Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Picture Link from Saturday's trial

Here is a link to the proofs from Jimmy's JWW run last Saturday:

And here is the link to his STD run:

There are plenty of photos of my table troubles :-) Of course I couldn't resist buying some pictures from this trial either! There's one picture of Jimmy on the table where he looks like a black cat arching his back at me. I had to have that one as it just looks so funny!

Our next trial is on October 17th. It's at an enclosed horse arena, so rain won't be an issue next time, but I can just imagine what all those smells will do! Maybe third time in the STD ring will be the charm!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


John loves the jetski because he can get his adrenaline thrill by jumping the breakers and the wakes of large boats, and just buzzing around at breakneck speed. I love the the jetski for the places it can take us. The following pictures of a pod of dolphins were taken out in the ocean while we sat on the jetski. They were in a feeding frenzy and paid us no mind at all. They popped up very close to us (we had the engine off and were just floating), in some cases close enough to touch if you felt so inclined. They are quite aggressive chasing and eating the fish. It would be very scary to fall in the water with them!

On other occasions when they were just frolicking and not eating, they have actually popped up close by to take a look at us.

I know the pictures aren't great but I only took the small point and shoot Canon. I didn't want to risk my DSLR. The shutter delay means I got more tails and fins than anything else, but still pretty neat. Click to enlarge the photos.

This one is really out of focus but it was the only time I actually caught a face!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apple Orchard Outing

Today when the clouds cleared out, we decided to drive out to the mountains to go pick apples. It's only about an hour west, so not too far away.

Wilson and Jimmy had a great time retrieving fallen apples. Juicy tennis balls!

Next we have Wilson enjoying an apple......

and not just a few bites! He ate the whole thing until we took it away before he got the core and seeds.

Just a couple of silly portraits........

Roaming around among the trees, enjoying a gorgeous early fall day......

And Jimmy proving how well he can multitask!

And lastly, just a shot to show off nature's bounty on a beautiful day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We now interupt the regularly scheduled programming!

We need to take a break from the "All Beach, All the Time" programming with this news flash from the Agility World.....

Jimmy attended his second trial today. It was a gray and dreary day with off and on rain. The temps were pleasant and cool which was nice.

In his Jumpers run he scored a perfect 100, finishing in just 27 seconds. While very wonderful, he was still outrun by a Papillion, who finished in 21 seconds! (The SCT was 45 seconds.) Egads was that ever fast! So, we very happily took home the pretty red 2nd place ribbon.

We didn't have quite as much success in the Standard ring. The rain had really picked up for starters. Jimmy was perfect up until the 3rd to last obstacle, the table. This seems to be our current nemesis. He sassed me, he jumped off to see the judge, then jumped off a couple more times just for good measure, and enough to NQ us. Table trouble is pretty common with green dogs so we will just have to work through it. Wilson did his share of NQing from that platform as well.....

All in all, I was very pleased with Jimmy's performance. He got the weaves on the first try on both runs, he never knocked a bar even with wet slippery grass. Really, he did a great job!

Now, back to the All Beach Network.......

The Newest BayWatch Boys

Just Because I Like the Color Contrasts

I like this picture for the way the orange tones of Wilson's coat contrast with the blue tones of the sand. The crisp sunlight really emphasizes it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Real Pain in the Butt!

I am sure there have been several occasions in the past couple of years where Wilson felt that the young whipper-snapper Jimmy was a pain in his butt. Stealing toys, stealing chews, hogging the a/c vent on a hot day, and the list goes on.... But in this particular case, I think the cliche took on a very literal meaning!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

South Carolina Wildlife

It's not uncommon to run across native wildlife while out on the more deserted beaches. I was lucky enough to capture some of them on camera!

Here we have the dreaded SC furred-gator, an ever present danger in the South Carolina salt marshes.

There was also a sighting of the very rare South Carolina Sand Frog.... known for it's incredibly loud croaking that sounds uncannily like a canine bark!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back from a Week at the Beach

On the heels of our trip to New England, we have just returned from a week in Myrtle Beach, SC. We have a condo down there and rent it out during the peak summer months. In September, we plan a "working" vacation to check on the condition of the place after four months of tourists using it. Usually something or other needs to be repaired, painted, or just plain replaced. Renters are not always kind to our condo, but this year was a good season! Very little needed to be done, which left us plenty of play time!

Here are a few photos of the boys. I will post many more in the next few days.....
(as usual, pictures are clickable to a larger size.....)

Wilson and Jimmy having a great game of chase on the beach.

I liked this one for the nice reflection in the wet sand.....

Ever modest, Wilson finds the biggest clump of grass around for a little privacy while tending to business.

Jimmy's tongue is almost always in view!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pictures from the Pro

Here are three photos from Jimmy's STD run on Sunday. These were taken by Stewart Event Images, the professional photographer shooting the trials both days.

I got these 3 digital images, and a few other prints as well. Of course I had to buy some being Jimmy's first trial! My budgetary conscience won't kick in until a few more trials go by.

These pictures are clickable to a large size........

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jimmy's First Trial - Day Two

Another successful day in the FAST ring! Jimmy again placed 4th! I really should have tried for more points as we finished with 12 seconds to spare, I just can't seem judge how long we have left........So now we have 2 legs toward our NF.

