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!
Knixa Puyallup Ribbons June 2013
I was very proud of Knixa today. After waiting patiently in her crate most of the morning she came out and nailed her obedience exercises to get a second place in Beginner Novice. The only thing I could fault her on was a crooked sit after the recall. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see her score as I had to go right over to conformation. She maintained her focus in the breed ring to get Best of Breed and Best in Miscellaneous.
We had 5 Pumis in the breed ring today handled by me, Jim, and Derartu. Bella was kind of annoyed that I wasn’t handling her today and the puppies being puppies in their first show were a little wild in the ring, with the exception of Ewok (aka Mr Green) who behaved well and showed up his family by going Best of Opposite Sex to Knixa.
Alex worked well with Derartu in Juniors taking a 4th place. He’s not quite ready for his off-leash adventures in Rally Obedience so they are continuing to work on that before competing in Rally again.
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.
Ewok after the grooming event
We had 4 puppies gathered at Argus Ranch on May 19, 2013 so we did some quick weights and measures after the grooming event with Ewok.
Ewok (green): height 16.125″ weight 18 lb 2.6 oz
Krieger (navy): height 16.375″ weight 17lb 10 oz
Aria (white): height 15.125″ weight 14 lb 6 oz
Kia (red): height 15.375″ weight 15 lb 6 oz
Despite his lack of facial hair Rebecca still looks pleased with Ewok 🙂
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:
Bella and Teddy in the yard behind Daisy and David’s house and Clear Mind Agility Hall.
Over the weekend Bella and I prepared for International Team Tryouts by running some thought-provoking courses and sequences from EO judges at Daisy Peel’s Clear Mind Agility Hall. The workout provided us with good challenges and comradery. Teddy and Aria kept us company in the Scamp on our 2 nights away and added new environments, people, and dogs to their bank of experiences.
We also got to play in a UKI trial on Monday after the weekend workout. With a relaxed atmosphere, an international twist to the course design, and only short wait times between the 5 runs we got to do that morning it was my favorite type of agility trial. Bella was the overall tournament class winner so now has a bye to UKI nationals later this year!
Aria in front of the house at Clear Mind
Shirley and Cricket, Tammy and Zu, and Karen and Bella at the 2012 AKC National Agility Championships
When I acquired my first Pumi in 2007, I knew of 2 Pumik competing in USDAA in Texas. By mid-2008, with acceptance into AKC Foundation Stock and performance events a small handful of Pumik were also competing in AKC – Bella and I in Washington, Chuy and Stacy Lehman in Texas, and others on the East Coast. Bella and I were a novelty at local agility trials and I seriously thought about getting a shirt made up that said on the front “My dog is a PUMI” and on the back “It’s a pure-bred Hungarian herding dog not a Poodle mix.” Being preoccupied with the other dogs I was running at the time I felt no need to rush my training or serious competition with my Pumi and waited to see how things would unfold. By mid-2009 I had actually decided on my contact criteria and started to enter Standard runs. I thought “Hooray. Now let’s just get into Excellent B and we can go to the Invitational.” It was a refreshing change of pace from my other breeds where top 5 points totals and expectations were getting sky high.
Fast forward nearly 4 years and the landscape has changed completely. Now there are around 25 Pumik with AKC agility titles, 7 of those with Master Agility Champion titles, and 3 with multiple Master Agility Champion titles. Given the relatively small number of Pumik in this country that’s phenomenal growth. We’ve had Pumik in finals at the AKC Agility Invitational, finals at the AKC Agility National Championships, short-listed for AKC World Team, and even representing the U.S. at international events. And we haven’t even mentioned the titles amassed by 10 Pumik in USDAA agility or other venues.
Recently as yet another Pumi MACH was announced I thought I would check my Invitational standings for this year. I’ve been feeling good about our AKC performances lately although we’re averaging just less than 1 weekend a month trialing. There have been quite a few firsts and other placements and a sizzling average of nearly 6.1 YPS over the last year in jumpers. As I saw the points totals it was a bittersweet moment realizing that I was not even close to getting into the top 5 Pumik in AKC agility this year. It made happy tears well up in my eyes realizing how much other handlers are competing and enjoying working with their Pumik in this great sport. As many of the dogs competing now are still so young and I see the promise in the eyes of the next generation of Pumi youngsters in training, I know we’ve come a long way in a very short time but the best is yet to come!
Shirley and Cricket, Greg and Hedwig, Karen and Bella
We were able to round up 3 of the 5 puppies today to get weights and heights and received data for a fourth pup in Connecticut. This is the age when teeth are falling out and ears are sometimes going in strange directions but everyone is on track for what I expect in size – Aria was the smallest at 14″ tall and Kreiger the tallest at 15.5″ (the full data is below the pictures). I also got Knixa’s height at 10 months as 15.5.”
Trying to round up the puppies for a picture
From left to right Ewok, Knixa, Kreiger, and Aria pose after getting their heights and weights.
Kreiger (male aka Navy)
14 lb 12 oz
15.5 inches tall
Ewok (male aka Green)
16 lb 7.5 oz
15.25 inches tall
Aria (female aka White)
13 lb 5 oz
14 inches tall
Dakota (female aka Pink)
16 lbs 7 oz
15 inches tall