Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dites-Moi Jeudi

1. What movie do you love but are too embarrassed to admit you love it?
I have horrific taste in movies (and music and TV) and it would take a lot for me to be embarrassed.  I know my friends are embarrassed by how many times I've seen St. Elmo's Fire.  I also was the only person willing to admit that I liked Gattaca.

2.  How far do you drive/travel to attend trials, clinics, lessons? How far is too far?
I'll do a day's worth of driving, so 11-12 hours.  So what's too far?  I guess 13 hours.  :-)  Next year, I want to go to the trial in Sonoma, so that will be more than one day's drive.  I just got a new truck, so I'm itching to explore some wide open spaces.

3. What is your theme song (circa Ally McBeal)?
LOL!  Have you seen the TV show, New Girl?  She makes up little encouraging theme songs for herself on the fly.  I wish I had that kind of talent.  I do have dog-sport theme songs.  Let's see ... when I'm going to the line with Wick in agility, I am humming Edge of Glory, or something by Pink.  Wick is all rebellious, yo.  Going to the post with Lou, it's that Snow Patrol song, Chasing Cars ("If I lay here, if I just lay here ...").  Going to the post with Rex, while my outside voice is hissing threats ("I will EFFING KILL YOU"), our song is K'naan's Waving Flag.

4. If you had to choose a new dog activity, one that you had never done before, what would you choose?
Go to ground.  Definitely.  No cages, keep what you catch.

5. What would your dog choose?
Wick would choose go to ground, or whatever its proper name is.  Lou would like to try sledding, though he would be bundled up in ermine and riding in the sled.  Rex wants to go play in the Ikea ball room.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What the dog sees

I've always had this idea of mounting a video camera on Lou's head, to see what life looks like from the POV of a sheepdog.  Despite Lou having one of the largest heads in border collie history, the camera's never been able to stay mounted.  Until now.  May I present ...

The Looxcie.
Now this, combined with a little bit of elastic headband stuff, WILL stay on the dog's head.

The result (neither of these videos should be watched by anyone prone to motion sickness!):

And since that was so much fun, I wondered what agility would look like from the dog's POV.  Again, if you get motion sick, do not click this!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tell Me Thursday - Back to School edition

1. What is the biggest thing that grossed you out over the past week?
Let's see, living a fairly sheltered life, I am not exposed to much grossness.  I guess the dead chicken that I stumbled upon when I went to let the hens out of my friend's chicken house would be it.  And even then, it wasn't super-gross.  Just ... kinda gross.

2. What do you feed your dogs?
They eat a prepared raw food from Happy Dogs Raw .  It comes in frozen, 125gr squares.  Lou and Wick get 2 squares a meal, Rex gets 3.  When we're on the road, they eat Go! Grain Free.  They also get salmon oil, a joint supplement, and whatever I don't eat.

3. If you could move anywhere where would you live?
Right here!  It's perfect.  I'm thinking about getting a cabin on the Sunshine Coast, which is a whopping 40 minute ferry ride away.  That way, I won't be too far from home.  Wanderlust, that ain't me.

4. What is the funniest thought that occurred to you (or thing that happened to you) this week?
My friend and I were getting pedicures at lunch the other day at a place neither of us had been.  They sit you in these great massaging chairs.  Well, we dip our feet in the tub, the chairs start going and the undulating massage motions start in the most SURPRISING way.  It's like a cross between a very slow mechanical bull ride and having your ass massaged like bread dough.  When it started to VIBRATE on top of the bull-riding/dough kneading, we had to turn the chairs off.

5. If you couldn't have your breed of choice what would be next on your list?
I have always coveted little dogs, like IGs and Paps.  I know that my collies would trample anything smaller than a sheltie, though, so I guess that will never happen.  I like shelties too, except for the barking.  But I doubt I'll ever have anything but border collies.  My heart belongs to the tuxedos.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Western Canadians - the video version

Well, I still haven't got around to processing most of my photos.  I blame Lightroom and all their awesome presets for the delay.

In the meantime, here's a slideshow from the trial.  These photos are not re-touched; the trial field truly is that spectacular.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tell me Thursday - it's September already?!?

1. What five things can't you live without?
Coffee.  My geek gadgets (iPhone, iPad, MacBook).  Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer.  Audiobooks for the long drives.  Food Network.

2. How do you transport your dogs?
Ah, that would be the Hello Kitty Van!  It's a 2005 Ford Freestar that has about 156,000 km on it.  I bought it with 15K km on it, so it's done a bit of dog transport for me.  I am kinda over the minivan, though, and I'm going to go back to an SUV.  Probably an Expedition or a Yukon.  Maybe a Suburban if I can figure out how to park it.

3. What role does obedience play in your training or running of your dog(s)?
In agility, apparently none!  So long as they don't cause trouble running with the other dogs at the trial and they don't make a scene when crated, I consider them suitably obedient.

In herding, I have one that is EXTREMELY obedient in trials, though he kind of blows me off when training.  Seriously, Lou takes maybe 50% of my commands when we're training, but 100% in trials.  I guess better handlers would do something about that.  Still, he's a very natural dog, and I generally leave him alone on the outwork.  Because he can't hold a line on the drive, I whistle a LOT, and he takes every one of them.  Is that obedient?

Rex is as obedient as his genetics allow him to be.  There are times when his tension overrides his obedience and then we have a big ol' wreck.  But it's getting better.  Slowly.

4. At what point do you start putting commands on your dogs?
I've never trained a herding dog (I buy 'em trained, or have them trained).  In agility, I put a command on the behaviour once the dog is offering me the behaviour reliably (80% of the time).

5. Do you talk to strangers in elevators?
Oh yes.  I'm very sad that I currently work on the 3rd floor as the elevator ride is too short to engage strangers in random talk.  In fact, it has been pointed out that  I should be taking the stairs, so short is the walk up.  Pox on those people, I say!  Have you seen the height of my heels?

When I worked on the 19th floor, I had a lot of fun talking to people in the elevator.  It's also fun to eavesdrop.  In venture capital, there's something called an "elevator pitch" where you have to sell an investor on your idea in the time it takes to ride the elevator to his floor.  I enjoyed listening in on desperate entrepreneurs pitching their Next Big Thing to a bored, somewhat drowsy investment banker.  Sometimes, I would even join in!

Somewhat random side note:  do not, with four colleagues, bounce up and down in the elevator to see if you can achieve zero gravity.  You will anger the elevator and it will stop, then you will have to make the call of shame using that little telephone under the number panel.  It will take them a long time to restore service and you will regret drinking so much bottomless pop at Red Robin.  Just saying ...