It’s hard to believe 2 years have gone by already for Ewok, Kia, Aria, Dakota, and Krieger born in 11/11/12! We’re proud of all they’ve accomplished so far and look forward to much more fun to come. Here’s a quick tribute to each of them (listed in birth order).
Mr Green is our herding master of the litter, earning his Instinct Tested Certificate at Pumifest. His main gig is agility though and he has earned his AKC Novice Fast title so far, and at least a couple of Novice Jumpers and Novice Standard legs.
This is while he is not moonlightling as a male model.
Miss Red is also active in agility, with some speedy performances in UKI. Here she is in her other role as model house dog.
Miss White is our resident mooch. Watch out folks, that those pockets don’t get eaten in her quest for those last cookie crumbs. And she’s just as keen on her toys.
Apart from her shocking first place in Rally Novice at Pumifest, Aria has concentrated mostly on agility racking up some Steeplechase and Masters Challenge Q’s in USDAA and picking up her Open Jumpers title in AKC.
Miss Pink is enjoying family life on the East Coast. Her siblings hope they get to visit again one day.
Mr Navy is our Masters Challenge master extraordinaire, winning a recent biathalon and a couple of other Qs along the way in USDAA.
He also has his Open Jumpers title. One of these days Mom will steal him away to compete in the breed ring where he already has earned a Best of Breed and some points.
After 35,000 steps; 4 different dogs competing in 15 separate agility, obedience, or conformation events over 2 days; lots of meeting and greeting the public; and a 345 mile round trip in the Passat (at over 40 mpg) we returned from Portland last night. Saturday’s start in agility was a bit rocky for Bella but she had a great Novice Obedience performance with first place and a second place Master’s Jumper’s run. Teddy had his first try at International Standard Agility, where he took third place. At 9 months old Ben got his first turn in Beginner Novice Obedience, where he worked every exercise without any ring nerves (video to follow soon I hope). Knixa worked well for me and her handler in the breed ring and also did a great job on her Excellent Jumper’s course on Sunday. For Bella our best results came on Sunday with 3rd place in Standard Agility, 2nd in Jumpers, and 2nd in International Jumpers, where we had our best and most connected run of the weekend.
To give you an idea of the field this year, 16″ or medium jump height had the largest Masters/Excellent entry. In a welcome move AKC has opened up International courses to all jump heights, not just international small, medium, and large heights and consequently the entry for that event was double last years. Also, I heard from one of the AKC reps that overall agility is now approaching the biggest entry at of all competitions at Rose City.
Jim and or I have been coming to Rose City nearly every year for the last 10 years. We’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere with the crowds, vendors, and lots of friends to connect with. It’s been hard to resist the allure of being able to do all the types of competitions under one roof! We’ve treated it like a mini-regional event but always crammed everything into 2 days. It feels this year like the event is maturing into a real “regional” for agility. Maybe next year with more Pumis ready for competition I’ll try to make it a 3 or 4 day event where we have more time to focus on just agility … okay and maybe obedience too 🙂
A couple of our participants at Rose City this year.
Feeling sorry for myself …
Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes and I’m still trying to size this one. Nearly 3 weeks ago Bella badly sprained a toe on her left foot while taking a tire jump at an agility trial. Since then the toe remains swollen and she’s had to rest from most agility training and all competition since sharp turns to the right cause pain. I could be disappointed about the lost entry fees (3 trials and counting) and fees for canceled airline tickets, or the fact that we have worked hard to get our semi-finals spots at the USDAA Nationals and cannot attend, or that now we will not be trying out for an IFCS spot to compete in the Netherlands. Instead I find myself disappointed that poor Bella doesn’t understand why she has to have more crate time than usual, and why she cannot just go out and run crazy circles in the yard, and why her most fun activity seems to have disappeared. Walks in the park and swimming in the pool to retrieve a floating frisbee can only do so much.
