Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, December 3, 2010

Should I stay or should I go now?


Skye and I qualified for the 2011 AKC National Agility Championships that are going to be held in Lexington, Virginia in April. I've been debating with myself if I want to make the commitment to drive all that way. It's 1500 miles away.

The Pros:
Skye has been running great lately - fast and motivated, and we have been very consistent. He got his MACH this year.
He's in him prime, age-wise.
Qualifying is not easy, so who knows if we will qualify for the following year's Nationals.
You never know what next year could bring - dogs get injured, etc. Hate to have regrets that I 'should have gone'.

The Cons:
It's really far away - almost 3 days drive each way, plus 3 days for the event. It will end up being very expensive for 5 runs. (Skye is NOT flying!)
We did not have a good Nationals experience this year - Skye was stressed and then I was stressed. Many popped weave poles.
Katrina did not qualify with Baby, so not sure she would even want to go.
Skye is not fast enough to be really competitive - so best we could hope for is probably a top 30 finish if we ran clean.
Likely not a lot of Colorado people going since it is so far.
Have to drive across Kansas ! LOL


SO, lots to think about. The event opened for entry Dec. 1st, and will close on Jan 19th.
http://www.akc.org/events/agility/national_agility_championship/

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Perception is not reality

This was interesting - Skye's Excellent JWW and Rip's Open JWW courses from Sunday (see post below) had the same first 10 or so obstacles.
This is a great example of how perception is not always reality.
I felt like Skye was really flying through this opening, and that Rip was going slow. I decided to put them side by side to see, and I was amazed to see that they were basically running neck and neck until the weaves. Skye has better weaves so he got a stride on Rip there.
I know that Rip does have a lot more speed that he only uses occasionally, and I expect as he gets more confident, he will get much faster. Skye was giving me probably the speed that he can - I dont expect that he would run this faster.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving AKC Fun!


(This is an older picture of Rip that I just bought this weekend as it was on sale)

There's a local (10 minutes away) 3day AKC trial after Thanksgiving every year that I like to attend. The downside is the arena is not heated, and is often affectionately called things like The Icebox, The Arctic, The Meat Locker, etc. This weekend was no exception - you could definitely see your breath in the mornings as we had temps in the teens, though it warmed up enough to not need your coat by the afternoon.

Skye and Rip had a really good showing at this trial.
Friday is Excellent only, so Rip was only along for the ride. Skye had two really good runs, and Q'd JWW with about 8th place, though he was called for his AFrame contact on an otherwise nice and fast Standard run. Skye loves to run in the cold!

On Saturday, I had a perfect day with the boys - both went 2 for 2! I again had fast running Skye and he placed 3rd in Standard (about 30 dogs in the 20" group this weekend). He followed it up with a really nice JWW run, I think about 7th place.

At our last AKC trial, Rip had finally moved to Open Standard, though he already had 1 qualifier in Open Jumpers. So, on Saturday he got his first open Standard Q with a nice run, though slow on his contacts (better than launched!). He also had a nice JWW run for a Q, but he ran cautiously - he has a LOT more speed to give me.

On Sunday, we weren't quite as successful, but it was still a good day. Skye missed his dogwalk contact so that run turned to a training run, and I pushed him and he did well. I mishandled the last 3 obstacles and caused him to spin and end up taking the finish jump from the back side! He was having a really fast run up to that point. In JWW, there was an interesting sequence from the weaves over 3 jumps to a tunnel, with the offcourse side staring right at the dog. I was out of position for my planned line and tried to throw in a last minute front cross that didnt work as I was too far past the jump and I pulled Skye off the jump instead.

Rip missed the same dogwalk contact in his Open Standard run. When I gave him a big 'Oh No', he then went around the chute - so we just ran for fun and finished it upbeat. The last run of the day for us was Rip's Open JWW, and he nailed it! He had a great run, and now he has his Open JWW Title. Next trial we will be trying Excellent A JWW!
I have video that I will post soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Took the left turn to Albuquerque

I did actually - had to take I25 south, then left on I40 in Albuquerque, to get to the fairgrounds for the SWAT USDAA agility trial this past weekend. (if you dont know the reference, you need to watch more bugs bunny!)

One of my goals this year was to get Rip out of Novice/Starters classes in both AKC and USDAA. We met that goal for AKC over the summer, but for USDAA, we still needed 1 more Standard Q - one that eluded us at the October trial in Fountain, so there was my motivation to drive 6 hrs.

I am really happy to say that the only bar that Rip dropped all weekend was the 1st bar in his second leg of our Pairs run. This is a huge accomplishment, especially considering we ran 10 runs over the 2 days.
So, not only did we manage to Q that Standard run on Saturday (2nd place of the 16 starters dogs), but then we managed to also Q Sunday's Standard run with a 3rd (Ms. Vega had an awesome 1st place run in that one)!! This means Rip has his 'AD' title and will be moving up to Advanced for the next show.

Also, by keeping up all the bars this weekend, we had a great Jumpers run with a Q.
The pairs run I mentioned was run with Kim & Quin as our teammates, since neither of us had a partner assigned. They usually only pair small dogs with big dogs as a last resort, but in our case it worked great - we had Fast Quin, and even with Rip's bar down, we still got 2nd place and a Q to finish Rip's pairs title - Masters Pairs, here we come!

We also ran a nice Advanced Snooker run, getting all the way through the closing for a Q & 1st.

No Master Gambler Q's for Rip this weekend, but he gave it a good try in both cases. We came close in Grand Prix and Steeplechase too, but no Qs.

