Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Ruby Roo!!!

My very special girl turns four today! What an incredible journey I've had with her and we've learned so much together. She is THE best dog in the whole world and I couldn't be happier or more proud that I get to share my life with her. Current standings, as of November 4th, Ruby is the Number 2 Vizsla in the country for the AKC Agility Invitational 2009.

River and I have 'pupcakes' and other yummy treats planned for her tonight. Then I have to pack for Michigan and try for that last QQ for Nationals! I actually just can't wait to run her and don't really care if we qualify or not! =)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good luck to everyone that's doing the Merrillville trial over the weekend! Have a happy and safe holiday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grove City, OH - Bedlington Terrier Club Agility Trial

The Buckeye Ranch Equestrian Center is a great little place to hold an agility trial. The dirt/mulch mix was an awesome surface for the dogs to run on. Crating space was sufficient and organized and their equipment was really nice. Tons of parking is also a plus. I don't think Ruby could have been happier running anywhere else. Since I didn't have anyone available to video tape my runs, I've attached the course maps from this weekend. I hope Ruby's blog doesn't get shut down by the AKC. =)

Of the three-day trial I only entered Saturday and Sunday. I opted to do FAST on Saturday so Ruby could get used to the footing. She had a very nice run and actually got the send bonus. We had a slight bobble as she misread a front cross and just came to my opposite side as she had already locked onto a jump so we missed the points on the A-frame and an eight point jump I had planned for our course. I was afraid that we didn't have enough points as she also knocked a bar on the double worth two points but we squeaked by with 61 to get her first Excellent A FAST leg.

Standard was similar in the opening to the FAST course but the table was thrown in there where I would have sent her into the gamble area. She must have been a little confused because when I told her to "sit" on the table she offered me a 2o/2o position! I think my jaw actually dropped open as she's NEVER done that before especially on a 24" table. I had no choice but to pull her off and send her back on the table so we NQ'd at that point. The horrible thing is that the tough ending which posed lots of problems for other dogs we aced. So frustrating!

Our Jumpers run went very well; we were connected and she was very focused and fast. She came in fifth behind some very impressive dogs, earning 12 MACH points.

I had a lot of fun hanging out with Susan, Pam and Sue - who both had very impressive days: Elan got her MACh14 and Thunder, who's only been in Preferred since June, got her PAX! We had a great time at dinner Saturday night. I had a blast!

On Sunday I only entered Ruby in Standard and Jumpers, now realizing that it was a huge mistake as she sat in her crate until noon! Needless to say she was a bit of a maniac when we finally got to run. I knew when she came flying out of the chute that I was in trouble...I tried to keep her focused, using her name and an "Easy, table" as we approached the table but she veered off, spun and came back to the table earning us a refusal and an NQ at the table again! She sat immediately however and I took a small lead out to get into position for a front cross into the weaves. She nailed the tough entry only to pop after the third pole. Why? I have no idea though at that point it didn't really matter. She did however have a lovely turn off the A-frame into the tunnel.

I almost left for my long drive home but Susan convinced me that since I paid for my Jumpers run, I may as well stay for it. So I did and Ruby was great again; focused and fast though I had trouble seeing where I was going - I'd been having trouble with my contacts since Friday night. Some gross protein build-up made my vision a little blurry. She placed 4th and earned another 9 MACH points.

So no QQ's this weekend but we racked up 21 more points. We now have 3 more tries to get that last QQ for Nationals up in East Lansing, MI in two weeks. I'm starting to get a little nervous...

I hope you guys enjoy a little bit different post this week. Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 9 & 10, 2008 - Fox Valley DTC

Saturday was absolutely miserable weather. Freezing rain, cold wind and then some snow flurries. Blech! After a minor delay, Ruby, River and I met up with Aunt Hallie, Libby, Christa, Bentley and Royce at the Greene Valley Dog Park in Du Page County. The humans froze but the canines had fun running around and chasing each other. Ruby likes to get a chase game going with Libby and River just runs after them. He thinks he's a Vizsla. =) After a very short play date we all went home.

Sunday the weather was just as gross (can you tell I hate winter?) but Ruby and I had plans inside. I had entered her in a Rally trial because it was nearby; just 15 minutes away in St. Charles. I left River at home which turned out to be a good thing. The building at the Kane County Fairgrounds that the Obedience/Rally trial was being held in was packed. I could barely find room for Ruby's crate!

