Thursday, January 29, 2015

Yin-Yang

Dylan  was my first Cardigan Corgi. I got him back in the mid-80's, when I wasn't familiar with either breed of Welsh Corgi. He was marvelous on so many levels, smart, funny, good with all dogs, and with a rock solid temperament. He was extremely precious to me and he left a HUGE hole in my heart when he left.

It wasn't long before Wilson came along. He had huge shoes to fill and he did a beautiful job of easing the pain in my heart. As is often the case, individual dogs of the same breed are not necessarily the same in temperament and personality. This was so very true of Wilson. While a total sweet heart, he was not Dylan. He was very intelligent and biddable like Dylan, yet he was shy and very reserved. Dylan had been the life of the party! Thanks to my agility addiction, I felt the need to get a second dog, one who (hopefully) would be bold and enjoy all the hub-bub of a busy trial environment. So with the help of Jimmy's breeder to select the right puppy, I brought home Jimmy, a firecracker from day one! Amazingly Jimmy is probably more intelligent than either  Dylan or Wilson, adores people, has endless energy and desire to play agility. But he still isn't Dylan. Despite endless socialization, he is unpredictable with which dogs he will get along with and which will provoke snarky behavior. I have to keep a close eye on him and micro-manage his interactions with other dogs. He was also the first of the three to have thunder storm fears.

We sort of have a running joke that it took getting two dogs to be able to equal the perfection that was Dylan. Which leads me to the point of this post, Yin-Yang, the Taoist concept of two halves that together complete wholeness, of duality forming a whole. Most of us are probably familiar with the taijitu, the symbol of Yin-Yang:

Taijitu

Well yesterday, the boys presented themselves as the canine embodiment of this symbol. Little black Jimmy even placed himself on the correct side! I ran and grabbed my camera just as quick as I could!

So here they are, truly my yin-yang dogs, the two brought together to fill the hole left by Dylan. And have no fear, I love these boys dearly, quirks and all. I wouldn't trade them for the world!







Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Frap!

The big East Coast blizzard, storm of the century, pretty much missed my area. We are just far enough south here in Northern Virginia that we got little more than a good dusting. But it was perfect corgi-depth. My guys love a good snow day and it brings out their playful spirit. In the Corgi Nation, we have a term "FRAP"....Frantic Random Acts of Play......it describes the reckless abandon with which our corgis run when something strikes their fancy. Jimmy and Wilson had one such moment this morning when they realized it had snowed. You can also see Jimmy's "pacifier" in action.

Let me apologize right up front. I am a horrible videographer! My screen is tiny and I lost track of where the boys were in the middle of the video so it goes all wonky for a bit. But I still think you can feel their joy. (There are some regular photos in this old post.) And would you believe Wilson is coming up on his 12th birthday?



Monday, January 26, 2015

The Weekend Report: Agility in the Cow Palace

I kicked off my agility season much earlier than usual. John was headed out of town for a "boys" ski trip (and I don't ski anyway), so I figured I would use the free time to get in a little agility fun. I had never signed up for this particular trial before because I usually take a long winter break from competition. That way weather isn't a factor in getting to the trials. I had only signed up for Sunday and I was very glad! Friday night into Saturday was frozen rain mixed with snow, so not the best conditions for a long drive. Anyway, this trial was held at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in the building they use for showing cattle, hence the name Cow Palace. It was a big, huge warehouse style building with concrete floors that the dog club covered with matting. The one oddity is that right in the middle of the two rings are the support columns for the roof. These get wrapped in padding just in case one of us handlers gets a bit clumsy. The judges design their courses as best they can to keep the columns unobtrusive. Another factor that makes this trial quite different is that in addition to our agility trial, there was a huge Pet Expo going on. This meant we had a much larger audience than usual. It also meant lots and lots of shopping!!! There was a dock diving competition set up, huge pool and all. Let me tell you, if you ever thought dogs get excited about their chance to run an agility course, it pales in comparison to the dogs queued up for their turn to jump in the pool. They were barking fools, tugging as hard as they could to get up that ladder and onto the deck.

 Agility-wise, Jimmy and I had a 50/50 day. We did not qualify in our Standard run. Jimmy ran right past the up ramp of the dogwalk. I guess my handling pushed him just a bit too far out and he thought I was sending him to something else. Oh, well. He also had a very iffy contact on the down side. The judge didn't call it but I'm pretty sure he jumped completely over the yellow safety zone.

Here's the run:





A little bit later was Jumpers. Jimmy was pretty excited for his turn and he ran like the wind! He was the fastest dog of all the 8 inchers, Regular class or Preferred. He completed the course in 28.41 seconds. It wasn't until I got home and was logging the run stats in my notebook that I realized that Jumpers leg finished off Jimmy's Masters Jumpers Preferred(MJP) title! This means I didn't pick up the new title ribbon that would have gone along with that accomplishment. Oops! There's a little bit of mischief at play!

Here's Jimmy:





And course maps for those so inclined:







Tracking Jimmy's PACH progress:
Very 1st Double-Q: Saturday 06/21/2014
Masters JWW legs: 10...MJP Title 01/25/15
Masters STD legs: 13...MXP Title!10/24/14
Double Q's: 7
PACH Points: 535

We are once again trying to qualify for the AKC National Championship. It will be in Tulsa, OK in 2016, so a very long way from home, but I want to qualify to have the option to go. Jimmy will be aging out of agility before I know it, so we need to go for the gusto while we still can. The AKC upped the anti just a bit, needing one more double-q, and another 100 points over the 2014 requirements. Still very doable but we'll have to attend plenty of trials.

AKC Nationals 2016:
Double-Q's: 0 (out of 5 needed)
Points: 17 (out of 600 needed)....
Masters Legs: 1 (out of 20 needed)

Friday, January 23, 2015

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