Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This Much Cute

should probably be illegal.

Meet Kepler, world's most adorable puppy.

He is super sweet and cuddly, confident with people and dogs and bounces back from everything easily. He also does not like to be left alone; that is his big thing to work on right now. He is a chunky (understatement) 12 lbs at 9 weeks - a bit heavier than Ryan was at that age. My guess for his final weight is 60 lbs. I think one of the best parts about rescue puppies is not knowing what they're going to look like when they grow up - it's all a mystery!
Lucky, lucky Jess! I am so jealous.
(all photos by Susan)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two posts one day!

I forgot about this video that Emma took in class a few weeks ago.

Ryan -We were having some trouble with the weave entry - have to work on that!

And Abby - bounce! bounce! bounce!

Little Bits and Pieces

The trial photographer at regionals (http://wildhare.ca) took some great photos of Abby and Ryan. These were my favourites of each of them...I might have to buy prints!I decided to make the trip to Nationals. I think it will be a fun little vacation and even though Abby and Ryan didn't get anywhere near the podium, it would still be cool to compete and watch all the other dogs. I booked a motel..now just have to figure out all the driving logistics.

In other news, I've had a pretty little foster dog for the past week. She came with the name Bailey but has since been renamed Sprite.

She is in love with Abby which is pretty cute to see. She follows her around and flea bites her and asks her to play constantly. They both move so *fast* when they play - spinning and leaping over each other and racing around the yard barely touching each other. Poor Ryan has been left out of this new love affair. He grabs the most exciting toys and prances around throwing them around in his mouth...he runs through the trees in the yard and comes out with mouthfuls of branches and dirt..and still, they don't notice him. He eventually ends up lying and watching them mournfully. He and Sprite barely acknowledge each other - Sprite is definitely all about the Abby. I hope there is an agility home out there that wants to adopt her. She's one of those lightning fast dogs that can stop and turn so easily.

The final piece of news is that today I'm driving down to Washington with a group of friends to pick this up:
That is Kepler, Jess's new puppy. Yup, that's right, puppy envy can start right now. And if that adorable face wasn't bad enough?

This is his mom:
Um, hello girl version of Ryan?


Kepler's litter is in rescue - they are supposed to be Border Collie x Aussie x Cattle dog. Mystery herding mutts - the best kind!
I can't wait to help Jess socialize the new little guy. I feel like I will get to live vicariously through Ryan's puppyhood part II. Let's hope he's more cuddly as a baby than Ryan was since that was just frustrating (can't cuddle the super cute fluff ball because he just starts screaming? not fun! good thing Ryan grew up to be so cuddly...maybe because I kept forcing it on him). I get to meet the puppy tonight...yay!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

They did it!

Both Abby and Ryan qualified for Nationals! To follow in my trend of giving a breakdown of the six runs for my future reference...

Gamblers 1:
He was first dog on the line all day on Saturday - like, first first running every course. Friday night I realized I had never actually entered Ryan in an outdoor trial before. Oops! I think I made myself a little more nervous than necessary when I realized that and wasn't running too well for that first run. So anyway, we attempted the mini gambles but Ryan knocked a bar in the first one and then forgot how to weave, apparently. So no mini gambles for us. He also had no hope of getting the tunnel-weave gamble and we ended with 34 points or so.
Abby had a really nice opening with 3/4 possible mini gambles (including the contact-weave - go Abby!) but she didn't get the final gamble. She still ended with a very nice opening score of 59 points.

Standard 1:
Ok possibly my run breakdown is not going to work since I have no recollection of what happened in this run. I'm pretty sure Ryan had about 10 faults. Oh right - he missed his weave entry and we played around there for a while until he finally did it, and then I was on the wrong side and caused a refusal for the next obstacle? So something like 90 points.
Errr more memory lapse...I remember her paper saying R, R, R, R. So maybe it was her run that had the whole weave entry issue too plus some refusals. 80 points for her?

Jumpers 1:
Very nice run with a knocked bar so 70 points.
An off course and a refusal - 50 points.

Saturday's total: Ryan 194, Abby 189

You need 350 points to qualify so while they were both over halfway there, I wasn't feeling fantastic about our runs. None had been clean and all had felt kind of...panicked and not too smooth with the exception of Ryan's Jumpers run.

On Sunday though things started looking up..

Standard 2:
One knocked bar in an otherwise nice run. We were lucky though..first because he broke his start line stay and I could tell that if I left him where he'd been set up he would have gone around the first hoop. Luckily they realized as he stood up that they hadn't set the timing posts properly so I got to go sit him back down in a better spot. Second stroke of luck was that he got his weave entry and then just kind of ...stopped in the poles. I have never put him back in the weaves in training - we always restart from the beginning. I told him 'weave' again, though, and he just continued in the poles where he'd stopped. That has never happened before! The rest of the run was beautiful until a knocked bar on the 2nd to last jump because I hadn't crossed where I meant to. 95 points.
Abby ran a Regionals Standard course...clean! I was so so so proud of her. I think she ran it about 13 seconds under time so ended up with 113 points or so.

Jumpers 2:
Clean runs all around! I'm not sure how under time they were - at least 10 seconds though so probably about 85 points each. Ryan came in 2nd for this one!

Gamblers 2:
Oh so frustrating. Abby did a beautiful opening with 3/4 minis including a very hard tunnel weave tunnel (2 curved tunnels on either end of set of poles) and then..she did the closing gamble...1 second over time!! It was the far side of a curved tunnel to a jump, teeter, jump. She almost took a jump instead of the tunnel, then almost took the close tunnel mouth, but I managed to send her into the right one. That hesitation ate up all our time though. So so close! She still got 40 points in the opening though.

We ran fast..so fast that I ran out of obstacles! He got 40 points in his opening as well but took a wrong jump right away in the final gamble.

Sunday's total: Ryan 220, Abby 238
If I remembered all that right then their totals are something like 414 for Ryan (10th place in his class!) and 427 for Abby (30th or so place). We'll see when the actual results are posted.

I am so happy with how this year's regionals went! Ryan was just amazing for being so inexperienced and running Abby this year felt more smooth and in control than ever.

It's even making me consider taking them to Nationals in August. Eep.

I'd better take some ribbon photos!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Counting down..

Three days to go 'till agility regionals! This will be Abby's third year competing and Ryan's first year. That's right - I signed Ryan up even though this is his first year trialing. I have so much fun running him and so far he's proven to be totally consistent at trials. The good thing about regionals is there are only three runs per day to remember and since Abby is regulars and Ryan is specials there will be no conflicts at all. I don't have any super high expectations - I'd like to do at least as well as last year with Abby and I'd like Ryan to keep his brain for 2 days of running.