Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Hiking Time!

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.


Diamond Girl said...

A two hour steep hike doesn't scare me! Sounds lovely. If it's a weekend, I'd love to go!

Vickie said...

I'll let ya know next time I go -- maybe next Sunday!

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.