Monday, June 28, 2010

New pictures

I was bored when Aaron was out of town so I decided to take some pictures of the girls. Here is Starbuck lying on top of the vent, this is her favorite spot in the house after we get back from a walk.

Here is Nari looking gorgeous. 

And here is Alpha trying to fool me with her sweet, innocent little baby face. 


And one of Nari with her crazy look. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walking in a cloud

This summer has been quite awful so far. It's been in the 90s the past couple of weeks and super humid. I don't remember it getting this bad until August. We woke up on Saturday morning and it looked like our neighborhood was in a cloud. Here are a couple of pictures from our morning walk. You can actually see the condensation in the pictures, it was terrible! 

Looking out of our driveway down the block:

Starbuck checking out the neighborhood: 

Starbuck investigating the spots in the street:

Alpha looking tired towards the end of the walk: 

This is what the sun looks like from inside of a big steamy cloud: 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Go, Nari, Go!!

Just got the pictures from our last USDAA trial. Nari did so well!! It was her third USDAA trial and she was 19.5 months old (dogs can start competing at 18 months) and she finished 3 titles, including her versatility title, and had her fastest time yet! She ran 5.2 YPS on her jumpers course (she jumps 16" and is 14" at the withers). She finished her jumpers title during her second USDAA trial so she is now UAGI CH 'PR' Del Mar's Lil Apocalypse AD SSA SS SJ. Here are some of the pictures. We ended up with 7 Q's and a third in both the Steeplechase and Grand Prix. 

Nari racing to finish her Starters Standard title (one of my favorite pictures): 

Nari staying just long enough to complete her least favorite obstacle in Standard: 

Nari racing over a jump: 

Nari racing through the Steeplechase: 

Nari doing some crazy moves over the long jump in the Steeplechase:

Nari taking a jump in the pairs relay:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy 1st birthday to Alpha!!

Today is Alpha's 1st birthday! I cannot believe how fast this year has gone, it seems like it was just a couple of months ago that we flew to San Diego to picture her up. She was a tiny two pounds when we got her and now she is 9.3 lbs. Here is one of the first pictures I have with her. 

She was so tiny back then, she looked just like a little stuffed animal and sounded like a toy as well! Here is her first video making her little baby barks:

Here is an action photo of me during our trip to pick her up: 

And here is one of her from last weekend. I let her pick out that fuzzy bone after her vet visit. And yes, I really do let my dogs pick out their toys from the store :)  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hard day

We just heard that one of the residents at the local retirement home that we visit with each week just passed away. Several months ago the nurses found us and told us that one of the residents really needed us that day because they had received some bad news so we went to go see her. Bucky gave her some kisses and laid there while getting lots of pets. When we left, the woman said she wasn't sure if she would even make it to the next week. I told her we would definitely come back the following week to visit, but she didn't sound too hopeful that she would still be there. Well, we went to visit her every Wednesday for several months after that. She would always tell us that she thought Starbuck had the most beautiful markings and eyes. Then she would make fun of Starbuck's name :) I sometimes get tired of explaining that Starbuck was not named after a coffee chain but after a BSG character so at her therapy visits she goes by 'Bucky'. Well, the woman would always joke that such a pretty little girl like Starbuck shouldn't have a dumb boy's name. She would always tell us funny stories about dogs or just people in general and she was so kind. We will miss visiting her each week. 

It was hard to go there today and walk past her apartment. I could tell that the workers were pretty down today but they all were happy to see Starbuck. She did a great job of cheering everyone up there, including the caretakers. There are some people who never really talk or who cry a lot and sit alone but the workers say that the only time they see those residents smile is when Starbuck comes to see them. Sometimes they will pet her right behind the ears and sing her a little lullaby and she'll start falling asleep. As soon as I put on Starbuck's little H.A.B.I.T. scarf she puts on this big happy grin and starts wagging her tail, she just absolutely loves visiting with everyone. Starbuck was born to be a therapy dog, she loves her job. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Practicing our weave entries

First, I'm glad Blogger finally added new formats that allow you to embed a YouTube video that you can actually see. Our yard is your typical TN yard, very hilly. So, until we level our yard we are stuck to practicing in our 20 ft x 30 ft basement room. Here is our attempt to work on weave pole entries. I setup a tunnel, jump, tire jump, table and a set of 6 poles. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Power outage and presents!

There was a crazy storm this afternoon and when we got home the power was out! There were large branches laying everywhere and a turtle in our yard. I have no idea how the turtle got in as the yard is fenced and the fence goes pretty much into the ground so I'm just going to assume that it somehow flew it. Here is Starbuck hanging out with the turtle. 

