Nov 11, 2010

Yup, Still Alive!

We're still alive! :) Potion and I have been insanely busy recently - not only in making progress in the behaviors we're working on, but also as my demo puppy for many of my classes. :) It's hard to believe she's going to be 8 months in just a week, but in some respects it feels she's been here for much longer. I hope to do a video soon of what Potion's been up to as a more visual summary - maybe for her 8 month birthday? :)

In the meantime, here's an updated list taken from the previous post -

Long time no post, I know, I know. I don't really have the brain power to catch the blog up on a detail of each training session I've had since my last post re: training, so I'll summarize where everything currently is starting with the stuff I mentioned in my "to do" list.

  • Nose-to-hand touch
    • Pretty much finished. :)
  • Positions (on verbal cue + building duration [stand especially])
    • Very nice so far, but haven't spent much time building up duration. Excellent with distractions.
  • Front and Heel positions
    • Need to spend some time fine-tuning each but coming along well.
  • Finishes
    • Pretty good - will save the refining for after front and heel positions are finished.
  • Crate Games
    • Finished. :)
  • Wobble board work
    • Very comfortable with this, as well as jungle gym on a low teeter.
  • Perch work
    • Haven't focused on it as much recently - need to go back to it.
  • Handstand?
    • Still haven't tried it yet.
  • Back up
    • Needs more refined and independence. 
  • Tunnel
    • Certifiable tunnel addict. ;)
  • Chute
    • See above.
  • Jump standards
    • Still working on improving her seeking out jump standards when my motion supports them and wrapping appropriately when indicated.
  • Lead out
    • Stays in the position I asked for, where I asked for it, until verbally released. Can easily get 2.5 jumps ahead. Refuses to break prematurely even with her best buddy behind her, begging to play. :)
  • Crosses/Turns on flat
    • Needs a bit more time spent on it but she's picking it up very well :)
  • Pause table
    • Have only had her on it a few times, want to build drive to the table, a send to the table, and ability to stick on it even when I continue past (all with auto down).
  • Heel
    • Very pleased so far! :) Main goals at this point are to increase her understanding on exactly where it is, and then build duration.
  • Gaiting
    • Excellent - she very rarely argues with me ;)
  • Free stack
    • Good most of the time - need to refine foot placement.
  • Drop on recall
    • Excellent - just need to clarify that I only want a drop when I ask for one (smart little BC wants to add them into a normal recall ;))
  • Herding
    • Going well! Our instructor doesn't want us back more than once every month or two til she's close to a year, so we maintain exposure to stock but don't get into bad habits before we're ready for more serious work. :)
 We've been working on more than just this list - but I have to run to class so I'm afraid I'll have to add additional things we've done later :)

Aug 28, 2010

We're alive (and busy)!

Long time no post, I know, I know. I don't really have the brain power to catch the blog up on a detail of each training session I've had since my last post re: training, so I'll summarize where everything currently is starting with the stuff I mentioned in my "to do" list.
  • Nose-to-hand touch
    • Relatively OK, needs a bit more work and a cue.
  • Positions (on verbal cue + building duration [stand especially])
    • MUCH more progress on these. Verbal "sit" cue needs work and "stand" is still a bit iffy, but distance and duration are coming along very nicely!
  • Front and Heel positions
    • Haven't worked on these since the last time I posted about them, so they still need work.
  • Finishes
    • Same as above.
  • Crate Games
    • Keep meaning to do these, more to build more value in her home crate than to improve self control. Her self control is coming along very nicely (see further down the list).
  • Wobble board work
    • She's comfortable with it and has had a couple sessions but we haven't spent much time on it yet.
  • Perch work
    • We're at a partial pivot clockwise in one session, need to work on it some more. :)
  • Handstand?
    • Haven't tried it yet.
  • Back up
    • Haven't done much with it yet.
 Now for the other stuff we've been working on ...
  • Tunnel
    • Straight and curved tunnels at full length, working on finding the entry and speed.
  • Chute
    • Full length, working on finding the entry and driving out straight til out of the fabric.
  • Jump standards
    • Seeking out jump standards when my motion supports them and wrapping appropriately when indicated.
  • Lead out
    • Stays in the position I asked for, where I asked for it, until verbally released. Can easily get 2.5 jumps ahead.
  • Crosses/Turns on flat
    • Haven't spent much time on it, going well so far. Haven't introduced rear cross yet.
  • Pause table
    • Have only had her on it a few times, want to build drive to the table, a send to the table, and ability to stick on it even when I continue past (all with auto down).
  • Heel
    • Started with Fanny Gott's method today... pleased so far, we'll see how it goes.
  • Gaiting
    • Her patterns are going much better - she's not arguing with me about where we're going :) and she's learning to do her go-round out in front :)
  • Free stack
    • It's coming along... I'm starting to get picky about foot placement and also building up distance and duration on a loose lead.
  • Drop on recall
    • Totally surprised me - but then again all my dogs have in their understanding of cue = cue NOW. I was using the DOR to test Potion's understanding of down and was pleasantly surprised to have a dog who bolted to me and slid into a drop on a single verbal cue. Since we don't have a front I break off the exercise at the drop (but would anyway since I want to reinforce a fast drop).
  • Herding
    • We had our second stock exposure and I was very pleased with how she's doing so far. We intend to keep going  back whenever time permits, since it's a bit over an hour away and have lessons on weekends and Wednesday mornings.

