Saturday, March 31, 2012

Some Videos from Nationals

Pie in Time 2 Beat, warm up.  She runs nice for ffluffy!

Pie in jumpers.  Nice clean run and nice front crosses by fluffy!

Pie in standard.  Missed weave entry, too bad- it was a great run!

Fun with toys.  More fun for them than me!

AKC Nationals, First "Official" Day

Yesterday was Time 2 Beat, a warm up run.  If you won T2B you could win your way into the Challanger's Round, then if you win Challanger's Round you get to go onto Finals, but we knew neither dog was fast enough to win T2B, so it was totally a true warm up/ practice run.

Pie ran great for ffluffy and Fancy ran fast but a bit wide for me- she almost had an off course.

The day was over pretty quickly.  We ate at Denny's (we also ate there yesterday after ffluffy got in late.)  I had the fried fish, a baked potato, broccoli, and a milk shake!  It was really good!

Today each dog had 2 runs.  Pie was up first in jumpers and she ran really nice.  Smooth and no bars.  ffluffy made all the front crosses look easy!

Fancy ran next in jumpers and she was so excited she growled at me in the weaves.  She has NEVER done that before.

Next Pie was up in Standard, and I had to walk Fancy's standard course at the same time that Pie was running.  I was running back and fourth, trying to see Pie, and making sure I didn't miss my walk through.  Pie was up in just a few dogs, and then it was my turn to walk!  It didn't help that Fancy's run was in ring 4, which is in a different building.  I walked my course twice (at a run) then ran into the other building to watch Pie.  I made it just in time.  Pie wasn't totally on her toes, and missed her weave entry.  :(  Too bad, but other than that, again it was a great run.

I had to wait forever for Fancy's run and while I was waiting, it started to snow!  It wasn't sticking, but it was coming down pretty good, and was very cold.  Brrr...

Finally it was Fancy's turn.  ffluffy had left to go meet her new puppy, so it wasn't filmed- but I did order the professional videos and will post them when I get them.

Fancy is running like she's never ran before, and..... she got Fourth Place in Standard!  Fancy was in the ribbons at a NATIONAL EVENT!  My fluffy Tibetan Terrier who once got 0 points in a jumpers run, ran so fast she beat some border collies and got 4th place!  The placements were BC, BC, BC, Fancy!!  Yes, it is the preferred class, so she is not running against the super fast border collies, but she is running against the same border collies that she never beat at 20 inches.  It is still a great accomplishment for us.

Right after our run, before I knew she had placed, I asked someone (hoping not to jinx myself by asking) how many dogs they are taking into the 16 inch P finals.  They are only taking 3 dogs.  That isn't very promising for Fancy.

But then when I went back to the hotel, and checked the results, I found out Fancy is in third place over all!  Wow!  It is too early to say anything, because if she doesn't run super fast and clean tomorrow the news will not be so happy, but as of right now she is in the finals.  But again, it is still anyone's game- don't forget how I blew it at the Invitational last year!

While waiting for the first runs of the day, I found some neat toys for the dogs.  They have no stuffing, dual squeakers, and the squeakers work even when punctured!  No stuffing is good for clean up!  The dogs went crazy squeaking and chewing.  I took them away after not too long.  I can only take so much squeaking in a motel room.

Our crating area.
Rings before Time to Beat on Friday.
Pie and ffluffy getting ready to run.
Tugging before running.
Pie toy.
Dottie chose to chew on the bed.
Pie removed the rattle first thing (round thing in foreground.)
Fancy got a little hedgehog.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Made it to Reno

We are in Reno, NV for the AKC agility nationals.  Fancy is entered in preferred (jumps lower than usual, due to her increasing age and lack of speed for the regular class) and Pie is in the regular classes.  ffluffy is flying in tonight and is handling Pie.  I had 2 dogs, she didn't have any entered this year, seems like a good idea to me!  Pie and her will have lots of fun.

I drove up the 395.  It was very scenic.  We passed lots of mountains, a river, pine trees, cliffs, meadows, Mono Lake, Bodie- 13 miles off the freeway- a wetland, some horses with babies, lots of cows and more mountains. We went through some little towns, and also Carson City, the capitol of NV, which is also a little town.  I stopped to take some pictures along the way, so we didn't make very good time.  I brought along my big camera in hopes that I might get a chance to get some calendar submissions for next years Mal Rescue calendar and I think I got some!

As always, the dogs traveled great- it is easy to forget they are even in the car.  Except for Fancy, because she rides on the passenger seat and nudges my arm sometimes.

Now we are checked into the Motel 6 waiting for ffluffy's plane to arrive and pick her up.  I did not sign up for the warm up runs tomorrow morning, since we are signed up for the warm up run tomorrow afternoon.  My dogs only need so much warming up before Fancy would get bored and Pie's back could get tired.  Dottie is just along for the ride.  And added security.  I have one of those connecting doors- bolted, of course- but the neighbor decided to mess around with it, and Dottie was right there, growling!  Good girl!

I think Fancy is allergic to Reno.  She hasn't stopped scratching since we've arrived, and the blue carpet is covered in white Fancy hair.

Now the 2 older dogs are snoozing on the bed, and Dottie is laying on the floor, acting alert.  Probably hoping someone else tries to break in.
Starting off on Hwy 14.  Pretty boring.
Fancy is a good passenger.  Too bad she doesn't drive.

