Friday, December 16, 2005

Well, long time no entry....

Some interesting things have happened in the last little while with my little Mal. I just recently returned from spending a few days with Philippe Belloni down south where I had Philippe look at my dog. Unfortunately, he seems to be a little too civil for ring and will prove to be a little too much of a monster for level 3 if/when that time comes. So i've had to make a decision to change the dog. Lucky for me Philippe is going to take care of it for me and I should have a new "prospect" in a few months time. It looks like I'll be selling Cruiser to a police department where he can happily go ape shit on people without losing any points... : ) So I guess now I'm going to move him up the body onto an arm sleeve to help get him ready. Kinda sad to see him go, but unfortunately I can't have more that 2 dogs and I've already got my family pet. (and I use that term loosely considering the handful that my GSD is turning into... lol) Anyway, I'll keep a little more current on my blog as I enjoy the first few injuries as I move the little monster up the body some.

Have fun and play nice!!


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Just thought I would toss a picture up of the new decoy in our club. As you know we do French Ring. But recently we've decided to include a Personal Protection portion in our training. Holly is a specialist in teaching dogs to bite drunk people as they crawl around at your feet. In the photo above she's actually teaching that aspiring Mal to bite and shake someone who is looking for a contact lens. The realism she adds to each exercise is second to none... (she had a short stint teaching dogs how to attack crippled terrorists, but alas, there just didn't seem to be a market for attack dogs who only went after people who crawled.)

Anyway, I'll be sure to post more pictures as I get them.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nov 9 - 2005

Well, just got home from an impromptu training session with some of the folks from my club. My little guy made me a proud papa tonight. Last session out and Cruiser was presented with the leg sleeve (sans leg). Tonight when I brought him out, he was given one bite on the leg sleeve again without anyone actually wearing it. He showed quite a bit of passion for that thing, so Vince put the sleeve on and without any real encouragement, he bit down on it when presented, re-gripped and held on for all he had. Complete with one or two good head shakes! So suffice to say, this Sunday we're switching him to a heavy training suit and going to work on his upper body bites. :P (kidding, but it was neat to see him go tonight) Too tired for any more OB so off to bed.


Nov 09/ 05

Well, it's official. Dogs have taken over my life. I made this realization last night as I stood there in my "Belgian Malinois" shirt (that I had just bought... geek) and drove lag bolts into the finished wall in the family room of my home. You see, it's getting close to winter here and I thought it would be nice to be able to work the dogs inside where it's not so cold and wet. So, out came the cordless, couple of bolts, and a big hook and within 3 minutes I had my very first "indoor training arena"!! (and I know what you're thinking, that's a pretty fancy name for a family room with a hook on the wall... but hey! It's my room and I can call it whatever the hell I want!)

Soooo, anyway. With my newly renamed family room up and running I posted the pups and did some prey development. It's nice inside too, I can crate the one that isn't working where they can see what's going on without worrying about the neighbors getting worked up about the barking. The "training" simply consisted of about 6-10 misses of the tug, followed by one bite. We'll have a short fight, I'll get him to re-grip, give it a yank kinda sideways and let him win it. Lots of praise. I repeat this 3-5 times depending on what else we've done that day. Repeat the procedure with Lucy.

We finished the night off with some positions and those seem to be coming along nicely. (thanks Chrystal/Susan)

Happy Training!



Monday, November 07, 2005

Nov 6th/05

Sunday night training ... If you got the previous post, you'd know how sore I was when I took off for training last night. Well, glad to see my soreness didn't rub off on the little guy. He worked great last night!! We moved him from the burlap to the leg sleeve last night (albiet the leg sleeve wasn't attached to a leg) but he was great. A lot less asshole, and a lot more happy dog. He was coming through the stick to hit the sleeve, then after winning it, trotted back to the rest of the club with his head/tail straight up and ears back, spun a 180 and went right back to the decoy and rammed him with the sleeve trying to get the game started again. Not just once, every time. So that was nice. His grips were great (not sure about the power, but they were nice and deep). And the best part... I didn't get attacked by my own dog! His positions are also coming along nicely. I barely have to hit him with the cricket bat to get him to lie down now. Such a smart boy... ;P Onward and upwards... tally ho!


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Jamming a fork in your eye, and other stupid things

Well, today is Sunday morning. Usually a day filled with anticipation because our club meets today to train. However, today is filled with pain, and embarassment. You see, I work for the fire department and this year, like every year, one of our guys asks if anyone is interested in doing a 100KM run in the fall. (it's a relay race) I sign up again, as I do every year, assuming that this year, like the years before, we would never get our shit together in time, not enter a team and life would march on. I used to run all the time. Nothing crazy, but I was logging about 50-70KM's per week as I was training up for a half marathon. But typically how life gets I just don't have the time these days it seems to get out there and run as much as I'd like.
So basically, in point form I'll lay out my training schedule for the entire year of 2005:

Mid February - 20 min. on treadmill in gym at firehall

May(ish) - 15 min. or so on the road at about an 8 min. mile pace

July - used the stairs, not the elevator at a fire alarm on the 11th floor of a building.

