Monday, July 23, 2018

It had to Happen!

Well, it finally happened, Keltic got his Advanced Agility Dog of Canada title this past weekend.  It seemed like after he got out of Starters everything fell apart. We needed to retrain start line stays, contacts, the table and weaves. Things have started to come together, his start lines and contacts are pretty good.  Tables are not too bad.  But weave entries continue to be a challenge, He's not bad in practice but at trials he either turns and refuses to do the entry or misses the entry.  I've tried not to baby sit the entry, hoping he would get them on his own but so far nothing has really worked.  In his second standard Q, I sat him down as he came out of a tunnel as he had turned into me and wouldn't have even the seen the weaves. He got the entry on the send from a sit which he can do pretty consistently.

Advanced Standard 2

Yesterday we did three Advanced Standards. In Adv Std 2,  the weaves came after the table so I knew it would be sort of like a send to the weaves.  But this time I also ran towards pole two and gave him no real choice but to get the entry between poles one and two or blow them off all together. Well he got the entry, he didn't stick the weaves as I think I was rather close but in Advanced you just have to get the entry, then completing the weaves just takes time.   I put him back in at the entry and he did all 12, no popping.  I held my breath for the rest of the run but it was made for him and it was clean, our third Advanced Q for Keltic's Advanced Agility Dog of Canada title. Other than baby sitting the weave entry, Keltic had a beautiful run, nice to get the title that way.

In the record!
Keltic was the only dog in the class that actually got a Q and he was moving pretty fast too. Not nearly as fast as another Sheltie named Daisy but I'll take Keltic's speed, not sure I could keep up otherwise. He also had the best run for Specials and Vets.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Beckett's Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Becket's ninth birthday by going on a shopping trip. First, we went to Global Pet Foods where I buy their dry dog food. I was looking for some kind of flying disc but I didn't see one I thought Beckett would like so we bought treats instead.  Keltic picked them out, they must have smelled good as he popped the lids right off the containers.  We also bought Zukes for agility treats and two of the special cookies.

Next we went to Pet Valu, again I looked for some kind of flying disc.  They did have one but I didn't want to pay that much as we had spent more than I wanted at Global so we just bought more treats instead. They put them in a nice little brown bag that you can see in the pictures. They had one of the treats from the little brown bag before going inside.

Love me, Spoil me, Treat Me
Inside, I had some other things for Beckett that I wrapped up so then we did the birthday pictures at the table.  

After the requisite party pictures, the boys got to eat the big cookie.  Don't worry I cut back their dinner so no one would get an upset tummy.

Party Hat Cookies

I think he likes it.

Then it was time  to open the gifts.  Well, Beckett tried but then I had to do it for him.  

Opening the pressies
These presents weren't treats so perhaps that's why there wasn't so much interest; they were a new collar and a little fabric disc to play with indoors.

Beckett's presents
Beckett is in his last year of single digits, I hope we have many more years ahead but you never know. 

Happy Birthday, Beckett!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Regionals Round-up

This past weekend we went to the AAC Eastern Ontario Regional Agility Championships.  They were held in Harrowsmith, Ontario which is about two and half hours from Ottawa so we went on Thursday afternoon and stayed in a hotel about 20 minutes from the trial site. We arrived at the trial site at about 12:45 and helped offloading equipment until about 5 pm.  We, then, headed off to check in at our hotel and get something to eat.

Friday was warm-ups and a sanctioned AAC trial. I hadn't entered the warm-ups so I had the morning to set up and walk the dogs. Our events didn't start until noon. Beckett had a Masters Standard run and Keltic had a Steeplechase run. Beckett had a beautiful clean Standard, for first place with a Q; that also won me $15 as the top dog in his height class, that paid for pizza on Saturday night. Thanks, Beckett.  Keltic was eliminated in his Steeplechase but had some nice moments, like getting an off-side weave entry even though he didn't stay in the weaves.

The weekend abode
Saturday morning started early with a general walk through of the day's courses. Our first course was Gamblers. Since I only had about 12 dogs between Keltic and Beckett I brought both of them down to the ring, I really didn't need to do that as it takes about a minute per dog to run the Gamblers event.  This first Gamblers was really hard, not many dogs got it. You had to have good independent weave entries.

Gamblers 1
The main Gamble is in the top right corner and consists of six weaves, then the tunnel on the far right, followed by another six weaves and then the two jumps labelled 4 and 5. Many dogs did the first set of weaves and then were sucked into the tunnel at the top. Beckett was nearly one of those but I was able to call him off but then he wouldn't go out to the far tunnel. Keltic wouldn't even do the first set of weaves.  In Gamblers, you accumulate points by doing obstacles for 40 seconds and then if you can do the main gamble in the time allotted, usually about 20 to 25 seconds, you gain an additional 35 points.

