Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stone City Kennel Club - Sept. 27 - 28, 2008

Busy weekend and I wasn't "in the mood" to do agility. Nevertheless, Ruby was and I had a hard time getting her to go where I needed her to be. Two off-course jumps on Saturday and a missed weave entrance on Sunday - well not really missed, she entered the wrong side - because she almost took an off-course then as well. I know that I needed a head-check at one point and I need to watch my shoulders/hips more now.

Seriously, what is up with taking the triple backwards? You wonder what goes through the dog's head to make them think that's a good idea. For the most part she was hell-bent on taking every jump in sight; at least she's feeling good, can't say much for myself. We were 0 for 3 going into Standard on Sunday. Really tight, ugly course and we redeemed ourselves by running it clean and for the most part, pretty tight for us. She ended up winning her class because Kris scratched the Clever Dog and Barb scratched Sheffie. Only 18 MACH points though, she ran the course in 49.03 and the judge had SCT as 59. Kris said that the judge wheeled pretty tight and I trust her opinion on that, especially since Clever is running World Team times and Kris has to keep track of all of that. Darn that .03! Probably because I held her DW contact. Oh well...

We still need 234 more MACH points and 4 more QQ's to qualify for Nationals. We'll try again this weekend in Manhattan at the Golden Retriever Club Agility Trial. We'll be doing FAST class as well on Friday. Go Ruby! =)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Puppy Graduation

What can I say, River is the smartest pup in class and I'm totally not being biased. Okay maybe a just a little. He sure was the cutest! LOL!

Look at those "earrings!"

Working on sit-stays.

Napping with Ruby

River will start in Puppy Agility class in November. He told me that he can't wait! =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

River Puppy!

I know, I know, I've been a bad mom not posting pictures of the little man. Honestly, I've tried. Yesterday Blogger wouldn't let me. Don't know what that was about but anyway, here are some pictures of him from this weekend. He turned 15 weeks old on Sunday.

Come on, rub my belly! :)

I wuf my big sister!

Head shot

River graduates from puppy class on Thursday and he's been doing great. He's a very sweet smart little guy that is very willing to please. I couldn't be happier with him. =)

Monday, September 22, 2008

WAG Agility Trial - Ouch! I think I pulled a muscle...

Ruby's first QQ!!! On Friday she had a great Jumpers run, followed by another great Standard run, taking 4th place in both classes. She went wide on a lot of turns and I need to tighten her up a bit but she also seemed rather slow to me. In reviewing her videos it looks almost like she's over-jumping; clearing the jumps by almost a foot. So with her not jumping efficiently she's eating up time on the clock when she's in the air. Silly girl. I guess it could be worse and she'd be knocking bars, right?

Saturday was a different story. Jumpers was a really nice course and we did well on it but she popped her weaves at the tenth pole. I had my friend Shawna who is a trainer look at the video and she said that nothing in my body position changed to cause the pop. Ruby hasn't popped in a LONG time. The only thing I can figure is the photographer sitting 5 feet away from the end of the weave poles and Ruby heard the 'click.' It happened to some other dogs and, unfortunately, the photographer was only sitting there for the 24" class. Standard was a bit of a disaster because Ruby didn't hold her 2o/2o position on the DW - not even a slight pause - and I couldn't get where I wanted to be for the weave pole entry, so I walked her off the course. My fault, I'm thinking later, as I told her touch on the way up the DW instead of the way down like I usually do. Oh well...still pissed about that photographer...

Alissa = 2
Ruby = 0

Sunday was another good day however as she QQ'd again. A lovely jumpers course and Ruby was a very good girl and she knew it! After her Standard run she barked to let everyone know how great she did and dragged me back to her crate to get her special treats!

42 MACH points for the weekend even with my three-day migraine. Oh yeah and I think I pulled a groin muscle. At least the dog is healthy & fit. =)

I do have to say how amazing it is that I had such a great weekend since there was no negative influence on us. Agility is such a mental game and my poor dog has been suffering because I've been an emotional wreck. No more of that however as we're making a push to qualify for Nationals. We have six trials in as many weekends. Go Ruby Roo!

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Mud & Agility Dog Ruby - USDAA in Wilmot, WI

The forecast for the weekend was horrible but my friend Julia and I, the agility warriors that we are, headed up to Wilmot, Wisconsin for a two-day USDAA trial. Cream City Canines hosted the trial and as usual they did a great job filling in puddles with mulch to try to keep things safe for the dogs and handlers.

Ruby is still in Starters as this was only her second USDAA trial. Saturday she did great, taking 1st Place in every class (Gamblers, Snooker, Standard & Jumpers) except Pairs Relay. It wasn't our fault however, our relay partner had "a young BC" that couldn't weave (she tried four times), do the teeter or keep bars up. Lovely...so we were eliminated when her dog bailed off the teeter and she put him back on violating the four-paw safety rule.

Sunday the weather was worse, colder, and the rain just never let up. We started with Pairs Relay and we had great relay partners, Judy and her Giant Schnauzer, Rosie. I love when your partner actually tells you what their dogs strengths and/or weaknesses are. She told me that Rosie was having trouble keeping the double up. No problem, we took that half. Though since we were the first Relay Team to compete and they couldn't find the baton, Judy got creative and used a piece of mulch for the hand-off! Regardless we had a great run and took 1st Place also having the best time out of all the other teams.

