Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Showing a shepherd is HARD

Last weekend we went to our last UKC show for the year.   I had 3 dogs entered, Peace, Wash and Bentley. My plan was just to see how Bents did, how well we could work together, get a few lessons from others on showing a shepherd.  For the corgis, I was hoping Wash would beat Peace since we rarely have any cardigan competition.  Well, as usual my plans go awry, but not necessarily badly.

Wash only beat Peace in the last show, so he ended the weekend with one competition win one BOB and a group 4 (out of 4).  Peace ended with 3 BOB, 2 Group 4's and one group 3. Saturday in show 1 Bentley and I did pretty well, no win but a good experience.  In show 2 she had a bit of an issue, she would not let the judge touch her at all.  I debated bringing her back on Sunday, but she seemed OK otherwise, so we went back to try to get better.

Sunday show 1 was almost like a dream.  Bentley and I were in the champions class, which was the biggest class of shepherds. I was shocked when the judge, Richard Beauchamp, made his cut and we were selected. He then really made us work, he paired us up and had us go around, and around.  I think I almost fell over when he pulled us out and put us up front!  Wow, Bents and I earned her second champion class win. I was a bit surprised, I think there were a few tears too. I don't remember much of the Grand class, but next thing I knew it was time to go in for breed. To say I was surprised to win breed is a complete understatement. I know I was totally tickled.

Then I had to make a decision, I had 2 dogs to go into group!  I asked Tracie if she would like to take Bentley, I thought they would have a bit more of a chance to show well. But no, she thought I should take Bentley and she would take Peace. It really was kind of funny Bentley kept looking at her, and Peace kept looking at me.  The end result, Peace group 3 with Tracie and Bents group 1.  Show 2 nothing for Bentley, but her father Atlas went on to win his last Best in Show as this was his retirement weekend.

I knew it was going to be different, I just didn't realize how different!  And although I tried hard, in most of the pictures I look foolish, off balance and terrified. And I was, but it was worth it and really rather fun.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Welcome Home Bentley!

 Eclipse's Drive for Excellence

Welcome Home Bentley!

Bentley is a 20 month old German Shepherd Dog.  I am so excited to have added her to our family.  I am hoping that in time she will become my next performance dog.  She is a UKC Champion and has already earned her URO1 at about 7 months of age.  

We plan on trying to earn her Grand Championship and to start working on some obedience and agility training.  Next weekend she will be taking me into the GSD ring.  Might be pretty interesting!
So far she has expressed a strong desire to be Darryl's dog though, so maybe he will be learning agility after all!

Thank you so much to Tracie, Tim and Donna for letting her come to our house.  I have a feeling she will he a bit spoiled, but very well loved.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wash's First Point

I was really nervous yesterday thinking about today's show, but Wash handled it pretty well.  BOW and BOS his first time out for one point.  Nice job little man.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

8 for 8!

It's been quite a while since I have been able to make a report quite this nice.  Last weekend Magic and I did some UKC rally on Saturday and CPE agility on Sunday. In Rally, we were able to qualify in both classes in both trials. We scored 98's in rally 3 and perfect 100's in level 2.  Then on Sunday we went and played agility.  I do think that this was a first for us, as we qualified in all 4 runs with a first place in each of them, and picked up one of the level 2 titles, CL-2F.  Sunday was pretty nice, it felt like we had started to come together as a team. Loved that.

Monday, October 29, 2012

UKC Gateway

Well those 4 days just flew by. We had some ups and some downs, but overall it was quite a weekend. Magic and I worked pretty hard, and we managed to pick up the last 3 legs needed for his UACHX.   We ran 18 runs of agility, 6 rally runs and he played in the altered conformation ring for fun as well.  Peace was entered in 7 conformation shows where she took breed twice.

