Abby turns 5!

19 03 2009

I’m so bad at keeping poor Abby’s blog updated. Although, I truly believe, if I could ask Abby’s opinion, she’d tell me to cancel the blog and put what little effort I gave it towards more fetch with her.

We’ve been to a few trials recently and Abby has been great. How I ended up with her as my first agility dog, let alone my first dog, I will never know. I am so fortunate to have her. She is truly the greatest dog. Everything I’ve ever asked of her, she’s given back to me above and beyond what I ask. I have not a single complaint about ANYTHING from her. I can’t ever tell her thank you enough times. I do try, I nuzzle her head and kiss her and tell her she’s the greatest, but she just gets annoyed at me. Again, she’d rather I put my energy into tossing a tennis ball.

Abby turned 5 this past weekend, and we celebrated her birthday during a 4-day agility trial in Louisville. She had another Hounds-Like weekend and was 9/10, including clean ISC runs on some trickier courses than usual for us.

She’s had some stomach bug going on since the day we left Louisville, so I’m keeping a close watch on her lately. She is acting like herself though, and is really annoyed that I withheld food to clear out her system. Her temp is normal, along with her appetite, and she was flying at the dog park, so I hope there is nothing much going on with her.


Pants on fire!

8 12 2008

What a weekend. December 4-7 we attended the Hounds for the Holidays trial in Milwaukee, WI. We had a blast hanging out with friends both at the trial and the hotel, and are already to do it all over again!

Abby had a fantastic weekend. She ran all four days and was 8 for 8. Four QQ’s. Somewhere on Thursday she lost her start line stay. I decided that was a small price to pay for such a great weekend. I would never pull her for breaking her stay, that would just break her heart- she’s not as hard of a dog as Alex, for example. So I just worked with it and we managed. Abs has never been so pumped to do agility. She was excited every single time we went into the ring, which made me so happy. She won JWW on Saturday and Sunday and I think she ran a new best YPS at 5.78. Oh, and she finished her MXJ on Friday.

After our very last run on Sunday, I was giving her a rubdown and noticed a swelling on her front left leg, above her wrist joint. Abby had surgery on this same leg last year when she woke up with a swelling that kept recurring. It was not a fun time for her or for me, and recovery was very tough (try keeping your dog from bending their leg). So I took her to the vet this morning. X-rays were good, and our vet thinks it is just some inflammation of the ligament and surrounding tissues of the wrist. She might have banged it on something over the weekend, too. Regardless, Abby is taking two weeks off to just relax and be totally spoiled by me. 🙂

What’s new?

22 07 2008

Since my last blog entry, I’ve been a busy dog.

We attended the Rockford Dock Dogs event. My brother Alex won Speed Retrieve and Big Air. I figured sometimes I should just let him win, it’s good for him. I came in third in Big Air and mom was pretty happy with that. My littlest bro, Remi, did really great- I was kind of surprised.

Then we had an AKC trial in Crystal Lake with WAG. We only got in for Friday, but I made the most of it with a QQ.

On Saturday we headed down to the farm with our friends Fergus and Ryder. We swam all day long. It was the best. Sometimes I swim just for the fun of it when nobody is watching. Mom has caught me a few times just circling around the pool. It is the best place in the world- so refreshing!

This past weekend we had another AKC trial- this one was in Wilmot, Wisconsin. The agility course was all muddy, but I didn’t care. We NQ’ed on Saturday in Standard so we didn’t stay for JWW. Dad couldn’t come with us so we were eager to get home to see him anyway. On Sunday I came in 2nd in Standard and had an off course in JWW. Other than that, it was a really nice run. We were done with all of our runs by 10:15am!

This week will be awesome. We are headed to Stillwater, Minnesota for the Dock Dogs 2008 World Championships! I am going as an IRON DOG along with 10 other dogs, I feel pretty special about that! Iron Dog competitors compete in each of the three disciplines- Big Air (long jump), Extreme Vertical (high jump), and Speed Retrieve (timed retrieve). I can’t wait to do some more swimming! We are leaving our house on Wednesday and will jump Thursday – Sunday. Alex is also going as an Iron Dog, and he’s participating in Speed Retrieve with Mom handling him. I admit, I’m a little jealous. But I’m happy for them.

