Monday, October 31, 2011

Beezelbub Has a Devil Put Aside for Me!

For Me!.....For Me!




And because once you start using Picnik, you can't stop, here's another.....


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Weekend Report - Aaarrrrgh!

I treated myself to a long weekend and signed up for just Friday of a three-day trial.

The first run of the day was JWW, and it was a nice course, not too tricky. Jimmy gave me a beautiful run, speedy and enthusiastic. Unfortunately the last jump was a triple, and he nicked the top bar just hard enough to make it drop. So close, so close, but as they say...Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades!

The only thing I notice in the video was that my last stride was a tad wonky, so maybe that's what messed up Jimmy. Here's the run:



Next came Time 2 Beat, one of the AKC "games". The fastest dog gets the ribbon and 10 points, and everyone else gets points based on how close their time came to the winner. I am not too concerned about titling in T2B, so of course we Q'ed and with a speedy run earned 7 points. To earn a title you must total 100 points and have earned 15 legs, so we will be a while earning this one. We've got 2 legs and 15 points!

And last but not least, Excellent Standard. It was another nice course and, bless his little heart, Jimmy gave me a nice table performance! Our trouble came with a tunnel to the Aframe. Jimmy shot through so fast, I got in his way as he came out. As a result I blocked his view, and he wasn't sure if he should take the Aframe. He balked a little, enough for a refusal but the judge was kind and didn't call it. Next was 4 jumps to the finish. The jump right after the Aframe was straight  ahead. I turned to the next jump just a bit too soon and pulled Jimmy off the correct jump.  The judge gave me the Aframe and I mishandled the next jump. The Agility gods evened the score ;-)

Here's the run:



I really am starting to get a complex about being able to qualify! Ring nerves sure are taking a toll!

This Just Isn't Right!!!

We haven't even had our first frost of the season yet and this is what Mother Nature is dishing up this morning....

Sure glad I had nowhere to be in the early AM! The roads are slick and it's still coming down, mainly as ice right now. I had an unusual Friday agility trial yesterday and was on the road at 5:30 am. Good thing this wasn't yesterday's weather! I've got video of another unsuccessful day (I am starting to get a complex!) when I get time to do a weekend report.




Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Weekend Report - It's Me, Not You!

Back in the 90's when Seinfeld was the hottest show going, I watched every episode. On several occasions Jerry would break up with his current girlfriend with the comment, "Oh! No, No, It's Me! Not You!"  For this weekend report, I can definitely say, It's Me, Not Jimmy!

This weekend was the Mattaponi KC AKC agility trial in Fredericksburg, Va. Saturday started out great. Standard was our first run of the day. There was a dogwalk/tire discrimination early on, but fortunately the tunnel was the correct choice. Jimmy loves a tunnel so I wasn't worried. My other worry was of course the table! He gave a great performance there, too!  The rest was clean and we had a Q! Yippee! Of course this Q set me up for the Double-Q jitters. The Jumpers run had one spot of concern to just about everyone. A tunnel to a jump off to the right 90 degrees and then another 90 degrees to the weaves. Not that bad, but there was an off-course jump quite close to where you needed to shape your weave entry. If you pushed too hard, you could put your dog over that jump. Well, I was a bit over confident, and didn't work Jimmy's entry quite hard enough,. He ran in at the 2nd pole and we were cooked! I needed to take just one more step before turning him. Arrrrggghh! The first "It's Me" of the weekend. And the Double-Q down the drain.....

Today started again with Standard. It was tire, dogwalk, to a jump off to the left with a possible off course tunnel straight ahead but not too close. We made it past this just fine, made the teeter to a left into the weaves, then jump, and table. Crap! I could feel how bad my handling (I knocked the cone over!) was and Jimmy ran past the back edge of the table and yelled at me. If I had thought faster I might have been able to push him up on the side and save it, but alas I went brain-dead and we got a refusal. The second "It's Me" of the weekend. And the rest was fast and clean....No Soup for you! (another Seinfeld line :-) ) We didn't have long to wait for Jumpers. It's started out with a 4 jump serpentine, looped to the right and headed for a tunnel. The left end was off course but the jump pointed to the middle so it wasn't too bad, but it killed alot of Qs! I worked this just enough and we were past it OK. Clean-sailing through the weaves and into the home stretch, but one with funky lines. I thought we had it, but alas Jimmy dropped the 2nd to last bar :-(  However it wasn't til I saw the video (thanks Chris!), that I saw that I threw my arm up in a spazzy motion just as he was headed over the jump. There's no doubt that movement caused him to take the bar. So there it was, the third "It's Me" moment. Poor Jimmy, he SO deserves a better handler.

