30 January 2011

Was fun to teach locally this weekend, only an hour away from home. I did have to bring my dogs both days, so they just mostly hung out in the car with their blankets on. Having a dark colored car helps on cold days too - it was much warmer in the car than in the arena! I trained Seri a bit and she did well on the mats - they were a bit slippery but not bad. I am glad she is starting to learn how to adapt to surfaces, as she has never been as natural about that as Drifter is. Tomorrow is crunch day, I have to pack up everything I have left to pack up, since we are supposed to be moving Tues-Wed. The weather forecast is iffy though, rain/sleep/snow/purple-reindeer are all predicted to fall those two days. Ok, not purple-reindeer, but everything else.

My puppy is growing again. I had hoped I could stop feeding him lunch, but alas, he has sprouted upwards again and gotten skinny, and I abhor a skinny puppy, so more food he gets!

28 January 2011


ETA: I have been told this dog does not have ETS. I don't know the dog, I just assumed from the video in the first post that the dog's jumping issue was ETS. I have never heard the term "Ninja Jumping" - and I would think Ninjas wouldn't have problems jumping since they are very sneaky. But nonetheless, it is still an interesting study in a dog with an early takeoff problem, and explains why lots of jump training might not have much effect.


Edited because I forgot to add: about 2 weeks ago Drifter's eye started acting irritated. I assumed dirt had gotten in and caused a minor scratch. I washed it a few times and when I left the next day for OR he seemed fine. When I came back 4 days later he still seemed fine, it was right before the trial that weekend I noticed him squinting and watery eyed on and off again. I ran him in tournament classes only, since he seemed to be able to see OK. By Sunday no more watering, but it was back again Tuesday, so Thursday I took him into the vet, figuring it should've been healing on its own by now. The vet affirmed this opinion, saying since there are no signs of infection at all, that it's odd that the scratch isn't healing. She put a dye in and we looked at it under blacklight - the darned thing goes practically all the way across his eye. She says no way was it dirt/sand, it was definitely something sharp. Only thing I can figure is a puppy tooth/claw, since there are no bushes or barbed wire or anything in the yard. So he is on antibiotic drops for a week, and if there's no improvement he has to see an opthalmologist, who will abride the scratch to try to encourage it to start healing itself, and give him a long-term soft contact lens to cover and protect it. So anyway, perhaps the giant horizontal GASH is why he missed the DW contact last weekend? I could see how a blur in your vision might cause you to miss a step on a 12" wide down plank that you have almost zero time to judge...

Sponsorship. Oh, and it snowed a lot more.

Our WAO Team USA Coach wrangled a sponsor for the team: Sasha's Blend! They have contributed a good chunk to the team, so please feel free to support them for supporting us! And tell them about it!
Also if you know or are involved with a company who might be interested in contributing, please refer them to Tracy Sklenar. If they might be interested in a small individual contribution, please contact me! I can offer advertising on the blog, advertising on my person, or use of my/my dogs' images in ads. Yup, feeling commercial today!
And don't forget to buy lots of harnesses from Clean Run, and lots of items from my CafePress shop (link on the sidebar). The Team is also in the process of creating an eBook with lots of great exercises and practice sets from the team members, who are all very accomplished agility handlers! So please keep your eyes peeled for that announcement, as well as the upcoming website.
We got about 16" of snow from Wed-Thur this week. Just nuts. Darned good thing my mother got the snowblower tuned up so we could use it this year! The snow was wet and heavy, and at one point Wed night we got about 6 or 8" in 2 hours.

25 January 2011

A good day.

Yesterday was a useful day. We did useful things. DJ cleaned the bathroom, scrubbing it from ceiling to floor and back again. I cleaned out the closet, which has been accumulating some odds and ends of clothes and random comforters and such for a few years, and we generally got the bulkiest bits of cleaning done. Now it's mostly just small bits of cleaning and packing the rest into boxes.

Today, on the other hand, was a good day because the things I did were fun! Drove out and met a non-local friend for some agility training, lunch, and an hour's hike in the balmy above-freezing weather. I only trained Seri, since I suspect the smooth coats are a bit stiff/sore, but I let Kiba and Strafe run around the arena for a while before and after training so they could get the kinks out and move around. And I took Seri and Drifter on the hike - Drifter does better with moderate exercise than total rest, as long as he isn't lame, and he moved fine throughout the hike, so I think he was just a bit stiff over/after the weekend. He isn't 3 anymore! And he runs for all he's worth.

Tomorrow they are predicting temperatures just above freezing, rain in the late morning, snow in the evening and snow all night, which probably means roads that will be wet, then icey, then snow on top of ice. Scary stuff. Glad I got some training in with Seri today, as i have a strong feeling we won't be training tomorrow!

24 January 2011

Videos. Really.

So on Saturday I got Steeplechase Round 1 on video with all 3 dogs - and they all ran CLEAN. But... I was recording to the hard drive on my camera. Which is great, but I have already packed up the cords that connect it to my laptop, and without them I can't transfer the videos so I also can't upload them. Sorry! I do have a few videos from Sunday. I tried to get Seri's GP on video since I used the behind the back wrap on a jump, but the videographer couldn't find the slider button to open the lens cap, so that got missed.

It was a cursed day for dogwalks, as Seri leaped over her contact in Adv Std (continuing our curse of "Advanced Forever!") which at least I can understand since I have gone back and forth with her criteria, but then in GP Drifter, of all dogs, missed his as well. First one since last June, and I believe the class last June was the only miss in all of 2010. He seems stiff today and we've had snow on the ground and very cold temperatures for weeks now, so it's possible he was not moving as well as he should've been, because often that leads to poor contacts. (see here for an example) as compared to (here). He looks a little stiff today but not visibly limping. Could just be a fluke. Happens to everyone now and then. Because I'm realistic, I'm bravely posting this missed contact on the interwebz for all to see. He would've won had he but thrown a back toenail in, but alas, he did not. Oh well. This was the first GP/PGP in a while where all 3 dogs failed to qualify.

(Edited 1/28 to add that I have since discovered that what I thought was a minor eye irritation turned out to be a GIANT GASH across the entire middle part of Drifter's right cornea, so he can, perhaps, be forgiven for missing this contact considering there's probably a bit of a blurry horizontal line in his vision. Amazing he didn't knock any bars.)

Anyway, Drifter's missed DW but otherwise great run here:

Kiba's nice PGP with a knocked bar and somewhat iffy contacts here:

And all 3 dogs in Steeplechase/PSJ Finals:

20 January 2011

YouTube Searching

Decided to search YouTube for videos of myself. I realize sometimes other competitors or friends at big events will video people and post it on youtube. I have no problem with this, except a lot of times I don't have video of it myself. So here we go, some videos of myself, taken by others who I may or may not have even met, collected in one spot for future reference and viewing pleasure!

Kiba 2010 PSJ Final (1 bar):

Kiba at 2010 AKC Nationals in Challenger Rd (1 bar):

Drifter 2010 NAC Win:

Kiba in 2009 AKC Finals at 20" (lots of faults:)

Drifter at Northeast Regional 2009, hit the broad jump but still 3rd:

19 January 2011

New Frontiers...

Had a great time teaching out in Portland OR this past weekend. Because I've had multiple competitive dogs (one of whom I am afraid to fly due to some mental issues) I've driven across the country for trials the last few years, and so I haven't actually flown domestically since I flew Drifter to Scottsdale for USDAA in 2006. Boy, domestic flights have gone down hill... or maybe I got spoiled by the trans-Atlantic flights where you get big comfy airplanes (not that the seats are any bigger) with relatively quiet engines, everyone gets seat-back entertainment units, free food, etc. These flights got nada, literally we got nothing. Well, OK, you did get free soft drinks. But snacks and sandwiches were expensive extras. No movie, not even a single one. So, fortunately I'm good at zoning out and reading for hours at a time even in a noisy area.

