Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who Can You Trust!!

We had some, what shall I call it, well really horrific news this past week about a family member. You think you know people, especially those who are close to you and then you find out something that makes you wonder if you can ever really know someone. And if you can't really know someone, how do you trust anyone?

My family and I, I am sure, will pull through this; it's already bringing some of us closer together. But I think the next few weeks maybe even months will be hard. 

My brother-in-law's sister said:

"There are times in our lives that we simply can't understand why the people we love make such horrible wrong choices. We just keep going, hold our heads high and live our lives the way that 'we' have chosen."

So that's what we have to do now, hold our heads high and know that we are living our lives the best way we know how!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Agility Dog of Canada

At Dream Fields this past Saturday, Beckett got his Agility Dog of Canada (ADC) title for completing three Standard runs without any course or time faults.  We didn't get any video of this run. Getting people to take videos this weekend proved a little challenging. I guess some people have difficulty with technology. For this Standard run, the person who was videoing, using someoneelse's camera, zoomed in and then could not figure out how to zoom out, so all you could see in the video was the wall.

But oh well, we do have some video. Our first run of the day was Advanced Gamblers and it was the very first Advanced run of the day so Beckett and I had to be at Dream Field for 7 am in the morning. It was the beginning of a very long day.  I didn't go in with great expectations as it was Beckett's first Advanced run and the distance obstacle of the main gamble was the dog walk. There also was no mini gamble where you have the opportunity to gain double the points of the obstacles.  My plan was just to do a nice smooth course for him and see if I could get him out to the dog walk. He ran so well I ran out of things I had planned to do and we got a 35 point opening. When the buzzer sounded for the main gamble, I put him through the tunnel and called walk-it, he raced for the dog walk. I don't even think he glanced at me. He came back out to me on the line but when he scooted back and into the tunnel I knew we had it.

What made it really cool is that we were the first team in the event and I think we made it look easy. Beckett also got Best Run for mini Regular dogs and won a stuffed horse in addition to his Advanced Q and first place ribbons.

The person who took this gamble video couldn't have pressed the button all the way down to record. On my camera, half way down is "focus" and all the way down is "record"; it wasn't until the camera turned itself off that she realized she wasn't recording.  But as you see she caught the most important part.

We now had a really long wait as the Starters events didn't begin until 1:30pm.  Starter Jumpers was our next event.  No Q there, as Beckett missed the chute coming out of the tunnel and he stepped on the fabric of the chute while spinning around.  Next up was the Standard run that he did Q on. 

It wasn't pretty but it was all right for a Starters Q. Beckett didn't get his weave entry as they were off-side, then since I moved to do on-side weaves, he spun before the dog walk and spun before the table all of which will be faulted now in Advanced.  He did very well on the course after the table.  Beckett's next course was another Standard, you'd think he knew that he didn't need it. The little "brat" wouldn't lay down on the table. 

Our final run of the night was a Snooker run at 7pm in the evening; we did all of three obstacles before being whistled off. 

It was a long day and I was glad to get home to Tucker.  After getting unpacked and getting us all something to eat; it was off to bed for some well deserved sleep.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Full Day of Spring?

The Backyard - there was some grass yesterday!

The Front - the street was dry and bare when I left for work.

Easter Eggs - the weather was so nice on Sunday I put Easter eggs in the tree out front.

After just a few minutes outside.

We had a little bit of snow today but not as much as they were calling for, so I guess we should be glad about that. It shouldn't last too long at this time of year but it would be nice if it would stay warmer and drier than normal so we can get back outside to do agility.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Morning Star - Mar 2011 - Day 2

Sunday, Day Two at Morning Star saw Beckett entered in a Starter Gamblers and two Starter Standards. Unfortunately there's no video of his Gamblers run.

For the opening, I did chute, jump to dog walk to get down to the mini; if I had to do it over again, we would have done jump, jump, dog walk as Beckett was turning into me after the chute and did not see the jump. I did hope to get the mini gamble by sending him out from the dog walk but he wouldn't go so I ran the mini with him and then used the next jump to turn him back over the mini gamble; this time he did beautifully and I was able to send him away to the tunnel (actually I don't think I could have called him off the tunnel). Then we played on the teeter and tire until the buzzer went. I tried using the spread to get him into the main gamble tunnel but it didn't work as well as I thought it would.  A better option, that I saw people use, was just to run between the tire and the spread jump moving forward with the dog as they took the tunnel. Beckett did go back to the tunnel nicely the second time and getting him over the jump was no problem at all.  I didn't know if we got the gamble in time as, although there was electronic timing the buzzer had been set for mini-veteran dogs who had 26 seconds for the gamble, dogs Beckett's height only had 22 seconds. But, we did get the Gamble Q, our second with 80 points.  But again in the competitive 16" regular class, it was only good enough for second; a Jack Russell got a 92 point gamble.

