Friday, August 31, 2012

Kippie the Dock-Dog!

We went down to the Hopkinton Fair yesterday to play dock dog with Kippie. We had an absolute blast and as much as I kept telling myself that I did not need another sport I think I'm hooked. I KNOW Kippie is hooked! There are some absolutely amazing pics that my friend Lesley took of Kipling that I need to work out permission to use - for now here's the video:

His best jump was a manually scored 19.5'; his best jump in competition was 16'11". It was good enough to be in the top six amateur dogs for yesterday's jumps, but I don't think it'll hold up throughout the five days of jumpin' dogs :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yankee Golden Retriever Club - August 25-26th, 2012

A fun weekend at the August Edition of Yankee Golden Retriever Club's agility program. The plan was to run Kipling on Saturday and Teller Saturday and Sunday. I completely screwed up the dates though and entered Kippie on Sunday (making for a later day all around).

Gee, who to start with? Well, Teller because he's got his head on my lap at the moment :-) Statistically not Teller's best weekend, though we're a bit spoiled these days with so many really great agility weekends in a row . We left with only a JWW Q on Saturday and a Standard Q on Sunday.

Teller's Saturday JWW run was pretty lack-luster. The dog ahead of us had a massive accident IN the weaves, ring crew cleaned the heck out of it, but when we got to the weaves it was still ummm...odoriferous. Teller tip-toed through the weaves and with a record SIX crosses (blind and fronts) I felt like we just never got into a rhythm after that. It was a Q with FOUR points. I have to admit that watching the video once we're past the weaves it doesn't look as awkward as that run felt! In Saturday's standard run we were clean up until the #16 table. I moved from one side to the other at the table and he came off the table (at 1 and...) with me - partially (in a nice little 2o2o actually). I thought maybe he could fix it (pull his front legs back up) - but he just didn't understand what I wanted him to do and came off. Too bad, it was otherwise a really nice run.

Sunday Standard was of those runs where everything clicked into place ;-) Sunday JWW was probably our best run of the weekend (and there was an R and a W on that scribe sheet). Teller was booking along and missed a push (that was just not strong enough). His course time was really good despite the R and W - so I think it would have been a nice pile of points I think!

Kipling had his second trial entry today. He's still so young (and green) that I don't know what to expect from him. I'm running him a bit like a grown-up dog but today's standard run (oh look a measuring tape) reminded me that he's still a baby dog and I need to handle every obstacle with him. It was an R (thankfully you can have those in Novice) and we finished with a second placement for his second NA leg. In the afternoon, Kipling came back for a clean JWW run running like a big dog with a first placement and his second NAJ leg. There is so much space out on those novice courses (even when they're squished in a third of the ring) that I think it feels a little strange for both of us!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Product Review: GoughNuts Stick.

A while back I was on the clean run ( site replenishing Teller's PowerBoost supply and happened to flip through the toy section and sub-category 'floating'. I ended up buying a few sets of the smaller puller rings (which are a pool staple now) and the goughnuts stick.

GoughNuts Stick:

For pool toys I do like the puller rings - they float pretty high in the water, they're light and they're highly visible in the pool (and lake too). The dogs do like them but for swimming I caution against using the larger puller rings. Several times my dogs have gotten legs - or heads - through the larger rings and I'd be very concerned if this happened in a large body of water.

Puller Rings:

I didn't like the goughnuts stick at first - heavy for its size it goes a bit further than I expect it to go (which means I can inadvertently throw it out of the pool. Marketed as a floating (and indestructable) toy I wasn't impressed with the floatability of the Goughnut. It's more of a bobbing toy than a floating toy. Once thrown, it will eventually float to the surface but not immediately so. The dogs however seem to like this feature, Kipling in particular likes to dive for it on his jumps. I'm actually debating using the GoughNuts for Kippie's dock diving competition in a few weeks... And well....Kippie, what do you think?

Also, the darn thing is guaranteed forever if your dog manages to kill it. That's always a plus!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kippie weaves - 8/19/2012

After a week 'off' from training, I decided to put Kippie through the weaves a few times before letting the boys into the pool:

American Eskimo Club of America - August 18-19th, 2012

Teller had a nice three for four weekend at the Eskie trial this weekend:

Thankfully no weird car adventures this weekend! We like those kinds of weekends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swimming under Surveillance - August 16th, 2012

As I was busy running around this evening (baking a cake, vacuuming the entire house, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, laundry, etc) I decided to let the dogs have free access to the pool. How long would they swim without any encouragement? As it turns out Kippie in particular will play in the pool until you drag his skinny hiney out of the pool and tie the gate shut. Teller will go in and out of the pool, retrieving a couple of toys, then shaking off, watching and repeating and Murphy will pace back and forth and up and down worrying about why his supper is late (and wondering why the other two aren't equally disturbed by delay of meal). Of course I was checking in on them every few minutes to make sure that they were swimming well and taking mini-breaks out of the water.

