Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dumbbell Games

Now that we finally have a dumbbell with us (give me a break here - I was packing a lot of stuff!), Queezle and I are back to working on take/hold. She has the general idea of the retrieve, and will take the dumbbell in her mouth for a split second. Right now I'm trying to expand on that.

Today I realized an easy way for us to practice the retrieve during our daily routine. When I'm trying to read/study, Queezle will inevitably bring out her rubber peppermint toy and drop it on my book. Sooner or later when I throw it for her she knocks it under the couch. It's usually only a few inches under - she could easily reach it but instead of using her paws productively she flails around making a huge din and accomplishing nothing. Then of course she expects me to get the peppermint out for her. So now the deal is - you want the peppermint? Bring me the dumbbell. When she makes her peevish two-year-old noise, I slide the dumbbell a little way across the room, and then she's expected to bring it to me. She figured it out right off, and while she gives me a long-suffering look, she retrieves it! Then I fish out the peppermint and we go back to that game.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ithaca is Gorges

Stereotypical though it may be, Ithaca really is gorges (and gorgeous!). After a week of walking Queezle in a grassy area around the corner from our apartment, it occurred to me that I didn't know what was up the driveway we usually stopped at. There was no house or anything, just a small parking area, and voila! A little park, complete with gorge access.

The park is absolutely wonderful - packed paths leading through a few trees and along the cliff, plus a wide rocky "beach" alongside Fall Creek. Following the cliffs back, there's a beautiful waterfall with a nice area for swimming.

I loved going down into the gorge to read last year, so this is the perfect study spot! Queezle and I are particularly fond of a little hollow surrounded by trees and bushes along the water's edge.

Although Queezle isn't quite sure if swimming is a good idea - You want me to WHAT? - she is willing to wade and splash around after me. I keep waiting for her to notice the crayfish!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back on the hill!

The girls and I have had a very busy past couple weeks. First, at the August agility trials in Cato, NY we had three qualifying runs. Tia earned her 8th and 9th MJP legs (only one more to go!), and Queezle earned her first XF leg! Flash was wild as ever and had a grand time, but didn't qualify at all.

After doing two days of agility, we headed to the Tioga Kennel Club shows for the weekend. On Saturday, Flash got a Veteran Herding Group 3! Queezle went Best of Breed both days over a very large and nice Terv entry, which gave her two 5 point majors toward her Grand Champion! We didn't get any Group placements, but getting all those GRCH points more than made up for that. She is now up to 12 points and 2 majors out of the required 25 points and 3 majors. We won't be doing any more breed shows for a while though because she is blowing coat like no tomorrow - I feel like I fill my trashcan with hair every day!

Moving into the apartment has gone very smoothly, and Queezle is adjusting quite well. As you can see from the photo, she is hardly stressed.

Queezle tagged along for the marching band's second annual scavenger hunt, and also came to the welcome back picnic, so she has met a LOT of new people over the past week. Sometimes I can tell she is irritated with me sitting around reading and writing, but I do think she is happy to be here with me. Although we don't have air conditioning, she has been lounging in front of a big fan almost 24/7. Talk about the dog days of summer.