Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Managing Dogs and Dog Hair at the Manor

Last Wednesday night we arrived at the agility field early. Tracey, Rich, and a few of her guys met us there. We took turns running the dogs on the jumpers course I had set up for class as well as the contact obstacles on the course for the slightly more advanced class. Tracey forgot the measuring wicket so we will try that next week.

Both my guys ran well on the course. The course was too tight for speedy Grace so I couldn't get her information fast enough which caused off courses and some fussing from her. She is trying so hard to do the correct thing. I'm so frustrated with her weaves - she is ever so close to having a great set of 12 weaves. The backyard at home is a jungle and I'm not getting the practice in with the weaves during the week. I need to figure out a better yard maintenance strategy as the current one is not supporting a home-based training program. The other option is to get to the field more nights per week to practice which might actually be a more reasonable option now.

Grace's herding lesson went great on Saturday morning. She is being much calmer in the sheep pen. I'm understanding the game better. She still needs to work back further from the sheep but I'm so pleased at our progress. The premium for the Deep South trial should be out this week...Linda thinks we are ready to put our training to the test so to speak.

Yesterday morning I gathered up everyone and locked them in the smallest room in the house. I grabbed the first dog, a pile of brushes and started brushing out loose hair. Grace had a couple of rat nests that needed trimming out. I got lots of hair out of all three. Surprisingly Teds still has lots of undercoat coming out. To further combat the hair on the carpets at home I have ordered a large slicker brush on a pole (a pet hair carpet rake). I'm anxious to see how it works.

I attempted to throw dogs in the shower yesterday morning and bath a few before work. But alas I was out of dog shampoo....High fives all around from the dogs. I broke down and bought a gallon of shampoo with a pump dispenser so I can start washing them more frequently. I'm considering a grooming table so that brushing could get done more regularly too. A two ended noose would be a must to act as a few extra hands while I brush. Either that or I get a grooming arm, the two ended noose, some non-slip matting and use an existing table at the house.

The new extra tall (41.5") tall pet gates came in - minus one of the extensions. They were purchased to keep Grace from getting trapped behind one of the shorter gates. She keeps getting into the master bedroom upstairs but has not figured out how to get back out. Mike has been really good about stopping by the house during the day and letting her out. This plan, of course, only works when he is in town so I've had to come up with a better engineering solution to the problem.

I'm really missing retired housekeeper.