We also will be adding a new family member to the Daybreake crew. Bentley, an 18 month old GSD will be coming to live with us in the near future.  I'm pretty excited as I loved this girl when I saw her pictures in the whelping box.  I'm not sure what it was about her that drew me, but it wasn't to be. At the time I had 5 dogs and that is my city allowed permit limit.  Recently her breeder got her back, a very sad case of neglect, thin and wounded.  She has made a huge recovery already, and although I never would have traded Graces life for her, I feel this push inside that tells me that she would be pleased.

Hopefully she will be joining us and I will have pictures before too long!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Missing you, Grace

Grace passed away on 10.2.12  I had been dealing pretty well with her megaesophagus, for the last year.   Sadly though, we never were able to completely pinpoint what else was actually wrong with her.  The underlying condition that caused the mega.  We had been to an agility trial and conformation show the weekend before where she was her normal sassy funny self. She showed like the pro she was in conformation, smiling and wagging her tail the whole time. She ran agility and sassed and played and generally was wonderful, heck she even weaved that weekend.  But about a week later she crashed, where she ultimately went into organ failure so we helped her cross the bridge. To the end though, she was Grace, talkative and bossy, and she crossed the bridge while I held her and told her how much I loved her and asked her to come back to me someday.

Grace helped me become a better person and a better trainer, teaching me patience and persistence, she helped me learn how to live life with joy, she would take anyone and show them the ropes in conformation and helping them forget all about ring nerves with her bossy silliness.   She was a good mother to her children, as well as a good surrogate to all the guests we had. She was a special girl who's time was all too short.

Ch. Cardiridge State of Grace RA
UWP, AG1, URO1, UCD CH Cardiridge State of Grace - UKC's only Cardigan Super Dog
also titled in Teacup agility and APDT rally.

Dam to GCH CH Daybreake's Peaceful Dreams, CH Daybreake's Daydream Believer, Daybreakes Mariners Dream NW1, as well as Talie, Griffin, Timmy and Merlin beloved pets.

I miss you every day Pumpkin.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hope Day Festival

Today as part of the Mn Mixed Breed Club Magic Wash and I went to the Hope Day Festival at the U of MN.  The group of us gave several demos of obedience and agility for the kids and their families. But more importantly the corgis got to do what they do best, give love and affection to others.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Keeping BUSY!

I haven't been posting much but I have been rather busy lately.  Wash is taking to his classes fabulously. In fact Wash takes to everything fabulously.  This weekend we had several firsts including staying in a hotel, riding in an elevator, crossing a footbridge, and peering over the side, and hunting crickets.

Magic Wash and I traveled to Ixiona WI with our friend Tracie and her GSD's to play at a UKC agility trial.  Wash handled the hanging out and meeting new dogs very well.  Magic and I ran 12 runs of agility.  4 AG1 runs, 4 Q's (200 3rd, 200 3rd, 199 4th, 198 No placement) 4 AG2 runs 4 Q's (198 3rd, 199 4th, 200 3rd, 200 1st) and AG3 (NQ, 200 3rd, 198 4th, NQ).  It was our first time running AG3 and it was fun, but I made some mistakes. In AG3 there are portions of the course where the judge tells you you have to handle from a certain side, and while we were able to do that it made me a little nervous I think which might explain why I had some brain farts in planning my paths.

Overall Magic and I lost most of our points at the teeter, it was a really lightweight aluminum one and the bounce was awful, he went off the side.  I'm not sure how to train for that, since I don't really have access to a teeter like that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Goofy Puppy

You really didn't see that!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Meet Wash!

Meet the new member of the clan. This is Wash. Welcome little man.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UKC Premier

What a busy weekend it was at Premier!  The weather was hot and dry except for a brief drizzle one morning.  Peace was BOB all 4 days, she made her qualifying weight pull and earned a total dog for the second year in a row.  She was pulled out in a couple of the groups, but not placed at all. However, she showed pretty well, gaiting very nicely on a loose leash for the first time ever.  

Magic and I finished his UROG and UACH titles.  I wasnt sure were going to get either one since by Saturday I was so tired and heat affected that I was making major mistakes, but in the end we pulled them both off.  Magic as usual was a wonderful boy.

