Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gotta Try: Enjoying the Ride

I know, again with the Watsky songs?! When I snapped this picture of Lil today I couldn't help it. She deserves a more triumphant picture after that "Failure" one I posted. 

I have a lot of exciting things going on this summer. All sorts of opportunities keep popping up in my life, some of them might dwindle to "just a cool offer", but for now I'm basking in the bright light of possibility. 

After all, you never know what will come of an opportunity if you don't give it a try. Even if you only have a fool's chance, isn't it better to just take a stab at it instead of dwelling on the "what if I would of.."s later in life? 

On a less vague note, I entered Knight and Lilly in two days of Rally-O, and Knight-man in two days of AKC conformation for the first weekend of June. I'm keeping up my conformation streak, lots of learning to do! 

**ps- How do you guys feel about these more frequent updates? It's like I actually use a blog now haha.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dark Knight FTW

I'm happy to say that our UKC debut was a success! After getting some strange looks from the equestrian people, I found the dog rings and got settled in.

I've heard it again and again how much more laid back UKC is compared to AKC, but never really quite absorbed that little nugget of information till today.  It really felt exactly like an AKC match. There was no stress and no pressure. I walked into the ring confidently, and kept up that state of mind throughout both shows.

There are a few things I, as a handler, need to work on. The biggest being how I set Knight up on the table. When it's just us in the class the judge is watching the entire time and usually walks closer before I'm done getting him just right. I'd like to smooth out and speed up my table stacking process before we hit the AKC rings again.

That being said, when we actually have competition Knight shows wonderfully! Both groups were SO much fun!

Long story short, I only got 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm a little beat. Knight was awesome.

Results: Show 1= Group 3rd out of 7
Show 2= Group 4th out of 7

50/100 points towards his UKC Ch, and 2/3 wins with competition!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I've been listening to a lot of Watsky again. Those two lines in particular caught my attention.

Conformation has been an ongoing mental battle for me. I get all excited with the show prep, training, grooming, final ring prep, and always end up walking away with a sour taste in my mouth.

 I find myself thanking the judge, then quickly escaping the scene. Handing a few half-hearted treats to whoever I'm showing while tossing them into their crate and getting out of there. Embarrassed that another show has past with no points, another class win with no competition, or a reserve out of two. Frustrated that my dog was the only one to keep it's feet on the ground for gaiting, and still walked away with nothing.

I don't peg our losses as a total "failure". I usually walk away with something more to work on, or some new notes as to what that particular judge is looking for. That doesn't make the awkward shuffle leaving the ring feel much better in the moment though.

I was skimming through Pat Hasting's book "Tricks of the Trade: From Best Intentions to Best In Show" and came across a tip to new conformation people. Something along the lines of "Winning creates confidence." That line is raw truth when it comes to me personally in conformation.

I've yet to win a single point, the one time I truly felt at ease in the conformation ring was at an unsanctioned match where Knight nearly took Best Adult in Match. I've decided it's time for a good dose of motivation.

This weekend Knight and I will be attending our first UKC Conformation shows. They're much more laid back than AKC, they have strict "no overgrooming" rules so even the ring prep is pretty chill. We're going to go out, have some fun, maybe bring home a group placement or two. It'll be good, just me and the little man, bringing in a bit of confidence and motivation.

I've been "involved" in conformation for 2 years exactly now. It's time I step up my game. If I can be a confident and respected handler in agility, I sure as hell can do the same in conformation.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Agility, Avengers, Adventurific!

  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that last week actually happened. It flew past in a blur of adventures with the paps, movie outings, and agility.

  I woke up around 5 am Monday morning, only to be greeted by a violent thunder storm. I took advantage of said storm and snoozed for a half hour longer before loading the paps to the papmobile and starting our 12 hour drive.

 I listened to EVE 6's new album "Speak In Code" the entire drive. It was rainy and windy until we hit WV, and then smooth sailing from there on out.

 When I arrived we took out the paps and went on a trial around the property. Lilly wasted no time at all finding the nastiest pond on the entire property and promptly flopped right in. She came out covered in algae up to her chest. To say she was enjoying herself would be a major understatement.

 Thursday/Friday, was the craziest day I've had in a LONG time, and it was FANTASTIC. In prep for the Avengers premier, we had decided to go to the Indianapolis site for the "ULTIMATE MARATHON".

We kicked off around 6:30 am with Selina behind the wheel to get to the theater. We arrived at 10:30 (time change), an hour before the event started, and were greeted by a long line of fellow nerds(Or "co-crazies"). It consisted of well over 12 hours of Marvel Movie watching.

1- Ironman
2-The Incredible Hulk
3-Ironman 2
5-Captain America

This was the first time I've watched all 5 movies back to back, that in itself was so much fun. Then the Avengers came along in a constant stream of awesome. Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, go, now, do it!

To top it off, we got really cool passes that allowed us to leave and re-enter the theater whenever we pleased. Oh yeah, and some special 3D glasses. Yes, I do plan on wearing these to many future 3D movies.

After staying till the very end of the last clip, Selina took her spot behind the wheel again on the trip back to her place to pick up the paps. I took advantage of being a passenger and slept for the 3 hour drive.

Upon arriving back at base, we loaded up our papillon posse in my papmobile and set course for an agility trial. Looking back, it was not the wisest thing to drive after an all nighter... but 2 cans of mountain dew later and I was golden for the drive.

Mani, in his usual awesome form, pulled off a Double Q and finished off his MX. While Twister finished off his AXJ.

I have horrible luck with mailing out my entries to new places (Like 2010 PCA Nationals agility entry) so I wasn't running anyone this weekend. When Excellent Jumpers was all done we set off back to base once again.

I managed to take Lil, Knight, and Mia for a romp around the property before passing out on a bed and sleeping for a good 12 hours.

Saturday morning we let ourselves sleep in a while, then ran off to see the Avengers a second time. Oh don't give me that look, I'm not crazy, it was just a really awesome movie! Stayed till the very last clip again, ran home, loaded up the paps, and off to a ring rental we went!

Since it was so close to Selina, we decided to check out the agility site for the 2013 PCA National Specialty.

So, all in all, this week we ended up seeing:

Tuesday- The Raven
Wednesday- The Hunger Games
Thursday- Ironman, The Incredible Hulk, Ironman 2, Thor, Captain America
Friday- Avengers
Saturday- ....Avengers!

Had 2 days of trialing, and 1 ring rental.

Week well spent? Absolutely.

Photo by Selina Fluker