For the Skye-boy, I found that they don't seem to grow the dogs very big in New Mexico. For nearly every class he ran in, he was the only 22" performance dog. There were maybe 2 or 3 classes where he ran against a huge Great Dane, but otherwise it was just us against the clock.

Skye ran very well with no offcourses, no missed contacts, no popped weaves and I think just 1 dropped bar in Gamblers and one in Grand Prix.
We ended up with 10 first places (hahaha) and 7 Q's. We did get another Snooker Super Q on Sunday - they combined all the performance dogs together and gave out just 1. We also were the only dog who ran clean in round 2 of Perf. Steeplechase, to win me $5 !
With the 2 Q's Skye got in Snooker, we earned a new title - Bronze Accomplished Snooker Dog (or something like that). When the building was cool in the mornings, I had fast Skyeboy, but as it warmed up, I had the slower version, but still he did a great job.

I saw that the club plans on hosting this trial again next year at the same location on the same weekend - I would go again as it was a well run trial, plenty of parking up close, plenty of bleacher seating, good food vendor, etc. The indoor surface was good - no dust, and lots of room for the 2 rings.

I will try and post some video soon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rip and Skye qualify in USDAA Team!

We had a local USDAA trial last weekend in Fountain, CO - only about 35 minutes away. This show offers DAM team on Friday and Katrina and I were looking to pair - we put Baby and Skye together in a Performance Versatility team, and we had Rip & Ice together and were looking for a 3rd. After almost not entering, we ended up partnering with Stacy Peardot-Goudy's awesome youngster SoBe. So it was a young-dog team looking to play with the big dogs.

What a blast we had! Skye and Baby had 1st place after 2 rounds, but some dropped bars in Jumpers and a mistake on my part in Gamblers moved us down to 5th place going into the team relay. We had a great clean relay run and moved back up to finish in 3rd place of the 10 teams.

The Rip, Ice and SoBe team did awesome (Rip's having a SoBe on Ice)! There were 18 teams total and we were in 2nd place after the 1st round, but slipped to 3rd after the Standard round with a couple missed contacts by Ice and SoBe and a dropped bar by Ice (Rip was clean, though not fast). After Jumpers we maintained our 3rd place position. We ended up going conservative in the closing of Gamblers (a timed gamble) and though we all had good points, those dogs that went aggressive ended up pushing us down to 5th place. We had an almost clean (1 bar) relay to finish it up and wound up sticking to our 5th place finish! What a great accomplishment - no offcourses by any of the baby dogs!

The rest of the weekend consisted of regular classes- we did not do the other tournament classes. Rip got 2 Qs - one in Advanced Pairs and one in Masters Gamblers. He had two awesome starter jumpers runs, but 1 bar down in each. He also had a clean (except for DW up contact) starter Standard run. Snooker wasn't our game this weekend as we failed to make it to the closing in both attempts.

Skye ran Snooker, Jumpers and Gamblers for the rest of the weekend - he had 2 great Gamblers runs with Q's (now that we dont need them for APD, we get them!). We had a great Jumpers Q and a Q in snooker that wasn't pretty. He had a "what the?" moment in a jumpers course on the third obstacle when he decided to head left when I went way to the right.

All in all a very good weekend. The weather was perfect and the company was great. One thing we see at this trial that we see nowhere else - the trains that had to rumble by 100 feet from the park every hour or so, blowing their very loud whistle as they went by.

I will post the videos I have in an upcomming post.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Skye earns his APD!


I've been waiting to post the news that Skye finally earned his APD at the FRAT USDAA trial in Brighton, CO, on Sept. 4th. until I had the video.
We needed that final Gamblers Q to get that title, and we've been unsuccessful in the last 3 or 4 gamble attempts.

This gamble was setup as a teeter/jump/jump sequence layered by the dogwalk. It just happens to be a skill that I have practiced before in some of our 'distance challenge' classes. Skye has a really good distance teeter, so I felt like we had a good chance at hitting it, and he got it perfectly!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rats!!

My friend Lana has opened a web store for these cool toys she has been making. Her specialty are these realistic rats made of cowhide. Everyone that trains with us loves them, so we suggested she offer them up for sale. She also has tugs and rings and frisbee toys. I created a web store for her - have a look! www.kat-rats.com



Skye and Rip having USDAA fun in Laramie.

We went up to Laramie last weekend for the USDAA trial - this one is nice because it's one ring, so no conflicts, and they have some runs on Friday afternoon so the other days are not really long.

Skye was trying for that last Gamblers leg to finish his APD title (Accomplished Performance Dog) which is equivalent to the ADCH title in the Championship division. I thought it would be a gamble he could get, but I lost my head and didnt call him out of a tunnel, and he took a jump that was not in sequence.

Generally both of my guys had a really good weekend. They each earned 4 Q's out of 7 runs.
Skye was running fast and putting up some good times. We had a missed DW contact in one STD and a refusal in one Jumpers, but were otherwise clean and having great runs. He also made it to round 2 of performance Steeplechase and got a 2nd place to win $12!

Rip had some great runs too, and ended up finishing his Starter Snooker and Starter Pairs titles. We even got a Standard Q! He hit every contact this weekend, and missed getting a 2nd Standard Q by being enticed to the offcourse weaves. He had a great Jumpers run but I caused him to knock the last stinkin bar. Generally, he kept all the bars up which is a big accomplishment for him!
I had entered Rip in his first ever Steeplechase run and he managed to get into round 2! You have to be within 25% of the fastest 3 dogs' average time. 20 dogs made it into round 2 and we were 18th. In round 2, he did knock a bar (which just adds 5 seconds to your time), but many more experienced dogs had trouble with this course and went offcourse. Rip ended up in 8th place in round 2!

