Monday, October 17, 2011

Dogs and Suds 5K

Yes, I'm a bad blogger! We've been busy with agility and this blog has just fallen along the wayside. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I'll try to get you all (5 followers) caught up. ;)

Darby and I walked our first 5K over the weekend. Not quite for sure how I ended up walking the 5K. I originally signed up to walk the 5K, tried to train, but failed. Decided to walk the 1 mile fun walk instead. Then when I got to the event they handed me my number (lucky 25). So, I just kind of decided then and there to go ahead and walk the 5K. (not the best decision). Darby and I got to the start line late, so we were behind before we even started. She and I sort of jogged part of the first mile in an effort to catch up with the slowest walkers. :) We found one and then passed her. After that we ended up heading uphill. OMD! So not ready for hills. The lady we passed, then passed us. I honestly thought about quitting many, many times during the walk but didn't. Since we were the last team we had police escorts during most of the walk. That was a bit stressful for both me and Darby. Darby did great during the walk. She loved the water stops. She had people giving her water too. And they would all reach out and give her pats as we walked by.

I know that I was not ready to do this 5K, but it was still a great time. The best part of it was hitting the finish line!!! I got a little emotional there. And then I felt like I was going to throw up (but didn't) :).

Attached are some pics that I took during the walk.

Here I am with my escorts over my shoulder :)

Here is a pic of Darby on the home stretch of the walk.

Our view of the river near the finish. This was a great way to end the walk.

Our police escorts near the finish line.

And here are me and Darby after the 5K. Darby is such an AWESOME dog!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ACI trial in Indy

Our first trial of 2011 was in Indy. It was held at Pawsitive Partners, which is a place that we used to train at when we lived in the area. It was great seeing old friends and instructors. I also got a chance to meet some new people and their wonderful dogs. :)

We drove up Friday evening, which is not the best situation for me and the girlz. We don't get much sleep in a hotel room if the girlz are not sufficiently physically tired. They usually run better if we drive the morning of the trial. They sleep better after a full day of agility. So, needless to say we did not sleep much Friday night. Too many hotel noises.

We arrived at the trial around 8 am Saturday morning. The trial schedule was as follows for both days: Excellent, Excellent, Open, Novice, Open, Novice. Both Darby and Brindi are in the Open classes. It was well after 2:30 pm on Saturday before we ran. And by the time we ran the facility was like a ghost town. Even my friends in excellent left before our last run of the day. That sucked.


Saturday Brindi ran standard first. She's been having teeter issues for a while now. I don't think she's completed a teeter at a trial since summer last year. It's killing me! She will complete the teeter in practice, but will not do it during a trial. I really thought she was going to complete it at this trial, but alas she bailed! After that she missed the last weave pole and then we just ran for fun. She completed all the tricky tasks of the course like a pro. That darn teeter!

Next up was Darby. Darby ran well until the weave poles, which is when she noticed that there was a judge out on the course. :) Darby was unable to complete the weave poles after 3 tries. She needed to complete them on the first try, but she had up to 3 tries before we had to move on. After that she missed a few jumps, but did well otherwise.

Next up was Jumpers with Weaves. Brindi was up first. Brindi started out very well, if not a little too enthusiastic :) She got a wild hair and ran off a bit. I was worried about the 180 the judge had in the course. But Brindi had no problems with it! She finished the course, but had a wrong course or 3 and some refusals too. After that run it was a sprint to get Brindi her treats and back in her crate and get Darby ready for her turn. There were about 5 dogs running in between Brindi and Darby. Needless to say I had barely caught my breath before it was Darby's turn to run. Darby did well, did not get her weaves the first time, but did the second. She ran around a couple of jumps, which we went back to complete. Darby also did the 180 without any problems! So proud of my girlz! And thankful to our trainer for having us practice those in class :)

It was around 5 or so by the time we finished Saturday. A VERY long day of WAITING!!
We all got some well deserved sleep Saturday evening. I didn't rush to get to the trial on Sunday, but we were there by 9 am. I enjoy watching all the excellent people run and visiting with agility friends, but it's kind of hard when they all leave as soon as their runs are over. I like to have my friends watch us run, so I can get some feedback too. You know?

Sunday went a little faster than Saturday, but not much faster. We probably ran at about 1:30 or 2 pm. Brindi ran her standard course first. I was going to try and help her over the teeter. I think that if she can succeed at completing the teeter at a trial she will be more confident and be able to complete it on her own next time. Well, she bailed too fast. I couldn't grab her. So, we went on. She did all the rest of the obstacles very well. I think she might have taken a wrong course and had a refusal or 2, but it really didn't matter. She ran like she was having fun, and that is really important to me.