Additionally, we tentatively have the following shows planned. :) We may be attending some agility or obedience trials as well - haven't decided yet.
  • September 18-19 - Lebanon, IN
  • September 25-26 - Columbus, IN
  • October 2-3 - Monroe, MI
  • October 30-31 - Delaware, OH
  • November 3-7 - Ft. Wayne, IN
  • November 18-21 - Columbus, OH
  • December 4-5 - East Lansing, MI
  • December 16-19 - Cleveland, OH

Jul 31, 2010


Part of my adventure with Potion has been a learning curve of dealing with a very skilled toy murderer. While all my puppies have gone through teething periods and had their share of inappropriate chewings, the only murdered toys were soft toys - and all stopped after teething.

Since we're getting an education in toys able to withstand (or not) Potion's teeth of doom, I decided to share our experiences with different toys. I'll post reviews of the toys we've tried so far over the next few days. :) If you know of a toy that we should test, please let us know!

Jul 11, 2010

Finishes, and Heel position in general

So this morning we worked on  finishes and heel position in general for Potion's breakfast. She got quite annoyed at me at one point (this is our first time shaping something relative to me vs another object or just herself) and barked at me - she was about as unimpressed with my reaction as I was to being barked at. ;)

My main goal for the breakfast session was to get her to realize the behavior I want may be in relation to me, rather than teaching competition-quality any of the above in a single session. In the beginning I had to move a little bit in order to get her to move around and would c/t anything remotely close to my left side. The criteria got gradually more specific until I was requiring she be facing the same way as me and fairly close to me. What I found quite interesting is because of the treat delivery (in this session I tended to toss treats away in front of me to reset for another attempt) she began offering both finishes on her return to heel position. She had a slight favoritism towards the around finish over the swing finish but I rewarded either. The favoritism may be based on my response - the around finish is easier to get a nice response so probably got small jackpots more frequently than the swing finishes where I was weighing if it was good enough to c/t that.

As you may have noticed, I don't necessarily work on a single behavior straight through in consecutive sessions - I'll probably do the stand / down again for dinner tonight but prefer to change things up. I've yet to see a reason not to in the training sessions thus far (both with Potion and other dogs) so may as well. ;) I find myself more prone to getting frustrated (and/or raise criteria too quickly from session to session) if I do multiple sessions in a row on the same behavior. Easier to have more realistic expectations when "we haven't worked on it in a while." :)

Going to be quite scarce for the next few days - a friend of mine and I (Angie of Humble Schnauzers and a Sam) are going to NC to pick up her new Samoyed puppy from Brandy (of Agility Laughs). He's making his trek from his breeder, Donna of Wintersong Samoyeds, to Brandy's in NC where we'll pick him up on Monday. Lots of pictures to follow of this handsome boy I'm sure!

Jul 10, 2010

Today's dinner session

I'm going to try to do better about blogging about particular sessions, at least most of the time. I try to train with at least one meal per day on average - kibble is high enough value to Potion to work with enthusiasm (especially at meal times) and it keeps my more "interesting" reward options much more special when they're available.

