Saturday, May 28, 2011

MACH Johann!

I did it! I got my MACH last Saturday, 5-21.2011, at the AKC Agility Trial hosted by Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia.

Mum and I ran on the Friday before and got a double Q, just shy of a few points I needed for the MACH.

We drove back and forth each day, and when Mum and I woke up on Saturday the next day, we knew today was the day. We both had a gut feeling.

And we did it! It wasn't the speediest runs I've ever had, but I got the job done. Here I am coming out of the tunnel, just before the last two jumps...

And here I am taking the last jump, for my MACH!

And here's the official photo, with Judge Pam Cumming (who is super nice, btw), and one of the official members of the Cocker Spaniel Specialty Club of Georgia.

It's been a long road for me...with all my injuries, recovery, and rebuilding.

I started training June 1, 2005 just before my first birthday. Competed in my first trial (USDAA) in December 2005 just a few months after the dog attack and major surgery. We loved agility so much that I wanted to compete more, so Mum applied for my ILP with the AKC in April 2006 and we got it just four days later!

So Mum signed me up to compete in my first AKC trial in May 2006. I got my NA and NAJ the next month on 6-9-2006, and my OAJ on 6-25-2006 and my OA in 7-8-2006. Then it was on to the AX and AXJ which I got on 9-4-2006.

Then I got my broken foot and went through a lot of recovery, but I was back running again in April. That was also the year I got a bad bout of gastroenteritis, and Mum, Gracie and I were in a bad car accident. It wasn't until August that I started running myself again recovering from all of that. Then on 9-21-2007 I got my MX and MXJ.

October I was running great again and ran my butt off. That was the month that began my string of 14 Q's in a row, 7 DQ's at three trials. It was a great time!!!

Then in January 2008 my muscle problems began (we believe as a result of fused skin layers from the operation when I was one). I came home from a trial and wouldn't come out from the corner of the took three vets and a soft tissue specialist to figure out what was wrong; I pulled my illiopsoas. It's been a long road, because even after months off and lots of recovery...I still seemed to be plagued by muscle problems and still am. So after a strain re-occurance later in 2008, Mum took me off competing in agility.

We moved, I worked on my recovery, we cross trained, and I began training and trialling again in late 2010. There weren't a lot of trials to go to, so little by little I ticked off some of the last few MACH points at a the few trials we attended and finished it up for the MACH last Saturday.

Here's a little tribute vid Mum made for me. Hope you enjoy! The last run of the vid is my MACH run.

It was a super fun day. After the MACH run, Gracie and I got to swim in the pond on the property at the trial site, that was so much fun, because it was super hot, well into mid-90's! We got a very cool human cake from friends, and Mum got me a nice massage after our runs were over for the day. I think Mum needs to get started on that scrapbooking of my journey, don't ya think? :)

We aren't exactly sure what my future holds. I still love doing agility with my Mum and I'm not ready to quit just yet. But it's becoming more and more apparent that all the injuries have certainly taken a toll on my body. I just don't move like I used to. Sometimes I have my old super fast moments, but many times I just have my medium speed moments. That's OK as long as we're both having fun and I don't hurt, that's all the matters.

Mum and I both agree that we are going for our ADCH in USDAA since we're only four Q's away. We found a great place about 40 minutes away where we can practice indoors and out (they also have sheep, lure coursing, and swimming/diving). So we're going to practice regularly and concentrate on the distance and snooker skills we need for the ADCH, and Gracie's gonna practice her overall skills too. Then later in the Summer we're going to enter some USDAA trials that are pretty close by and see what happens.

Thanks Mum for a great run to our MACH...I loved it every step of the way!

Agility Photos courtesy of In Motion Photos.

Enjoying the porch...

Lately it's been a little hot, but a few days here lately it's been very enjoyable! So enjoyable that we've been spending a lot of time our our porch!

I check frequently for wildlife, between a nice chew on my deer antler...

Gracie keeps a good eye out too, you never know when you'll see a bunny, guinea hen, deer, or squirrel around here!

Wiggy loves hanging out on the table Mum put out on the porch...keeps him from being pestered by me and Gracie :).

And Wolfie is always on the watch for bugs...he loves hunting bugs, even when they are on the other side of the screen!

