Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UD Leg Number 2!!

That's right!!  Kaylie got her second UD leg this past weekend!  She did a fabulous job on each individual exercise, but unfortunately she sure had to do some sass talking during and in between the exercises - so much sass talking that we about didn't qualify.  Not sure why she feels the need to say all that she does during a trial - during practice she never barks.  Once we get that last leg, I'll have to decide if it's worth going on and seeing if I can get her qualified for the ASCA Finals next year.  I also showed Conor just for fun in Open, and he ended up getting High in Trial and High Scoring Aussie.  What a good little boy dog.  He also earned 2 more points towards his Championship this weekend too.  On Sunday we did agility at the DOCNA trial.  Not sure if it was me or them, but whatever it was - it wasn't our best agility day - Conor just qualified in Trigility and Kaylie just qualified in Trigility and Jumpers.  The Gamblers course had a distance discrimination challenge - and of course neither dog is so great at distance, so I didn't really expect to qualify in that anyway.  We've got a weekend to relax and regroup and get ready for our ASCA agility trial next weekend.  Can't wait!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It Finally Happened!!

Kaylie FINALLY got her first UD leg.  For those who don't do obedience, there are three levels of obedience - Novice, Open and Utility.  In Utility, there are so many places where the dog can go wrong, and for us, that's happened many, many times.  I've lost track as to how many times I've shown Kaylie in Utility.  But it finally all came together on Saturday.  I actually thought we had blown it at the first excercise - the hand signals.  She did her down, she did her sit, and she came, but she started barking. She got to me, and just stood in front of me barking.  I told her to sit.  I thought right there using my voice, blew it for us.  The judge just took a boatload of points off for it - whew!!  The rest of the exercises went well, although with both of the scent articles, she went out to the pile, found the correct article, but then put it down, and sniffed around again.  Luckily both times she re-picked up the correct article.  Then we came to the directed jumping/go-outs.  This is were we've had the most trouble.  I was absolutely amazed when she went straight out across the ring - I almost forgot to tell her to sit!  I did eventually get my brain back, and told her to sit.  Judge told me to do the high jump - and she did it beautifully.  Then to the second go-out.  I'm so glad I had thought we had blown it, because I think if I had known, I probably would have been wanting to puke.  So, I sent her out, and once again, it was a beautiful go out - nice and straight.  Told her to sit, which she did, and then told her to do the bar jump.  She did the jump, and of course she was barking the whole time.  It was all pretty much a blur, but once I got her leashed up, the judge told me we had qualified!!!  I was SHOCKED to say the least!!!  Absolutely amazing.  Now, just two more to go.  Now that I know IT CAN BE DONE, hopefully the next two legs will come a little easier.

I showed both Kaylie and Conor in the afternoon show in conformation.  Conor placed 2nd in his class, but didn't get anything after that, and Kaylie was pulled out for consideration for Best of Breed.  But nothing more came of that.  Sunday morning I showed them both again in conformation.  I almost didn't make the show, because Brandon had a bike race.  The race was supposed to start at 7:15, which would give me plenty of time to get to the show.  Well, the race didn't start on time.  It was finally 8:15, and still the race hadn't started.  I debated waiting for the race to start, or leave and go to the show.  I decided to go to the show, because there was some talk that the race might even be cancelled.  I would have kicked myself if I had missed a race AND a dog show!  And boy and I glad I got to the show!  Conor ended up going Winners Dog, for 2 more points, and Kaylie went Best of Breed.  Conor also got Best of Opposite Sex!  Wooo hooo!!  Just 10 more little points to go.  :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Agility and Staying Verticle

This is the fabric glue I used, and these are the pants I used it on.
You can see where the glue came undone. 
Apparently this glue does not work on this type of fabric.

I learned a very important lesson this past weekend -- DON'T rely on permanent fabric glue to keep a hem up on your pants!!!  I learned this lesson the hard way, by flying through the air and landing flat on my stomach.  The weather people were talking about an incredible cold front coming through, but I couldn't remember if it was Sunday or Monday.  I HATE being cold, so I decided to wear longer pants instead of my usual capris.  Unfortunately I hadn't had time to do the laundry, so the only clean pair of pants I had were pretty long.  No fear - I pulled out my permanent fabric glue and hemmed up my pants.  What a great idea, right??  NOT!!!!  Kaylie and I stepped up to the line of a particularly tricky course.  I felt pretty confident that Kaylie would do okay (it was Conor who I pictured going off course at several points in the course).  Anyway, we started out great, she hit her dog walk contact, then we had a jump to the teeter to a tunnel, which was under the A-frame.  She hit her teeter contact and she was off to the tunnel.  All of a sudden I felt my foot get caught in my pants and then I was FLAT on the ground.  Kaylie then came back to see what the heck I was doing laying on the ground, of course barking at me to get up. I got up as fast as I could, sent her into the tunnel, then we had 2-180 jumps to one of the tricky parts of the course - they could either go back into the tunnel (wrong course) or up the A-frame (right course).  Unfortunately I just wasn't in the right position to get her up the A-frame because I was laughing so hard over the fall, so of course she went into the tunnel.  BUMMER!  No chance of a double Q.  We did finish the rest of the course clean, so that was good.  Conor actually stayed on course too - he just missed the weave entry (it was a tricky entrance), and then he paused in front of the table.  But other than those two little mistakes, he ran it very well.  His Jumpers run on the other hand didn't go so well.  He took a jump where he was supposed to take the weaves, and then he completely obliterated another jump - wing panels and bars went flying everywhere.  Crazy dog.  He just tries to go too fast sometimes and misjudges the jumps.  Kaylie did Q in this Jumpers run though.  Next trial is in a few weeks - DOCNA agility.  Gotta get Conor qualified for the Championships!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shows and Stuff

I've already messed up my New Year's Resolution - to update this blog more frequently!  I've just been so incredibly busy - I need to find a way to either clone myself or find a way to stop time so I can get things done.  Luckily it's still January, so I guess I'm really not THAT far behind, right?  Anyway, one of the things that has kept me busy is working with Kaylie in Utility and Conor in Open.  I've been getting together with a friend every Tuesday afternoon to work with the dogs.  For once I'm actually practicing, and believe it or not, it does work!  We had an ASCA obedience trial a couple of weeks ago, and the hard work paid off.  Well, it did for Conor anyway.  Kaylie actually figured out a way to fail every exercise in Utility, except one.  We came away with a whopping 27 points.  BUT she did do her go-outs.  She failed the jumping part (she took the wrong jump plus knocked the bar down), but she did go out to the far end of the ring.  So that was a huge improvement.  Next I showed Conor in Open.  I begged him to show the judge that I do actually train my dogs.  And he didn't disappoint.  Although he had a couple of crooked sits on the fronts, the rest of the exercises were just about perfect, and he finished his CDX.  I was very proud of my little man.  So that finished his ASCA CDX.  Now we'll have to get entered in some AKC trials.