Today we worked on stand and down on verbal cue up on a grooming table (not necessarily a specific reason for the table, other than it minimized movement and made it a bit easier to see more clearly what she was doing). I picked these two to start since she has some issues trying to throw in sit between stand repetitions. I've left it alone for a while and worked on other things - I prefer to leave things alone for a bit when I run into a problem that is going to take some thought to solve, and come back to it once I feel I have a different approach that may be more successful. Beating away at it session after session isn't going to make progress.

Interestingly enough, I did not observe Potion throwing in a single sit in the table sessions. I think we'll need another session or two on verbal discriminations between stand and down (as well as building duration in each) and I will probably move from the table to the floor in 1-1.5 sessions. Since the table seems to have made a difference in her throwing in sits, I see no reason to mess with what's working ;) and is apparently encouraging her to not rehearse the behavior. I will probably wait until stand and down are very strong behaviors before adding in sit into the discrimination, to hopefully alleviate the issue of tossing it in at random.

I have to say I'm going to have to get quite creative to keep her occupied with mostly non-agility stuff for at least the next 6 months. I really want to hold off til she's at least 10 months before beginning any "serious" agility, since the methods I intend to use (Linda Mecklenburg's Developing Jumping Skills and Susan Garrett's 2x2 Weaves) progress fairly quickly to full height/difficulty. Both recommend waiting until the dog is ready for the full height/difficulty work before starting due to that. Potion's certainly not making that easy with how quickly she powers through things though ;)


I've always done a (possibly tweaked) version of the Choose To Heel method when teaching my dogs to heel, but have since learned about the method that Fanny Gott (link to the right) has blogged about. It seems quite interesting to me, and I think it's a sensible way to be able to train heeling during the same period you're training for the show ring without the two conflicting (since in the beginning stages they look entirely different). So I think once I've done some of the prerequisite work below (front position, heel position, and finishes) I may give it a go with Potion. :)

I should make a list of stuff I want to work on in the near future (or already am) since lists supposedly keep people more on track ;)
  • Nose-to-hand touch
  • Positions (on verbal cue + building duration [stand especially])
  • Front and Heel positions
  • Finishes
  • Crate Games
  • Wobble board work
  • Perch work
  • Handstand?
  • Back up
Yes... you really saw a list fairly agility-free, despite me being a huge agility addict. I'm biding my time on starting the agility, primarily because I think it's going to go insanely quickly once we start, so I want her to be close to a (IMO) acceptable age to be doing the full height/difficulty of that obstacle before we do much with it. She's making it terribly difficult though :) And I suspect we'll start the super tame stuff before long, such as tunnels and the pause table. I will hold off a bit longer yet on starting to teach her a running dog walk. I don't have concerns about the obstacle itself being remotely stressful on the body - however I do have reservations based on her current coordination. I'd like her to be a bit more balanced and sure-footed before we get to the point of having the plank up at much of any elevation. The last thing I want/need is her to splat off the side and hurt herself. As you can see below.. the coordination needs some work yet ;) as I'm pretty sure she was intending to go towards the ball... not away from it.

Jul 9, 2010

Life with Potion

Well Potion has been here a bit over a month now, and a very entertaining month it's been!

From a whirlwind trip to and from CT, to adjusting to having a puppy in the house again - let alone a very opinionated one. We've since attended 4 puppy matches, her first herding lesson/exposure, and two puppy classes.

The trip to and from CT felt a bit like Murphy's Law running amuck. My flight to Chicago almost having to turn back and return to Indianapolis do to extreme fog (which caused a very tight connection time when we were finally able to land - not much fun in an extremely confusing airport layout). Coming back I had just an hour in which to get through check-in, security, and get to my gate to prepare to board. Potion was less than impressed with the Sherpa idea which made getting through everything harder since whenever possible I was juggling puppy, Sherpa, paperwork, and my "purse" (which was large enough to be a carry-on and was used as such). We made it through just as they were boarding the plane, which she SCREAMED in her Sherpa until we were well into the air (and yes, that WAS with benedryl). We landed in Chicago, and I searched for a family restroom (single stall) to give Potion a chance to potty. Never did find one, but in my search I managed to wander out of security (when following the directions of an airport employee) which meant I had to abandon hope of finding a restroom for her and just try to get through Chicago security as quickly as possible (with only about 30 minutes until my plane was supposed to board). Needless to say we got to the gate just in time for boarding, and another tantrum-filled flight to Indianapolis. We located a family restroom in Indianapolis which gave Potion the opportunity to potty before our final hour-long trek home.

