Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friday the 13th

For most people, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day but it turned out to be a very lucky day for us at the agility trial we did that weekend. I took the Friday off as they have have Steeplechase and Team on the Friday. Beckett needed two Team Q's for his Expert Bronze Team so we entered all four runs and you might as well as they give you a nice discount for entering all four.

We got there early as I wasn't sure about the traffic on a workday and I didn't want to get stuck getting across town. Beckett was first up in two Steeplechase runs, he Q'd in both. Then it was Keltic's turn to run Steeplechase, they would be his only two runs of the day. In his first run there were two sets of weaves, we tried three times at the first set and then when on, the second time through, he did do the weaves. In his next Steeplechase there was only one set of weaves and after a couple attempts, he did them. He didn't Q but I was happy that he had done two sets of 12 weaves.

Next up was Beckett's team events, our partner was another Sheltie named Toe and his handler Jack. Beckett ran the circles side in all four team runs.  In the first run, both dogs were smoking fast and clean, a really nice Q. I think we were nearly 30 seconds under the course time and were the fastest team in the event. In the second run, Toe took down two bars and had a refusal, you can only have a maximum of 5 faults to Q and even then you have to be under time by at least 5 seconds but we had two more runs to get that last Q. We did it on the very next run, again both dogs were clean, another Q and for Beckett the title of Expert Bronze Team, that's 10 Q's.  We didn't Q in the last run as Jack asked me if it mattered since he wanted to try out a move with Toe, the move almost worked but not quite resulting in a off course.

Team Relay 1

Team Relay 3

So Friday the 13th, Beckett got 4 Q's and actually was clean in all 6 of his runs. Keltic did two sets of weaves even though he didn't Q it was an improvement.

We headed home for dinner and bed as we were back on Saturday. On Saturday, Keltic had two Advanced Standards and two Advanced Gambles and Beckett had two Master Standards. Keltic was up first with the two Standards, he didn't Q but in his first run, he did get the entry and did stay in the weaves. We only had 5 course faults and 4.92 time faults; I had to make him sit twice as he wasn't listening so that's why were were over time but he ran well. Next up was Gamblers, he needed one of them for his Advanced Games Dog title. I wasn't sure we would get them but they were both doable. And what do you know he got not just one but both of them.

Advanced Gamble 1

Advanced Gamble 2

Keltic - Advanced Games Dog of Canada

Beckett was up next for two Standard runs. He faulted in the first run but had a very nice Q in the second run.  That was number 20, he needs five more his Silver Award of Merit which is given for 25 Master Standard Qs and 50 Master Games Q's ( we already have all the Games Q's we need).

So all in all it was a very lucky weekend indeed, two titles and 7 Q's.  Next weekend is our Regional Agility Championships, hope we will still be that lucky.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Flower Friday

My bleeding heart (dangling heart), this is something I planted. I think it loves this location. It's at it peak right now; it gets kind of tired looking after the summer heat gets to it.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart
 I'm not much of a gardener, I've dug up a lot of what the previous owner put in. He had beautiful flower beds all nicely trenched. I filled those trenches in so the yard was easier to mow. Now I have these violets all over the place. They are very invasive; it wouldn't be bad but they die away to nothing and in the spring the areas where they grow are just mud.



If you want to see some other flowers hop over to:

Hailey and Zaphod's;

Molly and Mackie's and

Dory's Backyard

I hope to go back to the cemetery this weekend as the tulips should be perfect.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Día de Muertos

On my work trips to Washington DC, one of the places I have always wanted to visit (haven't gotten there yet though) is Arlington Cemetery. But recently I have been thinking that I live near our National Cemetery and I hadn't even gone there yet.

So this past weekend and prompted by an article about Beechwood Cemetery that came up on my Facebook news feed, the dogs and I went for a walk to honour the dead. Beechwood is a very large non-denominational cemetery that also is the home to Canadian Forces National Cemetery and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cemetery.

It was cold with some rain showers so rather than making it a long walk, I drove to the far end and then did a number of short walks, driving the car back down to the entrance I had used.

Beechwood Chapel

View of the older part of the cemetery
The RCMP Cemetery and the Canadian Forces Cemetery are far more orderly in the placement of their headstones. There was a sign at the Canadian Forces cemetery that you could not leave flowers or other remembrances but I saw stones that had things left. I guess that's hard to control.

Entrance of the RCMP Cemetery

RCMP Headstones

Entrance to the Military National Cemetery

Looking Back towards the entrance

Military Headstones

Another sector of the Canadian Forces Cemetery
I sort of enjoy walking through a cemetery to look at the headstones, to see how old the people were and to see what members of the family were laid to rest together. In the military and RCMP cemeteries, however I didn't feel like I should break those ranks. I stayed to the walkways and along the outside. I have walked through a war cemetery in Holland and it was so sobering to see the ages of all those young men.

At Beechwood, there were many statues , gazebos, arbours and even the pagoda in the Chinese part of the cemetery. I found that funny, there are areas of the cemetery for various faiths and ethnicities, Polish, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese, even in death we divide people or because we still want to be with our own. Whatever our own is?

As a retired military member I can be buried in the National Cemetery for the Canadian Forces. I guess someday I'll have to decide if that's what I would like.

It was rather cold this past weekend and the flowers were not yet in bloom so maybe we'll have to go back some other weekend to honour the dead to see the cemetery in full bloom and all green. I did find a cute stone that would work for Keltic, perhaps I could get one for the front yard. There might be other unique stones or memorials to discover.