The best part of the trip though was being able to share and spend time with others. Christi and Maggie, Connie and Burnie, Marsha and the paps, Denise and Al, Barb and Siri, Carol, Tracie and Donna and Jennifer. It was wonderful to see so many old friends and be able to cheer on thier successes.  It was also great to meet new and renew aquaintances from last year.  Thank you to everyone - time with you all made the weekend that much more special.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Premier Day 1

I am very happy with our first day of the UKC Premier. Peace won breed in the Top Ten competition, and was pulled in the cut in the semi finals.  We didn't advance, but that was OK, there were some really nice dogs in our group.  Unfortunately while we were in that ring, the Rally All Star ring was waiting for Magic, so as soon as we were done, I swapped dogs and ran in to run him in rally. He scored OK, but he was just kind of not with me, so we were not in the placings, but thats OK.  We had 3 very nice agility runs though, and one NQ where for some reason, Magic is getting spooked by the tire whenever we run outside late in the day.  It happened a couple of weeks ago and again today.  I think maybe its the shadow, but its something to work on. 

Tomorrow we have more agility rally and Peace has weight pull. While we are having a good time, I got the news that Gracie is back in the hospital with another bout of pneumonia, so I am feeling sad and a bit worried about her.  I know Darryl and David will take good care of her though so she will be OK. At least I pray she will be.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My dog is Fearful, and I BITE

Had a nice weekend and I will post about that later, but first I want to talk about something else that happened this weekend.  On Saturday, I traveled to Fargo for a dog show with Peace.  On the way home, we stopped at a wayside rest in order for me to listen to a voice mail as well as getting Peace out to potty.  I parked with several spaces between my car and other cars in the lot.  I got Peace out of the car, gave her a drink of water and was turning to take her over to the potty area, when some woman with a terrier of some kind running over towards me.  The dog was straining on the leash pulling, hackles up and yapping, towards Peace. MY reactivity kicked in. Peace is not a dangerous dog, but she is a fearful dog.  I turned my back to the woman, put myself in front of her dog and told her "NO. We are not interested in meeting your dog. Thank you.  Please take your dog and move away". 

Guess what, her comment to me was something along the lines of  he just wants to play. No surprise right? My response was "No my dog is fearful and  I bite-please leave. We did not ask you to approach us and had you approached quietly and respectfully we may have chosen to meet you, however, both you and your dog needs to learn appropriate manners."   The woman was offended and rightfully so, however, it really is a simple manners issue.  Probably on both of our parts, but at that point my dog was shaken, shaking and very frightened. Its my job to protect her and that is what I had done. Would I do it differently again, maybe.  But I doubt it, my dogs(or child's) safety is more important to me than a rude strangers feelings.

Why am I posting about this meeting, because it really bothered me.  It bothered me to think that people think its OK to run up approaching a stranger with a strange dog in such an innapropriate way.  I do know I could have handled it kinder, but quite frankly, why bother. Maybe my rude response back to her will stop her from this behavior in the future. Maybe, Maybe not.

My friend Crystal (Reactive Champion blog) posted about a similar situation. She probably in general handles things nicer than I do, but its a nice thought provoking read.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Edited: Siren FIRST NW1 in Minnesota

Yesterday David and Siren competed in the first Midwest area Nosework trial. I am so proud to say they earned their NW1title.  Rinnie is David's dog and has been since almost from birth.  He fell in love with our little curly girl and has been doing a wonderful job with her.  They have worked hard to earn first her UWP and then her UWPCH (weight pull Championship) and now NW1.  He says tracking and lure coursing are next, and hopefully NW2 as well.

Nosework for those not familiar is scent work where the dogs learn to recognize a certain scent, in this case Birch. The training and search work is done very much like what bomb or drug dogs are taught. The dogs learn to search an area for the specific scent and to point it out to the handler in some way.  Our judges at the trial yesterday in fact were all working or retired police officers-all dog handlers, one is a bomb dog handler.

