Friday, April 29, 2011

Jumble Jim

Here's a shot of Jimmy from a couple of weeks ago before the leaves filled in. He's standing on the cut up remains of a fallen tree. As is usual with Jim, I had a tough time getting him to look at the camera. He doesn't seem to have the super-model gene that Wilson does. For that matter, I repeatedly had to remove Wilson from the log pile to get a shot of just Jimmy. Wilson kept climbing up and posing!

But, after a few unsuccessful attempts to pull Jimmy's eyes toward me, I looked over where he was looking....

No wonder he couldn't focus on me! These guys/gals were only about 25 feet behind us. Thankfully, they used the stand-perfectly-still technique of not being seen. If they had flashed their white tails and fled, I am sure Jimmy would have gone with them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Bubble Boys

Quite unintentionally, my blog titles seem to have a Seinfeld theme going......

Monday, April 25, 2011

Masters of Their Domain!

We've walked past this outcropping of rocks countless times. I've often thought it would make a good spot for a picture. Yesterday, I finally got around to trying. The boys thoroughly enjoyed their vantage point, so much so, that they didn't want to look at me. They were too busy surveying the sights from this new viewpoint. I think they might have been having one of those Call of the Wild moments!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sibling Reunion - Last of the Weekend Photos

I have finally come to the end of my photos from our fun weekend get-together. Littermates Nick and Sally had a chance to reestablish their bonds, and they were pretty much inseparable the whole time. They played together the entire visit. "High-energy" would definitely describe these two!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Usual Suspects

This past weekend saw a secret gathering of some of the blogoshere's top Cardigan Corgi's........

Here we have mastermind brothers Spencer and Wilson. These serious thinkers were hard at work in the kitchen, scoping out the food platters. Don't let their calm demeanors and poker faces fool you, they were definitely up to something!

Next, we had the handsome man-about-town, Dewi, working the crowd. This fella was at the top of the Sexiest Cardi Alive list, or so Spencer thought! He couldn't keep his eyes (or his paws) off!

We also have Dewi's faithful sidekick, Jon Farleigh. His job was to collect as many of  the chew-bones as he could find. Here he's seen scoping out the toy box across the room.

Ah, yes, and then there is Naughty Nick aka Dirty Nick ...busy taking incriminating photos of the whole sordid get-together. He'll probably get a big pay-off in chew-bones just to keep everything on the down-low.

The beautiful and successful Scout is seen giving her children a talk about ignoring bad influences, as mothers so often do......


And finally, we have come full circle, back to the brains of the operation. It appears they may have given Jimmy some kind of drug to loosen his tongue, but by the look on Spencer's face, I would say it didn't produce the desired intel. Wilson is just lying back in his best Dogfather pose, figuring he'll take care of Jimmy later, at home, when no one's around to save him.

Whatever You Do......

....Don't look at the camera!

It looks like the photos from a highly secret Cardigan Rendezvous in Maryland this past weekend are starting to leak out. I've got some sorting and cropping to take care of before I can release more evidence!

Stay tuned.......

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You're Getting Sleepy.....Very, Very Sleepy.....

Yesterday was a cold, windy and very rainy day in the the Mid-Atlantic region.....however it was still possible to be very cozy and comfy......It was a fun day spent with old and new friends surrounded by many, many Cardigans of all ages. The youngest among them spent a good bit of the time napping.

Can you almost smell the puppy breath?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Weekend Report - A Mixed Bag

Saturday started early, 4:30am! Jimmy and I had another agility trial this weekend. This club offered the optional FAST class, and ours at the Open level was the first of the day. This meant being at the trial site by 7ish. The "Send" (a taped off area I can't enter) was a tightly curled tunnel to a teeter. Fortunately, it was either end of the tunnel, so that part was easy enough. It was a sharp right turn for the dog to get to the teeter. Now, Jimmy doesn't really love the teeter, so me being so far away causes him some angst. Instead of heading to the teeter he came flying out of the tunnel toward me. His feet came outside of the taped area and we faulted. I did get him to go back in an do the teeter on a second try so that was good practice, but of course we were already disqualified.

