Monday, June 24, 2013

Sandbanks Weekend

This past weekend we went camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park; it's about a 3 hour drive away.  It was the first time I had been to this park. You have to book well in advance, we booked in January to get these dates.

The weather forecast wasn't promising, we even thought about what we would do if was raining the day we were to leave but Friday was a beautiful day so we took a chance that weekend would be fine and headed out.

On our arrival, we went to our camp site and got set up. My site wasn't too private but it worked out all right. There was a nice couple across the way so no kids right beside us to get Beckett and Keltic barking.

Our Sandbanks home.
After setting up we went to one of the dog beaches. This one was in walking distance of our campsite.  It was quite crowded with people and their dogs so no chance of a game of Frisbee here for Beckett and Keltic certainly wasn't getting off leash. After our walk it was time for dinner and then for our first campfire of the weekend. The best thing about camping is just taking your time to do the things you want, no schedule, no rush.

The next morning after a nice breakfast, we headed out to find the farm that an another agility enthusiast and her husband recently bought. They aren't living there yet but hope to by the end of the year so right now it is probably the world's largest private dog park. Here Beckett got to play Frisbee and Keltic was allowed to roam freely.

A game of Frisbee

A view of one of the many fields

A little refreshment

Taking a break

Playing in the meadow

Afterwards we went to the other dog beach, this one was a little more remote from the campgrounds so there were not nearly as many people.  Here would have been a good place to take the dogs swimming had it been a little later in the summer or had spring been a little warmer but we just walked along the beach. Again Beckett got to play Frisbee but a Frisbee covered with sand isn't as much fun.

Beckett on the beach

Lake Ontario

I think someone has treats!
We got back in time to have a little lunch before we got some afternoon rain but that was okay as the plan for the afternoon was relaxation including taking a nap. The dogs were pretty tired after a long morning, Beckett crashed in the tent for a nice long nap even Keltic was less busy. I played Mahjong, read a bit and napped as well. The rain let up in time to have supper and to have a nice evening around the campfire.   It started to rain sometime after 10:30 and boy did it pour.  I worried about having to take things down in the rain let alone wet but we were lucky and at about 7:40 am the rain stopped and the sun came out. I got up and had a leisurely breakfast and slowly packed things up. Most of my stuff was fairly dry before it was packed away.

We took the scenic route home by way of the Glenora ferry, then by way of a route that followed the shore line of Lake Ontario. It was very pretty drive.

Glenora Ferry
On the boat

The boys

The crossing

We got home a little after supper time, got the car unpacked and the dogs fed before relaxing for the evening.  Today, Monday is a holiday in Quebec so I have the day off, bonus. Only two days at work this week then we head off for the Canada Cup. The camping gear is out of the car and the agility gear is back in the car ready for next weekend. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Agility Dog?

Keltic had his agility debut at a local fun league called K9 Kup.  The K9 Kup is a team event. This year there are 8 teams of up to 10 dogs. Four times over the summer and early fall on a Sunday, there is a K9 Kup event. Three courses are set up, a Standard and two games. Every dog runs all of the courses but only the best four runs of the team counts for points towards placements.  If your team places, all the dogs on the team get a ribbon not just the top four.

The team Keltic is on is called Sibe's Tribe. It is made up of Keltic, a Keeshund, two Australian Shepherds and  6 Siberian Huskies.

Out in the rain!

It poured rain on Sunday so we were soaked by the time the event was over. Nearly had to swim the last course; at least now I know Keltic will run in the rain.

Proud boy!

Keltic's team got first place in Division 2 in the Gambler's event probably not due to Keltic's performance but he sure had a good time.  We don't know how we did in the other events as it was raining so hard, they decided they would wait until the next K9 Kup to make the presentations.

So we're not sure if Keltic is really an agility dog yet but he sure did have fun. Haven't quite made up my mind yet but I'm pretty sure now that he will run as a 10" Special so he'd better be 16" or under.

The next K9 Kup is in July, sure hope the weather is a little better.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Guess who's Four!

I can't believe it but Beckett is four today. It only seems like yesterday that I brought him home.

Happy Birthday, Beckett. May you have many many more happy days and birthdays!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Eastern Ontario Agility Regionals

What didn't happen this past weekend. We had rain and more rain, a fire in one of the barns on the venue grounds, a drunk guy barking at the dogs and racing around on his bicycle who had to be taken away by police but for all that we had a really good agility weekend.

Awards tent

I arrived on Thursday afternoon and checked into my hotel, my roommate had to pull her dog due to injury but that turned out okay as Beckett enjoyed having his own bed.  After dinner, I went down to the Regional's site and helped set up the ring fences and selected spots for our shade tents. It was pouring rain so I didn't bother to set up just staked out tarps. I was soaked when I got back to the hotel. Thankfully, I packed my rubber boots.

Friday morning, I went down to set up my screen tent and get ready for the afternoon's sanctioned agility trial. We hadn't entered the warm-up events so after we were all set up we headed off for a quick bite to eat.  I entered all four events that afternoon, Standard, Gamblers, Jumpers and Steeplechase. We got a Q in Steeplechase, Beckett's 14th, only 11 more to go for his Expert Bronze Steeplechase title.  The highlight and a bit a disappointment for the day was Gamblers.