I'll post some video when I get it loaded on youtube.

All in all it was a fun time hanging out with Katrina & the pups in our camper in Laramie!

Next up, USDAA over Labor Day weekend in Brighton.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rip's out of Novice!

Finally, at the last AKC trial, Rip got that Standard Q to move out of Novice (in AKC at least). He had a few small issues in Open JWW though, including a bar down in each run, our nemesis. Generally I was really happy with these 3 runs that are on the video. The missing run is where he was pulled shortly after starting the course for launching the AFrame.

Youtube erased my original music, so I picked one from their audioswap collection.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MACH Skye!

What a bad blogger I have been.... It's been a week now since Skye earned his MACH at the Mile Hi Golden Retriever show. On Friday, we got a double Q to put us at 19 total, so the pressure was on. Saturday we ran Standard first and were clean. Jumpers was going great, but after a turn from the weaves Skye dropped a bar. I could hear the big "ohhhhhhh" from the crowd to confirm that the bar went down.

Sunday, we started with Jumpers and Skye had a great clean run. The Standard course for Sunday was challenging and I wondered if we could pull it off - I decided to try and breath and go at it with a clear head, and he ran Great and got the MACH! Yeah baby!
Here's the video of that JWW and STD.

So nice to get the MACH title and be able to just run and not worry about double Qs for a while!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

USDAA at Black Forest Park

Skye and Rip got to play USDAA last weekend at the nice secluded Black Forest Regional Park. The weather was wacky - started out hot on Saturday, but then we had showers and it got cold enough for you to wish you brought a coat, then the sun was back and it was hot again, until the next batch of showers and then it was damn cold as we continued to play agility into the darkness (we finished about 8:30 or so on Saturday). We even had the big bad burst of wind that tried to take out all the shelters - I only saw one mangled.

Going into this trial, Skye needed just 1 more Gamble Q to get his APD title (the Performance equivalent of ADCH). After this trial, he STILL needs 1 Gamble Q. Ugh. I entered him in the 2 Gamblers runs, as well as 2 Snooker and a jumpers and a Standard over the weekend. Really, I just want the Gamble, but want him to have something else to do while we are there. Saturday's Gamble should have been real easy for him - it was a jump out to a tunnel, and out of the tunnel there was an AFrame/Tunnel discrimination, with the AF closer to me and being the correct obstacle. I overhandled it, and called Skye right off the AF as he was heading for it. My bad, and blown Q. Sunday's Gamble was setup almost identically to Saturday's, only this time the tunnel was the correct answer, so it was a push out of the first tunnel, out to the next tunnel. Skye blew me off and took the AFrame instead.
He ended up with just a Jumpers Q for the weekend. He had a good Standard run but dropped the first bar. One of the snooker runs was going great until he dropped the #4 bar in the closing.

For Rip, this was his first trial back, other than our home-turf DOCNA trial, since I went back and trained a 2on2off contact instead of his very unreliable running contact.
I am happy to say that Rip hit all but 1 of his contacts this weekend. The one he missed was an AFrame when he was flying and did a big leap. Not sure what was going through his head for that one. On the downside, his AFrames were not meeting criteria even when he was hitting the contact - he was not stopping. His dogwalks were much nicer.
Rip ended up getting both his Gamble Q's in Advanced Gamblers (take that Skye Boy), and that now moves him up to Master Gamblers. He is still in Starters for everything else though! He got a Starters Pairs Q, and a Starters Snooker Q as well.
We still dont have any Starters Standard Q's, but now that contacts shouldnt be our issue, its looking promising. He did pretty well keeping bars up over the weekend. He did drop 1 bar in an awesome Starter Jumpers run where he ran over 6 YPS. That one didnt get taped as it was during the nasty wind burst and everyone was holding down the ez ups instead of filming. His other Starters Jumpers was a crazy offcourse run. The AFrame that he launched was in Standard, so that took care of an otherwise clean run.
I am still having issues with Rip popping out of the weaves. He did it again a few times this weekend. Very frustrating as I dont ever get this during practice - he gets more nervous when there are a lot of people around and I thing this is affecting his performance. On the plus side, he is nailing all his entries, so if I can get him to stop popping them, all will be great.
I need to continue to train tighter turns, and his focus on ME and not on what he thinks should be next. I also have to work wraps, as he tends to backjump them and that bit us a few times this weekend.

Friday, June 18, 2010

MACH Fail

I forgot that I never went back and updated my blog on my MACH progress from last weekend's AKC show.

It turned out to be rather uneventful, complete with Zero double Q's for the 3 days. Something simple went amok each day, and for the first time in who knows, I did not get a single Q in JWW.

These were my JWW runs:
Friday - 1 dropped bar
Saturday - 1 refusal
Sunday - 1 missed weave entry.

For Standard, we did manage to get 1 Q.
Friday - 1 refusal
Saturday - The Q day!
Sunday - 1 popped weave

He was running well for me, and maybe going for the double Qs actually caused me to overhandle or not run as I would.

We also got to play FAST, and we did get 1 Q in Exc. B Fast. We got the distance challenge on another FAST run, but it was outside in the rain and mud with bad footing for both of us, and he dropped the triple jump, and missed an AF contact, so we just missed the minimum points required. I didnt know about the AF contact until I saw the scribe sheet - I could have gone back and redone it!

