Monday, August 29, 2011

ADCH Himark's Holy Mackerel!

How many hours of work go in to making an agility dog champion?  It is different for each team.  So many people I spoke with this weekend told me they only needed one Super Q, or 4 jumpers, or 2 standard.

Me and Fin, we needed 2 Gamble and 1 jumpers.  With two days of gamble and jumpers, being at my favorite park, and competing with my club, I was thrilled that I got those last three Q's to allow me and my dog Fin to stand up there with the other Champions of the world.

The first gamble on Saturday was thrilling.  First off, Fin and I suck at gamble.  But on paper, the gamble looked like something we could do.  Then I started watching the dogs curl off of the last jumps.  I figured, all I could do is try.  And we did it!

Later that day we walked the jumpers.  Yikes it was a hard course, but looked fun.  It was not to be.  Going home Saturday, I knew I had the opportunity on Sunday to Q in both Gamble and Jumpers, but realized that I also had the trial on Labor day.  I promised myself that I would enjoy my moments rather than focus on my faults.  Not worry about the Q's but worry about doing a good job.

Well, Sundays Gamble was a tunnel A frame discrimination with a push to the jump.  Despite having her fail to do the A frame in the opening when asked, she did the A frame in the closing AND pushed out to that jump!  OMG!  I was so excited.  Then my stomach started to hurt.  All I needed was one jumpers.

The jumpers course was eating dogs alive.  But somehow, someway, despite nearly falling down, at one point forgetting the course and sending her to the right instead of the left, feeling the anxiety of my friends standing around watching, Fin and I got through it and we got our stick!!!!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  You know who you are, I thank you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kippiee Kedar Comes to Whizland

Kippiee the Pug.  Found at a shelter, provided a home by my sister, and loved by my sister and her wife.  A very lucky little dog.

 A fine upstanding citizen, whom my dogs seem to like.
 Who wouldn't like that sad little face!  Oh did I mention she snores.  Really loud!
 Kippie had no trouble with standing guard with Maddie while the boyz rested.  Fin doesn't stand guard, her talents lie elsewhere.
 She hung out by the pool and learned really quick to go around it rather than through it.
 She's got that look of, "Is it dinner time yet" down pack.  Just want to give her hugs upon hugs.
 Was trying to capture behavior earlier in the day.  All I did here was capture it with the camera.  But I'd love to get this little number on cue.
Tazzies little shadow.  And weirdly enough, Tazz doesn't seem to mind her at all.

A wonderful visit that isn't over yet.  Hope she gets to visit often.  She is a doll.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting my grid on...

One of the things I like to do is go back and see what I was working on a year ago and reboot.  Last year I had just signed up Fin in agility after 10 months of rest and rehab.  We were working on her jumping and confidence.

I visited with Susan Salo multiple times and this exercise was one of my favorites.  My friends and I would get together at my place and work on straight grids and curvy grids.  So this week, back to the basics night we are working on grids.

You should try this at home.  You can substitute a double or triple for the #7 jump.
  • Start with just one - two
  • then one-two-three
  • then one-two-three-four
  • then the whole thing...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This little girl gives all of herself...

Thanks Trista from Dynamic Dog Photograpy

A wonderful side trip during vacation

For a few hours one of my vacation days, we did something I've always wanted to do.  Blow glass.  I was thinking I wanted to make a large vase, but of course, we were only allowed to make a 5" ball (either to hang or with a base).  First we had the safety lecture.

 Careful not to get to near the ovens.  They are HOT.
 We had a choice of colors and they would put gold on your balls if you wanted it.  Kel didn't want gold on his balls.  I didn't either.
 For my ball I picked purple/green/blue.  I also picked the "hurricane" design.  My participation was somewhat limited.  The "expert" glass guy really did all the work, getting the glass and adding the color.

Making it round using wooden spoons.

 But I got to mix my colors up and make ridges on my ball.  What a thrill!
 Then, I got to blow it up.  Rather than blowing directly on the pole, I used a blowing tube.  
 Kel also made a ball.  His colors were white/aqua/purple and his design was a feather.  Since the feather is more precise, he only got to blow.  After the ball was blown up, the end was thinned so that it would break off.
 Then a new piece of glass from a smaller pole was added to the top.
 Once the little glob was added, the glass guy used his tool to make a loop for hanging.
 Once all was done, a quick photo (didn't get one of mine) and then the balls were placed in a cooling box that cooled them over a 4 day period.  The glass really needs to cool very slowly so that it doesn't crack.
Our little balls arrived yesterday.  They are so pretty. 

This little adventure was very special.  I really love the creative process and have wanted to try this out as long as I can remember.  I'm hoping I can find a class locally so I can make my own balls from start to finish.  So much fun...maybe not as much fun as agility, but still, expanding my mind to try new things always brings the unexpected.

Thank you Jewel Gardens for such a WONDERFUL experience.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Quick AKC after getting back from Alaska...

Had a really fabulous run with Fin on Sunday after being gone 10 days.  My husband thought I was  a little crazy for going to a dog show after getting home so late.  Even so, I was ready and headed up with my best friend and super spectacular Fin to try out getting that elusive double q.

Standard didn't result in a Q, after a self release start then a blasting running of the contact, I was hard pressed to keep up with her.  We made up our own course for a while until I figured out what I wanted to do, and ended  the standard run with beautiful weaves, an almost stopped A frame, and tight jump sequence. Perhaps a little contact work is in my and Fins future.

Jumpers was fun, fast and straightforward. 

The drive home wasn't too bad and got home at a decent hour.  This week, focus on work and prepare for a big end to August with two huge USDAA shows.......maybe even an ADCH?!?!

Well Pups, Mom's home!

 Trains, planes, and boats were the theme of this wonderful trip with my husband.  Certainly the planes were my least favorite.  Loved the train!
 Met up with friends on the ship.  I think it has been at least 60 minutes from our last meal.  Time to eat again!
 Although there was ice, the temps were really wonderful.  The coldest day was at the Glacier but only because we hung out on deck and there was a cool breeze off the glacier.
 Yummy food!
 Got off the cruise ship and got on other ships for whale watching.
 There were Alaska dogs everywhere.  Most were pretty big, but saw some pugs and corgi's as well.
 Then there were the whales, humpback and killer whales were spotted.  Also saw dolphins and Stellar sea lions.  Very cool.
 Had tea in Skagway.  So much fun.
Beautiful sky's followed us everywhere.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm outta here.

Well dogs, hope you do ok without me.  I'm headed to Alaska and you guys are staying here with Auntie Katrina. 

Oh how I hate to go, but vacation with my husband is necessary and actually fun.

Yes, we are going someplace colder than here.  Might even rain.  In any event, fun will be had, even if no dogs are involved. 

I will be back ever so soon.
Be good while I'm gone.  Kiss kiss.