Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kippie's Health Clearances

The little guy is two already (of course) and while he'd had preliminary OFA x-rays taken, it was time to get his finals done. OFA processed his films in record time - they received the images on 7/10 and I had results back on 7/15! Kip's hips were rated OFA good and his elbows OFA normal. Kip passed his eye and heart clearances back in March at the Salt City Cluster. Which just left the Optigen/Antegene genetic tests - which I sent out at the beginning of June - all three genetic tests came back clear/normal (prcd-PRA, PRA1 and Ichthyosis) meaning even if he were bred to a carrier or affected he could never produce an affected puppy (Teller is also clear for all three genetic conditions).

What does that mean? Kip now meets all the criteria put forth by our breed club's (Golden Retriever Club of America) code of ethics to be used for breeding. If you are in the market for a puppy you NEED to go to www.offa.org and look up the parents of your potential puppy. If they do not have CHIC next to their names their owners have not completed all of the testing that the parent club as determined are required for breeding stock. The GRCA has not yet updated the COE to include the genetic tests, but honestly puppy buyers need to be demanding answers to these tests too. At least one parent  should be triple clear or both parents need to be tested. That is not to say that we shouldn't breed carriers of these conditions (carriers have one 'bad' copy of the gene and will never be affected by the condition, but could provide a 'bad' copy of these genes to their offspring) - but we need to make sure we breed carriers to clears so that we never produce affecteds. If you're at all a biology/genetics geek you know what I'm talking about - if you aren't a genetics geek go read about Gregor Mendel and his peas, play with some punnet squares and look at genetic inheritance on a very small scale (Ab x Ab).

What doesn't it mean? There are no guarantees in life or in dog breeding. It's possible that an OFA good hipped dog bred to an OFA good hipped bitch will produce a dog with less than ideal or dysplastic hips. BUT it's all about hedging our bets and doing our best by the breed and the dogs we love. As for Kip? He'd really like to go swimming some more tonight as he only got to swim for 45 minutes tonight before he got kicked off the pool deck. Tough break kiddo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Between thunderstorms...

The boys have gotten quite a bit of pool time - or if you ask Teller, NOT ENOUGH POOL TIME!

Monday, July 08, 2013

CSSC - July 6-7, 2013

This weekend we were off to Rhode Island via Mass for a quick trip to get Kip's hips and elbows x-rayed for his OFA clearances. On that front obviously no results back yet, but the kid was a champ on the table - no sedation in a cradle while three people (including myself) hog wrestled him into a stable position. "You hold the head Erica, that's the most important part because when the head moves the hip moves". Great, no pressure, I'm just the amateur pig wrestler.  The films look really good, nice hip conformation, great positioning, femurs nice and tight in their sockets - all really good things, let's hope the review board at OFA agrees with me!
Back at the hotel Murph relaxes in AC.

As much as I'm no fan of winter I have to say that it's summer driving that makes me a nervous wreck. Why you ask? The roads are clear right? Yes, but - it's the time of year when any travel issue becomes a real life-or-death situation in a hurry. This becomes apparent when I'm in MA with three dogs and a vet appointment for one. In any other weather (it was 95 and anout 60% humidity) I can stash my kids in a fully open van with ice packs, fans, shade cloths and they can be comfortable in the shade for a bit of time, especially when the car starts out cool. In this case though, there was NO keeping the dogs cool unless the car was running. So for the vet appt, that means that I need three dogs in the office when only one has an appointment. Sorry folks, but that's what I've got to do. Not ideal for anyone, but at least Murph and Teller are so experienced in the life of abuse and pathetic animals that they were absolute angels in pop-up crates in the waiting room while Kip and I were in the back room - even when tempted by a stray toddler that 'just wanted to say hi'.

Of course once we were done with x-rays we're now stuck with being too early to setup in the trial site, and too early to check into our hotel - AND too hot to find a place to swim. Thankfully the host club took us in (in exchange for free setup labor from ME) and we managed to get in a good deed as well as keeping everyone cool(ish) and comfy. Good times :-)

Was not Teller's best weekend - just one lousy JWW Q for the boy this weekend - the hardest course of the weekend, super low SCT (32 seconds for the 20" dogs) lots of handling choices - THAT was the one he got through and earned a paultry 5 points for his effort. The rest of the weekend he was silly - running by a tunnel, missing a weave entry or like Sunday's standard run - running amok entirely putting us one save away from the Q there.