Next up was our second Standard run, the less said about that the better. Beckett's evil twin came out to play and he jumped off the dog walk missing the contact and self-released himself from the teeter and A-frame. So with that, there went the chance of getting his Starter Standard title at Morning Star.  Our final run was another Standard. The first contact was the A-frame, since I had made the decision to retrain for running contacts on the A-frame, I saw no point asking for a two-on two-off contact so I let him run off and wasn't sure if he had hit the yellow.

Beckett gave me a little attitude at the weaves and didn't want to down on the table but the rest of his run was nice. He loves the wide open running. It was another Q and this time he placed third; 16" Regulars is going to be tough.

So we ended the weekend with 4 Q's, a move-up to Advanced Gamblers but no title yet, maybe this weekend.  Go Beckett Go!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Morning Star - March 2011- Day 1

Morning Star in Kingston, Ontario is one of my favourite places to trial, not only because it's a friendly place and you don't have to worry about the weather but also because I get to see my youngest sister and enjoy some wonderful meals made by my brother-in-law.

This past weekend, we went up for Saturday and Sunday. Beckett ran in three events each day. On Saturday, he ran in Starter Jumpers, Snooker and a Standard. I don't have video of the Jumpers but he finished a course that had a 43 second course time in 21.97 seconds. Good enough for a Q of course, but in the competitive height class Beckett is in, not good enough for first place. He was 0.05 seconds behind the dog who came in first.

Next up was the Snooker run. As Beckett had never run Snooker, I tried to make the course as flowing as I could with wide wraps so he wouldn't back jump. We did the number 5 obstacle ( a tunnel, tunnel, jump combination) twice and the number 3 obstacle twice before beginning the close.  I forgot the course for a split second, thinking for an instance that there was a jump between obstacle 4 and 5, but I recovered before Beckett had a chance to take any other obstacle. His first Snooker qualifying score and good enough for first place with 47 points and in under 55 seconds. 

The last event of the day was a Standard run, perhaps we'll post a video of that later.  He had a clean run but I insisted on 12 weaves so we were 1.71 seconds over time.  He was also slow coming down the A-frame.  The run was good enough for second place but we didn't take that ribbon, only the cookie.

Beckett's events were over early so I stayed around to see friends run before heading back to my sister's place. Dinner was lobster risotto in pastry shells with lemon asparagus, mmmm good and a nice way to finish up our first day at Morning Star.

Agility in Japan?

The devastation in Japan is just overwhelming to see. This photo taken as the tsunami was rushing in shows an agility field in the foreground; while agility is important in my life, I'm sure that for right now there are things in Japan that are much more important to people whose lifes' have been so dramatically changed forever.

I hope that the people of Japan have the resilience and strength to rebuild from this disaster. And that some day in the not too distant future, there will be an agility field in this community again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

RIP Liam and Theo

Lance Cpl Liam Tasker died in a firefight in Afghanistan, his dog Theo died of an apparent stroke later that same day. Perhaps it was a broken heart? They flew home to the UK together on 10 Mar 2011. 

Now together forever!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day ....

or Happy Birthday to me!

My First Birthday
On the right are my youngest aunt and uncle and to the left are two of my cousins. Some of us look a little overwhelmed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Fun Trial - Part 2

Here's the Advanced Gamblers that I did with Beckett at the fun trial. As I said I'm not sure if it would have counted as a Q as after the tunnel (marked with a 1 in a circle), he came back out to me rather than doing the dog walk. But he did the dog walk, tire, tunnel combination just perfectly; I never even called out the tire, just gave him his release word and called tunnel.  I saw quite a few dogs that I know are already in Advanced come back out to their handlers. 

He also had problems with the mini-gamble, the tunnel and A-frame combination marked with the 1 and 2 in squares. So one of the things we know we have to work on, is 180's coming out of a tunnel on to a piece of contact equipment. 

 In my second run on this course, I used the jumps leading up to the A-frame to get him up and over the frame to the tunnel. He didn't go up the first time, but I was able to send him back out the jump right before the A-frame from the line and that time he did do the A-frame and tunnel combination.  He still had the same issue with the tunnel before the dog walk but I could see already that he tried to correct when I told him to "walk-it".

He's a good boy, my little Beckett; even if he does still chew things he's not supposed to if I leave him loose when I go out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fun Trial - Mar 2011

I had hoped that we would finally have some nice weather for this fun trial; it rained all day and it was really damp but at least it was somewhat warmer.  Beckett did great. I ran him on the Advanced Standard course, then did the Masters Standard course.  The game this month was a Gambler, we did the Advanced Gamblers. He did awesome on the main gamble, not sure it would have been a qualifying score had it been a real trial as he came out past the dog walk and I had to send him back to it but he stayed out after the tire and got the tunnel.  I'll post the video to the Gamblers later. The video is of our Advanced Standard run. We still need work on weave entries and my handling after the tire could have been a lot better but Beckett saved the day. This definitely would have been a Q as a Starter Standard run.

I hope he does as well next week which is an official trial. If everything goes as well, he could have his first title.