At a trial there are 4 areas each dog is required to search. There were 48 dogs trialing, divided into 2 groups of 24  Each group was assigned to work 2 areas before lunch and then the other 2 after lunch.  The trial was held at a older unused fairgrounds, so the buildings were the typical large metal fair type buildings.  David was dog 2 in group 2, so his first search for the day was containers.  There were about 24 identical white boxes on the floor of the first building.  For containers the dogs have 2.5 minutes to find the right one, the other 3 have 3 minutes time.  Rin found hers in 41 seconds. Not a bad time, but certainly not the fastest. Siren tends to search all the boxes or space and then go back tot he one with the scent after she has checked everything.  Her first find.  Then they immediately moved to the next building which was the vehicle search.  It was rainy yesterday morning, so it was nice that the 3 vehicles were inside the building. 2 cars and a van.  David and Siren left the start line and started on the cars, Rin checked each of the first 2 cars with no real hesitation or indication of scent, although at one point she wanted to go toward the back of the building-not sure if the scent was pooling back there or if she just thought she saw something. She moved on over to the van where she started at the nose and moved along until suddenly she indicated. There was no hesitation here at all.  Nicely done in about 1.15. This was her longest search time, but she was clean and accurate to the point where the judge clearly knew she had found the scent.  The judges have to know the dog is right, and if they are uncertain that the dog is finding the actual spot they will ask the handlers where the scent is and they have to be able to say. Apparently several dogs had the general location right, only to find out they were just a bit off where when asked they gave a wrong hide spot.  Siren had her nose right on the scents spot so it was clear.  Then we were done until after lunch.

After lunch David and Siren were up for the exterior and interior searches.  The exterior search was a large area that looked like it had been a small stage built out of large blocks of patio stone or retaining wall bricks. Because this is a fairgrounds not in use, there was a lot of vegitation on and around this structure.  David was really nervous about this one, since Siren sometimes forgets she is working when outside, and eliminating in area is a fail.  the area was marked off with cones and the hide was somewhere in this space.  Siren entered the areas and seemed to lead him right to the back of the space. She worked her way along the base of this stage area to about midway point where she turned around and went back, There was a large light pole right by the obstacles, she searched her way around the pole causing David to have to do some fancy leash work so not to be tangled, but she clearly pawed and nosed the base of the pole and indicated she had the hide.  And she did!  What a relief-under a minute and she nailed it.   From there we went across the street, to an old abandonded food shack.  This was only search I could not watch since it was off leash inside a closed building.  Her search took only 30 seconds inside and according to David she went in went by the hide ran a quick search around the room and came back to alert on the spot just about 3 feet inside the door.   All I know is David came out in tears with a big grin! Rin was the first dog of the day to be successful in all 4.

At the end of the day they gave out all the awards. There are ribbons awarded to the fastest 3 dogs in each search.  It was simply amazing to me that some of the dogs had times under 5 seconds. WOW. Although Siren was not the fastest, she was consistent and thorough and she was successful.  The overall end results were that about 75 % of the dogs passed the vehicles search and 80% or more passed all the other areas. Overall 55% of the dogs passed and earned their titles.  And there were many many tears shed, but all that I saw were tears of relief and joy.  I know I was pretty proud of my kid and his dog.

Just got an note from Davids trainer Jane, apparently they are the first NW1 team in Minnesota!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cedar Rapids Weekend

Christi and Maggie and Magic and I took a little trip this weekend down to Cedar Rapids Iowa. It's true that I almost always have a good weekend when I am doing dog stuff, but this one was super. Probably because I was with really good company.  I enjoy spending time with Christi, and we sure don't seem to run out of stuff to yak about.  We went down for the 4RK9's Obedience and Rally Trial, and since we were so close to CIndy's we were also able to spend some time there which was also very nice. Cindy and David were wonderful hosts, and to make it even better I got to hold the babies, and play with the older pups and the chickens!  Simply cannot beat that.