Kip channeled his inner rock-star extending his QQ and perfect weekend streak through one more weekend: four for four weekend and 51 points. We're going back to the a-frame work, he's losing A LOT of time on the a-frame in standard - on Sunday loosing EIGHT points!!!


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

ACNH - June 29-30, 2013

Every so often the stars align and we have one of 'these' weekends when I can sit back and smile and think "my boys didn't put a foot wrong all weekend" - it was one of those weekends for us back in NH. Net tally for Teller was two QQs and 57 points and for Kip two QQ's and 61 points. Four double-Q's: eight for eight for team Magica. I pretty much walked around with a stupid grin on my face for the remainder of Sunday afternoon and a good chunk of Monday.
Kip's standard Q on Saturday completed his requirements for his invitation to the 2014 AKC National Championship in Harrisburg, PA (the same event that Teller and I went to in Oklahoma in March). The AKC changed the qualification requirements for entry from 6 double-Qs and 400 points to 4 double-Qs and 500 points (and at least 20 Masters JWW/Standard Q's). I thought the 500 point requirement would put the 2014 trip out of Kip's reach this year. He's by and large still a very green dog - he only got himself into masters in the middle of January and he didn't bring home his first Masters double-Q until the last weekend in February. That's a lot of ground to make up for (three months behind the pack). I was fully prepared to have a miss there, to not be able to get enough trials under his belt to really get him together enough to start bringing home the points.
Sharpie Kool-Aid 'tattoo' from the weekend.
Long story...but, Yes, THAT's the giant
red splotch on my leg in the videos :-)

The funny thing is that as soon as we all returned from Oklahoma Kip stepped up his game. As though a taste of going as a passenger was enough 'koolaid' to get the kid going. He's gone from "wouldn't it be nice to qualify TWO dogs for Harrisburg because it's so close" to "wouldn't it be nice to be able to finish Teller's MACH4 and Kip's MACH at the same trial?" Pinch me!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SAAC - June 15-17th, 2013

It seems like it's taking me forever to get up trial summaries these days and when I do they're really brief. Hey, if pictures are worth a thousand words, six videos must be worth six hundred thousand words right?
Sunday night party boys....one 3:15am and two 4:30am wake-
up calls make for sleepy canines (and one sleepy human)......

The SAAC trials at High Goal Farm are as close as we get to a real agility facility here in northern Vermont. Big, open, great footing, clean...it's one of my favorite trial sites. The downside? It's still over two hours away, even though it's only 93 miles as the crow flies. The other downside? The closest hotels are nearly 20-40 minutes away in Saratoga...If only perfection was in my backyard... So, Saturday began with a 3:15 wake-up call and a 4:05 departure (pit stop at the only 24 hour Dunkin in chittenden county, which luckily is less than a mile from my house - we have 24hr DD but no agility facilities - that's ass-backwards!). At least 4am in June is light-ish, there were no cows crossing the road this time and aside from a few deer we had a critter-free journey.

This venue in June can be a little dicey. It can be very hot and there's NO ventilation. Doors and windows stay closed and it's roasty. In the 80's this weekend the dogs stayed pretty cool in the shade covered car, but poor Teller wilted when he came into the building. He ran for me - because Teller would never say no to playing with me when I asked. But he was pokier than I've become accustomed to. Message received Teller, I won't enter you in any un-air conditioned facilities in the summer - oh well, except for the Vermont shows. It's home show dude I'll hook you up with a doggie swamp cooler OK?

Teller decided it was his weekend to be a rock-star bringing home two double-Q's and 60 points on his 5 for 6 weekend. Teller came out of his weaves on his last run of the weekend - I completely missed it, see what happens when you take your eyes off your dog? Saturday was Teller's 80th career QQ. He needs a few more points for his MACH four - we'll keep chasing.




Kip had a so-so weekend, three masters JWW legs (with three placements - 2nd, 3rd and 3rd) and 32 MACH points, but three masters standard NQs with mostly handler errors. Saturday I got caught behind the judge after the a-frame, struggled to catch up and didn't get a proper deceleration cue to turn after the chute.

