28 November 2010

New Video, and a couple belated ones.

Switching to Vimeo to see if the quality is better. Lately I've had trouble running my own YouTube videos smoothly.

Starting with the oldest video, here is Drifter's MACH run from last July:

Drifter's MACH Run July 2010 from Rosanne DeMascio on Vimeo.

Next up is Kiba's PGP run from October, the only run I managed to get recorded from Louisville:

Kiba's PGP run at USDAA Nationals 2010 from Rosanne DeMascio on Vimeo.

Last is Drifter's runs from today. This weekend he went 6/6 in AKC, getting 3 double-Q's in a row, bringing his total up to 25, and he has qualified 12 of the last 14 runs, and both NQ's were minor table issues. Not too shabby. Now he is getting a month off to finish healing up his tweak from Nationals, which unfortunately is turning into a stiff spot for him.

Drifter's Sunday runs from KESSC Nov 2010 from Rosanne DeMascio on Vimeo.

23 November 2010

I've added some new pics of Copenhagen at the facebook link on the previous post. I do plan to eventually post them all here with an actual narrative of my trip, hopefully maybe thursday I can get that done.

Statue at the center of the square at the royal palace in Copenhagen. In the background is one of the royal residences, with the flag up, indicating that the queen's sister is at home!

Went to 2 days out of 3 of an AKC trial this past weekend. Drifter QQ'ed on Friday to earn his 6th and final Q towards Nationals, so now he and Kiba are both all done. I had high hopes that Seri might earn another Standard Q, since she is STILL stuck in A, but no, she was brilliantly awful for the first 3 runs. I know I was gone for a few days, but it hadn't been THAT long since I'd trained her, only a week! the last run I at least had her head back, and she went where I pointed her, but she still missed a weave entry and knocked a bar. So I skipped Sunday and slept in. The first few nights back from Denmark the puppy did not understand why he was in a crate alone, instead of in a big pen with his siblings, and woke me up every few hours screaming. He is a smart little booger though, and now he's sleeping very nicely at night (I let him out when DJ leaves for work at 3am), and seems to understand that if he's in the crate, it is quiet time. He has figured out that he can entertain himself by rolling around and playing with bones or other chewy things, or his beds. Which is fine!
This week is Thanksgiving. DJ is staying at his parents' house for 2 nights because he is helping with the family dinner. I'm still really shy about his family, and I also feel bad for my mom being alone for dinner now, so I'm staying home. We may try to find a place to go out to eat. Or maybe we'll just stay home and make pizza and watch a movie.

This weekend we have another AKC trial. I'm convinced Drifter is still not 100% after his hamstring pull and subsequent weird tweak at Louisville. He is sound, no doubt, but he just doesn't seem that strong, and doesn't recover quite right if he trips on something at a walk. So if I run him I may run him Friday/Sunday with a day off in between. I'll see. He ran very well last weekend, and was 3/4 with the NQ being another damned table fault (need to practice that). Nice jumping, won all 3 classes (out of 4 pages of 20" dogs), and was nice and low in the contacts (a sign that he is feeling OK).

11 November 2010

Busyness continues

Updated puppy face, beginning to be a face to break hearts!
Saturday I attended a seminar with Seri. She was a little too excited on the first sequence, which was twisty and required attention on her part, but after that she wasn't bad. Couldn't quite bring herself to tuck in and get a tunnel/aframe discrimination on one, but otherwise she was mostly a good girl. I can't say I really learned anything, except to solidify in my mind the finer points where my own handling differs slightly from what most of the APHS instructors teach. Not by much, but there's a few things I do differently. I think I rely more strongly on shoulder direction and handler speed than they do. Those are my 2 strongest cues, coupled with motion but in some instances speed and shoulder counteracts motion (and whether they teach it or not, this is true in most APHS handlers too - think about moving backwards but expecting the dog to aim for the front of you, for instance).
Anyways, Sunday I drove down to Raleigh NC, and Monday and Tuesday I taught private lessons at my friend's house. I really enjoy teaching private lessons over seminars, and I don't really understand why people really like seminars so much. Seminars are alright if you just want some practice with your dog, and want to get a general idea of how someone handles. But if your eally want to GET BETTER and understand exactly all the concepts behind handling (or contacts, etc), a private lesson is really the way to go.
Anyway, yesterday (Wed) I drove straight to my indoor from NC, taught classes, and finally headed home. Today I have to get ready to leave, because tomorrow I am flying out in the evening to Copenhagen to pick up my puppy! I can't believe how fast this all happened. I am glad to be home from work (or school) for the first time with a puppy, and he can go almost everywhere I do, and not have to be in his crate for long periods alone. My mother has always done me the favor of letting my dogs out and feeding them while I'm at work, so they weren't alone more than 4-5 hours at a time, but that's not nearly the same as being home with them. A whole new experience! I've also never flown with a dog or puppy as carry-on before, and I'm nervous he's going to be a little big for his bag. He will be 10 weeks old on the day I fly home, and he's starting to grow his legs! The other americans who are flying to get their pups assure me they've never had any problems with it, so I just am crossing my fingers and hoping all goes well!

