Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Jumping- we've been doing lots of jumping in the yard and she is much better- no more funky chicken. :)
Contacts- last week i brought out the manners minder for the frame and worked on getting more speed. it helped- last night she was super. She had her first ever fly off on the teeter. not sure what she was thinking! she recovered and was fine, but for a minute she was super pixel! She still needs work on her dogwalk however- I think she is a little confused about the difference between running and stopping. I will be going back to backchaining for a little bit.
Jump Patters- awesome. She can do a threadle much better than her sister. :) She is very responsive and recognizes all of the standard jump patterns.
Running Fast- seriously we train this! lol. Lots of fun circle games, and acceleration to toys and the manners minder, and other very exciting things. She was pretty fast in class last night so something must be working!
Obedience wise we've been working on stand for exams, and stays. Not too exciting, but has to be done! I'd like to try for her CD soonish...maybe in the fall.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
That's a knocked bar. Something as simple as an extra two seconds for that gamble buzzer, or holding her head for one second longer past the off course.
As with all disapointments there is the "shoulda, coulda, woulda" syndrome. And this is no exception. But dwelling on it isn't going to change anything.
I went back and watched all my runs. And ya know. We had lots of great moments- it was easy to focus on the crap, but really I think that mostly I did a pretty great job with her.
Wicca is not an easy dog to handle. She is fast, so that requires me to not only move fast, but to think fast. I have problems with both of those. :) She is also missing so much of the foundation that is important. She will flick away, or accelerate past me, and often launch over bars with no thought as to what my handling is telling her. She is not predictable- sometimes pulling off equipment, not able to send out, or the direct opposite and a raised arm can send her thirty feet away.
As a handler my job should be to communicate with my dog as consistently as possible. I often fail at this. :) My timing is off, and I am late. Always late. I also tend to over compensate for the bar knocking. Choosing to be late over attempting to turn her over the bar. I have been much better about this but at a regional event I was trying to be a bit more careful. That kinda backfired. :)
Realise that these things are not excuses. I am going to train to be better. There is absolutely no reason for us to not have qualified.
I have been giving a lot of thought to what we need to change, and where we can push ourselves more. I really need to just work on my handling, and her understanding. We need to find the balance of working close and working away.
The last few days I've worked hard at not dwelling on this, and have been trying hard not to fall into a slump. Hearing that it was only five points pissed me off more than anything. Better to be mad than sad I guess.
Anyway, I am ready to move on. I am sure I will be sad once in a while between now and nationals. I briefly debated going to volunteer but have decided not to torture myself. So yeah. I'm as over it as I'm going to be. Thanks to all my friends for their words of encouragment and understanding. It means a lot to me and has helped to talk about it.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
you just won regionals. :)
Just wanted to tell the world what awesome training partners I have.
A few months ago my friend Sarah wasn't sure if she would even be able to run again, let alone do agility. With the help of her physiotherapist, and "bar-knee" she came back even stronger (if that's possible). Her little dog Gyp was a rescue that came into her life when I asked her to dogsit my foster dog for the weekend. No one wanted little Gyp, and I just knew it would be a perfect match. And it was. Sarah and Gyp are an amazing team. It is as if they are reading each others mind. Gyp didn't put one foot out of place all weekend. She ran 6 for 6. How many dogs can do that? She not only Q'd in each run she did it with flair and speed. Placing first in every run but one. Sarah is the most dedicated trainer I know. And Gyp is just one of those dogs that you can't help but love. (big feet and all) Seriously. I am so proud of both of them.
And Jo and Tag. What a journey they have had. It is still absolutely amazing that they won the 22" Division. As with most areas you can be assured that it is very competitive and very large. There were 40 dogs in that class. And they won it. I am still in shock about it. Jo and Tag started training with us when Tag was just a pup. Already you could see the potential in the team. Tag is very intense, and serious about his job. And Jo is very intense and serious about her job. It was a match made in heaven really. This past year they have finally started running as a team, working together instead of against each other. Jo's handling is incredible, and Tag is a very good boy. He didn't knock one bar all weekend- this from a dog who often was smashing three or four bars per run. Jolayne has put a lot of hard work, sweat and tears into Tag and it is just so incredible to see it pay off. We were all genuinely shocked when his name still hadn't been called for 5, 4, 3rd place. When all the placements were called but first we all cried. :) (okay, I got a tear in my eye and Sarah and Jo bawled like babies. :o) ) If anyone deserves that amount of success it is them. I am very proud of Jo- not many people can get a handle on a dog like tag, and not many people would have stuck it out. But she did- and I would say it was worth it.
and not to leave out the other Go Dog Go'ers...
