Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunset Ceremony

One thing about living in the capitol, is that there is always something going on in the city. Most of the outdoor activities are usually dog-friendly although there are always some areas that are off limits.

Last night, a friend and I went to the annual Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sunset Ceremony. It's an outdoor show that is free and is very dog-friendly so Beckett and Keltic came along for the show. The show is held at an outdoor arena near the RCMP stables, when we were walking in to the grounds an RCMP officer came over to see Keltic.

Last night's performance included the Sky Hawks, the parachute team from the Canadian Forces, some highland dancers, an assembled Pipes and Drums band, a local rock band and , of course, the highlight of the show, was the Musical Ride.

Sky Hawks - can you see them?

On Target

Spinning downwards

Another landing
Beckett was quite content to sit between our chairs and just chill out. Keltic on the other hand wanted some attention. Luckily I had brought some hot dogs and the lady next to us entertained him as well.

Beckett - older and wiser

Horsing around
Keltic - the little rascal
The Musical Ride is always fun to see. It's too bad some people can't just sit still and watch the show and I'm not just talking about kids here, some adults and teenagers must have walked by our spot two or three times during this hour and half show. But we still had a good view from where we were.

Taking center stage

Riding formations

The Charge

On Parade

The ceremony ends with the singing of God Save the Queen, O Canada and the lowering of the flag.

We hung around after the show to let some of the crowd clear out. Keltic was a real hit as one person after another came over to see him and pet him. He took it all in stride, he is real people person, I mean people dog. It was a nice evening. I really should get out to more of the activities there are to do around town.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eastern Ontario Regionals

Beckett at his first Regionals as a competitor.
This past weekend, we had the excitement of competing at the Eastern Ontario Regional Championship. The event started on Friday with warm-ups and some sanctioned AAC events. We didn't do the warm-ups as I thought it would make the day too long, as it turned out we were there anyway but were able to just hang out and relax a little.

Beckett and Keltic just hangin out.
There were four events in the afternoon, Standard, Jumpers, Gamblers and Steeplechase.  Beckett still hasn't got Masters Standard or Gamblers Q. In our Jumpers, he had three bars down but they were the only ones all weekend. We got our fifth Steeplechase Q, so now Beckett is half way to his Steeplechase title. Even though we didn't Q, we did come first in our height class in Master Gamblers and so won a $15 dollar prize.

On Saturday, Regionals began with the general walk-through at 8:00 am. Sounds early but it was actually a reasonable time, when the Championships for Ontario are hosted as one event, the walk-through is usually around 6:30 am. We had Gamblers first, the main Gamble was a jump out to the far end of a tunnel, then 6 weaves and then a send to a jump. We had a really nice opening getting both mini gambles and achieving a respectable 37 points. On the main Gamble, when I sent Beckett to the tunnel, I was too far down the gamble line and he crossed through the weaves to get to the tunnel.

Eastern Ontario Regionals Standard 1
Our next run was our Standard. Beckett handled this course beautifully even the hard part under the dog walk and the last obstacle where many dogs curled back towards their handler after jump 21 as most people were behind their dog by this time. Unfortunately, we didn't go clean as I led out to the wrong position for the teeter right at the beginning of the course and Beckett put two feet on the A-frame, for an off course and 20 faults.  I was probably standing right about where the number 2 is on the map and I should have been further up and away from the teeter.

Last for the day was our Jumpers run, Beckett did just amazing. I actually don't recall much of the run as it went so well.  The course time was 41 seconds and we ran it in 31.65 seconds or 4.9 yards per second. That's pretty fast for us, we are usually in the mid 4's.

Eastern Ontario Regionals Jumpers 1
Sunday started out cool but was again hot before we even began to run. Our first run was Jumpers. On this course, I didn't feel like I knew the course all that well after the walk through. During the run, for a split second at about jump 6, I wondered where we were going next, fortunately I got it together and completed the course without letting Beckett down. Many dogs fell into the trap of taking the last jump (obstacle 23) after jump 19, but Beckett was right with me and took the tunnel without hesitation. It was another clean run. The course time was 49 seconds and we ran it in 36.67 seconds, again running 4.9 yards per second.

Eastern Ontario Regionals Jumpers 2

Our second run on Sunday was the Standard, and again just one little bobble kept us from going clean. I had hoped to get a front cross in between jump 6 and the teeter but after seeing a number of fast dogs run the course, I knew it wouldn't happen.  I did a false turn behind Beckett but started moving forward too soon and he came with me rather than getting on the teeter, this counted as a refusal for 5 faults.

