Archive for the ‘Zhora’ Category

Tamarack Lake Agility Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Mary Mullen. Tough courses. But so much fun. Zhora had a perfect weekend, even though Mary was maybe a little kinder than she needed to be on the table in Standard today.

SO proud of my girl. She earned Nina-level points this weekend.

We’re off until September. 3 QQ’s to go for MACH4!

Saturday Jumpers (QQ #76, third place, 21 points, 5.245 YPS, career high YPS to date!):

Saturday FAST (NQ):

Saturday Standard (QQ #76, third place, 29 points, 3.853 YPS):

Sunday Jumpers (QQ #77, 19 points, 4.691 YPS):

Sunday Standard (QQ #77, first place, 27 points, 3.653 YPS, very low Q rate on this course):

Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Nina’s scratched from this weekend and next thanks to a newly-diagnosed heart murmur. Until we know what it is (appointment with cardiologist is August 16th, also my wedding anniversary). Regardless of what it is, she will return to agility, since for her it’s a quality of life issue for sure, she loves agility more than anything. I just want to know what we’re dealing with.

I can feel myself using some of the concepts Melanie Miller taught me! And they’re helping!

So Zhora came out to play with Judge Sherry Jefferson on her own. One bar yesterday cost us a perfect weekend. Today she double Q’d even while practically swiveling her head on her neck like Linda Blair in The Exorcist to watch Sherry (she LOVES Sherry). Our Standard run today was just a thing of beauty, fast (she came second), accurate, connected.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, third place, 14 points kinda poky, 4.34 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ 75, third place, 17 points that’s more like it! 4.56 YPS, watch for head swiveling to see Meatball Sherry):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ 75, second place, 33 points, 4.18 YPS, really enjoyed this run):

Oops They Did It Again

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

YEAH THEY DID! And comfortably too!

(Nina was diagnosed with a new heart murmur on Monday, we’re going to a cardiologist on August 16th, I am keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that she will be able to attend the Invitational this year. She has no symptoms, she is 100% her normal bouncy self)

Melanie Miller Seminar

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

I was lucky enough to attend the Melanie Miller seminar at Stone Hill Training Center in Central Square NY this past week. Zhora and I attended the Masters day on Monday, and on Wednesday Alice and I attended Puppy in the morning and Green Dog/Young Dog in the afternoon.

It was a wonderful two days! I usually feel like if I get one or two things out of a seminar (things I will actually use), then I got my money’s worth. Well, I MORE than got my money’s worth!

The concept of the “mouse line” (which I think comes from Jenny Damm, IIRC), where the handler should be running where a mouse would be running.

The idea of teaching obstacle independence well enough that a step towards the correct obstacle should be enough for the dog to commit to it, allowing the handler to move to where they need to be next.

The idea of me needing to SHUT THE HELL UP and just tell the dog where to go, perhaps reinforce that they are correct with a verbal (like “weave” or “jump”), but not muddy the water with using the wrong verbals or too many verbals.

Zhora did great on a horribly hot and humid day, she came out of her crate raring to go every time, and I only had to really rev her up halfway through her last turn of the day, and she rallied wonderfully. Love her work ethic so much. On one of my turns Melanie said “you’ve got some moves, girl!”, which I took as a compliment!

Alice was a revelation. I haven’t done much of anything with her for a couple of weeks, so I wasn’t expecting much. She did well enough running a course in the afternoon that one of the people who were there all day asked me if she was really the same puppy as in the puppy session in the morning. She worked her butt off! If I am clear with my cues, she knows and does her job, and does it with speed! I really credit the OneMind Dogs puppy stuff I did with her with this for sure. She had a couple of zooms when her brain was getting a bit fried, but she came right back and worked. And I believe in USING the zoomies (you will see in the videos that I just use her momentum to start running where I want her to go), I think this helps with enthusiasm and it also helps with developing the “team” aspect of the sport. She has a really impressive work ethic.

I didn’t get any videos from Zhora’s day, but here are three from Alice’s. Thanks so much to Sue for videoing as always!

Gordon Setter Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Today marks the end of the qualifying period for the Invitational. The AKC website is current to June 8, at which point Nina was 12 points behind the #5 dog. She’s had some Q’s since then, so now all we can do is wait.

Because we missed 6 months of trialing (Zhora still managed to be in second place with 1,114 points in just 6 months), I decided to head to North Olmsted, where we haven’t been in a couple of years, to try and eke one more Q out of Nina, plus the judge was Alex Davis, one of our favorites, and we missed her at the last trial. We only got in today, and hotels in Cleveland were over $100 this weekend, so I decided to get up at 3 AM and drive.

Zhora earned QQ # 74, Nina double NQ’d. So now we wait.

