16 June 2014

qualifying, a title, and an upcoming trip

I've had the last few weeks off from teaching seminars, which is a nice break. Teaching seminars is a lot of fun but also pretty exhausting! And of course it is necessary to attend trials in order to qualify for the national events I like to attend!

So we did some AKC, the past weekends, and both dogs picked up a nice significant chunk of points towards Nationals. I am hoping that the few trials I have left in the calendar for the rest of the year will be sufficient to finish off their qualifications. If it isn't obvious, I've decided to qualify Kiba, she's running really well and feeling good, so even though she'll be 10 years old and Nationals will be really far next spring, I am at least going to get her qualified and then see how she's feeling and figure out the logistics of getting there later on.

The 2 weekends of AKC with the 2 dogs produced 2 MACH titles - first Kiba finished her MACH2, and then this past weekend Strafe finished his MACH. I was amused that someone asked me how many MACH's that was for him, I laughed and said "he's only 3!" - he is, by several years, the youngest dog I've ever put a MACH on. He's pretty consistent, really, but I don't trial a ton and even Strafe and I make occasional mistakes.

I guess you can tell I don't really like pictures of myself posing with the dogs or the judges for titles, huh? I like the pretty ribbons, and I like the pretty dogs :)

I like cool pictures like this, even if I always laugh at the expression on my face (or really anyone's face in the middle of a crazy run - most people have hilarious looks going on)!

This upcoming weekend, in Seattle area, is our very first AWC Team Practice. I am pretty excited about this. After that I'm staying in the area with a friend and then teaching in Portland. That is my last seminar weekend before the big trip...

Ven continues to grow. He's similar to Strafe in so many ways but clearly his own dog, and different in many others. He is definitely what I call "good clay" though - I am sure I can sculpt him into a fabulous agility dog without too much work. His biggest obstacle so far is that he is a bit of a baby if he gets scared of something. Luckily so far there haven't been too many things that really scare him - he's going to trials with me all the time and basically he's only worried about the big fans that move the air. He loves meeting new people and is fabulous hanging out i the car all day. He's currently about 18.5" tall at 5.5 months - I think he's on track to be a nice size, between 20 and 21" when finished.

He also finally has a sit stay good enough to take a group picture. So it isn't professional quality - who cares - but here's all 5 of my current dogs.

Ven (5 months), Strafe (3.5yrs), Seri (almost 8yrs), Drifter (11.5yrs), Kiba (9.5yrs)
And that's basically my blog playing catch up on my life. Even though I have quite a bit of "down time" at home, I still feel like I'm super busy all the time. Traveling and teaching and trialing and then doing laundry to do it all over again!

But then of course Strafe and I are also doing a lot of this; hiking, and he is swimming, we both need to get in great shape for our big events coming up!

And of course now that the weather is no longer arctic, we enjoy hiking! I've been taking just Strafe alone quite often these days, for various reasons, but since we travel alone together I think it is nice to give him some time with just me. The other dogs get to romp in our fields (pictured above) several times a day when the weather is nice.

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