Summer rocks.

6 07 2008

Oh yeah, I’ve been doing some more Dock Dogs lately. After Dubuque, Mom was really happy with how I jumped, so I talked her into the Evansville, Indiana event (June 27-29). We drove down to Evansville and I was awake the entire way. It was a six hour drive! I jumped on Friday night, it felt great to cool off after such a long day. I noticed it was getting really dark really fast and people started packing up faster than ever. My parents loaded the car before we even jumped, so we got right in after we jumped. Pretty soon I heard the howling sirens that you hear for tornadoes (I am very familiar with them since there is one 300 feet from my house). The sky was black and swirling and people were running around trying to take cover. We tried to hide but there was nowhere to go so we just stayed in the car.

Well, we lived to jump on Saturday, but I was really scared. It felt so good to get to the hotel. We had dinner and I slept on the recliner in the room. On Saturday I was jumping in every single big air wave and extreme vertical! It was a great day. The weather was warm but we had a tent and plenty of shade, and there was a great breeze coming from the Ohio river. We watched some boat races (Thunder on the Ohio) and walked around the Freedom Festival a bit.

I didn’t have any jumps under 20′ all weekend! On Saturday I had a bet with Alex that I would hit 23′ again before he would ever hit it. The last big air wave of the day, I had another 23’4″! So Alex owes me a turkey neck. I was in the overall lead for the weekend and really excited. But, Alex always has to be the best, so he pulled off a bigger jump with 23’9″. I guess I’m happy for him but I still need that turkey neck. Finals were on Sunday and I was jumping against Alex, Bo, Chopper, and Murphy. It felt pretty cool being the only team of girls! I told Mom I was feeling good and I was right. I won the whole thing! I had a 22’10” and a 23’3″, the two longest jumps of the final four. I’ve never ever won a Big Air final before, so Mom was really excited. Alex said he was really proud of me. He still owes me a turkey neck.

This weekend is the Chicagoland Dock Dogs Rockford event- aka Summer Splash ’08. We are in Rockford, IL at a really nice location- lots of land, parking is close, and great people. I grabbed 6’6″ in EV last night, which is the best I’ve done in a long time. Mom jumped Alex and Remi and I had to watch the whole thing while I waited for my turn. It was so frustrating! Mom has never jumped Alex and I hope she never does again because I really can’t take it. Today is big air finals. There is some good competition so anything can happen. Grandma and Great Gramma/Grampa are coming to watch me today! So I will do my best and hope Mom has some nice throws.

Next weekend we just have one day of agility and then I think we are going to the farm. The weekend after that, we are all going for a private lesson with our Aunt Sherry, and then doing agility in Wilmot, WI.

Abby’s first Elite jump!

24 06 2008

We attended America’s River Fest in Dubuque Iowa over June 13-15. On our way there, we stopped for an AKC trial in Beloit, Wisconsin. Abby was 1/3 and earned leg two of her XF title. By the time we got to Dubuque, we were all pretty tired.

We jumped on Friday night and she was around 21 feet, which was fantastic for her. She was on a roll last year, until her foot surgery- and she just never looked the same after that. Until now!!! On Saturday she jumped 22’10”, matching her 2007 personal best. Grant coached me and told me to throw just a little bit sooner, so for once I actually listened to him and it worked!!! On Sunday, the final wave of competition, she pulled out a 23’4″ jump. I was so proud of my baby girl. We celebrated by tugging on the duck, and eating some Primal pheasant and sardine. Yum!!!!

Abby also made the Speed Retrieve finals, running in the 7.1 second range. I am incredibly proud of this because she used to swim out to the duck, sniff it, and then turn around and swim back! I have been working on her ‘take it’ command and I used that on the duck- what a good girl- she grabbed it! Slowly, but that’s ok. If I could hang her own duck from it, that would be ideal. But we will settle for the random duck for now. 🙂

Catching Up

12 06 2008

It’s been a while, too long!!

