It has been a long time since the dogs got a chance to romp in the snow.... But today turned out to be a perfect day for playing in the white stuff.. For the occasion the dogs were let loose on the bird's side of the yard... Lots of fresh snow and plenty of new smells..
Picked up a few new items for the training facility which the instructors will really like.. December 23rd picked up our new teeter, A-frame and dog walk...
Hopefully the light weight aluminum fixtures will result in different placements for the equipment... This is the same equipment that the Hamilton Club uses in their trials...The January 9th 401 agility class will be the first to try them out... So look for a lot of problems to solve which include a teeter, dog walk and A-frame..
Having a hard time with the video but I wanted to congratulate Izzy and Cindy on their first double Q in Masters at Queen City.. Now on to her Mach .. Go IZZY GO
Video when I figure out how to get it here..
Maureen always has some sort of project going on.. This one entails shopping the Thrift stores (Good Will, Salvation Army etc) for wool and/or angora sweaters... Cabled and bright colors are a plus... It has a design woven in it or a little embroidered something that is an even bigger plus..
The process is simple get the goods.. this takes some time as these places pack things in by color and you need to sort thru hundreds of sweaters.. Once they are found you by them an expensive one might be $4 and if your timing is good you could shop on $.99 sweater day.. Anyway the bill generally averages out to about $1.50 a sweater.. then it is home to wash them in hot water and dry on high to felt them up good.. Next you cut out the pattern do a little sewing and bingo you got a pair of gloves... Oops forgot something a lining, a nice pair of gloves need a nice fleece lining.. Off she goes to Joann's fabrics as fleece is on sale.. But she does not by the fleece on sale she hits the remnant barrel for the remnant's and scraps.. After all it is 50% off the regular price and during the sale it is 50% off that price... Another bargain.. and in the end Maureen has a warm original pair of gloves...
As the driver and chief equipment setter upper I also get to take all the pictures at the rabbit shows.. I am that obnoxious photographer pushing his way to the front and asking people to please more or duck down so I can get the shot.. Here is Maureen's last show in Lancaster Ohio.. I think she did well.. Best of Breed in English Angoras and a Best of Opposite Sex Breed in French Angoras with her Baby French .. The interesting thing was it was the youngest French shown and beat 22 other French Angoras... I guess you could say that was a good day...
Roman on the Grooming Table
Roman Getting Judged
Eve (new French) Peeking out of the box
Eve getting Judged
Having been Judged Eve Decides it is Time to Leave
At the Champions Center in Springfield our little dogs got to rally stretch their legs and run on what is their favorite surface to run on "DIRT" It was hard and well packed and the footing was good and our 2 corgies had a blast..Both run in excellent and both collected multiple blue ribbons... and now the show...
Sometimes things are better left to the dog I guess. "Fast" is an AKC agility game. The object of the game is to gather as many points as possible in a designated time... Each obstacle is given a value, you can only do an obstacle once and you can get bonus points if you do the Challenge.. The challenge is a series of obstacle which are done in a certain order with the handler having to be a certain distance away from the dog.. At Wesson's level I had to be 10 foot away from any obstacle in the series... Wesson had very little direction from me as he had the zoomies and zipped around the course having a good old time... Funny thing is he scored enough points to place second... I think I am liking "Fast" as all I need to do is start him and finish him..
Sometimes things are better left to the Dog....
Sometimes it is Better for the Dog to do it himself
Well a week ago Mr Wesson was the king of the hill in Open Standard... This week we had a change.. Instead of being the master of the contact Mr Wesson decided he did not want to even go near the contacts. The first video is my Friday run when he demonstrated to me his sudden dislike for contacts..
Well, overall the weekend was pretty good. No Q's for Wesson but he did show improvement with each run. Saturday in Jumpers he only missed the entry to the weaves and though he did not qualify, he did have the fastest 16 inch time so the run was very promising. His standard time was bad but contrary to the other standard runs he did not avoid the contact obstacles and, in fact, went right up them. Of course on the A-Frame and dog walk the issue was coming down.. I will post video as soon as I receive them from Agile Images.