And he has to keep an eye on me and Gracie, when we start a good tussle!

We're taking it easy this weekend...resting up from the trial last weekend, and putting up the fence the previous weekend...and moving..and working..and, well you get the idea. Pretty soon Mum's gonna have to look into oxyelite pro side effects, I think she took off more lbs, BOL!!!

Hope you all are enjoying your holiday!!!! Ahhh...finally summer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My first try at drumming!

Mum thought I'd be good at drumming, so we gave it first try!

She's right, I liked it! Sometimes I liked it so much I even jumped up and sat on the drum, BOL! I think Mum needs to get me a real drum, wadda you think?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tour of the property!

You asked for it, you've got it, BOL!!!

We've really been enjoying our new place in NE Georgia. We're up in the mountains where it's lots cooler than down south where it's flat land. There are tons of places to explore and hike, and we're closer to agility trials near Atlanta (which BTW, we have a trial this coming weekend, yeah!).

And a really good benefit is we are seeing lots fewer ticks here than the other place. We're even thinking of migrating to a healthier, all-natural method of repelling the ticks; we'll keep you posted. I am enjoying a nice sit on the porch swing (which when it moved, didn't phase me at all; Gracie was a different matter, she jumped off!).

Mum and I did a little video tour of the outside of our property...check it out!

You'll see our walk up the lane from our mailbox. Then come to the cattle gate that we shut to keep any wandering tourists out :). There's a nice shot of the front of our cabin, then the firepit in our front yard (the fence is there now too), around the north side to the back where our deck (and porch swing) is. There's even a walk around the deck to the back door and a peek at our tomato, basil, jalapeño, and cilantro plants. Then back around to get a nice view of the back yard/forest/fun exploration area :).

And here are a few photos of me and Gracie enjoying our cabin...this is a photo from our living area, showing the wood stove (one of our sources of heat) and the stairs up to the office and bedroom.

This is from our living room showing off our dining and dog crate area; the kitchen (complete with all the conveniences needed, is just to the left).

And this is our living area and where we hang out with Mum in the evenings. You can see the doors to the screened in porch on the right. It was a nice day the day we took the photos and we had them wide open and could go in and out, in and out, in and out...

Here's a view from the living area out to the porch. Wolfie, Wiggy, Gracie and I love hanging out on the porch!

Hope you enjoyed our little tour!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fun stuff for outdoor dogs, like us!

Being outdoor dogs like Gracie and me (playing, hiking, swimming, (well, Gracie likes water a little more than I :), agility), finding gear that's tough, rugged, long lasting and fun can sometimes be a challenge.

When we first heard of Ruff Wear way back when I started blogging and putting together my website, it wasn't easy to find gear that we thought would fit our lifestyle. So, when we found out about Ruff Wear products, we got super excited!

Over the years they've created even more fun, functional the Ruff Wear Approach pack, Bark'n Boots Polar Trex Dog Boots, Ruff Wear Highlands Travel Bed, and the cool new Singletrak Mobile Hydration Pack Pack (so pups can carry their own water on those long hikes), the Ruff Wear Track Jacket for tracking dogs, and the new Web Master Harness that Gracie would like to try out. They also have some pawsome, pretty tough toys, like the new Turnip, and even some that float like the Hydro Plane.

They even have a new leash called a Quick Draw Leash, that is great for dogs off leash, and allows you to quickly leash 'em in when needed.

I have a Ruff Wear life jacket that I wear whenever I'm into deep water. There I am up top wearing it on a canoe trip Mum and I took back in 2005, dang that was such a fun day, and not only my first time in a canoe floating on water, but my first time on a school bus too! The bus took us up river so we could canoe back down where our car was parked.

It's kind of amazing how dog products have developed over the years...and Ruff Wear is one company whose products have kept up with the pace. We're looking forward to someday trying out some of their new ones on the market.

This post was sponsored by and the author has been compensated in return for our agreement to blog about Ruff Wear. But you get it, all the opinions on our blog are honest, fair and my opinion. We wouldn't blog about a specific product that we like unless we did!

Our fence!

Is it done yet??? Is it done yet?

Mum has been working all weekend getting our fence up. Pretty proud of her, I am. Building fences is hard work!

