Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Horizon is my Home

   It's tradition for me to spend at least one weekend up in New Hampshire before the summer is over. Growing up, I spent my summers attending an all girls summer camp on Newfound Lake. Since I stopped attending as a camper I always find myself drifting back up there. Last year I took Knight up for a Tori Self seminar, this year I took the girls up for some hiking! 

 I had all of Saturday up in NH, so I took on Mt. Moosilauke. It's roughly a 10 mile round trip with a beautiful view at the summit. Mia and Lilly owned it! I cannot tell you how many comments I got on how small my dogs are... Multiple people asked me if I had to carry them up the mountain at all. Yeah... no. My papillons are bad asses.

 It felt so good to get away from all the kennel stress. To finally be in the mountains again. My biggest concern was which mountain I'd be hiking the next morning, and it felt amazing. Really, how can you not be madly in love with views like this? 

After Moosilauke, I visited my old summer camp. Most of my Skytops, graduating group, joined the council this summer. It's been 3 years since I've really seen them, so I wasn't sure what to expect. After an awkward chat with one of the Junior staff I heard a shout, "Is that Hillary Graff?!" and an explosion of my old camp friends surrounded me. It was like I never left. It was like being home again.

I'd love to capture the weather we had those two days and extend it for a while. Just freeze time so I could run up and down as many mountains as I pleased. Eating my victory lunches on breathtaking summits. 

Sunday was the day I was scheduled to drive back home. I decided to go over to Mt. Cardigan for a short, 2 hour, hike. Another lovely view, and it produced some tired papillons for the drive home. Again, more comments on how small my dogs were. "That's a big mountain for little legs!" was a very common one. I replied with a friendly, "We hiked Moosilauke yesterday and they dragged me up to the summit." Hearing that the "tiny dogs" totally owned a 4,000 footer the day before shuts up most of the day hikers. 

And of course, no hike would be complete without ice cream to celebrate! There's this awesome little ice cream shop that gives a free little scoop to all the dogs that swing by. The girls absolutely loved it!

I was sad to leave my mountains, but so happy that I got the chance to go again this year. I don't know much about how my future will look, but I'll be back in the White Mountains again soon. No doubt about it.

The Trials of June

Wow, I have seriously neglected this blog all summer. Last post was on Papillon Nationals? Yikes.

Since then, I did manage to squeeze in 2 one-day agility trials. Went out to the Bella Vista site for our first AKC trial there. I've always avoided that site because of the rubber mulch, but they just switched over to some VERY NICE turf.  I got some nice times out of all of my guys with no slipping around on the turf. Mia is usually spinning out all over the place, so this was extremely exciting.

At Bella Vista Lil brought home QQ #3. This was after she ate an ENTIRE hotdog that was stolen out of my bag. You just have to love that girl, she really keeps me on my toes. She had a wonderful Jumpers run and followed it up with the most thrilling standard run we've ever had at a trial. It was 80% turns, and we nailed every single one beautifully. She had so much speed going into the table she slid into a 2o2o and promptly yanked her front feet back onto the table. I almost didn't make it through the rest of the course because I was laughing so hard. We don't QQ often, but when we do it's something I never forget. She makes me work for it :)

Mia had a double NQ day, just one missed jump that was 100% my fault. Awesome stuff out there though! She's keeping up a fantastic average YPS that will keep us competitive 8" class we have around here!  Standard was a little slow, which is normal for us right now, but I can see her starting to get more comfortable in there.

Knight-man Q'd in JWW, but knocked the second bar on the double in Standard.  He was such a pushy little man in both of his runs though, I could not of been happier. I left the ring with a fierce ball of energy tugging at his leash with everything he had. He is such a gift, running him is just so easy these days.

Lilly: QQ #3! 
The following weekend we drove way out to Westminster, MD. Last time I trialed down there I slept through my alarm and missed JWW. So I awoke hella early to be sure that I missed nothing. 

I got video this time around for most of our runs! Knight-man QQd, finishing off his MXP and MJP. Lilly Q'd in JWW and was SO CLOSE in Standard, but I didn't call her enough on the turn off the table. Still, really brilliant run! Mia is still slowly gaining confidence in Standard, she got her first AX leg that weekend. Jumpers was a mess for Mia. She was dragging her feet and not animated at all. I tried the first 4 of the course, and then booked it out of there. Our straight line sprint down to the exit got her feet moving and her tail up. No where close to a Q, but I got my little girly running fast and happy. Lovely stretch of four speedy jumps that I got to reinforce. 

I am so proud of these amazing dogs that I get to share my life with.