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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trials vs Practice

I was just thinking about the difference between practice, even fun matches & an actual trial.
I really thought Ditto was ready to trial & although she's done really well, I was reminded of all the things I didn't proof in practice... starting right beside the timer & scribe (friends of hers of course), the judge running the DW right beside you, that electronic "GO", dogs warming up very close to the startline with crazy tugging happening, and the extra noise & adrenalin etc. 
Ditto is not a dog that is worried by these things, but she is young & can still be easily distracted if we are not super connected.

She did well at the trial - first course was gamblers where she got 100 points!  She was running fast & confident...  2nd trial, 2nd gamber Q - we are so not ready for advanced!  In her jumpers run, she ran over to visit the pole setter so had 5 faults for a refusal, but the rest was great.

I only put her in 2 runs per day so the next day was steeplechase & Standard.   She broke her startline in steeplechase but I did take my eyes off her, so partially my fault, then she missed a jump, but I was very happy with the rest of the run - super contacts & weaves.  I'm not sure what happened in her standard run - started off great but she decided she wanted to do the backside of a jump (something to work on) then had a little zoomie around & through a tunnel, but she came back & did the rest just fine.
All in all, she's doing great for such a young dog!

On another note, I've been giving Blast valerian root for a couple of weeks since he is such a nervous nellie.  I was trying this mainly to settle him down at home but the upside was he had a great trial - 3 out of 5 Q's & running happier.  Not sure if this was just a fluke but will keep him on it to see if it really did make a difference!

Bizzie has been parked since Nationals since we weren't running as a team at all, but I put her in 2 runs - Wayne ran her in Steeplechase where she had an off course tunnel!  What a surprise!  She just needs Snooker runs for her ATCHC but haven't been entereing snooker - too much push & pull - anyways, we got a snooker Q!  Yeah!  Still not running well together but we got the job done.
Here is Ditto's gamble run!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Adventure Begins!

I haven't really been in a rush to trial Ditto, but she was 18 months at the end of Sept & it seems she is more ready to trial than any of my other dogs were when I started them!

I took her to Edmonton last weekend to see how she would handle it.  She'd never stayed in a hotel before, we were trialing at a new venue & all her siblings were left behind - it was just Ditto & mom.  Well, she thought hotel life was great, she didn't miss the other dogs, & she was confident but sassy at the trial.

She ran fast, held her contacts and startlines & listened to me (most of the time)!
She just ran a couple of runs each day so Saturday she ran gamblers & standard & Q'd them both!  There were a few "moments" in each run, but no faults incurred.
Sunday was team (spectacular teeter fly off) & steeplechase (missed a jump - totally my fault) and a jumpers.  For such a rookie she did awesome!  I'm so looking forward to more trials with my little spitfire!

She's also making her scent hurdle debut very soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

And the Fun Begins!

I ran Ditto in our Wee Wed trial last night...  it's really like starting all over again - she is so different from all of my other dogs!  this girl loves to run!  I was thrilled she held her start line in jumpers, but I didn't support the line well enough so she found her own line!  She did come back & finish the course with style! 
Steeplechase was another matter.,.  she hasn't ever had a chute as the first obstacle & it blew her little mind - she broke her startline & came out like a shot & just kept going!  she did come back & did some really nice weaves & a beautiful 2o2o on the Aframe...  however.... when I released her, she didn't move & then decided since she was in the position, she might as well poop!  Very unlike her...
Anyhow, she had a great time, ran fast & was cute as can be when she jumped onto the pole setters' lap & proceeded to kiss her to death!  Not that we want to rehearse that behaviour...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Go See Spot Fly!

I just spent 2 days working Ditto in a seminar put on by some great friends & trainers...  it's the first time she's done anything other than an hour lesson.  What a great little girl she is!  She was still happy to work at the end of 2 days in extremely hot weather!  What a little trooper!

We did some distance work which is something entirely new for her...  she did really well - just need to work on some discrimination skills before we do much more distance stuff.

My handling skills need much work - she's so much different to run than any of my other dogs!  But she's so much fun!

We had a lot of fun with the squirt bottle -  she pounces just like a cat!

Lots of laughs, some great training challenges,  got to know some agility people I didn't know before, great steak dinner on Sat nite - what more can a girl ask for!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Big Event

Well, we survived Nationals - well, just barely.  The event was lots of fun - great venue in Nanaimo.
We stayed at the Inn on Long Lake - most pet friendly place I've ever stayed... they even took video of our dogs playing in the lake & posted it on their facebook page!

Nationals was a bust for us... I knew that was a possibility, not sure what determines how Bizzie feels about agility.  Some weekends she runs well, happy & fast, & others she's just not into it.  It was extremely hot - 37 degrees with the humidex on Sunday...  she's still licking her feet a lot, have tried different foods, nothing seems to change.  I'm going to get her completely checked out medically again... get her thyroid checked, etc.  My chiro thinks her mouth is sore, so will get a dental done on her as well.  She did travel very well & loves hotels, so it was a nice vacation for her.

Bizzie's daughter, Zipr won the 10" Reg division, so we were very happy for her... seems the thing Biz is best at is having great puppies! 

view from our balcony

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Off we go!

We're off to the AAC Nationals tomorrow... not sure what to expect from Bizzie - I'm just taking her, not Blast..
This is the first year she has qualified & i wavered about going, but finally decided neither one of us is getting any younger!
My goal is the same as for Regionals - for Bizzie to run happy (& fast!) 
It should be a fun Nationals - a family reunion of sorts - 2 of Bizzie's pups & her sister are all competing as well!
Wish us luck!

Here's Bizzie thinking about Nationals!  LOL! She's thinking about her dinner!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ready, Set, Go

Well, the entry is in, confirmation received, Bizzie & I are going to Nationals...  It was a tough decision, but as always, once the decision is made, you feel better... I think!

We have a couple of trials coming up, so we will see if she is running well - she was running fast & happy at Regionals, so that's our goal for Nat's.  Just hope the weather is reasonable.  Looking forward to Nanaimo - haven't been to the Island for a few years...

We took all the dogs for a short camping trip last weekend.  It seemed every campsite had at least 1 very large dog!  Almost every walk we took (on leash) we had big dogs run up to us - really annoying how people think the rules are for everyone else... fortunately there were no real incidents, but when there are 3 huge dogs barreling up to you & your 6 lb wonder, it gets your heart beating!   Ditto was anxious to get out of her crate!

Ditto even persuaded Blast to get his feet wet!  First time ever!