This past weekend we had a DOCNA agility trial.  Kaylie had a fabulous weekend, qualifying in 9 out of 11 runs.  And Conor had fun making up his own courses.  Little goof man.  Hopefully next trial he'll do a little better, and get qualified for the Championships. 

Here are the results from the trial:


Jumper 1 - Q/1st Place
Jumper 2 - NQ
Jumper 3 - NQ
Snakes N' Ladders - NQ
Standard 1 - NQ
Standard 2 - NQ
Standard 3 - Q/1st Place
Strategic Time Gamble - Q/3rd Place
North America Challenge  - NQ
Traditional Gambler - NQ
Trigility - Q/2nd Place


Jumper 1 - Q/3rd Place
Jumper 2 - Q/4th Place
Jumper 3 - Q/ 2nd Place
Snakes N' Ladders - Q/3rd Place
Standard 1 - NQ
Standard 2 - Q/3rd Place
Standard 3 - Q/3rd Place
Strategic Time Gamble - Q/1st Place
North America Challenge - Q/1st Place
Traditional Gambler - NQ
Trigility - Q/3rd Place

Kaylie needs just 6 more Standard runs and 2 Gamble runs to finish her Gold MEX, and Conor just needs 8 Standard runs for his first MEX.  So check back to see our progress!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We're Going to the Championships!

Well, Kaylie is anyway!  Last weekend we had the last agility trial of the year.  Both dogs did fantastic and Q'd in almost every run.  The most important run, the North America Challenge, was a super fun course.  Kaylie had a beautiful run - she made it look so easy.  She ended up running clean, qualified and gave us a ticket to the Championships to be held in Grand Junction, Colorado in September.  Conor's run on the other hand didn't go quite as well.  It really wasn't that bad - he just took an extra jump somewhere along the line.  He's always the over achiever.  Silly boy.  Luckily we've got more chances to get qualified.

My New Year's Resolution for 2011 is to try to keep this updated weekly.  It should be an exciting year too, as Kaylie is so close to getting her MACH and her Gold Merit of Excellence, and we're shooting for Conor's first Merit of Excellence.  If all goes well, both dogs should finish their respective Merit of Excellence titles on the same weekend.  :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

AKC Agility

I got a new toy and I'm loving it! I got an iPad a couple months ago and just recently got Internet access for it. I've just realized I can update things while I'm actually doing them! Perhaps now this will help me keep more up to date on things! We'll see. Anyway, this weekend I'm in Queen Creek for an AKC agility trial. So far it's been a fabulous weekend! Yesterday Kaylie got Double Q #13, getting 2nd place in her Standard run. Conor also Qd in Jumpers, getting 3rd place. Today Kaylie got Double Q #14, with a 3rd place in Jumpers. Just 6 more to go!!! Conor also Qd in his Excellent A Standard run, finishing his title. Yay!

Friday, November 12, 2010

ASCA Conformation and Obedience Trial

This past weekend we showed at an ASCA conformation and obedience trial. I showed Kaylie in Utility and I showed Conor in Open and then also in conformation. Saturday was quite interesting. Some day I swear Kaylie will get a Utility leg. She had a very difficult time with the scent articles -- the grass was very tall. She did eventually get the first article but just couldn't find the second one. Bummer. She did do everything else beautifully though. And although she didn't get the first go-out, she did do the second one. And then the judge let me try it again, and she actually did a second go-out. That was huge. So she CAN do it! Conor's Open run was very nice, until we got to the retrieves. I had to double command him on both retrieves. Weird. Oh well. No chance of finishing this weekend. Then I showed him in the afternoon conformation show. He actually won his class, but that was the extent of the winning. On Sunday, once again no Q for Kaylie in Utility. She somehow missed signal to come, and then the go-outs were non-existent. Everything in between was beautiful though! Conor's Open run was pretty nice, although he stopped during the heeling to scratch and had no sits on the Figure 8. Then he finished in grand style on the Broad Jump. Instead of doing a front in front of me, he decided to go around me and come from behind to in between my legs, looking up at me so proud of himself. He was absolutely precious! Goofballs. Then in conformation he did nothing. Perhaps he should have tried running between my legs to get the judge to look at him! LOL! His sister Nikki finshed her championship, so now Conor just needs to finish his. Someday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ASCA Nationals 2010

Well, I tried to update this every night, but most nights I didn't get back to the hotel until after 7 p.m., then I'd have to eat dinner and feed the dogs, etc.  So anyway, here's how it went to the best of my memory!

Kaylie with her ribbons.
The Agility Finals was a blast.  I had no idea what to expect, especially when I found out that Kaylie was definitely one of the older dogs in the competition.  For an "old" gal, she sure gave it her all.  Our first round was Jumpers.  She ran clean and fast, and ended up in 20th place (out of 60 dogs).  At first I thought, 20th???  Really?  But there was less than 3 seconds between her time and the 1st place time.  There were just a lot of very fast dogs out there!  Our next round was Gamblers.  I knew we'd have problems with this run, as Gamblers is just one one of our strongest classes.  I think we got just 6 points in the gamble.  After Gamblers, we were in 35th place.  Ugh!  Then we had our two Standard runs.  She ran clean in the first round, and that got us back up to 22nd place.  Then she missed her dog walk contact on the second round.  Luckily a lot of people had other problems with the second round, so over all she ended up in 21st place, out of 60 super fast Aussies.  Not too bad!

