Monday, April 30, 2012


"very nearly but not exactly or entirely"
  • I almost Q'd in most classes this weekend
  • I almost kept enough suntan lotion on to prevent burning
  • I almost made it through the whole weekend without complaining
  • I almost ran out of gas
  • Fin almost stuck her contacts (never got called, but having the same issue with running)
  • I almost ran out of diet coke (ahhhhh! very scary)
  • I almost was too exhausted to check facebook
  • I almost got a refusal in my standard class on Saturday but for some reason didn't and Q'd
  • I almost ran the wrong course, but someone following me explained that I was missing a number...hmmm 11 does preceed 12..don't know how I missed that
  • I almost took photos, but kept forgetting my camera
I did have tons of fun, hiked a bunch, saw many beautiful wild flowers, and ran my heart out.  Fin was amazing and maybe just a little naughty.

I LOVE my agility group.  SMART is a great club.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving Pictures!

Thanks to the guys at 4legged Flix, I got some Video from the weekend.
One of my best runs.  I can see areas for improvement so I know we can go faster.  But I am thrilled with how Fin totally rocked this course.

Team Standard
The Tunnel A frame gave a lot of people trouble.  I knew I was going to have issues.  And I did.  But the run is good.

Team Jumpers
An early jump resulted in a knocked bar and face plant.  Poor little Fin.  But otherwise a nice run.

Grand Prix
I thought this was a nice run.  Just needed a threadle at that last turn and she went wide over a jump rather than taking the teeter.  So I worked the weaves on the way out and am very happy with the result.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So it started in conversation on the long... to LA last weekend.  Me and my friend discussing how we need to do better at setting and meeting our goals.  I said, well, maybe I should get up early next week and hit the gym.  She said, let's do it.  5:30am.  I'm thinking, "oh crap, what have I done."  In the excitement of the moment, we both agreed to get up at 5:30 each day this week.
After about 20 minutes I realized we were driving home Sunday and I was going to be too tired to get up on Monday at 5:30.  She disagreed.  We made a commitment, she said, stick to it.
Turns out, yesterday was pretty easy.  Up at 5:30, got dressed for workout, went to work (I work in my home office), gym in the afternoon...and the day continued.
Today, this one was hard.  Poor little Maddie had to get up multiple times last night.  I'm sure it wasn't more than 6, but it seemed to be every 15 minutes.  At 4:30 I was contemplating just staying up but I tried for a little more sleep.  Turns out I fell back to sleep and at 5:30 (arg) surprise surprise, I got up.  Off to the gym for a work out and now 7:09, back in the office.  Amazing.
Three more days.  Maybe, just maybe I might stretch this into next week.  Wait...that might be the adrenalin from the exercise talking.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The weekend report

Weather:  Hot (cool mornings, unexpected hot afternons, cool evenings)
Hotel: Scarey loose dog Sat night, irritating loose dog Friday night, weird guys in the bushes, Spider bite on SpaceMonkey Sat night...ummm not going back
Location: Fantastic (except for the stickers...didn't like the stickers...but no stickers in the agility field)
Agility: Super Fun and Truly Challenging Courses
Noteworthy Accomplishments:  Fin- 3rd place Steeplechase finals  Fireball 2nd place team!

Fun times.  No moving pictures sorry.  Every run Fin ran hard and I ran as hard as I could.  Sometimes it was enough and other times we made up our own courses.  Once I get unpacked I'll try to scan some of the course maps.  I really thought that many of the courses were the most fun I've had in a long time.  Yes some of the courses were tight (not my fav but worse on the big dogs) but certainly there were some twists and turns you wouldn't expect.  I love when first glance a course looks pretty straight forward, then you get out there and go, "Whoa...that's not gonna work!"  Then the strategy come in, do I turn left or right, what's the best approach to the next set of challenges.  Just makes things more interesting...of course we hear the whistle a little more...I certainly did!

We packed up a left early Sunday leaving all our friends to run the Grand Prix finals.  It was bittersweet.  We wanted to stay and watch, but Monday loomed and SpaceMonkey's head just kept getting bigger and bigger, so we packed up the van and left by 1.  Our friends kept up up to date by phone and we were cheering in the car when we thought they might be running.

There was much laughter this weekend.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Thanks to my buds for hanging out with me!  Oh, did I mention we ate at Cafe Firenze THREE TIMES!!!  Yum.  This week, there will be much dieting.  Much exercising.  No eating of anything that contains any calories.  It was all worth it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exciting Agility Events in our Back Yard and Beyond

We have THREE weekends of agility coming up that we would consider "local".

-SMART ( April 28/29
-Bayteam ( May 5/6
-AKC Casa De Fruita May11/13

Each of these events is drivable in the bay area. 

There are also some very exciting agility events coming up that you can live stream on your computer through Agility Vision
-World team tryouts May 5-6
-World Agility Open (WAO) in Belguim May 18-20

In addition, the World Agility Championships are in the US this year.  May 10-13.  Not sure if there will be live streaming yet, but I'll let you know when I know.

So much little time.

And we are off...

The next few weekends are truly busy:

Can you say, "Road trip!!!"  I sure can.

