Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Senior's Moment

While I was home this summer, we did an agility demonstration at the nursing home where my mother resides.  A woman from a local agility club, whose husband works at the residence, was kind enough to help me out with her Australian Shepherd, Gaffer.  She was also able to help out with equipment and brought two tunnels and some additional jumps. 

Tina and Gaffer
The weather in New Brunswick hadn't been great this summer and we wondered if we were even going to be able to hold the demonstration. Tuesday was scheduled for the demo with Wednesday as a rain date.  The weather on Tuesday wasn't great. But with the forecast for Wednesday getting worse, we decided to set up on Tuesday and hope for the best. We set up on the front lawn so that seating for the residents could be on two side walks and some people could also watch from their rooms or from the corridor joining Canterbury and Monarch Halls. We were lucky, and although it was rather fresh, the rain held off.
Audience at Monarch Hall
We each took turns and did some runs with our dogs. Mistakes got the most laughs and the end of each run was greeted with applause. We then tried a down and back race. That didn't work out too well as Gaffer didn't like having another dog on course with him. 

Beckett and Gaffer head to head racing.
I had also taught Beckett to jump through hoops so that I could get some people out to hold them so they would be more a part of the demonstration. I should really see for next time if I can cover them with tissue and have him break through when he jumps.

My niece, Amber videoed for us but I didn't make sure of the video setting or tell her how to zoom so the quality isn't all that great.
Catching Frisbees was also a hit!

Beckett jumping.

Even Tucker got excited to show off his stuff and did a few jumps, some weaves and a tunnel.  Maybe it was the thought of Beckett getting all the hot dogs that had him agitated. Anyway, I think everyone enjoyed the dogs and the staff said they would like to have a demonstration every year. It would be really nice to have a teeter and a few more dogs. We had fun and it was probably something a little different to the normal activities for the residents. I hope we can do a demonstration next year too.

Monday, August 1, 2011

In the Swim of Things

We started our vacation with a girl's (and their dogs) weekend at Fitzroy Provincial Park which is only about an hour away from Ottawa. We had wonderful weather, perhaps a tad bit hot for Shelties but no rain and the humidity wasn't bad at all.

Our Campsite

Quite the tent, Beckett.
We were a smaller group than expected as some people had to work, others had family functions or childhood illnesses to contend with but those of us who went had a great time, hiking, swimming, playing games, and enjoying camp fires.

Lyne, Jasmine and Fannie

Lisa, Walter and Lucy

Helen (Me), Beckett and Walter

For me, the highlight of the weekend camping trip was Beckett's first swimming lesson. I'm not sure he'll ever like to swim but he did seem a little more relaxed by the time he got out. At first, he was doing the air swimming, where his front paws were coming right out of the water, then he started to relax just a little bit once he realized he wasn't going to sink.  When I sat down in the water, he put his front paws over my arm and just floated there. I don't think without the life jacket, he would have been able to relax as much as he did. He was very happy to get out; although it at least cooled him off a bit.

All in all it was a relaxing weekend, well maybe Beckett doesn't think it was so relaxing.

Having fun yet, Beckett?