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Oct
18

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Behind every photo shoot are the great blooper shots.   This shoot was even more fun than our first with the siblings because they like each other but do not want to sit near each other.  Each photo tells a really good story of this and I found it very entertaining.  Thought I would share.  🙂

 

IMG_0869 IMG_0870 IMG_0871 IMG_0872 IMG_0873 IMG_0874 IMG_0875 IMG_0876 IMG_0877 IMG_0878 IMG_0879 IMG_0880 IMG_0881 IMG_0882 IMG_0883 IMG_0884 IMG_0885 IMG_0886 IMG_0887 IMG_0888

 

and for all my friends that like to check out body language, Sin was not stress “licking” in his top photo, I had just given him a cookie as I was doing for Carbon in the photo.  As for Envy, yes, she is all about the stress licking.   The looks, leans, avoidance  – yep, they love each other!!!  loo    What is best is they are all really good friends!!!

 

 

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Oct
17

most of us want to know where all the time goes and how come we don’t have enough of it.  Most of us are forced to make choices about what will get done and what won’t.  Many of us will go to bed just as we woke up – feeling tired, anxious, stressed and sad that we will not or did not get “it all done”.

I spend a lot of time trying to figure it all out so that it can all get done, it feels a lot like a cat chasing it’s tail.  Last weekend I house sat with my daughter and my best friend for a weekend.  We got in a lot of relaxation, talking and catching up, talking about wedding plans and watching reality t.v.   We played with the dogs, visited with the cats and were entertained by the shenanigans around us.  We cleaned, straightened, dusted and organized.  We also managed to cook dinner, wash dishes, sweep floors and finish homework.  What was missing?  Stress, chaos, and things that did not get done.  Why?  Because this was not our life, this was a small “piece” of someone elses life.   We were only given the tasks of those things that “absolutely” had to be done.  Our priorities were set out for us. When the day was over we were happy, satisfied that we had not only achieved what we “absolutely” had to get done but we were able to do more than we had to do.  There was not lazy resting but needed resting. There was not the stress of running out of time or being interrupted but other priorities.

When I came home I was faced with “my” reality.  The list of all of “my” things that “absolutely” had to be done.  And then there was the list of ALL the things that “needed” to be done.  I felt all the chaos and stress return.

Throughout my life I have always heard “you just need to make it a priority”, “If it was a priority, you would get it done”.  I am sure we have all heard those sayings.  It is true, mostly.  But what we have not heard is the real saying “If it was priority you would find something ELSE to give up to get it done”.  That is the reality.  It is not that is is not important, it is just that it is not an “absolutely”.  We know what we can put off, we know how long we can put it off.  We know we have to go to work. We know the family has to eat, the dogs have to be fed, the children have to be taken to school and picked up.  Our lives are about juggling the “absolutes” and doing them when they are no longer able to be put off.  The laundry only HAS to be done when we are out of clean clothes, the dishes HAVE to be done when we have no more clean silverware or plates.  The bills HAVE to be paid before the late fees or shut off letters.  But until then, we can juggle our priorities and get the “absolute-lies” done.

We will put off those things that make us happy and give us pleasure because they are not a priority, they do not have to done.  The fact really is that we need them.  We need to do the things that give us pleasure and happiness.  We need to feel a sense of satisfaction  every single day.  Somehow we need to figure out how to feel accomplished at the end of our days without the looming list of all we did not manage to get done.  The fact is we do too much, expect too much and try to accomplish the impossible – we try to clear the list.

I am not fine with not getting my house clean, I am not okay with rushed dinners and dishes in the sink.  I realize that the  things  still on my list haunt me and I want to do them, I want to feel fulfillment and accomplishment.  I want to get “it all done”.  I need to make room for those things that give me pleasure without the guilt of giving up something else.  I have no answers, just the undying desire to find an answer.  I won’t give up…. as much as I want to surrender to the defeat.  Everyday is a struggle of balance, everyday I give something up.  I figure if enough days go by I will have given up enough to make room for a much smaller list consisting only of a much happier list.  Then maybe I will have time to have a cup of coffee and breathe, and think only about the moment and not about what I should have been doing instead.

