Monday, May 26, 2008

well results are in

and little Brody pulled through with an amazing 396 points ... not too shabby for a year of trialling eh?

yesterday morning started with gambles for us

he got 14 obstacles completed and earned 34 points.. I didn't even try the minis as watching folks they wasted a TON of time on minis generally - the gamble was interesting - tunnel out to "wrong" end of tunnel then down a layered row of jumps

very few dogs got the gamble but those that did were AMAZING to watch

second round came up jumpers - it was a WICKED cool course to run but the tunnel curse followed us - Brody trotted the course rather then running it til we were finished the tunnels then he sped up - we got time faults but ran clean (a LOT of handlers got lost and dogs went off course)

it all came down to the standard run - It was important we ran well though we didn't need a clean run .. Brody was so ON it was amazing - he NAILED a clean run and had 7 extra points as a time bonus ... it was a thrilling way to end a thrilling weekend

he came 10th in jumpers on Saturday and 6th with that fabulous standard run Sunday

TWO regional ribbons - just amazing for a first time

so very grateful to everybody for the support around this ..... and so honoured to live with such a generous dog

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day One

Well it's late and I'm burned - and frozen at the same time

Today went ok - though I don't have the safety margin of being over 200 points today - I'm at about 180 I think

80 ish in the standard run - Brody struggled with the weaves..too bad as the rest of the run was lovely but we ended up way overtime and with 10 faults

24 in the gamble - we had a loud teeter bang as Brody came out of a tunnel (which actually slowed down all the rest of the tunnels for the day - hopefully he'll forget that overnight) and a lady opened a chip bag - which Brody heard as he headed up the dog walk - great timing! We did complete 7 obstacles in the time allowed - should have been 9 but there you go. Didn't try the mini gambles the main gamble actually held promise and Brody flipped out to the teeter but then froze so I ran in to support him ..maybe too early but I didn't want him worryinng at all today if there was no need and the run had already been rough

rocked a clean run in jumpers and scored 9 bonus points too - to bring the jumpers total up to 84! it was a course made for Brody lots of straight fast lines

the wind was so strong they had someone standing on the chute so dogs didn't tangle in it - a bit disconcerting to me but ended up being fine :)

the judges were great - it felt a bit like being in a factory but they kept cheerful somehow through it all

Met a few new to me people today but mainly hung out with the eastern crew - and visited with Brandi and Renee a bit too :)

Fitz is being SO GOOD - he's loose leash walking and charming everybody! Started him on tugging and a little 6 inch jumping too - addictions are terrible things ;)

Let's hope tomorrow goes as well - just for FUN!

Friday, May 23, 2008

wishing I was better at math

sitting in my motel - trying to keep the dogs quiet and wondering if I'll qualify for nationals - wondering why I care too actually!

nice warm up day - Brody ran well but not well enough that I think I should have been at work - actually got 5 work related calls - oh joy! Nothing like a day of leave from work!

I have some wind/sun burn ...

Fitz was amazingly good - hard to believe he has as much baggage as it seems - he's a bit like the girl with the curl - when he's good he's fabulous when he's bad he's really really naughty

so nice to see everybody - eastern crew was amazing - so was gail .. I'm so not into meeting people tho ;)

so I've done some basic math

Brody runs 2 standard courses (max 100 points each) 2 jumpers courses (max 75 points each) and two gamblers courses (his personal best in the class is around 20 points when he doesn't get the gamble). One of each course goes each day. You need a total of 350 points to go to Nationals. So Brody needs 85 points in the two standard runs .. 100 in one and 70 in the other is just fine; 70 points in each jumpers (again 75 in one and 65 in the other is fine) and 20 points in each gamblers class.. if he got a gamble that would take a LOT of pressure off but honestly I can't see it happening ..who knows tho - stranger things have happened - like him getting the last two gambles in one night!