Darby was next up. She was in a goofy mood for this run. She was doing the course great and then it was time for the table. She jumped up on the table and proceeded to scratch her ear. Weird. Luckily, AKC rules only require the dog to be on the table for a count of 5. They can be in any position as long as they stay on the table. Darby gave the judge and the remaining participants at the trial a little bit of entertainment. Then Darby got the weaves on her first try!! After the weaves was a tunnel. I started thinking that we were going to Q after she got her weaves, the rest of the course was easy sailing. That's what I get for thinking. After the weaves I sent Darby to the tunnel, where she proceeded to run smack dab into the middle of the tunnel. Seriously, there was an audible "THUD". Darby bounced of the tunnel, kind of shook her head and then went into the entrance of the tunnel. That got some giggles from the judge and spectators too. I was dumbfounded. After that, our run kind of fell to pieces. I still don't know what happened at the tunnel. It was a yellow tunnel. The judge thinks that maybe Darby saw the tunnel bags and thought the opening was in between them. IDK.

Our last run of the weekend was a fast and difficult jumpers course. Brindi was up first. The first 2 obstacles were 180 jumps. I'd never really seen that before and wasn't for sure how to handle it. So, I put Brindi in a stay and led out past the first jump, thinking of getting a front cross into the 2nd jump. Brindi did not see it that way. She got the first jump, bypassed the 2nd jump and went into the nearby tunnel. Brindi is a sucker for tunnels. That was a wrong course, so we just ran the course for fun after that. She did pretty good on the rest of the course.

Darby was up next (5 dogs in between). I decided to start the run with her and pull her around jumps 1 and 2, this worked well for her, but then I was not in the right position for the next few jumps, which caused her to spin. Darn it! She ran the course well, except for missing a few jumps on the first try.

All in all I'm very proud of my girlz. They did very good for their first trial of the year. And I feel bad for not handling them correctly. I know if I had thought out how I needed to handle them they would have done better. But, I think this year is going to be great!

And, I'm buying a used teeter from a friend. Brindi will soon be doing the teeter with confidence!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gateway Agility Club trial November 26-27th

This post is a little late, but I got caught up in trying to get stuff done for the holidays :) Hope all of my readers had a nice holiday (all 2 of my readers :)).
The girlz and I had a nice holiday. My niece had her 3rd birthday on 12/20/10. She's growing up way too fast in my opinion. She's so entertaining! Alix really enjoys opening up presents and was a very good helper elf at our family Christmas.

So, back to agility. Brindi, Darby, and I attended the Gateway Agility Club trial on November 26th and 27th. We had a lot of fun! Both of the girlz are now in the Open classes and it is proving to be interesting to run them both as they are usually near each other in the line up. The Open class at this trial was pretty small. Brindi jumps 20 inch preferred and Darby jumps 16 inch preferred. So this weekend I had to run back to the crate after running one of them and then grab the other one and run to the ring. Somehow it all worked out though :) Well, sort of...

On Friday our first class was Jumpers with Weaves (JWW). I ran Brindi first and she was a wild and crazy girl! She ran around the ring like she was crazed! So, chalk that one up to nerves. Next up was Darby. She seemed to be doing ok, I was not handling her very well and she let me know about it by crapping in the weave poles. Yep, IN THE WEAVE POLES! And we were disqualified :(

Luckily our Standard courses went better. Although nobody Q'd. They both ran a lot better.

Saturday we started of with JWW again, but both girlz made dramatic improvements from the previous day :) Still, no Q's but all of us had a lot of fun.

Next up was the Standard course. Brindi was up first and she did AWESOME, well, until the teeter. She has not completed the teeter at a trial in months! I don't know what to do about it. She really does not like our club's teeter, but no other club has one like it, so she must be generalizing that all teeters are evil. I don't know. I know that I need to take her on a teeter tour of all our friends with teeters and get her more accustomed to different teeters, but I haven't been able to do that yet. Other than the teeter, Brindi did GREAT!!

Darby was up next. I almost messed Darby up right at the beginning of the course, but she pulled it off and did GREAT! She ran like a demon and hit every contact and cleared every jump!! She came in 14 seconds under course time!! Woo hoo DARBY!! And she got her 1st Q in Open with a 1st place finish!! AWESOME!!