Our next event on Saturday was the Standard. Unfortunately, right off the start Keltic got an off course by putting a paw on the A-frame, that incurred 20 faults.  He only got 5 more course faults for popping out of the weaves and he also had some time faults on the course but for him a rather good run.

Standard 1
Beckett had a clean run right until obstacle 12, I did my front cross too close to the jump and pushed him to back side of the jump for an off course and 20 faults.  In the Standard event you start with 100 points and then they deduct the faults to give you a point score.

Our last run of the day was Jumpers. It walked quite nicely and ran rather smoothly too.

Jumpers 1

Keltic knocked down the bar on jump 2 for five faults and Beckett incurred a refusal for 5 faults on jump 8 when he came in between jump 7 and 8. I probably didn't support him enough.  In Jumpers, you start with 75 points and they deduct your faults so both dogs got 70 points in this event. Keltic actually ran faster than Becket but then he is younger and ran first all day Saturday.

Keltic finished day 1 with just over 170 points and Beckett had just over 190 so we had our work cut out for us if we wanted to qualify for Nationals as you need 350 points. Beckett could qualify even if his second day runs were about the same but Keltic and I had to improve.

On day 2 we started with the Standard event and as the running orders were changed up Specials and Vets went first and Beckett got to run before Keltic all day.

Standard 2

Becket had super awesome run with only one spin after jump 15 which didn't cost us anything but a bit of time.  He was clean and about 28 seconds under the course time so we got 100 points plus points for every second he was under time. Keltic didn't have an off course in this event but did incur 25 course faults and time faults as well so he only got 69 points for this event.

Next up was Gamblers, I had done some figuring and realized Beckett only needed 31 points to qualify for Nationals.

Gamblers 2
Beckett got one of the mini gambles (the one marked A and B) in our opening, did some spinning at the top right tunnel losing some time but we still got 36 points in the opening.  This main gamble was one my dogs should have been able to do but neither one would go out to the tunnel. Keltic only got 29 points in his opening having knocked the bar on the obstacle marked A, had he not knocked that bar he would have had two more points. This will be important later.

Our last run of the day and for Regionals was jumpers, I had walked this course with very nearly a front cross after every second or third obstacle.

Jumpers 2

Beckett went in and we nailed it.  Fast and clean, maybe I was relaxed knowing Beckett had already qualified and was just going for broke.  We ran the course in just over 41 seconds; the allowable course time was 59 seconds. Keltic, I thought after the Gamble had to be clean and 12 seconds under time but my math was a little off. Keltic went clean as well but not as fast as Beckett. Keltic's time was 43.18 and he only had 49 seconds for the allowable course time. I thought we were about 6 points short of qualifying; well, Keltic ended up with a score of 349.6. He missed qualifying for National by only 0.4 points.  Had he left up the bar in Gamble, in the first Jumpers or not put a foot on the A-frame in the first Standard he would be going to his first Nationals.

Beckett qualified for Nationals with a score of  455.33 and Beckett moved up in the standings in his height class from 4th to second.  That's our best ever placement.  It's hard to move up as all the dogs usually have their strengths.  Keltic got third place in his height class but I am most proud of his first place finish in Jumpers 2.

Beckett - 2nd place - 8 " Double Drop Veterans

Keltic - 3rd place - 12" Specials

We had a  great weekend. The rain held off until near the end of the event. The venue had great crating in the shade. The volunteers, organizers, sponsors, vendors and fellow competitors make it a wonderful event. Yes, Lyne, you have to come experience it first hand.

Beckett and his ribbons

Keltic and his ribbons

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Bears of Berlin

Last week I went to Berlin for work, I was supposed to leave on Saturday, 14 April but freezing rain and snow delayed our travel by a day. Well our travel out of Ottawa anyway, my sister made her connections and got into Berlin on Sunday as planned. I got in around lunch time on Monday and my boss got in around supper time on Monday so we missed the first day of the meetings.

De-icing in Toronto

The symbol of the city of Berlin is a bear and all over the city you will find buddy bears, an art project that was started in 2001.  They make a good photo op so we decided to take pictures of all the bears that we saw. There are some 140 full-size bears but obviously we didn't see all of them.  

Olympic bear

Sites of Berlin bear

Block House bear

Melia hotel bear

East Side Gallery bear

Welcome bear

Bear inside the TV tower

Capital bear

Zoo bear at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station)

US Liberty bear

Nivea bear

Some of these bears were not full size bears but rather smaller ones that we saw in stores.  The US Liberty bear, found at the US Embassy, was the only one we couldn't approach as you needed to go inside the lobby of the embassy. Most of the other bears were outside but even those that were inside were in places open to the public such as train stations or stores.

More about my trip to Germany to come in other blog posts.