Here's a couple minutes of 'surveillance' video of the boys in the pool. I'm happy to report that all three boys are EXHAUSTED and will sleep very well tonight :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another round of Leapin' Kizzards!

Boring night around here...I'm carless while the dealership figures out what's wrong with my van (I'll post that saga when I have something that resembles an answer) so my day was spent working from home with the boys, a run (literally) to the shoe store to swap the pair that I bought last week - a grand total of 4.5 miles (and a lot of sitting around trying on shoes, swapping insoles, etc)...

I had not intended to swim the dogs, but Kipling helped himself (again) to the pool so I let Teller and Murphy swim as well...Then we all attempted to walk a couple of miles to dry off (them not me) only to discover that while I was able to put my hands on three collars I have exactly two walking (not kennel or slip leads) leashes in the house - everything else is in the van. Teller got walked on a bit of cotton rope leftover from the assembly of udder tugs.

Also, like Open Obedience - in dock diving (jumping) throw matters. Case in point:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tartan Gordon Setter Club - August 11-12th, 2012

What a weekend at the Tartan Trial - Teller went an amazing 4 for 4 this weekend on Victoria MacVicar's super fun (and challenging) courses. A perfect weekend is TWO cheeseburgers!!!



Sunday, August 05, 2012

ACNH - August 5th, 2012

QQ Cheezeburgers times two.
Teller's weekend was two Q's in four runs - thankfully those two were on the same day! It seems that we're feast or famine - double Q or double NQ. Saturday JWW he had a bar on a pinwheel and Saturday Standard he had a wrong course following the chute. The bar looks like it was a mis-step (happens), but the wrong course was mine - I pushed a line to do a landing side front cross (chute, double) when I really should have driven to the end of the chute and front-crossed before the double. My description probably doesn't help much, other than being behind the double with acceleration out of the chute meant that Teller failed to negotiate the turn after the chute and took a very attractive off-course option ;-)

Today was MUCH MUCH better - Teller had two smooth runs today for his 49th Excellent B QQ :-)

For the weekend, I have to say it was a complete rush to run the baby dog - I didn't know what to expect from Kippie at all. I know that he knows the pieces, I know that I can get through a course with minimal self injury, but we all know that novice runs can go wrong any number of ways (we shall not count the ways) and to walk out there with a 15 month old 'green' dog and nail two courses on his very first trial experience was just so much fun. Sure, our runs will fall apart from time to time. He'll make mistakes, I'll make mistakes. He'll get faster (which means we'll have to figure each other out all over again) and he'll get ring-wise (which is neither good or bad) - but he started his career on such a positive note I could not be prouder. Way to represent for your daddy Kippie.

I only entered Kipling for yesterday, his next trial is some time down the road - by design actually the 'next trial' was originally going to be his debut (but then circumstances changed a little). Someone at the trial today asked me today if I regretted not entering him today (or next weekend, or the weekend after, or...). And the answer is no, I don't. He's a baby dog. I have no desire to rush him along. He'll come along nice and slow and every once in a while he'll get to go play in the ring to see what I have and what I need to work on. This year is Teller's year - Teller's time. Kippie's time will come - but only when he's ready to go out and really make it happen.

I also found a bit more appreciation for Teller too - who is just so honest, consistent and dependable. I know that he's not going to blow me off, he's not likely to get silly and he'll save my butt if I need him to :-) These two boys make all of the sacrifice, training and travel worth it every single moment we're playing together. I'm honored and grateful that they play this game with me.

And Murphy? Yes, he got some cheeseburgers too - when there's a good weekend they all share the love :-)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Kipling's Trial Debut!!! August 4th, 2012

Baby-dog QQ in his first ever trial!
Kipling is 15 months now, 'legal' for AKC agility events..I'm not in a hurry to trial him, he's got more growing up to do (mostly mentally!) but he's at a point where I needed to see where he was training-wise. I was 90% sure that he would not leave me in the ring (and those who know me know that leaving the ring, leaving the momma is the only offense that would get one of my yellows marched out of the ring), but what else? Can we get through a course - a strange teeter? A chute someplace other than our backyard? How about a dogwalk? A Triple? Can we pull together an entire course of 15-20 obstacles?

The video is below, the spoiler is the image to the right and the video below :-) I could not have asked Kipling to do anything better than he gave me. He was pretty speedy, he listened to everything I asked of him, we entered the ring together and we left the ring together. He waited to be released from the startline, from the contacts and from the table. He was conscious of the bars - all of them AND he nailed his weave entries - one at speed (the other off the table). Not only did he have two clean runs today - his runs were really pretty! It was good enough for a first placement in standard and a second placement in JWW (by a fraction of a second).

That'll do Kippie, that'll do!