Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Capital Adventure

Every day on my bus ride to work we cross over a bridge and from the bus windows I can see the Ottawa River Pathway, a biking and walking trail that goes along the shore of the Ottawa River.  For years now I been meaning to bring the dogs down for a walk along this pathway. Well we finally did it. I tried last weekend, even got all the way down town but it was raining by the time we got there so we just headed back home. This weekend it was hot and sunny so I decided in the morning was a good time to go. We were downtown by 9:20 am but still there was already lots of people cycling, running and walking on the pathway.

Near the start of our walk

First we walked over to the Navy monument, erected for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy. Always thought I was missing something seeing it from the bus but there wasn't all that much to see on the other side either.

Navy Monument
I think it's supposed to represent the prow of a ship. The battles that Navy has participated in are etched on this side but they're pretty hard to see, impossible in this picture. So after a short stop here we backtracked a bit and headed towards the Rideau Canal locks.

Parliamentary Library
Keltic was pulling all the way and diving into the underbrush every time he heard or saw a chipmunk. They were pretty brazen so it happened a lot. He certainly kept Beckett and I moving at a good place. We had to be careful of cyclists, most will let you know when they are passing but some just whiz on by and you don't even hear them until they are right there. Thankfully Keltic seems to have decided he doesn't need to chase bike, roller blades, now that's another story.

Museum of Civilisation

Major's Hill Park
Anyway we made it down to the locks, here we took a short break to sit in the shade and pose for a few pictures on the big red chairs. Silly Mummy didn't even bring any money so I couldn't even get us a treat to share.

Canal winches

Cross for those who died building the canal
The Rideau locks bring boats up from the Ottawa River and into the Rideau Canal, down from the canal too. Today when we were there,  they were lifting some boaters up to the canal, we didn't walk up to see them but it's pretty neat to watch if you've never seen how a lock system works.

On the Rideau lock

The canal with the big red chairs (see them?)

Beckett and Keltic enjoying the view.
After taking a break at the canal, we headed back as the parking spot I had was only for two hours. I needn't have worried as there was only one other car there when I got back but you never know when you might get a ticket.

Looking up towards the canal and downtown Ottawa.
On the way back we took couple short breaks, one time this chipmunk came right up over the bank nearly running into Keltic. Boy, did he every scurry back down, Keltic tried to go over the edge too. Good thing for strong leashes.

Victoria Island and Place du Portage
We didn't go to Victoria Island on this trip. There's a land claim by the Algonquin Indians over the island, they have teepees and  a stockade built, I'm not sure if they try to keep people off. Today there didn't seem to be anyone around.
The Place du Portage Complex is actually four interconnected buildings, the building with Canada written on it (you might have to make it bigger). I work behind and across the street from this complex. There are thousands of federal government employees working in the complex. I have friends that work in the complex and unless we make plans to meet, I've hardly ever run into them.  

We made it back to the car in plenty of time before the two hours was up. And on our way back I discovered that there is a white water kayak course in Ottawa, who knew, well at least I didn't.

Kayak course
So that was our capital adventure for this weekend. I'll have to see if I can discover other free places to park and discover more of the capital with the boys.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How did that happen??

In 2009,  I saw the above picture on the internet. I had been looking for a sable sheltie puppy but when I saw this puppy, I e-mailed my niece and asked what she thought.  I didn't really even wait for her reply but e-mailed the breeder to see about getting him. We made arrangements and I sent off a deposit; the breeder also agreed to keep him until the Saturday of  Labour Day weekend.

The puppy was in Oshawa about a four hour drive from Ottawa. My Dad was visiting that weekend and my youngest sister was living in Kingston about the halfway point so we got in the car and went to Kingston where I dropped off my Dad along with Ceilidh and Tucker. After a short break I was back on the road to Oshawa where I picked up my new puppy, pretty sure I already had his call name picked out.

Beckett meeting Ceilidh and Tucker
We stayed over night in Kingston then my Dad, Ceilidh, Tucker, baby Beckett and I headed home. Monday, my Dad and I took the dogs to the park across the street, another woman was there with her two shelties, one only 8 months old. I made the mistake of letting Beckett play fetch and during the game he screamed and came back yelping and whining and not using his back leg.  We went home and I made the decision to go the emergency hospital, five hours on a holiday Monday waiting to see the vet.  They sent us home saying the leg was just dislocated but a recheck the following week determined that it was broken, but a clean break. The leg had to be splinted and the splint ended up staying on for about 6 weeks. Luckily for me a friend was able to take him to work so I would leave in the morning and she would come by and get him and drop him off again after I was home from work.

Not an auspicious start, I even waited to tell the breeder what happened. Despite the start, Beckett grew up healthy and happy.  He loves his Frisbee and balls. He has been a fantastic agility partner.

