Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Tucker

Tucker would have been twelve years old today. Since he was born on Halloween, I always dressed him in costume and I told the little trick or treaters that came to my door that it was his birthday.  The reaction from the littlest ones was priceless, they would tell him "Happy Birthday" and usually run and tell Mom or Dad, "It's the doggie's birthday." I'll miss that this year.

Devil Prince
Tucker's passing still brings me some worries; should I have taken him to the vet, could they have saved him, was he in real discomfort? I think I kind of knew in my heart though that it was his time and wanted to have a few more hours with him; I thought that if I took him the vet's office I might have had to make that last decision and would left the office without him and not had the chance to spend those last few hours with him.

Tucker and big brother Gryffon
I found this poem on line shortly after his passing to the Bridge. I had never seen this one before even though I looked for poems such as this when Ceilidh passed away.  Perhaps my heart did hear the whispers of Tucker's voice. Tucker seemed to have a peaceful passing and even though I was with him, he went without a sound while I was asleep so I didn't actually see him leave on the journey.

While you could not speak the words,
I could hear the whispers of your voice.
Telling me it was time to go,
to celebrate your life and rejoice.

You decided it was time to go and
find your resting ground.
You lay down your tired head and
went without a sound.

In my heart I know you loved me,
as much as I loved you.
I pray you've found the peace,
that's helped to see me through.

I thank you for all the joy in my life 
and the smiles you've brought to me.
May God guide you on your journey and
may your spirit always run free.


Thank you, Tucker, for all the wonderful memories!!

Happy 12th Birthday, Tucker!!

Tucker and Ceilidh

Fly free, Tucker Boo! See you on the other side.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Pumpkins

So the pumpkin I carved tonight is the Grim Reaper. He was a little more difficult than the Creepy Tree, I did last night. I had carved the bottom piece out first and then the next one up from that. I thought the pumpkin was going to come apart as I sawed out the teeth but it turned out alright.

Sandy was a bit of blow here; so far we've only had wind and very little rain. It's supposed to rain tomorrow but I guess the worst is over. I hope everyone who is without power or flooded out of their homes has somewhere warm and dry to stay and that they'll be back home soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stormy Evening

I carved a pumpkin tonight, scroll down to see which one.  I'll do a second one tomorrow night.


Mish Mash Monday

Beckett and Keltic weren't very happy to try on their Halloween costumes but they don't seem to mind the Halloween scarves at all. I guess that's not so embarrassing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beckett gets MAD

Beckett got MAD this weekend, MADC that is. With his third Masters Standard Qualifying score, he got his Masters Agility Dog of Canada title. Now we only need five more Q's for his Agility Trial Champion of Canada title, three Gamblers and two Snookers.  I checked the AAC statistics for Tucker and Beckett last night and it took took over 2.8 years for Tucker to go from his first Q to MADC, it took Beckett about 1.7 years to achieve his MADC.  I know there are dogs who have done this quite a bit faster but given our level of effort, I'm very proud of my Beckett. If he had a more focused, dedicated and fitter handler, I'm sure he would be a world class agility dog.

The weekend started with two Gamblers. The first one, required a send out past a jump to the dog walk. I tried using the jump to flip Beckett out to the dog walk but it didn't work.  There were very few dogs that actually got this Gamble; in fact Beckett with 37 opening points placed second in his jump height. The second Gamble, I thought he had a chance of doing. It was a tunnel, weaves (both nearly on the line), out to another tunnel then finishing with another jump.  I thought Beckett would do the tunnel weaves and probably have difficulty getting out to the second tunnel.  We ran into our difficulty earlier than expected when he popped out of the weaves.

Masters Standard 1
Masters Standard 2

Next up was the two Standard runs of the day. He got his Q in the first run. Right at the beginning of the run, he nearly got hung up in the tire; I heard the tire rattle rather than really seeing it. The next obstacle after the tire was the chute; I was a bit behind him so he turned towards me and did a little spin but I got him straightened out and the rest of the run was really nice.  The run was good enough for second place, he was beaten by a very fast Jack Russell who is, in fact, the number 3 dog in the AAC for Q's this year. Beckett's second Standard was just beautiful. It ran like a Steeplechase, fast and flowing; only one problem, I released him from the dog walk a moment too soon and he missed his contact.  He was the only dog in his height class not to Q but when I looked at the course times, he was not only the second fastest in his height but his time was the fourth fastest of all the Regular dogs.

Next up was our Snooker run, we decided to do only three reds and then do the close rather than trying for the fourth red. The run was going beautifully and we were doing the close when Beckett crashed the double jump. It was the second part of obstacle 5 and we needed obstacle 6 to Q.  This is not the first time Beckett has crashed down onto the second bar of the double; I don't think he sees the width of the jump.  I'm going to be making myself a double jump and will retrain this over the winter with a different command.

Our last run of the day was Team; it was only Beckett's second time in Team.  Right away, I had to wrap a jump and Beckett, who had been wrapping jumps beautifully all day decided now to back jump, then on the A-frame tunnel discrimination, he took the tunnel instead of the frame.  So no chance for our partners to Q but I felt a little better when our partner missed the weave entry. So we still do not have a Team Q to our name but then we've only done two.

So it was quite a good day, although by the number of Q's, you wouldn't know it. We have two more trials this year, I'm hoping another Gamblers Q will be in the cards for us but if not I'm sure we'll have fun.

Now that he can say he's a Master Agility dog, I think Beckett's new nickname for Keltic is "Grasshopper".