Enjoy those things that make you happy and do it without the pressure of thinking you should be doing something else.  Think about the things that really  matter, who cares about the rest, right?  I tell myself this everyday, one day –   one day I will believe it.   🙂

 

Oct
10

Went for my two week appointment today… she was looking to take out the stitches that hubby had already done for me.  Said all looks good.   Got my lecture for not going to physical therapy, that lasted a while.  She showed me what not to do – yeah, kind of figured all that already.  🙂  Have been off crutches for two days.  It feels pretty good.  She says the pain I have now is all normal and from them having to go through all these muscles to do the work and then the work itself.  “No running, jogging, turning, pivoting or other agility related stuff”.   What?????????????   LOL  Yeah, kind of figured.  So, four more weeks of basic nothingness then we begin strength training, which by the way they want me in physical therapy to do, yep, cuz I would have no idea what to do anyway, and it is not like I own, oh say a stair climber, treadmill, stationary bicycle, free weights, two weight benches, ankle weights and an agility center.  🙂   I could probably never figure out how to build back up on my own with all the thousands of helpful internet sights and my gymnastics and dancing background    hee hee    Anyway, I know, I know.. they have to say that, it is important… got it.

So, bottom line, how am I feeling?  Pretty good.  I got to get up and do housework today.  🙂  Tomorrow Katelyns Auntie comes into to town to see us over the weekend and we are going to go out and house sit for a friend with Katelyn.  I think it will be a blast to just hang out away from our zoo for a little while.  Looking forward to it.  Hubby has authorized it so we are going  🙂  No one told me  how difficult it would be after surgery to keep your head.  Surgery was actually the easy part, but not being  physically able to do anything sucks!  My husband and family have been awesome helping and not complaining so I am deeply grateful for their patience.  All my students have been extremely patient with me as well so none of that added to the stress.  However, not being able to work my dogs also stinks and I cannot wait to get back to that.  🙂   Four more weeks before what I do can even half way resemble training a dog, or agility but we will do what we can.  I am currently looking for a personal trainer to help get me back to better than before and trying to get my derailed caboose back on the tracks where it belongs.  Mostly, the mental thing is a killer but the physical is coming along as expected.

Thank you everyone for all the well wishes and cards and good thoughts and everything else, I have the best circle.  🙂

 

Sep
29

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Slept well last night.  Amazing since I slept almost all day yesterday.  Today – Sunday, day 4 after surgery feeling pretty good.  I got up in the morning.  Today I am off all the medications except the aspirin.  They say I have to take one special aspirin a day (no idea what it is but it is huge! No worries, I will take whatever medication that I feel I need, but so far I have been able to just do something else. Since tomorrow I have to start driving I guess I need to be off stuff.  🙂    I have taken some photos of the hip – yuck!!!!  pretty scary bruising.

I feel better every day.  I can now bend down to reach my foot.  Thats a big one.  I no longer need to prop my knee up to sleep and the really, really big one was being able to sleep on that right side!!!!!!  Well, I have to be careful because if I accidentally hit the stitches, oowww.  🙂  I get tired really quickly, but so far today I have been awake without a nap.   lol.

Tomorrow I go to P/T for the first time, so I hopefully will get to see what I get to work on.  I have been doing the exercises that they gave me on the first day, each day they have gotten easier.  Sitting and standing is now so much easier too.  Swelling, still high.   Thats pretty ugly  too  lol.

One day at a time I hope will bring good progress.  I feel really foggy still and weak, the bummer is I feel like I should be able to do things but I can’t do anything on the darn crutches.   So today I folded socks!!!    I will post photos..  sorry for that in advance.  There are no naked photos so no worries.  lol!!!!!!

IMG_4900        Taken the day after surgery I believe, very swollen

IMG_4902This is a tough view .  It is straight down my hip (thigh) very, very swollen!

IMG_4901 IMG_4904 IMG_4903 Yucky swelling.

IMG_4906 IMG_4905 and pretty colors now!

 

Sep
28

Everything went fine for the surgery.  They took great care of me at the hospital.  I have to say that just about everything they said included a phrase like “sure, but you probably wont remember”…  well, I do , I remember every detail at every step.  So whoever the two students were that were having an argument with me about what I would remember (and you both know who you are and what this was about )..  I REMEMBERED IT ALL   🙂   Just saying.  Anyway, things went well as I said.  They found the labral tear, made the repair, found a bone spur and removed that.  They also removed some bursa in my side (I have no idea what that means or if I am even saying it right) but I do know that means I have three holes in my leg that now need to heal.  The doctor feels this will do a lot to helping me be pain free.   Yesterday I spoke to the PT guy.  He was REALLY excited that I did agility, but sorry that does not make me more excited about P.T.  That starts on Monday and I hate it already.  He gave me a page of exercises that I could do in my sleep, why do I need someone watching me.   Every doctor I have knows how much I HATE HATE HATE P.T. so that will probably be the most painful part of this whole thing.