On Sunday I had the Conformation Finals and an agility pretrial.  Off hand I can't remember exactly what we did in agility, but I don't think Conor got any Q's, and Kaylie may have Q'd in a couple of runs.  The Conformation Finals was really where my focus was anyway.  The top 30 dogs in the country were invited to compete in the Finals.  So all 30 of us went into the ring.  After that, we all got judge individually by three different judges.  After all that, we all got called back into the ring, and they announced the top 10.  I soooooo wanted to hear my number announced.  The second I heard #286, I just burst into tears.  Mind you, I was on the verge of tears the first time we had to run around the ring.  I so wanted to make the top 10.  It was a dream come true to make the top 10.  Later that afternoon we had to go back into the ring to find out exactly where we got placed.  We ended up finishing at #9.  Pretty darn exciting.

Monday was my super crazy day.  Got to the show site at 6:45 a.m. and left the show site at 9:30 p.m.  LONG day!  For agility, we just had two rounds of Gamblers with both dogs.  Both runs were a bust.  Then we had Rally.  Both dogs did fantastic - Kaylie got a 198 to finish her Novice Rally X title, and Conor got a 197 for his Novice Rally X title.  I then showed Kaylie in Utility.  She's such a good little worker and really enjoys doing the Utility exercises.  But the darned go-outs got us again.  Drats.  I showed Conor in Open, and man oh man, he was awesome!!  His drop on recall does need some work though, as he finally dropped practically right in front of me.  Then his actual "front" was at my left side.  He got 7 points deducted for that.  And then his front on the broad jump was a little crooked.  He ended up with a 190, and we got 3rd place.  Then we did Brace obedience.  This is when the two dogs are connected at the collar, and they have to do the Novice exercises together.  They're so adorable when they do this.  I had planned to practice more with them, but I just never had the time.  So for having had no practice, they did a fine job, getting a 191.5 and 3rd place.  I also showed Kaylie in conformation for Best of Breed.  I doubted she would get Best of Breed, but I did hope for a Premier award.  She showed like a pro, and the judge did like her - so we did end up with a Premier!  Wooo hooooo!!  I've always wanted a Premier award at a Nationals!  We got a cool ribbon and a blanket.
Conor with his ribbons.

Tuesday I just had two Standard runs with both dogs and on Wednesday I had 3 Jumpers runs with both dogs.  Conor only got one Q in Jumpers, and Kaylie got a Standard Q and 2 Jumpers Q's. 

I think that's it for the Nationals!  It was such a fun week.  I wish I could go next year, but Milwaukee is a bit too far.  So we're looking forward to Bakersfield in 2012. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aussie Nationals - Day #1

The ASCA Nationals in Waco, Texas began today. I showed both Kaylie and Conor in Rally, and Kaylie in conformation. Kaylie was basically dumped in conformation. The judge didn't care for the missing teeth. Oh well! But both dogs shined in Rally. Kaylie's first run was about perfect but we had to redo an exercise. And it was an exercise she could do in her sleep! She ended up with a 197. Her second run was also very nice although she had a slow sit on one of her sits for one point off and I'm not sure where the other point came from. So she ended up with a 198. Conor had two absolutely gorgeous runs, earning a 199 on both runs.  He finished 2nd Place on the first run and 3rd Place on the second run.  What a great way to start the 2010 Aussie Nationals!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Agility Season Has Started

The dogs and I headed north this weekend for a DOCNA agility trial in Pinetop.  We had perfect weather, which is a first for a Pinetop trial!  We left somewhat early Friday morning and stopped off at Willow Springs Lake to walk around.  Kaylie really, really wanted to jump in and go swimming, but I didn't want to travel with a wet dog.  Pablo also came along too - this was his first big outing.  One thing about this little guy - he just fits right in and goes with the flow.  He was no trouble at all, and got to meet lots of new people and new dogs.  Everyone just loved the little guy. 

Anyway, Kaylie and Conor did fantastic at this trial.  It was a great warm up for the Championships, which will be in a couple of weeks.  Here are the results from the trial:


Snakes N Ladders         Q   3rd Place
Standard 1                     NQ (missed dog walk contact)
Strategic Time Gambler   Q   1st Place
Traditional Gambler        NQ

Standard 2                     Q  2nd Place
Standard 3                     Q  2nd Place
Strategic Time Gambler   Q  4th Place
Trigility                            Q  2nd Place


Jumpers                        Q  1st Place
Snakes N Ladders         Q  1st Place
Standard 1                   NQ
Strategic Time Gamble  NQ
Traditional Gamble       NQ

Standard 2                   Q   1st Place
Strategic Time Gamble  Q  2nd Place
Trigility                         Q  1st Place

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summertime with the Wonder Dogs

We've had a very busy summer, and I can't believe it's almost over.  And that means that it's almost dog show season!  Kaylie, Conor and I headed to Utah a few weeks ago for an AKC agility trial up there.  The whole family was supposed to go up, but Brandon ended up being chosen for the President's Cup All Star team, so he had to stay home for that.  The dogs and I just went up for the weekend to compete in the trial and then came home. 

Kaylie had an almost perfect weekend by qualifying in 5 of her 6 runs.  We've never had an AKC weekend that good!  She just dropped a bar in her last Jumpers run of the weekend.  It was still very exciting to get two Double Q's in one weekend.  That puts us at 12 Double Q's and 677 points.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter!

Conor had a fantastic weekend too.  Although he Q'd in just 3 of his 6 runs, the runs he did Q in, he placed 1st.  He now has two Excellent Jumpers legs and one Excellent Standard leg.  The three runs he didn't Q in he just made a small mistake in each one.  There was no running around like a dog on crack.  It was two years ago that he made his AKC debut at this particular show.  I'll never forget that feeling of pure craziness in the agility ring.  Boy has he come a long way!

We're heading to Pinetop over Labor Day weekend for a DOCNA agility trial.  Can't wait!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A New Wonder Dog in the Making?