Re-created housing unit from WWII Japanese Internment Camp.
Lots of snow now!
Falling asleep on the job.
In a canyon.
Maybe my favorite.
New location- Dottie only.  I had to take it from this angle.
Or else you'd see the traffic and the fence. 
I was having trouble with exposure.
The snow gave me trouble with focus and exposure.  I had a lot of nice pictures that are out of focus.
Wish I had thrown a better stick for her!
Kill the pinecone!
Out of focus but I put it in since it shows how much fun she was having.
Funny picture.
After playing, Dottie always wants to roll around, and the snow didn't stop her.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Very Short Walk

After the IPO trial we took a very short walk at Santa Rosa County park.  1/2 hr in and 1/2 hr out.  Even so, we got locked in the parking lot.  Good thing there is a park host, and he came and had pitty on us and let us out.  And he was nice about it too.

Park is dogs on leash only, much to Pie's dismay.  Actually, she did well up until the mule (with rider) over took us on the way back.  Then it was as if we were trying to walk behind a bunny that kept hopping right out of her reach.  I let the mule get out of sight, but she knew it was up there.  What is it with Pie and horses?  Doesn't she know she is named after a horse?

Bridge over the water treatment plant discharge.
Oak grove.
3 Dogs in a Tree.
Heading back.
Lots of posing.

Dottie IPO 3 Recap

When I got Dottie, it was not my goal to finish her IPO 3 while she was still only 2 years old.  More accurately, I should say, "When I decided to keep Dottie.." because my first goal was to place her, since I was only a foster home.  After she got over her "distemper" (aka bad case of kennel cough, but got a false positive from her recent distemper shot) I tried hard to get rid of her.  Due to her being crated 24/7, I never bonded, and my only interactions with her involved suiting up in a cloth coverall, carrying her to an x-pen for potty, then carrying her back to her crate.  With her struggling the entire time.  So we were not exactly enamored of each other.  But no one would take her!  And the longer she stuck around, actually allowed out of her crate once Dr. Dodds looked at her blood work and cleared her of the fake distemper, the more I actually bonded with the funny looking puppy.  So she stayed.  And my goal was to do well in agility with her, which has not happened, not get through IPO titles as quickly as possible.

But get through them quickly we did, goal or not.  She was ready for her 1 at our club trial back in September, then the Regionals were coming, and I wanted to enter, so we got ready for our 2 in Jan, and now here it is March, and she tried for, and passed, her 3.  A two year old, a rescue, and a female to boot, and she is IPO 3!

The trial was just one town over, so I didn't even have to get up early.  We went on Thursday to practice running the blinds  and doing a send out on the field.  Tracking was just down the street.  Nice dirt, no problems with the surface.  She had trouble on one corner and did some casting which cost us points, and she tried to get up and leave early on an article which cost us more points.  We ended up with 88, which is a respectable score, but is our lowest score in tracking.

Back at the club it was time for obedience.  I got to go first on the heeling and motion exercises.  For her 1 and 2 we had to do the long down first.  I don't know if she just chose to be a good dog on this day, or if having to do the long down first is what our problem has been.  In her 1 and 2 she seemed pretty distracted and did not give me the nice attention we trained for.  However, during this trial, she did.  Even between the exercises I did not loose her attention.  Unlike in AKC obedience, between exercises is graded just as a normal exercise and any extra commands are penalized, and the dog has to remain in heel position.  No motivational games or jumping around allowed.  She did the sit, running down and running stand all very nice.  A bit crooked on each finish.  I am always fighting her on that.  Retrieves were good and her send out was very good.  I needed 2 commands to get her to down for the long down.  Why?  That is probably what caused us to go from a 90 to our final score of an 89.  Still, the 89 is our best obedeince score so far.

After a very tasty lunch it was time for protection.  As always, she was somewhat distracted heeling between the blinds for the blind search.  She knows the bad guy is out here and she wants to find him first, so her attention is more on the blinds we are passing than on me.  She ran the blinds correctly and went in for the bark and hold.  I think for her 1 and 2 her barking was better.  She stopped barking for a second a few times.  Call out was nice.  Set up for the escape was barley under control, as usual.  Escape bite, out and re-attack were all good.  Her grips overall were better than in her 1 and 2, but towards the end they started to slip again.  I wasn't mentally prepared for the side transport.  The helper started walking and I needed to give Dottie a nice firm heel command but instead I sort of just started walking behind the helper and gave a belated and questioning heel command.  The helper made a very crisp left hand turn that Dottie almost thought was the attack, but I said heel again, and she finished the exercise in a better position than she started in.  She came in nice and fast for the long bite.  The judge said she slowed down, which may be the case, but I don't believe it is nerves, just her trying to make sure the helper doesn't jump away at the last moment.  I think it cost us in points, but a slow down is also safer on the dog, so I'm fine with it.  We ended with 85 points and pronounced.  My little 45 pound girl got pronounced for each of her titles.  She's one tough cookie! 

I had Pie out for a visit later, and her wagging tail knocked my Diet Coke over and it spilled on Dottie's score book.  Jealousy from Pie?

Even though it wasn't a goal, it was satisfying to finish the IPO titles on such a young girl.  We will trial some more.  I'd like to get our tracking score back up, and keep or improve on the obedience and protection scores.

There are even more pictures on Facebook.  Click here and you can see them with no account.

Just starting off.

Recall from the moving down.
Retrieve over the hurdle.

Dismount of the wall.

Putting the dumbbell back at the end of the retrieves.
A sweet good girl- during the critique.
Running all 6 blinds.
More drive.

Coming for you.

Do I look like an IPO 3 dog??
Flirting with one of her boyfriends.
I let Dottie pick any toy in PetSmart and she picked the toy on sale for $2!