Jan. 1, 2023...high of 43°F..."balmy". no snow or frost with green grass...two more months to deal with
Each month will feature a journal entry from the past. The first journal choice is from 2012 when I was much younger (72 years old) and featured Gunny.
Jan 2,3 2023...Monday/Tuesday...highs of °38F. The airing yard was easy to clean (not normal for January).
Jan 4...Wednesday...high of 39°F...Pounce and Gigi will begin daily training session with an initial focus on heeling. Training will be done indoors (most of the winter) on the warm swimming pool deck. First up to
begin winter heeling practice was Gigi. Gigi did a session of heeling in the afternoon. She was very good on the left side....comfortable and accurate. Then we switched sides. I was expecting this to be difficult, but her eye contact seemed to suggest, "Hey, this is different....and fairly easy to do." The session went well.
"Happy New Year"
winter. Happy New Year! The following 2008 photo is a "Jump Back Memory" of Taffey as she flew into Thorson Pond (five minutes from home). The Kwick duck camp was on the Mississippi River and provided many challenging hunting trip days for "Taffy". "Kooly", "Daisy", "Gunny" and "Pounce".
Jan 21...Saturday...high of 33°F...My new DELL wireless keyboard and mouse are installed. Reading all the tiny print for the directions was frustrating. Also, the new keyboard spacing is not exactly the same which initially caused frequent typo corrections. In hindsight, I spent more time cleaning up the computer table than dealing with the new components. Early this evening, a few hours were spent watching a couple of Dennis Voigt's training DVD's. His methods detailed many excellent ways to train alone. In addition, there was a session that demonstrated working on OB with three retrievers at the same time. Also, there was an impressive training approach dealing with going to the line (for tests). Both have done these occasionally, but we need to work on our skill sets regularly.
While in the middle of watching a line presentation, my new speakers quit working. After dealing with the many recent alterations to my computer, it seemed issues continued to surface up. However, the speaker situation was rectified quickly after noticing there were new keyboard buttons that turned speakers on and off ("Duh" again). In a way, this is all "good stuff" because it fits well into my efforts of keeping an active mind. A trainer's age eventually becomes a huge factor when dealing with training, testing and hunting. A sharp knife requires regular honing and I am running out of "metal".
Jan 22...Sunday...high of 30°F with a mix of flurries and drizzle. Pounce and Gigi have an airing routine that has them visiting a fenced in, grassy area in the back yard several times each day. During each visit, they both practice their OB standards...here, heel and sit...together. This is off lead with an e-collar.
Jan 23...Monday...high of 32°F and sunny with some snow....Spring will be here soon. Today was a real struggle with my computer and photos. Things looked very discouraging for several hours. Then I was able to retrieve some information and undue several issues. Eventually, I managed to get back to the normal settings. It did not look good for too long.
Jan 24...Tuesday..,high of 35°F and clear....more of the same weather...Both dogs will do OB practice.
Jan 25...Wednesday...high of 32°F with more snow
Jan 26-Jan 31..hibernation mode...cold and snow
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Jan 5...Thursday 33°F..snow on the ground...trained indoors on leash, heeling stick sessions...Gigi was first and both dogs practiced heeling (two sided). After two more weeks of practice, their sessions will add another expectation - "bumper in mouth". The rationale for this approach is to increase (and keep in balance) responsiveness, focus and control (up close). The newly conditioned responses will be ready for a seamless transition to outdoor distractions in the spring....March.
Jan 6-11...The weather has been unusual with a few days of snow and none of it lasting. Green grass is not the norm for January. In addition, it has been almost seven days without my computer. A new DVD Writer/Reader was installed (not by me). Reassembling everything was not as difficult as I expected. There were several wires to plug back into the right "spots" with "extras" to eliminate. Fortunately. the "plugs" are very different making it easy to reassemble.
Gigi and Pounce have done very little training. They seem to be enjoying the time off. Gigi had an ear infection that took about a week to "clean up". The van has finally been emptied and cleared of goose hunting "stuff". The swimming pool was modified by removing both ladders. My son has done the remodeling. With corrosion at the bases, they needed to be gone. The pool deck is now less cluttered with more room to walk.
Jan 12...Thursday...31°F for the high...no snow...January has been easy (so far).
Jan 13/14...Friday/Saturday...35°F for a high & sunny...It is time for "Dremeling" nails (Gigi and Pounce).
Jan 15...Sunday...mild day (for January)...around noon Gigi was snubbed up and squeezed in a corner. She does not like Dremel nail trimming sessions and the previous sling efforts were too much of a hassle. Therefore, nail trimming has turned into a battle of wills on the end of a choke chain in a small corner. After three paws, it was time for a break (both of us). We went to that corner about an hour later for the last paw and it was obvious that she was more resigned to the situation. Surrender is cool. Daisy will be easier. Early on at the Vet office (a few years ago), one of the assistants wrapped Gigi in a big rubber blanket. She did not like that. It was effective...in that moment.
Jan 16...Monday...high 47°F...did nothing (quite well)
Jan 17...Tuesday...high of 44°F....Pounce's nails will be shorter...today. After reviewing last year's hunt tests, Pounce will be focused on earning her HRCH title with testing every other weekend. Gigi will begin running HRC started tests early on and then move up to running AKC Senior tests later in the summer. This approach will at first be focused on Pounce and later limited to alternating each dog's weekend tests. This is not etched in stone as the pace will be determined by my ability to "keep at it". I will be closing in on being 83 years old in August. The main goals will be an HRCH for HR "Pounce" SH and at least an SH for "Gigi" JH. The other goal will be to loose about 20 pounds.
Jan 18-20...Wednesday-Friday...highs in the 30's with a little snow. Dog training CDs are now useful. The old speakers "died" and new "Z200 logitech" speakers were installed. My hearing is failing and the speakers have a better sound. Dennis Voigt's CD's and my GunzUp disk are easier to understand.
"Jump Back" Banner from 2008 featuring "Taffey" - The One
"I'm beginning to learn that 95% OB
is not enough...and 85% is much
worse.....but 75% is pretty good."
KwickLabs Sept., 2006