Archive for the 'Welsh Springer Spaniels' Category

Spring Break

amywink March 11th, 2013

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Lily enjoyed a return to her Saturday dog class as we get ready for the Mighty Texas Dog Walk. She was OVERJOYED to see the dogs and after a few minutes of bouncing and leaping, she did manage a very nice walk around the block before heading into class. She did even manage to hold it together for a down/stay with the other dogs. . . as long as she could see me through the doorway. She’s unlikely to ever be the dog who will casually let me go out of her sight and I am fine with that. My expectation of her, after all, is that she will with me and it is clear that she understands this is her job as well. But, she enjoyed the Saturday class so much and it seemed to be very good for her to learn to work with the other dogs as a distraction, that I have decided to take her back to Saturday classes as our next Sunday session ends. Since my driving schedule has shifted, I’ll see how this works out for her. I suspect she’ll really benefit from it.

She is approaching her 11 month birthday and looking more and more grown up:

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Here she was at 7 1/2 weeks:

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Ears of Joy

amywink March 9th, 2013

Practicing with my new camera has lead me to an new appreciation of Lily’s ears. As I worked on learning the settings, figuring out the correct focal length, etc, I captured many amazing shots that capture her sense of joy and excitement. Often she reminds me very much of dancing Snoopy.

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Photography also has been a good tool for dog training. This week, when Lily was Wild in Play, I got out the High Value Treats and did some sit/down training….also known as “posing”
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Of course, when I asked her to get into the flowers, she was reluctant. . . unlike when she is getting into the flowers of her own volition.
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Full disclosure, in this photo above, the adoring look is because I had a piece of pork roast in my hand. But still, lovely pose. Good dog!

We have also registered for The Mighty Texas Dog Walk and we will be practicing for that for the next 3 weeks. I suspect Lily will be ecstatic with the experience and I am happy to get her involved in some “Austin Dog” events.

Straight Lines

amywink February 9th, 2013

With Blessing home, I have been facing the new challenge of driving two horses. Will is shocked SHOCKED that Blessing now drives and when I harness her, he looks sadly on, one ear turns sideways, head handing sadly over the gate. When I drive Will, Blessing mopes at the fence and looks on with the same bewilderment. People may think horses don’t have very expressive faces but they are NOT looking at mine. The guilt is tremendous. And then there’s Lily, who feels SURE that I am going to forget that she’s supposed to be inches from my feet at ALL TIMES.

They are all learning to share but it is a hard for everyone.

And of course, driving two different horses been a learning experience in itself. The one time I was able to drive both on the same day, I chose Blessing first because she is so light and I didn’t want to be overtired when I drove her. Will is not “heavy” but he does require more contact than Blessing. Because he is older, he also moves differently–though I also think he’s hollowing his back at the trot and we need to strengthen his back with some canter work–and Blessing is more…flexible, as in we are really having a time making a straight line!!

So straight lines have been my task for the month, particularly with Blessing. We are working on starting straight from a halt as well as a long straight line on the diagonal as well as any straight line we attempt! As you can see from our GPS tracks here, we have a ways to go:

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After this showing, I took a lesson at Francine’s with the gorgeous Joyante (BB) and managed to do a wee bit better:
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But then I tried the next week with Will and we wobbled wildly….screen-shot-2013-02-09-at-102347-am.jpg
before we manage to get our act together to make a few respectable straight lines. screen-shot-2013-02-09-at-102355-am.jpg screen-shot-2013-02-09-at-102427-am.jpgscreen-shot-2013-02-09-at-102451-am.jpg

And then there’s this very nice straight line across the bottom of the arena on a short diagonal–as I was making room for Lisa ground-driving her mare Windy.

I will admit to some interference with Will since I also had Lily in the carriage and she was often a little more helpful than she ought to have been during our drive. Still, she is coming along very well in her carriage training for a 10 month old puppy:
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I’m rethinking the type of carriage I want to purchase since I have been driving with Lily. She’s as long as she will be but as you can see from this photo, she’s almost longer than the footbed of the carriage. Though I have added a corrugated plastic “fender” to keep her in the carriage, I think I will be looking for a carriage with a more “basket” design, something like a used Glinkowski Pony Sport. I have begun to dither quite a bit about that so I hope I will be able to find something that works for Lily as well as the horses and my pocketbook. But for now, we’ll carry on and keep working on straight lines and keeping everyone worked and happy.

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Progress: Lily and Cookie

amywink February 6th, 2013

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After a couple of carefully orchestrated play dates, Lily and Cookie have developed a good relationship, though we still have issues regarding who’s Special Person I really am. Generally, all seems peaceful as long as we can run and run and run.

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Last Day

amywink December 31st, 2012

On this last day of 2012, here is my list of Best Things of 2012, in no particular order:

Lily
Blessing
Will
Phoebe
Henry
Great American Dog Trip
Riding Lessons
Riding Will
Driving Circles
Riding BB
Learning to drive Blessing’s light mouth
Fall Morgan Horse Show
Grand Champion Morgan Mare
Driving with the sleigh bells.
Saturdays at Francine’s
Driving Friends

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