Lynn and Lucy had some pretty amazing runs- Lucy is not an easy dog to run, and Lynn has had to do a lot of work to get her motivation and drive up. They rocked the jumpers runs, and had a great standard on Sunday. It is so nice to see all of Lynn's hard work pay off. Lucy has always been called "the Golden Child" compared to wild man Tag, and there is a reason for that. Lucy almost always does the right thing- as long as Lynn tells her to. Their teamwork and Lynn's handling has improved so much- it was great to watch this weekend.
And the Shelties. Jan and Dave ran their two little Shelties and we are just so proud of them. Jan and BB are just the cutest thing ever and they are a great team. BB ran her heart out and had more than a few clean runs this weekend. Jan always has the best outlook and should be just so proud of herself and BB.
And Dave and Pearl were just great this weekend. Dave never gave up on her, and they had some amazing runs on Sunday. Pearl is not an easy dog and is easily spooked by judges or ring crew, but Dave persists and they did a great job. I am very proud of the two of them and how far they have come.
During the weekend it was often commented in surprise as to how supportive we all were with each other. I watched nearly every run by every dog in our group. And if I missed it I was still supportive and encouraging. I think that I am very lucky to have such great people in our group. :o)
Monday, June 21, 2010
We had some pretty great moments- steeplechase friday with a 5.66 yps, the saturday gamble was wicked, the saturday standard was incredible, and then It all kinda fell apart.
Wicca did not qualify for nationals. It's incredibly hard to even type that. To say I am dissapointed is an understatement. I mean this dog is capable of so much.
All it took was a few bobbles in each run on sunday for us to fall short point wise.
Saturday started out pretty awesome. The standard was great with just an off course due to my late lead out pivot- the rest of the course was beautiful though.
The gamble was incredible- she got a ton of points and both minis twice. And the gamble- she earned over a 100 points in that run alone.
I don't remember the jumpers course at this point but it was awful. We had three off courses and a bar....I will leave the details to your imagination.
Sunday was mostly icky. And you know what annoys me the most? I totally had those courses memorized, I felt confident in my dogs ability and my handling choices...and still..
The gamble was a disaster in the sense that she was wild and I was trying to manage that and the freakin buzzer went when I was on the other side of the ring. The gamble was super long (5 obstacles with a dogwalk) so yeah- the buzzer went when she was in the final tunnel of the gamble.
The jumpers was a super nice course and I was very excited to run it. She knocked a bar, and then I got lost near the end. I had the sense to lie her down so I could figure out where we were going so we didn't end up getting any off courses. We ended up with three bars in that run.
And the standard- the run that could have saved us. She took an off course at the beginning- which was my fault. I needed to deccelerate and give a threadle arm but I was too far behind. And then she didn't read a rear cross- backjumped (another 20) and knocked the bar. In that same run she was one of the few dogs to actually get the weave entrance, which I am super proud of. But that doesn't really change much.
The courses this weekend were pretty interesting. They varied from pretty straightforward to a little icky and technical. They were all fun though and I enjoyed the challenge. I just wish we would have done better!...
I still don't really believe it actually. It just seems very strange. I won't lie- it really, really sucks. Nationals is pretty much in my backyard at Spruce Meadows...it would have been awesome. And truthfully it never even occured to me that we wouldn't qualify...
But it is what it is. Whining about it isn't going to change anything.
So what now?
I am going to take some time off and re-evaluate things with wicca. I don't have the dogs entered in anything at all so at this point am just going figure out what I want to do.
Wicca is an incredible dog, or could be. :) we need to get back in the groove of things. She will get a few weeks off and then we'll go back to basics on handling. That is where the weaknesses are.
And just to be clear; all the errors were not her fault.I am not the type to blame my dog for my mistakes. This weekend was pretty well a joint effort in bad choices. I still love my dog to bits and not qualifying for nationals doesn't change how I feel about her, or myself. We both tried our best and for whatever reason it just wasn't meant to be.
Friday, June 18, 2010
We rocked them. Both of them. The first one was awesome- handling wise, and my dog. The second was good- although I was late, and she missed the weave entry at first. But both runs were clean and had NO BARS!!!! How awesome is that. Seriously that is more amazing than you know.
We came in first in her class both runs and had super times even in comparison to the big dogs. I'm pretty thrilled with such a great day!!!
She will get to play in the finals on sunday! :)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Vito is still cute as ever. He doesn't get much blog time 'cause he doesn't do much but look cute, and do bad dog things.
