Saturday, August 28, 2010

Land Lion

This is Tasu.
Isn't she pretty? I think she's the most beautiful sea lion (shh, don't tell the other girls).

Looks aren't everything though. The big tough sea lion (emphasis on sea) Tasu, weighing in at 200 kg, has a bit of an embarrassing problem...

She's scared of the sea.

That's right, this built-to-dive animal doesn't like to swim in the deep ocean. She likes to dip her eyeball in - that's about it. Oh, and she likes to explore at low tide. Deep water though? Oh no, much too scary. Tasu had been sent to our open water site to participate in dive physiology trials. Too bad she doesn't like diving! Now she's back at the aquarium where she's the biggest and the oldest. She's working on putting bossy Ashby in her place - but Ashby isn't going to be pushed around that easily.

Ashby's on the left.

Oh Tasu, don't worry. We won't tell the others why you're back.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I should be packing

but instead I'm lying on the couch...eating crackers and dip and candy and obsessing about my soon to arrive iphone (and obsessing over whether I got the absolute best deal possible for my phone plan. I blame my mother for passing this trait on to me). I really don't have much to say in this post - I just wanted to occupy my hands for a minute so that I didn't grab more sour wine gums.

I like the moving in to a new place part where I get to organize everything but I don't like the moving out part. I seem to just be shuffling things from one side of the room to the other without actually accomplishing anything at all. Maybe I'll go throw some more clothes into suitcases...this time though I'll pack the clothes I *don't* need for work the next day (yesterday was a packing fail).

And to make this slightly dog related, here's Abby:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abby is a Ninja

With super Ninja skillz!

Her greatest power is the "face of death"...
It instantly turns Ryan's brain into mush.

Whatcha looking over your shoulder for, Ryan?
Incoming NINJA!

Just kidding...except that part about Ryan's brain.

Today we went to the beach at low tide. To get there you have to drive over two bridges, but when the tide is that low you can practically walk back across. It's nice to have that much open space.

Happy beach faces.

We walked through knee deep water for about 20 minutes all the way out to one remaining sandbar as the tide started to come back in. Abby was pretty worried that we were seemingly walking out into the ocean - she stayed right behind me bopping the backs of my legs with her nose. She was right to be worried - when we turned around to come back the water was suddenly up to my mid thigh and Abby and Ryan had to swim most of the way back!

Abby likes the splashy level of water more than the swimming level.

That ear...if only they'd gone up :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Overdue Pictures

Did I promise pictures? I think I promised pictures from last weekend. Also a small update after seeing the results - Abby was 11th for her clean standard run! Out of ~105 of some of the most competitive dogs in Canada? Pretty pleased with my little mystery mutt. I should update Best Friends and the Lange Foundation at some point about the tailless wonder that (luckily!) ended up in my life.

Oh hai! Nope, 7, you might be a wonder but you're only half tailless.

Everyone enjoying the lake stop during the road trip to Calgary
Some used the endless hours in the car to get some beauty sleep...

..and some cuddle time..

Others were a little more impatient...

Seriously...we're still driving??

And then there was Beezer..who *really* wanted a front seat view.

Unfortunately I didn't actually take my camera out while at Nationals.

Stolen from Faren - dogs in the fountain at Spruce Meadows!

Also stolen from Faren - taken at the ribbon ceremony.
Everyone was tired for realz on the way home.
Incredible cuteness ensued.

Ryan doesn't look too impressed by the incredible cuteness ensuing.

Yeah, I won these. No big deal.
Yup, Superman for sure :)

Some exciting news - we're moving.....drumroll....into Erika and Rob's suite! I am very excited about this. It's going to be great for the dogs and for me. I think the dogs have adjusted amazingly well to apartment living but it's still so much nicer to have a fenced yard to let them out into. We'll be able to trade dog duties easily and I'll get first dibs (if I'm lucky :) ) on Loic baby sitting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Veni, Vidi...

...maybe we'll save Vici for next time?

At least we conquered the big scary bison!

We're back from the 2010 AAC Nationals! Even though I was in a constant rushed-hungry-nervous-tired state, the trip was so much fun. Spruce Meadows is beautiful and getting to be involved in such a huge dog event is pretty much the best time ever for a dog nerd. I meant to take lots of photos and video but somehow managed not to. I do have some from our 3 person 6 dog 12 hours each way car trip to upload (so far these are stolen from Emma).

As far as overall points go, I don't think either Abby or Ryan got as many as they did at Regionals. That's ok, though, since I didn't have any point expectations. It was actually after having a pretty terrible jumpers run with each of them at the end of the day Saturday (they each went off course twice!) that we managed some way nicer runs on Sunday. I think with no expectations at all I was able to just relax a bit and have more fun running.

The highlight with Abby was a clean Standard run on Sunday 20 seconds under time. It was so beautiful...every contact was perfect, her off side weaves were perfect. Unfortunately that run didn't get her a ribbon (top 10 spots for each run got ribbons). The 22" regulars class is *very* competitive and had over 100 dogs in it. I am curious to see where Abby placed with a clean and fast run. The dogs in her class are really amazing to watch. Abby also had a really nice Gamblers run on Sunday and came *so* close to getting the final gamble (3 jumps out, turn around to the frame, a final jump). She came in to me instead of going to that last jump, then went and touched the frame with a foot before turning and doing that jump. So close!!!

The highlight with Ryan was a beautiful, clean and fast Jumpers run on Sunday. He ran it in 31 seconds even with me getting lost for a few seconds and yelling "wait" at him as he came out of a tunnel. It somehow worked and I remembered where to go next (phew!). That run got Ryan a 4th place ribbon. He also got a 9th place ribbon in Gamblers on Saturday without actually getting the gamble. It was a pretty tough one and he had a great opening but it still felt strange to get a ribbon without even completing the gamble. Ryan's 22" specials class is much smaller than Abby's with maybe 25-30 dogs.

Even though there was only 1 clean run with each dog most of the other runs felt pretty good. Ryan's points were mostly lost in off courses - it has re-motivated me to work on tighter turns and coming in to me faster. Oh, and I need to work on his out-work.
Abby ran so nicely all weekend - her Saturday standard only had 5 faults for a weave entry bobble. I would like to work on her jumping style but I'm not convinced anything much can be changed at this point. It really only affected our Sunday Jumpers run - she was jumping so high and so far that she was pretty much in off course tunnels as she landed.

That was a long wrap up with not enough coming soon!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The cake

that Christine and Duffy brought to class. So nice!

And our ATCH ribbon picture with judge Wendy Alexander.

We head off to Nationals Thursday morning. I'm trying not to think about it. Getting lost on course makes me nervous at the best of times...*don't think about it don't think about it don't think about it* As long as I don't have a wardrobe malfunction (pants too loose and almost falling down during run) I'll be fine.