Ah well, out next AKC show is mid July. Its also a 3 day, and currently I am only in for Friday, and am on the waitlist for Sat & Sun.
Greg

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Possible MACH this weekend!


Skye and I are doing 3 days of AKC agility this weekend starting tomorrow.

He's laying here next to me asleep, but his feet are dream running, though its more likely to be chasing a dream rabbit than doing agility!

We have 18 Double Q's, so technically its possible to get our MACH - our last two trials gave us two double Q's per trial, so we are on a bit of a roll, but that roll can easily slam into the brick wall of NQs, so I will be cautiously optimistic.

Looking back at my records, Skye and I ran our very first AKC run in November 2007. I got my very first Double Q in September 2008.

So here's to a good AKC weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rip and Skye do DOCNA at Paws 4 Friendship

Our club hosts 2 DOCNA trials a year and we had our first one this past weekend on Saturday and Sunday (giving everyone their Memorial day off from agility).

I am REALLY pleased with how my boys ran this weekend.

Rip has been on trialing hiatus while I retrained his failed running contacts into a 2on2off. I have been working with Rip on these for about 2 months now. He hit and held every contact with the exception of one Aframe where he got to the peak, stopped and I said 'come on lets go' and he leaped it.
His AFrames were sometimes slow - definitely slower than I want his eventual performance to be, but this is an awesome start for a retraining.

As far as how he did - Rip managed to get 7 Q's in his 12 runs. Even his NQ's were not bad - he had 2 nice clean Standard runs except for a dropped bar in each, and some crazyness during a Snakes run that put us over time once, and the aforementioned jumped AFrame contacts in another.

Rip even qualified in the Specialist North American Challenge run, with a 2nd place just behind Skye, to qualify for the DOCNA nationals that will be held in Grand Junction this year (not sure that I will go, but now have the option).
Most of his Q's were 1st places, with a couple 2nds thrown in. He even ran a jumpers course in 14.5 seconds at 5.7yps.

Skye went 8/12 Q's and ran very well for me, especially considering how warm it was on Saturday. It was in the 80's, with lots of wind.
One of the runs he NQ'd was round 1 of Jumpers - he came in at .03 seconds over time. DOCNA has some ridiculous requirement of 4.5yps for the Comp 20" division for jumpers. They are known for very tight standard course times in jumpers. In round 2 (the reverse of round 1) I told him we would have to go faster, and I pushed him to being 2 full seconds faster for 1st place!
Skye got 6 1st's and 2 2nd's and as mentioned, qualified 1st for North American Challenge.

All in all a great weekend for us!

Monday, May 31, 2010

AKC report from last week, Cairn Terrier Show

This is a little late, but I better post for my own records!

I only ran Skye at the Cairn terrier club trial. Rip is still on his 'probation' period from contact retraining - though watch for Mr Rip to give those contacts a try at our DOCNA trial!

The short version is, we had a great weekend. Skye went 5/6 getting two more Double Q's, which puts us at 18 now - just 2 to go!
On Friday, in our first run (JWW) he came out of the weaves early at pole 11, exiting on the wrong side. That was our only fault of the weekend. Skye was running fast and energetic on Friday. We had a great Standard run as "fast Skyeboy" ended up taking 4th place of the 50 twenty inch dogs.

Saturday was a warm day - I think it was already about 70 degrees at 7am when I arrived. Skye runs slower when its warm, so he wasnt quite on fire like the day before, but still, he ran focused and got those two Q's.

On Sunday, we had a clean JWW run to start the day, though in STD Skye tried to blow our run - but the agility Gods were looking out for us. We should have been called for the AFrame contact, but apparently I had positioned myself just right between the judge and Skye, so she didnt see the launch. Then, coming off the table, he should have come to me and gone in the tunnel like I was aiming toward with my hand and feet. Instead, he thought I meant to go behind me, where my butt was pointing, and take the dogwalk. I gave a little primal scream and got his attention, keeping him off the DW and getting him into the tunnel. Yea! We finished Sunday with a stolen Double Q !

Greg & Skyeboy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Skye goes for his APD at USDAA in Pueblo


Well we didn't get our APD this weekend, but I am happy with the runs we had.
Skye needs one more gamble Q to get his APD and we had two attempts this passed weekend.

Saturday's gamble really was one we should have had. It was a jump, push out to a tunnel straight ahead, and coming out of the tunnel, turn to the teeter. Skye has a great distance teeter, but I stopped supporting the tunnel too soon and pulled him right off of it.

Sunday's gamble was more challenging, and I was focused on the 'hard part' of turning the dog coming out of a tunnel into another tunnel under the DW, and keeping them off the 2 jumps that were straight ahead of the dog. I focused on that part so much, I didnt give enough pressure to make sure he went into the first tunnel, and he instead climbed the dogwalk. Ah well, we really didnt get an attempt at that gamble.

I only entered Skye in a few other runs this weekend.
We did snooker both days. This was the first time I ran snooker and didnt actually need a Super Q, so in our first snooker, I ran conservative, like a 5+7+3 course, and got a Q with 3rd place (getting through #6 in the closing).
On Sunday's snooker, I thought we could get all 7's in time (teeter + jump combo), so decided to go for it - and we got it and got through the closing for a 1st and another Super Q!

Our other runs were on Saturday - Jumpers to start the day off. The ground was still wet, and Skye took 2 bars, so NQ. The other run was Standard, and we had a very nice run for a Q & 1st.