However, things could be worse … The other dogs are enjoying their extra training time – no excuses for not teaching Knixa the weaves and contacts now! Also we have a pretty good idea of what Bella’s injury is even if we don’t know how long it will take to heal. There are a lot of dogs that suffer soft tissue injuries that sideline them from agility and their owners may never find the specific problem area or may not find very effective long term treatments. And, there are other skills Bella and I can and should work on, like our heeling for obedience that we need to brushed up on before our national specialty next year. As with dogs that retire from agility permanently we need to find activities to stimulate the thinking and exercise the body of our injured dogs, albeit more gently, while they regain full health. I remember after my first agility dog Maya retired her eyes took on a sadness and her body had a sagging posture in the weeks after she stopped training. Even though I knew we’d never be at a freestyle lesson much less a competition I decided it would be fun to learn some of the more challenging skills, such as weaving through the handlers legs forwards and backwards and moving away from me backwards across the room. The sparkle returned to her eyes and she awaited our short training sessions each night as eagerly as she had sat on the agility start line! So for now we’ll get back to proper heeling Bella (hopefully without the crooked sits this time) and maybe we’ll throw in the odd pirouette 😉
Bella completing a turn to go up the a-frame in our agility course. Photo by Carrie De Young, AKC Director of Agility.
Wow, what a great experience at EO in Belgium this year! It was a good opportunity to reconnect with friends and the international agility community, especially as I was camping on site with good facilities and a fun atmosphere. Our excellent coaches and the comradery of the U.S. team added to the event. In all I came away feeling satisfied that the training over the last year prepared us well for the course challenges and inspired to take our skills to the next level. In particular I marveled at the fitness and attitude of the German handlers that let them get where they needed to be on those long courses and at the fantastic distance and verbal control of the Russian team. Everyone’s dogs were well conditioned and highly motivated. There’s a reason many countries had teams called “All or Nothing”! This year Bella and I ran completely clear and fast in 2 runs with very respectable rankings and had 2 other qualifying runs with only a fault or 2 – no off-courses at all! This year I felt we stayed in sync through all the sequences.
The weekend prior to EO Bella and I along with 2 other North American friends enjoyed the hospitality of a local club at the Lihos trial in Genk, Belgium. The weather was extremely hot but luckily we were able to borrow some shade tents for the dogs and take refuge ourselves in the spacious clubhouse, where we also enjoyed the Saturday night BBQ. The courses were extremely challenging and gave us a good lead into the EO weekend. Bella had a great first agility run at that competition taking first place.
There was a trophy for first place – the miniature weave pole set !
The club also hosted the U.S. team for practice during the week prior to EO, where Bella was snapped in action over the wall jump.
Photo by Carrie De Young.
Well, it’s time to zip up the suitcases and do one last check of everything before we fly off to Europe this afternoon for our latest adventure.
It’s an honor to be asked to run on the national team for dog agility this year at the European Open in Belgium, and our local Northwest agility community has been very supportive. We have researched the judges, practiced the courses, and entered a local Belgian trial the weekend before EO. Now all that remains is looking forward to some great courses and keeping a clear mind during the competition.
The hardest part about going on the trip is leaving the family behind, including the puppies. I think Bella feels the same way as she is cuddling her daughter under my computer desk while I finish some last minute emails.
Bella and Aria July 2013
We’ve been having some fun running the Pumi puppies at “baby dog” heights on one of the exercises we set up for Bella’s EO Agility training – 2 different handlers with different styles and I think you’ll see both puppies enjoying it!
Minnie’s son Teddy is now 13 months old. We’ve been working on our agility obstacles and jumping and now a little bit of handling in preparation I hope for competition at the end of the summer. Here’s a couple of videos of “T” in action.
In the first video he’s showing his jumping skills, running dogwalk, and progress on 2 x 2 weaves.
In the second video there’s a nice recall, more jumps and tunnels, and a reminder that he’s still a puppy 🙂 I know you can get a Cavalier to chase a ball but who ever said that they would bring it back …
We’ve continued working tricks for rear end awareness with the Pumi puppies and now just starting familiarization with agility equipment, like the see saw, and beginning with some handling of turns.
Our semifinalists for this year.
We had some good results this year – Bella took silver in GP and Steeplechase getting her a bye to the semi-finals of both events at nationals and into the Masters Challenge Biathlon, and after a hairy startline Zoe romped in with a bronze in Speed Jumping. Minnie earned a Grand Prix Q and Granger his Speed Jumping Q enabling him to play at this event and the Western Regional. Granger also did well in his P1 and P2 titling events. In my titling classes and Masters Challenge classes with Bella we had some moments of brilliance and some great teaching moments that I’ll bring forward into my training plan for the summer.
Bella and I just found out this morning that we’ve been selected to be on the U.S. team for the European Open dog agility competition at the end of July. What a thrill!
We’ll look forward to joining all the other great U.S. dogs and handlers as this year EO’s is shaping up to be the premier international event for 2013:
Here’s one of the runs that helped get us on the team: