30 January 2014

I don't care

I don't care how many negative people there on Facebook, I am *excited* for AKC Nationals.

Challenger Round 2013
I don't care if I have to pay to get into the parking lot. It won't be the first time (or the last).

Time 2 Beat 2013
I don't care if there are 1640 dogs entered. More competition, more excitement.

Jumpers 2010

I don't care if I only get 1 run per day per dog. I can watch and hang out with people I don't see very often.
Victory Lap 2011
I love big events! And AKC Nationals is always one of the most organized and well-run agility competitions I can attend.

Standard 2009
Sure it isn't 100% perfect. But if you don't like how many people entered, you would have to make it harder to qualify. I don't want that; I do think the average competitor should at least have the ability to qualify if they try! As for 1 run per day, and the event being long - sorry but I don't think 4 days is that bad, and we usually only get 1 or 2 runs per day at every big event anyway. I don't mind.

I am *excited* for AKC Nationals. I only wish our stupid polar vortex cold weather would go away so I could keep my dogs and myself fitter for it!





27 January 2014

Snow.

Crufts and AKC Nationals are coming up fast and I'm getting frustrated because it's hard to keep my dogs in shape when it keeps being significantly below freezing outside, and snowing. Last week before I left for Ohio to teach, it snowed about a foot of snow. It hardly got above freezing while I was gone so the snow is still here today when I got home. And while today started out a bit warmer, now the arctic blast is returning for 2 more days. Maryland is really not supposed to be like this!

Really hoping my plans to stay in Georgia for 2 months next winter will pan out. It is almost always above freezing during the day down there, which means going for daily walks will be so much more manageable!




20 January 2014

More fun stuff planned, and one fun stuff scratched


Strafe and I had so much fun at the EO last year. And even though landing on the podium was certainly part of our fun, the larger part of it is traveling various parts of Europe and the chance to compete over there. I loved the atmosphere of the EO, it was serious, and crazy, but tons of fun, and it is so great to see all the different people and dogs with all the different handling styles and choices from all over the world. I am obviously hoping to return in 2014. To that end, I've added a competition onto our trip: the Border Collie Classic, another fairly large competition that is well-attended by "big name" competitors who run border collies in Europe. This year it happens to be in Slovakia, only a few short hours drive from the EO location in Hungary. So I entered it! Entry was online, and relatively easy, and my registration is already confirmed. I'm excited to add another fun European competition to our travels. I am planning to visit Vienna (also nearby, and probably the airport I'll come into if I can find a flight), along with Budapest and Bratislava between the competitions. Should be a great time!


I hope that part of Europe is as dog friendly as the parts of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands that we visited were. I just loved how easy it is to sit and eat with your dog by your side, not only were dogs "allowed", they were actually "welcome" and waiters often brought out bowls of water. Really nice and I wish the USA were more like that!



I have also decided that with all the other travel and competition I am doing, I just do not have time to worry about adding in UKI at this point. I will not give up USDAA because that was my first agility competition venue and still my favorite as far as course design and level of competition goes. I will not give up AKC because my main goals involve them, and I think they actually try to listen to their competitors as well as possible too. UKI sounds great in theory, but I don't think I have time to go to WAO, and therefore just don't want to add the time/money involved in qualifying for and attending the US Open. I'm a bit sad, since it might have been Kiba's last shot at a major national event (if she could measure under 17.5", which would be close), but I really don't like to have major events every single month for so much of the year. The dogs need periods of physical and mental rest just as much as I do. Traveling to Europe 3 times this year if all my hopes and plans work out perfectly, traveling to 2 National events plus Tryouts... that is a lot already! So no UKI for us this year, and likely not next year either but I won't write it off entirely!

I definitely enjoyed the first two WAO events and I was sad last year when Strafe was not selected for that team, I thought it would have been a great first international event for us as a team, but all ended up very well in the end since we won onto the EO team and did extremely well at that event.

So I am hoping at least some of my years going forward with Strafe will involve EO and AWC events, also hopefully some more future BCC trials or other fun European FCI-style events, and maybe another trip to Crufts or two, who knows! But that is a big menu of things for me. I love to travel but I also understand my own need for downtime. Ask any introvert - it can be stressful, even when it's fun! :)

16 January 2014

Crufts!

Strafe and I are going to Crufts in March!

We are actually going to combine the trip with going to Denmark and Jane will get to meet Strafe, and then we will bring the puppy home afterwards.

Speaking of puppies...


They are HUGE, not quite 2 weeks old, some eyes are opening. The boys are the tricolor and the 2 darker non-white-factored ones. So cute!

We've been hiking, and playing a lot, but this weekend we finally have our first AKC trial since early October, our first agility trial since November 23rd weekend! Yay, Agility!

Here's some pics from the last couple weeks, mostly from my phone.






We had a really cold bit last week, these were taken in the 2 days after the intense cold, when the creek was slowly thawing.



06 January 2014

I might be a little bit crazy

For over a year I have been planning my next dog. I helped plan Jiggy's litter (Strafe's mother) by helping look for studs, and am in pretty regular contact with the breeder. But then I thought that is probably too early, so I shifted my sight to next year instead. But then just recently I thought "well, but maybe this IS the one for me", and a crazy thing happened, I agreed to take a boy puppy. So in March I will be bringing home Strafe's little half-brother from Denmark. Of course I don't know which one yet, they are only 2 days old right now, but i know he will be brilliant, and smooth-coated. I believe I have a pretty good attitude of not expecting this to be Strafe's clone, but because I like Strafe so much, the way he learns and thinks and is just so reliable, I am of course going to try to take one that as similar as possible. I know he will be different in some ways, and that's fine too - I certainly don't want to be bored by repetition either!



Also, mostly for myself, I made a cute little video summing up 2013. It is not as fancy as some people's videos, but I am coming to enjoy having these little musical visual memories that I can look back on and enjoy over and over. I tried to get a little bit of each of our experiences in here, the big events but also the small ones of hiking and hanging out.



2013 from Rosanne DeMascio on Vimeo.


Also, I went to a wedding. without any of my dogs. That was a bit strange, I haven't left the house without a dog in a long time, but I actually had fun, it was a nice small affair with a great group of people.

01 January 2014

Twenty Fourteen

We spent our last day of 2013 herding with the tricolors. Strafe was interested but confused, made some improvements so we'll go back. Seri was super naughty and ended up spending the lesson on a long line working on being a bit calmer and lying down when told.

Now it is 2014. For the first time, I have almost every weekend for the entire year planned out already. It is a busy year, and I am glad I took most of December off from teaching. I have one more week before I start up my classes and then seminars for the year. I am going to a lot of new places this year, along with a list of places I've been before as well. I'm looking forward to all of it. I also have a lot of big competitions on my plate in 2014. Kiba's probable last big event, in AKC Nationals in March (unless I decide to try for US Open, which is doubtful but not completely off the table). Strafe and I together have quite a list of things to do and we are going to have our serious faces on for Tryouts this year, really trying hard for AWC Team in addition to EO again. We also have something else exciting planned this spring... lots to do! I am looking forward to 2014, and as good as 2013 was for us, I am hoping to make 2014 even better.