Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Regionals 2013

This year was the most fun I've ever had NOT qualifying for Nationals :)
No, really, 7 was fantastic and showed so much improvement in his trialing nerves. I messed up enough to keep us from qualifying but couldn't have been happier with his performance.
Here are his runs from the weekend...

A friend graciously let me stay at her place for the weekend (with 7, Cooper, Odd and 2 boarders!) to cut daily travel time by an hour and had a blast! I seriously need a farm, as do my dogs...(The following is WAY too many pictures of my dogs in fields)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hey strangers!

So, yeah...It's been almost 2 years since my last post. Which is not to say that life at Casa de Dog Nerd has been uneventful, quite the opposite in fact! However, there have been so many changes I can't even begin to catch up. I'll list the most important ones...
-We've moved. That's right, me and the dogs packed up and left home. I found the most agreeable landlord on the North Shore and promptly rented his awesome hobbit basement suite. I have the yard to myself and he lets me have as many dogs as will fit in the comically teeny doors. This means I can have boarding dogs too which is a godsend as without the extra income, I'd be living in an awesome hobbit cardboard box by now.

-I got a puppy. Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? This is what I was thinking...

Here she is at 6 months...

Here's her all grown up...

Her name's Odd. Her mom was a yorkie mix, dad unknown and she's ridiculous and adorable and RED :) She's almost 14 months now (bday April 25) and her agility training is fully underway and we're getting into the super fun sequencing faze. I'm going to put running contacts on her and I'm going to do it properly. Unlike the haphazard way I "trained" 7's running contacts. We have Silvia Trkman's DVD (LOVE her!) and next week we start an online course with her, so hopefully I'll have all the help I'll need to get fast and fabulous contacts :)

-7's still a Super Dog!
Last year we even got asked to travel to Saskatoon for a week of shows which was a blast. Odd came along for the socialization and even got in the show a few times :) 7 handled the plane ride like a champ, unlike me, who had a bit of a freak out about watching her boy get wheeled away into the bowels of the plane. Odd was wee enough to fit under the seat so she rode with me. Both of them made fast friends with the crew who we drove with every morning to the show site
*that's not my leg*
Hopefully this year Odd will get to make her "official" debut! Only time will tell if she keeps her puppy name "Popcorn" (of all the name's Chase has made up on the spot, this one actually isn't bad!)
Well, I know I'm forgetting something important but it's bedtime and my fingers are tired of typing. Stay tuned for a Regionals 2013 post! I promise.
Here's something adorable to tide you over until then

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Walk In The Park

I don't really have anything interesting to say today, so why don't I just show you some pretty pictures? Okay, good...
Here are some shots I took while at a trip to the park with; neighbour-dog Zuzu, 7 and Cooper.

Cooper's idea of a good game of fetch involves me throwing the ball, Cooper chases it down, then he finds a hill and proceeds to roll the ball down the hill for chasing. Seriously dog, do you not see my standing here with the big, long, ball throwing device? (aka chuck-it)... Cooper likes to dictate his own fun

7's got the whole "fetch" thing down..."If I just stare at her long enough, she'll throw it!"

"Hover Cooper"

7 says: "Anything you can do, I can do better!"

Zuzu doesn't know what balls are for, but she really likes the effect they have on my boys. She spent her time racing off in hot pursuit of whoever was running down the ball. For the most part this was a harmless, fun game but sometimes, it looked like this...

Target Acquired

Locked on

Engaging thrusters

Contact in 3...2...

"Holy SH*T! I'm sorry, I didn't mean it...don't EAT me!!!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gone SuperDoggin'

