Thursday, January 24, 2013

Raging War

It's been freezing cold outside. Shallow streams are now frozen and a thin sheet of ice is inching its way across the larger bodies of water.

It's weather like this that makes it so easy to just curl up inside and read a book instead of taking the dogs to the park. It's cold out. My fingers will freeze off. It's toasty inside... stay insideeee. Today, I broke out the hoodie and winter coat and decided to rage war against such lazy thoughts.

For the record, my fingers did get pretty chilly.

But frozen fingers were nothing compared to how much I've missed our walks in the woods. The best thing about the cold, is that no one else braves the weather to go to the park. I let Mia and Knight-man off lead for a while and we had ourselves a nice little jog. No ipod; just me, the dogs, and a good old romp through the forest. Life is good.

 Looking back, I don't think I mentioned it on here... but Miss Lilly ruptured a disk in her spine. She's been steadily improving! She's visibly feeling SO much better these days. That being said, she's still on a break from activity so that's why she's not in the hike pictures. She's still on pain meds and muscle relaxers, once she's done those we'll be going back to the vet to hear the verdict on her activity (and agility) levels. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Must Have Done Something Right

"We should get jerseys.... 'Cause we make a good team. But yours would look better than mine, 'cause you're out of my league." 

Now that I got around to ordering the videos, I do believe it's time to make a post about last weekend's CPE trial! I like to start the year off in CPE, it's a great confidence booster the both the dogs and myself. The courses are fast, flowy, and flat out fun.

First things first, Lilly's run down. Lilly went 7/8 Qs this weekend. Only one NQ in Standard due to me not cueing a turn correctly. Even with the off course tunnel she still was well under the time of all the other Level 4 dogs, even the big guys. This was a HUGE difference from last year. No visiting ring crew, no sniffing, no walking around the course. She was right there with me- Every. Single. Run. I could not of asked for a better weekend from her! Nailed all her weave entries and stuck with them despite the lack of practice she's had with them lately. She even met another Papzilla!

She rocked it. 9 years old and still giving dogs a run for their money :) I certainly put a lot more trust in our training into our runs. I was so much more comfortable out there and she really picked that up and literally ran with it. Way to go Lilly-girl!

"It's so very obvious, to everyone watching us, that we've got something real good going on"

Ah, my little Knight-man! I'm SO proud of him! I only entered him in 2 runs each day, but he went 4/4. All Blues and Qs. I chose to buy the video from his standard run on Saturday because I love the evolution of the run. You can actually see that moment when he realizes that this is FUN! He totally surprised me when he SHOT out of that tunnel and went straight up the A-frame. Crazy little man :) Most of the time people honestly thought Knight and Mia were the same dog out on the course cause he was moving so fast. It was just such a relief to feel that connection while running him, and see that he was really truly having fun. We still have a long road ahead of us, but this weekend was a very bright one.

"Well maybe I'm just lucky, cause it's hard to believe. Believe that somebody like you'd end up with someone like me."

And then there's Mia. Misa Mi. WOWZA. Have I mentioned that I LOVE this little spitfire? It just comes so easily with her. I put her down on the start-line and she's on. This is so new to me. She ran beautifully, gave me everything, ran her little heart out, and I did my best to be the best handler I could be. I threw in so many blind crosses out of tunnels this weekend, really drove my lines, and got to flat out sprint a few times. Awesome stuff. She also went 7/8 Qs. Would of been perfect if it weren't for me telling her to do all three "b's" in Wildcard! Ahhhh, still, she was perfect, just had an idiot moment on the handler's end! She's really coming out of her shell and growing into her confidence. Watch out world, she's going to be a force to be reckoned with!

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. I had so many people come up and compliment me on how connected I looked with all my dogs. Lots of comments on their speed and confidence. Those handlers probably have no idea how much that means to me. They will never know all the time and effort I put into my dogs, but the fact that they can see the results means the world to me. Speedy, confident, and connected. Now that's one hell of an agility team :)

I got to meet lots of great teams up there, and had a fantastic visit with my family. I'll be going up again next year for sure!