Sunday's standard NQ was again on me - I walked the course one way - thought for sure I could serp the like from the chute to the triple. Second-guessed my dog and tried to do a front to a rear to the table. Kip read the front, didn't read the rear well and turned away from the jump after the triple. Bad handling and I was really angry with myself for not trusting my dog. FWIW, I did the serp line with Teller and it worked for him. Alas.

Monday I lost Kip's head on a front cross, he read acceleration to a-frame after the dogwalk, when I picked him up I was in front of the bar for the double. He ran around and that was that. Having already NQ'ed I left him in the weaves, moved off laterally for the front cross to the final line. He stayed in his weave, took the panel and we had a reasonably pretty line that fried a lot more seasoned dogs.

And we ended the weekend with custard from the super amazing "Ice Cream Man" in Greenwich!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club - June 7-9, 2013

Net results from the weekend in Tolland, CT: One QQ and a JWW Q (39 points) for Teller. Two QQs and a standard Q (80 points) for Kip. Kip's only mistake the entire weekend was one knocked bar on the line out on Friday afternoon. So he broke his 'streak' of five straight double-Q's (and 12 straight clean runs), but made up for it Saturday and Sunday by starting a new streak (2 QQs).

Of course I'm not complaining that my 25 month old dog ONLY got 5 Q out of 6 masters runs on a three day weekend - of course not!



Teller was a bit of a mixed bag. He started strong with a QQ on Friday, then on Saturday had a wrong course in JWW and a bar in standard. Sunday's standard was a trainwreck - with Mr happy-feet blasting right by the a-frame to take a wrong course. Hello? Its an a-frame, it's the biggest thing out there! Teller finished with a JWW Q on Sunday.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LEAP - May 25-27th, 2013

My agility friends decorated my crates (well the dog's crates 
anyway) for my birthday. As it turns out, they also decorated 
my puppy. This is what I came back to when I attempted to 
collect Kip for his standard run on Saturday.
What a weekend at the LEAP trial - lots of great friends, a lot of laughs, a fantastic birthday and some absolutely fantastic agility runs logged by the Magica boys. We'd all had a weekend off following the Rhode Island trial and in that week work got the best of me - I logged more than 74 hours between midnight Saturday and noon on Friday. Add to that a house guest part of last week and a whopping 6 inches of rain Wednesday-Friday and that left very little time to work the dogs - or myself, but thankfully the skies cleared (literally and figuratively) for us to make our way to Connecticut for the weekend.

Teller had a 3 for 6 weekend, one double-Q (on my birthday) and 31 points. Not his best weekend statistically, but he continues to run well. He knocked a bar on a great JWW run on Monday - which is my least favorite way of NQing - if I had to pick just one anyway - missed contacts suck too but at least I can micro-manage those :-) The other two standard NQs were weird mis-communication moments - Teller go out (and he doesn't), Teller tunnel (what tunnel???). This dog has given me so much - and given of himself so freely, he continues to owe me nothing - what he does he does so long as he's happy.





Kipling had another absolutely phenomenal weekend - running 6 for 6 with an even 80 MACH points. A 'perfect' weekend (that's his second perfect Masters weekend in a row) and his 3rd, 4th and 5th QQ's in a row (QQ #s 7,8 and 9). Kip had a 3rd placement in Saturday's JWW run and just outside of the ribbons (5th and 6th) in his other two JWW classes of 50+ dogs. This puts Kip just about 100 points short of a ticket to Harrisburg, PA for the 2014 AKC National Championships.



 We have a couple of weeks off (and back to work for this human) before we take another run at it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pool time - May 20th, 2013

Quasi-vacation time for the dogs - quasi-work overload for Erica this week, but I made time for the boys to swim this evening after work. Kip was *a little* excited...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Providence and Middlesex - May 11-12, 2013

Kippie snuggles. oh-dark thirty.
Off to Rhode Island this weekend - a long drive but a really nice venue and good footing. Complications due to life meant that we didn't get to head out until well after 6pm putting us at the hotel at 10:30pm. LONG freakin' day for the team, some bad news about a friend's dog and three dogs who had spent a good chunk of their day either sleeping or in crates made settling in tough - I don't think we got more than a couple hours sleep Friday night.