As for the nausea, I felt it the second I got out of surgery and pain as well.  They did talk me into doing a nerve block, but assured me it was nothing like the nerve block I had in my shoulder and it was not.  They did an awesome job managing the drugs to keep me comfortable and the second out of surgery they gave me meds in the i.v. and I was much better.  I took a pain med at 9:00 on Wednesday evening to make sure I was ahead of things, mostly because I didn’t know what I would feel once the block and hospital meds wore off.  Once the nausea returned I knew I would not be taking any of those.  Yesterday they did give me heavy duty meds for nauseasa (the ones they give chemo patients they said) and the patch while in surgery, but that was all they could do, So I  decided if I didn’t need need meds for pain I would skip.  So far so good.

I am up today, 30% weight bearing, got that.  Shhh, but went and played chuck it with the dogs because everyone in my house kept telling me later and they kept saying now.     So at least the pups were happy.  Ice and Sin have been amazing with me… so careful around me.  Epic tries, but he is just Epic.

Anyway, took a shower today and  feeling better all cleaned and got all the writing off my leg.  lol    I am taking it easy through the weekend, best I can.  I know my family is tired already, so I am trying to do more for myself.  Keep you posted.  OH…. my hip is hideously swollen!   🙂   Just saying!!!!  Yuck big time.   🙂

 

Till later… thank you everyone for all the well wishes, cards and flowers.   🙂   They have all made me smile in this time of trauma and drama.  Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.  🙂

Sep
23

During my down time of about 5 months I decided that I would do some quality training and re-training of my dogs.  It was a really good decision on my part.  I was adamant that I would not take time from Ice’s competing to retrain his contacts because I knew it would be about six months .   However, since I have to be down the decision was easy.  I have been getting a lot of really good training done of Epic and Sin, and some really good retrain for Ice on contacts.  Our Aframe is now at full height as of last night so we have not run it yet but I was surprised that we were that close to full height already.  We only moved it about once a week and with six weeks under our belt we made it to full height.  Our teeter is not going as well, still hit or miss.  Our dogwalk is down low, just started working that but have been having great sessions.  Sin has been doing awesome with his sequencing.  I am realizing things he has not learned yet so this has been good for him as well.  I only jump him at 10″ still and don’t do a lot of wraps but he has learned them.  Our contacts are just the last plank (lowered) of the dog walk and bottom performance only on the a-frame (haven’t done that in a long time though).  Taking our time has been great.  Epic is really doing well, trying hard for me.  I have learned to be more patient with him, working out well for both of us.

The really cool thing is the lack of pressure to rush through and push my dogs too hard.  Since I know that I cannot compete for months there is no impatience on my part.  The sessions are short, laid back and very positive.  All three of the dogs are very happy puppies.  They really enjoy their sessions and I am enjoying working with them.  It is amazing what a little pressure does to a person and what a little less pressure can do for a person.

I am certainly not happy about what has happened with my hip but I am very happy about the things it has meant and will mean for my agility and my dogs going forward.  It has also given me lots of time to readjust my thought process of the whole thing.  So far this is a good thing.  🙂

Sep
19

Okay.  We have the final verdict.  I went back to the doctor that did my treatment on my muscles last week.  He said my hips stayed level (that was good) he also said that I was about 75% better than last week on some things.  However, I still had a lot of pain. He said he would suggest having the gluteous area scoped as mentioned..  He said that he would not say to do it on it’s own, but since they will already be in there it will just mean another port rather than an entire procedure.  😦     So three holes is better than two.  😦

Anyway, he talked about what to expect after the surgery – expect soreness, expect inflammation.  He also said that it is going to take physical therapy, rest and time.  So that is it.  🙂  I am not good at any of those things,  lol, this ought to be interesting!   🙂

The good thing is the doctor said although this is a side track to what I want to be doing, he feels that in the end I will be up and running and doing what I need to be doing again soon.