Unfortunately Maggie did not seem to be feeling well this weekend, and while she worked for Christi, there was a bit of a disconnect.  She did well, easily qualifying, but it just wasnt quite as pretty as usual.  Hopefully by Premier she will be back to kicking our butts, which truly was my expectation.

I have been having some issues with Magic lately expressing how much he would rather not play in the obedience and rally rings any more. He has been showing his lack of interest with less and less enthusiasm toward working. I have been worried about that, and had decided that this weekend I was going to try to find the right mix for him.  So we did a little bit of obedience mixed in with the rally.  I think I was pretty successfull in finding the right buttons to push. We were not perfect, but I saw some huge improvements in the performance, but better yet, I saw some desire start to show. Not lots, but enough that I think maybe I am going in the right direction.   In fact yesterday we had the best NQ ever. The score sheet brought tears to my eyes and not because of the NQ.  We only had 1.5 points off on heeling in open!  He was heads up and happy motoring along.  What a joy.  Of course we mucked up the drop on recall with an anticipated come, and went down on the long sit, but truly I am OK with that since that wasn't my goal. 1.5 I was tickled.

Over the course of the weekend, Magic manage to earn the high scoring herding dog 3 times, High in Trial twice, and also earned his URX2.  That one was fun since Christi and Maggie earned their URX on the same two runs.  Not to mention they picked up their UROC!  The MN/WI gals had a pretty darn good weekend! 

(photo taken when we got home, Magic is squinting, but I wanted a picture of it all together-I dont anticipate having such a weekend again so wanted to keep a remembrance)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Its been a while....

Please forgive me for not posting in such a long time.  We have been busy, I just haven't had the energy to sit down and post about all of our doings.   So for today a quick recap.

Magic Grace and I ran some UKC agility at the UGSDA trial.  Some good, some, well, not so good.  The good Grace qualified and ran AG1 really nicely. AG2 not so much. Magic ran AG 2 fairly well but not really well enough to earn any points. Since we are working on his championship, he needs to score 196 or better and we just can't quite get there consistantly.  Then a couple of weeks later Magic and I took a quick trip to Peoria and ran some more UKC. this time we were a bit better, picking up points in 4 out of 8 attempts.

Magic and I also did a little bit of Rally at the 2 trials, again OK but not great.  Our heeling is getting worse as time goes on.  Oh, when I have food or toys its lovely, but in a trial-nope not gonna do it. Oh well.

David and Siren earned her UWPCH at the weight pull.  They are getting ready for the nosework trial at the end of the month.

Peace and I went to the International show in Hutchinson. She earned her INTL title and went best bred by in show both shows on Sunday.  The international style show is very interesting with the multple judges. I dont know that we will continue to go to them, but it was fun to play.  Peace and I have also been learning tracking, and she really seems to like that.

So what have you been doing?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Peaceful Thinking

Peace and I are taking a tracking class.  She really seems to enjoy the practices we are doing.  I tease about Peace a lot, saying she is a noodle and a goober, which she is, but she is also a really good dog.  She is so excited by the tracking and so happy to be out doing stuff.  It kind of makes me feel bad for not working with her before, but with 4 dogs in the house, we do have to sort of alternate as the finances just arent there for everyone to pay all the time.

Peace is the most cuddly cardigan I have. She prefers to be on your lap or right next to you at all times.  Belly rubs are the best and she will not let you forget to give them. Sometimes I think I should place her with a family who would be able to devote their whole lives to her, but then I just can't let her go. Who would warm me up at night?  I do adore this dog!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Magic CA (again)

This weekend Magic earned his AKC CA. For those not familiar, that is the AKC coursing aptitude title.  Magic had earned the UKC version a couple of years. I truly think lure coursing is his favorite thing to do.