Just before heading to bed I asked Kip (snuggled into the small of my back) if he could pretty-please get 50 points this weekend. That would be super-swell baby dawg and would put us over the half way mark to his qualification for the 2014 NAC. Please Kippie Doo?

I'm too exhausted for suspense, so the summary of the weekend is as follows:
Kip came through the weekend with a perfect four for four weekend: TWO QQ's (#5 and #6) and 61 MACH points - oh and a placement in Masters Standard.

Teller not to be outdone had a credible three for four weekend, running amok in his JWW run on Saturday.Teller's tally: one QQ, 45 points.

Monday, May 06, 2013

TMAC - May 4-5, 2013

We're back from our weekend in Conneticut. Perhaps our greatest accomplishment was that all four of us made it through the weekend without getting any ticks. I freakin' hate ticks, hate em, hate em, hate em!! I kept the boys on the short grass, away from tree lines and kept them liberally coated with Sirius in Vermont's No Flies on Me. It worked!
It's 5am, time to get up!!!

Teller had a 50% weekend - two 13 point JWW runs. Saturday's standard NQ was all me, I tried to serp a line after the a-frame (you can see it on Kip's video): Tunnel, call over a-frame, to non-wing. The weaves were the next obstacle. Teller didn't get the weave cue, curved towards me, bounced off the table and completely missed his weave entry. My bad. Sorry Woo. We didn't get this run on video - flip the coin there - see your mistake or just let it go? I know it was my fault, Teller yelled at me (rightfully so) and he got plenty of chicken.

We came back together for a pretty JWW Q Saturday afternoon.

Kip also missed the same weave entry in standard - though I handled it MUCH better for him after flunking Teller. It was an entry he typically gets in his sleep and he missed it. Oh well!

Kip's JWW run on saturday was equally pretty - I pushed a line and a bar came down out of the tunnel. Take a look at the speed he turns on afterwards though - triple, jump (blind cross) tunnel - holy shitake!

Sunday is a new day, Kip got to go first in both runs. A gorgeous standard run, but an extra #17 tunnel cost us the Q.

Kip came back strong for a JWW Q in the afternoon. I mis-handled a pinwheel (I was watching my dog and not moving my feet!) and ended up having to rear-cross a sequence - and I had to wait for him to do the rear. I probably cost us 2 seconds there (and cost us a placement to boot).

Teller NQ'ed his A-frame on Sunday morning. I had pushed that line with Kip and did the same thing with Teller and it just didn't work. Oh well. the rest was training!

JWW Q for Teller Sunday afternoon:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kip's A-Frame - 04/28/13

Whew what a weekend!  Lots of chores to get done this weekend, a pager on my hip - with several hours a day of work as a result of said pager and a bit of fun for the canines as well. Van-Essa got new sneakers this afternoon - a super chic set of Bridgestone Duelers which are supposed to be good for MPG and also quiet. I was SOOOOOO ready to get those winter tires off. On a not so super note, when they took my snow tires off today it was pretty apparent that they too need to be replaced. So I left eight tires at costco this afternoon...no tires to store for the summer, but that also means that come November cutting over to winter tires will be (ahem) expensive.
Turf wars. Dug up a the 'race track', replaced the stones at 
the bottom of the stairs, leveled, pulled out all the damaged
turf, seeded, fertilized and roped off. Hopefully we'll have 
rapid growth of something green!!!

The remainder of the afternoon was spent fixing some turf in the backyard - digging up the boys' racetrack around the pool, pulling up damaged sod, leveling, fixing the stones at the bottom of the stairs and then putting down a grass seed composite. I also had to back-fill around the garage with stone, the previous owners built the garage on level - which does nothing for a wood-frame structure. When we resided the garage last fall we dug a trench around the outside getting the earth away from the structure. Since I fell in the trench yesterday while running a-frames with Kip, I decided it was time to get stone! It doesn't look like much, but the grass there will prevent the boys from tracking sand into the pool off their wet feet.

