Archive for the ‘Zhora’ Category

Doberman Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Judge Ginger Robertson set some technical, tight and fun courses for us. And NINA IS BACK! Feeling great, like her old self, sassing me, crazy to get going, just does my heart so much good to be playing with her again!

Zhora earned QQ #94, an uncharacteristic bar cost us a QQQ, and two NQ’s today, but fast and fun and awesome runs.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #94, third place, 15 points):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but WHO CARES!?):

Zhora Saturday FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #94, second place, 27 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, I got in her way):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ, rear crossed the weaves!):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ but nice run!):

Admiral Perry AKC Agility Trial

Friday, January 18th, 2019

With severe storm warnings for Saturday/Sunday, I decided to make the drive today for just one day. Sure was worth it! Zhora Triple Q’d (she is so awesome) and her daughter Alice made her trial debut (I had a sentimental/superstitious need to have Alice make her debut under our dear friend and favorite judge Sherry Jefferson). My goal was simply to have her get her feet wet, maybe do some obstacles, hopefully mostly stay with me, so I came up with a simple FAST course, just jumps and tunnel and the aframe (which she loves), I didn’t ask for a startline stay, just wanted to keep it up and high energy and fun. HOLY MOLY! She was a ROCK STAR, ran amazingly well, COMPLETELY ignored Judge Sherry (who is also her beloved Aunt Sherry, and even Zhora had to give Sherry the “hey Aunt Sherry!” eye), stayed focused and happy and completely unfazed and the icing on the cake was that she QUALIFIED! She’s never run on turf, she’s never run in a match or a trial…no worries. I had zero expectations of her (and I still don’t, my only goal at this stage is for her to learn how fun and exciting this is), but holy moly was I impressed. She’s the first dog I did OneMind Dogs methods with from the start, and I do think it made a huge difference, she understands so much more at this stage than I ever hoped she would, plus she has that awesome temperament, she doesn’t worry, she doesn’t fret, she takes her job seriously, she is a working dog and exactly what I hoped for from this litter. Zhora and Bert, you did good!

Zhora Standard (part 1 of QQ # 93/TQ, 32 points, 4.097 YPS):

Zhora FAST (QQQ, first place):

Alice Novice FAST (FIRST RUN, FIRST Q!):

Zhora Jumpers (part 2 of QQ #93/TQ, 19 points, 4.769 YPS):

Erie Kennel Club

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

The first trial of 2019 is in the books under judge Laura English. Nina’s bout of pancreatitis that started at the Alkemi reunion and kept her out of the Invitational flared up acutely the weekend before New Year’s and culminated in three days of hospitalization over New Year’s at Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center. I genuinely thought we could lose her for a bit but she’s home now and doing very well. I am cautiously optimistic.

So Zhora ran alone this weekend. I could tell that my stress levels have affected things so I wasn’t thrilled with my handling but I was thrilled with her performance.

Saturday Jumpers (second place, 17 points, 4.675 YPS, love this run):

Saturday FAST (first place, 71 points):

Saturday Standard (NQ):

Sunday Jumpers (NQ, I didn’t get the cross in I wanted before the jump before the weave poles and it cost us a Q):

Sunday Standard (second place, 30 points, 3.879 YPS):

2018 Invitational Videos

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Here are the official videos. That first jumpers run really shows just how costly a moment of disconnect can be, she looks to me for reassurance, I wasn’t looking at her, so even though she made a valiant attempt to get back into the poles, she was too far along.

Time 2 Beat:

Round 1 Jumpers:

Round 2 Standard:

Round 3 Hybrid:

Round 4 Jumpers:

2018 AKC Agility Invitational

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

The Invitational is a strange beast. Exciting, disappointing, emotional, fun, exhausting, thrilling. It’s an experience.

This year was extra emotional, because Nina’s pancreatitis flare-up in November was just improving and then flared again the day before I left. So I left her home with Jim rather than subject her to all that driving, crate time, strange places, etc.

She qualified this year for the fifth year in a row, and I know that, at 11 1/2, this could easily have been her last year to go (plus the official color this year was purple, Nina’s color!), but leaving her behind was the right choice for her.

I had high hopes for Zhora this year (last year, the Invitational was her first trial back after the puppies, so I knew we wouldn’t be competitive). She’s been within shouting distance of the finals twice now and I thought this year (her fourth consecutive) could be her year. She’s been fast and accurate and laying down perfect weekend after perfect weekend. She came out on Friday and dropped a 7 point Time 2 Beat run, which is excellent when running with some of the fastest dogs in the country.

Then Saturday was hot and muggy, I think Nina’s absence really started to get to her, and in our Round 1 Jumpers she bobbled in the weaves, looking at me while I was looking ahead, and that moment of disconnect caused her to pop. Right off the bat we were out.

Round 2 Standard was a Q. Slow, but a Q.

On Sunday, Round 3 Hybrid started to feel more like running with Zhora.

And then Round 4 Jumpers was my favorite – three blind crosses, two misread turns but no big deal, she ran fast and happy and I cried at the end, so thankful to this awesome little teammate for coming through for me once again. 

HUGE crowd pressure this year.

So Zhora finished 3/4 plus Time 2 Beat, not bad at all!

Then we made the traditional stop at American Beach on Amelia Island for some much-needed R&R:

Alice on American Beach
Thank you Zhora!