He ran the full course, 600 yards in 48.93 seconds which works out to about 25 miles per hour. GO GO Magic.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Native Performance Food Review 2

You may remember a post a few weeks back where I spoke about receiving a bag of Native Performance dog food in order for me to do a review.  The corgi crew just finished the last of the bag and I have to say my earlier review of the product still stands.  I am very happy with all aspects of how the 3 did on this food.  The first thing I noticed was what seemed to be an increase in the dogs energy.  I wasnt sure at the time that it was due to the coming of spring or the food.  Well I am still not sure about that but I am leaning toward the food, as the energy level has remained. I don't want anyone to ge tthe wrong idea, this is not the crazy energizer bunny type of energy, just a more up attitude and a bit more play requested.  I have to say, I like the way they rate the food levels, of course I was guessing as to the right level for us, but 2 was a good fit for the end of winter. Come summer where we are even more active, I may give 3 a try.

The other really big change I noticed was in Siren. Rin has been the gassiest dog I have ever had ever since she was a pup. Some foods were better, some not so much. In all honestly I dont think I have noticed a Rinnie fart in over 2 weeks.  And that may I say is always a relief! Weights have been excellent on this food, coats are lovely, thick rich and shiny. Peace has a show coat without any other supplemets of any kind. Poops are about average for a kibble fed dog. 

I had not tried this with Grace due to her megae, and the need to feed softened high calorie foods.  I am considering getting a bag of the higher calorie level and seeing how she handles it.  However she is doing pretty well on the stuff she has now, it soaks up nice and soft, so changing it is something I really have to think about.

All in all I definately will keep this in my dogs regimen.  Thanks Native Performance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Siren and Magic - ORT1

Well, what a weekend adventure we had. We had such a great plan for our trip last weekend, unfortunately, that was subject to major changes!

The original plan was for Darryl and David to pack the car and the dogs then bring it over to me at work, where luck would have it, we were getting out early at 2pm due to the office move. Darryl would leave from there to go to work and David and I would leave to go to Chicago. We would get to make a large part of the drive in daylight and get to the hotel in time to get a good nights sleep.

The packing and meeting part went well and we were on the road by 2. We got across the river into Wisconsin and had just decided to stop for gas, when we heard a funny noise coming from the engine. A really funny, scary sounding noise. OK now, we had a noise in the car the week prior and the shop told us it was a loose belt, which they replaced. I thought maybe the new belt had stretched or something, so we ran the car into a shop for a look. An hour later they tell me it’s the transmission. OK, the car is under warranty, so I call the company they say I need to take it to a shop in MN, back across the river in Stillwater. They guys in shop one are telling me that this may be a bad idea as the flywheel that they think is the problem could break at any time and we would be stranded. I call shop 2 and talk to a really nice man there who tells me if it breaks down on the way, call him and he will come get us. I pay my fee there and off we go.

Dav,e the dogs and I drive back across the river and go to shop 2, with the car making its intermittent scream noise as we go. The mechanic there opens it up and listens and says “no f****in way that’s a transmission issue”. He pokes around for a while and tells me he really doesn’t think it’s the transmission, but he really has no idea what it is. He says he KNOWS it’s not the flywheel as the other shop stated, since this is an automatic and they don’t have flywheels.

By now its 5pm. I run over to the Enterprise car rental a block away. First they tell me they don’t have any cars now, but are expecting some in. We wait about 20 minutes, then they say they have too many reservations for what they have, so they won’t have a car for me. I ask them to reserve a car for me at Woodbury and we would try to get there before they close at 6. Call a cab and run back to the transmission shop, because of course the dogs are still there in the car, up on the lift. The taxi says 10 minutes, but takes 25 and now there is no way we will get to the rental place before they close, so we go all the way back to Bloomington via cab. By the way that cost 80 bucks before tip!

However, while in the cab I realized that the place I rented from before was open later so I had the cab take us there. We rented a brand new Kia Soul loaded up the dogs and gear and were back on our way out of town at 7:30 pm. By this time we were starving, and the dogs needed to stretch so we stopped in Woodbury and took a short break-not to mention getting coffee since we were now going to be driving the whole trip at night. Arrived at the hotel at 2:30 and fell into bed.