That left just a little bit of time to work a-frame with Kip tonight, a-frame has been at 4' and I added pool noodles yesterday morning. I'm not really looking to change his striding, he's a big boy, I don't want to require him to pound his shoulders into the ground. But, I need him to stop the pause at the top in trial. If I can build in muscle memory to leap the apex, we'll get rid of the pause. I moved the a-frame up to 5' tonight - here are a few of them:

And here we are yesterday on a 4' a-frame. Tomorrow night we'll go up to 5'4" and we'll start fading targets/noodles.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stepping up conditioning (for all of us)

The boys have gotten a little soft lately - OK we all have. Prior to heading out west the dogs were very used to getting an hours worth of romping 3-4 nights a week as the days got incrementally longer. Since we came back though I haven't gotten them out nearly as much. 

Work has kept me busier than usual, the epic effort to undo the ravages of winter (and the dogs' output) on our landscaping, unpacking our agility equipment from the bowels of our garage...and then we've had a few trial weekends, taxes, company at the house and the inevitability of mud season has kept us home more than it should. I know - mud is fine, and golden coats will drop the mud as soon as they dry - but the thought of taking the boys out for an hour to come home to an hours worth of bathing (because it's otherwise nearly impossible to control where the dirt drops off them) and then another 20 minutes of cleaning the bathroom, washing 10 towels was just too much for my sleep-deprived body and brain to handle. 

 Now that we're (hopefully) on the other side of mud (hopefully) and the grass is getting a bit of a foothold in the dryer earth it's possible again to 'just' take the boys out for a quick romp for an hour or so, throw the frisbee, ball or bumper for a while, get everyone nice and tired out and head back home again. So last night - after a long (12 hour) work day I managed to coordinate a meet-up with a friend and two thirds of the golden pack out for a run. 

Murph stayed home yesterday - tis the season of sharing the fields with soccer kids and it's easier for me to wrangle two dogs onto the middle field with soccer balls on either side of us, than it is for me to have three - Kip and Teller need the conditioning more than Murphy does at the moment too so there you have it. Mr Murphy stayed home with a container of frozen yogurt, super unhappy that it was going to be a late dinner night again.   

I'm REALLY hoping to have the pool opened this weekend, with the first couple of swims happening around the first of May when chemicals get balanced and the water is suitable for occupation. This will make conditioning go easier for everyone and it's (honestly) the only activity I don't have to really work to get Murphy to engage ("you want me to go pick that up again? I just brought it to you, if you want it so badly, stop throwing it!"). 

 Some shots of the boys and their friend Gusto: 

Reunited and it feels so good.

Kip at two years old, not looking so teenager-like this week.

'Paw' de Deux?

Dude, please don't kill yourself. (or your crutiate)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Speed up those contacts Kipper!

Sometime in early winter Kip came off the side of his A-Frame in trial. I marked it with an 'ut-oh' and moved on. Kip being the sensitive lad that he is internalized this to mean "go really slow on the a-frame to make sure you get that yellow thing or it makes mom unhappy". This proved to be a super-hard thing to fix over the winter with limited access to equipment and other things that also needed work during the same sessions. So I lived with it a bit - releasing him early in trials and supporting the a-frame, praising when he got out of the pause and into his contact behavior, then releasing and running like heck.

Kip has been rather consistently placing in JWW - which thrills the snot out of me given the dogs we're running against at 24". But he's still 3-4 seconds out of the placements in standard - I'm figuring he's wasting at least that on his a-frame, so if we can fix the a-frame he's got a better shot at getting those three Double-Q/Double Placements he needs for his GRCA agility hall of fame.

So to fix I dropped the a-frame as low as I believe it's safe to do so without a center support, and I've been working sends and early releases to an easy-button on the ground. Note that I've picked an easy button for two reasons. The first is that it's heavy enough not to blow away and not super easy to pick up after he's been released(ahem, looking at you Kip). It was a real drag to release for a great nose touch and have the happy dog grab the target and view me taking away his target as an adversive. Leave-it, is all well and good, but he's a super happy retriever, I need to save the leave-its for things that matter.

Secondly, if I ask him to hold a touch he and I both get audible feedback for touching the object - that was easy. Good touch, good boy.

I didn't originally teach the 2o2o with a target, but switched to one to help break the hang-time at the top. I'll likely keep the a-frame low for a while even though he'll see full-height in competition, the trick for me is to keep the number of reps in the range of sane (without killing my dog) and extinguish the stop at the top behavior. There's a balance there and I think the lower a-frame will accomplish that.

