Paw Power Blues AKC

21 04 2008

On April 19-20 we went to the Paw Power Blues trial in Merrillville, Indiana. Abby was happy to see that we stayed at the Red Roof again with a lake right outside our hotel window. Friday night we went on a long walk and ended with a quick swim. I had been sick all week and was still not feeling good, so I needed all of the rest I could get. On Saturday we had a great Standard run, with our only problem being me calling Abby over a bar- the same damn panel jump that we hit last year, of course. Other than that, it was great and I was so happy with her. By the time we ran Jumpers (last class of the day) I was wiped out, still not feeling good, and I passed Abby over to her Aunt Whitney. I figured that another Whitney who also owns a lab, Abby might not even know the difference. Abs was so excited to bond with Auntie Whitney- at the start line she checked back to make sure I was watching, and then off they went! Whitney is a much faster handler and not chicken shit like I am. She had a beautiful run and Abby appreciated someone not being late on front crosses.

On Sunday Abby and I were clean in Standard, a very nice run and I couldn’t be happier with it. We held our contacts and had a difficult weave entry. In JWW, another difficult weave entry, which she had, but I had to open my mouth and praise her for it (she enters the first pole “Good Girl! Yay!” and she comes right out to see what goodies I have to offer her for it). BUT, as usual, once something is screwed up, I have more confidence to try different things- and I did, and the rest of the course was awesome. I was SO happy with our weekend… I love my Abby Pants.



Contact Sports USDAA

15 04 2008

Last weekend we had a USDAA trial with Contact Sports agility in Crystal Lake, IL. What a huge trial! But everything moved efficiently and we had a blast. We got to hang out with our friends, laugh and tell stories, and cheer each other on. Katie, Andy, Whitney, Fergus, Ryder, Dylan, and Rumor all stayed at our house and we partied till the sun came up! (Ok, ok, we were asleep by 11). We had a fun time at dinner and then watching Andy bust out his dance moves when we got back home.

We worked on our contacts and I tried to work on my front crosses. They were pretty bad all weekend until the very last run, Starters Jumpers, when I finally got the timing right. Poor Abby. At least she understands that Mom has some trouble and she compensates for me!

Abby had a fantastic weekend. We were ONE bar away from moving out of Starters entirely! Next time. 🙂

  • Advanced Snooker – Qualifier, 2nd place
  • Starters Standard – Qualifier, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix- Qualifier
  • Starters Gamblers – Qualifier, 1st place, new title
  • Starters Gamblers – Qualifier, 2nd place
  • Starters Standard – Qualifier, 1st place, new title
  • Starters Pairs (with Captain Jack) – Qualifier, 4th place
  • Starters Jumpers – Qualifier, 1st place

USDAA is now our venue of choice. The games and relay are just too fun. We have another USDAA trial coming up in two weeks in Indiana, it is outdoors on grass. It will be nice to be back outside again for the first time this year!

Here is a video compilation of Abby’s weekend.

Forget the thaw, I’m going in!

12 03 2008

The snow is finally melting! Today we went to the farm. I was doing a photo assignment and took everyone along for some fun. Most of the yard was a sheet of ice, but we managed to find an open space to use the Chuck-It! Then Grant fired some blank rounds, working with Alex’s gun-shyness a little bit. Abby is fearless and actually loves the sound of the gun. It gets her on edge and ready to grab a bird. She never runs as fast as when I release her after a shot is fired. We were also were driving by a lake, and there were a bunch of ducks. Of course, we pulled over and let Abby have some fun! She went into the water after them before anyone could stop her. Most of the lake was ice but she found a spot that was a bit thawed. She did not want to get out either. Over eight hours later, no cold tail… hope that is a good sign for this weekend, which is a Dock Dogs event.

Not waiting for spring

We also stopped by the butcher near the farm today and got some really interesting goodies. Not going to give away any surprises, but I can’t wait to feed some of the ‘items’ we picked up!

It has been a long time since I’ve given an agility update! We ran in a USDAA trial in Indianapolis a few weeks ago (Feb 9-10). It was very slippery on the course, and during our first run she dropped a bar. I had no idea it was so slick out there! We had seven more runs after that and not a single bar came down! Alex and Abby ran pairs relay together and it was so much fun. Abs barked at him and Grant while waiting our turn. I thought for sure Alex would steal the baton! We won our class (I guess Alex’s off course tire hurt but our time made up for it). Next time Abby and I run pairs is with our friend Captain Jack in April.

We also did an AKC trial downtown Chicago at McCormick place. It was packed! Again, it was a very slippery place. On Friday, Abby slipped going into the weaves in JWW so no Q. I used our standard run to really test her contacts and they were solid! On both Saturday and Sunday, we earned Double-Q’s! She also won JWW both days and I’m so proud of that, those were some big classes of dogs. On Friday and Sunday she won Open Fast 24″ and needs one more leg for her title. Alex also did great that weekend too, and he made CBS news. The clip was so funny…good for a laugh. Abby and I are proud of our boys. Overall, what a great weekend. I went into that show wanting just solid contacts, and made that my most important goal, and I got that and so much more. (oh, and about the slippery surface, on Sat-Sun, we used sticky foot and it seemed to make a big difference.)