I've been hesitant to post about the new puppy in our household, as I just didn't know if he was going to become a permanent addition. It's now looking like he will be staying with us. Long story short, I found this little guy under a car while taking Takara for a walk last week. He was so excited to see me, gave me tons of kisses and had absolutely no fear of Takara. I've been looking for his owners but have had no luck at all. I think he was just dumped in the neighborhood. I don't know why, because he's the sweetest little thing, and for a Chihuahua, he's pretty smart. In the week that we've had him, he's learned how to walk on a leash, he's learned he needs to sit before he gets let out of his crate, he sits for his food (although the wait part is a little hard for him at this point, but he's learning), and he's learning to retrieve toys and bring them back, and learning how to play tug (with the cutest little growls!!). Perhaps someday he'll be doing agility like the big dogs!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Conor, Conor, Conor

Oh my crazy boy Conor. We had a 3-day DOCNA agility trial this past weekend, with a possibility of 13 Q's. We got 5. Major boo hoo. Mostly bummed about the 100% failure rate in our Standard runs. What am I going to do with this little speed demon? Guess we'll just keep on practicing.

On a happier note, Kaylie went up to Prescott this same weekend with her breeder for a conformation show. She is currently ranked #22 in the country in conformation. Never, ever in my wildest dreams did I ever think she would be nationally ranked in conformation. Earlier this year I decided to show her a few times just for fun. She just isn't ready to show in Utility, so I figured I'd show her in conformation. Then she started winning! Wow! So to solidify her standings in the Top 30, her breeder said she would show her in Prescott. I could make it up on Sunday to show her and then bring her back home. Well, on Saturday, she got Best of Breed! It was a pretty large entry, so she'll get plenty of points for that win. And then the two shows that I showed her in, she won Best Opposite Sex in both!! What a thrill! So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these wins will keep Kaylie in the Top 30, and she'll be invited to the Conformation Finals at the ASCA Nationals this year. What a thrill that will be. Last year I was waiting on pins and needles to see if Conor qualified for the Obedience Finals, and now this year it's Kaylie in conformation. July 1 can't come soon enough!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Blustery Agility Day

On Sunday, we headed up to Pinetop for a DOCNA agility trial. Couldn't think of a better way to spend my Mother's Day than doing agility with the Wonder Dogs! Despite the incredible winds once again,both Kaylie & Conor did fantastic. Kaylie Q'd in 4 out of 5 of her runs. The only run she didn't qualify in was Trigility. The gamble portion of the run included the dog walk. Kaylie and contacts, especially at a distance, don't generally go together. But my teammates didn't seem to mind - they didn't want to even try it, so . . . Kaylie almost got the contact, but not quite. But she did Q in both of her Standard runs, her Strategic Time Gambler run and her Jumpers run. Every trial is getting better and better with Conor. Although he only Q'd in 2 of his 5 runs, all of his runs were beautiful. In Trigility, our team had too many faults (including one off course from Conor) - but that was to be Conor's ONLY off course for the weekend. Yay! In Strategic Time Gambles, we were just .94 seconds over time, and then in his second Standard run, he barely missed the dog walk contact. But other than those little mistakes, Conor had some great runs! He placed 2nd in both runs he Q'd in, placing ahead of Kaylie!

We have one more agility trial in a couple of weeks, and then that's it for a while. Hoping to go to Utah for an AKC trial in July!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

ASCA Agility Trial - Chino Valley, AZ

One word to describe this trial . . . WINDY! It was actually beyond windy. I can't think of a word to describe just how windy it was. We couldn't have our canopies up, so we were just left out to brave the flying tumbleweeds, sand and dirt. Yuck. The tumbleweeds were so bad, I couldn't even get into my van to leave at the end of the trial on Sunday. What a mess. Well, enough of how windy it was. Kaylie and Conor did pretty good despite the bad weather. On Saturday Kaylie qualified in her Elite Jumpers run, one of her Elite Gambler runs and one of her Elite Standard runs, and on Sunday, she qualified in both of her Jumpers runs and one of her Standard runs. I couldn't keep track of the placements of everything because of the weather, but she got all 1st and 2nd places. Conor only qualified in 3 of his Elite Standard runs, but he did get 1st place in all of those. What a good boy. He had a blast in his Jumpers run on Saturday - I think he took 10 extra jumps along the way. He was so enjoying himself taking jumps here and there. But that was his only really crazy run. The rest of his runs he did great but just had a small mistake here and there. Kaylie ended up finishing her Outstanding Elite Jumpers title, and Conor finished his Elite Regular title.
Poor little Conor getting attacked by the tumbleweeds!

Although the clouds looked really scary, we actually only got a few little sprinkles and a few little snow flakes.

Here are Kaylie and Conor posing in front of a beautiful tumbleweed back drop.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wonder Dogs Update

It was brought to my attention that I hadn't updated my blog lately. Where is the time going??!! I'm not working . . . one would think I had a ton of time to keep this updated. I just don't have an explanation, other than I've been too busy playing with my dogs!

I won't go into all the details of all the shows, but here's a brief summary since the Fiesta Cluster:

ASCA Cactus Cluster -- Kaylie took Best of Breed at two of the three shows I showed her at. I really should show her more often in conformation. She loves it and she just shines.

ASCA Agility Trial -- this was our Aussie club's first trial ever. Kaylie did fantastic, qualifying in most of her runs, placing 1st in all of her runs. Conor did pretty well too, but didn't always qualify.

DOCNA Agility Trial -- Kaylie earned her Silver Merit of Excellence title at the April DOCNA trial in Payson. She just needed one Gambler leg to earn the title, and she did it with a whirlwind of a Strategic Timed Gamble run. I couldn't remember the course I had planned out, as the map we got wasn't quite how the course actually looked. I had to run Conor first, and I completely messed up his run. Kaylie's run was just as insane, but the important thing is is that we qualified, got 2nd place, and earned our Silver MEX. Yay Kaylie!!

I think that about sums it all up. This weekend we'll be in Chino for an ASCA agility trial. I promise to post how we do. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Double Q #10!

