Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paws crossed!

Ok, my sis is such a girl!!!

She isn't usually very girly. More of a tom boy like my Mum I guess. (although I've seen Mum all spiffied up before and yep, she's a girl and she cleans up pretty doggone good!!).

But Mum and I like more tom boy stuff, not sure if that's the right word, but you know....girls that aren't afraid to get dirty, will zoom with me, hike with me, take a dip in the stream with me, and run in smelly horse arenas doing agility. You know the type....

So when we see Gracie doing this...


...Mum and I always shake our heads. Such a girl thing, don't you think? And she does it nearly every time she lies down! 

Bet she will even do it after a nice swim in our summer pool (which we can't wait for Mum to set up, along with that pool safety fence). 

Is it summer yet, is it!

More about that music stuff...

I'm getting to be a pretty good drummer now...

So I was just wondering if the four leggers in the family may wanna get the 'band back together'! (If you're old enough, it's one of Mum's favorite lines from an old movie), BOL!

I could see it now...me on drums, Wolfie on keyboards, Wiggy singing ('cause he likes to meow real loud a lot late at night when Mum's trying to get to sleep). And oh that Gracie, she needs an uber cool guitar with Elixir, fur sure!

I see dogs on the interwebs doing all kinds of singing, playing piano and other instruments, dancing and more! I think we could do it, don't you? BOL!

So if you forgot how good I can drum....here's a little reminder :). Fun stuff! (you'll have to furgive Mum, she went wild with the clicker on this one, sheesh!).


Friday, April 27, 2012

Kitties! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!

Not only do they take over my tunnel, my dog beds, my kitchen counters (oops, wasn't supposed to talk about that!), my cuddle time with Mum....


But now they are taking over my crate!!! WTD!!!

Ok, kitties...

  • I know you put up with the fact that Mum got me after you had lived with Mum for seven or so years and you accepted me. 
  • And I know I chase you, and sometimes nip a little fur off your butt. 
  • And I like to bark at you so that you have to jump up on top of the fridge. 
  • And I won't let you outside the door. 
  • And if you do get out the door, I herd you like the mad herding sheltie that I am).

But I draw the line at taking over my crate! I'll get you my pretty, and that other kittie, too! And just watch I may kick back with discount cigars when I'm done! Bwwwaaahahhaha!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Johann, Johann The Dog!

Lots of folks have asked me over the years how I got my name. Some of you may already know, but for those who don't, I thought I'd tell ya!

I'm named after Johann Sebastian Bach (that guy on the right there, see a resemblance?). He was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Period, and wrote many famous, beautiful pieces.

But I'm not the only one of my four legged family named after a composer. My kittie bro, Wolfie, is named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Wiggy, my other kittie bro, is named after Ludwig Von Beethoven; and sis Gracie is named after Grace Williams, who wrote many arias of beauty for various operas.

You see my Mum loves classical music. She also likes pretty much every kind of music, so we don't have to listen to classical all the time. She even likes country and rap sometimes :).

She was a flutest as a hobby before dogs. Played, studied and taught flute. She played for weddings, and at church sometimes. But when she started her marketing career, she had to put the flute and stupid deal wooden Yamaha piccolo away. The kitties didn't mind her playing, but when she played for me the first time a few month after I was adopted, I howled the entire time she played. Not my kind of fun, gotta say.

Now she doesn't really play anymore, although it's kind of one of those things you don't forget, like riding a bike. But we enjoy doing agility a lot more than having her play for us, BOL! I think she enjoys us more than playing too, but don't tell her I said that!

Here is one of my all time favorite pieces from my namesake, Cantata NÂș 208, 'Sheep May Safely Graze.' Enjoy!



Monday, April 23, 2012

We've got bloomers!

We've got some bloomers here on the mountain!

 Dogwood...

Little weeds with little blue flowers...


The Holly has been blooming and there are tons and tons of bees enjoying the nectar...


The rhododendron is getting ready to bloom...


And there are lots of weeds blooming little yellow flowers...


If you'd take a nice limo service tampa around the mountain here in the past weeks, you would have seen tons and tons of naturalized daffodils, azaleas, and lots more! Sooooo beautiful! Now that it's turned a little cold here, we hope the ones getting ready to bloom won't be hampered!

Hope if you're having some snow, that it doesn't hurt your bloomers too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our SQ and strategy for last weekend's snooker course!

Getting a SQ in USDAA Masters Snooker isn't that easy for a seven year old pup like me that's had a ton of injuries in my life.

Heck it's not that easy for lots of dogs!

In my opinion, it takes a real good strategy and plan by your Mum, nice speed by you (the dog), and nice accuracy.

Mum and I still have one more SQ to go for the ADCH, but we're super hopeful that we'll get it, because we've learned a few things about snooker in this recent quest that have really helped us get the two we have, and to get super close to the ones we haven't gotten lately.



Since we're not super speedy, we need a very well thought out strategy. So we're gonna share our strategy and plan from last weekend's SQ. Turns out I got 49 points in 48.99 seconds (with 52 seconds allowed) in this run; the highest number of points in the least amount of time in all the jump heights. Go figure!

So here's the course....



We started with the red in the lower left, took the teeter and 7C, then headed back to 7A and took the red just to the left. Then we took the 6 combo, and then the red at the top, back to the six combo and then on to the 2 frame heading toward the three and on through the rest of the closing.

We had a little bobble getting from 6b to the frame, but thought it flowed very nicely otherwise.

Since I'm not super speedy, Mum's planning for me on snooker courses lately to try and get the SQ has been to calculate how many obstacles I can accomplish in the full course time. Then she calculates the number of obstacles in the closing, including the combos and any 'invisible' obstacles there may be between numbers (or reds) if the numbers (or reds) are far apart (this is an important part for us since we're not super speedy).