The big News of the weekend was that Maureen's white Angora doe "Big Times Rhea" took a Best In Show at the Springfield Rabbit show on Sunday. There was a combined 1999 rabbits entered.
Maureen, Best in Show Judge Stacy and Big Times Rhea
Here is a judging photo as Stacy reviews Rhea
And, yes, there is Maureen in the background getting nervous
Cindy and Izzy
Qualified in Excellent A Standard with a first place
Colleen and Cooper
Qualified in Novice B Standard which gave Cooper his Novice Agility Title with a 1st Place Colleen and Cooper then moved up to Open Standard for the Sunday event and Qualified and got a 2nd place
This Sunday found Wesson and I back on the agility trial with our first run since January. I was not to sure of what to expect as our practices have been few and far between. But the Wes man did not disappoint. He took a first in Open 16 inch Standard and NQed in Jumpers popping out of the weave poles (who does that sound like) but both runs went very well with lots of good things happening. Unfortunately I did not get his first place Q in standard on tape. But here is his NQ in Jumpers and yes students I did do a rear cross on the flat... I do expect the boy to pick up the speed as we get back in the groove.. So for your enjoyment here is Wesson at Queen City Open 16 inch Jumpers.
This week in the mail we received a wonderful surprise. Laura has qualified for the AKC's National Agility Invitational.. This will be Laura's third time being invited to this event.. Each year the top dogs in each breed are brought together to compete in Orlando, Florida. Sometimes I am lost for words and this happens to be one of those times. Laura has taken me to new heights in dog training. She has frustrated me, deflated my ego and crushed my spirit during this agility venture. Along the way she has taught me patience, resilience and the real meaning of determination. Through it all she remained unscathed, enjoying her moments with her grumpy owner, sleeping on assorted hotel beds in our travels and meeting lots of new people. She has toured multiple airports, been exposed to numerous not so nice dogs and has always remained cool. calm and collected. She has remained loyal, and trust worthy
and always on guard duty to watch my back.
If this all seems like a eulogy it is not it is a sincere note of thanks to a friend who has added much to my life in spite of hating to train, trial or get groomed. She has put up with me and that is a feat into itself.
Unfortunately we will not be traveling to Orlando this year as Laura was retired in January of this year. She is in good health and after 7 years of lots of runs and jumps I felt it was time. I had a full knee replacement in May and we have not done much practice or conditioning and neither one of us are ready for the challenge. As the saying goes she went out on TOP.. She will now be shown when she wants to go, other wise she will be found sleeping on the bed or the couch at home...
Lots going on at the Training facility, obedience classes Monday and Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings are keeping the place lively. We are now in our 2nd week of classes and everyone is making great progress...
The training Center is ready and waiting for the start of the fall session.... We are happy to tell you all the classes are full and we were able to get all those requesting space into the classes they wanted... My instructors and I are anxious to see our old friends and to meet our newcomers.. The first night is always exciting and a little crazy...
Depending on whose calendar you are looking at today is National Mutt Day! Everyday should be National Mutt Day in our opinion.
Here are our three favorite mutts who embrace their mixed breed heritage.
Congratulations to Cindy and Izzy.. Word has it that she qualified Sat July 7th in Open Standard giving her her open Standard Title and she will be moving onto Excellent A.. If I can figure our how to get the video over to this Post I will... and here it is I think http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4PSnTBhjgU&feature=g-all-u
Congrats Cindy and Izzy
Once the kennel is closed and evening is setting in, Maureen and I enjoy sitting on the back patio and just watch the birds.. And this is our favorrite Mr Bluebird... and his family of 4 young Blubirds and Mrs Bluebird...
And then there are our Gold Finches Lots and Lots of Them
We finished the month with a week of intense obedience training.. 5 handlers accepted the challenge, a 5 day class with a Canine Good Citizen test at the end. All participants were coming out of our Manners 201 pre-pet therapy class and all were confident they could meet and beat the challenge...
Larry outlining the class and yes that is a Bull dog
Sit Stays are Really Important and Marley and Puzzles