Standard was next and Ruby took 2nd Place due to our using up about 15 seconds on the table because Ruby didn't want to down in a cold, wet puddle. Can't say I blame her though and she finished the rest of the course quickly, getting a hard weave entry and finishing her AD title.

Then we had Gamblers, Ruby took 1st Place again, and another round of Snooker, where we took 2nd but it was my fault because I forgot to run for the finish which was well away from the final jump of the closing sequence so we JUST made time. Oops! I then decided not to put myself and my dog through any more misery and scratched her from Jumpers. It just wasn't worth risking her getting hurt as the puddles were getting deeper and the rings much more slippery. Julia and I packed up the dogs and headed home at 12:30, pretty early for a USDAA trial.

To completely finish up in Starters we need one more leg of Snooker, Jumpers and Pairs Relay so I will keep her in Starters for those games and move her up to Advanced for Standard and Gamblers. I don't know when we'll be doing USDAA again however. Might not be until next April and it'll probably be indoors. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

My name is Mud...I mean River

We had a nice weekend off and spent two days in a row at the Lake Forest Dog Park. River got to experience lots of new sights and smells and of course the lovely mud holes. We went with friends, Libby and Aunt Hallie. We also met up with Christa and her two boys, Bentley and Royce.

This feels interesting...

I'll explore further...

Mud on the belly...ahhhhh......

Uh-oh, mom looks mad...

Crazy Ruby retrieving her tennis ball.

Libby, our local Cubs fan!

And a group roll in something smelly, courtesy of Libby and River.

Next weekend there is USDAA trial in Wilmot, WI where I hope to at least get one Snooker leg with Ruby. LOL! Darn Snooker!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lots of Stuff!

I haven't posted in a while because we've been SUPER busy! We had a three day trial in McCook two weekends ago. Ruby did pretty well just knocking some bars in Jumpers on Friday and I wasn't crazy about the Standard course so I didn't handle it well. Saturday she took 2nd place in Jumpers and we almost QQ *sigh* but I didn't help her with the weave entry in Standard class and that's where we blew it. Otherwise she had a very nice run. On Sunday again she knocked a bar in Jumpers, don't know why. She took off way too late for the jump which was strange for her but the rest of the run was nice. Standard was a mess again as my head just wasn't in it and I didn't give her a clear signal where we were going so she missed the weave entry. Oh well, something to work on, the mental game and helping her with her weave entries.

Tuesday night after class we left for Ann Braue's in Eau Claire, WI. River had Puppy Agility Camp for two days and he was phenomenal. I am very impressed with how smart he is and I have clicker training to thank for that. He was doing great with the tugging but at one point bit his tongue and wouldn't tug much at Ann's after that though he was still excited to play with me so I let him tug the sleeves on my sweatshirt. I will have to transfer that to a toy, though he was fine playing tug with me at home and at my parents. After doing the plunk and feed a few times he is already offering a 2o/2o position on the travel board. He's also a very natural jumper and I think after a few sessions of find the jump standards he will be great at that as well.

On Friday we spent the day at my parents; I did some fishing with my dad (caught two nice bass) and then we took the dogs to the lake. This was River's first time near a body of water and he was a little nervous but very curious when he saw how excited his big sister got and she jumped right in. He went out on his own swimming about 3 or 4 feet. He's a natural swimmer too. None of the panicked dog paddle here. :) He then followed me out about 6 feet and swam very well all on his own.

Unfortunately, Ruby was a little too tired for Dock Diving the next day and her best jump of the day was only 9' 4" So my fault that she was swimming so much the day before though my goal was just to get River in the water on his own and for Ruby to have just a little fun. I think she also really wore herself out at my parents. She really loves it there and would run full out for hours and get the excited zoomies too. River was also very excited to meet new people at the Dock Diving event and none of the noise bothered him in the slightest.

Sunday and Monday we had an agility trial in Manhattan. We stayed at my sister's house and dog & cat sat for her and her husband. Ruby had two very nice runs on Sunday. In Standard though I got a tiny bit behind her and she cut in front of me to take an off course jump instead of going out to the chute as I told her. I held my position and as she came around the jump she had this look on her face like, "oh, oops! That's what you meant." And she went right into the chute. The rest of the run was beautiful though it made me a little down as I'm getting tired of the "almost" runs. Her Jumpers run was also very nice but she knocked a bar though it wasn't something I did. Just a strange angle to the jump and she barely nicked it with her back toes.

On Monday she had a lovely run in Standard, winning her class and earning 16 MACH points. Only three 24" dogs qualified and she was 5 seconds faster than the 2nd place dog. I was very happy with her. Her Jumpers run was a bit pokey from the tunnel to the weaves as it was very hot and Jumpers was outside but she picked it up a little after that. She knocked a bar though I think it was because I cued her over the jump for a front cross. It was kind of strange to me because I set up that sequence when I got home and it didn't affect her at all. The most she did was rub the bar hard once but it didn't come down. Maybe she also didn't take the jump at the right distance and I probably won't know because I didn't have anyone tape our runs on Monday. It would have also been nice to have that first place Standard run on tape. :( Oh well.

Next weekend we are off and IF we get in, we'll be doing USDAA up in Wilmot, WI on the 13th and 14th. I'll post some pictures soon but in the meantime, there's some new video of Ruby and River on my YouTube account http://www.youtube.com/user/ruby1liz