Tomorrow off we will go in the "Fly'n K9" dog van.  Headed to Moorpark California for the brand spanking new Southwestern Regional.  This is the Regional that almost didn't happen due to a location cancellation crisis.  But the good folks at Dart worked hard and boy oh boy, we are going to take advantage of their hard work.

Driving down with my Finiest Fin, my best bud, and 3 outta control border collies.  Ok, so they really aren't out of control but it sure seems that way when I wake up at 3am to find one sitting on my head.  The show is 3 days and I'm entered in Team, all of the Tourney events, and a few Masters classes.  They have the international classes, but I thought it was just too much so opted out.

Following this trip comes two weekend USDAA shows here locally.  These are some of my favorite shows, both at Prunedale.  First is with SMART ( and the second is with Bayteam (  These shows are generally smaller in nature and it just feels like playing agility in the backyard with a few of your friends.  There is always plenty of laughter at these shows and the venue is at a park with loads of trails.  So nice to be able to walk your dog on a trail to cool down after a run.

The forth weekend is 3 days of AKC at a local venue "Casa De Fruita."  My favorite AKC of the year.  Just a nice venue and easily driven to from my house.  I've entered the Tazzman at this trial...he gets to start over in Novice Preferred.  I know he will rock those courses!

Whew.  I'm tired just thinking about it.  Hope my husband doesn't notice how much I'm gone? 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Agility, hiking, taxes

One day AKC found Fin and I up in Santa Rosa. 

Jumpers had some weird angles that were calling to some dogs, but despite a late cross and me getting behind babysitting, we got through it.  Fin as usual was her fast but biddable self. 

Standard was a wild ride.  Sometimes after a run, I ask myself, what was I thinking?  In this run I had no time to think.  A better dog trainer would have laid their dog down after running the A-frame and dog walk.  Me, all I could do was run as fast as I could to try to keep up with the flying Fin.  A dropped bar on the last bar so no Q, but fun, fun, fun!  No regrets...well maybe a little, I really shouldn't let her get away with such behavior...ah well.  Next time, a plan.  I'll have a plan.

Stayed at the trial and watched a bunch of agility.  Waited around to support the Novice dogs.  So much fun watching the babies run.  Special mention must be made for the rockstar that is Stat (aka Rummy) handling by my buddy Laura.  He rocked the house with his babydog cuteness and even was cute on the way home.

Today a nice long hike.  The flowers are blooming and it is really pretty out there.  Tazz was ever eager to pounce on the unsuspecting lizard, Fin just following along, and a surprise appearance by my husband who walked with me.  Just a beautiful day.

Home now and taxes are looming.  Once again I'm going to get an extension.  Procrastination is a terrible thing. 

Next weekend, off to LA for a fun filled 3 day USDAA!  Can't wait.  New venue that looks awesome and dinner at Cafe Firenze!  So much to look forward to.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Fun Filled 3 Days and 3 Nights With Friends Food and some excellent wine....

Hawte Tracs was fun.  I did not enter the team event, but entered and qualified in Steeplechase and Grandprix (a 1st and 3rd place).  In addition, I had a very nice light schedule on Thurs/Friday with only a few runs each day.  Each run was special.  Whether a qualifying run or not, Fin and I were a team this past weekend and it felt amazing.


So glad we have beaten the NQ GP curse.  Not the prettiest run, but when you've been cursed for so long, maybe things don't always go as planned.  My expectations of myself were that I would be lateral to the contacts and ahead of her most of the run.  Unfortunately Fin decided that she didn't have to stop on no stink'n contacts in GP.  Made for an exciting run....maybe too exciting, but that's what agility is about!

Fin Standard

One of my favorite runs of the weekend.  Only mistake is a little late rear cross at the end.  Felt so smooth at the time.

Fin Jumpers

The second run of the weekend and I felt I could have waited for her at the finish line.  She went out and ran this course all by herself.  Very good girly.  A great way to have started the weekend.

Many other runs, some missed opportunities (mine as well as hers) but more good than bad. 

Agility has become so much more to me than just hanging with my dog.  That was enough, but I never dreamed that it would also open up such opportunities with friends that I didn't even know existed.  Thank you to everyone!

So many things to smile about.  I've been enjoying the afterglow.  But, seriously, this week will be all about the proofing of the contacts and the lateral distance to weaves.

One last one.  Steeplechase round 1 and 2.  Round one just bar but still 2nd place.  Round two - a little late on that huge run, but able to call her back and run fast for a 1st place finish.  Bringing home the bacon makes the husband happy :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Unfortunately I didn't win a million dollars in Reno, but...

...I did see some fantastic agility.

This past weekend I found myself with two good buddies watching hours and hours and hours and hours...and then some more hours of agility.

It never lost the excitement!  There were so many people I knew and wanted to cheer for.  There were so many people I've wanted to see run in person. So much to do.

I will admit, it is a little exhausting trying to coordinate where to sit and when to move to different rings.  Those competitors think it is a long day running their dogs, well I tell them, try and be a cheering fan.  Now that's tiring.

I would absolutely go again, but only if my buds go too.