Next week, rent crutches and mentally prep.

 

 

Sep
15

I want to start out saying that I am thrilled!  And I am very proud of both Ice Man and myself on this first attempt at our NW3 title.  I guess by my use of the word “attempt” you already got that we did not get it  🙂   BUT, we sure were darn close.

This trial was in McCoy Colorado, population 24, phones 1  🙂   Nice quiet little 3 1/2 hour hike.  Ice and I thankfully drove out on Thursday night through rain, darkness, standing water on the roads, lightning, fog and debris on the road.  We arrived in Eagle around 8:45 p.m. to a hotel that was only 1/2 built!!   LOL  actually they were expanding and the entire other side of the hotel was really pretty nice.  The next morning left us a 45 minute drive to McCoy.

Our container and exterior searches were done at a community center (former K-12 school)  🙂  The vehicle search was behind a little senior center and the interior search was done inside the senior center.  Our first element was vehicles.  Five – a tractor type vehicle, a three-horse trailer, two cars and a pick up truck.   Our second element was the exterior.  A huge area with 4 picnic tables, a bbq grill, a bbq pit with chairs, a table with chairs, four chairs alone, a doorway, with wall,  well – you get it – lots of stuff!  🙂  Our third element was containers in the gym. And our final element was the interior.  Ice Man rocked it all!  Mom?  She was a nervous mess!  The hardest part for me for NW3 turned out to be not knowing how we did until it was all over  😦   That was not a good feeling at all.  However, it does keep you moving forward, at least trying to.  It does play with your head a lot!!!!  But at the end of the day I found out that we had nailed all of the elements but the last room of interior.  🙂

Lessons learned… good ones though.  I thought I had them all but apparently I didn’t think about the one where you have to keep concentrating on the dog when you just want to leave the room!  lol.    This very last room was  SO hot!!!  All I could think was that I wanted out of that room.  Ice found two of the hides and had I not wanted to leave I would have double checked the area that actually contained the third hide.  Darn it again.  what was so cool, kind of, was that the second I said “finished” Ices nose went up and I KNEW there was another hide.  So close!

We never heard any warning times Yeah!!!  and we got a First place in Vehicles, a Second place in Containers (off by one second!!!!) and would have had a Second place in Exteriors except Mom broke a rule and ended up dropping a treat and getting a fault.  lol   A lesson I really already knew!!.    We would have also gotten Second place overall if not for that.  🙂   So, not bad for a first attempt.  I feel good about it and the next time will be even better.

Ice has developed a small issue over the last couple weeks with his searching, we will be looking into solving that.  I have to admit it did throw me this weekend, but we worked through best we could.   He is such a good boy, and a good sport.  🙂   In the end he got 9 out of the 10 needed hides.  🙂

Sep
10

Last night I had my agility 1 class with little Rue (Sin).  This is a class that I really enjoy. It is small and laid back and it is not taught by me!  This class is taught by my daughter and she really does a great job. Not only do I get to participate in the class, but I also get to have an eye on me and what I may be doing correctly or incorrectly.

I thought of my students because part of last nights class included some things that I am sure all students go through at one time or another.  Many of us practice in between lessons and have our own stuff that we work on.  Last night the instructor had us do something that I had already been practicing on my own.  At first I was a little disappointed at what we were going to work on because I had already done some of it on my own I felt I wanted to do something else.  Of course the sequence was not exactly the same, as a matter of fact it was what I thought was a weak point for me and Rue.  However, I quickly realized that I was not in class to A) work only the things I wanted to work and B) work only the things I was good at.   LOL  I did chuckle because I suddenly heard some of my students in my head.

The reason that we go to class is to learn.  Sometimes we get to show off skills we have, sometimes we get to learn things we have never done and sometimes we get to do things we need more practice on.  As an instructor I know the hardest thing is to get people to move out of their comfort zone.  I know we all want to do what we “can” do and don’t always give thought to the “possibilities” of what we could learn if we tried.  🙂   I have been working on my attitude toward my training for so long now that I was able to see what I was doing in class as far as shutting down a little about what I was afraid of.  Because I had decided that during my down time I was going to work on this fear thing I was very much aware of what I was feeling and put it in check right away.   Although class is set up for ME to come and work my dog and learn, class is not set up for ME.  As it turned out there were a few of the skills that we did really well that I was unsure of.  And as it turns out we were able to do more that I thought we could.  But, the key to this was my keeping an open mind to what was being offered and keeping my fear to myself.

