30 May 2010

Our runs at IFCS.

Seri hyperextended her wrist before I left for England. I left her with "no running" instructions but she still wasn't ready to compete yet this weekend, so I ended up with a long weekend home for Memorial Day.

I have been reconsidering when to breed Seri. Next year would probably be better timing for getting a puppy (should be 8-10 weeks right after FCI, if I went) but that would mean that Seri would have to take 4-6 months off of trialing right in the middle of the year. And I really want to get serious with her as soon as possible. She is currently still in Exc A, and needs some more mileage and a little bit of work, so if I'm going to skip a year at Tryouts, I'd rather skip this upcoming year, and not any of the later ones! I am going to take Drifter again in 2011. This is absolutely his last run at 26", as he'll be 8 by the time Tryouts rolls around. If he does not stay sound or has too much trouble, I will drop him during the year and not worry about World Team again. But as you can see from the videos, he had zero trouble jumping the height over in the UK, and he held up nicely. Seri, on the other hand, is not going to be consistent enough this year to be on World Team for 2011. I think by 2012 she should be there. We'll see. But taking 4-6 months off NOW means she will be back in shape by the 2012 qualifying season (April 2011-March 2012).

Also we are currently beginning to look at bigger properties. Hopefully by the time she would have puppies (November), we would have more space. If not, we'd survive. Our house is not tiny, but she'd have to whelp upstairs where Singe did. My mother would be helping.

So there is a strong possibility Seri will be having a litter this fall. She'd come in heat in September, have puppies in November, and they'd go home in January. She'd miss USDAA Nationals I guess, depending on when she was bred, but I'd probably skip it anyway rather than risk any issues.

The stud I am tentatively planning to use would be a frozen semen breeding, so I don't expect a huge litter. But if you're interested let me know. I strongly prefer to sell to people I know well, or have great references from people I know well.

So generally as far as my agility future goes, I am pretty excited. I've got another year of 26" World Team trying out for Drifter, a solid trial season this summer followed by puppies for Seri (after which she will be spayed), and a summer of qualifying for Perf Tournaments and AKC Nationals for Kiba. I love having my agility life planned out, it keeps my goals in perspective and keeps me happy. If I don't keep a larger goal in mind, I get bored with local trials.

19 May 2010


(Thanks to Karen Moureaux for this photo that's been around the internet a lot already!)

I'm home again. I will blog about my trip at some later time, but suffice it to say that the trip out was super stressful, being there was awesome and I didn't want to leave, but the trip back was fairly smooth. We had some great runs, some almost-great runs, and finished up with a Gold in All Around Gamblers, 5th in All Around Snooker, 4th in Biathlon combined, and I think I won the Team Standard round but I never did get to see individual results from it and there are no medals for individual Team classes.

Physically Drifter held up very well and Ria has me mostly convinced to keep him at 26" and try for AKC World Team one last time. We'll see. He has off from agility till late June where he's entered at one trial at 20" (I already changed his entry from 26 down to 20 there so I'll leave him for that one).

Our country seems a bit uglier now. The South West of England is SO beautiful. Everywhere you go it's fields of yellow and green, hedges and stonewalls, beautiful old cathedrals and adorable village main streets. I really, really, loved it! Driving was interesting but I adapted. I only almost got us killed once, and it had nothing to do with which side of the street I was on. . . just pure distraction. We saw the main tourist sites in London (briefly), Cheddar, Stonehenge, Bath, Cardiff, and even a cave called Wookey Hole that was a total tourist trap.

Drifter flew very well, came out of the crate looking just fine each time. Continental was very good to me and I have no complaints about their handling. I'm SO glad all the paperwork is over with.

Today we are home resting up - we didn't get in till 12:30am this morning, which would have been 5:30am UK Time so we were quite exhuasted. I am without my girl dogs till the weekend when i drive back down to Raleigh to pick them up and teach a bit for my friend. So it's very quiet here.

02 May 2010

itinerary planning, and reconsideration

a few weeks ago at the seminar I did where we basically ran really hard international type courses all day, Drifter pulled up slightly lame. I don't know when or what he did during the day, but he was slightly off right front. Ria went over him a couple days later, it was something up behind his right shoulder and upper back area, looked like he twisted it on landing maybe. he looked fine 2 days later (Mon). I ran him at BRAC with Ria's OK on the following Friday, and after the fourth class he looked off again, but worse. So he's been on partial rest for the last few weeks. He did see Ria again last Tuesday, and sees her again tomorrow. He looks great again, but i can't do too much before we leave. Seems like many of our big events have ended up like this - some small injury requiring rest and minor work before hand. I did get brave and do some jump grids with very few turns and he still looks great. Did one short hike, wanted to do it again today BUT it was 93 and muggy and threatening storms all day so nixed that and did some bounce grids. Over the last year I've noticed he hits less bars if I do simple bounce grids a couple times a week. Anyway, it means he should be fine for running in England in just under 2 weeks, but I haven't been able to keep him quite as conditioned as I'd like, and no last-minute skills drills either. I'd like to get him over the broad jump at weird angles again Wed but everything else I guess just will be what it will be. He's got all the skills already, if he uses them when asked we'll be fine.

Spent most of my free time this weekend planning sights to see while over in the UK. The usual tourist traps in London, some pubs that allow dogs, stonehenge, and then Cardiff afterwards. Still feels disorganized as we don't know what time to meet Wed for our early practice...

My dad is back in the hospital again. He's stable but not well. 2nd on the list for a liver in our region now, hopefully he will get one before I leave. Yesterday I ran Trig in a few classes for my mom while she went to the hospital, and I put some more Advanced legs on her. It was hot so I didn't mind just running her. She runs a bit cautiously for me (less speed) and so is very easy to Q with right now. She's a very neat little dog, I'm so happy my mom got the right puppy for her. Breeding is a bit of a crap shoot every time. I'm getting more inquiries about my tentative planning with Seri for next year, but more information will have to wait till I get back from the UK. It's so far off yet, earliest date would be more than a year away. I am slowly getting excited about a happy Seri puppy though, and with Drifter finally starting to age, I will be ready by late next year. i was not ready 2 years ago.

Speaking of Drifter, I have decided against keeping him at 26" any longer. Once we return from this IFCS trip, the onus of World Team qualification will fall solely on Seri dog. So she better get serious:) She is still in Exc A but she makes huge improvements when worked regularly, so I'm optimistic.

I've also decided that I'd like to bring Kiba to USDAA Nationals in Performance 16". I decided after AKC Nationals that I wasn't doing 22" any more with her, but despite the added cost of requalifying, I don't want to miss a prime year with her, and she IS fun and easy to run. I DO need a team-mate for her, both for Keystone in June, for Northeast Regionals in August, and for Nationals. I want a serious team-mate who can try for the podium - Kiba has been top 3 in Championship Team Overall the last 2 years running; she is very consistent. I do NOT want a crazy person though!