Here's Kip on day 4 of a-frame work:

BTW, yes my lawn needs to be seeded. If I'm not careful all of that bare earth will end up IN the pool.

Monday, April 22, 2013

BOTC - April 19-21st, 2013 - Part Two

Father and Son Double-Q Cheezeburgers!
Don't worry, they shared with Murphy!
And here we're into the final stretch of the trial weekend. Day three - highs in the mid-40's, but the most brilliant sunshine we've had all springtime - just a gorgeous looking day - but COLD!

Also, today was apparently white stripe day!!!
So three quarters of these white-stripe girls are way too excited about wearing matchy-matchy.
One quarter of these girls wishes she'd picked a different color pant this morning.

Kip in the top of the running order again today. Which was probably very lucky for me. I had walked the tunnel handling the same for both dogs, using a very strong pull to the left tunnel opening. When I ran Kip, it was messy to get there with a pull - especially off the a-frame. I changed my plan for Teller, which probably saved Teller's run. Oh, and standard Q for Kip - ALSO MX and 3rd place!!!

So here's where I ran things a little differently - adding the front cross at the bottom (downside) of the a-frame and then PUSHING to the left tunnel.

Kip came out of his crate ready to rock - and he did. He read a wrap as a rear which cost us quite a bit of time (and for sure a placement - he was out of 4th place by exactly 0.20 seconds) but it was 'good enough' for his 4th Masters QQ and some points.

Teller also brought his A game to his JWW run this afternoon. I got in his way at the weaves, but my seasoned competitor found his entry anyway (in spite of me perhaps). Note the strong 'telling off' I got from Teller at the #14 wrap (0:31) when he objected to my decel cue. Yes, I know Woo, sorry for smashing you into your front end, thank you for coming when called and not holding s grudge.

Also, we had our usual houseguests this weekend. Kip and Ali had a phenomenal time playing in the evenings while the humans decided to partake of adult beverages. I found this at the liquor store, it might be my new favorite drink - sub for Baileys over anything...I used 3 parts maple liquor to 1 part milk on the rocks. SUPER awesome!!! It's called Metcalfe's Vermont Maple Cream Liqueur and it's absolutely spectacular! I sent a few of the Canadian exhibitors home with directions to the liquor store that sold me this awesome bottle. Word on the street is that the weekend's awesome judge will also be receiving a sample in her thank you gift box from Vermont ;-)

Here's the distiller - perhaps we'll try the raspberry version this summer over ice cream!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

BOTC - April 19-21st, 2013 - Part One

As I posted on Facebook a couple of hours ago....
I LOVE local trials! So many great laughs with friends, fun dinners out on the town, working hard all weekend with trial jobs, running two masters dogs, discovering maple liqueur, sleeping peacefully in my own bed..oh and how about that five for six weekend for Teller (two QQ's) and a four for six weekend for Kip (one QQ)? Kip finished his MX today and Teller is officially qualified for 2014 AKC Nationals (wherever they may be). Thanks Peeps, lets do it all again in about three months!

Yes, local trials are that good. It's a function of the few (and I do mean 'few' - think 5-6) dedicated local agility diehards who work their ASSES off to make the two local agility weekends special for both the other locals who trial 2-3 weekends a year and the masters folks who hoof-it around New England (and the rest of the northeast) every weekend but choose to drive all the way up here when there might very well be a trial close to home where they could sleep in their own bed. We're grateful to the Canadian exhibitors who come down to play in our sandbox too - they come with the same kind of camaraderie as the "Vermonters" I think - they too have to travel for every single agility run with their dogs. They work out their calendars every year to include this itty-bitty AKC trial and they're all making it a point to enjoy their time here.

As for the results (well other than what's in the status above), I'll cover Friday and Saturday in this post and Sunday in the next. It's the agility installment plan folks.

Kip kicked off the weekend as the second dog to run in the trial - the first 24" dog. Doncha know he goes out there Q's and takes a third place. Attaboy Kipster.

Teller had his own great start to the weekend with his own JWW Q.

Kip had a few AHHHH! moments - where he just didn't read my cues well. He more or less held it together, but coming out of the tire the young lad did not appear to even see the weaves - that's a fly-by!!!