Here's the run:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where's Everyone Going........?



We are headed over to The Chronicles of Cardigan to vote for Happiness Is photo Number 9!
Won't you please come along?

I am definitely NOT  a front runner over there, but if you are so inclined, please vote for Jimmy and Wilson!

I would put the $25 prize/donation toward, what else, but Cardigan Rescue (CWCNRT)!

Just remember......

Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine
Number Nine


Weary of Wilson's Wordless Wednesday?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Festival.....but NCC

Yesterday was a gorgeous blue sky day, pretty much quintessential fall! We went for a motorcycle ride out to the west toward the mountains. We ended up at what was supposed to be a hot air balloon festival (on a very small scale) but alas it was super-windy, so no balloons.

Here is how pretty the day was:

There was an antique firetruck show.
 Another firetruck with a pretty background...oh, and John.




Only in America....Grown men racing around on souped-up lawnmowers!

   
How silly is this?
MONSTER truck ride, anyone?
On the ride home through the scenic Virginia countryside, we saw what was once a gas station, way back when. It looked like a good photo-op.



And finally, the route home took us past a restaurant that serves a kick-ass Reuben sandwich. We rounded out the day (and our bellies!) with a nice dinner.

Jimmy would have thought this was a tavern just for him!

We've had A LOT of rainy weather this fall, so it was great to get out and enjoy the sunshine and scenery!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One AMAZING Cardigan!!!!

This weekend is the USDAA Cynosport World Games in Kentucky. USDAA for those that don't know, is another highly popular agility venue. I just checked some of the results and saw that Shelley Permann and her Cardigan Letti WON the 8 inch Performance Grand Prix! Woohoo! Major congratulations to Shelley and Letti, although I doubt she reads my blog :-)

And this is far from Letti's first time in first place! For those of you that get the Cardigan Bulletin, Letti is featured on the inside back cover with an incredibly long list of agility accomplishments! This dog is so beyond amazing! Lightening fast and accurate. When people snicker at seeing a Cardigan as an agility dog, one only need point at Letti and the point is made! Obviously, Letti is blessed with a world-class handler as well!

Here's a link to the winners' photo :  http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsid=1928

And while we are talking USDAA, let me also congratulate two of the 22 inch winners:

Claudia Bates, one of the owners of the school Jimmy and I train at. She and her BC took 2nd place in the Performance Grand Prix.

Paulena Simpson, my instructor, with her BC, took 3rd place.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just 'Cause........

 ....I like them! The pictures and the dogs! I was out the other morning just before the sun was up and clearing the trees. There was actually a pretty sunrise behind the boys, but this is how the camera caught it.


The boys gave such a focused look at me. They are really getting this whole "posing" thing!


On this one, I liked how the light outlined Jimmy so nicely. He looks quite thoughtful here.


And here are the lovely colors I was trying to get for my background of the boys.



Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cat Tales....so NCC



This post was inspired by Elizabeth's recent post at Chronicles of Cardigan.

I haven't had cats in my life in quite a while. It's not that I don't like them, it's just I'd rather not deal with some of their more annoying behaviors. The dogs provide me with plenty of those without adding cat quirks.

Way back in 1980 and '81 (yes, eons ago!), I lived in New Orleans for a spell. What a fabulous place, I truly loved my time there. While living there, a couple of stray kittens made their way into my life. They were beautiful domestic longhairs, one all white and one a rusty black. They were named to reflect their birthplace, Cajun and Jazz, respectively. Of course, when I moved back to the East Coast, they came along. I settled in an apartment near Annapolis, MD (another great location!) that backed up to a golf course. There was a small strip of trees between the apartment property and the golf course fairway. With all the open ground, my cats soon became indoor/outdoor cats. Cajun developed the funniest little habit that always made me smile. However, I am not so sure the golfers were smiling. He would position himself in the little strip of trees and just hang out. When a golf ball would land out in the middle of the green, he would fly out from his hiding spot, and start to bat the ball around! He'd really have a good go at it, moving the little ball well off from where it landed. When the golfers arrived, he would zoom off back to the trees. I saw him do this on numerous occasions, so it was definitely a game to him. Hopefully none of the golfers took their games so seriously that they failed to see the humor in the situation.