We had lots of fun in St. Louis. They are a great group of people and put on a fun trial!! And I had a holiday picture taken of 3 of the girlz. Unfortunately Sadie had to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for this trial, so she's not in the picture. Although I did have another holiday picture made with all the girlz. Enjoy them both!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

ACE AKC Trial - Princeton, IN

Our local agility club hosted a 3-day trial November 5th-7th. Brindi and Darby were entered on Friday and Sunday. I have classes on Saturday morning, so I am unable to participate in agility on Saturdays until Spring.

I entered Darby in Novice Standard Preferred and Novice Jumpers with Weaves Preferred. Her standard jump height is 20 inches, but she is not really happy about jumping 20 inches yet. I started her out in the Preferred classes for her first trials and then moved her to her full height. But she hasn't really developed a true LOVE for agility so I moved her back to jumping 16 inches. She is REALLY happy about jumping 16 inches. :) So, anyways she had already earned 2 legs towards her Novice Agility Preferred Title and 2 legs towards her Novice Jumpers Preferred Title. All she needed was 1 Q in each class to earn her Novice titles.
...AND she earned BOTH of them on Friday!!!! She ROCKED!! She got a 2nd place Q in Standard and a 2nd place Q in JWW!! Her first baby qq's!!
Here she is with both of the judges from the weekend. :)

I moved Darby up to the Open classes for Sunday and she had really good runs, but I messed her up. (Bad Handler). Sometimes the nerves get to me and I just mess up. I am the weakest link of both of my teams. But I'm trying to be better!

Brindi and I had some promising runs, but no qualifying scores. One thing about running with Brindi is she shows me something positive everytime (almost). I feel like we are making vast improvements in our team building. And she's a lot of fun to watch!! Which is probably why we don't Q very often. I get all caught up watching her and forget that I should be moving to the next obstacle, or at the very least try not to get lost!

Overall it was a VERY AWESOME weekend for us!! And I had a lot of fun hanging out with my agility friends and meeting some new ones too!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Border Collie National Specialty 10/21/10-10/22/10

Well, we are back from the Border Collie National Specialty but my head is still in the clouds. We had a very nice time at this event. It was held at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri. Brindi and Darby were entered in agility Thursday and Friday.

We arrived at Purina Farms Thursday morning. The agility was supposed to be held inside, but was moved outdoors at the very last minute. They had almost perfect weather for an outdoor trial, in my opinion. I would have like to have had the trial inside, but can understand why the event was moved outside. I don't really think the floor they installed is going to be any good for agility. Rumor has it that some dogs tore the pads of their feet at the trial held there prior to the BC Nationals. So, overall I am fine with the trial being held outside.

Darby is AWESOME! She earned a 3rd place Q in Standard on Thursday. They give out lots of prizes with ribbons, so she got a 3rd place ribbon, a Q ribbon, and a Border Collie ornament. Brindi had her head in the clouds Thursday and was really just out enjoying the autumn air. She did not finish a course, but had a great time.

Darby and I also got to meet up with the lady who saved Darby from the shelter. Tracy rescued Darby (known then as Fusion) from a shelter in Ohio and allowed me to adopt her. I am so thankful to Tracy for rescuing Darby. Darby is truly an AWESOME dog, she's got a drive to play and a softer side for snuggling :)

Thursday evening I attended the Rescue dinner. I had a very nice dinner and then enjoyed the evening with some fellow BC owners. They had an auction and I "won" a new bed for the dogs. Sadie has pretty much claimed the bed and I really wanted to "win" it for her. It's a Sertapedic memory foam pet bed. Super SWEET. Then I won a silent auction gift pack which included a dog bowl, a rabbit tug toy/leash, and some flea & tick medicine. It was a super fun night!

We shared a room with a fellow ACE club member and it was a lot of fun. This is the first time my girlz have shared a room with other dogs. Everyone got along very well.