I wasn't expecting Ruby to do too well as our last time out in Rally we got excused from the ring because she was barking at me. It was a Provisional Judge back in June that didn't know that it's just supposed to be points off; barking isn't an excusable offense unless it's totally out of control and Ruby usually just barks at me at stationary exercises, like the 'Halt, Right Turn, Call to Heel' because I have to leave her. Though I guess that doesn't make sense because she's totally fine with the 'Honor' exercise when I have to be 5 feet away from her. I'm also happy to say that she performed her 'Moving Down' really well.

Anyway...she managed to keep her barking to a minimum, didn't break out of heel too often and she actually passed! She scored an 87 which I am very happy with and she now has one leg toward her Rally Excellent title. Yea! Now I can't wait until our next Rally trial. Maybe we'll do the Christmas Cluster next month.

We're getting packed for our trip to Ohio next weekend and it'll be good to do agility again after a week off. I think I'm becoming addicted to trialing. Do they have a self-help group for that? LOL!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Quick Update and Some Pics of River

I just found out through my friend Tammy that Ruby is currently in the Top Five for her breed for Agility. You can pull up a free report on any breed using this link: I was shocked to say the least and had to check for myself. It was really nice seeing her name there next to Penny's. =) I also checked out some other breeds and was pleased to see the Clever Dog listed under Golden Retrievers and Jersey listed under Weimaraners, as well as Spirit under the GWP's. The famous Elan and Flash are also in the Top Five list for Border Collies. Very cool seeing local dogs in the top spots. =)

After the Tibetan Terrier trial last Saturday, the pups and I went to my sister's house to take care of her dog, Sable and cat, Senor Salem von Leroy. My sister was in the hospital having a baby. Adorable! Caleb James Jendras born November 1st at 2:28pm, 8lbs 4oz.

Ruby, River and cousin Sable

Sunday at the trial I had Tammy help me with River. I need to teach him to stand for Conformation. He learned "stand" fairly quickly.

Then Tammy took over for a while since she knows what she's doing. =)

I know he's huge already! And only 5 months old...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tibetan Terrier Agility Trial - Manhattan, IL - AKA Ruby Saves My Hide

We had some great weather for an early November trial and some tricky courses to go along with it. Judge Tom Woepse designed some interesting courses with hard angles and fun serpentines. Both Jumpers courses had a fast straight run out to the finish. Awesome! =)

Saturday's Standard course had some tunnel discriminations but nothing we haven't seen before. Ruby went a little wide in one spot and spun in the wrong direction after a poorly executed rear cross but she was such a good girl. She even let me rear cross her into the weaves and I was so proud! She placed 2nd and finished her MX title.

Jumpers had an interesting serpentine beginning that Ruby read perfectly. She nailed her weave entrance and turned tightly to come back down the course. Then I called her a little late for a turn as she went wide after a rear cross and had to yell to call her off an off-course jump. She quickly corrected herself and saved a jump that any other dog would have missed. She totally saved that run and earned herself QQ #4.

After running Ruby in JWW for 2nd place, I had the honor of running my friend Alise's dob, Carly. She is a wonderfully smart, sensitive dog and though I did my best, I couldn't help her in the weaves and misdirected her. She was a blast to run and tried her heart out. I was in need of an oxygen tank though as I ran her only four dogs after Ruby. I need to get in shape!

Sunday's Standard run was a lot smoother though Ruby still won't hit her DW contact. She's just trotting through the yellow. It may be time to start marking it again at trials with an Oops! She was a very good girl and placed 3rd.

Jumpers was kinda funny because I walked that course WAY too many times. Since they weren't having separate walk-thrus for the different heights I had to wait until all the little dogs and 20" dogs had run before we went. I completely forgot my plan of action and ended up on the wrong side of the serpentine for a second. I fixed it and Ruby held up her end, doing as I asked but it was pretty sloppy and definitely didn't look very nice. Still only two 24" dogs qualified and Ruby placed 1st. She earned 62 MACH points this weekend. Yea! =)

So now that we only need one more QQ to qualify for Nationals and 37 more MACH points, I made an executive decision and pulled her from the Amherst Junction (Camp Bandy) trial. My friends have convinced me that we will get that one QQ in five attempts instead of seven. I hope they are right as I sent an email to the trial secretary asking her to pull our entry. I've heard some mixed reviews on the surface there and would rather keep her healthy and injury free. Plus she deserves some time off to play and be a dog.

I'll insert some video and add a new post with some pictures of River in the next day or so.