Nina Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #74, second place to super fast Papillon Blitz, 16 points, 4.44 YPS):

Nina Standard (NQ):

Zhora Standard (part 2 of QQ #74, second place and LESS THAN A SECOND behind super fast Papillon Blitz, 28 points, 3.9 YPS, the dog who came third was called “Bug Powers”, which seems unfair because Spider-Man….):

Youngstown All Breed Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

We headed off to one of our favorite trial sites in Niles Ohio this weekend.

Zhora loves trialing there, and LOST HER MIND. It’s a good thing to NQ because your Steady Eddie dog is in berzerker mode! Friday we had no Q’s at all (either dog), Saturday they both got Jumpers, and then today was DOUBLE DOUBLE Q SUNDAY! Nina QQ # 24, Zhora QQ # 73!

Judges Suzi Schmitz and Cynthia Tilly designed some challenging but fun courses, and I had some really nice fast runs with Zhora. In fact she was only ONE SECOND behind Nina in Standard today! Blind crosses are her friends.

Nina Friday Standard (NQ, biting my shoes on the way in means rabies mode…):

Zhora Friday Standard (NQ):

Nina Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ, oh but I loved this run!!):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, 19 points, 5.125 YPS, she is MUCH better if I carry her in if it’s a tunnel start…):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, poky start but picked up, 14 points, 4.4 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (after a false start from the timer. QQ #24, 31 points, 4.04 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #73, 30 points, 3.989 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (not recorded, but QQ #24, FOURTH PLACE with some of the fastest 8″ dogs around running, 18 points, 4.95 YPS)

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #73, 15 points, 4.49 YPS):

CCOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Judge Mark Upshaw…he talks fast, calls faults like there’s no tomorrow, but his courses are fun and very challenging.

Zhora went 3/4 (not counting FAST), I sent her to the backside of a not-backside jump today and cost us a QQ. Nina went 1/4 but had a lovely JWW Q today.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #72, 13 points, 4.4 YPS):

Zhora Saturday FAST (NQ, thought she was committed to the tunnel….she wasn’t):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #72, first place out of five qualifiers, including some really fast dogs, she was on fire! 29 points, 3.78 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 5.05 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, just a second behind Nina! 4.986 YPS, blind crosses are really the right choice for her!):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ thanks to stupid handler trick):

WLTC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Judge Mary Mullen designed Mary Mullen courses for us. Fun, flowy and fast. Zhora had her second perfect weekend in a row. Nina had a nice Standard Q and a Jumpers Q, unfortunately not on the same day…it’s going to be very close for Nina for the Invitational this year….skipping 6 months has taken a toll on her standings!

Zhora is a MACHINE just now, and already over half way to MACH4. She’s amazing.

Zhora Friday FAST (Q, first place):

Zhora Friday Standard (part 1 of QQ # 69, second place to World Team Keebler, 27 points, 3.688 YPS):

Nina Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (part 2 of QQ # 69, second place to WTK, 17 points, 4.41 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 70, second place to WTK, 17 points, 4.576 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, second place to WTK, 33 points, 4.29 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Part 2 of QQ # 70, third place, 30 points, 3.98 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 20 points, 4.959 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 71, second place, 17 points, 4.48 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, nice run, needed to push further out for weaves):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 71, second place to WTK, 28 points, 3.812 YPS):

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Zhora had another PERFECT WEEKEND (the first since the puppy break)! Oksana Syrkin is one of our very favorite judges, her courses aren’t easy, but my dogs love them. If I had repositioned Nina at the start of Saturday Standard, she likely would have stayed and not missed her weaves, when she gets into hyperfocused stare ahead ignore Amanda mode, I know she isn’t really connecting with me. And we might have doubled. Oh well…that one didn’t get recorded, so maybe a good thing.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (second place, 23 points, 5.5 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #67, 18 points, 4.7 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ #67, 3.8 YPS, 28 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (5.2 YPS, 22 points, nearly had a runoff with Dana but were in fifth):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #68, 4.9 YPS, 20 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (AUGH! THERE ARE 12 WEAVE POLES! She gets through all the tough stuff…):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #68, 4 YPS, 31 points):

Cora!

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

Cora RATN!

Cora (AKA Popcorn), Alkemi Corona del Roble LS just became Alkemi Corona LS RATN! She earned her first title today at age 8 months (the first title for any of the C litter puppies): Barn Hunt Novice!

Cora lives with her uncle (Zhora’s brother) Lobo, Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS, who was the first Swedish Vallhund to earn the Barn Hunt Open and Senior titles, so little Cora comes by it honestly.

Congratulations to Cora and her owner Jan! The Zhoraberts are kicking butt already!