Eastern Ontario Regionals Standard 2

This course had a time of 71 seconds and Beckett ran it in 52.52 seconds, if we had been clean, we would have received nearly 18 bonus points for the seconds he was under time.

Our last run was Gamblers and I made the mistake of telling Beckett they were bonus points as we had already made the 350 points necessary to qualify for Nationals. He must have understood me and I had a slightly crazy spinning boy running the opening of the Gamble. He even had a beautiful fly-off (LOL) from the teeter. He still did manage to do one of the mini Gambles and got 28 points in the opening. The main gamble was a tunnel under the A-frame, then you had to keep them out to farther of two jumps then back over the nearest jump, then to the a-frame and finishing with another jump. I only saw about 4 dogs who actually got the gamble, most dogs came into their handler after the tunnel and did the closest of the two jumps which is exactly what Beckett did too.

I was really proud of my Beckett boy; his two third place Jumpers runs were amazing and he was running great all weekend. He qualified for Nationals with 411.68 points and was less than 6 points out of the placements; the sixth place dog had 417.03 points. We do have some work to do on Gambles but for now a little Frisbee time is in order.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ise a Big Boy Now!

Hello eberyone, is me again, Beckett. My Mums lettin me write the blog today cuz Ise a big boy now. Is my third birday today and Mums says thats means Ise all growed up, mentally as well as fisicklly. Mums now calls me the yung man.

Beckett and his brothers Tucker and Keltic
Mums gots me a new leash for gility for my birday gift, cuz the slip lead gets cots in my hair. Don't cha think I'll look good in red? The leash wuz hand made by a lady just for me, Mums picked out the colours and the ribbon.

Agility leash by Lindsey
Ise gettin used to habin a little brudder around. Hes not as much of a bother as I thaught he miht be, xsept when he steel my frisbee. Weese startin to play bitey face as Reilly and Denny calls it; Mums calls it joustin and weese had zoomies together a couple of times. Weese eben started to wrestle a bit. Of coarse, Ise gotta let Keltic boy win as hes now da baby of the famlee.

A good game of jousting
Ise goin to the Gility Regional Champ in Ship, next weekend. Ise went last year but only competed in sum pre-events. Dis year, Ise be doin the hole thing. Wish me luck.

Beckett - Regionals 2011
Lots of luv,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

True Colours - Red Hearts

Well, life and the weather just got in the way and we didn't get around to doing last week's challenge. That was almost the case this week too. But today I had to buy a birthday card for one of my nieces and I decided to quick walk ( I was on my coffee break) around the card store to see if I could find any red hearts.  There weren't that many but I did find two. Picture quality is not that great as I took them with my smart phone.

There is a whole collection of these pose-able bears. I think they are so cute. I have a niece who will be having a baby this fall, maybe one would make a nice baby shower gift.

I almost didn't notice the heart on this gift bag as I saw the butterfly on top first. But as you can see all of the pink and white butterflies make up a heart.  It's not red but pink after all is a just shade of red.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot!

We went to the All Dogs Sport Club's agility trial this past weekend. It is one of the few outdoor trials that we go to. They, along with the Ottawa Valley Border Collie Club, host one weekend trial in June and one in September. Saturday was supposed to be cloudy with sunny periods with a high of 23 degrees C so I decided to take all three dogs along with me.  It was hotter than expected and by the third event, Tucker was whining at me to get out of the heat and I had forgotten to bring his cool coat. Fortunately, it had rained the night before and the ground was still damp so for most of the rest of the day Tucker just hung out in the screen room laying on the cool ground rather than in his crate. Keltic was little party animal, happily greeting all the people and dogs he met with one exception, he didn't much care for an Aussie puppy that he met named Jive.

