Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 already?

Hmm, 2012 is already over and I haven't posted on this blog in months.  NADAC Champs has come and gone and anyone that only follows this blog has no idea how we did.  I was never one for writing deeply moving posts about my experiences.  I have a feeling this will be my last blog post, maybe not forever, but I just wanted to put that out there instead of dropping off the face of the earth 'suddenly.'  Writing has never been one of my favorite activities, so it's surprising I even decided to start a blog.  I think this blog has served me well, but since I transferred to CSULB, I really don't get to do much with my dogs as I only see them on weekends and breaks.  So, here's what we've been up to in the last few months.

We'll start with Championships.  My dogs were pretty darn awesome and each came home with ribbons from all but one round and got into finals.  I was really happy with Truly and how she handled the atmosphere.  She didn't seem bothered at all and only one loopy run.  She was clean all six rounds up until that point.  I wasn't sure how she'd handle it since the only other 'big' even she's run at was a demo day at the fair for 2011 PIDC, because Blue's ear was messed up, and she was crazy.  Here's Tru's first run at Champs!

Blue was a lot less consistent than she's been at previous Championships.  It really seems to me like she's 'aged' a lot in her attitude this year.  It seems like she's a lot less serious than she used to be.  I always say that she thinks 8" jumps are a joke.  She's very sassy and has more of a mind of her own than ever before.  Despite the faults she had in about half the runs, she still managed to place all but one round.  I think the fault that set her back the most was getting called for 'unsafe' weave poles because she got stuck her shoulders stuck on the entrance, which isn't something I see her do very often.  Figures it would happen at Champs though.  She placed 1st a couple rounds, and I'll be honest, I would have been disappointed if she hadn't gotten at least one blue ribbon, haha.  Her name is Blue and I kind of expect high placements out of her.  Here's one of Blue's 1st place runs on an extra long course: her favorite!

Blue and Truly also ran on a team together, with Truly's brother Aiden (who is freaking fast)!  I think I already mentioned that my mom was running Blue in team and they did really well together!  I think Mom and Blue were the only ones to run clean all rounds.  All in the Family placed 3rd in round one.  We weren't able to follow up that performance in any of the other rounds haha.  I always suck at team.  Maybe one year I'll manage to do well all three rounds.

So, anyway, both my dogs go into finals.  NBD right?  It is a big deal, but it really doesn't feel that way to me because I've run finals every Champs I've attended.  Blue's division, Double Digit 4"/8" were up and she was second to last dog to run, which meant she was sitting in second place going into finals.  I was kind of nervous as to be expected, but hey, it's just Champs, I've got this.  Blue was extremely spunky before this run.  We had just won one of the huge raffle baskets and it was full of toys, so Blue was just in the trailer playing with all of them.  I don't know why, but I got to the first discrimination and started to say 'tunnel' when Blue needed go up the AF.  It came out 'tu-climb' and while my body and the path Blue was on said 'climb,' Blue chose to listen to my mouth and made an amazing effort to get into that tunnel.  Just watch:

Even with all her faults through the week, she still managed third place overall!  I'm really disappointed with myself for that last one, because after the scores came out, I saw that she was exactly 10 points behind the second place dog.  I would have liked to get first at what was more than likely Blue's last Champs, but I at least wanted a big ribbon.  I would expect nothing less of Blue, haha.  Is it bad to just expect something like that of your dog, or good that you have that confidence in them?  I don't know.

As I've stated, Truly surprised me with how well she did through the week.  I really had no expectations of her (unlike Blue, haha), so I would have just been happy with her running clean and maybe earning one placement.  Yes, I'll admit hoped for at least one placement.  So, Truly placing all but one round and getting into finals was an awesome surprise!  I knew that she was not the fastest dog in her class so I didn't expect her to get 1st place over all.  The only way she could hope to do that would be run clean and smooth every round.  That didn't happen.  Her only faults all week were in round 7.

