Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jada is Mortified

I am mortified. Genuinely humiliated.
Someone...and I'm not naming names....thinks this was worth taking a photo of and worse yet - posting online for the world to see. I never thought when I ripped out the middle of my plush frisbee's that they'd be used against me in such a way.

Maybe I just don't get human humor.Or rather - human ATTEMPTS at humor.

I am not amused.

Tyssen's Mealtime Saga

I think Jada and I eat pretty great around here. I think most dogs would be downright envious of us! Joni feeds us pretty well....but has this unhealthy obsession with making us wait until the big hand of the clock is pointing straight up, and the little hand is pointing straight down for our dinner. Jada and I generally start bugging her a long while before that, but she holds her ground and makes us wait. What a sadist she is.

I get to eat lots more than Jada. No, it's not a sexist thing, but she just tends to get fat and I don't. HA! In fact, I have a hard time keeping the weight normal. Yeah, she balloons out like a blimp and I struggle to maintain my amazing 6-pack set of abs looking their most fabulous. But I move around alot....I keep hearing people say that I have two speeds: standing still and 100 miles an hour. Not much in between. And boy, do you burn alot of calories cranking it up that fast in a seconds time! Now Jada does have a perfect trim figure now, but last winter she was starting to blimp out a bit. Someone told us that when you feel for our ribs, it's supposed to feel like there is a t-shirt between your fingers and our ribs.....and Jada had a "sweatshirt" between their fingers and her ribs. Ha! Fatty fatty fatty! But a good analogy. I know some dogs that have a friggin' comforter between their ribs and their outsides! (some have two comforters! Ha!)

We both usually eat around 8am. Joni gets up a bit earlier...and sometimes as early as 3 or 4am when she's working. I see her getting up at that time and just refuse to get out of bed. I like to stay in bed until I see LIGHT coming in the window! So when she does that ridiculous early thing, she'll let us out to go bathroom, then I head immediately back to bed when I come in and stay there until it's officially morning. Even better - I get the whole bed to myself now!
But even when she gets up early, she makes us wait till 8am to eat. I sure don't get this schedule thing....

I'm a pretty picky eater. It has to be pretty incredible before I make myself eat it. I realize that's not typical for a Keeshond....but I kinda like being different. Jada, on the other hand, should have the middle name of "Hoover". She just inhales anything that looks like food - even some stuff that isn't food. She could clean the floor pretty easily if our vacuum cleaner ever breaks down. Frankly, she's simply embarrassing to be around when there's food out. Jada tells me all the time that it's been at least a month since our last meal and you know, I honestly think she believes that. No matter how many times I tell her to be patient, that it's only been a few hours, she just looks scornfully at me as if I'm so clueless she can't believe I have sense enough to keep breathing from one second to the next. She's never actually said this...but I can read it in her eyes.

We eat some pretty great food for breakfast and dinner. We eat "Wellness" - the chicken formula. Jada is on the "Green Bean" diet - which means she gets green beans with her kibble. I wasn't too crazy about these green things when they were offered to me, but they're sorta growing on me now. I have to be very sure about something before I eat it....if it's suspicious smelling - I want no part of it. Joni has laughed at me recently because for the longest time I refused to eat spaghetti noodles that she offers a few of when she makes it. Jada, naturally, will grab a dangling noodle out of Joni's hands and slurp it up. She takes the laughter as some sort of applause and really seems to ham it up with those wormy looking things. I smelled one that was offered to me and decided it wasn't for me. The next time I did try it, but immediately spit it out as soon as that slimy thing got in my mouth. What the hell was she trying to give me - rubber bands? Blech. But after watching the obvious enjoyment that Jada seemed to get out of them, I recently tried chewing it up...and much to my surprise, it wasn't bad. They're actually kinda fun to slurp up now. Too bad she only gives us a couple of noodles...I think I could eat a whole bowl of them up now! Anyway....I digress.....

Jada only gets 1/3 of a cup of kibble in the morning....and 2/3 cup of green beans. She also gets a tablespoon of cottage cheese on it in the mornings - and then all mixed up. I can live without the cottage cheese. I've had it several times and it's okay, but after a few meals of it I'm ready for a cottage cheese-less meal again! I get a whole cup of kibble, mixed in with a tablespoon of tuna fish and some tuna fish juices. Yeah, real "chicken of the sea" tuna. I've tried several different types of canned dog food, but they pale in comparison to a little tuna fish. By the time Joni is done fiddling around with all these ingredients, we're both a little impatient. Well, Jada is VERY impatient and I'm beginning to wonder if she'll ever be done playing up there. Our favorite stunt is a couple of fast loud furious sounding impatient barks, then immediately fall to the ground with our face between our paws so that when she looks down to tell us to be quiet, it looks as if it was some other dogs making all the racket. We're pretty good at this! We both think she's fooled by this!

