “We’re finished, thank you,” picked him up, and carried him off the course. I was VERY concerned, because he has never dropped a single bar in his agility career before, and now he crashes into three separate jumps? Jumping TWELVE instead of sixteen, too.

But he was still willing and was not limping, so I went ahead and did the final two obstacles with him – a set of weave poles and one final jump, which he cleared.

We have lots of theories about what happened, but in the end, he just checked out. He wasn’t interested in running the course. But, as J said, he was still smiling after it all (I was holding him afterwards and giving his muscles a massage to make sure he wasn’t hurt and wouldn’t be stiff the next day – no wonder he was smiling!)

It’s hard to go home with no ribbons for the weekend after so much early success. I mean, a title on my first agility dog after only two trials? And then a Q-less weekend. It’s rough.
But there were lots of positives in our Jumpers run, he did ALL of his contacts on both days…
and, as always – and most importantly – Auggie and I are learning more and more about each other.

Trial #3, Day 1

Our first time in Open Jumpers, and a complete disaster because I’m an idiot! There’s really a certain level of hilarity in sending your dog over a jump and going “OH NO CRAP” while he’s in the air over the jump because you just realized that you went from #6 to #10… yeeeeah that’s not the right jump in the sequence! No Q, because I’m a moron!! But Auggie does remarkably well with an idiot as a handler. His weaves – 12 of them – were just goooorgeous!
I swear, I’m blonde under all this red.

Standard was an interesting experience. I thought it was easy-peasy after all of that goofiness in Jumpers, but then… some guy is sitting near the table, for some bizarre reason, wearing dark sunglasses. Auggie gets into his sit on the table, and then – and he’s never done this before – TURNS AROUND, sees the guy behind him, and goes “Oh hi!” Off the table he goes, and over to the spotter. What the crap!! He has NEVER gone up to a spotter in his (granted, short) agility career! I finally get him back up on the table, and fail to remember that the dog walk was right behind us. I should have been standing at a different location. When I call him off, instead of going over the jump, he off-courses and takes the dog walk back the other direction.

Now, at the very first Fun Run I ever went to with Auggie… he went up the dog walk. Then he went back up the dog walk. Then back up the dog walk. THEN BACK UP THE DOG WALK. It must have been six times or more than he went back and forth over that dog walk. So I’m almost beside myself with panic, imagining this scenario happening again – this time on an actual course. I would just die from embarrassment… DIE.

So PRAISE the agility gods, I called him to me CLEARLY away from the dog walk and took him back towards the table, then away we go, over the correct jump and on to finish the course.

So much for easy-peasy!

A bit of a rough day for many people. It was an EXTREMELY long day because FAST classes were running, and they went first. We’re still in Novice Standard, and for this trial, JWW came before Standard… so our last run was the very last run of the day. We got there around 9AM and were leaving around 5:30PM. Very, very, very long day for the dogs.
The one positive is that Auggie measured “right at 14” and the judge said “Well, this wicket is a little off. What are you entered in? 12? That’s fine.”
So, hey! We finally got to compete at the 12 inch level!

How To Play Fetch With Auggie

A Step-by-step Instruction Manual

1) Have Auggie bring you a toy.
2) Throw the toy.
3) Auggie retrieves the toy.
4) Repeat steps 1 through 3 three or four times.
5) Auggie stops five feet from you and drops the toy.
6) Demand that he bring you the toy because you cannot reach it.
7) Auggie picks up the toy, comes forward one step, and drops the toy approximately four and a half feet from you.
8) Repeat step 7 multiple times, with toy never reaching you.
9) Inform Auggie that you are not going to play if he will not bring you the toy.
10) Begin doing something else.
11) Auggie gets another toy out of the toybox and brings that to you instead.
12) Inform Auggie that you don’t WANT that toy, you want the OTHER toy.
13) Auggie looks at other toy.
14) Tell Auggie “Yes! The dinosaur!! Bring me the dinosaur!”
15) Auggie looks away from the toy, turns back to second toy he got out of toybox, and brings that to you instead.
16) Give in. Repeat steps 1 through 3 three or four times.
17) Auggie stops five feet from you and drops the toy.
18) Immediately inform him you are NOT going to play this game.
19) Go back to doing something else.
20) Auggie gets a third toy out of the toybox and brings that to you instead.
21) Tell him no, that toy is no different. You want the OTHER toy.
22) Auggie looks at first toy.
23) Tell Auggie “YES. The DINOSAUR. I want the DINOSAUR. Get it. GET it Auggie GET THE DINOSAUR GET IT GET IT GET IT.”
24) Auggie picks up the third toy and presents that to you instead.
25) Get up, get the first toy yourself. Shake it in his face. Throw first toy.
26) Auggie retrieves first toy, then stops five feet from you and drops the first toy.
27) REFUSE to play this game and go back to doing something else.
28) Auggie gets his big stuffed puppy out of his crate and brings you that.
29) Tell him no, no, no. Get up and get the first toy again. Throw the first toy.
30) Auggie runs after the first toy, but does not put down big stuffed puppy – that is, Auggie runs after his dinosaur toy while dragging his big stuffed puppy along.
31) Auggie attempts to pick up dinosaur with big stuffed puppy still in mouth.
32) Auggie drops puppy and picks up dinosaur.
33) Auggie tries to pick up puppy with dinosaur still in mouth.
34) Auggie drops dinosaur and picks up puppy.
35) Auggie returns to you sans dinosaur, but still dragging big stuffed puppy along.
36) Give up entirely.

Just in case any of you were ever wondering and should need instructions.


I decided to try out some of the yoga poses on my Wii Fit. I did the downward dog a few times because I apparently wasn’t doing it right – I was putting too much weight on my feet, the Wii Trainer kept informing me. “You are putting too much weight on your feet. You are putting too much weight on your feet.” Over and over in that slightly-chipper, yet slightly-negative Wii Fit voice that makes you kind of want to punch it in the face, were the Wii Fit to have a face. So finally, about the third time through, I adjusted how I was standing – and viola! That was the correct pose!
…and then HERE COMES AUGGIE wanting to see what’s up.

And by “see what’s up” I mean that he walked underneath me, looked up


So I’m trying to keep a precarious yoga pose, trying to tell him “NO AUGGIE NO” while simultanously trying to avoid opening my mouth and getting a french kiss, and also trying to flail at him a little and get him to knock it off.
I totally failed.

I had told Auggie that I was going to buy a dog yoga book and we could do some yoga, but this was NOT what I had in mind.