A few years later, I was living in another apartment, this time in Virginia. This one backed up to a large wooded park. I was on the ground floor, and the cats came and went through the sliding glass doors of the patio. By this time, I had first Cardi Dylan as well. The area just behind my apartment was a nice grassy strip that made a perfect place to play frisbee. Dylan and I would go out there, leaving the door wide open. That way the cats could come and go as they pleased. One day I was out tossing the frisbee, standing a bit of a distance from my patio. The cats were hanging out inside. Around the far end of the building came a free-ranging Lab with no owner in sight. He was just moseying around, headed in my direction. I wasn't too worried as Dylan wasn't a fighter. The Lab had to pass my open patio door on his way to visit Dylan and I guess that was just too much of an invitation to resist. He veered through the open door before I had even had a moment to react. Before I could even reach the patio, he came HAULING back out of the door, yelping in fright, with two cats painfully attached to his back! They let go after a few paces, still spitting mad, but satisfied they had defended their territory. I imagine that Lab thought twice before exploring another open door.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pictures by the Pro

At the agility trial this past weekend, the very talented Jim Poor was there taking the action shots. As is always the case when he shoots, I can't resist buying something. And of course, I want to share!

I like all the color and how the jumps frame Jimmy. His black coat sure stands out! He looks like he is looking right into the camera.


This was our Standard run on Sunday when it was just pouring down rain. The whole shot is speckled with the heavy raindrops.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Weekend Report - Winning the raffle used up my luck!

Well, this weekend kicked off the fall season of agility trials. I certainly hope the way this trial went won't set the pace for the rest I have scheduled. Unfortunately, Jimmy and I went 0 for 4! Each run had at least one bobble, and that's all it takes to kill the Q!

This trial is one of the few outdoor trials I attend. And we have been having the rainiest weather lately. ( I don't know how all those Pacific North Westerners deal with it!) As this past week started out, the forecast looked promising for a sunny weekend. But by the Friday, it had changed to overcast with showers. Drat!
The whole ride down on Saturday morning, I drove through showers. Midway there, the sun struggled to come out, and I was treated to a lovely rainbow. I took it as a good omen.


Happily, the showers ended just as I was getting close to the trial site. We actually had a fairly pleasant and cool day on Saturday. Not lots of sun, but enough to warm it up a bit, and, best of all, no rain.

Now, being fresh from vacation and lots of rainy weather meant Jimmy had had very little practice. Actually in the span of 3 weeks he had attended just one class, so probably a total of 10 minutes of ring time, if that. And absolutely nothing in my yard which is a hideous mudpit.This translates into Jimmy being a bit wild. Our first run on Saturday was JWW. It was a very tight, and challenging course. Alas, a bar went down. You get one guess what went wrong in our Standard run an hour later........yep....Jimmy wouldn't get on the table on his first try. I think my handling getting to it wasn't great, and, of course, it is Jimmy's least favorite piece of equipment. Who wants to stop when you can have fun running? So Saturday was a washout even though it didn't rain!


Sunday started out cloudy and gray. Not as much rain on the drive down, but heavier clouds even at the trial site. Again, the first class of the day was JWW. It was another tight, tight course. (What's this judge run himself, chihuahuas?) Jimmy did a nice job, but alas he hit a bar early on. Here it is:


And then Standard....It started Tire, panel jump, to a dogwalk/tunnel discrimination, where Jimmy needed to go up the dogwalk. This is never good as Jimmy loves those tunnels! And there was a complicating detail...it had begun to pour down rain just a few dogs before my turn. Turn up your speakers and you'll hear it coming down! Well, of course, a tunnel looks dry and cozy, so Jimmy shot in despite my directions. He even tried to go through a second time! So, we were done from the get-go. Happily, he did do the table later on, and the off-course tunnel was our only mistake.


So, a weekend without any Q's. Sigh......I am going to blame it on this...Saturday, the club held a raffle to raise money for the club. One of the items being raffled was a very nice tote bag. I bought a few tickets and put them all toward winning the bag. And when I got back to the trial on Sunday, sure enough, I had won! Woohoo! But I would happily have traded that bag for just one Double-Q!

PS Special thanks to fellow Cardigan owner Chris T. for filming Sunday's runs.
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