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Q that Wasn't

Thanksgiving Sunday, saw us at Train-R-Paws for an agility trial.  I hadn't realized it was Thanksgiving that weekend when I registered for the trial but it turned out to be a nice long weekend just the same, after all what better way to spend the day.

It was a very nice autumn day although it was very cold in the morning and when the sun went behind the clouds. It was a jackets on, jackets off kind of day. It was the first time I had been to Train-R-Paws and I was surprised how close it actually is to my place, only about 40 minutes.  I can see that it could very hot and buggy during the summer though, the field is cut out of the woods and the woods are quite thick right up to the field so there's no really good areas to set up in the trees for shade.

Our sunshade and crates

Beckett didn't have a great day. He had a number of refusals when I tried to rear cross; something that we definitely need to work on but when I saw the course map for the second Gamblers I knew it was one that he could do. It was very much like the Advanced Gamblers courses that he had Q'd in.

We started with trying one of the mini's and Beckett knocked the last bar. Then when I called him to me, he knocked the next bar; it was the 4 point obstacle.  I went on to complete my opening and was just about to send him into the tunnel once again when the buzzer went. I used the double jump to bring him around to the first obstacle of the Gamble, a jump, then it was tunnel, dog walk and tire. Beckett gave me a little lip after the jump but did the rest of the Gamble beautifully. I didn't think with the knocked bars that we had enough points but when I went to pick up my score sheet, I didn't see the 5 points for the weaves.

I went and asked the judge if she remembered if Beckett had popped his weaves and she said he had slipped a weave. I couldn't argue with that as I don't always watch him when he's in the weaves as he's usually very consistent but on that day, he had almost come out of the weaves a couple of times and I hadn't yet seen this video.

Turn up your volume and tell me that you can't hear the judge call "5" after the weaves.

I add up his score sheet as having 23 points; with the weaves, he would have had 28. The minimum number you need to qualify.

I guess in a way it's Kismet. Ceilidh had a Masters Jumpers Q with a 5 fault run, a knocked bar that somehow didn't get recorded and now Beckett loses out on a Q for lack of 5 points that he did do.  But why couldn't it have happened on any other game but Gamblers since we struggle so hard to get them. Oh well, thems the breaks! We did come home with his 12th Steeplechase Q.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just a Walk in the Park

On Thanksgiving Monday, I had my sister, brother-in-law and one of my neighbours over for dinner so I didn't want to make my day too hectic. After getting the potatoes done for the stuffing and having our breakfast, I took the dogs over to the park. It was a sunny bright morning, the first one we've had with real frost.

 I think the leaves are at their peak right now. I wish the fall season would last a little longer. It's my favourite season but already the leaves are falling.

This time at the park I even managed to get a few good pictures of the dogs. I'm not sure what they're looking at in the pictures. I wasn't snapping my fingers or holding out treats so it's amazing to me that I got a few with them looking in the same direction.

The one on the play structure is my favourite. I tried to get them both in front of the slide but Keltic moved and Beckett laid down but the shot worked out just fine.  Keltic then came down the stairs to get off the structure but Beckett came down the slide. Keltic then tried twice to go back up on the slide. It didn't work too well.

Then it was home to continue my preparations for dinner. Once the turkey was in the oven, the vegetables all prepped and the table set, I made a relaxing day of it.

Once again, I'm thankful for all that I have.  Friends and family with whom I can spend time and who I can call upon when I need a little help.  The resources to do things I enjoy such as playing agility with my dogs and doing a little travelling.

Thanksgiving leftovers
Nothing better than leftovers, the flavours always seem just a little bit better. Tomorrow, hot turkey sandwiches and french fries.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mish Mash Monday

Beckett and Keltic - 7 Oct 2012
Happy Thanksgiving to Eberyone 
with luv from Beckett and Keltic

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Belated National Taco Day

Hi eberyone, is me Beckett.  Today for dinner, Mums let us have sumptin special, a Taco salad.  It was National Taco Day on 4 Oct but my little brudda, Keltic has his bedience classes that night so Mums didn't have time to make them. Weese heard about National Taco Day from Reilly and his brudda Denny over at Cowspot DogMitch and Molly also joined in and dey had tacos on real plates. Mums thought we'd be too messy.

Mums let us have real hamburger and sour cream in our salad, just a little bit. The sour cream was my favor-right bit, I ate it all up in one bite. I didn't much like the taco part but Keltic did; that boy will eat anything.

Here's a close up of our salad.  It had tomatoes, olives and lettuce in it too, underneath was our regular kibble. 

Mums had tacos for her supper too. She had hers wid a beer; she said that was the ony thing to have with tacos. I dunno why, I think it smells funky.

I hopes weese gets a taco salad more often.

Bye for now, luv, Beckett.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Future Agility Star

The future is now. Today a young man, 16 year old Spencer and his dog Peak took on the world and they did us proud. Their agility run was good enough for 5th place but this was the Team Agility run so there was no podium finish for Spencer. Maybe in the individual rounds coming up tomorrow and Sunday.

Spencer and Gibson
Spencer and Peak

Spencer has been training for years. I first saw him run when he was about 9 or 10, then he was running his mother's dog Gibson, a golden retriever as a junior handler. He had it as his goal to go to a World Championship even back then.  He got Peak nearly 5 years ago and they have been training for this day ever since.

There certainly is a bright future for Spencer and Peak with runs like this.

The video is public so I sure hope the link works and you can see the run. Spencer and Peak are the second dog and handler in the video.

Monday, October 1, 2012