So, I've debated, with myself mostly, about going for Super Q's in snooker when you dont need them. I know some people will always go for 7's for the challenge it presents, and some will just make a course that flows. I think that if I needed a Super Q, and knew that my competitors didnt try their hardest, and I got the SQ, it wouldnt be worth as much. It's more satisfying to get it when everyone else is giving 100%. Sometimes slower dogs will get a course that is better for them, and the faster dogs will offcourse. So, I think I will still run my future snooker courses trying to get as many points as I can. Now, if someone was to actually ask me to not go for it, would I? Hmmm.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Public Service Announcement

I know many of us have had financial struggles during this recession, so as a service to all my readers, I am going to pass along the email from Mr Glasgow - he is looking to give someone some money, so you may contact him on my behalf if you'd like ;)
Greg

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: Mr. Thomas Glasgow
arclaysankplc@mycin.net
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc.
Phone Number: +44-762-419-0409

Attention: Beneficiary

This Is To Officially Inform You That We Have Verified Your Contract Inheritance File Presently On My Desk, And I Found Out That You Have Not Received Your Payment Due To Your Lack Of Co-Operation And Not Fulfilling The Obligations Giving To You In Respect To Your Contract /Inheritance Payment.

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This Card Centre Will Send You An Atm Card Which You Will Use To Withdraw Your Money In An Atm Machine In Any Part Of The World, But The Maximum Is (Ј15,000.00) Five Thousand British Pound Per Transaction. So, If You Like To Receive Your Fund This Way, Ј15,000 Gbp For You To Withdraw For A Day And Each Transaction Is Ј5,000gbp Minimum Which You Have To Withdraw Ј15,000 Gbp For One Working Day Also Be Informed That The Total Amount In The Swift Atm Card Is Ј14.6 Million Gbp.

(1) Your Full Name:
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(3) Phone and Fax Number:
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We Shall Be Expecting To Receive Your Information You Have Stop Any Further Communication With Anybody Or Office. On This Regards, Do Not Hesitate To Contact Me For More Details And Direction, And Also Please Do Update Me With Any New Development.

Thanks for Your Co-Operation.

Best Regards,

Mr. Thomas Glasgow
Remittance Manager
Barclays Bank Plc


Barclays Bank Plc. Registered In England. Barclays Bank Plc Is Authorized And Regulated By The Financial Services Authority (Fsa). Registered No 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited Is Authorized And Regulated By The Fsa. Registered No 973765. Registered Office For Both: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5hp. "The Woolwich" And "Woolwich" Are Trademarks And Trading Names Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Business Is A Trading Name Of Barclays Bank Plc. Barclays Bank Plc Subscribes To The Lending Code Which Is Monitored And Enforced By The Lending Standards Board And Is Licensed And Regulated By The Office Of Fair Trading For The Provision Of Credit Products To Consumers And Related Services.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Singing Frog

Anybody remember the classic Looney Tunes cartoon about Michigan J. Frog, aka "The Singing Frog"?
The worker finds a box with a singing frog in it. The frog sings great for him and he wants to show everyone. But... whenever anyone else is around, the frog doesnt sing. Just croooaaakkk. Thats it - no music, no nothing, just a frog.



Well, Rip is a singing frog! In practice, just us, he does great! He flys through his weaves, with me front crossing, rear crossing, running by, doing crazy things, and Rip stays in them, never popping out.
In front of anyone though, its like he doesnt even know how to weave. Pops out every time, unfocused, slow. It just kills me!
I dont want him to be a singing frog!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Video from AKC last weekend

Here are Skye's runs from last weekend:


Here are two of Rip's runs:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AKC at Castle Rock, April 2010

Here is a cool picture of Rip from his first USDAA trial last October. I was going through Ken Gee's unpurchased photo box and found that one that I had not seen before, so I had to get it!

So, we were at the AKC trial at Castle Rock this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.
Skye brought his focus this weekend and we managed to Q all our runs, going 4/4 and getting 2 more Double Q's, bringing us ever closer to getting our MACH. He ran fast on Saturday, not quite as fast on Sunday, but still very good. I was happy with his performance on these fairly tough courses.

Some may recall our weave issues from AKC Nationals. Though I didn't mention our trip to a USDAA trial two weekends ago, since getting back from Nationals, he has done his weaves correctly all 13 times he's been given an opportunity to do so! That makes me a little crazy - why couldn't he do them at Nationals? I dont know, but he's doing fine now, so lets go with it.

Rip had a typical Rip weekend, getting no Q's but having a good time trying. He's much closer to success in his JWW runs than Standard. On Saturday in JWW, he popped out of the weaves twice, so we moved on and finished the course. He seemed a bit distracted and un-energetic, but we did have to wait from 7am until 2pm before he got to run his first run. In his STD on Saturday, we had the typical jumped contacts, along with odd distractions causing him to come off the table and head in the opposite direction I was going and other things.

Sunday was a little better - he dropped one bar (again) in JWW on an otherwise nice run. Thats about 5 or 6 runs in JWW where his only issue has been 1 bar. In Standard, he tried much harder and was so close to actually getting a Q. He remembered that we have been working a 2-on-2-off on the dogwalk, and stopped nicely at the end, but by the time we got to the AFrame, he had forgotten again and missed that contact. The rest of his run was clean with no redo's or crazyness.
At least he did not run by any contacts this weekend, and he kept all the bars up except for the one in Sundays JWW.

These were the Excellent courses from Sunday. There were only 15 Q's out of the 75 20" dogs in Standard.