Kaylie and I are finally half way to our MACH! We got Double Q #10 this past weekend at the Fiesta Cluster. On Friday she only Q'd in Jumpers. Saturday we got to start with Jumpers, my favorite. She ran great, but she had actually slipped after the 3rd jump, so she ran a little tentatively. She actually finished just 3 seconds under time, so that was close! Next was our Standard run. I was glad to see that the grounds had dried up so there was less of a chance of her slipping. We were running along, doing great, hitting all the contacts, hit the weave poles, stayed in the weave poles, and then finally crossed the final jump - a Q!! Yay! Double Q #10. I was on Cloud 9 the rest of the day. I even celebrated with a delicious peach smoothie with whipped cream on top! YUM! Sunday was a very dreary wet day. It was drizzling when we got there, and it didn't let up. Once again we had to do our Standard run first. We got to the dog walk, and right in front of the end of the dog walk was the tunnel with the wrong end right in front of the dog. You had to pull the dog off to the left to get the right end of the tunnel, and if you pulled too soon you'd probably pull the dog off the dog walk, missing the contact. Well, Kaylie got the contact, along with the wrong end of the tunnel. Bummer. No chance of a Double Q today. It was raining pretty good during our Jumpers run, but she did great and qualified in that. Good doggie! Conor didn't qualify in any of his runs the entire weekend, but each day we did improve. The trial ended up being cancelled on Monday because of all the rain. We got so much rain on Sunday - our set up was completely under water. I was running my friend Terri's dog Chase on Sunday because she had to stay home with her older dog who wasn't feeling well. When we got back to our set up, we were surprised to see that everything was under water!!!! OMG!! What a mess. I had no idea we'd have lake front property! Our next AKC trial is in April at the Cardinals' Stadium in Glendale. And this weekend is a DOCNA trial. Kaylie is very close to getting her Silver MEX. We won't finish it this weekend, but perhaps the next DOCNA trial.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Conor finished his RAE today in grand style. To earn the RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent), you must earn qualifying scores in both Advanced and Excellent on the same day, at 10 different shows. It takes a long time! Of course we had to have a great story behind his last leg. The weather at the beginning of the week was calling for a slight chance of rain - like 10%. It was a weak storm, so the chances of rain were slim. By Friday morning though, they were saying perhaps a 30% chance of rain, but even if it did rain, it wouldn't be much. Well, not sure what they were predicting on the news, but at the show site it was 100%. Ugh. Actually the morning started out beautiful - I just set out my chair and Conor's crate - I figured I was only going to be there for 2 runs on Saturday - I didn't see the need to set up my tent. But by the time the Excellent class had ended, it had started to sprinkle. And then by the time the Advanced class started, it was pouring. Thankfully the gal set up next to me let me hang out under her tent. It was so incredibly cold and we were all drenched. One by one, dogs were dropping - they were either running out of the ring or just wouldn't work. Conor was the last dog in the line up. It was absolutely pouring, and I had NO idea how he was going to handle it. But he's such a trooper and did everything absolutely perfect. It was incredible. We ended up with a perfect score of 100, 1st Place and our RAE title. Yay!!! What a way to end.

Catching Up

I'm a little behind in my show updates. Just about every weekend I've had something going on! The weekend of February 6th, 7th, & 8th, Conor was entered in Rally at the Sahuaro State & Lost Dutchman Kennel Club shows at the Arizona State Fairground. Our first run on Saturday was the worst run I've ever had in Rally. The show was indoors, and it was pretty loud and echo-y (is that a word?). Conor was holding his ears weird and I could tell he wasn't comfortable. The run just didn't go well. It was so bad that I thought for sure we didn't even qualify. When I saw a score of 75, I was actually very thankful! By the time the Advanced class started, he was accustomed to the sounds, and got a 99 and 1st place. Yay! Sunday and Monday also went well and we got RAE legs #8 and #9 with scores between 96 and 98. Just one more leg to go!

The following weekend the Wonderdogs and I headed south to Las Cruces, New Mexico for an ASCA agility trial. What a great little trial! The people down there were so incredibly nice and very welcoming. Kaylie and Conor had some incredible runs. We qualified in almost every run we did, placing either 1st or 2nd. Kaylie finished all of her Elite titles and Conor finished his Elite Jumpers title and his Open Regular and Open Gamblers titles! I accomplished every goal I had set for this trial - something that usually doesn't happen. So now Kaylie has met the very minimum qualifications to qualify for the Agility Finals at Nationals. Now we just have to start racking up more Q's to get ranked. I had planned to go to quite a few more out-of-state trials, but I found out I'm losing my job. My bosses decided they needed someone 5 days a week instead of the 4 I'm currently doing. Since I have entered shows on quite a few Mondays, I couldn't start right away. They said they needed someone NOW, so alas, they're letting me go, after almost 14 years. So much for loyalty! So, although I probably won't have the extra money to go to out-of-state trials, I will have more time to train. Will be focusing on obedience - Open for Conor and Utility for Kaylie. No more excuses! Just gotta get out there and do it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Conor Gets His First Points!

We had a fantastic weekend at the ASCA conformation/obedience trial. Since I hadn't had time to work with Kaylie & Conor in obedience, and people were trying to make majors in the Altered class, I decided to enter Conor to help build that major. I hadn't shown him in conformation in well over a year, as we'd been busy over the past year working towards qualifying for the obedience Finals. But he's such a good little doggie, doing exactly what is asked of him. I don't know how he knows things, but he just does. Amazing. Anyway, we had two shows each day. In the first show on Saturday, in a class of 4, he placed 4th. That's where I expected to be all weekend, to be honest. But at the second show on Saturday, he actually placed 2nd! I was pretty excited about that - as we then would have had a chance to go back in for Reserve if the Open Blue dog went Winners Dog. But another dog won, so no second chance. Oh well. As I was leaving for the show Sunday morning, Kaylie just looked so sad that I was leaving her home again. I couldn't stand it, so I decided to bring her along and then enter her in the afternoon show just for fun. I always enjoy showing her in conformation - she knows how to bring it on. Sunday morning, Conor placed 3rd in his class. I started thinking about it, and he had placed 2nd, 3rd & 4th. All he needed was 1st. I decided to show him a little differently, kind of like I would show Kaylie - let him stand on his own and do his own stuff instead of trying to micromanage everything. Well, it paid off, because he actually won his class!! Yay! A 1st place! I was pretty happy with that. But then we had to go back in for Winners Dog. Again - I just let him do his own thing. I know his down and backs aren't the greatest, but he's got a beautiful side gait, so I made sure I used the full back side of the ring to show off the side gait, and what do you know - the judge must have noticed and pulled him up to the second position, behind a nice red dog. She had us go around again, and again, I used that full length of the back of the ring. The judge then put is in the front and had us go around one more time, and this time she left it at that, giving us Winners Dog!! I was in shock! His first points. But then I had to make a really hard decision. Since Kaylie was entered as a Special for Best of Breed, I had to find someone to take either Kaylie in or Conor back into the ring. I asked Clarissa, Kaylie & Conor's breeder, and she agreed she'd take whoever I chose, if she didn't win Winners Bitch. I then found someone as a backup to Clarissa. Luckily Clarissa's dog didn't win, so I handed Kaylie to her. I figured Conor was too new and such a momma's boy, he wouldn't show well for someone else, especially with me being in the ring with him, and plus Kaylie loves Clarissa. So we all went around the ring a few times, did the down and back, and then the judge pulled Kaylie to the front. Way cool!!! I was so excited to see her up there, but really wished it was me. But then the judge pulled Conor to the second position!!! Wow!!! I didn't know exactly what it all meant, but I knew it had to be good. Kaylie ended up winning Best of Breed, and Conor won Best Opposite Sex and Best of Winners. The major actually broke for the dogs, because one of the dogs finished, and then one of the other people didn't enter their dog, because they found out it was a major in Bitches. So by winning Best of Winners, Conor also got a major! Woo hooo!! His first points, with a major to boot! I was so very proud of my puppies. A really funny part of all this was having to borrow a conformation lead and chain, because I only have one!! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have two dogs in the ring at the same time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Qualifying for the DOCNA Championships