Despite my boring plane experiences (including some delays in both directions at my connection at DFW, an airport I am now quite familiar with), my actual time in Portland was a lot of fun. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest, ever. i got to stay with someone who's becoming a long distance friend of mine, met some new friends, some people I've only "met" online, some people whose dogs I've seen on blogs for years but never actually seen "IRL" so to speak. Everyone had a great attitude, everyone was nice to their dogs, and they all had a good level of handling skill as well. I hope I get to go back. I lucked out and got warm 50F weather in mid-January. It did rain, but hey, there's snow and ice here in PA, so 50's is vacation for me!

I've always done well adjusting to different time zones, but I did have a few nights of spotty sleep out there, and today back in EST I managed to sleep (sort of) till 9am. So hopefully I can readjust as quickly as usual. This afternoon I teach class, this weekend I have a local USDAA trial with GP and Steeplechase, hopefully I can finish up some Q's with the dogs. Seri is running Advanced Std again, our cursed class (even when we have a good run, we end up with faults somehow). And Drifter is running pairs with his daughter again. Hopefully even with limited USDAA trials this year we can still manage to finish our LAA Bronze.
And we are moving in TWO WEEKS so I need to buckle down and pack and clean, pack and clean. Far from my favorite thing to do, but there it is. Deadlines are motivational, I suppose.

12 January 2011


Last year the Philly region set records for the amount of snowfall it receives (somewhere in excess of 65" - I think it was closer to 70" but having trouble finding it online). I was so sure we wouldn't get nearly as much this year, but it seems I might be wrong. We've had two 3 or 4" snowfalls already, the last of which was last week and hadn't melted yet by the time it snowed last night, DJ is out shoveling now and estimates it at about 5" more. I don't mind it too much, really, but it does interfere with everything. I am not sure if I can have class this afternoon; the snow should stop by mid-morning, but I will have to call the barn to see if we can get the cars in to park, and get down to the indoor to practice...

So this morning I am spending working on sequences, both for today, just in case, and for the weekend. This weekend I'm flying out to Portland OR, which will be fun; I've never been to the Pacific Northwest at all, so I'm looking forward to it.

Here's a sample of what I usually practice with my own dogs, between classes. I try to include different skills - new skills, skills I don't *like* to practice, and sometimes I throw a straight line in there, as that's where bars tend to come down for Seri and I need to make sure I am as fast as I think I am...

Sorry if this won't open up larger, they usually do but it's not working for me today...

11 January 2011


Crazy weather lately, huh??

As I mentioned on Facebook, I believe this is officially the latest I've been awake since 2002 when I started my early morning job at FedEx Ground. Yay me! Or probably not "yay", since the puppy and my brain chemistry will both tell me to wake up around 7am tomorrow morning...


I have to admit, when a good friend told me lots of people read this blog, i was pretty doubtful. After all, it's just me rambling about stuff most of the time. i don't really try to be that educational, I don't preach like I'm teaching (or like I'm preaching!), and I'm a pretty blunt person most of the time, although I try to be PC when posting to the public blog-o-sphere by not naming names. So I put the counter at the bottom of the page, and discovered I've had over 1700 page views in the last 30 days. Well gee, guess she showed me! She also tells me I'm controversial sometimes! And I thought I kept it pretty tame around here, talking about weather and my dogs all the time...