I've decided not to enter Rip in any trials for the next two months so I can really focus on getting a solid 2on2off performance (with speed, no creeping!) and also to do a lot more proofing on his weaves to keep those pop-outs to a minimum. He hits his entries every time, but does tend to then pop out or go slow like he's worried about them. We'll get there!



Greg & Skyeboy & Rip

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Belated AKC Nationals report

Its been a little over a week since AKC Nationals wrapped up.

My first Nationals was an experience, mixed with "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat" as the beginning of the weekend sports programs used to say.

As you know, I was running Baby for Katrina, as well as running Skye. Running Baby was a lot of fun, and we were really sooo close to being right there with the best of them. In Friday's State team tournament, Baby and I managed to be 4th place for Colorado (there were just over 50 Colorado dogs). She ran really well for me - we would have been in 1st for Colorado except for her missing a weave entry (which she never does).

On Saturday, the day started with Standard and we had a beautiful run. Unfortunately, Katrina had to tell me that we got called for the dogwalk contact.
Saturday afternoon's JWW was the only run where Baby did not run connected for me - she was searching around for Katrina while we were warming up, and then she did it a few times while running too. This caused a refusal since she wasn't paying attention! Baby's final run on Sunday in the Hybrid round went great and was a clean run. Overall, she placed I think 96th of 225 dogs, due to a fault in 2 of her 3 runs. Without those faults, she would have been in the top 25.

So, for me and Skye, it was not a good experience. He went 0/5, with all but 1 run being a zero point run. Weaves were the biggest issue - he would meander out about pole 4 looking at me, and wouldn't weave when I put him back in - this was in 4/5 runs. The one run he actually did weave correctly was the run where he knocked a bar, jumped a contact and got a refusal. We finished just barely above the people who did not show up :-\ . Pretty depressing. When we got home, I put him through the weaves out front and he did them super fast without a problem with a ball for reward. Who knows what was going on - I just know it's not an experience I will repeat with him.

I've been considering mostly retiring him from agility after his MACH and Perf. ADCH titles are earned, both of which we are close to earning. My initial thoughts about retiring him stem from his reactive behavior with other dogs. He really has to be managed and kept out of other dogs space - he will lunge at them, and sometimes bark his fool head off depending on the dog. It's something I really hate, and can make it stressful when we are in a cramped area getting ready for our turn. This is totally not an issue with Rip, which is how it should be. Skye also does not like to run when its warm - he will just shut down and go in slow motion. So.... add those issues to my Nationals experience, and I think just focusing on Rip going forward will be more rewarding for me, and probably less stressful for Skye. I will decide when the time comes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Comments anyone?

I've talked to at least 4 people in person who have tried to post a comment to my blog and have been unable to do so. I just selected a new Blogger template - not sure what the issue is, but will start here.
I have also opened up comments to everyone, including Anonymous.

If you have a chance, please just try to put a simple comment to this post to see if it works. If it doesn't, I know you cant leave me a comment about that! But, if you are unable to comment, please just send me an email stating that you cant comment to my email address skyeboy1@gmail.com
Thanks!.

*** Edit
I have enabled 'pop up' comments per the suggestion of others on the blogger support forums that have been having the same kind of problems with comments.
Then if this doesnt do it, the next step is to use a 3rd party comment manager instead of Blogger comments - apparently this is a good solution but requires a bit of configuring.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

AKC Report and Nationals is almost here!

First, I got this cool picture of Rip at our last AKC trial this past weekend - I like his intense look and how he's tucked his front paws up tight to get over the bar.


So last weekend we attended a very local (10 minutes from home) AKC trial hosted by a new club. They did a great job and had a nice judge, great ribbons, "Q" cookies and gave out patches if you got a double Q. Lots of nice touches.

Skye had a very successful weekend, and missed going 4/4 by just 1 weave pole. He had a nice clean Jumpers run on Saturday, and in Standard he somehow came out the wrong side of the weaves at pole 11. Still, it was a nice run, but they dont count that way!
On Sunday, we ran a couple nice courses and got a Double Q! This was a good feeling going into the AKC Nationals.

Rip ran as well, and though we did not get any Q's this time, we still had some good runs. Both of his Open JWW runs were great with just 1 bar down in each.
In Standard on Saturday, he really launched the dogwalk which was the 4th obstacle in. I pulled him from the course as I can't let this keep happening in competition.
Saturday after the trial we practiced more 2o2o performances on the dogwalk, and it did translate better at the trial on Sunday, as in his Standard run he hit both the dogwalk and aframe contacts nicely, though wouldn't you figure, he launched his teeter! It's always something with this boy, but once we get it together, watch out!

So we have a big snowstorm tonight and into tomorrow, just to mess up getting ready for the AKC Nationals. I will be running both Skye and Baby (wife's dog) at Nationals, since she is hurt with a hamstring pull. I am really looking forward to it. There are a lot of Colorado competitors going - something like 50+. Really, if I just ran clean, that would be great!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick Day 1 update of the AKC trial

While I am thinking of it, I should take note of today's runs.

In addition to running Skye and Rip today, I also got to run Baby since Katrina is hurt (and hurt pretty bad with a torn hamstring muscle).

The day started too early, as is usually the case with agility trials. Because Katrina is using crutches, I had to do all the morning 'chores' we do to get ready to go, and this put us behind leaving the house by about 20 minutes. Then about a half hour from home, the truck made a weird noise that I discovered was the passenger side front wheel trying to come off. 4 of the 8 lugs had snapped clear off, one of the lug nuts was gone, and one had backed itself halfway off. This left just 2 lugnuts holding the wheel on, and they were not doing a good job at it. I decided it was too dangerous to continue like this, so I tightened the lugs, swiped one from the back wheel so that the front would at least have 4, and limbered home. We traded out the truck for the Magnum and stuffed the 4 dogs and our stuff in there and off we went again.

