Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day AKC Trial

Once again I took Friday off.  We headed to the Fairplex in Pomona for 3 days of AKC.

This trial is under cover in the big barn at the fairgrounds.  The colorful displays for the farm animals makes for a festive trial environment.

We were set up by the Little Red Hen exhibit.

Dottie was entered 3 days, Pie 2 days and Fancy only 1 day.  

The best part of this picture is Muffin.  I did not put him there!  While I was positioning the other dogs, he moseyed over, and plopped down in the perfect spot to be included in the picture!  Smart dog.

Dirt agrees with Dottie; she didn't drop one bar over 6 runs! Also, she took first in ALL the runs she Qed in! 1 QQ, and 1 single jww, and 1 single standard. 4/6 is great for us! 87 points if I added correctly.  The 24 inch class was large this weekend with lots of fast dogs.  Dottie beat them all!  These are the same dogs I used to compare times with to see how much slower Dottie was than a dog I would watch run and marvel at how fast the dog was.  Now Dottie is beating those dogs!  Wow! 

Pie was 4/4 with 1 first and 3 seconds, behind a very nice border collie.  

Fancy was 1/2 with a fourth that matches her white coat. :)  I totally pulled her away from the correct jump.  That is 2 runs in a row I've lost us a QQ we should have had!  Bad handler!!  Fancy shows her disdain for me in this photo.

Besides the fact that Dottie was running great all weekend. the other cool thing about this trial was how many other Belgians were entered.  There were 7 Malinois entered in 1 day, 3 Tervs and 2 Sheepdogs.  Plus many more Sheepdogs and a few Malinois visiting or hanging out because they are too young to enter.  Go Belgians!

And now for the videos:

Dottie Friday Standard.  Right before our first run of the weekend, my leg "went bad."  This happened at class the other night and I went home because there was no point in practicing when I could barley move.  It was a stabbing pain on the inside of my upper leg running from my groin to my knee.  Plus pain on the left and right side of my knee.  I could walk fine, but the extra weight from running brought it on.  The strange part is last time it happened, it was my other leg!  Anyway, the horrible pain explains why I am limping and running so slow.  Dottie was amazing anyway!  I should have had a Double Q, but I rushed a send in jumpers and Dottie pulled off.  More "shame on me!"

Dottie QQ 11!

Dottie Jumpers Sunday.  Standard was a semi-disaster.  We left after our 3rd mistake because Dottie was starting to get worried with so many mistakes.  But jumpers was great! 

That was our last run of the weekend. Watching my other videos I saw places I looked casual and Dottie was not driving. My goal here was to make sure there were no places I though she could be going faster. I see 2 places in this run she lost speed and both places I'm looking casual. Something for me to work on! I love how she kept the bars up, without me worrying about them.

And finally, Fancy Standard Sunday.  I bought this video to get the sale price on the other videos. 4th place.  Not moving her fastest.  I wanted to make that serpantine, but she didn't read it very well.  Nor my fronts.  Oh well.

Dottie and I received lots of compliments on her runs and I feel that we were worthy of the kind words.  She really has changed from the dog I started running and I am so pleased!  If I could stop having silly handling mistakes we'd have our Mach in no time! 

Tomorrow we are doing 1 day of USDAA.  Happy Memorial Day!

Videos from 18-19 May 2013 Trial

Dottie QQ 10 from Saturday!

Dottie Jumper's Q Sunday- with so-mo bounce jump.  :)

Fancy's Runs from Sunday

Pie's jumpers from Saturday- Standard not filmed

Last Weekend's Trial

Last weekend the trial was just down the road from me.  I took the opportunity to enter Friday and take the day off.  It was a 1 judge trial and it ran small to tall, so I had to wait around for quite some time.  When it was finally time for 24 inches, I took Dottie out, but she was acting strange.  She wouldn't put her paws up on me, and she didn't want to take the practice jump.  No one could find any lameness, so my thought was it was her tummy.  She was having digestive issues and if your tummy hurts you probably don't want to jump.