I am up very late tonight (this morning?). Due, probably, to sleeping a lot last night, which was due to me being tired from the long days at the USDAA trial over the weekend. Vicious cycle, I suppose. I am also awake since I was trying to decide whether to take another blogger's post as something referring to me or not (they use a phrase and general subject matter I mentioned on facebook not 24 hours earlier). I was feeling rather brave for putting all the blind cross information on here, especially given my public opposition to blind crosses in the past. I certainly didn't invent the maneuvers I've been working with Seri, but they are certainly new to me, new to Seri, and I don't believe anyone here in the states performs them quite the way I'm attempting to do so - it is a much more european style. So I hope no one is getting the impression that I'm a puffed up ego claiming to invent something. I'm not. I AM, however, someone who has their own unique handling style, and I only add new tools to my toolbox after much analysis of video and thought about whether it fits with the way my dogs understand my motion and body cues. i have long been against almost all blind crosses, so it was a tough decision for me to teach Seri to go behind my back. It is also a very specific cue, and means only one thing - wrap around my body. I believe wrap cues are pretty black and white. You are wrapping the jump (180 degrees or close to it), or you aren't. This is in contrast with most turn cues, with have an infinite spectrum of possibilities with regard to both speed and trajectory. I believe that I can perform any speed and angle of turn at a jump using a shoulder turn or a rear cross or a front cross, because I use speed and direction of motion as primary cues. So facing her and telling Seri to go behind me is a specific cue for her, because generally she is never allowed behind me, and I certainly don't want her thinking about that as we're running.

Sorry for the really late post, but part of the reason I was up is that i wanted to post something. I am not a follower of any big name person's system. I improve by self-analyzation, analyzation of others who are at the top of their game and I respect, and brainstorming about my individual dogs. I value consistency, innovation, and logic over anything else. And I certainly hope no one thinks I'm stealing maneuvers from europeans and claiming to reinvent them. I only hope to emulate those who perform them well!

So in closing, please excuse the diatribe; perhaps this winter I will take some blog posts to explain the differences between the way I handle, and the way the big name systems work. Especially since there are a few odd trends I've been hearing lately, like "there are no shoulder turns" - that one baffled me for a minute, since I use them all the time, and I do so pretty successfully.

(shoulder turn. and a wrap...)

And then again, perhaps I'll just go back to talking about my dogs and the weather?

10 January 2011

Pretty good weekend

We were at Mountain Freaks USDAA Trial this weekend. I only ran Seri on a DAM Team, as I didn't want to spend a lot of money and there were a lot of runs each day if I entered Team and the other classes as well, and coming from time off, I don't like to do a lot of runs each day. Seri was on a team with my mother and her youngster Trig (a Drifter baby), and we couldn't find a 3rd so we ran with a draw teammate. Seri was great in Team, just a few knocked bars. She won Team Snooker, got 2nd in Gamblers, and was clean on her leg of Relay, which wasn't easy. We just managed to Q due to a few teammate faults, but a Q is a Q so I am happy. In Grand Prix Seri decided to smash through the first bar so I walked her off. Steeplechase Round 1 on Saturday involved this bit, which I decided was a good chance to use our new move, so this is how I handled it (Seri has very independent weaves), and we were 2nd. There were some very good dogs at 26", as there usually are in my particular competitive region of agility.

I left her laterally in the weaves, as she came over the jump I front crossed briefly, raising my left arm to tell her to change sides. Once she was landing from the jump and heading for the right side of my body, I used my right arm to get her focused on me, backed up to the wing, and sent her over behind me. Worked great. She collected, wrapped and we reaccelerated towards the weave poles.

Round 2 on Sunday was a fun course, very fast and open but with a couple somewhat tricky bits. Here is my 2nd opportunity to use our new maneuver. I had to run like a mad thing to get down for the front cross after the 180 but I did it fine. I pushed her out a bit before the jump to alter her takeoff point, had her land on my left hand to get her coming into me, then backed up and used my right arm to send her over the jump. This was a trickier one, due to the difficulty of intense handling maneuvers being performed before-hand, so I muddled it a bit before sending her over the jump behind me, so we probably could've actually been even faster if I'd been smoother, but dancing around sideways and backwards with a large, very fast, screaming loud border collie jumping 26" is a bit difficult. Anyway she performed brilliantly and we won the class! Beating a dog who is generally very competitive and has even won at least one class at Tryouts. So yay Seri!

Drifter did well, he won 22" Grand Prix for a bye voucher, won Masters Pairs with his daughter Trig, and got 2nd in Steeplechase Finals. I didn't do the blind with him and Kiba, and with Drifter I got in the front cross but he got his eye on the tunnel and so I had to call him off and back to the last wingless jump before it, so we lost some time and i was OK with 2nd. Kiba won P16" as well, although it was a bit awkward with a few slightly wide corners, it was still a very fast clean run. Kiba did not Q in PGP though, she hit a bar on the lateral send at the beginning of a serpentine. She has trouble with those sorts of bars even at 16". Something to work on.

07 January 2011

Few inches of snow this morning.





And lastly, this is what happens when I try to sweep the light snow off the porch.

05 January 2011

Family picture in Denmark. From left to right, Myself holding "Tizzle" who is now Strafe (and he's about 5 times that size), Simic's brother Poeki (said like "Pokey"- Jiggy's uncle) and I missed the owner's name, Jane with Jiggy (Strafe's mother), the next 2 dogs I forgot their names, but they are Simic's puppies from her 2nd, more recent litter, so they are Jiggy's half-brothers and Strafe's half-uncles. 2nd from the right is 2006 World Champ herself Simic who is Strafe's grandmother, Jiggy's mother, and last on the Right is Success, Jiggy's littermate, who is also owned (and being held by) Sarah Lorentzen.
Pictures make posts more interesting, right? I like pictures, although I'm not a huge fan of pictures of myself. In this picture, as evidenced by the shadow (Barb Davis, taking the picture, who has a littermate of Strafe), the sun was directly in our eyes and we were all making squinty faces.
My mother has been a whirlwind of activity getting our new house ready. Fencing is going in, the chimney is being fixed, the walls are getting painted, new gravel for the driveway, etc etc. I have been packing and cleaning as much as my anti-cleaning oriented brain will allow, and since I live in a small space I think I'm getting pretty close. Just have all my extra clothes to go through, mostly. The rest will be several days of stuffing things into boxes to go. I believe we're looking at moving in the next month, the sooner the better. I am looking forward to being in a new house with 15 acres of land to walk around, but I am not looking forward to DJ having 15 more miles of commute (each way) every day. I am definitely looking forward to a calmer Kiba. The "mysterious" noises upstairs make her very obsessive, and when she's stayed in one-level living spaces for a week or two a time, the weird behaviors haven't come out, so I'm hoping that will be the case. There are 2 bedrooms upstairs in the new house, but no one will be in them most of the time, so she won't have anything "up" to stare at. We shall see, I guess. She may obsess about "cars on the horizon" that she can see out the front window, but perhaps she won't. She's an odd one.
This weekend is our first trial since the end of November, Kiba's first since the end of October. Seri is entered in Team, GP, Stp, AND Advanced Standard. I realized i haven't run Adv Standard since last April with her, and I am not sure if she has 1 or 2 legs! I will have to look it up. that's OK, as I've stated before, collecting titles is not something I can focus on, I am focused on winning at big events, not collecting Top Ten points, or numbers of Q's. Seri probably won't ever get an LAA, but she already has her Tournament Master Bronze (or Silver?) title, because Tournaments are what I focus on...
Off to teach class today. Trying to figure out what other sponsors I can approach, both for individual sponsorship (either small amounts of money, or goods such as dog food, travel, etc), or for team sponsorship, the rewards of which are listed in the previous post. Even a small donation gets a mention on the team website (which will be up and running in the next few days, i'm told)

04 January 2011

WAO Team USA 2011 Sponsorship Information

Those interested in sponsoring WAO Team USA 2011 should contact our Team Manager/Coach, Tracy Sklenar.

Here is what you get for sponsoring the team:

WAO Team USA Sponsorship Opportunities
(deadline for sponsors wanting to get logos on team apparel is February 17, 2011)

**Stars and Stripes Sponsor
$5000 or more
logo on team jacket
logo on team shirt (prime placement on back of shirt)
logo on team hat
large banner provided by sponsor hung in Team USA’s kenneling area (and in stands at the event if permitted)
2 event tickets
2 tickets to Welcome Dinner
autographed Team USA 8x10 photo
link, name and logo on Team USA website
link, name and logo on Team USA Facebook page
sponsor mentions in team activity updates, etc (Team USA, sponsored by…..)