Our 8 days of SuperDog fun is over and now it's back to real life. I'm sad it's over but I'm not missing the crazy, long, hectic days. 7 (as always) surprised me! He was such a little star, he gave me everything he had in all that I asked of him. The actual performances were fantastic. He jumped great big jumps and ran as fast as his legs would carry him in the relays. His biggest accomplishment, though (in my eyes)was his pat 'n chat sessions after the show. 7 is a very fearful dog when it comes to strangers and children are the devil's spawn. I didn't think he would be able to meet any of his "fans" at all. He proved me right the first day. We tried to double up with one of his favourite doggy friends so the attention wouldn't be focused all on him. Too much, too fast. The second the first hand touched him, 7 was off in panic mode. I got him out of there fast and we rethought our strategy. Mostly I just gave up until I talked to a few of the team members and they gave me some hope with the stories of their fearful dogs who learned to tolerate (if not enjoy!) the attention. We started him back again slowly, placing him in spots where only a couple people could get to him. That way, I could stop anyone from petting him and just asked them to feed him and get him to do tricks. He loved it! Once he started seeing people as his own personal vending machines he was less freaked out when they snuck a hand on his back to pat him. In no time at all, he started allowing multiple kids pet him gently on his back and a little on his head. I just kept up a steady stream of treats and for the most part he stayed below his threshold. I'm not sure if he'll ever be comfortable enough to handle the full pat 'n chat, but I'm so pleased with the progress he made that I'm happy to take what I can get.
Here are a couple videos of his performances...

This one is a little long but if you skip to the 2 min mark and the 3 min mark you'll see him jump 5 then 6 bars.

Look for 7 running 3rd on the far side:

Monday, July 25, 2011

He did it!

I just recieved an email from Amy White the Operations Manager of the SuperDogs. We've been asked back for another apprenticeship. If 7 shows "SuperDog potential" they want him as an official cast member from Sept 1-5!
I'm SO excited, I can't wait :D

Okay, now I'm a little nervous.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let's fill you in!...

So, I suppose I should actually give a real update about what's been going on during my blog hiatus. I've officially quit flyball with 7. It was fun while it lasted, but I found it to be too much pressure to be on a team of such a high calibre (they were the Regional champions for, like, the past bazillion years). I guess I never caught the "bug" the way I did with agility. That's all well and good though, it'll be nice to have an evening off!
I've been investing more time in Cooper lately. While any type of formal training still puts him into a self-hating spiral. We've been having fun shaping nonsense tricks and he's LOVING the tracking we're doing with Aunty Jessica. While I still see him stress a bit if we go to far, too fast it's nothing like it was before. I think he really enjoys this game and it's nice seeing him puffing up and prancing when he "rescues" his lost Aunty.
Jazz is the same old Jazz. I'm going to make an effort to take him out on little neighbourhood walks, as he really enjoys those and I think they'll be good to help him stay in shape. He's still hiking with me 3-4 times per week, but his muscle loss in the past year or so has worried me. Jazz is a dog who is held together essentially by pure muscle. There is not a structurally sound area of his body...gotta love back yard bred designer mutts!
7 is continuing to be a dork. A lovely, happy, fun, slightly neurotic dork. With the longer days we've been doing more training in the yard. I've been focusing on jump grids and some flatwork to get my handling up to snuff. I am taking a break from trialing right now, I'm telling people it's to really focus on getting his running contacts but in truth it's mostly due to a sever case of "don'tgotnomoney"itis.
We just had our last SuperDogs training session/tryout tonight and so I guess I'll have to wait and see if we hear from them. Remember how last year, I was all excited because the "director" told me that if I took a few flyball lessons 7 would be ready for the team this year? Well, she got canned, so now I have to prove how super fantastic 7 is to a whole new person. It's alright though, these sessions were pretty much the most fun thing 7 has ever participated in, as evidenced by these photos...

Those eyes and ears say it all, don't they?
Apparently, running wildly fast down straight lines of 10" jumps with the occasional tunnel thrown in is THEMOSTFUNEVER!

Well, that's about it, I'll leave you with some photos of 7 at his first Regionals. Honestly, it was such a long time ago, I can't remember exactly how each run went but I do remember that each run got better and better. 7 was dealing with (and still is) a sudden-onset bug phobia. As in, he decided after getting a few fleas when I came back from Mexico that there were bugs crawling on him ALL THE TIME and the slightest amount of stress will send him into a tizzy of itching and flank biting that would put a crack head to shame. This made our weekend interesting as he would decide in the middle of a course that he had to stop and bite at the imaginary bugs that were crawling all over him. This caused a very large number of refusal faults. Judges just don't like it when your dog slides to a stop directly in front of tunnels to nibble his flank. Besides that, though, I was extremely happy with him. Each run was better than the last, culminating in a grand finale...we got the gamble in our last run on Sunday. Yup, my baby dog executed a flawless masters gamble (and a pretty hard one at that)...couldn't have asked for a better end to the weekend!