Despite that run, she was in third place as she went into finals, which is what she came out with!  I was really into yellow this year, haha.  She also earned the Highest Scoring Sheltie award, which at first I thought was because the Sheltie that got first (the top three dogs in 12" were all Shelties) didn't sign up to get count.  This award only counted through round 5 or 6, I can't remember, but I went and added up the scores and Truly really did have the most points.  I was honestly surprised when I saw that.  This means she was in first place until that run in the morning and it knocked her all the way done to third.  Poor Tru.  I am always so suspicious when she does really good.  Tru has gotten only a couple 100+ run indexes at trials and I am always suspicious.  I know for sure that one was  a timer mess up because I timed my video of the run and it didn't match up.  It's almost the exact opposite of Blue, haha.

Champs is always an experience and I got to do some things I hadn't done before like fly on a plane alone (not really a big deal) and well, run Truly.  It was really fun to watch Truly's brother run and as always see friends that I only get to see at Champs.  Truly and her brother have so many of the same quirks!  I haven't had a dog with siblings before and it's really fun to see how they are alike and different.

So, anyway, after that I felt pretty rushed the rest of the semester even though I only missed one class each.  I got lucky and some of my classes ended up cancelled so I had extra time to do the work I didn't do over Champs.  Whatever.  And then a sudden three day NADAC Fun-rasier was added a couple weeks after Champs in our area.  Dogs did pretty well, if I remember correctly.  Tru was doing really awesome with distance.  Her closest try was the Chances in this video.  As it would get further into the day, she would have brain farts in the sun.  I swear, since she'd be fine the part of the course in the shad and then it'd get sunny and it's like she'd forget what she was just doing.  Oh Tru.

Then we had another trial in November.  It was supposed to be two and a half days long (they do a few classes on Friday, not a full day though), but I started to feel really tired on Saturday and got home and confirmed that I had a fever, so I didn't go on Sunday.  I didn't take any videos, and the dogs did okay.

So, then we went to our usual Dec. trial in AZ the weekend after classes ended.  Good way to kick off break, haha.  The dogs were awesome, while the weather was not, at least on Saturday.  The other days were fine.  Truly got a 20 pt bonus in Chances!  Blue was really close and got a Q, but since it was a box, I needed to be in there before she left the start line, and she broke when I was one step away.  Blue seemed really fast that weekend and even got a 100+ dri in Tunnelers.  Crazy 11 year old dog.  And someone was saying it was time to retire her and get a new dog after Tru finished her NATCH?  Hahaha, no.  Blue is gonna live forever.

We did a few runs at an ASCA trial the other weekend because I needed to drop something off.  Not sure I'll be back because of the price.  I wish I could because that club has rubber equipment, so Tru could run, but yeah, again, expensive.  Blue almost has an ATCH worth of points from before ASCA and NADAC split, but I don't know if it's worth it.

That's everything agility wise.  I have a couple more weeks of break and then we'll do one day of a trial after the first week of school.  Then whatever the usual trials in the area are.  I probably won't keep this updated.  I just put off writing about trials and then I forget how we did or how I felt.  I don't practice anymore so it's not like I can update that.  So, I hope anyone that still reads this has a great 2013!  I don't know when you'll hear from me again, but I can't say I'll never post again.  I still post videos on my YT and write about how we did in the descriptions. That's also where you can find the rest of the dogs' videos from Champs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

PAC NADAC Aug. 25-26, 2012

Well, I'm sitting in my dorm right now.  I wasn't even sure how many runs I would be able to get in at this trial.  Or if I even would want to be there.  Let's just say it can get hot at the location.  I managed to run nine out of the ten classes offered AND get up to school in time to check into my dorm on Sunday.  I was kindly allowed to run my last run (the fourth out of five classes) out of order so I could get home and finish packing.

Anyway, Truly was MUCH better this trial.  Completely back to normal.  Maybe even exceptionally good.  She was doing awesome distance and sends and running very fast, and staying in weaves all the way through.  She even earned her first Elite Weavers Q!!!  I'm glad she wasn't weird, because it means there was something weird going on just in Mammoth Lakes and not something serious going on with her.  That would be just what we need before Champs.