When she's finally done, we like to get our morning calisthenics out of the way be jumping up and down furiously like jumping beans. I'm mildly embarrassed at resorting to this behavior so I don't put as much enthusiasm in it as Jada does. I'll jump up once or twice, then just sorta jump - making only my front feet leave the ground an inch or two. More of a cute bunny hop. Jada goes out of her mind jumping up as far as she can over and over. She's perfected the jumping while walking/jumping backwards 10 feet to where she gets her meal. I keep telling her that she'd get her food faster if she just ran in there and waited for it and that this jumping act adds about 10 seconds to receiving her food....but she thinks it works for her.

This is what Jada looks like bouncing up and down:

About 30 seconds after the food is down, Jada is done inhaling her food. I doubt she even tastes it. I like to take my time and savor each and every bite. Partly because it tastes so good, and partly because it drives Jada insane. Usually Joni puts up the dog gate so that I can be protected from Jada when she's done eating. I think she needs to put up a barb wire fence sometimes! But I also hate the gate. For one thing, she can forget I'm in there and if I don't let her know I'm done, I might be in the kitchen by myself for what feels like hours. So as soon as I'm done I immediately DEMAND in my loudest bossiest sounding bark to LET ME OUT OF HERE N O W !!! She used to ignore this bark and make me be quiet for awhile before she let me out, but I kept it up, and have her trained now! Now all it takes is that bossy demanding bark and she immediately jumps up and lets me out! So let that be a lesson to you all....don't let human attempts to change your behavior work ALL the time! You gotta have a few times you win out and control their behavior!

Sometimes Joni doesn't put up the gate. I have to watch out then, because Jada will come in and watch me eat. And boy, does she ever watch me eat. She just glares at that bowl as if she thinks she's got some telepathic ability to make it slide over to her. She watches each and every kibble that I pick up and chew. She really watches every piece of kibble that falls to the floor. She really makes me scared sometimes. Who can eat under these conditions? Sometimes I just move to the other side of the kitchen and lean against the cabinets and bark at her until Joni comes in and rescues my bowl. Now she won't EAT the food when I leave it - she just sits there and looks at it or lays down next to the bowl and looks at it. But she's smart enough to know she's not supposed to be doing this, so she only takes it so far. Sometimes I just get full and leave some food in there and it also drives her crazy. I find it amazing that she can be that frantic over wanting the food, yet restrain herself from actually eating it. She's gonna give herself an ulcer someday! Joni picks up the bowl for me to nibble on for lunch when I do this. She will then let Jada eat any pieces of kibble that have fallen on the floor, though. And this is what Jada lives for in the morning! That she'll get two or three EXTRA pieces of kibble. Sheesh. Sure doesn't take much to make Jada's day! One time she started eating up a few pieces of kibble on the floor before Joni said "okay" and she just froze when Joni said "HEY!". She actually looked up at Joni and spit it out! That's right - she just SPIT IT OUT! Even I was astonished at her self control!

I seem to be digressing alot here tonight.

Dinner time is similar. Same antics by Jada and me, that is. Jada gets another 1/3 cup of kibble and 2/3 cup of green beans - but no cottage cheese this time. I get a cup of kibble only, which is fine by me...but only in the evening. I want my tuna fish in the mornings! Sometimes Joni gives me some green beans in my food in the evening, which I appreciate occasionally. I don't need or want them every single night..but it's a nice surprise sometimes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Two More Trials! Another CPE Trial and our first AKC Trial!

Hey, Jada here again. It's been busy around here......we got a new computer and all that entails with moving stuff over, etc. So Joni hasn't let me get on the new computer for awhile. Yeah yeah....there's an old computer now that works perfectly well for me...but no, she won't let me use that one!

We've had a lots of classes and several agility trials since I last wrote. Our August CPE trial was great - another 3-day trial. Boy, I'm loving those 3-day outings! We did pretty well.....we Q'd in 11 of our 12 runs! The only one was didn't qualify in was......big surprise!.....Jackpot! Yep, Jackpot is becoming our nemesis! What's with these Traditional Jackpots? I just don't like doing stuff that far away from Joni! But she keeps trying to make me! But I really really did try! But this was a hard one! I had to run into a tunnel with Joni way way behind me....then come out and go into weave poles. I don't think so! I came right back to Joni and didn't leave again! But I tried to make up for it by doing everything else really great over the weekend.

Next trial we're in Level 5 Jumpers - and Level 4 for Standard, Full House, Snooker, Colors and we're still in Level 3 for Wildcard and Jackpot.

My official stats are out of my 61 CPE runs, I have 53 Q's! I don't think that's too shabby for 7 weekends!
My 8 NQ's have been three in traditional jackpots, two from our first few Snookers, and two of our wildcards early on. Oh....and that stupid standard that I screwed up badly...but I'd rather not talk about that one!