All the shenanigans put us arriving at the trial close to 8:30 so I had missed my walkthrough for Skye's class - I watched some dogs run it and decided it wasn't a very complex course, so I moved us to the end of the running order and ran him. It was a little slow, but we actually Q'd this Standard course!

Almost right after that, I got to walk Baby's Exc. JWW course and run her. We had a great run and got a Q and 4th place (out of about 35).

As it turns out, we could have gone home right then and the results of the day wouldn't have been affected. Doh!!

I ran Skye in the same JWW course as I had just run Baby, and his run was good but he knocked 1 bar, so NQ, and no double Q today. Then I ran Baby in the Standard course that I had already run Skye in, and I slipped a little after the table, causing me to be out of position and having Baby go in the wrong end of a tunnel. NQ for her and no double Q.

At the end of the day, it was Mr Exciting's turn. Rip ran his Open JWW course first. Not a bad run, but he knocked the 2nd bar, so it was not going to be a Q right from the start. He again popped his weaves at pole 10, but I just went on as the run was toast already. I HAVE to move my practice weaves back to the front yard and make sure he goes through them a couple times a day.

The last run of the day was Rip's Novice Standard. Same story, different day unfortunately. He again jumped both his dogwalk and aframe contacts. Ugh, I have worked to fix this with a stop (2o2o) in training, but with not much training getting done the last 2 weeks after his neuter surgery, he just reverted back to the leaping behavior. I am getting pretty frustrated at this, and know I am going to have to step up his understanding of the criteria, and pull him from Standard runs when he leaps.

So, tomorrow only Skye and Baby will be running - the trial was full so Rip only got in Saturday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rip gets neutered tomorrow....

Rip is now just about 2 1/2 years old. I had always intended to get him neutered, and wanted to wait until I was sure he was done growing. My original plan was to have it done somewhere around his 2nd birthday, but the timing didn't work out, so now it's his time.
Katrina is going to take him in tomorrow, along with our one other un-neutered male "Flame" and they will both get done the same day.
Rip only has 1 testicle that "dropped" when he was a puppy, so the other is in his abdomen somewhere. I hope they dont have trouble locating it, and it doesn't affect the surgery too much.

He is entered in an AKC trial for 1 day on the 14th, so hopefully he will be healed up by then or he will just have to skip it and get the next one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skye and Rip's CKC report.

Skye and Rip did 2 days of the big 4 day CKC AKC trial this past weekend. I think if the venue were closer, I would take advantage of the 4 days, but getting up at 4:45am two days in a row is all I can handle!

There were a number if "Firsts" for us - Rip ran his first FAST runs ever. One of the distance bonuses had an aframe, which he launched with authority, and the other was a jump-tunnel sequence that I think he could do with MY eyes shut. He went 1 of 2 for Q's in FAST, with a 2nd place (pretty good since I didnt really have a plan when I got to the line).

On Saturday, I again had trouble with Rip popping out of the weaves. He's managed to hit every entry presented to him, but on many occasions he's come out of them. I talked to Katrina about it and she commented on how I appear unconfident that he will get them, so that could be feeding into the problem. On Sunday, I just ran him and drove the weaves as though he will get them no problem, and he DID all three times.

He had a great Open JWW run on Sunday with a 2nd place and his first Open JWW Q. He missed both Standards, once with a jumped AFrame and once with a jumped Dogwalk. Note to self, next time train a STOP on the contact first, then train a running...

Skye was pretty consistent with 4/6 Q's. My non-distance dog managed to get Q's in BOTH of his Excellent FAST runs this weekend, and that completes our Exc. A FAST title, so we move to B whenever they offer it again. Sunday's distance challenge was a flip into a tunnel off the dogwalk, away from the handler. Only 5 total Excellent dogs (all heights) got the challenge, and only 3 of the 20" dogs got it. Skye got 1st place in that one!

In Saturday's Standard run, we got a mystery call while Skye was down on the table. I saw the judges hands go up at about the count of 3 - made no sense and messed with my head so I made a couple handling mistakes after that which caused the panel jump to be knocked. If I was otherwise clean I would have pursued the call with the judge, but at that point it didnt matter. Maybe she thought I had touched Skye when trying to get the table down? Dont know.
*lesson* - dont watch the judge , just run as though you are NOT being judged!!

And my Blooper moment of the weekend, on Sunday, I ran smack into a jump wing after rotating for a front cross. Remarkably the bar did not fall, but it put me behind and caused Skye to come off a jump. It was otherwise a nice run!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Latigo AKC Trial - we have Heat, sort-of...

(Love this pic of Rip floating over the dogwalk)

Rip and Skye played AKC agility at our nearby facility, Latigo Trails, this weekend. Latigo is only 10 minutes from home, so I rarely pass up an opportunity to trial there. They told us they would have finally installed heat in the arena this winter, but they were only able to install some radiant heat over the small bleachers. It was appreciated, as we had an area to sit and warm up, but the rest of the arena probably never hit 40 degrees all weekend. Burrrrr! Maybe by our March trial...

Anyway, it was an OK weekend performance-wise. Skye went 2/4, getting Q's in both his JWW runs, but no Q's in Standard this weekend. Saturday's standard was not good, and I ended up pulling him from the course at the table which was obstacle #8. He had popped his weaves, then entered pole 2 when I made him redo, and then he fell off the side of the dogwalk since he was looking at the judge and not where he was going. Then on the table, he popped up before the count was done, so Mr. No Focus was pulled before we could embarrass ourselves any further.

