Archive for the ‘awesome’ Category

MACH 6 ZHORA!

Sunday, November 17th, 2019
“That was a tough standard course to MACH on, Judge Alex!”

At the Butler Dog Training Club in Erie, Zhora earned her MACH6 under judge Alex Davis (this is Zhora’s second MACH under Alex!).

These were some fun, challenging courses and Zhora loved running them! Thank you so much to all our friends for cheering for us, and special thanks to Zap for the “action” MACH video, in which she multitasks and not only videos, but brings out the ribbon. On the one hand, it showcases Zap’s awesome skillz, on the other, even better, hand, it makes a MACH video look like an episode of “To Catch A Predator” .

I am so very lucky to have this awesome dog to play this wonderful game with, and equally lucky to have such awesome friends in my life.

A year ago at this trial, I held a party for several of my puppies. Unfortunately, I had to leave that trial early because Nina had a pancreatitis flare. That was the beginning of over a month of her being seriously ill, culminating in her being hospitalized over New Year’s and me being genuinely concerned that we might lose her. I am thrilled most of all that she is not only still with us, sassier than ever, still my best friend and official Best Nina Ever, but she’s feeling awesome and doing great.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and we never know which run will be our last with our dogs. Every time I step to the line, I try to ask myself: if this were to turn out to be your last run with this dog, would you look back on it and smile, or look back on it and be ashamed of how you felt, how you treated your dog, how you spoke to your dog? Did your dog leave the ring happy? I want both of us to be smiling after every run, even the disasters.

This weekend Nina gave me two QQ’s, and also two old-school-Nina full-on berzerker mode runs (her Standard run yesterday was so hilarious that I told Alex Davis to brace herself when we stepped to the line today!). The QQ’s might have green ribbons attached, but every single one of those runs made me smile, and the rabies mode runs make me smile most of all. Nina makes me smile every single day.

Not to be outdone, Alice had a great weekend too! A height change on her two permanent measurements meant she got to go back to Novice to start Regular instead of Preferred (which I am thrilled about). She earned a Novice QQ on Saturday with her first two legs in Novice Standard and Jumpers, and would have repeated that yesterday if I hadn’t shown acceleration after the aframe in Standard and encouraged her to take off early and knock the last bar. She picked up her second NAJ leg in Jumpers yesterday, so it was well worth staying until the bitter end of the trial and driving home in the dark! I’m very happy, she is turning into a really fun agility partner (I can feel the mojo starting to build) and she really loves the game.

Alice Friday Time 2 Beat:

Zhora Friday Standard (NQ):

Nina Friday Standard (PACH QQ #11):

Nina Friday Jumpers (PACH QQ #11):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ # 119):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (berzerker mode!):

Nina Saturday Standard (berzerker mode again!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ # 119):

Alice Saturday Standard (Q, first NA leg):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (Q, first NAJ leg):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of MACH 6):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (PACH QQ #12):

Alice Sunday Time 2 Beat (nice run):

Zhora Sunday Standard (MACH 6 ZHORA!):

Nina Sunday Standard (PACH QQ #12):

Alice Sunday Standard (NQ, I should have decelerated at the end instead of accelerating):

Alice Sunday Jumpers (second NAJ leg!):

CHAMPION ALICE!!!!

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Yesterday (10/12/19) under judge Dr Steve Keating, at the Kennel Club of Buffalo show in Hamburg, Alice became CHAMPION Alkemi Clear Air Turbulence LT NAP NJP XFP! She is my second home-bred champion and my first Bred-By Exhibitor conformation Champion (Zhora earned the Bred-By Exhibitor medallion also when she earned her MACH). Alice was entirely breeder owner handled and finished with all her points (and three majors!) from the Bred-By Exhibitor class.

To say I am thrilled would be an understatement. She also earned two Owner-Handled group 4ths, and got a strong look in the regular group twice, and earned her first Grand Championship point today with another BOB win. I am so thankful for Jim and Ruth being willing to bring Orbit again so we had points available so Alice could finish.

Next weekend we’re back to agility!

Thank you so much Bethany Allsop for sitting ringside and taking some awesome video and pictures!

Alice Owner-Handled Group 4 10/12/19

CCOC AKC Trial

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Judge Sue Barnett was new to us. We did quite well on courses with some pretty low Q rates.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (PACH QQ #8, third place, 4.96 YPS, 23 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Saturday Master FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday FAST (NQ):

Nina Saturday Standard (PACH QQ #8, second place, 4.024 YPS, 37 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 3.686 YPS, 27 points):

Alice Saturday Open Jumpers (Q, 3.8 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #111, third place, 4.416 YPS, 15 points):

Alice Sunday Time 2 Beat (NQ):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #111, first place, 3.861 YPS, 28 points):

Lobo!

