Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Snow

On Saturday we got 6 inches of snow. Here's a picture of our back yard as the snow begins. This was a dangerous snow as the leaves were still on the trees. The weight of the heavy, wet snow caused many limbs to break off. We had three huge ones fall into the yard. Thankfully they didn't hit anything. Many people in the area lost power--and are still without power. We were fortunate in that we never lost power.

Cosi loves the snow. This snow, however, was odd. As he was running in the yard, clumps of snowy slush would fall from the trees overhead. These blobs would whack him on his body. He'd look up as if to say, "What? I'm running here!"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween

On Saturday we're supposed to get socked by a nor'easter. A storm is moving up the East Coast and will bring 6 inches of snow. I guess the best costume this Halloween will be a snowman.

In our small town Trick or Treat night is one of the few times where you get to see all your neighbors. We all sit on our porches to hand out the candy. Some have elaborate decorations complete with sound tracks. I bring the dogs out onto the porch with me to watch the kids go past. It's a good exercise in "just lie there and watch."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#9

Cosi and I were at Dauphin this weekend and snagged #9 towards our Master's FAST title. The video is below.

On Saturday the courses--both standard and JWW--were fabulous. Good flow with good challenges in them. We ran great. Sunday's standard class was very tricky, very technical. Dogs were "biting the dust" right and left in the 24's and 20's. As I was getting Cosi ready to run, there was a father with his son sitting ringside. The son--a boy around 12 or 13--reached over to pet Cosi, saying, "Hi, puppy!" I said, "Not now, hon. He's getting ready to go in the ring. He needs to get his game face on." We ran brilliantly. We NAILED that course with only one off-course. All bars stayed up; contacted hit like there was no tomorrow! I was thrilled. As I came to Cosi's treat stash and was rewarding him for his great run, that same boy came over and said to Cosi, "You ran really good!" I grinned from ear to ear. Yes, he did. I have no video as my two buddies were busy with their own courses (it was a 3-ring trial), but I don't need video. I'll remember that run forever.


video

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Balance and Core Work

Last night I changed up the balance and core work for the dogs. I usually work only one piece of equipment at a time. Last nIght I made stepping stones out of the following: a dog bed, a shoe box, the balance disc, the small balance balls (3 of them), then the shoe box lid. It was fun to see the dogs go from stable and flat to something that moves. It was a good shaping session in that they had to think where to place their feet. Cosi enjoyed the challenge. Mike didn't know what to make of the shoe box and avoided it. LOL

Monday, October 17, 2011

J.O.L.T.-ed Again

This past weekend at the York trial, Cosi and I were jolt-ed again. J.O.L.T. stands for just one little thing. Just one dropped bar, just one off course, just one refusal kept us from Q'ing. And here's the part that really gets me. We beat the first place dog every time. We would have had three first place runs. *sigh* My heart was breaking Sunday afternoon, and my spirit was flagging. On the way home from the trial on Sunday afternoon, I detoured and instead of going home I stopped at one of our favorite walking spots. I was still dressed in trial gear and full of muddy footprints on my pants, but who cares? I was so blue and needed to go walking with my dogs. It was a beautiful, breezy day. After 40 minutes of walking, I gave up feeling sad. I wasn't jumping for joy, but resigned to try again next weekend. It's just that we could be so good.

The one judge at the trial had us use a new innovation to exit the ring. In AKC you must enter and leave the ring on leash. If you leave without your dog on leash, you are NQ'd. He had the club build an "air lock" at the exit of the ring. It was fencing with a gate on either end--an entrance and an exit gate. At the end of your run, you went into the air lock box. Your leash was inside the box. You got your dog on leash and exited out the back gate. This was fabulous, and I was so impressed with it that I wrote to AKC agility telling them about it. It kept the ring moving, and you could take a few moments to celebrate with your dog before putting his leash on. I hope it is adopted at more trials.

Oh, and yes, Anna, I had egg sandwiches both days. And they were fabulous!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still Queen

Miss Jenny--aka Jenny The Jett, Jett-Jett, Baby Girl--went for her checkup today. She got all A's on her report card. She is still Queen of all she surveys. Looking awesome for an 11-year-old. Oops! Did I just tell your age? Sorry, Jett.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Observations From The Trial

Cosi and I are at an AKC trial this weekend.  I have no video since I'm here alone, but I do have some observations to share.  

First, the one judge has everyone talking.  The standard course was flat out ugly.  It was tight and didn't flow at all.  Cosi did well, dropping only one bar and had one off course.  He held his contacts, so that was a plus.  When the results came out, I was not surprised to see NO dogs Q'd in the 16" class.  The big dogs didn't fare well either.  Things that make you go hmmmmm....

I got to see my friend Scott run his small sheltie, Devon, in Excellent A jumpers.   What a GREAT dog he is.  He zoomed through the course with a Q and a first place.  Well done, Miller Lite!

When there was a jump height change, I saw an unusual sight.  The first 12" dog came in the ring.  As the ring crew readied the course, she played warm-up games with her dog.  I was surprised that no one told her to leave.  Hello?  Training in the ring is a huge No-No in AKC.  Working your dog in the ring is getting an unfair advantage.   *sigh*.  Seems like I was the only rule-following fool who noticed.   

I worked as ring crew for the open standard class.  I got to observe the handling up close.  In a word, oy.   All everyone said was here, here, here.  No direction like jump or frame or tunnel.  Just here, here, HERE!   As a result, dogs were all over the place, not running a course but just trying to guess where here is.   I was wondering why our dogs just don't jump up and bite us in the butt.  How's that for "here"?

I had high hopes for a QQ this weekend, but no luck on Saturday. We ran very well in jumpers, just dropped a bar on a tight turn. (Guess who was out of position?). We Q'd in FAST.  

I will meet my good friend Janice for dinner tonight.   We'll celebrate her speedy recovery from a recent hospital stay.  Good friends+Good Dog=Great weekend.   

Monday, October 3, 2011

LKC

Cosi and I were at the Lancaster Kennel Club trial this past weekend. It was cold--and, at times, rainy--so we were both bundled up. His back-on-track coat really helped keep him warm and ready to run. In FAST on the first day we got enough points, but not the send. So no Q there. Then he qualified in Standard, which was HUGE! He had perfect contacts and took 3rd. In jumpers I was hoping for that first, elusive QQ, but it didn't happen. Sunday's FAST had a serpentinie in the bonus. We got it and took 3rd in FAST. In standard we hit all our contacts, but got a refusal at a tunnel. UGH! Next training focus will be on tunnels. In jumpers there was a serpentine and the judge was standing right were I needed to do a FC to make the serpentine. Frustrating. Not such a hot day on Sunday. We're off to Williamsport this coming weekend.

Here is the link to one of his FAST runs. Nice contacts! Good weavers!