I scratched her and we went home.  It was an extra bummer since I had waited around so long, and because I had taken the day off.  Oh well.

The next day Dottie was feeling fine so I didn't have to scratch her.  Yay!

Dottie earned Double Q number 10 on Saturday!  I once thought she had already earned number 10, but I was mistaken.  This was her REAL number 10!  Half way to her MACH!!  She actually displaced the displacable tire and got a fault, but then the judge noticed it was set too high.  After our run he called us back and told us if we did it correctly, he could take the fault away.  That was a gift for us, because even if it had been set correctly, we probably still would have broken it because she took it as such an extreme angle due to my poor handling.   Also in the same run she had a "1 Hit Wonder" A-frame, but the 1 hit was in the yellow.  AND on top of that I thought she had a teeter fly off but he didn't call it.  Watching the video, it was close.  I suppose it is possible her toe was still on the board when it hit the ground.

Pie was entered Saturday also- her first time in Preferred.  She had fun and got her first Double Q towards her PACH!

On Sunday it was Fancy and Dottie entered.  Fancy had a great run in standard, but on the last obstacle I let her take the wrong side of the tunnel for an NQ.  I saw her going the wrong way, but as is common with me, my brain panicked and shut off and I just let her do the wrong thing!  Not the most helpful response.  Bad brain.

I had a great plan for Dottie to make sure I didn't mess her up on the tunnel also.  I lead out past the first jump and made sure I didn't move until she had landed.  But she still knocked the first bar.  I excused us as a reminder to her that she has some responsibility to keep bars up.  I know she watches me and if I am jerky or late or awkward she will drop a bar.  But if I'm not moving, she needs to take responsibility for keeping the first bar up.  It must have had some impact on her because in jumpers she kept all the bars up and had a great run!

Fancy also Qed in jumpers.  I wish I hadn't messed her up in Standard!

Except for having to scratch Dottie the first day, messing up Fancy and Dottie knocking the first bar, it was a great trial!  Of course all the "bad" is balanced by not only having success, but also by hanging out with friends and having the opportunity to run healthy, happy dogs!

I'll put the videos in a different post.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dottie Carts Incorrectly

I bought 4 new tires for Pie's wagon.  It only needed 1 tire, but when I got to the store and found them on sale for $5 each, I splurged and bought 4.

The discarded old tires.
I wanted to test Pie's harness on Dottie so I put it on.  It actually fits very well. The chest is correct.  It might be a little long, but I think it will work.

I wanted to actually hook Dottie up to have some weight on the harness and test the fit again so I brought her out.

This is Dottie's idea of carting.  She was convinced this is what I wanted.  Every time I made her jump off, she jumped right back up.  Eventually I was able to convince her that was NOT what I wanted... silly dog.

Muffin- 1 year Later

This is Muffin's official introduction.  This blog is still 3 Dog Days, but I've had 4 dogs for over a year now.  However, I always say Muffin doesn't count since he is small and old and doesn't do anything.

I went to the same adoption even I got Bunny at last year.  It is at the La Brea Tar Pits.

I didn't find any small, old dogs to adopt at the event.  They only brought small, young dogs.  But I was not to be put off that easily.  I got on my tablet and looked at the Los Angeles shelters to see what they had.

I found this picture:

It said his name was Wolfie and he was 11 years old.  The shelter staff had added a note that he was very friendly and someone should adopt him.

I went to see him and a young shelter volunteer went to leash him up.  He crawled under his little raised bed and wouldn't come out.  Then he started making a horrible noise that scared off the volunteer.  She went to get a more experienced person to help.  As it turns out, the noise was reverse sneezing/ chocking, but with all the yapping of the other dogs, it was hard to tell what kind of a noise it was.