Whether or not I work things is up to me, what the instructor plans for a particular evening is up to them, what I get out of a class is totally up to me.  As a student we must remember these things, try things, fail at things, excel at things – it is all in a good nights work.  The only way to get good at something is to work through it, and not be afraid of it.  We learn most from the mistakes we make, rarely do we learn from what we already do well.  That is the hard one for me, but I am working through it.  🙂  It is really awesome to have an instructor, and to have an instructor that is keeping an eye on you and  for you!  😉  We may not always like what they say, but  they are usually right.   And they usually have some really great ideas.

Happy practicing!!!  🙂

Sep
09

Currently I have four dogs in some state of “agility training”.  All are at different places in the process and it got me really thinking about my students and their training.  

With agility there is a TON to learn.  As an instructor I have to decide what things are important and prioritize them.  How I do that may by different that how another instructor does it, but in the end it all gets done.  🙂  I try to keep the pressure off my students by giving them little, doable pieces of the big pictures.  I now and again try to give them a glimpse into the big picture so that they can further understand how it all fits together.  I feel that my job is to try to keep things manageable and not overwhelm.    Can you imagine taking all that you currently know and putting that into about half the time it took you to learn it?  Me either.. too much.   Things take time, things take experience.  There is no way to teach it faster and teach it better.  Some days it feels like we have not done enough, some days it feels like we bit off more than we can chew.

With my personal dogs I have Baby, who is 12 1/2 and pretty much on a maintenance program.  She no longer needs to attend classes or even practice.  I do keep her moving and she attends most classes to hang out and run around.  She is not going to be learning new things, she like myself, is pretty set in her ways and doing it differently just messes things up.  She is a ton of fun to run.

I then have Ice, who is 6 1/2 and pretty set in his ways, but still training.  At this point in his training we are learning to work together as a team.  He knows his job and now we are learning to mesh it with my job.  We push each other to do more, do it faster, to it stronger.  We make a great team.  He was not originally taught the way agility is now done so his wraps are not as tight but his distance and independent obstacle performance rocks.  We get stronger every day we work together.  He too is an absolute dream to run.  He is my special special boy.

Then we have Epic, 5 1/2 years old.  Named because he does nothing small!  He is the bad boy of the group.  He is naughty at every corner.  He is however the most awesome athlete I have ever worked with.  He is fast, focused and crazy.  He and I have had an extremely rocky road together.  It took over 4 months to get him to jump a 12″ jump on his own.  He has put lots of holes in my hands, arms, legs and confidence.  He has taught me more about patience than I even thought I needed.  He works hard and learns always.  We have been in the ring a few times, he is not fun, nor is he a pleasure, but what he is is an amazing dog just waiting for his handler to figure it out.  Im close!  We are getting there.  

Last but not least is my baby boy Sin.  He is 8 months old and a sheer pleasure.  Always happy and ready to work although he insists on short sessions interrupted by lots of tugging!  He is fast, accurate and tried hard.  He is just a baby so working with him takes lots of patience and making sure I break everything down into small doable pieces.  He is soft but perfectly so.  I love this guy and I feel he is going to be a wonder on the field as well.

So as you can see no two are alike or at the same place.  They all started at different times, in different places but will ultimately end up in the same place – on the field with me having a blast.  For us it is the process of working toward a goal with no end.  What you train  your dog can be simple or complex.  You can teach run with me agility or you can teach do it on your own.  You can teach directional s or whichever way my body flows.  The point is that the longest time consuming thing is the training and you cannot put a time frame on that.  You have to take it as it is presented.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals, it just means you cannot rush things.  Your instructor might not teach you everything all at once, but you will get there.  Sometimes we spend time somewhere else first.  No matter what enjoy the process that you are doing, working with teaching and learning all the best lessons from your dog.  No cookie cutter answers are to be found in agility, sometimes you just need to work it through, work it out and let things fall into place.

I am now enjoying what my crew has to offer.  It wasn’t always like that, I took the time to make it that way.  I love how it makes me feel now.  Just me and my dogs, workin the process, takin our time.   Happy Practicing!!!