Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

SUMMARY: Bright blue skies, fluffy white clouds, sun sun sun!

After last night's rain, the air was so clear today that the sun streamed down with no interference whatsoever. All the plants look SO green, it looked SO springish--

The parking lot of the garden center was full.

Gotta love San Jose climate!

There are no standing puddles in the yard and not even goopy mud, just plain old regular wet soil. Today--first time in what seems like forever--set up jumps and tunnels in a huge loop around the yard and just ran ran ran with a few teeters, weaves, and dogwalks tossed in for good measure. YEEEha!

Boost knocks bars. Don't tell anyone.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Weird Weather and Whatnot

SUMMARY: Dogs are playing, dogs love agility, what's with the lemon tree?, what's with xmas?, and whatever else.

Odd warm weather this fall. We haven't had frost yet even once so far. In fact, the spells of unseasonably warm weather have really confused things: My lemon tree is starting to bloom. I think that's a bad thing. Don't remember when it usually blooms, but I don't think it's mid-December.

After 2 weeks without agility, both dogs were nuts to run in class last night. Boost did very well on the handling, but both dogs dropped bars like crazy. That'll learn me to not have any jumps up in my yard for a whole month. Now I've got a week to fix all that again before the last trial of 2009.

Actually it was fairly cold last night in class. We did a whole series of short exercises involving jumps and weaves so that we could keep moving. I wore three layers and stayed warm (except the nose) but some others had cold hands and feet. Wasn't below freezing, though.

Tika and Boost used to play together every morning on my bed while I dressed, but that stopped earlier this year. Was it about the time that I stopped having Boost and Tika in separate agility classes? About the time Tika had an anal gland thing and got pissy a bit? The last 2 mornings, first time in many months, they played tentatively and briefly again. Thank goodness. Hope it continues.

Meanwhile, if I spend 10 minutes a day working on my xmas tree, it should be all ready by Xmas. Can't believe that's less than 3 weeks from now already! I haven't even figured out what to get myself yet!

My Mom called last night and she sounds great, just wonderful, completely totally like Mom again, vigorous and youthful and active and is starting to do things around the house again. Now that's an awesome xmas gift. Maybe I don't need anything else. Even if she won't accept my housebeasts as granddogs.

(Man, how does Team Small Dog find the time to do all those clever labels on all those photos?)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Too Much Wind

SUMMARY: The wind blew blew blew all weekend. That must explain the dropped bars.

The Dixon site is known for its winds. They have had a trial or two over time where they had to strap the jump bars to the jumps to keep them from blowing off repeatedly, and relying on the judge for whether they SHOULD have fallen. Not quite that bad this time, but most of the jumps had to be staked, we used huge rocks to hold down everything on the score table (dang, why didn't I think to take a picture of that? It's the wind drying out my brain...), and my skin and respiratory system are so dessicated that they'd make the long-term inhabitants of the Valley of the Kings look thoroughly moisturized.

Qs, though, were in short supply.

Boost finally got her only Q of the weekend out of 10 tries, in the last run of the weekend, pairs relay. She knocked a bar (which is OK as long as your time plus faults stays below the required number), but she and her teammate had the second-fastest time of all 26 masters open pairs. That's very promising. And she did have a bit of a hesitation before one jump--not enough for a refusal but fractions of seconds matter--and I did hold her a bit on the Aframe because she's been leaving early. So the speed really is very promising when she actually runs instead of looking back at me to see what I'm doing and thence going around jumps or earning refusals.

And that finished her Relay title, which is her first Masters-level title. Happy!

Tika earned Qs in Gamblers both days, 5th place out of 17 both times (dang, just out of placement-ribbon range!), and also in pairs, and--funny thing for a dog who has earned most of her 25 Grand Prix Qs with 5 faults--she was one of only two 26" dogs who ran clean in the Grand Prix today, taking 2nd, which I think is the best we've ever done. So I guess it *is* possible that everyone else in the known universe could crap out at Nationals and we'd be left standing.

Except that the rest of her runs had issues, so the opposite seems more likely.

(Boost also did the gambles beautifully both days, but knocked a bar in each. Dang bars!)

Maybe more tomorrow. Mostly I had fun, mostly the dogs ran well, and very mostly indeed I'm glad to be home and out of that wind!

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Bars! Argh! No time! Argh!

SUMMARY: The work never ends.

I haven't done much agility practice with the dogs since Thursday night's class. Who'd'a thunk they'd both have forgotten how to jump since then? Bars going down like crazy in the yard this morning! Auuuuuuuggghhhhhh!

I'm now signed up for being out of town for the next four weekends. Auuuughhhh! That means no time to do anything except work and be gone. Chores and errands will fall even farther behind--
* USDAA trial this weekend, Dixon.
* USDAA trial next weekend, Madera.
* Photography conference and workshop in Monterey the following weekend (no dogs)--whoo!
* Next day, leave for Scottsdale and the USDAA Nationals for a week.

We're almost there already! Argh! And my dogs are knocking bars! Argh argh argh!

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