More pictures of Potion growing up here

At the first puppy match, I was surprised that we weren't the only Border Collie entered! The other entry was a nearly 5 month old male from Terbo Border Collies. Potion was just barely 12 weeks and could have probably walked under the other BC without hardly ducking. We took Best of Opposite to that dog (I believe his call name is Sherlock but I'm not sure on his registered name). See the video below :)

At the second puppy match only two weeks later, we ran into Sherlock again. This time we took Best of Breed over him and a Group 4! :) This was our first time showing on grass, so Potion was convinced I'd thoroughly lost it ;). I'm quite pleased considering this match was held with a cluster and had a much larger entry than the stand-alone match.

Two days later we made the trek up to Montpelier, OH for the two UKC shows. This time both Potion and Merlin showed. Merlin already has his Grand Championship in UKC, so there's nothing left for him point-wise. Potion is still too young to compete for points in UKC (it's the same minimum as AKC - 6 months) but UKC shows often host "puppy matches" for 3-6 month olds within their normal shows. Those 3-6 month olds then compete separately from any other puppies in that breed (which compete in the licensed classes) for Best Puppy In Breed and Best Puppy In Show.

Merlin was Best of Breed both shows and went on to a Group 3 and a Group 1. :) It was insanely humid (not his forte) so I'm pleased with how we did given the circumstances. Potion showed well and was Best Puppy In Breed both shows as well as BEST PUPPY IN SHOW both shows! :-D The second judge we had just raved about her both to me and to just about anyone that would listen :) I think UKC is so great for puppies - almost all the judges I've ever shown to in UKC make it such a total blast for puppies so they learn it's tons of fun.

Between the first and the second AKC matches, Potion went and was exposed to duck herding for the first time. The instructor considered it to be very age-appropriate work and I'm looking forward to doing more with her. I think as her confidence grows she's only going to get better at it :)

I also had the opportunity to herd with Merlin for the first time. All his previous herding had been handled by more knowledgeable people as I was told that if I were to attempt to learn with him I'd ruin him and he's far too talented to go to waste. Bit of a moot point now ;) and I intend to pursue it with him since he enjoys it more than any other activity we do.

Potion has also spent some time hanging out at agility lessons and her first trial, in addition to attending her first two puppy classes. We had to wait for the next start date of the puppy class, but after the first night I had concerns about the environment and curriculum so we withdrew from that class. I decided to give a class an hour away a try (not many local options) and after attending a session of that class I feel it'll be a great fit for us. The space is significantly larger (even though it's only a 2 car garage) and is a much calmer atmosphere and curriculum.

I hope to have much more frequent updates after this, but for now I think we should be pretty caught up. ;)

For now, here are some other cute videos of Potion - including a sample of what we're working on so far. :)

Potion June 7, 2010 from Jenn Stanley on Vimeo.

May 2, 2010

Puppy Update! :)

Puppies turned 6 weeks old on Thursday. Seems hard to believe that in just 3 weeks from today I'll be back in IN with my first puppy since Merlin (5.5 years old now).

My 4 week and 6 week picture compilations of the girls...

Apr 3, 2010

Pupdate! and Show & Go

Puppies turned 2 weeks old on Thursday!

New pictures posted -

Also for those in our area, we'll be hosting an Agility Show & Go on April 25, 2010. Details can be found at Anything's Pawsible. There will also be an Agility Show & Go the day prior geared toward 4-H'ers. :)

Mar 25, 2010

Louisville & New Addition

As far as results go, Louisville was not the best weekend we've ever had.

Merlin qualified his first run of the weekend for MX leg #8 and 7 more MACH points.  I noticed his jumping was a little off but I wasn't sure whether to attribute that to something being wrong or the surface (we don't hardly ever run on dirt).  He seemed fine otherwise so I let it be, but when we went to run in JWW he came off the start line much slower than normal, and pulled off two jumps so I just made a hasty dash for the exit.  I have to be careful about stopping mid-course with him, especially if he's already in a semi-worried state, because he can take simply stopping mid-course to be a failure.  Current consensus is he pulled something in his groin area.  I worry it is and has been the same issue for the past year or more and continues going undiagnosed or not fully treated/healed.  I hope we figure it out soon, but until then he won't be doing any agility or obedience (it also affects his sits).