A few weeks ago we did our first AKC Agility trial! We entered the one-day agility trial for the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers National Specialty. First thing I noticed is that it was not an event we needed to get up in the wee hours of the night to get ready for! We didn't have to be there until almost noon! This is great! Sleeping in - whoo hoo! This was at a different place than I was used to - a club called Queen City Dog Training Club. We visited there a couple of weeks before to do a few run-thru's so I could get used to a different building and equipment. Apparently this could have been some sort of traumatic event for me....but I could really care less! Show me some tunnels and jumps and I'll do it anywhere! Anyway, this place is different for me because they don't have indoor crating. What? You mean I have to stay...outside? Apparently so. I'm told they usually have a tent, but didn't I spent lots of time in the car since it was so crowded inside. That was a bit weird for me!

Once we started, though, it was just another agility trial! First we did FAST - which, unfortunately, is exactly like a Traditional Jackpot except it's only 30 seconds long or so. Great. No pressure here! Joni insists this was a fairly easy section where I had to do it by myself, and I suppose it was....all I had to do was go into a tunnel then over an A-frame - no biggie. Except I blew it. I went over the A-frame and saw that Joni was about 6 feet away and looking like she might bolt suddenly and leave me, so I cut the corner a bit on the bottom contact and ran after her. Why can't I remember that she isn't really going to leave me there? !@#$%.

After that was Standard - which we got first place in and a Q. Cool! Then we did Jumpers with Weaves - another 1st place and a Q. Then that was it. Seriously....that was it! We were done already? Feels like we were just getting started!

So...looks like we're going to keep doing this AKC stuff. I wish we weren't doing FAST again, but Joni has endless faith in me and signed us up for it again. Sigh. Will she ever learn?

Our next AKC trial is in two weeks - a 3-day trial. Looks like it's an afternoon event again since we just started and are in Novice...which may be a good reason to never get into Excellent, right? Shhh....don't tell Joni that!

I hear that Joni is doing this because she wants to take me on a long road trip next spring for a trial. Yep - she wants to take me to the Keeshond National Specialty in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I haven't a clue what that really means...but it sounds fun! And this is an outdoor trial! Wow - will be very cool to do all this stuff outside in the fresh air.....unless it's raining. That could be bad then! I hate getting rain in my eyes! I can barely walk outside when it rains....everyone laughs at me. I squint my eyes closed really really tight - every time I try opening them I get water in them, so I just squeeze them shut again and walk really really slowly. Now this could make for an interesting run, dontcha think?

November is going to be a busy month for us! We're doing the AKC trial one weekend; Tyssen has 4 UKC shows one weekend, and then a CPE trial another weekend. Then a few short weeks after that there's our 4-day CPE trial! I can't wait!

I'm hoping Joni will get those video's of me up soon! I keep bugging her about this...maybe soon!

Well...guess I'm outa here.....wait...what? Oh, hold on. Ty wants to say a few things!

Hey, Ty here! Yeah, you heard Jada - I have my OWN shows coming up here soon! AND I get to spend 4 days at Judy's (where I was born and where my mom and sister live) being pampered while they're at the AKC trial! She wants to use the time to "work me"...which I think is a good thing. I don't really need the "work" since I'm so damn good, but I'll let her think I do. Makes her feel useful....but that's just our secret, okay?

I keep waiting to be entered into an agility, but so far Joni seems to think I need to wait more. Personally, I think Jada is telling her this. She's afraid I'll show her up maybe? Yeah...that has to be it. What else could it be? Joni thinks I'm getting close, though.....the only thing she keeps working on alot with me is those crazy weave poles. Now what's the purpose of these things? They make no sense. In the real world I can see the purpose needing to jump, or go over a ramp - hell, even going thru a tunnel - but there is absolutely NO reason weaves have a functional reason for existing! But.....I'm beginning to get it. Joni told me she can tell the light bulb has gone off for me...but that I have a dimmer switch. I'm not sure what that really means....but I just nod like I do and that makes her happy.
But I guess I can keep working with them.

She also thinks I am way too social. She doesn't want to pay for an entry only to get me out there and let me try to meet every single dog on the other side of the ring. Hey - since when is being nice and polite a crime! Sheesh. So I get a "fake" trial - a show-n-go coming up here. Supposedly it'll be "good practice" for me. We'll see.

Oh yeah....also have to mention our latest toy for agility trials! Very cool! Joni got tired of coming up with 16 D batteries each day for our two battery operated fans, so she went and got a "power pack". She got a DC splitter so she can plug in both fans - and they both run on high for 12+ hours in our crate. They might go longer, but she unplugged them after 12 hours of testing them, so who knows how long they'll last. Each day after the trial she just takes the power pack home and recharges it all night - and it's good to go all day the next day with the fans. Pretty cool! She's turned our little home-away-from home into a nice cool place!
Here's the view from the inside and top!

Power pack: Schumacher Portable Power PP-2200 , 22 amp hour / 400 watt, Built in inverter and 12 volt outlet