Saturday morning we left the hotel in what we thought would be plenty of time to get to the show, and would have been had we not gotten lost. But we found the place about 5 minutes before we needed to be in the ring. Magic and I managed to get 2 double Q’s toward his UROG (Rally Grand Ch) just barely squeaking out one of them after I lost us 6 points. That pesky left turn that goes the other way had me so flustered that I did an additional sign by adding in the number 4 sign again right near the end. Magic earned a 98, 99, 96 and another 99, so not too bad and both were over the required 192 combined total to count. 5 down, 10 to go! The trial was small so over by 1 and we had the afternoon to relax.

Sunday morning we had the real reason for our trip to IL. The ORT. For those who are not familiar, this is the Odor Recognition Test that is required in order to test in nosework. I have to say I was pretty nervous about this. I was pretty sure Siren and David were ready, but I was not sure about Magic at all. They had a warm up area set up so we both ran our dogs through one time. Both Magic and Siren did find the right box, which I think calmed both David and I down a bit. David was in first with Siren, and then Magic and I. Both dogs passed the ORT. David doesn’t remember the time for Siren, but Magic was 40 seconds. I do have video that I will load once we can get to the library to do it.

The drive back with the rental was uneventful, although we did stop at Baskin Robbins for a little celebration ice cream. Hopefully David and Siren will get into the trial in May!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Going away for the weekend.

David and I are going to IL this weekend. We are taking Siren and Magic. That means Grace will be left home. It will be the first time I am going away since she was diagnosed.  And I am all full of worry. Darryl has to work, so not only will I not be there, but she will be alone for long periods.  I hate having a sick dog, even one who is doing well.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Native Performance Dog Food - Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email asking me if I would be willing to try and review the new dog food Native Performance.  For my participation I would be sent a bag of food and all I needed to do was review it.  I agreed to give it a try.  They asked which formula would best fit our dogs, and I selected the Energy Level 2.  My crew are pretty active, for city dogs, and this formula felt like the best fit for us. A week or so later we received a large bag in the mail.

The corgi crew have been eating this food now for about a week and a half.  They all love the food, even Grace who can be rather particular. (Note, unlike the other dogs, due to her condition, Grace is not able to be on this full time, but I wanted to see if she would eat it. Since she does like it we may try the highest calorie version for her down the road.)

Its early in the test, but so far I am rather pleased with what I am noticing.   Of the 3 dogs who are eating this exclusively I am noticing slightly smaller poops, with much less stink to them. Siren has a tendency to be gassy on kibble, but I am not noticing any significant gas so far.  All 3 dogs are doing well weight wise.

The biggest change I am noticing is that they all seem to have a bit more energy. We have had major play sessions since being on this food.  And the sessions are longer and more vigorous. Even after 2 days of agility they came home and still played for hours.  Now can I say for sure its the food, no, as the weather has been pretty nice lately and the daylight hours have increased, but even Darryl noticed enough of an energy change to make a comment about it.

We haven't gone through the whole bag yet, but so far I am rather happy with the results.

Note-while I am not being paid for this review, we were provided with the food free of cost.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lure Coursing Fun Run

Took all 4 dogs today to a lure coursing fun run.  It was a straight course run, about 100-150 yards ( I am guessing as I really have no idea) It was a really great way for inexperienced dogs to try it.  Magic ran first and of course had a blast_he ran to the end, shook the lure and turned around and ran back to me.  Then Grace ran, she ran most of the way, but when the lure stopped at the end, she turned around and ran back to me. I think she watched Magic.  Then it was Sirens turn and she did really well, never took her eyes off the lure and ran focused all the way.  Peace was last up, and she hadnt been outside a tthe time to watch the other 3, so she was a little less sure. I had David start her and I went to the finish.  She ran 3/4th of the way, but when she got by the equipment. lure operator and photographer she did get a bit distracted and stop.  But I called her name and reminded her to get it, and she started running again, and did zig after the lure. So all in all I feel like it was a very successful day!  Magic did grumble something about wanting more, but we had to come home so Grace could eat, so we only ran the one time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magic & Grace, TBAD, TG1

Sunday up in Duluth Grace and Magic both earned their TBAD and TG1 titles running teacup agility.    The video is one of the games, Minuet, where the goal is to run the loop as many times as you can.  Magic managed the most of any dog there! And Grace was like 4th overall.  Grace also managed her first intermidiate level Q and she weaved nicely in 2 runs. Small accomplishments to some, but huge for us.  Grace also managed to run 8 times with no health complications.  If you watch the video of Grace she will loudly tell you how much fun she had, she has never barked quite so much as she did up there! Go Gracie!

