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Monday, December 30, 2013

The best Christmas weekend ever: Agility and barn hunt!

Mum knew that work would finally let up a little bit these holiday weeks. And boy are Gracie and I sooooo glad! We were getting very bored.

Since she anticipated the time off, she planned way in advance a super fun weekend for all three of us - Mum, me and Gracie!

First up was agility practice on Saturday last. We headed out at 9 AM early that morning and drove the two hours to the practice facility. We got there just in time and were able to get in three runs each during the two hour run thrus!

Can you say soooo fun!?!

I've been feeling really good lately, since I've been taking the proteolytic enzymes, in addition to my other joint supplements. So Mum expected me to have a bunch of fun. And that I did!

My first run was pretty darn speedy, and perfect if I do say so myself. Mum thought she over handled me in the beginning few jumps and made up for it in my third run; giving me some space and trusting me more. My running dogwalk was great, my weaves were speedy, and I even almost leaped off the teeter. A sure sign that I'm feeling great.
Aikiou Squeak

For my second run, Mum decided to have some fun and got out my Aikiou Squeaky Toy (love that thing)! She also had me run the novice course to see how much speed I could handle. What fun!!! One big, big loop, while Mum was squeaking away with good boys, sent me to the tunnel from three jumps away, squeaking through the weaves. Oh boy, I loved it! And Mum said she hasn't seen me that fast in years. On my third run, I even took a few extra jumps.She loves it when I'm ambitious.

Gracie ran after me and did really well too! She did her teeter three times (with a little treat help from Mum), but she did it without Mum touching her or the teeter and that's what matters. It's been a long time since she would even go near the thing. She did really great, had nice speed. We are both so proud of her!

We stopped at Whole Foods on the way home and got about 30 lbs of organic chicken backs. What a fun long day!

The next morning we got up, did a few things around the cabin and then headed to Cumming for barn hunt practice. Yes, you heard me right, barn hunting!

It was stressful driving as it rained really hard all the way there and all the way back. As a matter of fact that stretch of rain lasted a full 24 hours before it ended.

Anyhooo, we got to the facility and met up with our pal Rocco from To Do With Love who was going to try Barn Hunt with us.We were all first timers.

Mum took us inside and set up our crates for waiting time. Then we got to check out what we were going to be doing. They gave us a little overview of the sport of Barn Hunt. Mum was ready as she had read the rules before hand. We got to ask a few questions, too and got some great info.

Gracie listens to the instructions!
Then it was time to check out the rats! They let us smell them in their little tubes where they stay safe from us dogs (although Mum thought they were probably pretty scared). Mum watched carefully to see what type of 'tell' I was giving once I met the rat, as that's key in the event.

Hey, there's a rat in there! Can you see it?
Once we got to check out the tube with the rat, we were able to try out a simulated instinct test which is an actual title (RATI), the first title of five+ total for the events. Since this was just a fun day and practice you can see the simulated instinct test which is first in my video below.

After both Gracie and I successfully found the rat in the tube of three tubes for the instinct test (two of the tubes are fake outs with no rats), we moved on to a simulated beginner level and even a senior level type of competition. You'll see in the video that I did pretty darn well finding the tubes with the rats and on one of my runs I gave Mum a very good tell of pawing the tube which makes it easier for Mum to know that's the tube with the rat and not the fake out tube.

You can read all about Barn Hunt on their website. And you can also find Barn Hunt clubs near you that may have fun days or instinct tests so you can try it out with your dog, as well!

Mum was very surprised how much concentration and effort it was for both her and me, and Gracie. We were tired after the 1.5 hours of practice and about three runs. It was a blast and would be a great sport for fun in my retirement years, which we hope are a long time from now.

Enjoy the vid!

And hope you all had a very Happy Howliday, and got lots and lots of love, treats and presents!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun day! We loved watching it all over again.
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco


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