Saturday, August 09, 2008

Birthday Party With Relatives

SUMMARY: Boost's breeder's 40th birthday.

I didn't take my dogs because this wasn't a dog event, but people who were already there had their dogs, and so did the (very surprised) guestess of honor. Many of them were related to Boost.

Bette, Boost's littermate:
Qas ("kass"), Boost's half sister (same mother):
Rowdy, littermate to Qas. He's got the same half-blue, half-brown eye that Boost does (his right eye) but I wasn't able to get a good photo of it:
Quirk, father to Qas and Rowdy:
Quirk in a less dignified party moment:
Tango, "uncle" to all those Border Collie puppies, and a pretty decent agility dog himself (really, those two dogs were the only ones to suffer the indignity of hats, and each wore won for maybe 30 seconds for a photo op. They were very good sports about it.):
Tango's photo was printed in sugar on the birthday cake:
Boost's mom, Tala, is pregnant again with pups from Boost's father, so another litter of half a dozen full siblings is on its way:
Also there were Coty (Boost's dad), Qwik (littermate to Qas and Rowdy), Derby (Boost littermate), but I got out only the crappy snapshot camera and it wasn't cooperating much with me and they were running around enjoying themselves, so no photos. But here's the birthday card that Boost and I made for Tammy:

View all my party photos (none of me, of course).

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Monday, February 11, 2008


SUMMARY: Tire chain, key chain, food chain, DNA chain, chain of thought, hair chainge

Tire Chain

At Sunday's practice, they set up last weekend's Grand Prix run. There's a sequence where the dog blasts through a chute, has to go out to take the tire at an oblique angle, and then pull in to hit the weaves, probably while the handler is behind them and/or working at a distance to set up for the next sequence. In competition, Boost handled this well. Sunday, she did the chute and the tire and then missed the weave entry completely. So I sent her back to the tire--and she ran under it. I sent her again, again she went under it, and I said "No!" I mean, she hasn't missed a tire entry in I don't know how long, certainly never in competition.

I started making the entry easier and easier for her (but the side of the tire was always what I saw), and every time she flew under it, I said "no!" and brought her back. It was on the 5th try where I put her in a sit directly facing the tire that I realized that the heavy (heavy!) tire chain was dangling down completely through the center of the tire. Curses on whoever set the tire! And curses on me for not noticing that my dog was trying not to kill herself. I felt terrible! After a break and some other activities, I put her back through the tire in both directions and she did fine, so I didn't break her permanently. Dogs are so resilient; handlers can be so stupid.

Chain of thought

Cirque du Soleil's Kooza had a fabulous juggler. For me, breathtakingly talented. However, the first thing that caught my eye when he walked out on stage was his breathtakingly glittery silver lame suit. When he took off the silver lame jacket to reveal a silver lame shirt, I was hooked. But he distracted me with 20 minutes of some of the finest juggling I've ever seen, and some of it was the sheer duration without ever missing. Ever. At the end of the act, my first reaction was, "Wow! What a spectacular juggler!" and my second reaction was--and I'm sure, as agility addicts, yours would be the same--"Where can I get an outfit like that to do agility in"? You can watch the first half minute of this video to see the suit, and if you're inclined, watch the rest for the first half of his act.

Key Chain

Agility friend #2 commented this weekend, wow! That's quite a key chain! I realized then that my keychain has gone beyond being a mere utilitarian ring--after all, I have only 3 keys--and has become sort of the Swiss Army/Smithsonian/Andy Warhol of keychains.

Besides the keys (my house key is tie-dyed blue/purple, although it's worn away mostly), I have a sturdy blue metal Maglite flashlight, handy for finding stray doggie deposits after dark, a green LED extremely bright spotlight, handy for blinding yourself if you're holding the wrong end, my Weight Watchers Lifetime Member keychain, a circlet that used to have an "E" attached", the lock/beeper for my car, an I Heart My Dog tag in case anyone doubted it and needed proof, and a dragon caribiner, reflecting my dragon collection, of which I have many more than I have dogs, by a factor of probably 200.

So now you know.

DNA Chain

Quick: Which is Boost? Which is her mom, Tala? Is there a slight resemblance?

And here's a token Tika photo with her favorite Tika Toy, so she won't feel left out:

Food Chain

I keep trying to get photos of the foxes that live in the field behind me. They come up close to the fence to taunt me into frenziedly finding my telephoto lens, only to fade into the distance. They are so CUTE when they leap into the air and plunge nose-first into a gopher hole. Here is the best I've done so far:

Think it's a little blurry? That's because it's enlarged from this original, which is the nearest I've gotten with my 300mm lens for crying out loud!

Hair Chain[ge]

Well, had to make this fit into the "chain" theme SOMEhow. The instructions warn that, if you let the chia grow for too long, they become embedded and you'll have to remove their roots with a WIRE BRUSH. Heaven forfend. So it is time for Mr. Chia Head to say a fond farewell to his copious tresses. Today, we have reduced him to a mohawk. It's pretty pathetic; he needs a better stylist.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Retrospective Photos

SUMMARY: From my collection, one of each dog.

For the Power Paws new years party, Instructor N is gathering photos and video clips from students for a show. These agility photos aren't necessarily the best ones of my dogs, but they are distinctive in one way or another. For this blog, for completeness, I added photos of my first two (preagility) dogs. I have very few photos of them, turns out, and most of them are lying down. Wish I had tons more, but nooo--these are the best photos of the whole dogs.
Amber, my first dog, German Shepherd/Golden Retriever. Here she's about a year old. Got her at 6 weeks; she lived to 13.
Sheba, our Siberian Husky. Came to us at about 6-12 months just after we got married and barely predeceased our marriage (her: 17 years; us: 19).
Remington. He was about 10 months when we adopted him, and 3 when he started agility. I chose this one for the presentation because it shows the whole dog and has me in it, and I realize that it's been almost 5 years since I lost him, so there may be many people who know me but don't remember him. Almost inconceivable that it's been that long--he was just lying on that bed in the corner only yesterday, wasn't it?
This remains one of my favorite photos of Jake, who joined us when he was 6.
Tika, adopted at about a year old. Picked this photo for the presentation because it's the funniest weave photo I've ever seen.
Boost is only the second dog I've had as a real puppy--about 3 months when she came home. I don't have a lot of photos of her doing agility yet, but this surely shows off her teeter speed--although lately she's often been sliding into a slam-down, which is a joy to behold.

(Oh, by the way, here's a photo of Boost's mom, Tala. Nah, there's no family resemblance--)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Boost's Mom MACH

SUMMARY: Tala earns her MACH--I think.

Tala on teeterTala on teeter
Boost on teeter

I just heard that Boost's mother, Tala (Blackwatch Hi C-Era Tala), earned her MACH this last weekend. Surprises me that she wouldn't already have it. Maybe it was a multiple MACH. (Although she has taken time out 3x in the last 5 years for puppies, and they have concentrated mostly on USDAA.)

I found online videos of Tala from 2003 (when she was only 3, with a substitute handler) here and here. You can see why I love it when people say that The Booster reminds them so much of Tala when she runs.

Congrats, mom. And owner/handler Greg Leal. (Or I might be completely out of date on this news--as usual.)

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