Yesterday I walked into the kitchen to see him standing in the sink. Seriously. He was licking a plate. lol
Good thing he's so freakin' cute.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The AAC Alberta/NWT Regional Championships are in just a few days. We are leaving Thursday for Edmonton. Steeplechase is Friday, and the actual events are on Saturday/Sunday. I think I am excited. :o)
This will be Wicca's fourth regionals and each year she has gotten better and better. This year has been a little rough so far, but I think we have our groove back. She had a great last "hurrah" at a funmatch this past weekend- her startlines, contacts and jumping were all very, very good. It has left me feeling pretty confident in our ability, and our teamwork. She is a pretty fantastic dog and as long as I do my job she will do hers!
I have a few reminders for myself this weekend.
1) Take a deep breathe before every run
2) Visualize the course
3) Support the jumps
5) Smile at my dog :)
My goals are to stay connected with my dog on each course, know where I am going, and handle my dog to the best of my abilities. Doesn't sound so hard right?!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I spent some time with my family today. Nolen (my nephew) is growing so much! He is more and more like a little boy and less like a baby. He is about 18 months old now.
He and my dad have a great bond and are pretty much attached at the hip. Nolen had a great time "pulling" Grampa around in the big red car today. Talk about cute.
I am such a busy person that I don't often get to spend much time with my family. You don't know what you are missing until they aren't there anymore. After today I am going to make a point to take time for family. It's pretty important.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
Wicca earned her last legs needed for her Rally Excellence leg. And she finally got the last leg for her Novice CKC agility leg by running clean the first run of the weekend. That was her only clean run but lots of great moments in other runs. Her leadout on the JWW on sunday, her contacts were mostly good and her jumping was okay. She also played scenthurdle on Saturday- she raced 7 times and brought back the right dumbbell every time. The first two times she almost made an error but I was able to send her back. Our team finished 2nd out of 8 Alberta teams. I am very proud of her. I will know later this week how many points she earned. (And I have video!)
Pixel was really, really great. She is just a very honest dog who always tries her hardest to do the right thing. Rally on Friday you all know about. She earned a 97 and a 99- the 99 earning her the title of High Scoring Cardigan at the Specialty. I am so proud of her. She really had to work hard to stay focused in such a busy place. She was a little nervous even and I had to do a lot of talking to get her around the course. I got a wonderful photo of her with her giant ribbons.
In Agility She qualified in every run she did four standards and three JWW. Earning her Novice Agility title, and her Novice JWW title. I've never had a dog with such a high Q rate before. It is a little odd! She also won Highest Scoring Cardigan in trial! There were only three, but still! I am pretty thrilled with her. We had a few errors on the weekend- I notice that she doesn't always commit to the obstacle in front of her, and she isn't as solid on her teeter as I'd like- she was a little unsure and jumped off too early for my liking. Despite her errors- a few refusals- CKC is pretty forgiving and she still qualified in the runs. Her speed fluctuates a lot- she really prefers to start in a stand, and I get more speed if I lead out more. I can see that she is a little faster each time, but it still feels pretty pokey for me. I will stop complaining though as sometimes accuracy outshadows speed! :)
I am just so proud of her. I got a lot of compliments about her and everyone who met her just adored her. She will get her name on two trophys and I got a photo done for her rally win. It is quite beautiful and I can't wait to get it.
I managed to watch bits and pieces of the specialty itself. The brindle dogs kicked butt- Shelley Camm's Dolly won the specialty and I believe breed one day if not two. I will say that she is super cute in real life- her photos don't do her justice!
There were 16 Cardis entered- and all different sizes, and types. There were even a few other fluffs there. Pixel was by far the smallest Cardi. There was one dog that weighed 55 lbs. He was huge- but a complete sweetheart. it is amazing that in such a small pool of dogs that there was such difference in type and style. It was interesting to see the judge pick out what she liked. In the end you could see that she liked a well balanced dog with proper coat and movement.
Anyway, that's my official report. I have the actual results I could post for those interested. Tomorrow I will post a few videos and hopefully my photo. I am still very tired- even though I took today off to recover!
Friday, June 04, 2010
Today was just Rally- novice for pixel, and excellent for wicca.
Pixel scored a 97 this morning- earning second place, and a 99 this afernoon- tieing for first (we came in second due to time)!!!! She was so great- happy to work, and focused. And I managed to not screw her up.
Wicca was naughty this morning and very distracted- which is very unlike her. She blew the back up and we just weren't very together. We scored an 85 which is very awful for us.
Her second run was MUCH better- she was normal and up, and having fun. We earned a 96 and placed second in a huge class.
With these two qualifying scores Wicca earned her Rally Excellent title! And the biggest news of all?
Pixel WON for the Highest Cardigan in Rally. She gets her name on Trophy, and a big rosette, and a cool prize!!!! Preety cool eh?
I am so proud of my great dogs. :)
Tomorrow is agility- which will be super fun!