January in Phoenix is such an awesome time of year. Although it is a bit cold for me, it's actually the perfect temperature to go hiking. I couldn't pass up the chance to be outside on such a beautiful day, so I decided to take the dogs out to Thunderbird Park for a little hike. There are several trails in the area, and I usually do the same one. The day before I did the trail that I usually do, so this time I thought I'd try a different trail. I had NO idea what to expect, and had no idea how long the trail was. It was 10 a.m., so I figured I had a good 5 hours to make it home in time for Brandon to get home from school. The dogs and I started out, and I thought to myself what a great trail! It wasn't too rocky or too steep. I thought how great it would be to bring some friends next time. Then all of a sudden, the trail got much steeper. There goes the idea of bringing friends along!! They'd think I was trying to kill them! Guess I'll just keep hiking by myself and the dogs. It was a great hike though, and it took just under 2 hours. And that included stopping a few times for water, and of course picture taking. Now that I know what to expect, I think I can do it faster next time. Sounds like a challenge for another hike! I do need to let my knees recover though -- they are a little achy today! I'm sure by Monday, my next day off, I'll be back to 100% and we'll try the hike again.
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.
I'm just an Arizona girl who enjoys dog sports like agility, obedience and rally obedience. I'm also an avid photographer and scrapbooker, and combining dogs, picture taking and scrapbook making -- life can't get any better!
In April, Kaylie, Conor and I headed north to Greeley, Colorado to show in the AKC Aussie Nationals. We had so much fun! Kaylie finished her Rally Advanced Excellent title, with a 95 in the Excellent class and 3rd place, and a 97 in the Advanced class and 1st place. She also finished her Master Jumpers title in agility, with a 3rd place!
Kaylie is the best Rally dog. Here she is going over the high jump -- of course looking right at me to see what's coming next.
At the Nationals, Conor earned his first Rally Excellent leg with a 2nd place, and his first AKC Novice obedience leg with a score of 191. That wasn't good enough to place, but I still thought it was a fantastic score!
Conor in perfect heel position.
Conor has the cutest flip finish!
What a finish. He should have had points added on for being so darn stinking cute!
Can't Forget About Takara!
I can't forget about Takara! Takara is the dog that got me into the crazy world of dog sports. I started her in conformation, where she was the Reserve Queen -- never getting those elusive Winners points. Oh well. She was destined for better things. We started showing in obedience, where she earned her CD. Then on to the CDX. Boy, this dog was awesome . . . in practice. We actually got our first 2 CDX legs quite easily. Then came that last leg. It just never happened. We tried for many, many years to get it, but it just wasn't meant to be. So I started her in agility, where she just shined. Except when it came to the teeter. I didn't start training her for agility until she was 6 years old, and by that time, she was quite sure that the ground is never to be moving. She HATED the teeter. So, we stuck to just doing Jumpers courses, and in NADAC, she also did the Tunnelers courses. She loved the Jumpers courses though. This is Takara after earning her AKC Excellent Jumpers title, with a 1st Place to boot. She is 11 years old in this photo. For an old gal, she did fantastic. She is now retired from agility, and enjoys harassing Conor, stealing food off the counter and napping.
Takara turns 13!!
Takara turned 13 on May 4, 2008. It was impossible to get a picture of her by herself, because the two spotted beasts kept getting in the way, so I had to include them too. Heaven forbid should they be left out of anything!