Friday morning we were there bright and early. Brindi was a little bit more focused during her standard run, but just barely. We still did not finish a course. I learned a VERY valuable lesson while running Darby in her Standard run. I, as the handler, am responsible for making sure the jumps and equipment are at the correct height. Darby happened to be the first 20 inch dog in her class. The previous dog jumped 24 inches. I didn't notice that the jumps were not set correctly. Darby has been having issues jumping 20 inches and has occassionally gone around a jump and has even gone under a jump. Well, with this course she was going under ALL of the jumps. I brought her around and had her jump them after she blew the jump off. I couldn't believe that she was blowing off every jump. I was sick. Then, when she got to the table she went UNDER it! She's NEVER EVER done that before. That's when I noticed it. Wow, that table is set REALLY high. The judge was nearby and I asked her if the table was set correctly. She asked what height my dog was supposed to be jumping, I said "20 inches". She said that the course was set for a dog jumping 24 inches. I was instantly upset. I was mad that I had made Darby jump that high. I was upset that we wasted a run, as we were not given another opportunity to run the course. I was so mad at myself I could have spit nails. I felt horrible. I almost left. I am glad I stuck it out.

After that the girlz and I took a little drive to calm down and go to Taco Bell :)
I had a nice lunch and we were READY for our last runs of the day. Darby ran first. Darby did spectacular!! She seemed really happy to be jumping 20 inches instead of 24 inches. She ended up with a 3rd place ribbon, a Q ribbon, and another BC ornament. While I was running Darby, Pam (fellow ACE member) had a little talk to Brindi. And it WORKED!! Brindi came out rarin' to go. She ran a SUPER CLEAN Jumpers course and earned a 1st place Q!! This was her 3rd JWW leg, so she also earned her Novice Jumpers Preferred Title!!! WOO HOO!!! WAY TO GO BRINDI!! I almost got lost on the course because I was too busy watching my beautiful dog run! But, I don't think it mattered because it seemed to me Brindi knew the course. She was running full throttle. I've never seen her run a course so independently. Man she ROCKED!!

So, we went up to the Event's Center and picked up all our loot. All in all Darby earned 2 Third place ribbons, 2 Q ribbons, and 2 BC ornaments. Brindi earned a First place ribbon, a Q ribbon, a New Title ribbon, and a BC ornament. It was a GREAT trip and a WONDERFUL experience!!

As we were leaving Purina Farms they were setting up for a frisbee tournament, so we stopped to see if we knew anyone there. Me and the Girlz were members of the Indy Dog & Disc Club when we lived in Indy. We ran into quite a few IDDC members! It was nice to see them again. Darby got to play frisbee and we got to visit for a bit before we headed home. I had a 3.5 hour drive to go and it was getting late. Just a note, there is NOTHING in between St. Louis and Evansville on I-64. NO gas stations, no fast food, no COFFEE, no nothing!!!

Next weekend will be our local fall AKC trial. Really looking forward to this trial, should be a LOT of fun!! I will be moving Darby back to Novice Preferred jumping 16 inches until she develops a true love of agility. She does all that I ask for but I think jumping 16 inches will be a lot more fun for her!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Terre Haute Kennel Club trial

I signed Brindi and Darby up for the Terre Haute Kennel Club agility trial this past Sunday. The trip was a family affair as I also brought along Sadie and Cosmo. I also had a beautiful Border Collie girl with me that was beginning her transport to Michigan. "Velvet" is now at her foster home with Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue. She is going to make whoever adopts her very happy. She's a great girl, very sweet!! This pic was taken of her during her transport.

Ok, back to the trial. This was an outdoor trial, which was the first outdoor trial for Darby and maybe the 2nd outdoor trial for Brindi. This shouldn't really be a big deal because we practice agility outside. But, this was a different location for me and my girlz to do agility. And it's finally feeling like autumn here in Southern Indiana, which brings out Brindi's wild side :) Brindi didn't even notice me out on the field with her. She did the first obstacle and then went crazy running around the place. Another distraction for her was the little girls doing the leash running. Usually Brindi doesn't pay much attention to the leash runners but these girls kept trying to get her attention. Good GRIEF!! Brindi really wanted to play with these little girls. Oh, well.

Darby was more focused on me. We actually completed the courses. Albeit, she had some refusals and didn't qualify, but at least she was there with me.

Sadie and Cosmo enjoyed hanging out and getting all that fresh autumn air without the hassle of running and jumping :)

All the girlz were passed out for the entire 2 hour drive home and were still worn out that evening. Pretty sure they enjoyed having the house to themselves on Monday when I went back to work :)

Next trial is in a few weeks in at Purina Farms, near St. Louis. It's the Border Collie Specialty and Brindi and Darby are entered. Can't hardly wait for this one. It'll probably be the biggest show we've ever entered. There will be herding, agility, rally, obedience, and conformation (I think). Should be a LOT of fun!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Love LOL Dogs :)

Saw this and had to share :)