Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Vacation (and the living is easy)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Green Mountain Golden Retriever Club - July 27-29, 2012

LOCAL trial weekend! Yay! Great friends, great houseguests, good times, yummy food and Teller's first PERFECT three-day weekend. Yes boys and girls 6 for 6 this weekend for Teller! That's three CHEEZEBURGERS!

QQ plus QQ plus QQ equals a cheezeburger from FIVE GUYS!




Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mopping the floor with him

We have house guests this weekend - five dogs at the house is a little chaotic! Kippie's favorite house guest is border collie Ali - who pretty much mops the floor with him at times. Ali = 32lbs; Kippie = 64lbs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everything Canine Match - July 22nd, 2012

Mr. Kippie's first match today at Everything Canine. My criteria was pretty low for this event - stay with me, we enter the ring together, we leave the ring together, get some work in between. I got quite a bit more than that - I got solid contacts and a couple of nice trips around an open course and a novice course. We had some sniffing in the weaves (and had to re-attempt them a couple of times) - probably because of a previous pee-pee in the ring. No biggie though, he didn't mark the spot (THANK DOG) and he eventually worked through it. I see that as a mileage thing - he's still figuring out his job and like reading a job description he hasn't gotten to the part about "playing the game is more fun than random smells, stray treats or ring crew". He'll get there - and I'd imagine he's going to get there quickly!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

OK, so I'm about 12 books behind on my reviews here. I'm desperately hoping to catch-up this week. I couldn't wait to talk about The Second book in the All-Souls Trilogy though - Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. The first novel in the trilogy is "Discovery of Witches" - if you haven't read that novel yet, stop here, do not collect $200 and go get that novel first. You cannot read this series out of order.

I actually spent last week (pre SoN release) re-listening to Discovery of Witches. I wanted to catchup with Matthew and Diana and get back into the magic of the storytelling.

The Audible Publisher's Summary:

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown." (From the thrilling sequel to the New York Times best seller A Discovery of Witches)
Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

I found Shadow of Night quite a bit darker than Discovery of Witches in theme and subject matter. Naturally historical figures such as William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I and Christopher Marlowe are involved - as are witch hunts, espionage and more vampire games. Part of the 'darkness' is a result of the time period (1590 AD) the other part is the character of Matthew who was charming and princely in Discovery of Witches and controlling, jealous and somewhat abusive in Shadow of Night. There were times where I was uncomfortable in the "I'll always love you Matthew" responses to violence and verbal abuse. It's not an author's place to make me feel comfortable for an entire 24+ hour novel - and while Diana's response for the time was certainly accurate, the 21st century woman should not have been so spineless and dependent on the whims of her husband (and that statement is common sense vs feminism). Let's not send yet another mixed message to women about abuse.

Despite the above objections, I did enjoy Shadow of Night and I have plans to re-listen (or perhaps actually READ) the novel. No spoilers here (of course) but the Shadow of Night ends a bit like the Discovery of Witches. There are a few closed loops - but the large plot strings remain tangled and several new ones are left dangling. I suppose we'll have to wait another year and a half for the final trilogy installment!

Shadow of Night was written by Deborah Harkness; narrated by Jennifer Ikeda; published by Penguin Audio. Shadow of Night (unabridged) has a running time of 24 hours 30 minutes and an Audible release date of July 10th, 2012.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Baby-Dawg's fieldtrip - July 13th, 2012

The Kipster made another fieldtrip to NH while we were on our way to Rhode Island last week. He's coming along, showing some good focus and confidence in new places. Little-man will be fifteen months old tomorrow. How quickly they grow up!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yankee Golden Retriever Club - July 14-15, 2012

Teller had another good weekend at the dog show, back in Rhode Island for the second weekend in a row - kinda feels like we never actually left!!! Another fun weekend with agility friends - Teller went 4 for 6 - a wrong course in today's T2B and a popped a-frame contact today in standard. BUT - a nice QQQ yesterday and I think he's settling into his new jump height (20").

Monday, July 09, 2012

Kippie's agility fieldtrip - July 6th, 2012

On our way to Rhode Island on Friday, we stopped at AK9C for a ring rental. Kippie's first time working on rubber matting! He was a little pokier than normal - but pretty focused and we had a lot of little successes!

Leapin' Kizzards!

Some shots off the dock in Rhode Island this weekend:
Yes, Kippie will jump off strange docks into water he can't see through.

Teller bringing in the bumpers.

Murphy having a tantrum.

Teller, Kippie and friends :-)

Sunday, July 08, 2012

CSSC/MCKC - July 7-8, 2012

Teller had a decent weekend at the CSSC/MCKC trial in Rhode Island going 5 for 6 for the weekend: Two JWW Qs and one standard, one FAST and one T2B Q. Saturday standard's weave bobble was all me - I didn't handle a rear weave cross weave. So that's one more QQ under our belts to MACH3!

A bit of latency from Teller this weekend - he measured down to the 20" class, this was his first weekend at the new height and he really seemed to be thinking about the striding a bit. Teller can be so analytic sometimes and here's a clear-cut case of "thinking woo".