End of Aug - Ran 6 laps of a track while on duty at work. Had to cut run short because we had a call.

Well, that's about her... As you can see, I had a very dedicated year of training, and although my gains weren't what I'd hope them to be, it goes without saying that I followed a fairly intense schedule in order to be ready for the race I ran yesterday.

A brief description of the race. It's called the Haney To Harrison which is basically a 100 KM race (62 miles) with a team of 8 participants and the route is broken up into segments a couple of pieces around 8 KMs (5 miles) that are mostly flat (pretty much the DREAM legs) and then the rest are all around 13 - 15 Kms (9 miles or so)

So anyway, I sign up a few months ago to do this race with the guys. As you can see, I got very serious about my training and felt I would be "ready to go" as I only really had leg 8 to do which is a walk in the park. It's totally flat, it's short, and it's the glory leg. You get to cross the clock with your whole team, they say your name and shit on the loudspeaker... I mean c'mon, who wouldn't do that??? Well, then things took a turn for the worst. We lost a guy from our team. After a couple of pleading moments the Capt. of our running team decided it wouldn't be that good of an idea for the 6 guys to split 92 Km's, and I maintain running my leg of 8 at the end. (his math skills were further advanced that I'd thought) So after much discussion we split it up and I ended up with a somewhat flat (by comparison) 20 Km run. (12.5 miles)

Now for those reading this, I don't know how much running you do personally, but despite how grueling my training schedule looks... It's not enough if you intend to run 20 Kms. (you may have to squeeze in at least one more treadmill workout : P)

After I'd finished crying, I agreed to do whatever we needed to get the race done. Unfortunately, once I sign up for something, I simply can't back down, or back out.

Saturday morning arrives. I depart my home at 5:15 am to head to the hall to meet the guys. Much to my joy? There are 7! That's right 7 !! guys in the parking lot. We had found a runner at the last minute. Awesome news!!! So now I'm absolutely tickled, and looking forward to my high speed 8Km finish that would occur in about 8.5 hours. Well, here's the rub of our last minute entry. He's just come off a marathon about 4 weeks ago, but he hasn't done ANY training since then. Therefore, he clearly can't run any leg but the last one, because it's the easy one and lacks hills.

Hello leg #2.

A guy from my team who's run this race before assures me #2 isn't that bad and I should enjoy it. (his snickering should have sent up red flags here, but it was early...) It's about 13.5 Kms (8.5 miles) with a couple of minor little baby hills. So I cautiously agree, I mean what the hell, when I had woken up, I was running 20 km's and now only 13.5 so that's good right? (not really, when I was booked in for basically 2 legs worth of distance, a man can take a few walking breaks/rests without his pride being bludgeoned into the earth. But now that I was simply just doing leg #2, well I'd have to haul ass again)

Well, here comes our runner from Leg #1, he's put us about midpack. Here I go.

I strap on the wristband with the micro chip in it, essentially the "baton" and stumble off in the desired direction. After what seemed like 3 hours I pass the "One-Mile" marker. (please don't confuse this with the "One-Mile-To-Go" marker, it's not as pretty as that one) After a brief period of weeping and running I get my senses back and things for the most part are going quite well. My breathing is great, and my legs, while feeling kinda clunky because I haven't been running much at all, are fairly decent. Well, let me tell you a little bit about this gently rolling leg #2. CONSTANT FRICKIN HILL AFTER HILL, AFTER HILL IS NOT AN EASY LEG! I swear to god, the mountians that I had to climb as I broke through the snow line on every one were the furthest thing from "baby" I could imagine. Kidding about the snowline but damn, these hills were relentless, steep, and long. There wasn't a "flat" section on the entire leg, you were either climbing or decending. So about 11 km's into my leg, and I hit the mother of all hills. About now a van full of attractive girls has taken up residence on the other shoulder to cheer their team-mate on who was also approaching Mt. Everest. So much for walking up the hill as I had planned to do when I saw it. Male pride... what a pain in the ass. The only good thing that happened on that hill, was that my full body convulsions distracted from the fact that I had a steady stream of urine running down my leg as I somehow continued up the hill trying desperately to stay ahead of the girl behind me. After cresting that hill, and meeting Jesus, I was overcome with joy as I looked to the horizon and saw nothing but a road, winding gently down towards the hydro dam, where I knew the end of my leg lay. I staggered the remaining 2.5 km's, and I must have looked like a person suffering a stroke. Drool was constantly flowing from the corner of my mouth, I'm certain my face was sagging, and my gait could only be described as "injured".
I slipped the wristband off as I approached the transfer station. Stumbled through the gate, placed the sweaty wristband in the next guys hand, whispered "good luck, you poor son of a bitch". And I was done.
They had a dance/dinner thingy following the race last night. Let me tell you how happy I was after talking to a number of diffent people from different teams. The conversation would go something like this:

Them: Wow, dude, you ok? You're not walking too well.
Me: Yeah, I'll live. Little tender from the run, didn't really train for the race.
Them: At all?
Me: Nope.
Them: What leg did you run, 8?
Me: Nope, #2.
Them: #2?
Me: Yup
Them: Why would you run the toughest leg if you didn't train? Everyone knows #2 is the hardest, there isn't a level section on the whole course!
Me: uhhhhhh, my team hates me?
Them: Guess so.
Me: See you later.

