Thursday, November 28, 2013

Stump Kid Link Love

I do "Link Love" posts on my other blog often, so I thought since I had a few dog posts I loved reading lately, I'd share with you.

The Psychology of Dogs-Infographic (DogGeek): This is fascinating! It talks about dogs' most common phobias, their history, etc. Definitely check this out.

Weathering the Storm (Cesar's Way): I'm sure I've mentioned on here before, but LaMesa is terrified of storms. The first rumble of thunder, and she's shaking and wanting in my lap. We bought her a ThunderShirt, and it helped the first couple of times, but she's still scared for a while when storms begin. This article enlightened me that we need to do more calming behaviors when it's not storming (i.e., have her wear her ThunderShirt on sunny days, so she associates the shirt more with calm times, not just storms). I'm definitely keeping this bookmarked.

To All Novices (Full Tilt Border Collies): This blog post has gotten a lot of traction this week. Merinda shared it on Facebook, as well as others in the agility community. Why couldn't I have read this years ago?? I was so intense when I started competing in agility with Dally (like I was when I showed horses). I've since calmed down and started to enjoy the process more than feeling like we have to be #1 all of the time, though there are still times that I catch myself not enjoying the time I spend with Dally and LaMesa, and that has to stop. Everyone should read this, not just novices.

71 Reasons We Need to Save Corgis from Extinction (BuzzFeed): OK, so I don't know if this has much to it that Corgis are going extinct, but you gotta love BuzzFeed for their love of Corgis. This is perfect for your daily dose of Corgi Cuteness. (Yes, that is a medical prescription.)

I hope you enjoy checking out these posts/sites!

Your turn: Share your favorite web finds from the week in the comments below!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Agility Trial: Dally Gets Her Final Nationals Points

I'm a little late on wrapping up our last AKC trial we attended (Nov. 9-10), but I'm making up for it now. (Note: I've somehow misplaced all of the course maps from this weekend. Blogger FAIL. Sorry!)

Just a week after competing at Queen City, we were back. It was the third weekend in a row at an agility trial, but I knew that Dally and I could finish up the points needed for AKC Nationals this weekend, as long as I didn't make any unnecessary mistakes.

Saturday's runs were great. In Jumpers I made sure I didn't push too much in the weaves (which I know was my mistake the week prior) and to just run the course with simple cues. Standard was a little tricky with having to call her off the chute off the teeter, but luckily she listened.

(I love Blair Kelley and Dan Faulkner's courses, by the way.)

Sunday I wanted to push her a little more, but I had to remember to be more deliberate with my cues.

Here's the jumpers run:

This was fun with the serpentine, then a push for the big pinwheel. Both LaMesa and Dally handled that very well, so I was proud of both girls.

We didn't get a standard video, but I went in needing just a few more points for Nationals with that run. We came out of it in great shape! At the end of the weekend we had 513 points towards the AKC National Agility Championships!!

Dally's now on a long vacation from agility for a while. I usually do that a couple times a year to help her recharge her body and her love of agility. It's well-deserved--we're now just  5 QQs and 204 points from her PACH2. Who would have thought that we would be going to AKC Nationals three years in a row and be close to our PACH2??

For those pushing for their last points this weekend and next, I wish you good luck and best runs!! I was able to pull from the Merrillville, Ind., trial being held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 (I entered Nov. 29-30 just in case) since I have my points, so hopefully others can get their last points.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dally Travels America

Disclaimer: I got this idea from Merinda. She did a "Porter Peeing Across America" map on the Brews Brothers' blog.

Merinda and I always talk about how our Corgis, Porter and Dally, pee and/or poop across America in their travels. It's a little bit of a good-hearted competition (I think) to see how well traveled our pups can be. We've done a lot of traveling together, but we've also gone our separate ways every now and then, so this map is all in good fun.

So here's Dally's map! We look forward to adding more states to it as time goes on!

Monday, November 11, 2013

LaMesa Turns 4!

I interrupt our regularly-scheduled agility posts to wish my little chupacabra-honeybadger-baby-wofl-hybrid a happy 4th birthday!!!

LaMesa, the "baby bear" the first night we had her.

LaMesa's first agility ribbons from a CPE trial.

