Thursday, February 05, 2009

And it just keeps getting better!

I've got to say, life is pretty darn great at the moment!

La is doing well, I'm doing well, Nic is doing well and Squidge v. 2 is growing steadily with only a few more weeks to go! Things are still quite relaxed, although in the next few weeks we'll start to finalize preparations for her birth when our midwives come over next.

In the meantime, training has started back up last week which brought with it a behaviour discussionand tracking workshop. Then Sam who owns Veri and Hope's sister the fantabulous Jahzzy made my week with an offer of Bob Bailey's dvds which are already in my hot little hands this evening! (Thank you soooo much again Sam if you're reading!)

As if I weren't already bursting at this spate of lovely happenings, on Monday I got a phone call from the agility club regarding a spot opening up. With La chattering LOUDLY while the lady was trying to talk it took several seconds for it to tick over in my brain that this wasn't Hastings but the other club - the one I've been on a waiting list for oh... two years, hoping to get a spot in! Oh. My. There are no words for how excited I am! So Hope and I are starting this evening! (After this long, even if I was in full labor I'd be crossing my legs and down there at as fast a clip as I could manage! LOL) Besides being an excellent club the classes are also late enough in the evening Nic will be able to watch La (and in a few weeks bubs too) which has been a major hold-up with most classes as he is gone from very early till quite late at night and we've no family here to babysit otherwise.

And just because this seems to be the week for doggy happenings, while at the HDDAP meeting I also ended up volunteering to be on the General committee and we'll be at the Melbourne Pet Expo's Aussie booth, probably with Sierra. So we should have a lot of fun with the puppers coming up!


Lucy C said...

Glad you are having fun.
Are you planning a home birth?

Wigglebum said...

Hey Amanda,

Long time lurker, first time poster - I think you know who I am ;)

Amanda H is just back from hospital today with little Charlotte Jordan! Mum and bub are doing well.

Let me know how Hopie goes at training.

Ben H.

Sif said...

Wow, your week sounds like my week with long waits being over!

We should get together next week, how's Monday for you?

aussienut said...

woo hoo! Go you!

Sounds like everything is going well and we'll see you at training on thur nights (I won't be there for Feb though)

Amanda O. said...

Lucy, yes this little one is intended to be a homebirth. :-) I've 2 MW's, the primary MW's student/intern plus of course Nic and La and the girlies nearby. (I know that sounds funny but I labored at home with La till 6/7cms with the dogs curled nearby or occasionally coming in to lean in for quiet comfort, was really lovely.) Booked into a back-up hospital of course and met with the OB who'd be attending if there is a reason to be there but otherwise she'll be born at home. :-)

Hi Ben! I'd just read that your guys little one had arrived! You guys managed to surprise me, I hadn't even known Amanda were expecting until fairly recently! LOL Congrats! How are you guys settling in? You'll have to send details (length, weight etc) and pics when you're able. :-) Hope is doing really well in training. She is a smart cookie, picks up concepts very quickly and has a lot of enthusiasm for it. She and Si both have been pointed out in every class as examples of what a dog who is thrilled to be out there working with their person looks like. LOL She loved the agility stuff last night, although being a foundation course it's all quite easy-peasie stuff atm. With the obedience the way classes are run, all novice level classes run in the AM, all more advanced levels after that. So for now I've got Hope in the mid-novice class and Sierra in one of the more advanced, but once Hopie is officially tested up then we'll move Veri into the novice time slot. (She'll just start in a higher novice class though as she knows what Hope does and I work her on the same stuff also.) To give an idea of her picking up stuff quick, I'll use a new behaviour (heeling) which I'd not taught her previous so you can appreciate what she's picked up from scratch in this short a time. (And bearing in mind it's not the only thing she's working on by a long shot, just one) So here's the components she's learned:
- Find the 'heel' spot from various orientations in relation to me. (Goal being regardless of where she's standing (in front of me, in back, either side, any position of the clock) she can find the heel target spot and align herself (forwards, backwards etc) accurately into position. Target spot being the position of the blade of her shoulder in relation to a spot on the side of my knee.
- Doing the position in a very straight manner, so that her front and rear aren't throwing her off.
- Maintain heel spot in various other positions besides standing-ready while I am stationary. (So going into a sit, down, back up into a stand in heel position without moving the spot ending up either forward or backward from the correct spot.)
- Begin following movement to maintain heel spot. (So with her in left heel position, starting to shift my weight forward in prep to step out with my left foot and her being maintaining the heel-target position as I shift forward and backward without actually taking a step.
- Find heel spot on the RIGHT side and same steps to this point.
- Then back to left or right and doing all of the above through an incomplete step. So I step out with my left foot with her maintaining heel-target swinging forward but then coming back to mid position, swinging back etc. Moving around in various patterns as well. So forward-neutral-back, neutral-backward-forward, back-forward-back etc so I know she's cueing off the target-spot rather than just learning to move back and forth in position in the same pattern
- Doing much the same with completed step forward. Completed step backwards. Mixing this in with incomplete steps.
- Adding in multiple steps and building that up.
- Adding in turns. (Albeit I've not worked on left about turns as I've not got her cueing off my shoulder to tuck her bum for them)
- Multiple steps with turns
- Adding in speed changes
- Multiple steps with turns and speed changes - mucking with making it 'tricky' by suddenly moving in different ways/speeds

LOL I read your blog after Sif and was thinking the same thing! Lots of goodness going around! Monday is actually the only weekday I'm busy, the car is in for repair and of course they make you hang around for agggeees! Are any other days good for you?

Ohhh... yay! Another person we know there! LOL Seems about half the people we know from almost every venue train there actually! A few Aussie folks, some Freestyle folks, a number of folks from Hastings etc etc. LOL