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Archive for August, 2013

Lots of Rally and a Little Agility

2 weekends ago I split the weekend between agility and rally.

Saturday I went to the CACM USDAA trial in St Cloud. Karl had a gig that night with his old band, Pastel Black, so I was on my own. It was a small 2 ring trial and I had 4 dogs entered! Luckily not all dogs in all classes. The dogs ran really well on some challenging courses. Both judges seemed to have appropriate Starters/P1 courses too. Lately, many have been just icky. Narc Qd in P1 Jumpers and Gamblers! Missed his down contact in Standard and hopped off the table but he weaved all 12 poles like a champ. In Snooker he knocked a bar in a 7 color and the last bar of 7 in the closing so he was a few points short of a Q – and the title. Vada ran the P3 Jumpers course first. It was kind of ugly. But it gave me experience to rock it with Seven and earn him a Q and 2nd place! Vada’s Standard run was gorgeous but I changed handling in 1 spot on the fly and was out of position to give her a good weave entry and she went in too deep. So close! And the gamble had an aframe it in and I stopped too soon and she came off the side. Letty ran really well and confidently. Good start lines and good contacts if I handled like I do in class. I got too far ahead in the gamble and checked up at the fence and she looked at me over the last bar and dropped the bar. In Standard we had an off course as I stopped at the end of the aframe and she walked off and towards me and towards the wrong end of the tunnel. In Jumpers the way she handled her body was amazing. I went in too deep on a pin wheel and got stuck and she dropped a bar. I was very proud of all of them – especially with my crazy running around and needing to be in 2 rings at the same time.

Sunday I took Letty and Vada to On the Run for some AKC rally. Vada for RAE leg #3 and Letty for her first RE leg. Both did well enough to pass and earn their legs. Letty earned first place. Vada earned a first and a second too. Letty was stressed but she held it together and worked with me on the signs that she did not know. She loved the jump in the ring and that brought her up. Try as I might I get nervous too and I think she feeds off of that. And she had to go check out the judge right when we started. All baby dog stuff.

New Rally Legs at OTR

New Rally Legs at OTR

This last weekend I entered Vada in the St Croix Kennel Club rally trial. It’s a HUGE show with conformation and obedience and rally out at the Washington County Fairgrounds. They dropped agility again and moved it to a new weekend at an indoor location. I wasn’t sure what to expect with such a big show but it was run really well. We were in a building that had 3 rings – 2 for obedience and 1 for rally. I did not enter Letty as I knew it was be too much pressure and distractions for her. I did bring her with on Sunday though to work her outside the ring and then take her shopping for a new braided leather collar and leash like the other dogs have. She did amazingly well.

Building C at the Washington County Fairgrounds

Building C at the Washington County Fairgrounds

Vada did great! I messed up a few things. For some reason the more I am showing in rally the more nervous I am getting. Maybe because we are now 5 legs into her RAE and halfway there. I feel like we should be able to score high and place which puts pressure on me and then I get hectic in my handling which Vada feeds off of or ignores me. When I just worry about the Q then I do better and we have a smoother run. I am usually surprised by our scores in rally though. Vada earned RAE legs #4 and #5 with a 1st place each day.

Vada RAE legs #4 and #5

Vada RAE legs #4 and #5

The rally trials started at 8am and we were done in a few hours. Our protection training field is only about 9 miles away so we were able to make it to training on Sunday after the show. Letty and Vada enjoyed blowing off some steam. Short sessions though as we’ve got an extreme heat wave going on right now.

Karl and I got some work done on the house this weekend too. We got the porch scraped and washed and ready for paint. And I worked on the library and clearing out all the extra stuff we had put in there from the office. Still lots of organizing to do but it looks great in there again. Now we just need some fish for the aquarium. We got a chance to go see The Butler too. It was a pretty heavy movie. It was good. Makes you think about a lot of things.

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July and Part of August

Looks like I am incredibly behind on updates again.  Always lots going on and too much time on the computer already.

At the end of July we went to Little Falls and ran on Saturday of the Tails in Motion trial.  Letty picked up her first P2 Jumpers Q.  Sonic picked up a P1 Snooker Q which finished his SPK title!  Seven picked up his 16th P3 Jumpers Q.  Narc picked up his 2nd P1 Snooker Q.  Prozac picked up her first P2 Snooker Q.  And Vada picked up her 2nd P3 Standard Q.

