Glad I live up high

The barn in Forest Grove was only partially flooded today.  Compared to the rest of Forest Grove it's doing pretty darn good!  I've never seen so much flooding since we moved here in 2000, totally crazy.  And our garage is leaking.  Goody.

Though if you want to get your dogs really, REALLY dirty, this is a good combination.  First we spent a while out playing in the rain and mud outside.  Then, once the dogs were thoroughly soaked, we came into the barn and ran around some more, which not only put a thick layer of mud from the dirt floor onto the dogs, but then they would run through the flooded area and REALLY get caked in black mud from head to toe.  Then with more running on the dirt ... oh, it was something to see.  

Let it be said, Brisbee never missed a weave entry, never popped a pole and didn't want to leave the barn, he kept running back in when I was trying to pack everyone up.  He's such a nut.

Anyway, it has certainly been interesting journey going from running a small dog to a large dog.  Now, admittedly, there were a bunch of things I did with London while training him that really didn't make running him any easier (though, let it be said, unlike Fenwick, London has NO problems with distance!). But really I had to start over learning how to handle.  Not that I've mastered the art of running a big fast dog, but I've got the basic idea anyway.

I think anyone that has the choice should most definitely START with a big dog, then go little dog.  Doing it the opposite way is much harder.  You can get away with shit with little dogs that is just going to injure you or the dog with a big fast dog.  It's very difficult to 'retrain' bad handling moves that you've been doing for years with a little dog that just don't work with a bigger dog.  It was quite enlightening after I started running London what all those articles in Clean Run and such were for, they had no relevence for small dog handling.

Though I'm going to say, in terms of MOTIVATION and ease of learning, border collies are easy!  I'd much rather deal with handling issues then motivation issues any day.  All those articles by 'border collie people' that were all, "Oh, just whip out a toy and you're good to go" finally made sense. "Normal" dogs don't come preprogrammed with a desire to work and a joy of doing the same thing over and over and over again no matter how shitty the trainer is.  Obviously, I'm generalizing here, but it's true, border collies have the stuff that's difficult to train 'built in', which is nice.

That said, as I am planning our next dog to be small, I think it's a much better idea to train your little dog like a 'big' dog.  There really isn't much to recommend with 'small dog handling'.  Still, it's nice to have the extra strides to 'fix' bad handling, I'll admit.

Trying out a new vet on Wednesday.  Good vets are hard to find, and finding a good local vet ... well, that is a challenge.  So this vet was recommended, but then I lost some confidence when they're like, 'We absolutely no other appointments on Wednesday, you can come any time!"  That popular of a place, eh?  So, we'll see.  

I'm bringing Fenwick in to have his teeth looked at.  Gave the dogs buffalo ears over the weekend and Fenwick didn't even have half of his done by the time the others were finished, and Fenwick is usually a chewing master.  Looking at his teeth (which have never been the nicest teeth, obviously!) one side seemed to have more tarter than the other.  So it was a good excuse to go try out the new vet and see if Fenwick needs any dental work done.  The weirdest part about the whole buffalo ear thing is I gave London his like 10 minutes after the other dogs, and he still finished his in like 1/8th the time.  He's been practicing or something, normally he's last.  So maybe the buffalo ear test means nothing in the long run.

Speaking of London, no signs of any physical issues, we played at the barn a little today.  Mostly at 16 inches, but we did some jumping drills at 24 and he looked great.  We did 3 aframes and he was nothing but enthusiastic, I didn't see anything weird or reluctant about him.  Knock on wood, hopefully he's just fine.  He was certainly happy to be doing agility again.