**Red, White and Blue Sponsor
$2500 - $4999
logo on team shirt (sleeve)
banner provided by sponsor hung in Team USA’s kenneling area (and in stands at the event if permitted)
link, name and logo on Team USA website
link, name and logo on Team USA Facebook page
autographed Team USA 8x10 photo
2 event tickets
2 tickets to Welcome Dinner
sponsor mentions in team activity updates, etc (Team USA, sponsored by…..)

**Team Spirit Sponsor
logo on team shirt (sleeve)
link, name and logo on Team USA website
Link, name and logo on Team USA Facebook page
autographed Team USA 8x10 photo

**True Patriot Sponsor
link, name and logo on Team USA website
Link, name and logo on Team USA Facebook page
autographed Team USA 8x10 photo

**Rising Star Sponsor
link, name and logo on Team USA website
Link, name and logo on Team USA Facebook page

**Friends of Team USA Level
special thank you on Team USA website
Special thank you on Team USA Facebook page

02 January 2011

Twenty Ten

This is the obligatory recap post for 2010. I will try to keep it brief.

I rang in the New Year up in New Hampshire at a USDAA Tournament Trial. Here, Kiba finished her ADCH on a Pairs run and got a fantabulously huge ribbon (Thanks Bark-NH!). Also I ran 20 runs in one day - Drifter, Kiba, Seri, and my mom's terrier Schiz all on separate Teams, and all Team classes on Friday. Whew! This trial was lovely, and the hotel was a nice La Quinta, but there was a snowstorm going on the whole time I was there, and unfortunately they wouldn't move Grand Prix to early in the day Sunday so I left without running it. Still, an entertaining time driving back/forth in the snow, and the drive home took forever due to the messy highways. Seri at that trial in Steeplechase Round 1:

February and March were mostly spent hiking the dogs for conditioning, and attending the odd AKC or USDAA trial for practice. I ran Drifter at 26" in AKC to maintain and practice for the IFCS event, even though at that time I knew I wasn't attending Tryouts in the spring. He actually got at least one QQ at 26" in March. He also won all 3 Grand Prix's he ran (at 22") in the Jan-March time period. At the end of March we drove 18 hours to Tulsa to run in the AKC National Agility Championship. The first day was a little rough, with Drifter hitting bars at 20", but once I got him checked out and adjusted a bit, he was great. Kiba and Drifter both placed in several individual rounds, both made Challenger Round, and Drifter made Finals. I was seeded in the middle of the 19 or so dogs, due to being the Challenger winner, so it was difficult when I put down a good time, as they made us sit ringside - not Drifter's forte! But as the dogs went by and no one was even coming close to my time, I got more excited, and we ended up winning with the fastest time in all jump heights. Not bad! I was glad I decided to jump 20" with him, as the footing was not fantastic, and since we weren't going to Tryouts anyway it seemed a waste of his body and my stress to do 26". So we added an NAC before his name.

April was spent preparing for the IFCS event. I ran lots of difficult courses on any dirt footing I could find. I had no idea what the footing in England would be like, and it was only described as "dirt". I could only hope it wasn't loose. I even drove down to a trial in North Carolina to practice running him alone in a Team event. (I'm not used to running one dog, so sometimes that messes with me). He was fabulous, but looked sore after the first day, so I ended up not running him the rest of the weekend. Luckily I had brought Seri as well. Two days later Drifter got pretty good news about his soreness, but unfortunately Seri tweaked her wrist really badly, which I didn't know at the time would force her to be laid up from agility for almost FIVE months.

Early May, after a few glitches at the airport, we flew to London.

As always, I enjoyed competing among the best of the best. I liked that I was actually slightly nervous. This usually ups my performance level. I was pleased overall with how we performed, but on reflection, I would change a few things.