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Oops, they did it again! Jan Robles and Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS) have just earned yet ANOTHER breed first! Lobo just earned his Water Dog title through the Newfoundland Club of America! I don’t even know what that entails, but Jan says she’ll explain it. Jan and Lobo are an incredible team, it seems like there is nothing they can’t do when they put their minds to it. Lobo was also the first Swedish Vallhund to earn the Senior Barn Hunt and Master Barn Hunt titles, the first SV to earn a drafting title, and he is currently the only Swedish Vallhund Club of America Versatlility Champion who has earned all his required points from performance and companion events only. He also has his Silver Crazy 8’s title in Barn Hunt, his UD in obedience, his PT in herding, his BCAT in lure coursing, his advanced trick dog title and his AX AXJ in agility. His official name (with AKC titles only!) is Alkemi Beowulf Del Roble Ls UD PT FDC AX AXJ BCAT RATCH CGC TKA. Lobo is Nina’s son (with Tempest, AKA Mystarz Baileys Blazer) and Zhora’s litter brother. Jan also owns Zhora’s daughter Cora (formerly Popcorn), who is racking up titles of her own already! Jan was getting a female puppy from the litter Lobo was born in (the Tempestninas), until I heard her greet him when she was doing the puppy temperament assessments…she said “hello puppy!…oh….HELLO puppy!” and I knew right then something magical was happening. Jan is an incredible dog trainer and she and Lobo were just meant to be. It’s an amazing feeling as a breeder to know your puppy is truly living his best life, not only does Lobo (and Cora) have a wonderful, loving home, they also get to DO ALL THE THINGS. Thank you Jan! 

Jan says “

This email may be longer than you wish to receive, but my heart is so full right now with gratitude for those who have helped us on this journey.

As background you remember that Classy, my last Malinois, was my once in a life time dog and I never expected to have another.  Lobo clearly dashed that belief the instant we met.

Aside from how special he is and and what an incredible bond we have, I give huge thanks to my Berner connection.  After I got Glory, her breeder moved to NC from Colorado.  Shortly after our move to NC in the fall of 2016 one of woman who bought one of Glory’s puppies contacted Eden Jonas (Glory’s breeder) and told her I had moved.  Eden then contacted me and invited me to join a group of primarily Berner folks, but also a Newfie person, for some draft practice.  This was the beginning to me pursuing Lobo’s ANDD as well as DD titles as well as building friendship in our new home.

Sidebar here:  As we were preparing for his DD last year, Eden had serious doubts about whether Lobo could do the  1/2 mile freight haul pulling 60#.  He was a super star.

The token Newfie was Ariel and her owner Debbie Dennison.  Aside from some draft practice, we were just casual acquaintances.  Then earlier this year I took Cora to a building to get her used to an obedience ring prior to her CD and Debbie was also there working her Newfie.  As we were chatting afterwards a woman came up to Debbie and asked her about water tests.  I expressed an interest and Debbie said Lobo could do it.  Once the lakes warmed up, we started training in May.  The rest, as they say, is history.

A ‘coin’ is flipped to determine if a life jacket or boat cushion will be the dropped article to be retrieved.  Almost universally people hope for the life jacket.  It can be as small as possible as long as it is Coast Guard Approved.  Boat cushions are considerably larger.  For the Newfie test the coin toss was life jacket.  Debbie was standing next to me and said, “You were hoping for boat cushion, weren’t you?”  Yes I was.  Lobo is very impressive bringing that in.  What I didn’t realize is that there would be a separation coin toss for our test.  The coin toss came up boat cushion and I was thrilled.  Debbie and I rejoiced.  The judges thought I was crazy.  But as you watch this video, you will hear that the spectators got progressively more enthusiastic as Lobo’s test continued by the time he retrieved the boat cushion.”

Lobo is one of only two dogs who passed.

Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Favorite judge and friend Sherry Jefferson designed some awesome, fast and fun courses for us. Nina QQ’d on Saturday, Zhora QQQ’d on Saturday (her first trial back in a long time due to breeding and she was VERY slow since she thinks she is pregnant), and Alice got an Excellent FAST Q, did 12 weaves in Time 2 Beat and finished her Novice Jumpers Preferred title! A great weekend all around!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (QQ #5, first place, 23 points, 4.6 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQQ#107, third place, 12 points, 3.989 YPS):

Alice Saturday FAST (leg #2!):

Zhora Saturday FAST (QQQ):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #5, first place, 33 points, 3.7 YPS, didn’t get recorded)

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQQ #107, second place, 18 points, 3.1 YPS):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, second place, 23 points, 4.57 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 13 points, 4.05 YPS):

Alice Time 2 Beat (NQ, 12 weaves and ran out to celebrate):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, she didn’t believe me about the white tunnel because I was too close to it and had no room to show movement):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ):

Alice Sunday Standard (holy crap LOL…NQ):

Alice Sunday Jumpers (Q, NJP title, weaves on first try, lovely run!):

Alice!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

We’ve been working her weaves in the back yard with stick-in-the-ground channels. Sue and I had a “baby day” today after we got done clearing contact equipment out for the seminar this weekend. So we played with Alice and Blast. We decided to really work on weaves so we set up a course with 2 x 2 poles between other obstacles (this helps with collection and also with teaching the dog to see the poles as actual obstacles in a course), then we made one set 4 poles. Eventually we got to 12 offset poles (they’re offset a tiny amount, like an inch) AND 12 straight up poles. Her biggest problem right now? She wants to go faster than her body knows how to go. I can see real progress! I am so proud of her.