Jumpers went well, all bars stayed up. The only snafu was Jimmy went in the wrong end of the tunnel. I sent him through the correct side and finished up. I was all psyched thinking it was a Q. You get three mistakes in Novice, or so I thought.....It's just your dog can't take a wrong course, it is an eliminating fault! That was disappointing news to me! But he did well just the same, he finished in 28.21 seconds and the SCT was 40 seconds.

By the time STD finally rolled around, Jimmy was pretty much done with the whole scene. He started out very strong, but bounced the table (9th obstacle) and went on a sniff fest from there. He also went completely deaf! Seems he couldn't hear me calling his name! I had to run him down, grab his collar, and exit. It was another stinky hot day and I think he'd just had enough.

Overall, I think he did very well for a two year old, and a green agility dog. I am pleased with how our first trial went.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jimmy's First Trial - Day One

Day one has been completed. And of course things never go quite as you anticipate.... I was pretty sure Jimmy wouldn't Q in FAST because he isn't ready to work away from me. The judge mercifully set up an easy send, and Jimmy did it just fine! He even took 4th place! If he hadn't drop a couple of bars (which does not NQ you in FAST as it does in STD/JWW), he would have gotten more points and placed even higher. I was VERY happy! Yippee!

Run two was JWW. Another nicely set up course. It's just a shame poor Jimmy has a MORON handler!!!! I went before the timer said go and NQ'ed us from the get go! I am such a jerk! My apologies to Claire who drove out to watch us and got to see three measly jumps before I got us whistled off the course.

Run three was STD and by 3pm it was bloody hot in the sun, somewhere around 90. Jimmy doesn't do heat too well, esp. with that black coat. I refridgerated him for a while in the car with the A/C running full blast, and that seemed to be enough to keep him going. He gave a beautiful run all things considered. He was rather slow doing the down on the table, but other than that he was speedy, nice weaves on the first try, but unfortunately took the second to last bar down. But hey, he had 72 seconds to run the course and even with a slow table did it in just over 49 seconds! I was very pleased, Q or not!

Here are a few pictures John shot. He couldn't stand very close because I was afraid Jimmy would go visit his favorite human!
Here he is successfully completing the Send.

He's a bit hard to see in this one but I liked the picture.......

And here he is with his perty ribbon and new toy. Nice job Jimmy!!! We will give it another go tomorrow.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I can clearly remember, back when I was a kid a bit under ten, thinking about the age fifty. My parents had me late in life by the standard of the day (mom 42, dad 39) and they must have been nearing that milestone. To me (at the time) it seemed like an impossibly old age, ancient really. I did the math, and determined that I would reach that age in the year 2009. I recall thinking that 2009 seemed like a date out of some science fiction show, like Lost in Space, or maybe a time warp in the Twilight Zone, or someplace you would land as a result of the Time Tunnel. There would be flying cars and maybe teleportation! It just didn’t seem like a real date, a date that would come to pass.

Well, I blinked my eyes a few times, and it’s here! 2009 and the year I turn FIFTY has actually arrived. And I have to say, it’s not so ancient after all. A lot of water has gone over the dam, some of it good, some not so good at all, but time has been very kind to me. I’ve been blessed with good health (at least as far as I know today!), steady employment, and the means to a pleasant leisure-time lifestyle. I can still sprint the length of a football field while chasing my dogs, still spend a day biking and not suffer any consequences the next day…….What I can’t do is party til 5 am and still pop out of bed at 7am ready for work. But, you know what, that no longer interests me one bit, not even on my 50th birthday.

On this “big” day, I want to reflect on being grateful. I am grateful to still be here as not everyone is even granted 50 years, I am grateful that life has, overall, been gentle on me, I am grateful my parents instilled in me a love of animals and nature, I am grateful for my dogs and the joy they bring to my life, and I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.

Fifty, it’s the new 35, right?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jimmy's Agility Debut is this Weekend

My younger boy, Jimmy, is set to start his competition career this weekend. He's a smart little guy and picked up agility easily. He is also very excitable and agility makes him oh so very high! As a result, I am not really sure how things will turn out. He's wicked fast and I can't outrun him.With Wilson, it's always been me in the lead, always able to get in a frontcross where ever needed. I really haven't gotten my handling skills honed to such a quick partner. Jimmy gets very vocal and very frustrated when I am late with my directions, and dives in to give me some "herding advice".The judges usually interpret such "advice" as a refusal so we'll have to see how it goes. He's had plenty of practice, and the courses at school are all difficult Excellent level challenges, so Novice should be pretty straightforward for us. The biggest hurdle may be that this is an outdoor trial and all of our training occurs indoors, other that what gets done in my teeny-tiny yard. I am expecting him to be even more excited than usual, and of course, my nerves won't help us either. Novice FAST is the first run of the day, so I am hoping he burns off any wild hairs on that run, and can focus better later.

There are plenty of positives as well. The weather is supposed to be beautiful! The trial is at most 10 miles from my house. No getting up at 5AM for this one! It really can't get much sweeter than that! This is the same trial at which Wilson began his career and he scored a perfect 100 and the blue ribbon on his first ever Standard run, so the karma is good! There will be a professional photographer so no matter what the outcome, I'll have some good photos as mementos.

So, here's to my little man! May he have a safe and successful agility career! Hopefully his handler can get the butterflies under control, and be the teammate he deserves.

I am so psyched for this weekend!

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