Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Last year in December, I wrote a blog post about my 2009 accomplishments and 2010 goals. I made the list of 2010 goals rather rapidly and without a huge amount of thought. Almost as soon as I posted it, I thought, "Why did I put down 'agility?' and 'walk or run a 5k'?

Goals for 2010

Finish his OTCh.
Accomplished in January 2010. Did only a few other obedience trials the rest of the year, possibly the fewest I've done since I started competing in the 1980's.
Finish his MH
YES! Finished Labor Day weekend, 2010. Gryffin is only the 6th retriever in AKC history to be a CH OTCH MH. I am still beyond proud of accomplishing all of these titles with me handling & training him for everything. He is such a great dog and I feel so blessed to have him at my side, whatever the adventure.
Submit HOF info
Got it in the mail with a week to spare.
Nope. Another one of those spur-of-the-moment additions that I'm not in the least upset about not accomplishing.

Get her SH
YES! Finished the same weekend Gryff finished his MH. A lot of ups and downs. Some days, she can be brilliant, others, I really wondered how she had ANY legs at all. Getting to the Master level may well be beyond her/our capabilities, but we'll learn a lot together.
Start her UD and beyond journey - Utiility by National in June
Didn't show in Utility until two times in October, and did miraculously earn one leg. I made the very wise decision to do Graduate Open at the National in June. Signals were just too fuzzy for her at full distance, and we were spending too much time training for the hunt tests. She did get 1st place in GO at the National.
Advance her MH work
She has probably had more exposure to MH level work at this stage than Gryffin did simply because I am working on it with Gryffin. We still have a LONG way to go on water blinds. Her memory on water for marks is also pretty erratic. I doubt she could do a triple on water with any complexity. But with time, it may come.
Nope. Another one of those spur-of-the-moment additions.

Earn RE
He got one leg in February, a 2nd one in October, and actually did pass a 3rd time, but I was sure we'd missed a station, so asked the judge to NQ us.
Earn UD
He also only showed 2 times in October, and also miraculously earned a leg, with my first ever score in the 170's.

Get Totally Fetching finished and released
Mission accomplished! Well, at least the finished part. Release should be sometime in early January 2011. I'm currently in that limbo period of "What if no one likes it?" that hits just before release of a new product.
Get started on Drop on Recall project
Mostly just thought about it, but I did write an outline just recently, mainly to get it out of my head.
BNI membership
Still on the membership committee. Still debating whether the effort of membership produces enough benefit.

House dejunking - keep it up!
Did a lot early in the year. Later on, not so much, partly because other projects took priority.
FlyLady work
Same as above
Keep using Things and gettin' organized via 'Getting Things Done'
Doing well with this one. I still love my 'Things' software, and use it daily.
work out consistenly
My December 2009 surgery curtailed working out early in the year, then a shoulder injury caused a multiple month layoff from Curves. Thought about giving up my membership, but I'm glad to say I went back late in the fall and have definitely noticed a difference. I'm also walking regularly while doing rehab work with Gryffin. Not long periods of time, but it's better than nothing.
walk or run a 5K
This was one of those spur of the moment, toss it in goals. Didn't do it.
Finish out MWFCR Presidency smoothly
Sigh. Because we never had an annual meeting (mainly because many of us were involved in helping with this year's National in June), the election never took place. Then our secretary resigned. We're basically in limbo and I can't stir myself to really care.
Keep on top of Marshbank's trial work
The 2010 trials saw our biggest entries ever. I hope to add a few additional classes and nice title rosettes next year.
Travel trailer
I spent a huge amount of time researching and test driving various possible tow vehicles. Test drove a fully loaded Suburban and a bare-bones cargo van in late July, then discovered the Sportsmobile website. Poured over van designs during vacation, visited the factory in August, flew to California in early October to look at a used one, 95% sure I was going to buy it. TOO BIG! Rethinking the whole thing. With Gryffin injured, the whole thing is on hold.
Apprentice for several weeks with field trainer
The timing simply didn't work out to work with Mitch White in the spring. Darn. Still hope to do this someday.