I am THRILLED with this dog, she proves over and over again what a great dog she is. She LOVES to work, she tries and tries, she’s honest and boy is she fun to work with! Melanie Miller is coming to Sue’s this weekend and thanks to Zhora’s hopefully delicate condition, Alice is going to run on BOTH the Masters day and the Open day. She was on the baby dog day last year.

You can see us working through some issues with awesome results. I love training sessions like this where you AND the dog are wanting more at the end! The DOG should always want to keep going, but it’s great when you both do!

WNY Twin Valley Cluster

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Friday Orbit took the point, bringing him to 14 points with one point to go for his AKC championship!

Saturday was Alice’s turn, not only did she get the point under judge Krista Hansen (bringing her to 14 with just one to go for her championship), Ms. Hansen also gave her an Owner-Handled GROUP 1!!! And then Dr. David Hansen gave her a Bred By Exhibitor Group 3! What an amazing day this was! Standing in the OH Best In Show ring was incredible. We had to do three groups in quick succession, we got the OH group win, then I handed her ribbon to Ruth and ran over to the Bred-By Exhibitor group ring, showed there, then ran to the regular group ring, entered late, and showed there. The show superintendent kept stopping by the various rings and telling me what was going on, that she’d alerted the ring steward and that they’d let me in when I got there. It was SO COOL!

Alice Winnings
OH Group 1 and the treat jar trophy that went with it, BBE Group 3. Alice 6/22/19

Sunday Orbit took best of breed to become my very first home-bred champion. I couldn’t be more thrilled, and Ruth has done such an awesome job training him and handling him. He has a great home AND he stays part of my breeding program. It’s just amazing!

AKC CHAMPION Alkemi Cosmic Curiosity LT! 6/23/19
Ruth, Jim and new Champion Orbit. Thank you!

And then they went on to be awarded his SECOND Owner-Handled Group 2!

Orbit OH Group 2 6/23/19

What a weekend! My first home-bred champion, Alice within a single point of becoming my SECOND home-bred champion. Orbit two best of breeds and two Owner-Handled Group 2’s. Alice one best of breed, an Owner-Handled Group 1 (someone asked me today what it was like being in the OH Best in Show ring….the answer? IT WAS FREAKING THRILLING) AND a Bred-By Exhibitor Group 3. The Zhoraberts are proving to be as awesome as I hoped.

CCOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Judge and dear friend Sherry Jefferson gave us some typically awesome, fast, fun courses. Nina went 3/4, picking up Preferred QQ #4 (also 4/7 for the 2020 NAC). Alice had a LOT of fun, showed some moments of brilliance, and we had a jumpers run that was the best run I’ve had with her to date. Her name is “AliceAliceAliceHEY!” right now, since zooming is the order of the day.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 4.955 YPS, 25 points):

Alice Saturday FAST (OMG IT’S SHERRY YOU GUYS!):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ, nice run):

Alice Saturday Standard (ZOOM):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but what a lovely run, the best so far!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (PQQ #3, first place, 4.82 YPS, 24 points):

Alice Sunday Time 2 Beat (ZOOM):

Nina Sunday Standard (PQQ #3, first place, 3.94 YPS, 36 points):

Alice Sunday Standard (ZOOM):

Alice Sunday Jumpers (quite a good run):

2.5!

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Zhora’s progesterone was at 1.3 on Thursday (day 6), which was higher than I expected that soon (she ovulated on day 14 last time, but day of ovulation can vary wildly from season to season, as any repro vet will tell you, Nina didn’t ovulate until day 21 when we did the frozen semen breeding for the B litter!), and then late yesterday (day 7) she was already at 2.5, which is associated with the LH surge, which happens before ovulation. So we could be looking at breeding as soon as Monday (eggs take 24-48 hours to mature and live for about 5 days after they are ovulated).

So the plan right now is to do another blood draw late tomorrow (Sunday, of course), drive it to my repro vet (the awesome Alliance Animal Hospital) in addition to sending some out to IDEXX so we know whether or not the numbers match. And then we may know about travel plans (one of the reasons Vallhunds are tough to breed sometimes is that you generally have to travel, or ship dogs or semen, to get the breeding you want).

Even when I have my ducks in a row, this time-critical stuff is always stressful!

Southern Tier Area AKC Show Cluster

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

We had EIGHT Vallhunds competing, super exciting, including the #2 (#1 until recently) dog in the country. So grateful to everyone who came and showed! Rebecca James, Pat Ray, Becky Lueth, Kat Klein and Ruth Travers!

Friday May 31, 2019 Judge Mrs. Murrel Purkhiser: Alice Winners Bitch for 3 point major, Orbit Best of Winners for the crossover major

Saturday June 1, 2019: Judge Dianne P. Miller. Alice Winners Bitch for 3 point major #2, and Orbit BOW for the crossover major again for major #2!

Sunday June 2, 2019: Judge Donna Conod. Alice BOS for a FOUR POINT MAJOR (3 point major for WB and then another point for beating the bitch special), Orbit BOW again for the crossover FOUR POINT MAJOR! What an incredible weekend!