When she brought him out, I wasn't sure if it was the same dog as in the picture.  In the picture he was cute.  In real life he was nasty and ugly.  Yuck.  We took him outside and I noticed his ears.  I was afraid they were filled with tumors or warts.  Vomit.  I also couldn't tell if he had a huge tumor on his tummy or if he was just super fat.  I pointed out his ears to the volunteer and she whisked him off to the vet.  The vet cleaned and shaved his ears and it turned out they were "only" infected and that was infection and gunk I was seeing, not warts.  Phew!

When they finally brought him back out they said he still had to be neutered so I couldn't take him home then.  That put a cramp in my plan, because I didn't want to have to drive back to LA.  I tried to decide if I would still take him or not.  Somewhat reluctantly, I decided I would.  Unlike adorable Blossom, I didn't feel a connection with this dog, nor was he very cute.  Actually, as I said, he was gross and smelly.  When I said I'd take him, they took him away then brought him back and it turned out he was neutered.  You'd think with a male dog it would be easier to tell.

So I loaded him up and headed home.  He was nice and quiet in the crate- always a good thing.  The shelter had told me he was an owner turn in who lived his whole life outside, but that was all I knew.  Actually, I did know he didn't respond to his name.

Muffin was actually named by my Mom who saw him before I shaved him.  She said, "Now who is this ragamuffin?"  He was definitely a ragamuffin, but once shaved, he was only a Muffin!

Before his shave.

Yucky mats.

After!  I never claimed to be a pro.

Much cuter.

Of course he was not housebroken, but I eventually fixed that.  He is everything I want in a small, old dog.  He loves to sit on the couch with me- in fact, he is a true lap dog and wants to be ON me.  He doesn't need to be walked, he eats hardly anything, and I don't have to train him.  He comes when called and responds very well to his new name.  He gets along with the other dogs fine, and is actually very healthy.  Yes, he was gross in the shelter, and I almost didn't take him, but of course now I am glad I did! 

These pictures are from an early bath.  He was quite cute rolling around in the towel afterwards.

I got Muffin at the end of April 2012, so I've had him just over a year now.  And now he is 12!

Muffin is a good boy and old dogs make such great pets.  And they deserve a home for their last years.

North Carolina!

My Goddaughter made her First Communion 2 weekends ago in North Carolina.  Of course I had to be there, so I left the dogs in the care of my youngest brother (who did a swell job) and flew to NC for the weekend.  Of course my sister was there, and my parents flew out as well.  My Grandparents came down from PA, as well as some of my mother's siblings.  The after party took place at my Uncle's house.  It was a short weekend but it was worth it to be there for L's special day, and to see so many relatives for the price of 1 trip!

L posing with her banner.

Most of the group.  See if you can find L!

My wonderful parents, looking good!

My Goddaugher and I, her looking better than me!

The super yummy cake.

A very pretty dress.

2 Godmothers and 2 Goddaughters.

My grandparents and 4 of their 8 children.

Only a few of my cousins, plus my sister on the far right and L who is not a cousin.

4 generations!

The hosting family (plus L, of course!)

Beautiful mother and daughter!

Pie Spasm

This is a focal seizure caused by low thyroid.  She is on thyroid medication and the times this has happened she's either missed a few pills in a few days or in this case I've been feeding her with her pill but Dr. Dodds says it can't be given with protein or soy.  It has been suggested I should give Gas X if it happens again to help with possible bloat caused by gulping air.  I say "go for walk" so you can see she is aware.  However she isn't happy.  She wants to run outside and frantically eat grass.  For what ever reason, that is typical of other dogs who have the same spasm, seizure.

Poor Pie- not the most healthy dog ever.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mom's Day

Happy Mother's Day to Mom (1 and Only!)  Best Mom Ever!  Also Happy Mom's Day to my Nana and also my sister, and my late Grandma, who I never had the pleasure of meeting.  And all my other relatives and friends also!  Don't want to leave anyone out.

