Monday, April 29, 2013

SSCGB Trial

First of all, Happy Birthday to Mike (see his picture at the top of this page)! He was Big Boy 9 on Friday!

Cosi and Dixie and I traveled to Maryland for the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Greater Baltimore trial. That club always runs a top-notch trial. It was a fun weekend, and Cosi and I were clicking. It was also a RyLadd time in that Cosi's brother, Trax, was there and Dixie's mother, Riddle, was there.

We got an elusive QQ on Friday. I was so thrilled because we had really been connected lately. I love that feeling. Another highlight of the weekend was seeing Miss Jordan and her Sheltie Maverick tear up the courses. She nailed the Time 2 Beat course on Sunday along with the Novice JWW course. I was ring crew for the Novice JWW class and saw dog after dog struggle, drop bars, and go off course. Jordan came to the line, aggressively ran her dog and came away with a 17 second time! The judge was so impressed that she called out, "Now *that's* how it's done!"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dixie Continues To Study The Master

As I watched Cosi's videos on the TV, Dixie came over and was completely fascinated. She sat stone still, watching the runs on TV. Thanks to Heather for capturing the moment as I was focused on watching the TV too.

Now that Dixie has studied the Master, I'm thinking I'll give her a pop quiz: True or False? Listening to Da Momma is critical on course? LOL

Sunday, April 21, 2013

USDAA Showcase Weekend

Wow! What a weekend. Cosi was the best dog on the planet this weekend, with Dixie coming in a close second. First, Cosi...

We are now in P2 in USDAA and entered the Showcase because it is so close to home. It is the perfect opportunity to get a boatload of runs. I didn't enter any tournament rounds as they tend to occur so late in the day at a huge event like this.

We ended up qualifying twice on Friday in Gamblers and Pairs, once on Saturday in a much-needed Jumpers course, and twice on Sunday in Pairs and Snooker(!).

Heather and her daughter, Jordan, came to stay with us and made the entire event fun. Their dogs Trax and Maverick blended into our pack, going for runs in the yard with my gang as well as on nice walks in the evening.

Jordan was a great cameraperson for Cosi and me. Thanks to her I have video of our runs. Here is the list on YouTube:

Friday Gamblers

Friday Pairs with Trax (da brudders)

Saturday Jumpers

Sunday Pairs again with Trax

My favorite run with Cosi - Snooker

Dixie was great on Friday and Saturday at the trial. She is learning to hang out in the soft crate with Cosi, how to be left behind when he goes for a run, and how to walk around a trial site with manners (no, you don't lunge at every dog you see; yes, strangers are going to pet you). My friend Nancy was crated next to us (it was Sheltie-ville in our area). Her brother, Mike, had a camera and took some pictures of Cosi and Dixie. I love how he captured their expressions. He very generously gave me a CD of the photos he took. Here are my favorites:

Cosi looking at me. I love the sweet potatoes on his chin whiskers!

Dixie watches me, holding position for a treat.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Good Sunday

Cosi and I came together as a solid team on Sunday, turning in three great runs at the DDTC trial in Palmyra. Our Time 2 Beat run was good enough for 9 points, only 1 second off the lead time. That's OK with me; I made him hold his contacts. The standard course was very technical, lots of off-course possibilities. Some people were calling it "trappy." I was thrilled that he kept his start line stay and I led out two jumps. His contacts were solid, his weaves, unbelievable, and a fabulous "go" command at the end to run ahead of me into the tunnel. My classmates from the Wednesday night agility class cheered when we finished. I was so happy to hear that, I turned around and waved!

Jumpers was a loopy course, and I was worried I would forget the course or get lost. I had planned to do three front crosses and one rear cross. I am delighted to say that I got all of them in! Sadly, he dropped the last bar. BUT it was a fabulous, connected run. It was the best time we've done in jumpers this year.

Jack was at the trial to tape the T2B and standard runs. Here are the videos on youtube:

Standard Run

Time 2 Beat

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Training & Trials

Cosi and I have been busy training and going to trials this spring. Here it is mid-April already! We will be at trials every weekend now until mid-May. In training we are working on the "new" style of handling which includes a lot of 180's and wrapping around the back side of a jump. I've been lax with his contact work, so I'm ramping that up (no pun intended, well...maybe pun intended) as well.

Dixie continues to learn and play. She had the best time last night. I took Cosi for a run in the field and had Dixie come along, off leash. She was superb, coming back to me when called. Then Coleen brought two of her dogs out to run. Well! Miss Dixie was in heaven. She ran, chased other dogs, got chased by other dogs, and sprinted after a toy, keeping up with everyone. On the way home, she was sleeping so soundly in her crate, completely worn out. That's good to see. Good exercise + good mental stimulation = good rest.

We've been having a spurt of super warm--summer-like almost--weather this week. It makes me think I need to get Cosi back into swimming. So much to do...so little time!