Apr 072014
 

by Doranna

THE GOOD:

Agility milestones for Connery Beagle!  Now that he’s earned a MACH3, Connery is running in Preferred classes (that is, jumping four inches lower).  He was always the shortest and heaviest dog in his jump height…Beagles are meant to be sturdy little things.  And he likes it Very Much!

He’s qualified in eleven of his twelve runs since then, and taken first place each time.  At ten years old there’s no telling how long he’ll have this much joy in running, but right now we’re having a blast with it!

connery_DSC6958-(ZF-1106-69731-1-002).SM Continue reading »

Mar 252014
 
P1020568SMM

by Doranna

On the doing of things…

Sometimes life piles up so fast it’s hard to keep up–and it’s hard to remember why you’re doing what in the first place.

cb.bone..506I started this blog while listening to the grind of merry little hound teeth on a Nylabone, while the hound in question (Connery) happily sprawled over the world’s ugliest hotel carpet.

Not kidding. World’s UGLIEST. Continue reading »

Mar 102014
 

by Doranna

In the last tracking blog, in the wake of a difficult experience in El Paso, I was getting ready for another tracking test on the 3rd.  I muttered about some of the challenges of getting tracking tests–finding the tests, dealing with the luck factor, maintaining the focus, blah blah blah.

So, on the third, we took the test, along with five other teams.  This is what we all woke up to:

Ooh.  Look.  Clouds caught up on the Sandias.  Cannot bode well for us.

Ooh. Look. Clouds caught up on the Sandias. Cannot bode well for us.

Continue reading »

Mar 052014
 

A Blue Hound Beagles Blog

(A Dog Agility Blog Event: Starting your puppy)

0405.31.connery.bone.19Talk about awesome reinforcement timing!  This past month, in some weird universal coincidence, big lots of people (okay, a couple) asked me exactly this–when did I start training?  How?  And now here we are, officially chatting about it for the Blog Event!

So here’s my easy answer:  I start my puppies the moment they come home.

Now, anyone who’s gasping, “She puts her puppies over jumps/on the a-frame/dogwalk/WHUTEVER” should just slap their own heads.   Just pause right now and take care of that little chore for me.
Continue reading »

Feb 152014
 

by Doranna

I find that whatever I’m doing with my animals, I usually run into lessons that apply to writing.  Or to living.  All our critters have something to teach us–maybe some more than others.

ConneryBeagle: Me!  This must be about ME!

Oh, it must be.  And not just randomly, but because we are in celebration mode!

Celebrate! Continue reading »

Dec 292013
 

by Doranna

IDIOPATHIC.

badwordWe probably all have our Worst Words.  That one’s mine.

It means, roughly, disease without known cause.*

*PS That we have no idea how to treat because really, nothing truly works and good luck with that.

Over the years, all of my Lyme symptoms have been idiopathic (and now that they’re not, no one knows how to fix them anyway). Continue reading »

Dec 212013
 

by Doranna

For the past six weeks, Rena Beagle has been on a rabbit-only diet.

Here’s something that most people don’t ponder very often:  rabbit is a lean meat.  A leeeean meat.  It is not, in fact, enough of anything but lean meat to keep a little girl Beagle going, even when fed whole prey.

(Yes, we got her whole ground rabbit, from the most awesome Hare Today.  Every bit of said rabbit put through the grinder.  And don’t let anyone ever tell you that a dog can’t hork up a hairball.)

So Rena, on her rabbit food, quickly lost weight.  Soon I was giving her twice her normal portion just to maintain what weight she had left, and finally I got her a tummy warmer to wear all the time.

(Sometimes she uses a Dart warmer.)

rena.dart.warmer

And let us not talk about what rabbit costs.  No.  Seriously.  I don’t want to think about it.  NA NA NA NA I CAN’T HEAR YOU ASKING.*

Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

by Doranna

The kitchen, the night before...

The kitchen, the night before…

When we last saw our heroes (AKA Dart & Connery Beagle), they were preparing to take the imminent Variable Surface Tracking test…not much expecting to pass, given our ongoing family crises, training interruptions, and etc (well, even without those things, because this is hard!). Continue reading »

Nov 302013
 

by Doranna

I almost chickened out.

The VST (Variable Surface Tracking test) is one of those ultimate tests, requiring skill and trust and teamwork (and good weather and good luck!)and still, with all that, the passing percentages wobble around 5-8% of the teams who take the test.

That’s not a lot.

So when things went totally wonky a month ago, I thought hard about withdrawing. (I missed 2/3 of a favorite agility trial when I had an excitingly intractable heart arrhythmia and ended up at the hospital via ambulance, and the next day my family became immersed in an ongoing in-and-out of ICU saga with my dad.) Continue reading »