Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Angel

10 Nov 1998 to 29 Nov 2011
Photo credit Len Silvester, TTL Photo.com

This is Shooz. I never met her or even her Mum who I only know from Facebook and the Canine Cancer Yahoo group.  She and Ceilidh along with other dogs either fighting cancer or having lost their battle with cancer were featured in the 2010 Ontario Regionals Championship event catalogue. Ceilidh never got to go to the 2010 Regionals, she lost her fight just before the event. Shooz' valiant two year battle against cancer ended today.

Run fast, run clean Shooz. You're a champion.

Monday, November 28, 2011

He did, he really did...

He did, he really did listen!!! 

Two weeks ago, I told Beckett that I wanted him to get an Advanced Standard Q and an Advanced Jumpers Q at the Dream Fields trial and that he was to get an Advanced Snooker and another Advanced Jumpers Q at the Absolute Agility trial this past weekend.  Well do you know what? That's exactly what he did.  To top that off, I told him Friday evening before the Absolute Agility trial, that if he got his two Q's and, as a result, his Advanced Games Dog title that we could just have fun the rest of the day. Well again, he really did listen and did just that too. He got eliminated from his first Masters Standard event, didn't get the main Gamble in his first Masters Gamblers and skipped some poles in his weaves during Steeplechase. But we sure had fun!!!

We had the same judge as last weekend for our Advanced runs. The Advanced Jumpers had quite a similar layout but the sequence of the obstacles made the course quite a different challenge.  Beckett still did awesome, he had a spin or two so I wasn't sure if we had any faults called against us until the results were posted. He finished with a time of 26.75 seconds and was his third Advanced Jumpers Q which was also good enough for first place. In his Advanced Snooker, I decided to try four reds in the opening. Initially after the fourth red, I was going to send him into the tunnel (obstacle 3), then begin the close by wrapping the tire (obstacle 2) and rear crossing obstacle 3. At the last minute while walking the course, I decided to rear cross the tunnel after doing the red jump, since there are no refusals in the Snooker opening and because Beckett doesn't always like rear crosses on tunnels so then it wouldn't do any harm if he did refuse. That turned out to be a very good decision as you'll see in the video. I also had miscounted and thought we needed the frame for our Q so I was very relieved to hear the judge call six as the buzzer went for time but it turned out we had our points with obstacle five. 

Now we are on an agility hiaitus until February, we still have a couple fun matches and classes, of course, but no trials until then.  I hope to work on Beckett's A-frame and do some distance work that we'll need for Masters events before we trial again. Hopefully those Masters Q's won't be too elusive.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making Advances

This weekend Beckett and I were at Dream Fields for their last weekend trial of 2011.  Beckett was entered in two Advanced Standards, one Advanced Jumpers and one Advanced Snooker. I told him Friday evening that I wanted one Standard Q and one Jumpers Q from him at this trial.

And, do you know what, I think he listened.

In our first standard run, Beckett had a little difficulty with his weaves, I don't think he collected enough and he popped out at pole 3 which I think he actually ran into; no faults there as he had made the entry. The rest of run was quite nice except that one of my front crosses was a little early and he took a bar down as he tried to turn in mid air. A 5 fault run that still was good enough for the best run of all mini-regular dogs.

The second standard started terribly, I was sure we were faulted for a refusal at the tire (obstacle 5) and then Beckett barrel-rolled out of the chute (obstacle 7) and the thought crossed my mind that things were going from bad to worse. Then I heard the call "No time" from the timer. One of the ring crew had inadvertently stopped the time when she tried to raise the bar on the last jump which had the electronic eyes for the timer. Whew!! We got to start over again. The next run ran so much better, no spin at the tire, no fall at the chute. My front cross was late from the tunnel into the weaves but Beckett still nailed his entry. I held my breath on the dog walk, half expecting him to leap off but he didn't and he sailed over the last jump for his third Advanced Standard qualifying score, another best run for mini-regular dogs and his title of Advanced Agility Dog of Canada.

Next up, was our Advanced Snooker run. We got through the opening and I thought we would be home free from there but coming out of the tunnel (obstacle 3) to the double jump (obstacle 4) , Beckett landed on the second bar of the double; that was the second time this has happened.  I'm going to have to do some more training with the double as I don't think he quite realizes it's coming up and perhaps I need a different verbal command for the double. The spread doesn't seem to cause him any problems but with that jump I'm sure he can see width of the jump which I don't think is as obvious on a double. No qualifying score as we only had 27 points.

Our last run of the day was an Advanced Jumpers. There was a couple tunnel to tunnel entries that I thought would cause a spin or two but Beckett took them quite in stride. We had a beautiful run. On a course with a standard course time of 37 seconds, Beckett finished with a time of 26.99 seconds, running almost at 5 yards per second (4.95 yps to be exact).  This was his second Advanced Jumpers Q and his third best run of the day.

So we made great advances on the weekend and now have only two more qualifying scores to go (one each in Advanced Snooker and Advanced Jumpers) for his Advanced Games title.  Next weekend at the last trial we are entered in for 2011, Beckett will run in his first Masters events. Not too bad, for a young fella who only began competing 11 months ago on 22 January.

Lets hope Beckett was really listening last Friday as I told him I wanted a Snooker and Jumpers Q at the trial this upcoming weekend.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Started

Last weekend, I started decorating for Christmas. It seemed rather strange as it was very warm (and has been all week) for November.  I always put my outdoor decorations up right after Remembrance Day as I'd rather be climbing up and down a ladder when the weather isn't too bad but I don't turn my lights on until the beginning of December. I don't have my Christmas wreaths or my rope light toy soldiers up outside yet, I still think it's a little too early to look too much like Christmas. But I did put out my new little porch tree and decorated the fresh cedar bows that I used to hide the planter box.

I'm going to put up my winter village this weekend. Of the indoor decorations, it is always this first thing to go up and the last to come down. My Christmas tree, since I still get a real one, won't go up until the middle of December.

I also ordered a new Christmas decoration, a pillow of my sheltie boys waiting for Santa under the tree. It will be used in my family room decorations. I sent a picture with a special request to Foxy's Art Box, you can like them on Facebook, and then ordered the design from CafePress. Neat, eh! You can tell by the ears and markings that it is Beckett and Tucker snoozing under the tree.

And I received my first Christmas card today from a friend who will be moving to Israel in a few short days. Her husband is military and he is being posted to Israel as the Defence Attache.