Skye's Standard run on Sunday was much better, with the only fault being the AFrame contact. I have a training issue to work on with regards to contacts where there is a tunnel between me and the contact. Skye has a tendency to come off the side of the obstacle when I am not right there next to it - I really need to set this up and proof it in training.
So, I am bummed that we did not get a Double Q this weekend, but you gotta be happy with a steady 50% Q rate.

Mr Rip had a fun time this weekend. He always runs with such enthusiasm and seems to have a great time just doing agility. He only got 1 Q in his 4 runs, but it was a Standard Q for once. I am also happy to say he only dropped 1 bar all weekend. He had a great Open Jumpers run on Sunday with just that 1 bar down. His other Open JWW run on Saturday wasn't bad, but he did pop his weaves and then have a run-by on a jump followed by a couple offcourse jumps. He DID hit a really tough weave entry that almost no novice dogs hit on Saturday.

We do have A LOT to work on of course, and trialing makes this more apparent. I had another episode of Rip running by the dogwalk, just like I had in his previous trial. He did that on Saturday. I also had him pop out of the weaves on both of Saturday's runs. He is popping out when I pass him - so many more reps needed there with reinforcing of him staying in the poles and doing his job. I am also seeing a deteriorated performance in his teeter. He is leaping when it hits the ground. He didn't get called on this, but it's not his performance, and it is getting worse.
Finally, just like I have done on his dogwalk, I am going to have to introduce a stop at the bottom of the AFrame until he understands what his job is. He missed a Standard Q on Saturday by leaping the AFrame again. He's probably missed 5 or 6 Q's in Standard by leaping contacts, though now its the frame instead of dogwalk.
So, in addition to our normal training, we will be stepping up training of:
Teeter leapage
AFrame stop
Weave pops
Dogwalk runby

Videos to follow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rip's videos from the USDAA show

Here are the videos from Rip's runs (those that were taped at least) from last weekend's USDAA.

I have an AKC trial this weekend for Skye and Rip as well!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Skye and Rip play USDAA in the new year!

I did a 3 day USDAA trial at the Douglas County Fairgrounds over New Year's weekend. I didnt think ahead that it would mean I had to be in bed early new years eve.
On Friday, I scratched Rip from his 3 runs as he was still favoring his right rear leg a little from tweaking it on Thursday.
For Skye, I had signed up for PVP Team with Pete & his Kelpie Rex. Skye ran great in Team and didn't have any offcourses. Unfortunately, on Friday Rex had an offcourse in Jumpers which knocked us down in the standings, but we still were above the "Q" line.
On Friday, we also ran round 1 of Performance Steeplechase, and Skye got 1st place!

On Saturday, we finished Team competition with team Snooker and Relay. Skye did great again but Rex had another offcourse in Relay, so that put us out of contention for the team "Q". If Rex had finished his 2 courses, we would have been just 20 points out of first place.
We also ran round 2 of Performance Steeplechase - only 3 dogs in the 22" height had moved to the finals. We ran a good course and got 1st again!

Skye also had an attempt at Gamblers on Saturday and though we had a great opening, he did not get the distance challenge, which was to go through a tunnel, then push out about 18 feet to a set of weaves, then a jump. Skye instead flipped back into the tunnel.

Rip ran 3 runs on Saturday. He started with Standard and wow he was wound up. It started with a very obvious (so I thought) sequence of jump, jump, AFrame. He did the 2 jumps, then shot off about 30 feet to a tunnel. I got him back on the frame, and then instead of going straight to a jump then weaves, he went back for that tunnel! Once we got past that it went well, except that he launched his dogwalk contact into another awaiting tunnel. No shortage of enthusiasm though!
Rip also had a Gamblers run and he did a good job in the opening, though he did pop one set of 12 poles. He got the Gamble for a "Q" and his Starters Gambler title!
At the end of the day we ran Pairs with Jan and her speedy border collie Meg again. Rip really likes Meg. We had a great run with the fastest Pairs time in Starters, though Rip knocked a bar so we got 2nd place.

Sunday brought just 2 runs for Skye. He did Standard first thing and had a nice run. We got 2nd place by just 2/10ths of a second. Later he did Snooker and we were trying to get a Super Q. Something completely unexpected happened though - when we started, I was going for the red jump in the back and while trying to keep Skye off the nearby jump, he veered off and climbed the AFrame which was NOT PART OF THE COURSE. Course builders had set the frame at the edge of the ring, still inside, and I didnt consider that Skye would go over there. It wasnt blocked in any way, so he wasted about 3 or 4 seconds doing that and getting back to me. That was enough to cause us to run out of time just before he was taking the final #7 jump in the closing. It cost us the Super Q and at first I was pretty mad that the frame was left on the course like that, all setup, but really, Skye should have just stayed with me like I was telling him.

Rip had a great Standard run to start the day, and he hit both his contacts, but he knocked 2 bars during the run. Maybe he was still a little sore from whatever he did to his leg Thursday. We also did a very short 2 obstacle Snooker run. He turned the wrong way when I FC'd the weaves and went back through pole 1/2 to get to me. We ran Jumpers at the end of the day and he ran a smokin run but again knocked 1 bar in an otherwise great performance.

I came away with a few things to work on of course and generally had a good time. I would have really liked to have earned a gamble or the snooker for Skye to get us that closer to Perf. ADCH, but it will have to wait !