Archive for the ‘Zhora’ Category

Border Collie Society of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

We’re starting to get our mojo working again. Judge Frank Gilmer gave us some really challenging tests in his courses. Alice had a Master FAST Q and a Time 2 Beat Q, and some really nice other runs (we were only just starting to really know how to work together when we took the puppy break, and the whole giant COVID break really put such a spanner in the works getting her going initially). Zhora earned her 19th QQ for MACH7 on Saturday! She’s a pro and even she got caught by one of Frank’s evil weave/tunnel traps.

Alice Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Friday Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (NQ, nice distance and holy crap look at her aframe LOL):

Alice Friday T2B (Q):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #139, this run felt great, connected, I trust her so much to do her job properly and independently):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ but a lot to like her, the opening especially is really good):

Alice Saturday FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #139):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but a lovely run. This is a perfect example of how important connection is. I connected with her out of the tunnel, but dropped the connection to check where I was at JUST the wrong time, and she drove out to what was in front of her, as she should. The rest of the run was awesome):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Our first trial in MANY months. And we’ve had very little training/practice either. So I felt rusty as hell on Friday, somewhat better Saturday. The dogs are in generally good shape and stayed pretty fit during the puppy hiatus. Yours truly, on the other hand? Well…I have some work to do.

Zhora went 3/4, picking up QQ #18 towards MACH7 (2 more to go, then I think I will move her to Preferred, she’ll turn 10 this year), Alice went 0/5 but had some gorgeous runs.

Friday Zhora Jumpers (NQ, she was sniffing a lot at the start and I wasn’t connected when we got going so she missed the weave entry):

Friday Alice Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, I got in her way a bit at the double so got a bar):

Friday Alice FAST (NQ):

Friday Zhora Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (rabies mode, and her only rabies mode at this trial, and a perfect example of why I need to stay connected to her!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ, you will notice that she knocked a bar near the end, it wasn’t set to the correct height so she got a pass for it):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, she misstepped in the weaves):

The World Gets Bigger

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

So we set up the big house (6 x 8 pen in the living room) last week, and the puppies have been spending more and more time in it. We continue to give them something new every day. And today they got to LEAVE THE PEN and play with the other dogs. Grandma Zhora was just perfect with them, just like her mother Nina.

Grandma Zhora:

Purple Girl showing the blue fuzzy bone who’s boss:

Playing with Alice:

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, September 4th, 2021

After last weekend, when we had one single Q, we had a kick ass day! I worked quite a lot with Alice over the last week and it paid off. Connection, connection, connection, staying slower (not slowing her down but not pushing for speed) and calmer and quieter meant that she went 3/4 on the day, earned her first Excellent Jumpers Q and finished her Open Agility title (she’s all the way into Excellent now!). It also helped that she had two games classes before a “real” class, so we had a chance to warm up and get some kinks out. And Zhora doubled. Quite challenging Laura Kuterbach courses (the ending of Open Standard was significantly harder than the Masters course ending):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ, training mode, great weaves and ran off to reward):

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #135):

Alice Time 2 Beat (Q, first T2B leg):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ #135):

Alice Excellent Jumpers (Q!):

Alice Open Standard (Q, OA title!):

Olean KC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

I made some changes, did more practice, and what do you know? It makes a difference!

Alice really, really needs connection, she really needs me to focus on her and get her to focus on me before we run. And she had her best trial day to date! A beautiful T2B run with just one off course. A FAST run where I didn’t connect and she transformed into ALICEALICEALICEHEY! And then qualifying runs in BOTH Jumpers (for her OAJ title, now she moves into Excellent Jumpers) and Standard (for her second OA leg). And weaves on the first try every time. So proud of her!

And Zhora doubled for QQ #134, winning standard and coming fourth in jumpers. She’s like a pair of comfortable slippers that barks and runs fast.

Really proud of my girls.

Alice Time 2 Beat (NQ but really nice run we need to work on our tunnel call offs and discriminations)

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #134):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ and a great example of what happens when I don’t connect and use clear and calm cues):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Open Jumpers (Q, almost 5 YPS, OAJ title):


Alice Open Standard (Q):

Tamarack Lake AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

I’m so glad Sue started videoing early yesterday, so I can see what I’m doing and, more importantly, what I’m NOT doing. Until the video got messed up in transfer, you could clearly see Alice is seeking connection multiple times at the start of Jumpers and I don’t give it to her. It’s easy to forget how little mileage she has, and how much more connection and support she needs from me. She’s a working dog down to the bone and that’s a really good thing. I need to do better for her. I’m rusty too obviously, especially since I should have recognized how tricky that tunnel (right lead through the rocket launcher) to weaves (left lead and collection) sequence was for a green dog. I didn’t cue a lead change and should have recognized that was needed. So many little things I need to be aware of. I so love this little dog, I see shades of (grandma) baby Nina here. AND HOW ABOUT THE LAST HALF OF THAT JUMPERS RUN!!!??

Zhora earned QQ #133, won Standard and came second in Jumpers. Running her is like putting on comfortable shoes and we’re getting our mojo back.

Alice Time 2 Beat (I didn’t get to walk since there was a mislabeling of the running order, so it was a disaster and I didn’t do our usual warm up and connection routine):

Alice Excellent FAST (ZOOM):

Zhora Standard (QQ #133, first place):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #133, second place):

Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Nina’s still on injured reserve so Alice, Zhora and I made the trek to Erie today (and I came home sick from work yesterday so I wasn’t 100% even though I felt better). Zhora had an uncharacteristic double NQ thanks to the EXACT SAME HANDLER ERROR in both her runs, and Alice had two really nice NQ’s. Her Standard run today is probably one of my favorite runs we’ve had so far, especially since we had over a year off trialing thanks to the pandemic. I am really loving what I’m seeing in her, she’s brave and forward, not afraid of mistakes and always happy to try again, and stresses UP UP UP. I’m also seeing what we need to work more on, but overall I’m very happy, so proud of my girls. And SO HAPPY TO SEE FRIENDS I HADN’T SEEN IN WAY TOO LONG!!!

Zhora Master Standard (nice run, NQ):


Zhora Master Jumpers (nice run, NQ IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT):

Alice Open Jumpers (wild but some good stuff, NQ):

Alice Open Standard (really nice run, NQ):

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):

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):