Magic running Minuet

Grace runs Minuet,too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rinnie Pulls

Here is an older video if Rinnie pulling.

Grace Rally Photos

Grace actually can heel pretty nicely when she chooses too. 

Apparently the stand command is not her favorite. Love her expression!

And here she is telling me something. I am sure I did something wrong. If funny through all the pictures, either Graces mouth is going or mine is.  We must chatter nonstop!  All photos from Great Dane Photos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teacup Agility

Last weekend Grace, Magic and I tried to run teacup agility. In teacup the equipment is smaller and the courses seem tighter. I chose this as Graces first attempt back to agility since she got sick since I thought the smaller trial, smaller equipment and nice local location would make it easier for her.  Well she was amazing as far as her health and happiness. She never stopped wagging and smiling the whole weekend.  She ran 6 times total, and we actually qualified 3 times, twice in standard and one game. In her second run of the weekend she started to give me serious attitude, so she got pulled off the course, but the rest of the times she was wonderful. We had a few bobbles, heck we are out of practice but overall she was terrific and I was so proud of my pumpkin girl.

Magic only went on Sunday. He ran all 6 classes and qualified 3 times, 2 games and one standard.  His issue was leaping contacts. We really may have to consider changing to a 2 on 2 off. Running is not working with him at all.  On the positive side, while he was a wild man, and we had a few miscommunications overall he tried really hard and I can't fault that. I messed up both dogs a couple of times when I forgot which dog I had and handled wrong.  I need to work on that! But thats OK we have plenty of time to play together!

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Letter to UKC

Dear UKC.
I have been reading and thinking about the decision made by UKC to no longer allow event staff to participate in UKC events which they are working. I am very saddened by this decision for many reasons. First and foremost I see this as the death of UKC events here in Minnesota. You may or may not be aware of how active a dog event area Minnesota is. There are very few weekends each year that there is not some dog event available, and in many cases more than one. This weekend alone, January 21-22, 2012 there are 4 that I am aware of, the UKC obedience and rally trial I am chairing, a ASCA event including conformation obedience and rally, an AKC agility vent and a USDAA agility event, all within the metro area.

There is a very small group of competitors in MN who do UKC. Those of us that do though, are the same group willing to work and hold these shows. We hold the shows, we chair them, secretary them and work them so that we HAVE the opportunity to play with our dogs. If UKC takes that opportunity away what incentive do we have to hold the events? Everyone in these clubs work and show. I know I would not have willingly given up hours and hours of time to hold a show and not be able to participate in one of the few weekends we have.

I love UKC, I had a wonderful time at Gateway in 2010, at Premier in 2011. But the basis for my ability and desire to do these bigger shows is based on my opportunities to show here at home. One of my dogs again is in the top 10 for conformation another managed to make the all star rally list. The one who is on the rally all star list did so by showing at our local shows. However, had I not been able to compete in a whole weekend’s worth of events he never would have had a chance as our opportunities are so limited. Had he not made the list, we would not be planning a trip to Premier this year. I know I am not the only person here who feels this way as the UKC participants have had many discussions over the last few days. Since our biggest conformation club locally has already stated they cannot go forward with these rules in place, our local performance club may not be able to either as we do share many event locations and costs. I am sure we will be discussion this at the event this weekend.

I see this as a death spiral for UKC, at least in here in Minnesota.

Dawn Fisher
Daybreake Cardigans