Our opening was a serpentine using the single jump to the tire and the spread jump to the a-frame, then on to the four point jump and the tunnel, back to the four point to the single jumps and then to the weaves followed by the teeter followed by another set of weaves. The opening went really nice.  At the main Gamble, I waited for Beckett to settle before starting and he did obstacle 1, 2 and 3 beautifully. I then waited for Beckett to settle again and sent him out to four again he went and did four and five without hesitation. I asked if the closing gamble buzzer was set for mini Regular dogs but no one was sure. There were no double scribe sheets and I left for the day before the results were posted, hoping that we had got the gamble in time as that would have been Beckett's Master Gamblers title and his ATChC.  But it turned out, we were nearly 2 seconds over time. I probably shouldn't have taken so much time to settle him for obstacle one since I would have been able to move along with him for the tunnel. It was disappointing but we'll get that last Q soon, I'm sure.

View of the rings

Saturday, and the start of the Regional agility championship, it was still cloudy and we had some drizzle on and off but not like the heavy drizzle we had had on Friday but the grounds were already soaked and many places had standing water. First, up was our Standard run, Beckett got 25 faults for a refusal and an off-course both at the same spot. It was a turn out to tunnel off the dog walk, a move he's done many a time. He turned all right but then spun, got the refusal for the tunnel, put his feet back on the dog walk and got the off-course before he finally took the tunnel. The rest of the run was nice, although I did sit him after the tunnel to calm him down. All that and we were still under time. Our next run was Gamblers, the opening didn't quite go as planned and we only got 24 opening points.

I started the main gamble down the line towards obstacle four and sent Beckett to the tunnel, he did obstacle four. I tried again to send him to the tunnel and this time he went, amazingly he stayed out and did obstacle two, the jump, and even more amazingly went right back out and did obstacle 3 but the buzzer went as he was coming out of the tunnel.  Perhaps if I had not been so far down the gamble line he might not have taken  the jump and we would have gotten the gamble in time. Our last event for the day was a Jumpers, Beckett knocked a bar for 5 faults.

So we ended the day a little disappointed as I knew we would have to do better on Sunday or we would not even qualify.

Sunday, we had sun, a few clouds and nice breeze, great agility weather as in the shade it was nice and cool so the dogs didn't have to be out in the heat all day. This day started for us with the second Jumpers round. Beckett had a great run with only 5 faults caused by a front cross that was a little late. Our second event was a Gamblers, we planned an opening that would give us a minimum of 30 points.

I set him up on the line trying to get him out to the tunnel and jump mini but Beckett chose to do the dog walk, that was okay, we just carried on with our plan from there. We did the tunnel, weaves, tire, back to the weaves, the two jumps, then the four point jump twice, followed by the single jump that is part of the mini gamble to the a-frame, followed by the two single jumps. I was just about to put Beckett back on the A-frame when the buzzer went. Using the 4 point jump, I turned him on to the teeter, then once he had touched the contact, gave him his release and started yelling "Go, Go, Go". He did both jumps, came back to me for the tunnel and did the last jump without hesitation. So we got our opening points, the 35 point bonus, as well as a time bonus for a total of 75.37 points. Now, I knew that we could have a less than perfect Standard and still qualify for Nationals; you need 350 points. And our Standard was less than perfect, a fly-off on the teeter, lucky it didn't happen in the Gamble, two knocked bars and a refusal for a total of 25 faults.

Beckett with his Qualifiers ribbon and 5th place individual event ribbon
So all in all we had a great Regionals weekend, although we didn't achieve my personal goal which was to improve on his score from last year. Last year he had 411.68 points and he finished 7th out of 12 dogs, this year he only had 389.37 points but he finished 8th out of 18 dogs.  Last year, he was only 6 points out of 6th place; this year, he was 78 points out of 6th place.  I'm not too concerned with the placement but would have liked to see an improvement in our score. But on the other hand, I'm very happy about his Gamblers, we've been working on sending out from the line and layering and it appears to have paid off as Beckett got all three Gamblers this weekend, even if he was over time on two of them.

We also had the added bonus of meeting Beckett's sister Hannah. Can't say they were overly excited to see each other but there was a little sniffing.

Hannah and Beckett

Now we have next year to look forward to as Nationals are to be out east so we will plan on going for sure.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mish Mash Monday

This is Beckett with his litter sister Hannah at the Eastern Ontario Regionals. I recently found out through Facebook that a friend of one of my friends had his sister. In fact, she sent me some pictures of Beckett at 4 1/2 weeks old. She and her niece both considered picking him, I'm sure glad they didn't.

It wasn't a wild "oh I'm so glad to see you" reunion between these two; it was more like the kiss between Luke and Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mish Mash Monday

Judy with her great great nephew Adrian

Stain glass wind turner that Judy made for me.

Picture does not capture how pretty it is.
My Aunt Judy was in Ottawa for a conference and decided that she could not be in Ottawa and not spend a little extra time to visit with us. We figured out that it had been 26 years since we had last seen each other; a shame that can you go so long without visiting with family. It was certainly nice to see her.