Butler AKC Trial & Alkemi Puppy Reunion

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

L-R Nina (Can CH MACH Vastgota Nina Ricci), Alice (Alkemi Clear Air Turbulence LT), Zhora (MACH4 Alkemi Blade Runner LS), Cricket (Alkemi Braveheart ST), Riley (Alkemi Aston Martin LS), Colby (Alkemi Batman LS). Nina is the mother of everyone except Alice, and Alice’s mother is Zhora. Zhora, Cricket and Colby are littermates from the B litter.

We had a mini Alkemi puppy reunion this weekend, complete with cake:

Judge Oksana Syrkin designed some fun, tricky courses. Nina had a pancreatitis flare-up unfortunately, so even though she double Q’d on Saturday she was very slow and wasn’t right and I ended up leaving the trial early Sunday morning to take her home because she really wasn’t feeling well at all.

Zhora tripled Friday (her first TQ!) and doubled Saturday (with a gift on an R on Friday), Riley earned his OAJ title, Colby earned an Excellent Standard leg and Cricket earned her very first AKC Q’s! Cricket is a Nina for sure.

It was awesome to see my puppies again and I am so grateful to Jennifer, Nichole and Chris for coming, and to Zap as always for her huge help with pictures and video!

Zhora Friday FAST (QQQ#1, QQ #90):

Nina Friday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Friday Standard (QQ #90, first place, 3.4 YPS, 24 points):

Nina Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ #90, fourth place, 4.5 YPS, 16 points):

Colby Saturday Jumpers:

Nina Saturday Jumpers (QQ #25, obviously not herself, 4.1 YPS and just 14 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #91, third place, 5.06 YPS, 21 points):

Cricket Saturday FAST (Novice Q #1!!):

Colby Saturday Standard (Q!!):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #25, feeling a bit better, barked at me on the table anyway! fourth place, 3.5 YPS, 25 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #91, third place, 3.8 YPS, 29 points):

Riley Saturday Standard:

Riley Saturday Jumpers (OAJ title!):

Cricket Saturday Jumpers:

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Lavonda Herring….usually wide open, Run Like Hell….this weekend? Close, tight, off course central. Love her anyway.

Zhora had yet another perfect weekend, racking up QQ’s # 88 and 89, almost halfway to MACH5 already. I can’t believe her. I just hope if she’s going to slump, that she does it BEFORE the Invitational. Right now it feels great, dialed in and open communication. AND she finished her Excellent FAST title!

Nina also had a perfect weekend…of NQ’s. Doesn’t matter. Every weekend I get to play with her is perfect.

I also ran into conformation judges The Anthonys, which was wonderful. SUCH NICE PEOPLE!

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #88, second place, 17 points, 4.769 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers:

Zhora Saturday FAST (XF title):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #88, second place, 27 points, 3.662 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard:

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #89, second place, 18 points, 4.759 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers:

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #89, third place, 28 points, 3.763 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (such a nice run, dogwalk contacts are for the weak):

Erie Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Another perfect weekend for Zhora with FOUR FIRST PLACES and QQ’s #86 and 87. I cost Nina a double Q today, I just wasn’t in sync with her. She ran really well though. Judge Laura English designed some really tough but really fun courses.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #86, first place, 4.8 YPS 17 points):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (yeesh):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #86, first place, 4.134 YPS, 32 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 4.053 YPS, 32 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #87, first place, 4.722 YPS, 17 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (I stepped in one stride too early and pushed her off the last weave pole):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #87, first place, 3.746 YPS, 28 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, nice run):

Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Clyde Closson (tough but fun courses, tight-ish wheel) and David Nauer (OMG gorgeous wide-open run your ass off courses, I will show to him ANY TIME I CAN) this weekend in Niles. Z earned an Excellent FAST leg, a single JWW leg and two double Q’s. Nina had a standard Q and some fun runs and a walk of shame.

I am loving how Zhora and I are running together, it feels really dialed in. The blind crosses are really working for her.

I’d been really sick earlier in the week and wasn’t 100%, still a bit wheezy and I was running them awfully close together, but it got better as the weekend went on.

Zhora Friday Standard (NQ):

Nina Friday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (4th place, 4.83 YPS, 19 points, OMG this course was the MOST FUN EVER):

Nina Friday Jumpers (ONE LOUSY BAR):

Zhora Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Saturday FAST (NQ, I mishandled the send):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #84, 4.02 YPS, 31 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #84, 4.48 YPS, 15 points):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #85, 3.79 YPS, 27 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (Q, 25 points, close calls!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #85, 4.87 YPS, 19 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (one bar away from a QQ…):

Erie Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Favorite judge and friend Sherry Jefferson designed some fun, fast, interesting courses this weekend. My dogs came off the course smiling every time. LOTS OF RUNNING. Zhora had another perfect weekend, Nina had one Jumpers Q so at least she came home with A Q. Love my girls no matter what.

Zhora was super fast for her, over 5 YPS in Jumpers on Saturday and over 4 YPS in Standard. Beating some very fast dogs and taking two first places on Sunday.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 22 points, 5.14 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #82, second place, 21 points, 5.032 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #82, first place, 32 points, 4.136 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (ONE LOUSY BAR):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #83, first place, 17 points, 4.7 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (I nearly got lost after the kerfuffle at the weaves):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #83, first place, 30 points, 3.932 YPS even with looking at Judge Sherry and having something in her ear at the start):