USDAA recently made some changes to their jump heights which take effect January 1, 2014.  I was really hoping they’d change the 22″ cut off for Championship to 22″ so Letty could run in Championship.  No such luck at this time.  However, they added 2 new jump heights.  One is 18″ for dogs 17.5″ and lower.  Seven’s height card has his measurement at 17.25″ so he should be able to run in C18 if I chose.  I have to get him remeasured to verify and I have to put in a request and pay an administrative fee to allow him to start in Masters (normally they have to start over in Championship from Performance at the Starters level but this is a one time waiver – no P Qs transfer to C though).  I will do those things to keep my doors open but I probably won’t move him to C18.  The aframe and broad jump are set at C22 height still.  I might run him in C18 in Jumpers if we max out on P16 titles.  Hopefully someday we can finish his MPD though if we get his weavepole confidence fixed.  Also, P22 will no longer exist and it will be P20.  So Vada will be jumping 20″ in all venues.  Not a big deal since she did really like 22″.  It seemed to be her current “perfect” height.  But she’s doing well at 20″ too.

That Sunday I took my 4 down to Rochester to play CPE agility to get more Qs towards qualifying for Nationals next year and to give another go at that last Jumpers Q for Vada’s C-ATCH.  Dogs had fun but still no C-ATCH for Vada.

Vada passed her certification for AKC tracking!  So now we’re all set to enter a TD test in the fall at the end of October.  Hopefully she’ll be recovered from her ragweed allergies by then.  I need to work on article indication on the gloves as it was not the greatest indication on the cert track.  I felt so out of control not knowing where the track was.  I just trusted my dog and concentrated on reading her and following her when she was on the track.  She was tired from USDAA and CPE agility trials and it was a Monday night and hot and humid.  So she really did a great job.  It’s a very long track compared to IPO tracks and in tall grass.  Super proud of her.

In July I signed up for a 3 session lure coursing class at Canine Coach in St Paul.  I took Seven to the first 2 classes and Narc to the last one.  Seven was turning on a little bit but it was a lot of hard work and I didn’t think it would really go much further without a lot of training.  Narc turned on really well.  Unfortunately, on his last run his legs slipped out from under him and he slid into the fence.  I was grateful he didn’t get caught in the fence but was sad since he always seems to have accidents when he’s getting to have fun.  I might try him in a future lure coursing test.  He did seem to really like it and he could run more at a real test.  And there are 3 CATs coming up this fall!

Narc and Vada went to see Dr Julia.  Vada continues to scratch her muzzle.  She’s thinking allergies and we put her on Zyrtec daily.  I talked to some friends too and they suggested Heel Histamine and frequent baths.  I’m really worried about her for this upcoming ragweed season.  She gets so miserable and I hate having her on pred for month.  Narc is losing muscle in his head again so he’s back on pred.  We retested his thyroid too and it’s too high so he got a medication adjustment.  I think it went high since he was off pred so it might go too low again now that he’s back on pred.  Putting him back on pred sure made him feel better though.

We did 2 days at the last Rochester CPE trial of the year since they offered Jumpers both days and we love the place.  The dogs ran well and had fun.  Seven weaved beautifully on a run where it was optional.  Narc had less off course tunnel sucks.  Letty ran 10 runs all weekend and stayed up and drivey and didn’t stress on the start line.  Jumpers was first thing on Saturday and Vada finally Qd and earned her C-ATCH!  Then she Qd in Jumpers again on Sunday!  So we’re already well on our way to C-ATCH2!  And all the dogs are 3/4 or more qualified for Nationals.  Letty still needs 1 more L3 Colors Q and Narc needs 1 more L3 Snooker run too.  We stayed at the Motel 6 in a suite since I thought it would have more room.  It had 2 rooms!  The dogs were really well behaved too.  Letty and Vada are pretty seasoned at traveling.  Seven has some experience but I wasn’t sure how Narc would be.  Good dogs!