First she staked out the area, then pounded in by hand about 35 stakes around the perimeter. Nice upper body work, she says, BOL!

Then she started securing some super tough 4 foot garden netting to the stakes, and securing some long landscaping pins in the bottom to keep us from wiggling under.

Here are a few photos of the progress!!! See the stakes are all measured and laid out...

Here are some of the stakes put in after she worked on Saturday...

And here's the finish product!!! Whee!!!!

Mum says there are still a few odds and ends to finish up, but it's secure enough for now to keep us safe, if she keeps a good eye on us. We are loving the zooming!!!!

Thank you sooooo much Mum, I know it was hard work, I watched you every minute from the front porch. Love you!!!!

Power...developed or genetic?

So....we've been thinking, lately.

I used to be super fast, and on occasion am still super fast - in agility I mean. Gracie has the tendency to be super fast much more often than not on the agility course.

Over the years with all my injuries, (the dog attack, the broken foot, the dislocated
toe, iliopsoas pull, back strains, well you get the idea), Mum has had to really work me to keep me in shape and
loose to do agility.

Mum takes us hiking, walks us at a brisk pace long distances for endurance and runs with us when she can, ball work, stretching, and more to keep up our exercise for agility and life. And she watches our diet so we don't get too chubby, keep our lean muscle mass and the healthiest we can be.

Lately, since we've moved here it's been difficult for us to do longer distances since we don't have
a 10 acre pasture to walk, and the hiking trials are further away. So Mum has been busy this past weekend building us a fence so we can get some free running on to add to our hikes two times a week, and our daily short hikes up the ridge behind our cabin. More on that later!

Will be interesting to see next weekend at the trial how a little less exercise over the past couple of weeks will effect my performance. Will I be slower? Will I have less stamina? Or will I zoom like I've never zoomed before since I haven't been off leash and rested a lot in the past couple of weeks.

Sure would be nice if there was a power system analysis for us agility dogs, like there are for some companies, wouldn't it? If it could be that scientific, you know? Designing, analizing, maintaining and operating our exercise programs like some of those electrical power systems for peak performance?

We sure know how every dog is different, we've found that out in our lives. I need a lot of exercise, massage, stretching, ball work, and running to keep loose, flexible and built up for agility; especially since the injuries, I've had lots to overcome and maintain.

But Gracie is super different. She's built like a tank, strong, flexible, never been hurt in her life, and would do great in any power system simulation, like some of those tech companies have, BOL!

If you compare my structure with Gracie's...we are built very differently. She's very flat, long backed and muscular. I on the other hand have really long legs for my body, have a little scoop in my back, and am much more slight of build. I'm built more like a deer, and Gracie is built more like a couger.

So this keeps Mum it structure, genetics, experience, or maintenance that keeps some dogs faster and more powerful than others? We think about this a lot. How about you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Wolfie!!!

Can you believe it? My kittie bro, Wolfie (aka Wolfgang) is 13 years old today!!! Here he is enjoying our new porch the other day :)

And here he is gracing the cover of Florida Feline Magazine back in December 2007. Handsome isn't he?

Happy Birthday bro!!! Here's to many, many more years of jumping up on the refrigerator to get away from me, BOL!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

CGC badge!

How cool!

Now, thanks to the American Kennel Club, you can show off your efforts in accomplishing the Canine Good Citizen test! Just go to this page and grab the code for your blog or website.

I'm proud to say that 'I Passed' the CGC designation on August 30, 2008, and didn't even need any corset tops to rein me in, BOL!!

Started in 1989, the CGC Program is designed to reward dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed, who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

Notable links:
Read about the test.
Find a test event in your area.

World Agility Championships this coming weekend!

The World Agility Open Championships are going on this weekend, May 13-15, in the United Kingdom at the Hand Equestrian Centre.
According to the website events include:


The Individual Agility Pentathlon consists of 2 rounds of Agility, 2 rounds of Jumping, and 1 round Speedstakes. The combined results from the 5 classes determine the Individual Agility Pentathlon World Champion. One world champion will be declared in each jump height.

Scoring is cumulative; faults are added to time, and the lowest score wins in all aspects of the Pentathlon. Each country can enter 2 dogs per jump height.