Rio was a bit overwhelmed by the environment by Saturday (the biggest trial he's ever done and the longest), but did earn his first OA leg with a first place on Friday.  He was quite close to Q'ing on some other runs, so with it now warming up I hope to be able to help his "baby dog" skills blossom into Excellent level skills. :)  Our main downfall on Saturday is a very loud, male gate steward had him freaked and we were not able to compose ourselves sufficiently before or during his run.  We had the same gate steward on Sunday, so I tried a different approach to the situation and it seemed to work better but again, still not composed enough for us to be together as a team.

The brightest spot of my weekend was when Carolyn told me that the litter I was waiting on had been born - and there were LOTS of girls! :)  The dam is CH Tartan Bay Flew To Freedom OA OAJ RN HIC CGC/TDI "Feisty".  Feisty is a daughter of CH Bayshore's Under My Spell "Toby" (a son of BIS/BISS CH Borderfame Spellbound), out of the lovely BISS CH Brackenhill Flew By Ewe CD NA NAJ PT ROM "Devon".  I had the pleasure of meeting Devon as well as Feisty's littermate Chance (CH Tartan Bay Let It Ride AX AXJ HIC) and half-sister Ella (CH Tartan Bay Supernatural NA NAJ HIC) this past October at the BCSA National.  At the time, I hoped a Chance kid would be joining our family this past winter but it wasn't to be.  However I was quite happy to hear plans were underway for Carolyn's co-owned litter sister of Chance to be bred the coming year. :)

Feisty was bred to CH Holther's That Old Black Magic NA NAJ NF HIC CGC "Mercer", a son of CH Jule Too Holther's Cap Feather "Cap", out of Aust CH Trumagik Star Gazing PT AD "Kisha".  Mercer is also a littermate to Savannah (CH Holther's Garden of Good and Evil PT AX AXJ CGC/TDI).  I haven't yet had the privilege to meet Mercer (aside from pictures and video) but I hope to at this year's National. :)

5 girls and 2 boys were born on 3/18, so if all goes well I will be flying to Connecticut 8 weeks from Saturday! :)  I plan to do a bit of everything with my little Potion... conformation, obedience, herding, and of course my main love - agility!  I will attempt to document training progress on here as well as lots of pic-spam (probably mostly pic-spam) as she grows!

I made a desktop background of the girls in the litter with the 5 day pictures... we'll see which one wants to move to Indiana! :)

Mar 16, 2010


Already too much delay in blogging! Merlin, Rio and I are headed to the Louisville cluster after my class tomorrow morning.

Merlin is entered in Excellent B Standard all 4 days, and Excellent B JWW on Thursday and Saturday. He needs 3 MX legs and 2 MXJ legs to finish each title - so it's definitely possible to do both this weekend. If we don't that's okay :)

Rio is entered in Open Standard all 4 days, and Open JWW on Thursday and Saturday. By my records he needs 2 OA legs and 1 OAJ leg to finish each title - however when I just looked him up on AKC they don't have his OA leg listed. Guess I'll need to look into that!

Too much to still finish before we hit the road tomorrow (including school-related things)! Will try to see if someone will video, but no promises with that. :)

Feb 16, 2010


The boys and I are heading out to a training building to get in some obedience time this evening! I'm hoping to be able to video at least some of it but we'll see. As far as training goals go...

I'd like to run Merlin through all the Novice tasks, plus also work on his retrieve. The club's jumps are stored away for the winter, so working on Open stuff will be limited. My main focus is going to be reinforcing his choice to sit when we stop - for whatever reason he really gets concerned about being wrong when he sees things that have traditionally meant conformation. I'm not entirely sure why, as I've always been very careful to differentiate between the two. Heeling is an entirely different body position, different lead (or none at all), different collar, different cues (and is always cued when expected, not assumed)... he's been heeling and gaiting for about the same amount of time (by the time he was 3 months old). Heeling has been entirely clickered, with no corrections (just withheld rewards) for "mistakes" - so he should not have any reason to fear being wrong in this instance. I did not really see this behavior until we took obedience to an environment where all the "context clues" seemed to support (to him) that we would be doing conformation. I do notice that his fluency of sit vs. down vs. stand could use some work, so am working on that as well. I feel that the early classes we attended (before we began training on our own) probably attributed to his worry about being wrong. While he was never corrected in these classes (at least not in a manner that should have this kind of result), the classes were demotivating and the instruction was often very negative and stressful. Regardless, I will NOT permit that to be an excuse of why we can't get through this - I know we can.