Spent this past weekend in Queen Creek for a beautiful weekend of DOCNA agility. The weather couldn't have been better. It was very cold in the mornings, and thankfully I was able to find one of those little portable propane heaters. It was perfect and kept me warm when I wasn't walking a course or waiting for my turn. But by 10 a.m. the sun was out and the temps were perfect. We had some fantastic runs this weekend, except for the one where I completely forgot the course. I watched one of my friends go, and she forgot part of the course (and didn't even realize it), and then I watched the gal that ran before me, and she completely forgot the course. Lesson learned - just don't watch anyone ahead of you. But most of the runs the rest of the weekend went pretty well. Best of all, Kaylie qualified in the North America Challenge, got 1st place, and is now set to go to the Championships in Grand Junction, Colorado. Unfortunately, Conor did not qualify. There was a dog walk/tunnel discrimination challenge - they were to take the dog walk. As we were walking the course, one of my friends was so worried about her dog taking the tunnel. I was so confident, and said as long as you're pulling to the left the dog won't even see the tunnel. The thought of Conor going through that tunnel never even entered my mind. Well, my friend's dog took the dog walk, and Conor took the tunnel. Lesson 2 learned - never assume your dog is going to do the right course. LOL! My teacher is always telling me to trust my dog. Well . . . not sure what to think about that anymore!

Anyway, here's how the Wonder Doggies did this weekend:

Specialist Standard Run 1: NQ
Specialist Standard Run 2: Q - 3rd Place
Specialist Standard Run 3: Q - 2nd Place
Specialist Jumpers Run 1: Q - 4th Place
Specialist Jumpers Run 2: Q - 1st Place
Specialist Snakes & Ladders: Q - 4th Place
Specialist Trigility: Q - 1st Place (with Kaylie doing the Gamble portion)
Specialist Traditional Gamble: NQ
Specialist Strategic Timed
Gamblers: Q - 2nd Place
Specialist North America
Challenge Q - 1st Place

Intern Standard Run 1: NQ
Intern Standard Run 2: NQ
Intern Standard Run 3: NQ
Intern Jumpers Run 1: Q - 1st Place
Intern Jumpers Run 2: Q - 1st Place
Specialist Traditional Gamble: NQ
Specialist Strategic Timed
Gamblers: Q - 3rd Place
Intern Snakes & Ladders: NQ
Specialist Trigility: NQ
Intern North America
Challenge : NQ

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Arizona Wags for Wishes

The 2010 Arizona Wags for Wishes has come and gone. What a great time we had though. The show started on Thursday, New Year's Eve. We started at 6 p.m. and I was finished by 9:30 p.m., in time to get home, take a little nap and then wake up to bring the new year in. Kaylie Q'd in her Excellent Jumpers run and Conor Q'd and got 1st Place in his Open Jumpers run. Conor Q'd in his Open Standard run and Kaylie NQ'd in her Excellent Standard run. On Friday, New Year's Day, Kaylie didn't Q in either run, and Conor Q'd in his Open Jumpers run, finishing his Open Jumpers title. I decided to move him up to Excellent for the remainder of the trial. Saturday and Sunday were absolutely crazy, because I also had Conor in Rally. We're working on his RAE, so he had to do both an Excellent and an Advanced run. I was constantly running back and forth between the agility rings and the rally ring, trying to keep track of where things were. Conor ended up Q'ing in his Open Standard run with a 4th place on Saturday, but didn't Q in his Excellent Jumpers run. In Rally, he got 2nd place in Excellent B and 1st place in Advanced B, earning his 5th RAE leg. Kaylie didn't Q in anything on Saturday, although both her runs were awesome - just stupid small mistakes. Sunday started off with Excellent Standard. It was nice to have both dogs in the same class finally. Conor was the very first dog up in the Standard run. For his first time in Excellent, he didn't do too bad. He knocked a bar and ran past a jump and flew off the teeter (he was going so darned fast!), but overall I was pleased with the run. Kaylie's Standard run was absolutely gorgeous, and she finally got a Standard Q, and actually placed 4th!! Woooo hoooo!! I was most happy with that Q, because very rarely do we place in the Excellent B classes, especially not at large shows like this one. Unfortunately neither dog Q'd in their Excellent Jumpers runs. Bummer - no Double Q's for Kaylie this weekend. Conor's Rally runs were awesome on Sunday - he got 1st place in Excellent B with a score of 99 and 2nd place in Advanced B with a 99. That makes RAE leg #6. Just 4 more to go.