o Keep on trucking! He'll turn 14 on March 3.

o Finish his UD & RE

o Get him sound and keep him that way.
o Qualify and attend the 2011 NOI in Orlando, FL. He has been invited 3 years in a row, but we've never gone. We will obviously need to show a lot more than in 2010 to accomplish this, since about 1/2 the qualifying period is already past. This seems much more attainable than qualifying for the Master National.
o Qualify for the Master National. He has 2 of the needed 6 passes. We'd hoped to run two more tests that counted in September and October, but his mid-September sliced hock made that impossible. This goal is probably out of our reach because of his injury, but I still want to shoot for it. Aim high, I like to say. Even if I can't go with Gryffin, I hope to make the trip to at least watch some of it.

o Finish her UD, see if she can get some UDX legs. An OTCh seems pretty far fetched right now. I'll just have to see what develops.
o Keep working on her Master level training in the field. Entering a Master by the fall of 2011 looks out of reach right now. I think 2012 is going to be MUCH more realistic.

o Sell 400 copies of Totally Fetching
o Update website - maybe learn how to do some of it myself?
o Keep developing social media usage for my businesses
o Host a training camp
o Write the script for the someday Drop on Recall video
o Get back to using Constant Contact consistently - maybe a monthly newsletter?

o Work out at least 110 times @ Curves. I made it to 390 total workouts since joining in January 2007, and I'd like to be at 500 by end of 2011.
o Keep honing my use of 'Getting Things Done'.
o Complete AKC Open apprenticeship requirements.

Friday, December 24, 2010

How to order 'Totally Fetching'

Totally Fetching: Teaching & Proofing a Reliable Retrieve is Adele Yunck’s update to the long-popular 1995 VHS video, Positively Fetching: Teaching the Obedience Retrieves Using Food. She kept the best of the original video and redid the rest, adding a section on building your dog’s hold, and greatly enhancing the proofing section. This 73-minute DVD takes you through the whole process of teaching your dog how to retrieve for the AKC obedience ring, from choosing the right equipment through proofing and problem solving. See a large variety of dogs from all of the AKC breed groups learning how to retrieve. You will see successes as well as errors. The companion booklet includes some photos and is a great supplemental reference when you are away from a DVD player.

See a fun trailer for the DVD here.

Update 1/9/11: I picked up the DVDs on 1/7/11 and have shipped all advance orders. To order your copy of the DVD and booklet, send your payment (write your check to “NDT”) to:

NDT • 3676 W Ellsworth Rd • Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Include your shipping address and your e-mail address if available. I won’t cash your check until I ship your DVD.
The cost for early-bird orders postmarked by January 31, 2011 is $45 including shipping/handling.
The DVD/booklet package will sell for $50 + $4 shipping/handling starting February 1, 2011.

Do you have an old VHS copy of Positively Fetching still on your shelf? Return it with your order for the new DVD and take $15 off the prices listed above. That means you can get your copy of the new one before January 31, 2011 for only $30! I plan to recycle any old VHS tapes collected.

While I will eventually have the DVD available via Amazon and other resellers, for the first couple of months of 2011, this is how to get it.

Please share this link with anyone you might thing is interested.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hall of Fame

I've been working on a Photoshop collage of photos of Gryffin for his FCRSA Hall of Fame page, and this inspired me to create the new collage of photos of all of my dogs for the top of the blog. What do you think?

Gryffin has actually been eligible for the Hall of Fame since he completed his UD and SH in 2007, but I wanted to see how far we could go in our title pursuit. I'm glad I waited :-). Trying to condense our 7.5 years together into a single page isn't easy. I've got a write up done, but need to sit on it for 24 hours. Hopefully, I can get a good print of the collage to send in for the FCRSA HOF album.

This process has once again reminded me of the wonderful ride I've been on with Gryffin. I am so fortunate that Helen picked him for me. It is such fun looking back on the highs and lows of the journey together.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank You!

