Archive for the ‘agility’ Category

Alice Training

Friday, August 7th, 2020

I’m really happy with her! You can tell we’ve been working the dogwalk a lot since it’s got a lot of value for her right now.

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PACH NINA!!!

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

Today, at the Olean Kennel Club trial at Countryside Agility in Erie, Nina became Can CH MACH PACH Vastgota Nina Ricci MXG MJC MXP2 MXPB MJP3 MJPB XF T2B3!!!

I have been so very fortunate to have this amazing little dog to play this game with. She brings 110% to the line every time, even when I don’t (and she lets me know if I mess up). Nina was made for agility, it is her very favorite thing, and I am so happy she is still able to run fast and happy and sassy at 13. It is an honor to have her as my best friend and a joy to have her as my teammate and I treasure every run with her, Q or NQ. She is such a special dog in so many ways.

It was so awesome to earn her PACH under our friend and favorite judge Sherry Jefferson! And at a suggestion from Glenn and Rebecca, we did a social distancing PACH picture:

The day I stole her from Ulla was one of the best days of my life. Because of Nina, I know so many people I wouldn’t know otherwise. Because of Nina, I’ve gone places and done things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. She is my Ninabean, and there will never be another Nina. Thank you for the privilege of your efforts my Tiny Bean, I love you. 

Nina Jumpers (part 1 of PACH):

Nina Standard (PACH NINA!):

PACH celebration (the video got stopped and then started again so we didn’t get the celebratory elbow bump with Sherry unfortunately, but we DID get the celebratory hip-bump with Sue!):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #131, second place, 19 points, 5 YPS):

Zhora Standard (QQ #131, first place, 30 points, 3.89 YPS):

Alice Open Standard (NQ but some really nice bits!):

Alice Open Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Training

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

Just some Alice videos. Video has been extremely useful for me, both in training and in trialing.

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Alice Dogwalk Training

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Alice is the first dog I’ve attempted to train a running dogwalk with. It’s a learning experience and I don’t yet know if I will regret it or not (I trained a stop with Zhora and then stopped asking for the stop, so she runs through the contact zone now but has never once been called on a dogwalk contact in her entire career).

Here are some videos of training:
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Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

We love Laura Kuterbach. But today Nina didn’t feel like a PACH. Another 19 1/2 day. Zhora won the Standard class but I sent her off course with a mishandle in Jumpers.

ALICE was the star today, NAILING her weaves in Standard and recovering from a slip in the weaves in Jumpers (after a big slip on her first attempt) to earn her second Open Jumpers leg.

Everyone wearing face masks, some with better grace than others.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 23 points, 4.8 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, first place, 27 points, 3.7 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Alice Saturday Open Standard (NQ, she was chasing her leash dragging on the ground after the leash runner, but NICE WEAVES!):

Alice Saturday Open Jumpers (OAJ leg #2, lovely run, slipped after stepping on the base of the weaves, 4.1 YPS even WITH having to restart the weaves!):

Admiral Perry Obedience Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Our first trial back in four months. I decided to dip my toes in and do a few Saturdays to see how it was. Overall I was very pleasantly surprised, everyone wore masks and social distanced and it felt pretty safe.

Nina is just one QQ away from her PACH, and I cost us that QQ with an ill-conceived rear cross that wasn’t really necessary, which put her into berzerker mode.

Zhora QQ’d, she was thrilled to be back.

Alice earned her Open FAST title and had two really nice NQ’s in her other classes. Really nice to see her finding the value in the work, I was really happy with her.

It was so great to see my agility peeps!

Judge Robert Jeffers had some nice if tricky courses, a generous wheel, a generous eye on the contacts, and the fastest table count in the West, which STILL wasn’t fast enough for sassypants Nina!

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #130, third place, 21 points, 4.9 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 26 points, 4.9 YPS and would have been even faster without the near-off course):

Alice Saturday FAST (Q, Open FAST title, LOOK AT THOSE WEAVES!!!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ#130, third place, 31 points, 3.9 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ velociraptor mode):

Alice Saturday Open Standard (NQ, really nice run, I showed lateral motion as she took off for the triple and she sliced and knocked the top bar):

Alice Saturday Open JWW (I pulled her out of the weaves, nice run though):

Phase 1

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

This week we entered Phase 1 of reopening. We returned to regular hours at work on Thursday May 21, but we’re still not allowing owners in the building (which is fine by me, and fine by just about every client).

Yesterday was the first day I wore short sleeves to work under my scrubs, even though it’s been warm enough to for several days.

I entered UKI‘s agility at home trial for this weekend, and of course that meant it rained hard overnight. I built the first course already but it’s too soggy to run just yet, here’s hoping it dries out enough to run this afternoon. It’s great that they’re offering a titling at home trial with small space options! The dogs are super excited to play again, there was shrieking while I was building the course. I’m super excited to do agility too!

It’s Memorial Day Weekend but not much has changed, masks are being worn by the considerate people, which truly is most people. Social distancing rules are in effect but they are allowing outdoor gatherings of less than 10 people, and beaches are open but limited to 50% capacity.

Nina is 13! (Wait, Nina Is 13?!?)

Thursday, May 14th, 2020
Nina, May 3, 2020

My most beautiful Bean, my heart dog, turns 13 today (May 14). It’s so hard to believe that the sweet, sassy little puppy is 13! She’s doing amazing, especially since we thought we might lose her a year and a half ago to a horrific bout of pancreatitis.

For my own reference (and for anyone who might be interested), I thought I’d note what I’ve done throughout her life to try and build on her good genes and keep her here, Nina-ing, for as long as she wants to be.

