Monday, June 02, 2008

We're back!

We're back from the AKC trial and have good and interesting stuff to report.

Here I am in my travel crate after a nice run on Saturday.

It was a long weekend driving back and forth to Dayton. We do pretty well, until the day after, which is today. Today Mum is exhausted, sunburned, and kind of sore. I'm a little tired and really happy to be home. Gracie is tired too - what a great dog agility cheerleader she is at trials lately! Traveling is a lot of work, but we didn't have to stay in any cheap hotels!

Everyone over in Ohio this weekend was really nice, friendly, supportive and fun to be with. Thanks to the Gem City Agility Club for a great trial. We tented with some folks from Cincinnati and had lots of fun cheering them on. One of them will be our DAM teammate this coming July at the USDAA regionals. We got to talking a little about our team shirts and Mum is going to come up with a little design for the shirts that we'll wear at the event. That will be so much fun!

We buddied up with a friend from Springfield to video and had a blast taking turns videoing each others runs.

We met one of the judges and talked with her for a while. She was interesting and we loved her courses. She had some fun and challenging courses with some nice open flowing areas where you could stretch out for speed. We talked with her about our IPod playlist, training ideas, Texas and lilacs which were blooming profusely over there - the smell was amazing! We found out later that she was one of the AKC World Team assistant coaches. Even though we liked her courses the best, they were the very ones we didn't Q in. But Mum learned some really cool handling maneuvers with her courses.

The courses were good, tricky in some areas, interesting, and fun! We ended up with a couple of Q's which was great. But our main goal was to be speedy, have lots of fun, and work to build my confidence after the latest injury. Even though I'm doing really well at the confidence thing at practice, I still need some at trials. We accomplished that pretty well, even though we had to sacrifice some Q's. We didn't mind and I had a couple of really nice runs.

Here's one of the better ones.

On this run it was 85 degrees and really high humidity, from an unexpected heat wave after all the nice 60s and 70s we've had here lately. This was the first time running in the heat for me this year. Even though I bailed my dog walk and was really wide on some of my turns, we were pretty happy with this one. It shows that I'm feeling more confident.

I was fairly speedy on a couple of my other runs. But come Sunday afternoon, I started losing my gumption a little from the heat. Mum put me in my Cool Coat before my run, and then ran the last run (JWW) with all rear crosses, which I love. I missed two obstacles, but we ended the weekend with a fun, fairly fast run, which was the goal.

On my Standard run on Sunday morning, Gracie got wind of us running and was screaming her silly head off back in our tent. I could hear her cheerleading us on. She is the best cheerleader out there, fur sure!

We found out this weekend that Gracie doesn't like generators (the ones folks use for their fans). Just another thing for her to get used to. First it was men, then cars and trucks, then the grass trimmer - we got her over those, so Mum worked with her to get used to the generator. After a bit it was no big deal and she napped soundly between runs with the generator churning about 5 feet from her. Good girl!

Between my runs Gracie got to meet some nice folks, do a little training with tricks and focus with her long line with all the distractions of a trial. So she got to have some fun this weekend too, a little anyway. But it was pretty hot and we mostly tried to stick to our tented area to keep cool. Dark dogs, beating down sun, and humidity really don't mix too well. Gracie did have fun flirting with the neighbor dogs, though, while she was in our tent.

Here are a couple of the courses we saw this weekend, a couple of our favorites. You can click on them to enlarge.

We're off to another three day trial this next weekend. It's here locally, so we won't have to drive far. Guess we'll see what next weekend brings!

But I have to tell you, running agility wasn't the only big thing that happened this weekend, check back for the big story!


  1. w00f's Johann and Gracie, wow, u looked like u were having fun in dat loves to watch that on TV when its on...sumday mayb me can try it..

    b safe,

  2. Johann,

    Glad you had a good trial weekend! Can't believe you're doing another 3-day-trial next weekend! Hope it's not so hot! You better get some rest.....

  3. Hi!
    Y9u have some very nice articles on your blog! I have a dalmatian and live in Norway, have interests in agility and think that it is very nice to find websites like this. I have printed the drawings (agility) and I'm thinking about building the same course/track that is illustrated :-)

    I will launch some nice pictures on my own website soon, but my dog takes too much time at the moment and I haven't really gotten the possibility to finish all of the work yet :-)

    You have been bookmarked for further readings :-)

  4. Sounds like a fun and busy weekend. I love the video .. great run!
    I also like the idea of the "cool coat" (you look so cute in it). I think Coco would appreciate one of those. He doesn't seem to have much tolerance for the heat.


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