I was trying to figure out at what point tomorrow I'd just get in the car and head home too - too funny as I can't do that much math without getting a sore brain ;)

what will be will be and I've already learned lots - Brody is a great little dog and I'm lucky to have him in my life :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

on Driving, Weddings, Jitters and Agility

wow - the three weeks are only one week done and I'm already wiped out - I drove 5.5 hours Friday, an hour Saturday, 4.5 hours Sunday, 3 hours Monday, and 4 hours Tuesday
I could not get in a car again for a week and be fine!
(instead of course I'll drive 4+ hours tomorrow mind you)
The drives were all fine and the tunes were rocking but it is tiring especially when you aren't sure where you are going. Why is it the drive seems longer on new territory?

Pat and Sun Yi's wedding was fabulous. It was fun being the assistant to the best man. The Wigamog Inn did not blow me away but the party was great, the church was BEAUTIFUL and so were Pat, Tom and Sun Yi. It is always nice to catch up with people you don't get to see much too!

As regionals and nationals approach I find myself a little more anxious then I expected - I need to spend some time concentrating on getting my head in the game. There will be LOTS of very nervous people there to affect me. I need to find and stay in my zone ;)

Took Brody out to Spot On yesterday - thanks Kathyrn! I wanted to run outdoors and he was excellent - a little sniffy at first but rocked a nice little jumpers course and did 12 weaves many times with confidence - WOO HOO
Sally was silly at first but did settle down and want to work so much that I had to drag her back to the car as she wasn't ready to go!

Monday night at the church was fun too - Brody and Sally both worked well but then I gave a mini lesson to Nanacy with Cas and Ann with Scarlett - both dogs found the pressure of being in a semi tough but I was delighted with both dogs progress ;)

we'll see what the weekend brings...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

a little of this and that...

Nice practises this week
Brody is HOT to trot - I wish I had more experience in maintaining condition for him but I guess that's part of this year's learning curve!

Sally was amazing both Monday and Tuesday

very cool little pinwheel thing:


got to wrap, front cross, rear cross - nice thing to work on timing and footwork

also did the lovely oval speed wheel - except we had to turn them around - was fun!

Brody and Fitz are walking together good workout for us all - up and down the ravine hill :)
(yup Fitz has been all cleared to do whatever!)

Thea was sharp on Monday night too- was nice to have enough time to work everybody a bit.

Trying to get organized for being away the next three weekends in a row - feeling a little frantic about it all...

Kaylie isn't feeling great which is tough to see but she doesn't seem to be in pain ...fingers crossed the next three weeks are ok for her...

lots of ... in this post ... kind of sums up things around here... meeting to meeting... crisis to crisis... fabulous workout to fabulous workout...

... Tom was away most of last week and this one ... looking forward to connecting at the wedding this weekend

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the liddle twerp in the basement

isn't in the basement right now - we have no basement in the county ;)

and he has a name - Fitzgerald ( Fitz for short) and while he is a spoiled brat he already has tons of potential

by brat I mean: he's got resource guarding issues; he's somehow been taught that chewing on hands gently is cute; he leaps and spins and has hysterics when he sees a leash; he apparently doesn't like everybody (although he very quickly liked Tom and I) - on the plus side he is papertrained and house trained

he's 14 months old and Tom taught him a rocking COME and sit yesterday while I was off playing agility

he is adorable - probably pretty much what Ibby looked like when a puppy ... awwwwww

his overbite is disgusting - what is it with Shih Tzu teeth eh?

his eye is weepy - so I'm thinking dry eye but we'll see

he's skinny

and don't know what I'll do with him next weekend when I'm at the dog free wedding!ack

Bob is in his trial home for this weekend and next and we'll decide from there what happens with him - let's hope he sticks!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

my legs are jello

but my heart continues to be full of admiration for my amazing gang ;)

Thea was just incredible - she ran in starters snooker and starters jumpers

in the snooker course the judge had the teeter as the #4 obstacle so the ONLY way we could possibly Q was to go for 4 reds and 4 of the 7 point obstacle... (in this case the aframe) Thea smoked the course.. nailing all the reds and the aframe - sadly as we finished the last frame she was distracted by the red jump and went off course to jump it... SHOOT .. but how many chihuhuas out there can claim a 34 point opening??


in the jumpers course she was fast and accurate til the second last obstacle and then she ran past the chute .. she hasn't seen a chute since November and it's not her favourite obstacle (fussy gal that she is not liking chutes, teeters or weaves much yet)

but she was FAST and she was listening and she was BOLD so there is hope for her yet ;)

Sally was a NUT - a maniac - a barking fool.. she did the two gambles classes and while she nearly got the gamble each time she couldn't calm herself enough to earn the opening points...