She had an awesome bonus attempt in Regular on Sunday.  It was a 20 pt box/line thing in the corner near the start line.  She got to the fifth to the last obstacle before not turning away.  I managed to run out and 'save' her and the Q.  She was flying and I was so proud of her.  Maybe we'll manage to become a bonus/Stakes team yet!  (I'm the real hang up on that goal.)

Blue was great too and finished her NATCH-8!  I am going to start cutting down the number of runs she enters.  Five runs a day is becoming a lot.  I didn't run her in Weavers and only ran her twice on Sunday.  I think the number and class of the runs with depend on time of year, location, and schedule.  I kind of have this little goal of getting to NATCH-10 with her and then putting her back in Novice/semi-retiring her.  She's only 11 Qs in Jumpers away from that.  We'll see what happens.  I think the first 3 runs a day sounds good.  Unless one of those is Weavers.  No more Weavers for Blue.

 That was our last trial before Champs.  I can't wait!  Champs is always an experience.

ESAG NADAC Trial 2012

After an eight hour drive Sunday night/Monday morning, we arrived back home from the beautiful mountains in Mammoth Lakes.  My whole family drove our trailer up and we stayed up there for four days.  They were running EGC on Friday and I really wanted to run that with Tru, so we went up Thursday (yay for 8 hour drives! not), but weren't allowed to camp at the trial site that day, so we stayed at Convict Lake.  Gorgeous site.  Well, once we got into the mountains all the scenery while driving was beautiful, so it really wasn't a bad drive, just hot.  Anyway, our campsite wasn't far from a little creek at all and nothing said the dogs couldn't go in.  People were fishing and there were some deer that came right up to it.  In the evening, we even saw one deer right up by another site and the people there didn't even notice!

Sirius found a new love in creeks and rivers and lakes. I actually didn't see much of this since I was at the trial all weekend.  I'm glad she's found something she really enjoys.  We've been taking her to the beach and throwing the frisbee for her there, but lakes are so much nicer.  No need to wash the sand out of the dogs after they get wet.  I wish there was somewhere we could take her near us.

Truly was very strange.  She was very, err, needy and seemed uncomfortable.  Only Qd on three runs, but earned her S-WV-O and S-TN-O.  (And won a bottle of wine in the No Whining raffle!)  A friend that was there thinks it might have been that altitude and I'm thinking she might be right.  Tru's so concerned with her body and how she feels.  She used to really freak out when her ears would pop while driving.  She doesn't like slats.  Certain spots of grass are considered icky and she won't walk in it.

She wasn't sending very well.  I tried a couple 15 pt bonuses, but she only did well on one.  (Not good enough for a Q though.)  It was rainy and cold on that one.  We actually got to run that course twice because we were rained out on Saturday with two classes left to run.  Well, 1 and 2/3.  Most of Open and Novice Tunnelers still needed to run.  They let those who ran in the rain were allowed to run again, which is where one of Tru's Qs came from, haha.  (Since I ran with her the second time.)  Otherwise she wasn't doing too well with the distance.  Or, she'd start okay and then mess up and not rebound as well as she normally does.  She was popping out of the weaves whenever I'd say something as well.  Just all around weird.

She got to run EGC and had fun with that!  This was the first time we did barrel racing and run the same course twice.  Tru usually memorizes the course she's rewarded for, but oddly (as was the trend this weekend), did WORSE the second time around.  I also think she could have run faster, but Ideal Truly Conditions (tm) are dark and cold.  It wasn't consistently dark and cold.  Damp also seems to be a real Tru speed boost.  I think the grass was a little thick for her too.  It's so funny how environment effects her so much more than Blue.  I wish there was some more EGC closer.  I'm hoping clubs can be encouraged to add EGC on Fridays.

Blue was awesome as usual.  She Qd 8/10 runs.  Don't know if there's much to say.  Wait, yes there is.  My mom ran her two times and Qd both!  Mom is running Blue in team at Champs.  She, Truly, and her brother Aiden are on the team that we called 'All in the Family,' haha.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

AKC July 8th, 2012

Earlier this month, I entered Truly in just JWW at an AKC trial 5 minutes away from me. I get the confirmation e-mail for the two ring/one judge trial, and Ex. JWW is running after Standard. Sounds good, I don't have to head down for a few hours after they start and can sleep in, right? Well, didn't quite work out like that on Saturday. Apparently the DW was broken and they had to borrow a part, so they could fix it.  (I was very happy with my decision to not enter Standard because of the equipment.) Instead of waiting around to run it first, they just decided to run JWW first. I showed up about 10 mins too late and missed the whole class.  gj, me.  Guess I learned my lesson about showing up for check in.

