On Day 3 the boys seem to be enjoying life on the outside. A couple have traversed to the far edges of the puppy pen and back, while others are becoming a little walrus-like (witness Mr White on the far left). For now they just eat and sleep and eat and sleep in cycles as they should.
This is a close up of the color of the hair on the bottom of the puppies’ feet. If our current theory holds true this should be about the color of their adult coat. Only time will tell …
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.
Pumifest 2014 Juniors Class
As Pumifest co-chair my goal this year was to maximize participation. With everything from freestyle to agility seminars, our first ever obedience and rally trials, conformation, grooming instruction, nosework, 2 dinners, the auction, and of course herding, I think we succeeded! After working on details for many months the most gratifying thing was to see the smiles on people’s faces when they won their first ever ribbon for qualifying in Rally or Herding or for them to negotiate the challenges on an agility course and realize just how far they have progressed in their training. The highlights for me were to work with the crop of talented new agility dogs and their handlers who will be the future AKC National finalists and Invitational winners and to see the expertise of our high in trial Pumi work at the Utility level in obedience.
This weekend I had a couple of personal bests in competition – Bella with her first ever score of 100 in Rally Excellent and then I took first place in all 3 Rally classes. In addition to Bella in Excellent, young Ben (who turned 1 last week) won Advanced, and then the biggest surprise of all Aria won Novice B. I can tell you that must have taken a lot of self control on her part 🙂
On the family side, I’m very proud of the kids for working hard in the juniors competition with Ben and Knixa and showing the dogs so well. Apparently Jim was so busy helping the girls in conformation that he almost forgot to get Krieger out. Once he settled down they came in as Reserve. Knixa also worked really well for me coming in Reserve Bitch.
Now that all the ribbons and tiles have been collected, the agility and obedience equipment stowed away, and goodbyes said to friends from far away it’s time to take a deep breath. I feel thankful for all the incredibly hard work from co-chair Tammy Hall, who made sure everyone and everything was where they needed to be, and our club president Chris Levy as well as all the other volunteers who contributed in large and small ways.
On the weekend we had the rare opportunity to do 2 obedience trials in the same day at Peninsula Dog Fanciers. Needless to say I took advantage of the chance to compete multiple times with each dog rather than driving back and forwards 1.5 hr again the next day. The day started well with a qualifying score for Bella in Novice Obedience and her Novice title. Next she got to try Excellent Rally for the first time. We struggled a little with one of the stations and I stepped over the line in the send to the jump so we just managed to squeak in with a qualifying score. Knixa was up next and managed a 93 in her Advanced Rally course. Ben followed next with his qualifying score in Novice rally despite finding the floor had some interesting smells in certain spots. In the afternoon show Knixa did her long sit and down perfectly for the first time in a while in Novice Obedience. However she got disconnected during off-leash heeling so we didn’t get enough points on that exercise to qualify. Then Bella went into her 2nd Excellent Rally exercise. Despite having 4 stations that required stands and despite it is still a skill we are working on we managed to qualify again. Knixa then followed with her Advanced Class. This time she got a 96 and her Advanced title so I guess she’s ready for excellent. Last to compete was Ben in Novice Rally with a final score of 95 to finish his title. In between courses I had a fun time catching up with friends old and new. This is a show I hope to return to next year.
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.
Ben is now 6 months old and beginning to learn his agility obstacles while continuing with his trick training. He has a big personality – likes to be in the middle of everything and loves to play with the other dogs – but is physically still a small guy at 14.75″ (37.5cm) tall and 15lb 11oz (7.1 kg).
Here he is in action with some of his current training sessions:
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 😉
I’ve just taken Ben’s 5 month measurements. He’s 36.5 cm tall (between 14.25 and 14.5″) and weighs 6.5 kg (14lb 4oz). His tail seems to be wagging constantly when he’s interacting with us and he still loves to play with all the other dogs and meet new people. In training we’ve started on tunnels, a little grid work with low jump bars, and a low seesaw. We continue practicing some tricks inside, such as our front paw target games, that will transfer to his agility training.
This is Ben the young Pumi at 16 weeks old just after his first haircut: Link to Ben’s Puppy Photos
He is going to keep us guessing about his final coat color! He is currently 13″ tall and 11 lb 3 oz. He is a fearless fellow who wants to meet all people and dogs that he encounters.
He has also started his puppy training. This video is from shortly after he arrived.
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.