The running order for this trial was tall dogs down to small dogs, so I had a long wait for our next run in Excellent A Standard. This course wasn't too difficult, the trickiest thing for us looked like the dogwalk to the table (our usual nemesis). Oddly, Jimmy messed up his weave poles, skipping one pole in the middle. He had done the same weird thing in FAST as well. He never messes up in the poles so I am not sure what was off. He was pretty pumped up for his runs, and I think he may have been trying to go too fast. My mental game may have been off as well (which can translate into funky handling) because I knew this run *could* earn us our Excellent STD title. Whatever the cause, the weave pole burp disqualified us. From there it was on to the dogwalk and then the table. Jimmy gave me a beautiful table! He nailed it and stuck to it. I even stayed away by several feet and he held for the count. We finished the rest cleanly and our time was good. So although it was disappointing not to earn our title, the wonderful table performance made me very happy since that has been our issue for so long.

Our final run of the day was Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves (JWW). At the beginning of the day, I pick up the course maps for our runs. However, I rarely look at all of them at once,
just the one for my upcoming run. I like a clear mind and don't want to be worrying about my last run of the day when I haven't even run the first. When I finally saw the map for this JWW run, I laughed out loud! I can say I have never seen this configuration before.

Here's the map: (for those of you who don't do agility, just follow the little numbers in the circles. No.1 is in the lower left corner with the 2 S's indicating the Start. No.19 is the Finish. Nos. 3 and 13 are the tunnels and No.9 is the weave poles, the rest are a variety of different jumps.)

Two side by side, straight tunnels was absolutely bound to be a challenge for lots of dog/handler teams. I sat and watched the 20 inch class for a while. It was not easy to get a fast dog into the proper ends of the tunnels and even more difficult to get yourself down to the other end to direct them on to the next jump. Many, many teams disqualified themselves depending on how they chose to handle getting into the tunnels.
If you didn't have a startline stay with a fast dog, it was pretty much a crap-shoot as to which tunnel you would get.

I ring-crewed for the 16 inch class and got a good idea of what was working and what wasn't. The smaller dogs were definitely having a more succesful time with this course. Their shorter stride was giving the handlers more time to cue the proper tunnel ends. The judge who designed this course runs very small dogs and you could certainly tell from the results.

When our 12 inch class came around, Jimmy was calmer than he had been in the morning. We were much earlier in the running order so he didn't have as much time to watch other dogs and get amped up. I put him in a stay and lead out past the second jump, blocking his view of the wrong tunnel with my body. I released him and he shot straight into the correct tunnel. I didn't make it to the other end of the tunnel before he was out, but I had just enough time to cue a rear-cross over the next jump. Fortunately, Jimmy read it perfectly, as rear-crosses are not usually my forte. Onward a few jumps to the weaves where I was careful not to pressure Jim. This time he did them just fine. Whew! Three more jumps to the other tunnel this time. I front-crossed after the 3rd jump, and swung Jimmy around my left hip, out far enough that he had no reason to think about choosing the wrong tunnel. Another sprint from me to catch up to him, another rear-cross over that same jump to an outer grouping of jumps and into the home stretch. We made it through clean and in 34.54 seconds. Woohoo! This was leg # 6 out of 10 toward our Masters Jumpers (MXJ) title and 9 more MACH points.

Since this was our last run, I gathered up my stuff, headed to the car to get organized, take the boys out for another walk, wait for the results to be posted, and get my green Q ribbon. I figured we probably ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack. Much to my surprise and delight, Jimmy placed 4th! It is very difficult to place in Excellent B JWW as we are competing against small, light-weight shelties, Paps, JRTs, and even those speedy Cavs! To make this sound even sweeter, Jimmy was "in the ribbons" with the newly crowned 12 inch NAC (Nat'l Agility Champion) sheltie, Sparkle. Sparkle took first place in this run. Now of course, truth be told, Sparkle beat us by a whopping seven seconds (an eternity in agility), but hey, it's still feels good to come in just three dogs later!

Tracking Jimmy's MACH progress:
Excellent B JWW legs: 6 (out of 10 needed for his MXJ) More than halfway to his Masters Jumpers title!
Excellent B STD legs: 0 (out of 10 needed for his MX)
Double Q's: 0 (out of 20 double-Q's needed for a MACH)
MACH Points: 80 (out of 750 speed points needed for a MACH)
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