The Agility Biathlon consists of 1 round of Agility followed by 1 round of Jumping. The combined results of the two classes determine the Agility Biathlon World Champion. One world champion will be declared in each jump height.

Scoring is cumulative; least faults wins with time as tie breaker only, in all aspects of the Biathlon. Each country can enter 2 dogs per jump height.


The Agility Games Championships consists of 1 round of Snooker followed by 1 round of Gamblers. The combined results of the two classes determine the Agility Games World Champion. One world champion will be declared in each jump height.

Scoring is cumulative; highest number of points wins with time as tie breaker only, in all aspects of the Games Championship. Each country can enter 2 dogs per jump height.


The Team Agility Pentathlon consists of 2 rounds of Agility, 2 rounds of Jumping, and 1 round Speedstakes. The combined results from the 5 classes determine the Team Agility Pentathlon World Champion.

Team USA includes:

Linda Mecklenburg and Wonder
Terry Smorch and Presto
Ann Zarr and Skylar

Mary Ellen Barry and Maizy
Dudley Fontaine and Sweet
Jeannette Hutchison and Rumble
Rosanne Demascio and Drifter

Karen Holik and Sizzle
Jenn Crank and Blaster
Nancy Kleinhans and Jimmy Dean

Daneen Fox and Masher
Sandy Rogers and Quill
Ivette White and Zip

Agility Vision is broadcasting live from the World Agility Open on May 13-15, 2011. And also providing 6 months of Video on Demand access. For $19.50 you get both the live stream and the Video on Demand access. Watch the Opening Ceremonies for free.

To keep up on the action visit:

WAO on Twitter
WAO on Facebook

Notable links:

Judges - Andy Hudson (England), Dave Grubel (USA), Mia Laamanen (Finland)

Videos available on YouTube:


Team Agility Pentathlon World Champion
1 ENG England 928.594
2 USA United States 1070.425
3 SCT Scotland 1134.821
4 JPN Japan 1262.044
5 IRL Republic of Ireland 1304.69
6 WAL Wales 1307.96
7 CAN Canada 1422.906
8 NED Netherlands 1427.703

Individual Agility Pentathlon World Champion
Height: 300
1 Anneli Hilton Slice Canada
2 Marilyn Adams Tia England
3 Heather McLean Bud Scotland

Height: 400
1 Karen Holik Sizzle United States
2 Tricia Elms Jazz Scotland
3 Mimi Shimono Marie Japan

Height: 550
Mark Douglas Ruby Wales
2 Dudley Fontaine Sweet United States
3 Nigel Staines Zico England

Height: 650
Dave Leach Rusty England
2 Niina-Liina Linna Rhett Finland
3 Linda Mecklenburg Wonder United States

Games Results Combined
Height: 300
1 Minako Tokuda Win Japan
2 Ivette White Zip United States
3 Tracy Bennett Cody Wales

Height: 400
1 Jessica Martin Dice Wildcard
2 Jennifer Crank Blaster United States
3 Bernadette Bay Zen England

Height: 550
1 Jeannette Hutchison Rumble United States
2 Leslie Osborne Fizz England
3 Kim Cullen Recess Canada

Height: 650
1 Dave Leach Rusty England
2 Laura Chudleigh Rodney Wildcard
3 Lee Windeatt Bold Wildcard

Agility Biathlon World Champion
Height: 300
1 Daneen Fox Masher United States
2 Anneli Hilton Slice Canada
3 Derek Osborne Gizmo Wales

Height: 400
1 Jennifer Crank Blaster United States
2 Nobuko Akiike Kool Japan
3 Tricia Elms Jazz Scotland

Height: 550
1 Rosanne Demascio Drifter United States
2 Mark Douglas Ruby Wales
3 Deb Rhodes Britt Canada

Height: 650
1 Franky De Witte Uboro Belgium
2 Ian Jackson Bobbie England
3 Ian Balchin Bess Wildcard

Mark your calendars - 2012 WAO, May 18-22 in Belgium.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hiking: Deep Gap - Stanley Gap!

We got in a couple of hikes last week. Our first little formal hike, since we've been here at our new place, was on one of the Aska Trails, part of the Deep Gap-Stanley Gap trail. The Aska Trails are a big network of trails that are within about a 15 minute drive from us.

