Long-Dangerous Tails

Another New Title!

Another New Title!

Mr. Rafe is now UCDX Mr. Rafe.  I will try to do a new

picture for you, after we get back to d-ville and the

Onward to Utility!

We can brag about the title, but the performance was

not pretty.  Don’t know what happened—in August he

was respectable, but then he turned into a fruitcake.

We are not supposed to end the figure 8 exercise by

standing up on the back legs, kissing the handler, and

then sitting sideways in front asking if that is cute

My friend Sherry, who saw him at a fun match, says

that watching him herd me around the ring is adorable.

 Is this by any chance hereditary?
New Title!

New Title!

     U-CD Alta-Tollhaus Andiamo CD

He did four trials in two days, this time with

placements:  one first, one second, two thirds.  His

brain is fried:  he says no one ever asked him to do

this much per day before.  He is absolutely flat on

his side.
Don’t tell him, but it is onward to Open.
MacMonster and Jumps

MacMonster and Jumps

Just a quick question about Mac and jump training.  We

have started both dumbbell and jumps in his Novice

class (I like this instructor—he assumes everyone is

continuing to Open and probably Utility; last week

showed us the beginning of a retrieve training video

that was very good—turned out to be a TriTronics

tape, so I hadn’t seen it, and he turned it off when

they moved to the e-collar part, so this was just on

take and hold exercises).  Anyway, he had the bigger

dogs in class starting with a 16″ jump.  Mac had been

doing an occasional 20″ at home.  But this morning I

forgot to change Rafe’s arrangement, and the Mac

cleared 24″ with no problems.  I suspect he could do

the old 36″ requirement easily, but we don’t have to.
After his quick lesson (much too hot to keep going) we

did a little tennis ball, and now I have to take three

balls out there.  For a while I could get by with two

and do the “trade” routine, but now he just carries

two at all times, so I need a third.  And he has

absolutely no sense about stopping when he is getting

too hot.
Rafe the Beautiful

Rafe the Beautiful

Last night when we were coming back from the late walk

the local K-9 officer pulled up, just because he

wanted to say hello to Rafe.  He says he admires him

every morning when we are out for the early walk—I

didn’t even know he saw him, since I think they live

down a street I don’t cover on the tour.  He is

currently working a Mal, but clearly is a shepherd

man.  Rafe just posed and gave him that naive puppy

look.  Being beautiful is what Rafe does best.
Current Training Levels

Current Training Levels

I think I am about ready for the 5 a.m. start on the

trek to LA.  The paper is as done as it is going to

get, and I found some clothes that are ok.

Fortunately it is an informal conference.  Anyway, in

case John and I get wiped out by Osama’s buddies at

LAX and you get the boys back, this is about where

they are:

Rafe knows all the Open exercises and is anticipating

every single one of them.  He needs more exposure to

the group stays.  Has never wandered off, but once he

did go down on the sit.  He is doing the drop on

verbal command—not yet reliable enough to trust that

he will be watching for a signal.  But his finish is a

swing, on signal.  He is up to jumping 24/48, and we

will take the next two steps up rather slowly.  On the

broad jump I am not yet quite back to standing beside

the jump, still sideways to him but about at the end

of the jump.  He is also started on Utility.  We are

doing signals with me standing about 2-3 feet in front

of him and backing up for the recall.  Articles are

coming—right now I think I have four tied down and he

is picking up the loose one.  Next step is to add a

couple more loose articles.  Glove retrieve is getting

there.  Still occasional mistakes (e.g., the love for

glove 2, or refusal to go to glove 2).  He is doing is

pivot to glove three as a three-quarter pivot in the

same direction as the pivots to one and two—he is too

big to do a neat “back-up” pivot to three.  Maybe we

will get there eventually, but for now he is in a

better heel position if I do it the other way.  Will

work on the Moving Stand after the signal stand is

solid.  He does go-outs to cheese (they teach it that

way in Champaign and I am expecting to be back there

for lessons this summer), and for directed jumping I

am keeping the jumps at 16 inches for now.  He is a

bit slow on the turn-and-sit, and just catching on to

going to the jumps (the left is harder for him right

now).  But he is having fun.
Mackie is just in Basic.  We are doing the

usual—heeling, just started Figure Eight and stand.

His recall is very nice.  Sits and downs are getting

there.  He does not run off but he will go down if he

is bored—does it in the rest of the class when he

decides the instructors have been talking too long.

He is learning the swing finish as a game—he does it

for his favorite food in the world, banana.  And we

have started the dumbbell.  He is very good at Take,

Hold, Give.  And he is starting to learn to walk with

it in his jaws.  Somehow he can carry anything else in

the world for miles, and usually does have something

clenched in his mouth, but the dumbbell is another

matter, as usual.  He will get up and carry it if I

have a hand touching his collar—and he has just done

one or two little performances of bringing it without

the hand.
I think that is about where we are. 
They are off at the doggie spa, called Kenl Inn, and I

am ready to go up and contemplate my packing once

more.  I know there is something major I have not

More from LA, if the library will let me get on the