Then she starts calculating the number of obstacles in the opening that will give us the maximum points in the shortest amount of distance, as well as a nice flow from one red to color to the red and color and so on; making sure that we don't go over the total number of obstacles I can accomplish in the full time allowed.

Before she started calculating this way, she was way over planning my opening and we weren't doing well at all. Now it's working really well. Lately if I do get all the way through without a mistake, we've been either 'oh so close' to a SQ or have gotten a SQ.

Mum's plan may be over strategic and too 'scientific', but very helpful to us. I think she deserves buy morgan dollars for all that thinking, BOL!

On to the next one for the ADCH!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

USDAA this past weekend!

This past weekend Gracie and I competed at a USDAA trial about 1.5 hours from our cabin.

Gracie was entered in STD and Snooker on Friday, me in the usual Gamblers and Snooker (hoping for those last few Q's for the big ADCH!).

Usually Gracie is way over the top goofy for her first run of the weekend. But she stayed focused all throughout her STD run. She's got teeter troubles right now and when she gets about two feet up the teeter at a location other than home she won't go any further. So Mum had her go on. She did really great we though, other than the teeter.

I ran Gamblers on Friday and it was a really nice little gamble run. I had really nice speed in the opening. The gamble was a jump to the left to an out curved tunnel, then way out to the teeter and back in to a jump. I ended up 1/10th of a second over time for that run. Oh so close!!! The buzzer was late so we thought we got it originally. Didn't find out till later that we didn't. DANG! Hate when that happens....

Gracie ran her Snooker run and she was doing great, when after the first seven and then a red, she took an unexpected tunnel which was a four, where Mum had planned for them to go back and get another seven.

Mum hasn't ever had that happen with either of us, but she took a sec or so and remembered the judge had just said 1 and then 4, so she knew she needed to get another red in and then a number. So she took Gracie clear across the course to the other red and it worked great! Then finished up the run and whadda ya know, Gracie got a 1st place!

That's three 1st place finishes for Gracie in P1 Snooker and she earned her title, so she moved up to P11 for the rest of the weekend!

Then I ran my snooker, need that SQ baby!!! Only two more for my ADCH.

Lucky me I ran last so Mum was able to play around with her plan. She's been
over-planning my Snooker runs lately, so after seeing what some of the others ran, she had a great plan in place, but I was going to have to be speedy. Got in a seven and two sixes and made it through the 7 in the close in great time! Guess what I got 1st and that much wanted SQ! Woo Hoo!

Lucky 13th Snooker day for me and Gracie!

Saturday was kind of a bust for both of us. I ran Snooker again and back jumped when Mum took her eyes of me just a sec. I was running speedy though! We're proud of that! Then I ran Steeplechase, got in a bobble for no Q.

Gracie ran STD, Jumpers and PII snooker, and had a tough time in all of them, but with some super great moments. She didn't run off too far on any run, that's huge!

Then it was Sunday, I was entered in Grand Prix and Gamblers. Gamblers was first and it was a little tough two jumps out then a hard right turn to the 12 weaves out about 20 feet or so, then back in to the line for a jump. Oh boy, I was doing great!!! Until that 10th pole and I pulled in toward Mum, missed her!!! So no Q again in gamblers, but we'll get there! I've been way, way too close on several of my last gambles, so we're not worried.

I ran GP and did pretty darn good, with a Q and just a little under the placements. Happy there too!

Gracie had a tough time in her two first runs. In STD some real weird activity was going on outside the starters ring and dogs were barking up a storm, which kind of whacked her out. It was so loud, Mum couldn't even think out there!

Gracie was way over the top stressed during and after the run for a while. so Mum worked with her and by the time she ran Snooker P11 Mum was hoping she was good to go. Mum didn't think since she was so stressed before that she would do the 7 weaves, so they did four reds for this run which had all jumps and tunnels numbers 1-6. Just the thing to get Gracie back and over her stress, she loves, tunnels. It worked great!!! They made it all the way through the six in the closing and even got to start half the weaves.

Mum was sending Gracie to the tunnels from about 20 feet away and able to get in good positions. It was pretty and Gracie got a nice 1st place in that run too.

Late in the day Gracie ran her jumpers course but by that time she was exhausted. So they had a little slow speed, mixed in with Gracie's wacky speed. But it wasn't enough to Q. Oh well....

Overall, we were really happy with the weekend! I got a SQ and a GP Q; Gracie got a nice 1st title of her entire life, and some blue ribbons too.

Now all we need is for Mum to pick up a skid steer for sale and make us a real agility yard here on the mountain, BOL! It was so fun to run!!! Can we go next weekend Mum? Can we?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ok...Ok....you don't have to hold it in....

....you can say it....I'm a handsome devil!

Yep, that's right, handsome! (This is my money shot side.)

Mum was outside with the stereo on, using our wireless speakers on the porch, and taking some flower photos of items blooming around the cabin, which we're gonna share soon. Lots of stuff blooming around here.

She let me stay outside but in the fenced area which includes all the deck around the cabin. She came around the side of the cabin and saw me and said, 'you are such a handsome devil!'

Well I instantly puffed out my chest and did a little pose for the camera.

Yep she's right, I am a handsome devil!

I'm gonna get you...some day...some day!

What is it?

OMD!

It's a....a.....a.......

Squirrel!!!!

Those pesky squirrels! They are everywhere, taunting me and Gracie. Every time we go out, there they are. Gracie even jumped our 3.5 foot fence the other day trying to get to one of the buggars! Agility dogs, what ya gonna do with them? What ya gonna do without them?

Bet you could guess....getting a squirrel is on my Bucket List! No hello kitty for me. It's squirrel I want!!!! Some day....some day....