My Mom and brother went to see Oblivion for Mother's Day.  Not a Mother's Day themed movie, but very enjoyable none-the-less.  Then we joined Dad and brother and girlfriend for a Mother's Day dinner at Fridays.  Yum!
Stolen from my Dad's Blog.  That's him in the back. :) Grandpap and Grandma in the front.

Photo of a photo... my young Mom and Nana!

Dottie Rally Novice

Our Obedience club was holding our first trial and I entered Utility A.  However as the closing date approached I realized I had not put enough time into fixing our article problem and Dottie still cannot reliably do the scent articles.  I suppose my focus has been VST tracking training.  So I wrote the secretary and had her change our entry to Rally.  I could have pulled from the trial, but since it is my club I wanted to support the entry.

I was walking the course when the judge called for the first dog.  We were second.  I ran to get Dottie who indicated she needed to potty.  She began her typical endless potty circle and did not commit and the first dog was almost done. Then I realized I didn't have my number so I told Dottie she missed her chance and ran back for the crate, only to discover my armband had blown away down a hill!  I chased it down, nabbed it, and attempted to attach it to my arm as I ran for the ring.  I did not warm up but since it is rally I could give her extra verbal commands to remind her I actually did expect her to pay attention when I said "heel."  We did keep the judge waiting just a few seconds, but she didn't hold it against us since we scored a perfect 100 anyways.  Rally Novice should be relaxing for us, but being caught unprepared made it stressful!

The judge said she doesn't normally give out 100s, but we deserved it. Good Dottie!  I felt like it actually wasn't that good, but the judge is the judge, so we'll take it. 

I'd really like to get these articles figured out.  IPO 3, FH, TDX, and she can't understand the utility scent articles...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspector Dottie

The wind on Thursday, the day the fires started, was horrendous.  Whenever it is windy our trashcans get knocked over.   I let Dottie out of the car and went to check the mail, and she investigated the tipped over recycling container.  Much to her dismay, she didn't find anything interesting.

Pie Takes a Bite, But Not Out of Crime

As we know, Pie is retired from Schutzhund (now called IPO) due to her back.  Last time at training, we were the last ones on the field (after practicing obedience) while the new helper, the young son of one of the club members- young meaning freshman in college- got dressed out.  Since we were ready and then he was ready, I let Pie run the blinds, do a bark and hold, and get a bite.  I then tried a call out and she came out, but went right back in!  Silly dog.  I was very, very surprised at how excited she was, and how strong she was on a helper she never saw before.  If anything, after being away so long AND with a new helper, I thought she'd take a bite, remember she wasn't that into it to begin with, and be good to go.  But she didn't want to leave and everything about her said, Again, Again!  So I let her go one more time. 

Sigh, poor Pie.  She coulda been a contender.  Or at least an ok club dog. Truthfully, she is a lot better than some dogs I've seen out there. 

Here was the picture I took while she snuggled with me later that night.

Dottie Beach Day

Before I left for the trip, and before the fire, I had Dottie with me at work (as is mostly usual.)  I went for a run on the Navy Base, and stopped by the beach afterwards.  Dottie ran in the waves (and drank some salt water.)  My tablet camera is broken- it has a 14 (count it, 14) second delay when taking pictures, so getting a good picture of a dog is really hard.  These are two that are nice.  We weren't there very long, but it was a nice break for the work day!

Waiting to be released.

Hold that pose... 11, 12, 13, 14, click!  Good girl!

Another One

"A red sun rises.  Blood has been spilled this night."  So says Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movie.

But actually (and luckily?) that was not the case this time.  Instead it was another California fire.  When people think of the disasters of California, earthquakes always come to mind.  Sure, those are unpredictable, and if they are big enough, they are scary.  But wildfires are so much more common.  And even once they are out, they continue to cause problems via mudslides.

This time the fire was in my town.  Luckily it was on the other side of the freeway from my house, and burning towards the ocean, rather than towards town.  While my house was safe, the base was not!  At one point I could see flames on the hill closest to the base.  The smoke and ash got pretty bad and the big wigs called an emergency meeting.