For Dewy, I'd like to fine tune his understanding of heel position (it's really rusty as we've not worked on it much) and maybe dabble in the exercises he can do from each level. He can't do the jump height he'd be required to anymore (and we don't have any jumps tonight so it's a moot point anyway), which is why he'll never get his last CDX leg or his UD. He would have to jump 16", whereas his jumping limit is actually about 8" these days. If obedience jumps were forgiving and displaceable, it might be one thing to try for the last CDX leg - but I will NOT risk his safety crashing into a solid jump over a single Q.

For Rio, my main goal is to work his heel position, stays, and recalls. I'd also like to see if I can get him to mouth the "dumbbell" in a different location (which is the stage of retrieve training we're currently at). Rio is another "if it's not food it doesn't belong in my mouth" dog like Merlin was, with few exceptions. He will sometimes grab one of a few squeaky toys and just squeak the heck out of it, but he has no interest whatsoever in playing with a person with a toy. He somewhat likes the Tug-It but again, only if he's in the mood. At this point, his retrieve training is using one of his most preferred squeaky toys since I know he is already willing to mouth it. As he gets more willing to mouth it, I'll gradually transition to less desirable objects - making them more desirable than they were originally, since now they are a key to something he wants. At this time I don't really have an interest in actually trialling with Rio in obedience, but I do have interest in training some of the tasks. Transitional students from more punishment-based methods seem like they'd be a bit more likely to humor me in training it with this method when all 3 of my dogs happily, reliably retrieve via this method instead of 2 out of 3. Plus every dog I train to retrieve this way teaches ME something else that I can then pass on to students and future dogs. I also enjoy the challenge of teaching a task in a positive, motivating way to a dog that has little-to-no natural desire to do that task. :) Not that I find that a desirable characteristic (I do find a lot of value in toy drive), but again - it's not what you have it's what you do with it. To me, the lack of a natural retrieve not an excuse to not be able to train the task (nor do you need to resort to force fetch to achieve it).

Anywho, off to do some homework and then dremel nails before our training time tonight! If you have any thoughts on Merlin's issue, feel free to post - I can't promise I'll try your suggestion (f.ex. if I feel it's likely to increase rather than decrease his worry) but I do promise to consider it. :)

Feb 7, 2010


Well, as you may've guessed from the lack of update things didn't work out as hoped. He is a wonderfully sweet and smart boy, but unfortunately he and my intact male Sheltie didn't particularly get along. There are some other possibilities coming up, but it just depends on how things play out. I'll share some details on those when things are more definitive. :)

In the meantime, the Shelties and I have been hanging out at home and playing in the snow! We missed our agility rental last weekend but hope to schedule one for the very near future - I'm getting a bit a bit stir crazy and craving some agility, and I know the dogs are also. :)

Jan 29, 2010

New Family Member

Well, we do indeed have a hopeful new family member joining our "pack"! Details, pictures, and such will be shared this weekend. I'll be meeting his breeder in Pittsburgh, PA which is about halfway for us both (6-6.5 hours). :)

Excited would be an understatement!

Jan 25, 2010

Trying this blogging thing again

A friend and I recently made an agreement that we'd both make an attempt to blog about our dogs on a regular (at least weekly) basis. I'm not sure yet what exactly mine will consist of - likely a mix of training notes, random pictures, and video from trials.

One of the biggest areas I need to work on in my training sessions is documenting them - I tend to keep mental notes about what happened, but rarely if ever write down how things went which makes it a bit more difficult long-term.

In addition I've realized that due to various technology glitches I don't have as many pictures of my dogs as I'd like, which is something I'm becoming all too aware of as my dogs get older. Dewy turned 7 this past September, Rio turned 6 in October, and Merlin turned 5 in September also.

We may also have a new member joining our family this year, and I aim to have plenty of pictures to share. :)

I think that's about all for now - going to finish setting up this blog and then focus on getting some homework done and websites updated. I spent a fair bit of the day playing outside with the dogs and now am playing catch up! I plan to update in the next day or two about our first attempts with Get On The Ball work.