Brody earned his two advanced gambles qs - how I'm not sure - I really really didn't think he'd ever get them ... the first course was interesting - the mini gamble included the teeter and usually Brody would be ok on that but he wobbled so I ran in and supported him and asked him to do it again which he did much better ... lucky I did that as the second gambles course had a long go out to a teeter ..

the first gamble was a jump a aframe a crooked tunnel and then a last jump - dogs missed the frame, the tunnel and the last jump ... so I had plenty of places to worry me - and I had never done a distance aframe (I only get to see them in trials) but Brody flew it - very nice that Tom as watcing his first ever agility class and saw it!

and I had done my usual thing and not picked up a course ahead of time - for me I obviously learn by action - running each course three+ times seems to do it best for me (which, of course, when added with the course building and racing from ring to ring results in the jello leg thing when you do 12 runs) so using the educable moment from the first ring really paid and I didn't know it would!

The second gambles class I ran with such great intention that I ended up in the right spot but wayyyyyyyy ahead of schedule ...Brody did 11 obstacles in the opening (usually he gets 7) and I nearly loitered at the gamble line (penalized with elimination I think)while I tried to think what to do ..
the gamble line was a tire to a teeter to a jump - and the gamble line swung out away from the teeter so timing your motion was a bit tricky - a number of dogs bailed on the teeter but not the rockstar Brody! no siree not him!

We didn't need the third class so I used it to train for the rest of the weekend - and Brody ran well - he didn't get the gamble but he got plenty of point!

Brody was slow off the mark in both the steeplechase (weaves were second obstacle and while he was accurate he was SLOW) and snookers I was an idiot and had the aframe as the second obstacle - so again he was NOT impressed ;).. I'm a little disappointed in the snookers actually - first one he's missed sinc ehe earned the starters snookers in the fall and had he earned it we would have had our first masters title

He flew the jumpers course tho - to earn his first masters jumpers Q - actually what he really did was waste no time - he didn't RACE but he did cute tight corners and do wraps that saved seconds all the way around - there really wasn't even a bobble to worry about. He came second in that class too - behind a very good dog!he had nearly 12 seconds to spare .. two more to go to masters jumpers title

His masters standard course also rocked- only 4 dogs in the whole class earned a Q apparently and Brody was one of them ... making him only one standard Q away from his masters title ...amazing

Our last class was team and my partner and I were 1.4 seconds overtime - and brody was pretty quick but hey- what can you do? maybe next time - or maybe we'll be like Jen Laird and take 16 tries with clean runs each time before we get the two Qs we need to move on

this is the anniversary of our first trial in the east - was nice to be able to wish so many people happy anniversary :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

hardly any agility in this one..

Bob had a little skin tag removed yesterday from the back of his leg.. a yucky but harmless thing that wasn't going to make any potential adoptors love him

Dr Au also clipped his face- now he looks like a funny shaped cocker spaniel - very very cute and goofy

he was so good - it was done under local and he just lay quietly letting them fuss with him - amazing turn around in what had been a grumpy little dog

Monday at the church the dogs (Sally and Brody only Thea stayed home) were excellent and Sally was excellent last night too - more rear crosses and she's getting more and more confident about all the skills too

there is a little twerp in the basement too - recovering in isolation from a virus but he's feeling GREAT and not too happy to be isolated I have to say :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

First Masters Standard Q

and it should have been two but I mishandled a tricky weave entry - he was HOT - he was smoking and I was out of breath !

I am so pleased that he is earning masters qs I really wasn't sure that we would be able to it - and here we are a year after starting to trial placing ahead of some very very nice dogs :)

The steeplechase was irritating - 3 seconds over time but clean ... our fate it seems :)