I won't go into the amount of suffering I did muscle wise following the race, but I will mention that it would seem barefoot will have to be the flavour of the day for me, because today, you could tape a 100 dollar bill to the top of my foot, and come back a few hours later, and it would still be there. My whole body feels like I just finished decoying for a dude who was training for his brevet, with a full grown elephant. (interesting concept really.... hmmm)
Anyway, training starts in 7 hours, so I'd better start my trek upstairs and attempt to get some pants on. Don't want to be late...


Friday, November 04, 2005

Nov 4th/ 2005

Hi, I'm cruiser and I've decided to put this post up seeing as my master has gone looking for those sticky things to cover the new holes I put in him.

It seems as though my "master" wanted to play that silly bite game again with me. I wonder how many times I'm gonna have to chew on him before he gets the hint, burlap tastes bad.

Started off as usual, he bounced around like an idiot in a futile attempt to keep me from biting that ratty old piece of burlap. Once I got a hold of it, he starts telling how good I am and all the rest of that crap. If I'm so good, why the hell doesn't he let go? I mean, this knob wants me to bite this thing, yet when I do he won't give it to me! It's like he enjoys it when I attack him! It seems as though I only get the damn thing when I practically swallow it. I wonder if he knows it's not really food... Oh well, if he wants me to gag, then gag I will. It sure beats letting that idiot win the tug game. Incidentally, how this dumb ass ended up in the role of alpha I'll never understand... First order of business when I grow up is to liberate this pack. How we have any territory left is beyond me...

So anyway, we play this ridiculous game of "Here, bite this, oh wonderful, but I'm not letting go" thing for a little while. Then get this! He decided in his infinate wisdom that it would be a good idea to touch me while I'm biting. If that damn burlap hadn't tried to shake itself free I woulda put "alpha" (and I use that term lightly) into the intensive care unit. Oh well, he got off light this time. Oh, that reminds me, one time when I bit him tonight he yelled something out. I must research what "sunavabitch" means. I suspect it's some sort of term of endearment but I'd like to make sure.

So we finish that game, and then Captain Goodnight thinks it would be fun to throw my favorite little tube thingy on the ground and blurt some sort of french phrase out. Well, after about 5 or 6 times doing that, there was no way in hell I was bringing that thing back to him. Stupid just kept throwing it down again! It simply amazes me that the pack in the neighboring territory hasn't completely run us out of this area yet... so so stupid.

Now came the ONLY good part of his nightly torture. He brought out those little crunchie things and had me doing that dance again. You probably won't believe this, but he gets QUITE a thrill when I lie down or sit. I mean, if you could see this idiots face when I lie down, you'd die laughing. Honestly! The crunchie thing is in his hand, his hand is pretty much on the ground, and you'd think I just split the atom the way he carries on everytime I lie down to eat. How does he think I'm gonna get the crunchie thing?? IT'S ON THE GROUND FER CRYING OUT LOUD. I HAVE TO LIE DOWN TO GET IT!!! It's only a matter of time now. Alpha will be mine soon. His day is coming...

Crap, he's found some of those tape things that seem to stem the flow of blood from the holes I made. I'll have to cut this short. (after all, I think he still had crunchie thingy's in his pocket)

Bye for now,


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Nov. 3rd


Prey building rule with Cruiser. Never, and I mean never do the following without some sort of protection on with the little Cruiser...

Action - Push on his chest to try and get him off the bite when working with a tug.
Result - Dog will immediatly spit the tug, and clamp down on your inner thigh.

Action - Play with his gums or pretend like you're trying to pry his mouth off the tug.
Result - Dog will immediately spit tug, and clamp down on forearm or clack teeth towards face.

Action - Assume he's like your GSD and think you can slide an arm under his belly and take his back feet off the ground to see how intense he is in his bite on the tug.
Result - Dog will immediately spit tug and nail previously uninjured innner thigh.

Action - Attempt anything that remotely resembles "into arms" excercises.
Result - C'mon, you didn't think I'd actually try that did you?

Well, I think that about sums up the "prey building" portion of our training today. His positions went without incident or at least without his teeth colliding with my body. Can't wait until tomorrow!!