We got there later in the day so didn't have much time, but we got in a couple of miles. We didn't like this path as much because it was covered in limestone rock, a little hard on the tootsies. Gracie doesn't mind as much as I do, but I have some sensitive toes, so I stayed to the edge of the path where there were less rocks.

Here's Gracie, taking in the scenery!

I got in a nice pose near a little creek we found...looking for varmits :)

We got a nice pic of the trail system at the trail head (below). We're learning that there are a lot of entrance points all around here to this one huge trail system, so there will be lots more to explore.

We decided to take this map and start marking the parts that we hike. You'll see if you bigify that we marked this part in yellow, along with the date. It will be fun to fill it all in over the next few months!

We hiked again on Saturday last weekend, more on that later!

We're getting a few hotter days lately and coming up. The neat part is that when it's in the 90's down in Atlanta, it's at least 5-10 degrees cooler up here on the mountains, gotta love that!

We've got a huge screened in porch on the front of our cabin, with double doors to the living room and have had the doors wide open almost all day. Gracie, Wolfie, Wiggy and I are loving going in and out, in and out all day long :) Pics to come!

Hope you all are having a pawsome week!

Monday, May 09, 2011


The other day Mum went outside to get something out of the car and look what she saw!!! Guineas!

At first she thought they were wild turkeys, but nope after a closer look and a quick check on the Internet, she confirmed they are Guineas.

Then it was just the next day, she went outside again and saw them. Got a little closer about 15 feet or so and they just waddled away faster from her.

Then a few minutes later we heard this big racket going on in our back yard. They Guineas were very's a quick vid, made us bark like mad I tell ya!

Being green and all we are always looking for ways to naturally get rid of pests and stuff, especially the ticks and chiggers that we encountered in Tennessee. One day when we were picking up some raw chicken necks and backs from the organic farmer, he told us that chickens and guineas were great for picking at and eating the nasty bugs. He suggested that we start raising them on the property to help combat the nasties!

We think that the Guineas that we saw here belong to someone down the road a bit...but it's super great that they come and visit us on our property. And hopefully they are keeping down the tick population on our property too.

Interestingly, model Christie Brinkley worked with researcher David Cameron Duffy in 1992 who confirmed the anecdotal evidence by finding a "highly significant difference in tick presence in response to guinea fowl activity."

Called The Duffy Study, Brinkley is credited along with Duffy and another researcher, Randall Downer, for the work; Duffy says Brinkley, concerned about her young daughter's safety, actually helped initiate the project through her congressman after she heard some of the anecdotal evidence about guineas and tick control.

Cool, huh? I don't know if we are lucky or it's just early in the season, but we are seeing lots less ticks here in Georgia than we did in Tennessee. And they are different types of ticks, ones that are attaching to me, Gracie or Mum. Keeping our paws crossed that it continues!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

2011 World Team Tryouts for FCI this weekend!

This weekend some of the best AKC registered agility teams in the country will converge on Hopkins Pavillion in Hopkins, MN as the AKC holds the World Team Tryouts for the team selected to represent the US at the 2011 FCI Agility World Championships, October 7, 8 & 9, 2011 at the Stade Couvert Regional Liévin in Liévin, France. So get those EX-H20G digital camera's ready!

Dan Dege and Tom Slattery will be judging the event.

Small -14 inches - for dogs 13-3/4” and under at the shoulder
Medium -18 inches - for dogs 16-7/8” and under at the shoulder
Large - 26 inches - for dogs over 16-7/8” at the shoulder

Two spots per jump height will be guaranteed on the team based on their performance at these Tryouts.
  • There will be five rounds total over two days and every dog will run every round.
  • Practice is on Friday. There will be three rounds on Saturday (standard, JWW, standard) and two rounds on Sunday (JWW, standard)
  • Standard course time (SCT) for each round will be set based on an average of the 2 fastest clean rounds plus 10%.
  • Time faults will be rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 (eg: 1.19 seconds over SCT would be scored as 5 faults, 8.32 seconds over SCT would be scored as 10 faults).
World Team spot #1 comes from three rounds of competition (rounds #1-3) –all scores count - cumulative score, then time. World Team spot #2 comes from top placements in all five rounds of competition.