Teller didn't want to make Kip feel badly by getting through his own standard run cleanly...As I take off down the line to the table, Teller goes and 'grabs' the panel jump. Good try buddy.

Teller's turn to run first on Saturday - he started off the morning with a solid standard Q and a pocket full of points. Super funny moment on the video thumbnail - YouTube is random.

 Kip started off Saturday with a strong run as well. Here he is bringing home MX leg #9.

Teller brings home career QQ #75 on Saturday with a Q in JWW.

Funny how some of the best runs are the ones where you flunk? This was Kip's JWW run on Saturday - he was fast, he was listening and he was everywhere I asked him to be. Smokin' run with a knocked bar. You be the judge, but I think he got it with his tail. It was a late bar.

Stay tuned for the results from BOTC day three!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy birthday Kipling!

My puppy turns two years old today. Puppy. Baby-Dawg. Not so much of either at this point - physically or mentally. I still look at him sometimes and think "wow, he's so immature looking", then a few moments later "he's looking a bit like a grown-up". He's much lighter boned than his father - not feminine, but lighter. He has these dainty feet which contrasts with Teller's moose feet. He has moments of surprising maturity, and then moments where I look at him and have to ask "seriously?" You're going to chase the cat again? I thought we were done with that.

Kip is my one dog that wants to sleep in the bed at night - usually on the pillows, curled into the tiniest ball one would not think possible for a dog his size - touching his human. It might be a tail, it might be a toe, but he seems to like reaching out to know where he is (and probably a bit of where he belongs) - though he doesn't always choose the same human to touch, so he's an any port in the storm kinda boy.
April 17th, 2013
Teller, Kip and Murphy wearing party-hats from sister Jordan.
Note how completely thrilled Teller and Murphy are to have 
new hats to wear for the occasion. They liked the enclosed 
cookies MUCH better.

Kip has blossomed in his agility work too - running like a big dog and finishing his MXJ the last run of his career as a one year old. When he started trialing one day a month back in August (September and October) to get through Novice, I had no idea he'd be in masters, already with three double-Qs and a pile of MACH points just six months later.

So today he celebrated his second birthday with some a-frame reps in the backyard this morning (trying to break the trial-only behavior of stopping at the top of the a-frame) and then a practice session in the barn this evening. In between he got a four mile walk (two miles with Teller and two miles with Murphy), a care package from his California sister Jordan and some green tripe with ground trachea. For second-birthday supper the boys each got a whole mackerel now that it's warm enough to restore the summer tradition of of outdoor meals.

Kip is Karnerblue Magica Storyteller AX MXJ CGC BA-Senior

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bearded Collie Club of America - April 12-14th, 2013

A three day trial the second weekend of April in New England - there's a late start on the Friday - should be a piece of cake right? Yeah, don't bet on it. Serious ice storm moving east from Michigan, NY, Pennsylvania and coming at us with a delivery of mixed bag - ice, sleet, freezing rain, rain...blech. So we decide to leave very early, take it very slow as required and turn around/park as necessary.  It turned out to be not so bad - icy in places and my van arrived in NH completely covered in a layer of ice, but the road crews took good care of us. It sounds like the roads got WAY worse once we had already arrived - thankfully we missed the truly ugly traveling weather.

Two judges this weekend - and it seems like we got our Q's in pairs. If Teller Q'd, Kip did too. If Teller flunked, so did Kip - but for different reasons. The universe and karma? I'm happy - the boys are just getting better and better.

Friday JWW:
Teller - Q!

Kip - Q!

Friday Standard:
Teller - NQ

Kip - NQ

Saturday Standard:
Kip - Q!

Teller - Q!

Saturday JWW:
Kip - NQ
Pesky little bar on a phenomenal run. Wee man had the second fastest time in the class though!

Teller - Q!
A tidy little double-Q for Teller-Woo.

Sunday Standard:
Teller - NQ
A bar on the double and a table-fault. The table was likely a result of the bar, as Woo tries to 'fix' the run.

Kip - NQ
A front-crossed before the weaves, I thought I had his head, but he was looking so hard at the a-frame that when he finally turned he wasn't able to see his entry.