We had an AKC trial in Manhattan two weeks ago. Friday was a great day for Miss Abby. She earned a QQ, and finished her MX and OF titles! I am very proud of my baby girl. All weekend we enjoyed really nice, big-dog friendly courses from Anne Riba and Kurt Matushek. Saturday Abby pulled out of the weave poles at pole 10, this is something we struggled with when she was in Excellent A, and after watching videos it was usually me being anxious and doing something to pull her out. This happened in 2/3 of our runs on Saturday. Saturday night we worked our weaves just for a few minutes. Sunday, she was herself again. First run was ExcA FAST, and she was back to normal. 🙂 I cheered so loud when she got those weaves!! We picked up an XF leg and another MXJ leg (three to go).

Aside from that trial, we had one more USDAA trial in early May in Milwaukee. Abby finished up a couple titles there including her AAD. She is now in Masters for everything except Relay. One run I’m especially proud of was on Mother’s Day (and Grant’s birthday) in the pouring rain. I didn’t need the Q and I lowered my expectations (for both of us) due to the rain. So I was brave and attempted many more front crosses, and also left her in the weaves while I moved out laterally. It WORKED! I was so happy after that run- happy for accomplishing something I never would have attempted a year ago, and happy that I didn’t injure or frustrate my dog!

This weekend we have a fun time planned- an AKC trial on Friday in Beloit, WI, and a weekend of Dock Dogs in Dubuque, Iowa. We attended the Dubuque event last year and it was the most fun we’ve ever had with the dogs. It is held at America’s River Fest, downtown Dubuque, right on the river- great music, really bad for you food, and fun for the dogs!

Last night Abby and her friend Heidi went on a walk with us and visited the uber-pond. It is right in our subdivision, about 1/2 acre in size, deep enough for swimming, and has two giant floating sprinklers right in the middle. She was in heaven!! We are going back today, once it cools off.

Quantum USDAA

28 04 2008

We headed down to Mooresville, IN for a weekend of USDAA. What a fun trip! Beautiful weather, fun courses, and great people. We arrived Friday night and Grant and I checked out the local mall and watched some really bad TV. Saturday we arrived bright and early and went for a long walk at the site, which was a beautiful forest preserve-type park.

As we were getting ready for our first run, it was cloudy, thundering, and church bells kept ringing. Abby was very distracted and looking around, and then she saw the judge. He was a big dude, calling out numbers (Snooker). From the second she heard him yell, she was freaked. From the second I left her at the line, her ears were back, and she looked terrified. On we went, Abby watching him the whole run. We knocked a bar in the closing (a jump headed straight towards the judge) and he blew his whistle. I started to leave and Abby had to get a quick sniff in to make sure that he was ok. She was still worried and ran off from him, low to the ground… she never acts like this.

Our second run was Steeplechase. Ears still pinned back, she ran better for me and we made the finals. I was very happy with her for the effort, depsite being scared. Sherry and Kelly suggested I ask the judge to meet her… so I did, he was super nice and gave Abby lots of loving while he worked on his score sheets. The rest of the weekend was fine after that!

Grand Prix was so much fun. Abby broke her start line but given the morning’s events, the last thing I was going to do was pull or reset her- we wanted no stress! I held on to her contacts and had some sloppy handling, and we missed 1st place by half a second. I was very, very happy with that! Then we ran Advanced Standard (scary judge again!) and took 1st. We got 2nd in Advanced Gamblers to Alex. Abby was happy to let him have the win! Our final run of the day was Pairs, we had a draw partner, Chaos the BC. Abby and Chaos won 1st, finishing her Starters Pairs title.

On Sunday, I looked like a lobster. We picked up some sunscreen on the way to the trial, but it was too little too late. Abby was her usual happy self all day on Sunday. She was excited to run the courses with the Scary Judge, which made me happy of course!  We ran in the Steeplechase finals and it was fun. Heehee, I completely chickened out on my front cross and pulled her off of a jump. After that, I was cooked. We had one other mistake and I was just glad to be done with that class!! She took 2nd in Advanced standard, 1st in Gamblers, 1st in Jumpers (new title), 3rd in Snooker (a very, very ugly run, I did not walk the course for more than a minute), and 2nd in Tunnels.