Dogs placing in the top 30% of their jump height in any round get points (5 points for 1st place, 4 points for 2nd place, etc. if there were 16 dogs). Dogs must have a clean round to get points for that round. The dog with the highest number of points wins spot #2.

If there is a tie in points, the dog that placed in the most rounds wins the spot. If there is still a tie, the dog with the most 1st places wins – if needed, the dog with the most 2nd places wins, etc. If still tied, the dogs with the highest number of seconds under SCT from placing rounds wins.

If the same dog wins spot #1 and spot #2, spot #2 will be given to the dog with the second highest number of placement points.

Final selections will be announced by the end of May, 2011. Running positions (including alternates if any) at the World Championships for all dogs, whether they won their position on the team at Tryouts, or they were “selected dogs”, shall be chosen by the World Team Coach, Nancy Gyes. Even dogs winning positions on the team at Tryouts may be used as Alternates-Only at the actual event.
Agility Vision is once again live streaming and providing 6 months of Video on Demand access for the Tryouts. For $22.50 you get access to the Live Stream and the Video on Demand for later viewing.

Handy Links (and other info to be updated throughout the weekend):

Past year team participants
Premium List
Tryout Rules

Running Order - Saturday

Course STD - Large, Medium, Small
Large - 1st Daisy Peel & Solar, 2nd Terry Smorch & Presto, 3rd Dudley Fontaine & Jack
Medium - 1st Maureen Waldron & Mickle, 2nd Karen Holik & Sizzle, 3rd Jennifer Crank & Blaster
Small - 1st place Barb Davis & Skecher, 2nd Marcy Mantell and Wave, 3rd Heidi Vania & Ice

Course Jumping - Large, Medium, Small
Large - 1st Denise Thomas & zippity, 2nd Jef Blake & Klepto, 3rd Laura Jones & Kep
Medium - 1st John Nys & Rush, 2nd Maureen Waldron & Mickle, 3rd Laurene Galgano & Token
Small - 1st Barb Davis & Skecher (WT Member), 2nd Janet Dunn & Tantrum, 3rd Heidi Vania and Ice

Course STD - Large, Medium, Small
Large - 1st Tori Self & Revolution, 2nd Naci Berkox & Will, 3rd Daisy Peel & Solar (WT Member)
Medium - 1st Karen Holik & Sizzle (WT Member), 2nd Diane Goodspeed & Demon, 3rd Maureen Waldron & Mickle (WT Member)
Small - 1st Janet Dunn & Tantrum, 2nd Karen Holik & Ice, 3rd Deborah McBride & Chase

Course Jumping - Large, Medium, Small
Large - 1st Tori Self & Revolution, 2nd Terry Smorch & Presto (WT Member), 3rd Jamie Herren & Zip
Medium - 1st John Nys & Rush, 2nd Laurene Galgano & Token, 3rd Elizabeth Evans & Hemi
Small - 1st Barb Davis & Skecher, 2nd Marcy Mantell & Wave, 3rd Dee Anna Gamel & Kelsi

Course STD - Large, Medium, Small
Large - Large - 1st Laura Jones & Kep, 2nd Naci Berkoz & Will, 3rd Linda Mecklenburg & Wonder
Medium - 1st Ashley Deacon & Luka, 2nd John Nys & Rush, 3rd Jean Lavalley & Cheer
Small - 1st Janet Dunn & Tantrum (WT Member), 2nd Heidi Vania & Ice, 3rd Barb Davis & Skecher

Deer antler chewing technique!

Bet you didn't know that I sometimes have a special technique for chewing on deer antlers, did ya?

First you grab it from your Sis when she's distracted by a bee on the porch...that's Gracie, BTW. Then you run around with it holding it up high, prancing around, while she tries to get it from you, even though there's another fine deer antler right there on the floor. Once you have her distracted and uninterested, you make a nice bow to the almighty deer antler and start in on a nice chew. That'll keep you from having to check out yok3d. Ahhhhhhh......

Great way to end the day after a nice hike, (more on that later :). Want some of my yummy chews? Check out this page we made -The Best Doggone Dog Chews.
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