The years have passed by so quickly, I can't believe that he is old enough now to be a veteran dog in the Agility Association of Canada.

We had a low key birthday, no cake but a big cookie and some new toys, treats and collar.

The birthday pressies

Hamming it up for the camera

The cookie!

Happy Birthday, Beck boy!!! I hope there are many more.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eastern Ontario Regional Agility Championships

This past weekend we went to the AAC Eastern Ontario Regional Championships. I entered both Beckett and Keltic. We didn't go to last years as the Regional Championships are also the qualifier for Nationals and since Nationals were being held out in western Canada, too far to drive; I decided to give Regionals a pass too. I entered Keltic this year as he was 4 in March by the same age Beckett had already been to two Regional events.  I wasn't too sure that Keltic was ready.

We arrived Thursday afternoon and got our shade tent all set up before heading to check in at our hotel.  After feeding the boys, we went out to dinner at an excellent Indian restaurant.  If you are ever in Kingston Ontario, check out Saber's Taste of India.

The next day was the sanctioned events, which are separate from the regional championship. I had entered Beckett in Steeplechase and Standard, and Keltic in Master Jumpers and Master Snooker.  When I took Beckett out of his crate I noticed he was limping; he seemed to walk it off but I didn't want to take any chances and I withdrew him from his events. That left me with only Keltic to run, I momentarily forgot the Jumpers course so we kind of crashed and burned there, then in Snooker I tried to get him to weave which Keltic didn't want to do, so I tried to go on to the next red jump but Keltic wanted to do the tunnel. Tweet went the judge's whistle and we were done, three obstacles and only one point. Needless to say I was very disappointed with the first day and worried about the championships.

That night I gave Beckett some warm massages and he seemed to be somewhat better. I decided that we would go event by event and if he was noticeably limping I would withdraw him from the championships.  Our first event the next day was a Standard, Beckett ran clean although we had some spinning that was luckily done outside of the refusal zones.  I watched Beckett as he walked toward me after the run and I didn't notice any limping. Keltic managed to get through the run with only 10 faults for two refusals. Amazingly, when I sent him into the weaves the second time, he got in an stayed in. I was very happy with that run.

Next up was Gamblers, Beckett had a 35 point opening and if he hadn't argued so much about the tunnel (obstacle 2 of the gamble) and the jump (obstacle 3 of the gamble), he would have gotten the main gamble as he was on the dog walk when the buzzer sounded. Keltic got a 31 point opening but wouldn't go out at all to obstacle 3.

Our last run on the Saturday was Jumpers, Beckett was clean and yet again Keltic amazed me by only getting two refusals, mostly because I couldn't keep up.

Time out chair- we really didn't need it.

When they posted Saturday's results I was very happy to see that Beckett was sitting in third place overall but was flabbergasted to see Keltic sitting in 6th place overall and that he had gotten sixth place in that Gamblers event just based on points. Beckett didn't show any signs of limping but I still gave him another warm massage back at the hotel. Cryopaks are now part of our agility bag.  We had Greek take-out on Saturday night and ate out on the back patio at the hotel that was nice as we could have a drink and not worry about driving.

On Sunday, the weather was nasty. It poured rain in the morning. I was lucky to get the dogs out for their morning business and to get the car packed up before it really poured. We did our general walk through and first event in the rain.  We had Gamblers first, the weaves were the distance obstacle, I knew neither would get that so we concentrated on opening points. Beckett was spinny and refused nearly every tunnel, luckily in gamblers you are just wasting time. Keltic was better and beat Beckett by two points.

Next up was our second Jumpers, Beckett was clean. he was running well and I was able to rear-cross without  him spinning on me. Keltic had two refusals, one because again I couldn't keep up and the other due to his inexperience. I did the same rear cross between jump 15 and 16 and where Beckett saw jump 17, Keltic read the rear cross all right but came by the jump without taking it.

Last event was Standard, Beckett only needed 38 points to qualifying for Nationals but for the aggregate results he would have to have a nice run as everyone in the top 4 was pretty close. We didn't have a stellar run getting 3 refusals for 15 faults which gave us 85 points for the run.  Keltic managed to get his weave entry but popped the weaves, he went in the second time and stayed in, he finished the run with only 5 faults, getting 95 points, again beating Beckett.. He had needed about 75 to qualify for Nationals.

4th place for Beckett and receiving Keltic's National Qualifier ribbon
I was really happy with our results overall, although a little disappointed with the Beckett's last Standard run; I changed my plan from what I had walked and I'm sure that threw us off our game. Beckett placed in 5 of 6 events and got 4th place for 10" Specials, he had gotten 5th place in 16" Regulars in 2014 so we moved up just a little.  Keltic had not only qualified for Nationals but had placed in 3 of 6 events; not bad considering I had only entered him for the experience.