Shortly after that, the wind shifted and the smoke cleared and I could breathe again.  Ahhhh!  The fire started burning down the coast, rather than towards us.  Phew!

The red sun that was much redder in person.

Smoke coming from the right.  Sky still visible.

Looking towards the fire.  Note orange cast to surroundings.

Looking away from the fire.

On way home, black smoke from burning fertilizer- toxic!
Flames were visible on the hill on the right, but pictures were taken with my tablet so no zoom.
These pictures were taken on Thursday, with my tablet.  I was out of town on Friday, but from the way the wind was blowing on Thursday, the fire was heading down the coast away from base.  There were some pretty amazing pictures on Facebook of the fire burning right to the ocean. Not taken by me, obviously.

This one is a link to not infringe on copy right- taken from Santa Barbara (worth clicking on!) 

(click the link above)

This picture was taken right by my base.  The fire looks like it was just across the road.  I'm thinking this was taken Friday, when I was gone.  I hadn't realized it had come so close.

We had rain last night, but I just heard on the radio the fire is only 80% contained.  I say "only" since I'm wondering how it survived the rain.  On Thursday, the day the fire started, we broke a heat record, 98 degrees!, and today it it was very cool and damp.  Crazy CA weather!

Can't end this post with out thanking the firefighters and other personnel who did a great job saving homes, especially in Newbury Park and on the CSUCI campus.  Always love the firefighters, but even more so when they are saving homes!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dottie's Standard Run on Sunday

We did not QQ either day.  Very close on Saturday.  We were clean in Standard, and had almost made it through jumpers when I rushed a rear cross and she pulled off a jump.  On Sunday, once we were clean again in Standard I was hopeful, but suffered the agony of defeat when I handled poorly the entire course, and it caught up with me a few jumps from the end.  Darn!  But at least we got 2 Qs in standard, since usually we NQ standard and Q jumpers.  All the bars stayed up except for 1, so that is encouraging also.

On Saturday in Standard Dottie came in 3rd.  1st place was a 20 inch BC running 24 inches to ease into the 26 inch height for World Team purposes.  A smaller dog has an advantage jumping in the 24 inch class, and I can't really compare us to WT hopefuls, so I don't worry about beating that dog.  The second place dog was a dog I didn't recognize, so I watched it run next time and it wasn't very fast.  Dottie went really wide on one jump, and this dog must have turned correctly.  Probably the dog Dottie beat last weekend due to a more efficient line feels the same way about us!  "How does Dottie beat us, she isn't faster...?"


The boys. Uncle, Dad, 2 Brothers, Uncle.

Uncle, Aunt, Dad, Mom, Brother, Grandmother, Brother, Me!, Uncle
Several of my maternal relatives came to CA for a short visit.  Sadly, the purpose of the visit was to attend the funeral of my Grandmother's Cousin, the person I call our "only California relative."  She was a great lady and left me with many fond memories of summer days visiting her house and swimming in her pool, yummy Thanksgiving dinners, and merry Christmases.  She spent the last few years traveling the world, so even though she has passed away, I think she had a great opportunity to live the life she wanted to live.

Rest in Peace.

All of the people in the photo (with the exception of my father!) are related to my mother- meaning no one is an aunt or uncle by marriage. I believe I got my short stature from my Grandmother.  But you don't look to short, you might be thinking.  Perhaps that is true, but the 4 inch heels might be skewing my true height just a bit!

Video of Pie's Last 24 Inch Runs

Two third places and a QQ!

3978 Total Speed Points, 65 QQs, 3 Machs, 3 Nationals, 1 Invitational and about 5 years of competing in the Regular Class.  Such a good Pie!

Now onto 20 inch Preferred!  I know Pie will have just as much fun there, but I was so happy to leave 20 inches with Fancy!  Crowded walk throughs, waiting forever for your turn, and being the last dog to run in the Ex standard class.  Ugh.  But Pie's health and happiness is oh-so-important, so 20 inches it is!