C-ATCH Vada

C-ATCH Vada

Seven and Letty on the couch in the suite part of our room at the Motel 6

Seven and Letty on the couch in the suite part of our room at the Motel 6

Did a week long training class for work on SQL Admin skills.  So much information and so little gets digested.  But they’ve improved the book so I should be able to go thru it on my own.  It was only done online so I got to do it from home which was nice.  It was gorgeous weather all week!  And the dogs got to be out a lot more than normal.

Spent a Saturday doing World Cynosport Rally with the Dutch Shepherds.  First I was just going to enter Vada in Level 2.  Then I started thinking about adding Letty for a good ring experience since you can use food on certain signs if you choose.  Then I had the same thought with Narc since he also has the skills.  So glad I did!  I got really good focus and attitude from Letty and Narc since I was able to reward and take the stress off them.  I was too scared to use food with Vada but maybe I should have.  Each dog did all 3 Saturday trials and all 3 finished new titles.  Letty earned her RL1 with two 2nds and a 3rd placements.  Narc earned his RL1 with two 4ths and a 5th placements.  Vada earned her RL2 with all 1st placements and she even took High Scoring MMBC Member.  Hopefully we can move up for the next trial.  Vada will love Level 3 exercises I think.

Vada's RL2 title earned with an Award of Excellence, 3 first placements and High Scoring MMBC Member

Vada’s RL2 title earned with an Award of Excellence, 3 first placements and High Scoring MMBC Member

Vada's WCRL High Scoring MMBC Member rosette

Vada’s WCRL High Scoring MMBC Member rosette

Letty's RL1 title earned with the Award of Excellence and two 2nds and a 3rd placements

Letty’s RL1 title earned with the Award of Excellence and two 2nds and a 3rd placements

Narc's RL1 title earned with the Award of Excellence and two 4ths and a 5th placements

Narc’s RL1 title earned with the Award of Excellence and two 4ths and a 5th placements

Vada had her first 8 week checkup with Dr Julia.  Each month we’ve weaned her down a pill for her gabapentin.  She was down to 2.  Everything looked good.  She was out in her ribs and sacrum and needed adjusting but that was it.  So we get to keep weaning her down off the meds and go out 8 weeks again.  She’s been on 1 pill for a little bit now and doing well.  I will probably try to start doing a 4 week appointment with Dr Heather to keep her adjusted in-between.  I think Letty is due for an adjustment too.

We went tubing down the Apple River with Julie and Dean.  It was quite the experience!  The water was COLD!  But for the most part the sun was out and it wasn’t horrible.  I was cold once we got out.  I think I was turning blue!  Karl had a rock hit his back and the top of his foot.  😦  It took a few days but he recovered.  So now we can say that we have done that.  It was good company though.

Karl in a tube on the Apple River

Karl in a tube on the Apple River

Friday we finally got our new roof!  The guys did it all in one 12 hour day!  It looks so nice.  Now we just need to pick out a color for the new shutters and for the deck.  It’s such a relief to have it done.  I don’t think the old ones would have made it thru the winter.

New roof

New roof

 