Monday, December 21, 2009

ASCA Nationals Team Obedience

I'm finally getting around to getting this photo posted - it's been sitting in a pile on the counter, waiting to be scanned. Just been too busy to get around to it. Anyway, aren't we all just too adorable??!! Pictured left to right is me and Kaylie, Patti & Sophie, Karen & Maggie and Barbara & Shasta. Kaylie & Maggie are sisters and Sophie and Shasta are sister. We had so much fun, and we all just laugh when we look at this picture. Great times, great friends.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Conor's 4th RAE Leg

Conor and I attended the Grand Canyon German Shepherd Club's obedience/rally trial yesterday. Brandon had his taekwondo testing Saturday morning, so I just showed Sunday. Wasn't sure how he was going to do because the ground was covered in this nasty dead weedy "grass." I'm not even sure it was ever grass - it may have just been weeds. A lot of dogs were having problems walking through the stuff, and apparently several dogs that showed on Saturday didn't come back on Sunday. But Conor, being the good little dog that he is, had no problems - it didn't even phase him. He got a 97 in Excellent B, and got 1st Place, and then he got a 98 in Advanced B, and also got 1st Place. So that was RAE leg #4. Woo hooo! Just 6 more to go to get his RAE!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Double Q!

The Wonder Dogs and I headed south this past weekend to Tucson for the Saguaro Scramblers agility trial. I really didn't want to go to this trial, as every year I've gone the wind is absolutely incredible and it makes the trial unbearable. I decided though to check the rates for my favorite Tucson hotel (the La Quinta by the airport), and saw their rates were just $39 a night, I couldn't NOT go - what a screaming deal for a nice hotel room! Boy oh boy am I glad I decided to go because Kaylie got her 9th Double Q!!! Sunday started off great with Kaylie's Excellent Jumpers run - she ran fast and clean - so far so good!! Then to our Standard run. It was a really fun course with several challenges. In the middle of the course, we had to pass through a tunnel, then pull to the right to get the teeter (to the left were the weave poles). We did that perfectly. Our second pass through that same tunnel, we had to enter the opposite end of the tunnel which actually lead directly to the weaves. I figured she'd have no problem taking the weaves as it was a straight shot. I should know better - the second I let my guard down she decided to head to the teeter again. She put a paw on the teeter and that was it. I did get her to the weaves and we finished the rest of the course perfectly. Oh well.

On Sunday Kaylie and I started with the Standard run. It was another very fun course with several chances for off courses. This particular judge had the greatest courses that were fun and flowy, but yet still very challenging. A lot of AKC courses tend to have lots of sharp turns and don't flow very well, but the courses this weekend were awesome. Anyway, we got through the Standard run clean - yay!! Now to the Jumpers run. Again, very flowy but several challenges - we ran clean once again for Double Q #9! AWESOME!!

Conor also did great this weekend. He's now in Open for both Standard and Jumpers. On Saturday, he got his first Open Standard Q with a 1st place and his first Open Jumpers Q with a 2nd place. What a good little doggie! He's so much fun to run - definitely keeps me on my toes. His runs on Sunday were okay, but no Q's. He's so stinkin' fast that I was behind him most of the time - he went off course on both runs. Oh well. Next time! Our next AKC trial will be at Wags for Wishes starting New Years Eve.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two Double Q's in One Weekend!!

Kaylie and I had a fantastic agility weekend this weekend. We started off Saturday morning with a devilish Excellent Jumpers run. I'm not even sure how I got through it, but it was a great run. Our Standard run was a little shaky in some spots - there were lots of opportunities for off courses. I only had to scream twice, but she stayed on course and we finished clean. Two great runs for Double Q #7.

Sunday we started off with the Standard run. I kept focused with each obstacle and she followed perfectly. Wooo hooo - another clean run!! Then came our Jumpers run. It wasn't a particularly difficult course, but there were several places where you had to be very careful not to send the dog to the wrong jump. It was a course where one could easily get lost. We made it through though with no problems, and voila! Our second Double Q for the weekend. That brings our total to 8 now. Just 12 more to go. But I'm not counting. :)

Conor did just as well this weekend too. He finished his Novice Standard title on Saturday, with a 2nd place. His Jumpers run Saturday was fantastic, but there was a "trap" jump set up in the corner of the course - Conor figured if it's out there it must be taken! Oh well. Even with taking that extra jump he was still way under the time of the dog that got 1st place. I moved him up to Open Standard for Sunday, but that didn't go all that well. Not that it was a mess, but he took the wrong end of the tunnel at the beginning of the run, then he knocked a bar and he popped out of the weave poles. His Jumpers run Sunday was insanely crazy. He ran it in 19 seconds - I was far behind him just trying to guide him as best I could. He knew what he was supposed to do though and qualified, finishing his Novice Jumpers title, with a 1st place. Wooo hooo!!

Next weekend we'll be in Tucson for another AKC agility trial. Looking forward to getting out of town for a couple of days for more agility!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Videos from the DOCNA Agility Championships

Here are Kaylie's and Conor's Strategic Timed Gamblers runs from the Championships.

These are Kaylie's and Conors Finals Jumpers Runs. Kaylie is at the Specialist level and Conor is at the Intern level. Kaylie finished 3rd in Finals and Conor finished 2nd.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 DOCNA Championships

The DOCNA Agility Championships were this weekend. They began on Thursday with a warm up trial, and then the actual Championships began on Friday. These were VERY LONG days, beginning with getting up 5 a.m. and then finishing up at the trial around 7 p.m., getting dinner and getting back to the hotel after 8 p.m. The pups and I are exhausted! But we had such a great time. Here's how it all panned out:

Thursday - Warm Up Trial
Kaylie - 1st Place in Standard
Conor - 1st Place in Jumpers

Conor definitely lived up to his "dog on crack" title in his Standard run. It was probably one of our worst runs ever!!! He was just nuts. And Kaylie took a wrong jump on her Jumpers run, but otherwise it was a very nice run.

Friday - Day 1 of the Championships
Standard: I think she placed 9th
Jumpers: 6th Place
Traditional Gamblers: Can't remember where she placed, but she did get the gamble - YAY!
Snakes & Ladders: Can't remember where she placed.

Standard: 4th Place
Jumpers: 1st Place
Traditional Gamblers: Can't remember where he placed.
Snakes & Ladders: Can't remember where he placed.

Saturday - Day 2 of the Championships
Standard: 7th Place
Jumpers: 6th Place
Trigility: Not sure where we placed. Kaylie had to do the gamble portion, and she did get it!
North American Challenge: I think she placed 7th.