We ended up winning only 1 medal, Gold for Individual Gamblers. We also were 1st place in the Team Agility round, but no medals for Team, and unfortunately our Team already had faults from the Jumping round so no medal there either. I did not get to run Relay either. We were so very close in Snooker, a close call refusal in the closing cost us the Silver medal, and we ended up 5th. Also close calls in the biathlon, as a single bar in each run cost us Gold, even one bar would have had us in Silver. I would handle more boldly the 2nd time around, given the chance.

June, July, and August were spent doing some local trials. At this point I had decided to try to qualify Drifter for Tryouts in 2011, so he was still competing at 26" in AKC. He finished his MACH in July (yes, his first MACH, I didn't do AKC for a period of about 2 years when he was younger, and I still trial a LOT less than many people). In August we won a bunch of stuff at the NE Regional. It was nice not to run all over the country to different trials chasing IFCS points. During this time I had discovered how severe Seri's wrist injury had been. Did you know there's pretty much nothing you can do to heal ligaments? Muscles have therapy, ligaments do not. So we waited. In August I spayed Seri, since she was off anyway.

In September Seri finally came back to competition and did well, finishing her AXJ at her first trial back. She is still, unfortunately, in Exc A for Std, but I jump her 26" so it's a bit harder for her to keep her feet up. At the same time, Drifter injured his hamstring and was laid up for 6 weeks.

In October we went to USDAA Nationals (Cynosport Games). Kiba made every single Performance Final, ending up 3rd in PGP, 10th in PVP Overall, and an also-ran in PSJ Finals due to a knocked bar. She also won or placed very high in several individual classes. Seri ran very well in KY, placing in two invidual Team classes, and ending up 4th overall 26" dog in Team classes. She didn't make any Finals, unfortunately, but I blame the footing for Steeplechase...

Drifter started out the week sort of disappointingly. He didn't place in any Team classes. It seemed that his brain had not returned after the lay up time - he hit a bar, he went off course. I have to say that Grand Prix Semi-finals was probably the most nervous I've been before a run in quite a long time. Well he finally got it together and we made Finals. He was sore by Finals but he ran his heart out and got 2nd place, which was very exciting for me. I can't even buy pictures from this round because I can see how poorly he's moving, and I feel bad for him. He got some rest afterwards, but the lingering off-ness kept plagueing us till recently. Anyway, that 2nd place spot (behind a Canadian!) was good enough to earn us an invite to the 2011 WAO Team.
So now we're at the winter. After I got back from KY we ran 3 AKC trial with Drifter at 20" instead of 26", and he quickly finished up his Nationals QQ's and then some. So our goals for the next year are to finish our MACH2 (probably not till next fall/winter), do well at AKC Nationals (add an NAC before Kiba's name? or add a 2 to Drifter's NAC?), win some medals at the WAO, and do well at USDAA Nationals again. Oh, and the toughest goal of all is to get Seri qualified for AKC Tryouts in 2012.

01 January 2011


I'm excited to see that a few people have actually bought some stuff! Keep it up guys, start a trend. Drifter should be EVERYBODY'S homeboy!

I've also created a very cute Thank You card, and anyone who donates to me directly or buys a bunch of stuff from the shop will receive one.

Also in the works are an International seminar day, in mid-March, and either more of that, or possibly run-thrus' in April.

This weekend we are home. Happy New Year. I fell asleep early, was woke up by the cannon-fire-simulating fireworks noises. i am sick with either an allergy-caused cold, or just a regular viral cold. Everyone seems to have it right now. So the dogs did a lot of nothing today. Will try to go for a short but fun hike in the morning before the ground thaws into mud.

Strafe went to the vet yesterday; he is about 20 pounds. He is smaller than his brother, but he is still a pretty good size. My facebook friends tell me at 16 weeks they will double their weight as an adult, so that makes him a 40lb adult dog. That's probably about right although I suspect he may be more like 40-42lbs. I'm glad he's not predicted to be a monster 50lb dog! He is still structurally very nice, no awkwardness. His knuckles are big but not ridiculously so. He is starting to lose teeth and puppy fuzz though. In another few weeks he won't be a fuzzy baby anymore!

ETA: I've added a link to the Cafepress shop for easy reference;)