New roof

New roof

Friday I drove down to Fort Dodge IA for a UKC agility trial.  I got down to the site at 10:30pm and setup my tent by headlights from my van.  It’s so nice to be able to camp right at the site.  I forgot my air card and laptop power cords but being unplugged from them for the weekend wasn’t so bad.  Just lots to catch up on when I got home.  Vada needed 6 points for her UACH.  That was our goal.  In the first run we got a 198 so 4 points.  I tried even harder in the 2nd run to get straighter lines off the contacts.   I thought it was a better run and so did others but it was a 197.  Crazy nit picky UKC rules.  If the dog’s rear foot crosses the plane coming off the contact than that is a point off.  With big fast dogs – there is no way I can control every little body movement.  I’m just happy when she keeps the bars up.  But a 197 still got us our final 2 points to earn our UACH!  So on Sunday I entered her in AGIII to start working toward her UACHX.  In both runs she knocked the first bar.  😦  But she did everything else really well (in MY mind) on the first run.  The 2nd run I just let her go and have a blast so it got a little ugly since it’s so open and I can’t keep up.  It’s weird to have a dog at a show that is “too fast” and that is a bad thing.  LOL
Saturday Letty earned 2 scores of 200 with first placements.  She was a bit stress setting up for the first run but after 1 or 2 obstacles started perking up and liking it.  I was happy that in A we could do the onleash walk thrus.  She was on the UKC specific AGII equipment once for a few minutes in April of last year.  And I’ve spent the last week shaping her to go into the box and sit.  She did awesome sits in the box.  She thought the swing plank was a wobble board.  It was cute.  Since she was on a roll and would probably finish her title in T1 on Sunday I took a chance and entered her in T2 for AGI to start getting UACH points.  AGI was first on Sunday.  We lost 2 points somewhere but she got a 198 and 4 UACH points – assuming she finished her title in the afternoon in AGII in T2.  Sunday in AGII she went past the last weave pole so I had to bring her back and got a 5 point fault.  UKC has 9 weave poles and the bases are old so they look different and they are probably old spacing.  Lots of dogs made the same mistake.  Then I tried to do the box differently than I had taught her by moving next to the box and she stepped out so we got another 5 point fault.  I got her back in and then she was really struggling with figuring out how to down with her paws going forward and touching the side of the box.  We hadn’t really worked “down” in the box at home yet so it was understandable.  She lost a point somewhere else too.  Sunday she got going too fast and came off the swing plank on the side and got a 5 point fault.  I should have slowed her down but she was having so much fun.  Then we had an off course that was super hard to avoid.  Then box issues.  So after that I just let her rip.  I was so happy with how well she ran there.  Different equipment, new place, not great footing, lots of general public, camping and she hardly stressed at all.  Dogs really seem to enjoy the AGII equipment to climb on.  Always a fun trial.

My campsite and crating area for the weekend

My campsite and crating area for the weekend

Nice 20th anniversary commemorative mug in the goody bag

Nice 20th anniversary commemorative mug in the goody bag

Hand made (by the agility judge) commemorative print that the club gave the exhibitors

Hand made (by the agility judge) commemorative print that the club gave the exhibitors

Vada and Letty on a walk along the river in Fort Dodge

Vada and Letty on a walk along the river in Fort Dodge

Letty and Vada on a wagon at the fairgrounds

Letty and Vada on a wagon at the fairgrounds

UACH Vrijheid's Amie

UACH Vrijheid’s Amie

UAGII Vrijheid's Hafwen

UAGII Vrijheid’s Hafwen

 

This is a repost from my Facebook wall:
Pretty awesome part of the weekend.  The club “hires” a group of kids from a troubled boys home to come in and work the trial setting bars, running the judge’s sheets, timing, clean up after the trial, etc.  They are do an awesome job and are nice to have around.  Saturday there was also about 16 seniors that came in from a nursing home to watch.  And some mentally handicapped people there too.  A…wesome to have the community come out and watch the dogs play agility.  When we were waiting to go into the ring for Vada’s UACH run one of the younger of the boys asked if he could pet Vada.  I said yes.  How can I deprive someone of feeling her awesome plush coat?  She usually allows herself to be petted but keeps an eye on me.  She ended up scootching up to the boy and sitting between his legs.  People all down the line wanted to pet her.  After her run she came out and more people wanted to pet her.  One was a person in a wheelchair and another was a mentally handicapped person.  One boy down the line held his hand out and she walked down and walked into his hand so he could pet her.  I’m so leery about “different” people from Copper and now Letty so I was super impressed at how great Vada was.  And Letty – she did awesome walking by all of those people and getting lots of cookies.  She only reacted once all weekend and it was when we walked around the corner and there were 2 big dogs.  I don’t even think she barked at the crazy cow.  A little girl ran past her right in her face and she couldn’t have cared less.  Really amazed at Vada.  And how she can go from calm and visiting to borderline out of control and crazy in the agility ring.  It was the club’s 20th anniversary and they gave the exhibitors some pretty amazing gifts to celebrate.  And they catered lunch on Saturday in celebration.

Yesterday was 1 year since Copper went to the Rainbow Bridge.  I still miss him so much everyday.  I love this picture of us.  We are in the ring about to run the agility course and are waiting for the ring crew to be ready so we can go.  I am telling him what the first few obstacles are.  Once they say “go” then we are off and running the course together.

Me and my boy Copper

Me and my boy Copper

June and July were “quiet” months.  Now it’s going to start getting crazy again.

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