Standard: 3rd Place
Jumpers: 2nd Place
Trigility: 2nd Place
North American Challenge: 1st Place - Western Region

Saturday they announced who made it to the Finals for Standard and Jumpers. I knew it was going to be close with Kaylie in Jumpers, as she placed 6th in both of her runs, but the dogs that finished ahead of her were not the same both days. The way they figure out who will make Finals is they take your times for both days, add them together and then they take the top 25% of each class. There were 20 dogs in Kaylie's class, so 5 got to go to Finals. Since the top 5 in her class were inconsistent (meaning the top 5 from Friday were different from the top 5 from Saturday), and Kaylie stayed consistent right at #6, she was able to squeak in and was actually in 4th place. YAY!! She didn't make it into the Finals for Standard though. Conor made it to Finals for Jumpers, but also did not make it for Standard. He had a small mistake on Friday's run (he didn't jump through the tire jump - he ran under it). Oh well - I was VERY excited to have them both in the Jumpers Finals. Jumpers is my favorite class anyway.

I was also very, very excited that Conor placed 1st in the North American Challenge. In this class, there is a Regional winner (West coast and East coast), and then they combine all the results from the West coast and the East coast to come up with National winners for each class. Since we had finished so late Saturday, and the east coast people had already gone to bed, they couldn't announce the National winners - we had to wait until Sunday. Ugh!!! I so wanted to know how we fared against the East. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep, but I should have known better - the minute my head hit the pillow, I was out. Guess it wasn't on my mind THAT much! LOL!

Sunday - Day 3 of the Championships
Jumpers Finals - 3rd place. If we were going to place, I knew this was going to be the highest we could place, unless the other teams totall messed up. I didn't watch any other runs of the dogs in my class, so I didn't know how other teams did. Apparently though we actually finished 2nd place in this run. They don't give out ribbons for this run, but this time is added to the other two times from Friday & Saturday. It all worked out that we finished 3rd! Pretty darn cool for not even placing in the semi-finals. This happened to us last year too, but last year we were able to squeak through with a 2nd place. I just have to remember to not count myself out - I was so sure we weren't even going to make it - the competition was VERY tough!! Darn Border Collies! :)

Jumpers Finals - 2nd place. I knew I was going to have to run clean to finish in 1st. We were doing fantastic until at one point I turned a second to fast and I pulled him off a jump, and then he went over the next jump before I could call him off. Oh well.

Then they finally announced the National winners for the North American Challenge. I couldn't believe it when I heard Conor's name announced as the 20-inch Competition Intern level winner!!!! I was so incredibly shocked. I knew he ran well, and we couldn't have done any better. And best of all, his entire class was just Border Collies -- that's right -- all Border Collies and he was the lone Aussie. Very, very, very cool!!!! I do have the Wonder Dogs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009 ASCA Nationals Photos

As promised, here are the photos from the Nationals.

And here are the photos from the show photographers.

Here is Conor with his Obedience Finals ribbon.

Conor LOVES doing agility!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 7 - ASCA Nationals

Today was our last day at Nationals, and I'm very sad. I've had a great time up here with all the doggies and great friends. Today I just had Gamblers runs with Kaylie & Conor. Even though Kaylie had finished her Open Gamblers title earlier in the week, I decided to keep her in Open to help make my schedule a little easier. Our first Gamble course was pretty tricky in that all the high point value obstacles were at the back of the course and the gamble was at the front of the course. So I had to plan it so that I was heading back towards the front of the ring before the first buzzer rang. With both dogs this actually worked fairly well. Conor then got the gamble, but unfortunately Ms. Kaylie did not. Oh well. Our second Gamblers course was extremely difficult. I knew for sure Kaylie wouldn't get it, but wasn't sure about Conor. The gamble included the A-frame, which at a far distance is real hard for my doggies to make the contact. Both of them flew off and missed the contact, and then they both went into the wrong end of the tunnel. Oh well. No Q's for us on that last run. But they both still ran well and had fun, which is all that is important.

We start heading home tomorrow morning. :( I'll get home Sunday, get unpacked, laundry done and then repack for the DOCNA Championships that start on Thursday! Wooo hooo!

And, we'll start getting ready for the 2010 Nationals in Waco, Texas - watch out Texas - here we come!

Kaylie - The True Wonder Dog

At our last DOCNA (Dogs on Course in North America) agility trial in Prescott, Kaylie did fantastic! We are trying to be the first team to earn the MEX (Merit of Excellence) who started in the Beginner level. We are getting VERY close. All the other teams that have earned the MEX were grandfathered in at higher levels. Kaylie was just starting her agility career when DOCNA was created, so we had no choice but to start at the beginning. And as it is, I believe there are under 20 teams that have even earned the MEX to this point.

Well, going into the trial at Prescott, we needed 2 Specialist Gamblers legs and 2 Specialist Standard legs. In DOCNA, there are two types of Gamblers runs -- Traditional and Strategic Timed Gamblers. Unfortunately, we have only earned 3 Traditional Gamblers legs -- one from the Beginner class, one from the Intern class and one from the Specialist class. All the other Gamblers legs have come from the Strategic Time Gamblers. So, I knew going in that the chance of getting that Traditional Gamblers leg on Saturday was slim. We walked into the ring, and I knew Kaylie was on fire and ready to go. The Gamblers class is usually the first class of the trial, and Kaylie is usually absolutely wild in the first run. Well, this was no different. She was incredibly fast, and I was not -- I kept getting in her way, and things just fell apart. At 30 seconds, the buzzer rang, which meant I had to get to the gamble portion of the course. I sent her over the jump to the tunnel -- she took the wrong end of the tunnel, then came right back to me over the wrong jump and that was the end of that. No MEX for us this weekend. BUT, she did qualify in the two Standard runs she needed, getting First place both times, and she got her Strategic Timed Gamblers leg on Sunday, earning a Second place. Wooo hooo Kaylie!!! Out of 10 runs over the weekend, we qualified in 8 of them, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in all but one run -- our Jumpers run on Sunday. I got lost on the course and just got confused. Luckily, Kaylie can read the numbers on the cones (that's the only explanation I can come up with) because she ran the right course despite my mess ups! Hence the name "Wonder Dog." So we still Q'd, but got 6th place. Still, not too bad!!

So, our next DOCNA trial will be in Pinetop the end of August. Hopefully we'll get our MEX there! Just one Gambler leg to go.