Beckett ran in five events on Saturday and he was hot and I don't mean he was overheated. While we didn't get any qualifying scores, he ran extremely well in all of his runs. In our first event, Snooker, he had a bar down (his only bar down all day) at the last obstacle of our opening and so we were out with not enough points to Q. We were really in sync though and I'm sure had he not knocked the bar we would have finished the close with lots of time to spare. In Jumpers, I momentarily forgot the course (it had run so smooth, I thought we missed part) so I stopped rotating and he took the obstacle in front, just like he was supposed to do. In Steeplechase, one missed contact took us over time but again I felt he had run very well. The course time was 40 seconds and Beckett ran it in 36.95 seconds, since he is slow on the A-frame that was a good time for him but the five faults put us over the course time. In the Standard run, the judge had set only 6 weaves which meant of course at Masters level we had to take them twice as there must be a minimum of 12 weaves at Masters. We got the first entry but on the second entry, I wasn't in a good position and he missed the entry. I don't even think he saw the weaves.

Master Gamblers

In Gamblers, I had Beckett try a mini gamble which was a teeter angled away from the line and then out to a tire; all the practices with him going away from me on a teeter paid off. The main gamble required a flip away, which I didn't think he would do but he surprised me in getting the third obstacle but didn't then take the tunnel right in front but came back to me on the line. We didn't actually flip to the third obstacle, instead after sending him to the tunnel, I called him back to me on the line so that we sent him over jump 2 on a slice.

So Saturday, although he ran great and I could feel that we were really in sync most of the time, was a bit of a disappointment.

Sunday was another day. Sunday was forecasted to be even hotter so I left Tucker at home with the AC on and a neighbour to check on him during the day. On Sunday, Beckett had four runs, a Gamble, a Jumpers, a Standard and a Snooker. The Gamble had a similiar flip to a jump. This time I guess I hadn't set him up as nice and he didn't get out to the second jump. As it turned out we didn't have enough points to qualify; I'm sure that the scribe failed to write down the points from the second time we did the weaves as there was only one 5 point indicated on our score sheet. In Jumpers, I came out of the ring disappointed as on the second last obstacle, a tunnel, Beckett started to spin and I was sure we had a refusal but maybe he stopped spinning just in time as there was no refusal called. Next up was our Standard. Beckett was the second dog in the ring. I noticed the first dog doing the tunnel at the end of the field. I quickly pulled out my course map, I had walked the course wrong. I'm not great at thinking on my feet and instinctively I did what I had walked. That put me on the left side of Beckett with the tunnel to his right and trying to push him out to the tunnel didn't work and we got a refusal. The rest of the run was nice so if I hadn't of screwed up, he likely would have Q'd.

Our last run was a Yin and Yang Snooker. I had never seen a Snooker like that before; two of the other competitors, who are also judges, wondered if it was even within the rules.  What it was, was there were two closing courses, a white course and a black course, hence Yin and Yang.  You could do obstacles from either the black or white course in your opening but in the close had to follow the numbers of either the black or white course but here's where it may have been outside the rules, if you faulted an obstacle on your colour course, you could go to the same numbered obstacle on the other coloured course and continue now on that coloured close.

Yin Yang Snooker
Beckett didn't do exactly what I planned, taking the jump of white obstacle 5 when I had planned to do obstacle 6, a tunnel; but I quickly revised that plan and put him in the second part of obstacle five, a tunnel. The rest of the run went as planned. We did the white course as our close. Beckett only needed to get through obstacle 6 to qualify; a good thing as he missed his weave entry, like many of the other dogs. I guess they just had too much speed coming out of the tunnel. And so with that we had finished the day with 2 Q's, his fifth Masters Jumpers and first Masters Snooker. I was glad I had not entered him in  the fifth event of the day as by now it was so hot (and now I mean the temperature) that Beckett ran out of the Snooker ring and to the first shady spot he found, a friend's sun shelter.

So while our Q rate doesn't show it, we had a great trial. Beckett was really hot; both Standards had course time of 60 seconds and Beckett ran each of them in about 45 seconds. Just hope the weather isn't as hot at Regionals in two weeks.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Growing like a Weed

I've had Keltic for a month now, where does the time go. He had his second set of shots this past Sunday and we've made an appointment already for his third set and first rabies shots.  He went to an agility seminar this past weekend just as a spectator and will go to his first agility trial again as a spectator this weekend. Learning to be calm and quiet in your crate is one of his first lessons.

He's grown so much and his features are now more like a puppy than an over-sized hamster. He gained just over a kilogram (2.2 pounds for my American friends) in the last three weeks.

First day at home - 5 May 2012

Look at me now - 5 June 2012
Napping - 5 May 2012

Growing puppies still need to nap - 4 Jun 2012
I'm sure we'll see many more changes in the months ahead. Already looking forward to basic obedience and agility classes over the winter.