LaMesa's first agility trial ever, a CPE trial in Ohio.

Life with LaMesa is certainly never boring. She's been a lot of fun to own, train, and compete with--no matter how frustrating she can be. Some times it's pretty hard for Matt and I to remember she's a dog--she has some many child-like qualities, emotions, and actions that makes us feel like she's just a fury human walking on four legs.

She's taught me a lot, and I hope I've taught her a lot as well. She might not be as consistent or dependable as Dally, but she's good for a laugh. 

We celebrated her birthday this weekend (it's Nov. 10) at the agility trial--I made dog cookies for her to share with her friends (I'll post the recipe on here soon) and she got lots of loving from everyone. 

Here's hoping now that she's 4 we'll be a more consistent team and she'll be a little more mature and a little more domesticated…..


Friday, November 8, 2013

Remember: Dally's Not Perfect

Dally's pretty good about keeping me grounded. Just when I'm thinking we're doing so well and maybe things are going perfectly, she reminds me that I can't slack off when I run her.

After a QQ on Saturday at the Queen City Dog Training Club's AKC Trial this past weekend, I was feeling pretty confident about pushing her for more speed--surely we'll Q, right?? Going into the weekend we needed 91 points for AKC Nationals. After earning 33 on Saturday, I felt like we could get even closer on Sunday.

Note to self: Don't ever take anything for granted and always keep on your toes, no matter which dog you're running.

Here were our successful runs on Saturday:



(I have no clue what happened at the chute and the teeter--it's pretty bad when the judge looks at you and goes "Whew!" and shakes her head because your dog barely hit the teeter in the right spot.)

On Sunday, we had miscues at the weave poles in both Jumpers and Standard. In Jumpers she popped out after the tenth pole. I'm not sure what made her do so--Porter had done the same thing in the same spot, so maybe it was a Corgi thing?

Then in Jumpers we totally blew by the weaves--I was pushing so much for speed that when I sent her in the tunnel, I ran by the weaves and signaled "Weave!" but I didn't hold the signal. I assumed she'd take them. I should never assume with Dally.

I've learned my lesson. Going into this weekend (again at Queen City), I'm going to push for speed, but still hold my signals and make sure we're more accurate than fast. We need 58 points now, and it can be doable, if we're both on the same page.

We'll let you know how that goes next week.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

LaMesa's First MXJ Leg

Yep, you read that right--LaMesa earned her first Masters Jumpers leg over the weekend at the Queen City Dog Training Club's AKC Agility trial! I was so proud of her!

It's funny because after having a not-so-stellar jumpers run on Saturday, and then a slight bobble in Standard on Saturday, I was saying I wasn't sure LaMesa liked running at the Queen City facility very well. Dally loves that place, as evident if you see where she gets most of her QQs. But really, I think I just have to change my thinking with her--she can handle anything, as long as I prepare her for it.

Here's our qualifying run from Sunday. She earned 3rd place (in a very tough 8" class) and 12 MACH points:

We were soooo close to our first QQ! Unfortunately, we were able to prove that an 8" dog can break the tire, even if it's touching the floor:

After I saw that she broke the tire, I wanted to try to do a lead-out on the table. Unfortunately she listened to the judge say "Go" and not me. I wanted to make her do the table again, but realized that we'd get blown off for "training" and I really wanted to finish the course, so we went on. It wasn't as nice as her Standard run on Saturday, where I was able to get a nice long lead-out off the table:

(Don't ask me what happened on the teeter--I have no clue.)

So no first QQ for LaMesa….yet. But it was a great weekend--she's really excelling at the difficult courses and we're becoming a team that a lot of people are cheering for and watching. The biggest positive: She has been perfect on her weaves in the past two weekends--8-for-8!! I hope we can continue this streak going into the trial this weekend!

Jump form update: We've been working on jump grid sequences following some Susan Salo exercises Merinda sent me. We've done two sets of exercises so far and seeing her really think. I'll do a post soon. 

Dally's weekend is up next!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Agility Trial: Miami Valley Lab Club

This past weekend the Stump Kids competed in the Miami Valley Labrador Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial held at the Queen City Dog Training Club in Sharonville, Ohio. The judge was Candy Nettles.

Fun, flowy, and fast courses! These were fun to run with both girls.