His striding improved over the weekend though - he'll come back together. Points were so-so this weekend. First there didn't seem to be a lot to be had and his times were pretty close to his typical 24" YPS.

There's more to come tomorrow with some photos and some video of Kippie's first agility fieldtrip (on our way to Rhode Island).

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day Photos.

7/4 - The boys pre-trim, pre-groom and pre-bath.

Murphy does not believe in props for photo-ops.

Trimmed, bathed and groomed.

~The Boys~


One more with props.

Kipling learns to weave - Session Ten

I'm switching labels from days to sessions now that we're not working weaves every's session I packed up a jump and the weaves and headed off to the school to work weaves in a new place. We had 8 successes in 9 reps (88%)! Home to get groomed, bathed and a swim session on this holiday off work!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Making sense of the new Master AKC titles

So while we were all sleeping in the wee hours of Sunday morning, a great number of dogs earned some new AKC agility titles. The Master Bronze, Silver, Gold and Century titles went into effect on July 1st, 2012. So what do they all mean?

From the AKC agility rulebook (located here):

Chapter 2, Classes, Titles, and Height Divisions
Section 3. Recognized Achievement. In order to recognize consistency and longevity in the Master Agility Excellent (MX), Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves (MXJ) and Master Excellent FAST (MXF) classes, the AKC will record a Lifetime Achievement title on the dog’s record. There is no limit to this achievement. (For example, a dog with the MXC title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Agility class qualifying scores would have the MXB2 title.)
The AKC will identify dogs qualifying for Lifetime Achievement titles by the appropriate title designations (MXB, MXB2; MXS, MXS2; MSG, MSG2; MXC, MXC2, etc.) following their AKC name in all official AKC records. In each case, the higher Lifetime Achievement title will supersede the preceding Lifetime Achievement title in all official AKC records such that the highest title will be listed.
The Lifetime Achievement Standard titles and requirements are:
Master Bronze Agility Title = MXB. Requires twenty-five Excellent B Agility class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Silver Agility Title = MXS. Requires the MXB title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Agility class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Gold Agility Title = MXG. Requires the MXS title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Agility class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Century Agility Title = MXC. Requires the MXG title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Agility class qualifying scores of 100.
The Lifetime Achievement Jumpers With Weaves titles and requirements are:
Master Bronze Jumpers With Weaves Title = MJB. Requires twenty-five Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Silver Jumpers With Weaves Title = MJS. Requires the MJB title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Gold Jumpers With Weaves Title = MJG. Requires the MJS title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves class qualifying scores of 100.
Master Century Jumpers With Weaves Title = MJC. Requires the MJG title plus twenty-five additional Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves class qualifying scores of 100.

On the inital read through the new regulations I missed the part about MSG# - so the way it works is that Once you've reached the MXC (100 MX legs) at MX leg #125 MXC becomes MXB2 (and so on and so forth). I suspect that these new titles will be more of a "hey, we got a certificate in the mail for XXX!"

I note that of the dogs I've recently looked up in the AKC database only about half of them have MX_ titles recorded. Owners can do the math on their own if they're impatient for end titles...

As of June 14th (the date through which AKC has processed event results), Teller has 53 MX legs and 117 MXJ legs - making him MACH2 (Can CH) Teller MXS MJC. He's actually only 2 MXJ legs from "MJB2". Talk about alphabet soup!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

A few weeks ago Kipling was officially enrolled in the pilot launch of  Morris Animal Foundation's Canine Lifetime Health Study which currently focuses on Golden Retrievers. To be eligible for enrollment a participant needs to be under two years of age, a purebred golden retriever with a documented 3-generation pedigree have a veterinarian who is willing to participate in the study and the owner must agree to supply MAF with medical records and submit annual samples for lab analysis.

In exchange MAF/CLHS pays for all of the lab work and reimburses a portion of the appointment costs.

Today was Kipling's appointment for his first round of labs. He says he had a super-fun time at day camp - even if they did take large samples of blood and knock him out for x-rays (OFA prelims) :-)

I'm so grateful to Morris Animal Foundation for undertaking this effort. The initial questionnaire alone was daunting - the amount of information they are collecting, the depth of the questions that they asked - everything from temperament to food to habits (does your dog eat grass?). I hope we get some good answers. If you have an eligible dog please enroll in the study, MAF expects to open the study to an additional 3,000 eligible dogs later this summer following the 50 dog pilot.

Morris Animal Foundation:

Canine Lifetime Health Study:

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study:

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Kipling learns to weave - Day Nine

After a weekend on the road the boys were pretty wiped out - honestly after two 5am mornings and working all day I was pretty wiped out too! But I wanted to see what Kipling would do after three days 'off' of weave training. He didn't miss a beat! I'm peeling away and he's staying in the weaves, he's figuring out his footwork and he's getting FASTER!!!!

ACNH - June 30th-July 1st, 2012

Teller's three-for-four weekend at ACNH in the air-conditioned refrigeration of American K9 Country. Teller LOVES the cold! One more QQ and a handful of points...

Oh and there was (another) MACH cake for Teller!

Banana and Honey cake with peanut butter frosting...YUM!

Teller LOVED LOVED LOVED the cake!