  • good genes are obviously the single most important factor, her daddy Birk was 16 1/2 when he died, his mother (Nina’s paternal grandmother or farmor) Ebba was 17
  • Nina has been lean and fit for her entire life, in fact an acquaintance who has Vallhunds (who are, to be polite, kept considerably plusher than mine) actually called Nina’s breeder Ulla to tell her how my dogs were far too thin. Given that I evaluate body condition as part of my job, and was taught how to do so BY A VETERINARIAN, I think I have a reasonable handle on body condition. Nina has been between 4.5 and 5 out of 9 for just about her entire life. Lean dogs live longer and are healthier. Now if I could just get someone to control MY kibble the way I control hers….
  • I wish I could say diet was a big factor, but… She’s eaten everything from raw to the now-discredited grain free diets to what she currently eats, which is ProPlan
  • she’s had a job (agility) her whole life and she loves it, plus it gives her a focus and a purpose
  • she’s been on Adequan since she was 7 years old (and in fact I started Alice on Adequan at just 10 weeks since there’s a study showing benefits to doing that, and it has no contraindications)
  • she’s been on a high-quality high-dose Omega Fatty Acid supplement (currently Catalyst Chews) since I brought her home
  • she’s been on Cosamin ASU Advanced (human version of Dasuquin Advanced and much cheaper) for several years, after being on Dasuquin since she was a year old
  • she sees a cardiologist every 6 months (not right now obviously), for her age-related valve disease, and she started cardiac meds (pimobendan and enalapril) as soon as they were recommended
  • she’s been on Denamarin Advanced (liver supplement) for both liver support (as pimobendan can affect the liver) and brain support (it’s an antioxidant which can help with canine cognitive dysfunction)
  • she’s been on ProNeurozone for a few months for brain support and I think it really makes a difference
  • I fed ProPlan Bright Mind 7+ for a while and I really think it made a significant difference to her overall brightness and interactivity, but it’s a bit too high in fat for her with her pancreatitis issue so now she’s on the ProPlan Savor Weight Management Reduced Fat and she LOVES it plus she gets extra because she doesn’t need to lose weight and it’s lower calorie. Great to have a decent and over-the-counter lower fat food, it’s 8% fat which seems to be suiting her really well. I am seeing the same sorts of effects on the Denamarin and ProNeurozone, which is great. She’s often the bounciest dog in the house some days!
  • she is hormonally intact. I had her hysterectomized (“ovary sparing spayed”) when her breeding career was over, but she still has her ovaries and the hormones they produce.
Nina on her birthday walkies

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook today:

In honor of her 13th birthday, here’s Nina’s QQ #19 towards her PACH (here’s hoping we get to actually run for QQ #20 at some point!) from March 8, 2020, which (as it turns out) was the last time we ran before the COVID lockdown.

If I’d known Nina’s JWW run here was going to be the last run we’d have for a while I….wouldn’t have done anything differently. Having had runs in the past where I was frustrated and let my dog know it, and then having had health scares with my dogs, I made a vow to myself and, more importantly, to my dogs, to always ask myself at the start of a run “if this ends up being your last run with this dog, how will you feel?”, and I try to run every run with joy and with the thought foremost in my mind that I love agility because of the teamwork with my dogs. I love agility because my dogs love playing it with me. I love my dogs before I love agility. But I sure do love agility. In large part because Nina loves agility so much. Her joy in her work is infectious and when runs go well, it’s like a Vulcan mind meld.

Nina has owned my heart since she first stood up on her back legs as a baby in the puppy pen at Ulla’s house and looked me straight in the eye. Her face said “take me home, I’m supposed to be yours”. She has always loved playing agility with me more than anything in the world, I am honored that I have played this game with her for so many years now. I am so very honored that she finished 2019 as the top AKC PACH Vallhund and qualified for the Invitational as the top PACH dog.

I hope we will have more trials in our future, I hope she gets that last QQ for her PACH one day, I hope we can run at the Invitational this year. But if none of those hopes come to be, I will still have the fact that this amazing little dog changed my life, I know people I would never have met because of her. She produced some amazing puppies whose families love them dearly. She is truly my heart dog and I wouldn’t change anything about her. Happy birthday my most beautiful, wonderful Ninabean. I love you so much. 

Butler Dog Training Club

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

New judge to us Nicholas Carleton gave us some really fun, fast courses with some interesting challenges. Nina had yet another perfect weekend and is now just one QQ away from her PACH, Zhora went 3/4 and is now 11 QQ’s away from her MACH 7.

Coronavirus was on peoples’ minds, lots of hand sanitizer and people discussing whether or not they were going to the National Agility Championship.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (QQ #18):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #18):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #129):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (QQ #19):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #129):

Nina Sunday Standard (QQ #19):

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

Judge Stephanie Capkovic was new to us. Courses were ok but some really snarky traps. Nina had a PERFECT WEEKEND, and Zhora went 3/4. Alice earned an Open FAST leg and an Open JWW leg and had some really nice things to like in every run.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (PACH QQ # 16, first place, 19 points):

Alice Saturday Open FAST (Q):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 26 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (PACH QQ # 16, first place, 33 points):

Alice Saturday Open Standard (NQ):

Alice Saturday Open JWW (Q):

Second view:

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #127, 12 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (PACH QQ #17, first place, 18 points):

Alice Sunday Time 2 Beat (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #127, only 8″ Q, 25 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (PACH QQ #17, first place, 31 points):

Alice Sunday Open Standard (NQ):

Alice Sunday Jumpers (NQ but really nice run):