Sunday JWW:
Teller - Q!
With a scary moment when I almost took myself out. Glad we could save the run and entertain the crowd. Teller gets the good dog award for saving the day :-) Also, after I recovered from the near-falling I had to put in a front-cross. You'll hear "totally got-it!!" - also a crowd pleaser!

Kip - Q!
Kip beats his dad's time by a bit more than 2/10ths of a second. OK, not a lot and Teller was undoubtedly hampered by his handler wasting all that time not falling - but it was good enough for 4th place in the 24" masters class AND Kip's MXJ title.

Monday, April 08, 2013

American Lhasa Apso Club - April 6-7, 2013

I'm toying with format for these post-weekend posts, trying to decide if it makes sense to organize the content by dog, by course, by day?  Kip and Teller run quite differently - even if I end up running them similarly. Points of commitment, send-power - all of those things change how the course is run.

We haven't been back to NH in over a month with a NY trial, a couple of weeks off, Oklahoma and our annual dog show pilgrimage to Syracuse...It was nice to be back and catch up with some friends we haven't seen in a while.

For this post I'll clump videos by course and in the order with which they ran..starting with
Saturday Standard
Teller: Q
Kip: Q

Saturday JWW
Teller: Q
Kip: Q
Yes sports-fans that's a double-Q for Teller AND a double-Q for Kip on the same day. I announced to the judge (who is a friend of mine) that this was my first QQ + QQ for the boys - another friend piped up and actually reminded me that there were two other Excellent/Excellent and Masters/Masters QQ's that I was overlooking - wow, a little weird (and cool) that someone else knows our stats as well as I do - but officially this was our first all-masters QQQQ.

Sunday JWW
Teller: Q

Kip: Oh Mister Kip. You run like such a big boy on Saturday and a mere 16 hours later you blast around a jump on the last line because it's FASTER! (NQ)

Sunday Standard
Teller: Woo missed his weave entry ahead of the dogwalk, but the real bobbles happened at the dogwalk. It was dogwalk to a front-cross, the panel and then a 180 back towards the dogwalk. In fantastic Woo style, Mr. Man got his dog walk contact (running, no pause) and took the off-course jump ahead of him. BARKED, told me I was incredibly wrong, came back and finished in sassy-back talking Woo form. This dog gets better and better even when he's being completely ridiculous! (NQ)

Kip: Well this SHOULD have been a Q, but alas it was a big old E for Eliminated when I broke the plane on the finish eyes - I didn't even realize I'd done it until later. It was the same setup as above, Kip went wider than I thought he would after the panel and when I called him back over I stopped the clock. Game over - elimination, no time, thank you for playing. Super bummed for Kip, I hate making the mistakes - especially ones that just aren't fair to the dog. Of course Kip doesn't really care of we Q or NQ, he likes the game and the copious amounts of chicken that come with playing with da momma.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Photos from Tulsa

We finally got our photos back from Great Dane Photography (photographers at the 2013 AKC National Agility Championships - NAC). I purchased the package that allows me to share them online, so here are Teller's shots from the working side of our trip:

This one is my favorite...and I don't often like to be in agility shots!

Get the yellow Mr. Woo!

Note the State of Vermont flag in the background!

Teller modeling the new break-away tire.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Murphy turns nine!

Happy 9th Birthday Murphy!!
Aww Murphy. My problem child, my bad dog - if I had known then what I know now I never would have come home with Murphy (or Teller for that matter) - but he's changed my life in so many ways and set into motion the wonderful things that have followed Where does the time go? Seems like only yesterday he was a naughty little puppy! Now he's blossomed into a naught big nine year old senior dog.

Murphy has been 'retired' from dog sports for a few years now, but he still takes great pleasure in finding new and exciting ways to push my buttons on a daily basis...You want me to eat that stuffed toy? No problem! How about I dig on the sofa again tonight? Perfect! Counter-surfing? Yeah, he's got that too. He drives me crazy sometimes and I hope he's around to push those buttons for many more years.

Inquiring minds would like to know how Murph celebrated his big day? He started the day with a bully stick and some extracurricular chewing on a knuckle bone while I unloaded, sorted and organized my raw food order. He got a couple of extra duck necks for supper and we all went for a 4 mile walk. All in all, not a bad day for a golden retriever.

The boys wait for their annual CERF/OFA eye exams!
Three passes!!