Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 AAC Regionals - What a Time!

Gaci and Shimmer

What a time at the AAC Regionals this year! It was my, and my dogs', first experience there. I decided to give it a shot even though I'm still pretty new to the sport compared to most competitors, and to see what it was all about. It was only Shimmer's second trial ever, so we were simply going in to see where we stood so far. The weather was, well, bad. It rained, and hailed, and thunder/lightning through most of the weekend. But we tuckered through it and the dogs did awesome!

Gaci was the only dog in her division (10" Specials), so she ended up getting first place by default. However, if you ask me she earned every single point of it, and definitely earned her ribbon! She did awesome. Coming from a girl who "would never do agility" because of stress, to competing at Regionals and running six runs through the weekend, happy in each and every one, she's definitely a winner in my eyes!

Shimmer ended up only being 43 points short of qualifying for Nationals. [:O] And she placed third in her division of seven dogs. I was so surprised. She did amazing! One day two I noticed she was getting pretty tight in her front left shoulder, so between her second and third run of the day I booked her in for a massage and assessment with the on-site canine massage therapist. She was definitely feeling the weekend, and had a sore toe (running in rainy weather, I don't blame her!), but I was given the go-ahead that it would be fine to run her in her final run.

I'm so proud of my girls. They did wildly better than I could have imagined. I knew they could do it, but I now have even more confidence that next year they will do even better! For Starters-level dogs to be running Masters-level courses, and even getting clean runs, I'm so happy with them. They definitely need work in the Gamblers department, as we haven't touched on that game really, but still.

Here are two videos highlighting their weekend (I didn't put everything in there as it would have gotten too long!)



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kash - Evolving into Adolescence

It's hard to believe my little man is growing up!!!! Four months old, and losing teeth!

He's definitely coming out of "babyhood" and I'm starting to see signs of adolescence (although no leg-lifting yet - knock on wood nearby), in that his play is changing with each of the dogs. I notice it at puppy class too - he is now beginning to incorporate "terrier rules" in play in that there are some things he will no longer accept that he once did. But at the same time, his stability continues to shine as he welcomes any new dog into the household and is getting much better at ignoring dogs during class while we are working here and there. His recall out of play is fantastic, too. I'm quite proud of that feature!

I've been busy working with him, developing his skills for Rally-O and Agility, and later formal obedience. I've also got a weekend in July booked out to take him to an Earthdog trial. I am giddy with excitement for that one, since there are never earthdog events around here and I would LOVE to get him into a terrier event and see how he does!

His four month video, as it turns out, is all about agility, and where we're at so far. I'm very impressed with the level of drive and focus he is developing, and his total lack of fear to try things out. He is such a thinking dog, always keeping me on my toes this boy. I just hope and pray we get through adolescence fluidly, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there!

Here is Kash at four months doing some agility training!