02 November 2010

Entirely too cute.

(Post edited to add updated puppy face)

Not being at "regular" work gives me a little more time to write here, i guess. I've got a busy few weeks coming up. Well, really, a busy month. Tomorrow is my first day of classes at the rented indoor for the winter. Saturday I may get to take Seri to a seminar, we'll see. Depends on whether my mother (pulled her hamstring) is able to run or not - if not I will run instead. I don't often run in seminars - the International Course seminar with Linda in August was my first in about 5 years, and really she didn't "teach" me things so much as she exposed a flaw or two and gave me an insight or two on finessing certain things - very tweaky stuff, but useful nonetheless. I've been training myself for so long now that I've gotten pretty good at getting better. Anyway, Seri could always use some more practice is an exciting atmosphere, and the presenter is someone I don't find to have a big annoying ego so I will gladly go and run if I can. Then Sunday I'm driving down to Raleigh (7.5 hours), Monday and Tuesday I'm teaching private lessons. Wednesday I'll be driving back home early so that I can still teach classes. Thursday I've got a private lesson and packing/organizing to do because that Friday (the 12th) I leave for Copenhagen to retrieve my puppy! I come home the following Tuesday, Wed I have class again, then 2 AKC trials to finish up Drifter's AKC Nationals qualifications.

Speaking of which, Andy Hartman got sacked, which is pretty sad. He was nice to me before I knew who he was, just some random "suit" at Nationals in 2009 when I first attended and made Finals with Kiba and Challengers with Drifter. Then I saw him at USDAA trials as well, down in NC, and he is such a nice guy, I can't imagine what kind of ridiculous beef AKC had with him to fire him like that, but they clearly had it planned, since not 24 hours later they announced who was taking his job, "effective immediately". Sad, and I don't really know his successor, but people who do seem to think she's up for it. We'll see. I will not be boycotting AKC, as I realized and grudgingly accepted long ago that AKC is a large organization, with profit in mind and politics internally, and if I didn't already know that, I wouldn't have been paying attention. Luckily the agiltiy program within the organization is run fairly well. Hopefully that continues to be the case.

Found out all the boy puppies have all their "equipment", nothing retained ;)

01 November 2010

Could this be the new face? Perhaps...

This weekend we were at a local AKC trial. Kiba was sitting on 19 QQ's coming in, but hit a bar in the first run Saturday, and then Sunday in the 2nd run got all the way to #16 and missed a totally obvious weave entry, so no MACH for her. She isn't entered in any trials in November, since she already has her 6 QQ's for Nationals, so she is just going to be almost-MACH for a while.

Saturday morning Seri got her first Exc B JWW leg, her firt B leg ever since she is still in A for Std. She got 2nd place, in very good company, and I was pleased with her. She did not manage to get any other legs; she is still usually the one-bar wonder in most classes. The courses were very open, and that's bad for her. She is OK with a lot of turns, but straight aways she just starts over-running her takeoff spots and hitting bars. Oh well. She handled pretty well.

Drifter did well, going 3 for 4, his only mistake was Saturday in standard - he hasn't run 20" at an AKC Trial since, well, quite a long time ago, and I forgot he would have a 16" table. Added to that was that this is a slightly odd looking table, with a really thick (8"?) wooden top on it, rather than the standard 4" variety. Well he slowed down, looked at it, then deliberately hopped on and off. That was his only fault all weekend, so Sunday he picked up QQ #5 towards Nationals. We have 2 more trials in November so I'm pretty optimistic that he'll get #6, especially jumping 20". He even won Standard on Sunday, over some pretty stiff (younger) competition, so I was pleased. He ran very well.

Unfortunately he looked sore after his last run again. I think he was not completely healed up from Louisville, and I will be giving him a few weeks off now until our next trial.

I also heard from my breeder and now have a pretty good idea which puppy I'm bringing home!