Now that the dust is starting to settle from finalizing the work, I would like to thank the following people for their help and encouragement to get Totally Fetching done:

• Raissa Hinman and her Alaskan Malamutes, Aura and her son Bootstrap
• Kay Braddock and her German Wirehaired Pointers, Jet, Hank, and Belle
• Belinda Venner and her Labrador Retriever Sparta and her German Shorthaired Pointer Tesla, forever preserved as the cute puppy she was!
• Joanne Silhanek & Shetland Sheepdog Kelly
• Brenda Riemer & Shetland Sheepdog Liza. Brenda has also been a great support and Gentle Nudger when I needed it. I'm not sure if I returned the nudging for her projects as much as she would have liked, but I surely appreciate the pushing she gave me when I needed it.

All five of them participated in several taping sessions over several months time (as I started and stopped working on it), both in front of and behind the video camera. I appreciate them being willing to show both the good and the bad of the process!

I also owe big thanks to the woman whose name I never learned who audited the June 2009 seminar I did at the DTC of Champaign Urbana. She did a really fine job taping the 35 minutes of the retrieve portion of the seminar. I was able to use a lot of the footage in the update, and I really appreciate her efforts! If anyone can help me learn her name, I would be grateful.

Back when I first started contemplating how to begin the update process, I consulted with a couple of guys at Russell Video in Ann Arbor. I had gotten VHS tape duplicates done there for many years. They encouraged me to do a lot of the production work myself, both taping and editing. I've been assuming that I would go back to them at the end of the process, but because they are a PC shop and all my work has been done on a Mac, I ended up opting to finish up with World Class Tapes, also in Ann Arbor. My son Ryan had his One Year CD mastered and reproduced at WCT last year. It also didn't hurt that owner Sue had trained one of her dogs at Northfield in the past.

A few weeks ago, I met with Mike at WCT, and he walked me through the process of how to get my iMovie projects into a final duplicatable DVD. Another learning curve followed, and I am grateful to him for his patient guidance. Being the computer geek that I am, I've really enjoyed the process.

Now to get busy with marketing and preparing for shipping loads and loads of DVDs...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Dance of the Done DVD

Some of you may know about this from Facebook... I've been making a big push since early November to *finally* wrap up my DVD update to 'Positively Fetching: Teaching the Obedience Retrieves Using Food'. The update is called 'Totally Fetching: Teaching & Proofing a Reliable Retrieve'.

I did a premature happy dance last Weds morning, when I successfully burned a DVD and thought I had a good master. Since there were problems with the menu selection order, it wasn't good. Darn.

Sunday afternoon, I started wrestling with iDVD, trying to customize the menus as I wanted them. I'm reasonably confident that today's DVD burn produced the final master for duplication. I dropped it off at the shop that will be doing the final packaging late this afternoon.

The original was a 60-minute VHS tape. The update is a 73-minute DVD. Today I watched it all on my TV for the first time (as opposed to my laptop screen), and I'm just so darned happy with it. Also quite tired of looking at it :-).

When Judy Byron and I did the original video, we hired a local (to Ann Arbor) production company, and so I sat in on most of the editing sessions, to supervise how it was put together. When I first started contemplating this update (oh, sometime in early 2009, I think), I decided to invest in the latest iMovie software and do as much of it myself as I could - I could certainly learn how to use the software myself. As it turns out, I did pretty much all of it, with some excellent guidance for the final production process from Mike at World Class Tapes, the company that will be duplicating and packaging the DVDs. I also had to learn how to use iDVD. Having been a computer programmer in my Life Before Dogs, this is actually something I enjoy doing. I'm even looking forward to whatever the next video project will be, since it will be much easier since I know the software so much better.

I don't know what the ETA of the salable DVDs will be, but I'm pretty confident it will be by mid-January. I'll have ordering info available in several places when the time is right. Among others, I'll put in on my JABBY Productions Facebook fan page.