On Sunday I actually went down in the morning JUST TO BE SURE that nothing was broken.  I went home after that and came back just as they were finishing Ex. Standard. Tru Qd, but she was melting on the start line, haha. I'd say it was a little warm for her.  She needs one more Q for her AXJ.  Then  I think she'll be done until I get her AX and she'll move to Preferred for any other AKC trials. Another memorable thing that happened at this trial was a bee swarm trying to land on various pieces of equipment while they were getting the course ready for Open Standard.  Really glad I wasn't entered, since that delayed the start of the class for quite a while.

We've got a couple NADAC trials coming up in August.  One in Mammoth and one more local, that I'll only be doing one day of since I have to check into my dorm on the Sunday.   I'm really excited about the Mammoth trial since they're doing EGC on Friday and I love running that with Tru.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

UDAC NADAC 6/1-3/12

Okay.  I tried writing this post on my tumblr and I'm just going to copy/past it here.  I don't know if I liked writing on tumblr any more than I like writing here.  I think the main thing I need to do with these is write them sooner.  My feelings and ideas all leave me the longer I wait to write.

"So, I moved her to Skilled and back to lower levels in most classes to finish up her Superior titles at this trial.  She Qd 12/15 runs, including a 15 pt Q in Chances!!!  That's her second bonus Q ever.  She got her Superior Open Jumpers title, but I think we're going to stay in Open for a while longer to mess with more distance on a shorter and less technical course to build confidence.

She really did some nice distance for as warm as it was.  She really doesn't care much for the heat (sun specifically), and I know she's never running full speed when it's like that.  Normally she can't function at a distance in weather like this.  I'm really proud of her.

Blue Qd 9/13 runs.  She was good on Friday and had a pretty good bonus attempt AFTER we already messed up.  Unfortunately on Saturday, that good bonus mood was gone.  I tried a couple that morning and she just wasn't feeling it.  She also seemed a little more cautious/attentive than usual.  Maybe my commands are still too late when I'm not really pushing.  Maybe our issue is a mutual feeling of 'it doesn't matter.'  Maybe it was the weather.  On the last 3 runs of the weekend, I really started to have that really connected 'what a great run' feeling.  She's also really out of shape, which probably isn't a good thing  considering her age.  All of us need to work on that this summer.  Walks and beach time here we come!  I think next time there's a three day trial, she won't be running on Friday, she was pretty wiped on Saturday night.

I think we'll be doing two trials in August.  One in Mammoth Lakes, and then one that's more local, but I can only do one day of that trial, since I have to check into my room at school.  Then it's Champs.  Wat?"

I forgot to include that Blue earned her O-WV-O, haha.  Not like that's a big deal.  It was really warm on Saturday, and it reminded me why we didn't usually do this trial.  There's so little NADAC around here though that I'm taking what I can get now.

Friday, May 11, 2012

NATCH Truly!

Truly got her NATCH!!!  Here's the video of her NATCH runs plus an extra.  Here special skills class runs weren't that great, so they didn't make it in.  I'm so happy with how well she's been running lately, especially for so little practice on both ends.

Blue was silly (well, I was a crummy handler) and I didn't get that many runs on video, so here's a Chances.  She is such a goof at the end.  I could tell she was bouncing from behind.

She Qd 7/12 runs the whole weekend.  One of her Regulars was even a 102 dri run.  Sadly, I don't have that on video.  I didn't get much on video of her.  Gah, I wish my mom was still coming.  I feel so annoying have to ask different people to film.

Tru Qd 9/12 runs.  This video has an example of Tru finding the grass 'icky'.  I don't know what it was about that particular spot, but she does it outside the ring and will run around certain spots.  She's special.  I also trip on a tunnel.  gj me.