Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vacation time!

We are leaving today on a road trip to LA for 2 weeks! I am so excited. This will be Ryan's first trip to LA. We're going to drive through Portland and stop at the Oregon Zoo, then on to San Francisco and finally LA. We did a trip along the Oregon coast back in March and the dogs had a great time on the beaches. They are the nicest beaches imaginable - sandy and wide open as far as you can see.

I never wrote that Ryan had his first agility trial! He's been in class for about 6 months now and he is doing very well. He nails his contacts every time and doesn't break until he's released. I have him jumping 26" for now but I will probably drop him to 22" regulars for his next trial. In his first trial he did Jumpers and Gamblers and Q'd in Gamblers with a beautiful opening (both minis twice) and a perfect gamble. I will have to put the video up soon. His jumpers run was very nice, no knocked bars, but I pulled him off a tunnel entrance too soon. It's hard to remember that he is a baby still in agility and doesn't read me like Abby yet!

In some ways he is easier to run than Abby. He barks less, for one thing - he only barks at the beginning of class when he is excited to be out and running. I did much more foundation work with him so it's nice to be able to trust that he will stop on his contacts. He also runs at a more manageable speed than Abby, even though I think he actually is faster. I don't know how that works. Maybe he commits to obstacles earlier so he is more predictable and feels more manageable? Abby can go over a jump with a bounce, sideways, while turning in midair, from a standstill. That is both a good thing (if I screw up handling) and a bad thing (if I think she is committed to a jump and I turn, and suddenly she pulls off the jump).

I really need to upload some recent videos of Abby too - I have become a much better handler and she has really improved recently!

I love my dogs. Ryan is the cuddliest, sweetest guy. He is always happy and he is so good in every situation. He recently met a sea lion at work at after 2 barks he was fine and was just interested in the herring that Hazy (the sea lion) was getting. Abby is so much better than she used to be that sometimes it's hard to remember just how 'bad' she once was. I don't feel like I'm restricted in what I can do with her anymore - maybe I've just realized that not every dog is right for every situation. I won't, for example, take her to a crowded beach full of screaming children and crazy dogs in the middle of a weekend. She is a very special dog - definitely my heart dog.

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