The other excitement for the evening was that our order from Clean Run came today. I got this cool coat for when we go to hot outdoor trials. Nari was smiling the whole time she was modeling it, so I hope she doesn't mind it too much. 

We also got a purple ground cover matt so that it matches Nari's cool coat. It will probably match me because I have a crazy amount of purple clothing. As soon as I put it on the floor all of the girls ran on it for a quick wrestling match. They LOVE to wrestle. 

And finally, here's a picture of Starbuck hugging the vent. Since the power was out, sadly no cool air was coming out but she was there waiting for the moment the power came back on. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nari's day in Knoxville

Since Nari did so well last weekend at her trial we decided to take her with us to Knoxville today. We went to the farmer's market in Market Square and she got to sample lots of tasty dog treats from the local bakers. We ate breakfast at the French Market and they gave her more dog biscuits and a little croissant and bacon. The first annual International Biscuit Festival was downtown as well this morning so she got another little sample of a biscuit with bacon. After we were finished with downtown we took her with us to the store to pick out two fish for our pond, we named them Ady and The Joker. Here are some pictures from Nari's day on the town.

Me and Nari at the French Market:  

Me and Nari at the farmer's market and International Biscuit Festival: 

They put up "Biscuit Blvd" street signs just for the festival: 

Nari is super excited that she gets to help me pick out some fish for the pond: 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Agility in North Carolina is hot, so hot!!

I really don't know what I was thinking when I decided to enter Nari in a trial that was outdoors with no cover at the end of May in North Carolina. It was our 3rd USDAA trail (in Chapel Hill, NC) and I obviously wasn't thinking because the first day was the coolest at 80 degrees while the other two days were in the high 80's, low 90's. Aaron bought us a battery operated fan and I had some cooling bandanas for Nari and lots of ice. Luckily the trial was super efficient so we only ran until 2 pm each day. We only really had a problem with the heat on the first day when Nari simply refused to go in any tunnels or a chute. I really don't blame her because I put my hand inside of them and it felt like an oven in there!! Despite the weather we did really well - came home with 7 Q's, four 1st places, three 2nd places and two 3rd places. We didn't place on our Gambler's run because that was the run that Nari refused the tunnels and so I spent some time trying to get her to just go in one tunnel and she spent a lot of time yelling at me for it :) And here are some highlights:

First run of the weekend, Starters Jumpers - decided to go all out on this one and try a bunch of rear crosses which I have always been too scared to try at a trial. Wow - we got through that course in 20 seconds (SCT was 31 seconds) and it was clean, all the rear crosses were perfect!! I looked back over my online records and I've only seen 1 sheltie and two BCs run the SJ courses that fast before in the trials we've been to before!! After that run, we had several people come up to us to tell us how great the run was and how fast Nari is. 

Grand Prix - I decided to try the tournaments out this trial. I only had a couple of minutes to walk the course, but it was 19 obstacles and the most I've ever done before was probably 15. It went pretty well, I started Nari too close to the first jump and she knocked that bar and then had a refusal so we had a total of 10 faults and took 3rd. We got our weaves perfect, though and I only got lost in the course once!! Oh, and we got through that course in 51 seconds (SCT 54 s)! 

Steeplechase - for this tournament there is two rounds. The first round Nari popped out of the weaves early because I was anticipating the next obstacle (which my teacher always tells me not to do, sorry Ace!) and we got a little lost on that course but still completed it. Well, I thought because the run was so crummy that there was no way we were in the finals so I went up to the ring right before they started to see if they needed any volunteers. Well.... turns out we had made it to the final round and we were the first dog!! So I got 30 seconds to walk the course and then grabbed Nari. Wow - we had a clean run (even though we had to do the weaves twice, she was perfect on them both times) and completed it in 47 seconds and got 3rd place and won $7.66!!! As I sent Nari over the finish line I yelled because I was so excited we completed it and Nari let out an excited yell with me, everyone thought it was super cute. And everyone must have thought I was crazy because they told me I won $7.66 and I probably acted like I had just won a hundred. Really, I was just so excited that we even made it through the course without being eliminated and we were both so tired. 

Monday Gamblers - Nari finally got a Gamblers Q!!!!!!!! She's always been good a sticking right at my side and the past couple of weeks I've been working at getting her more confident with distance work. I was just so happy to get her work the joker away from me and racing through it without even looking back for me. 

With all of those Q's, I'm pretty sure we finished our Starters Standard, Starters Snooker and Agility Dog versatility titles!! Such a great weekend, I can't even believe she did this well with the heat. Everyone kept saying what a great hard worker she was and that she was walking around looking so proud of herself. I could tell she was just the happiest dog in the world this weekend :) 

Here is a picture of our ribbons and our check for $7.66 (Aaron said they should have given out those fake big checks, that would have been hilarious!):