Back to the contacts…. they are solid 2o/2o but she is very slow to creep down the downside of the A-frame and dogwalk. We went for a lesson with Kelly Garver a few weeks ago and she gave us some excellent help with this problem. I can’t wait for this snow to be GONE so we can really practice this more. Tonight in Sherry’s class we stayed after for a few minutes working our dogwalk and it is getting much better already. But, for now, I will take slow, creeping 2o/2o over a blown contact, any day!

Coming up we have Dock Dogs this weekend, and agility the next two weekends after that.

First post of 2008!

27 01 2008

I’m such a slacker. Abby just told me if she had thumbs, she’d blog every day.

We had a NADAC trial over NY eve. We had a great time, added some more Q’s for both Abby and Alex. I will have to do all of the math and see where we’re at overall. I was really excited, we finally finished our last Open class (TouchNGo). That was a very tough class for us to title in because it was her worst class for sticking contacts 2 on/2 off. So I pulled her a lot when we were running Touch N Go. I would have really loved an Elite Chances leg or two, but no such luck. I was actually sick on day 2 of the trial and Abby was handled by Ralph in Regular Rd 2, and by Barb in Chances.

I’ve been adding a lot more videos to our YouTube lately… and figuring out our iMac slowly but surely. I really love it for video editing. For now I’m just getting clips up there on YouTube but eventually I will caption/title them all and add some music, etc.

This past weekend, we had a Dock Dogs event in Rosemont (chicago, basically). Abby’s best jump was 21′. I am extremely happy with this distance for her! Before her foot surgery last year, her best was 22’10” and after the surgery, I could not get her over 19′. So 21′ was huge for us, especially considering that all of my dogs are sleeping about 23 1/2 hours a day lately! I am very proud of my girl! She also grabbed 6’4″ in Extreme Vertical. Abby and Alex would have both made Pro Finals on Sunday, but unfortunately both of them came down with cold tail on Saturday night. The worst is over, and today (Monday) I got a little wag out of them both! I’ve been giving arnica and massaging the tails every so often. This happened to Abby last year at the same event. Next fall I plan on getting them all in colder water and swimming them more (before snow and frigid temps). We will see if that makes any difference.

NADAC Thanksgiving Weekend

27 11 2007

Thanksgiving weekend we showed in NADAC in Crystal Lake, IL. Overall it was a great weekend… the dogs had a blast and did very well.

Abby’s results:

Elite Regular 1st place (4.4 yps)

Open Chances Q & title!

Elite Tunnelers 3rd place (6.26 yps)

Elite Weavers 2nd place (5.04 yps)

Elite Regular 2nd place (4.47 yps)

Elite Jumpers 1st place (6.69 yps)

Elite Weavers 2nd place (5.25 yps)

Open Touch N Go 2nd place (5.03 yps, Alex took 1st)

Elite Regular 1st place (4.98 yps)

Elite Regular 3rd place (4.8 yps, Barb ran her)

Elite Tunnelers 4th place (6.04 yps)

Elite Weavers 4th place (5.19 yps)

Elite Jumpers 1st place (6.14 yps)

Some of Abby’s runs:

Elite Jumpers with Whitney

Elite Weavers with Whitney

Elite Regular with Whitney

Elite Regular with Whitney

Elite Regular with Auntie Barb

Elite Tunnelers with Whitney, Elite Tunnelers Grant & Alex 

Road trip to the farm!

17 11 2007

Abby and the bros headed down to the farm today!

We did some bumper fetchin’ along the creek, with her special pheasant bumper. Abby did great and also found a dead possum. She begged me to sample it but I decided against it, I am the one who sleeps in bed with her!

We also went to the timber and the dogs went WILD! More so than usual- the boys in particular took off and chased each other for 10 minutes straight! I think they both saw the timber as a big agility course, stuff to jump on and over. Abby was more of an explorer and took her time appreciating nature.

After the timber we headed over to the butcher. YUM!!!

Here was our butcher loot:

  • beef tongue
  • pork feet
  • pork ears
  • pork neck bones
  • beef kidney
  • beef soup bones (AWESOME with a ton of meat- not marrow bones)
  • hot dogs for training

Then it was on to some chuck-it in the yard. The dogs passed out the entire way home, dragged themselves inside and collapsed. Until daddy got home from a two day work trip, the fun started up all over again! Chasing, barking, begging for dinner (too bad they ate this morning!).

Photo Gallery of today’s adventures!

New Goals

15 11 2007

Abby and I have decided to start contributing at least once a week from now on to this blog.

 Our dock season is over for 2007, and what a season it was! Now we have turned our focus to agility and winter conditioning.