Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from the girls!

Alpha, Nari and Starbuck would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Alpha is thankful for mini tennis balls. She found this tennis ball after we cleaned the other day and has been carrying it around with her everywhere. 

Nari is thankful for basketballs that go 'boing!'

Starbuck is thankful for the family of deer that she can watch walk down our street:

And here are a couple more pictures of the girls celebrating Thanksgiving:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pictures from my birthday agility trials

My birthday was in the beginning of November so I celebrated by going to a trial in Franklin, TN during Halloween weekend and one in Cullman, AL the following weekend. Nari gave me some awesome presents - 10 Qs, I think 3 titles, a Super Q, and a Q in the Grand Prix Local Qualifier! She really went all out for me this year. Here are some pictures from the trials: 

Aaron got me this really cute pants/skirt thing for my birthday:

And here are a bunch of teeter pictures. It really makes me happy to see Nari so comfortable on the teeter - it took her forever to be able to do a teeter in a Joker. 

I guess this was a tastey teeter because Nari is sticking out her tounge! 

And here we are racing in Advanced Pairs Relay:

And here is she running on the contacts - she used to be so slow on them:

And she is such a cute jumper:

And they had Way to Weave! weaves there, so she totally felt like she was weaving at home:

WHAT?! Is that Nari focusing on me while doing her table down AND I'm standing up? Crazy! Never thought that would be possible at a trial!

And here she is looking cute while flying out of the chute:

And this is what she got for being super naughty with her start lines - I entered her in the costume parade and made her wear this silly alien costume:

And then I made her do a mini photo shoot with her Advanced Agility Dog title ribbon:

And here is a tired Nari in her crate before we finished loading up the car. I keep all of the ribbons in the car during the trial but I threw them on her crate before we left to get a quick picture to send to the breeder. Nari was quite tired at the end of her trial in Cullman! 

And I know I posted one of these before, but this one is cute because Nari looks like she is smiling! 

With agility trials comes Culver's

One of the great things about agility trials around here is that they give me an excuse to drive 2 hours to get to a Culver's. Culver's is so tastey and it's great to be able to go there everyonce in a while when I get homesick. We had a trial in Franklin, TN and I only had to drive 20 minutes out of my way to get to the Culver's in Murfreesboro, TN and it was delicious. I even got a free frozen custard (which is basically one of the tastiest things in the world) sundae for my birthday:

Even Nari loves Culver's, I think she should be a Culver's model. Maybe she could be Scoopie's dog? Just look at how happy she is at Culver's (her favorites are the cheesecurds, vanilla custard and butterburgers with cheese). 

Okay - all you people out there probably think I'm crazy... Maybe someday we will get our very own Culver's in Knoxville - aren't they beautiful :) 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Go, Nari, GO!!!!!!

We went to another USDAA trial on Nov. 6-7- this time it was in Cullman, AL. I decided to just embrace her horrible start lines and do a sling shot start. I basically held her slightly off the ground while I was kind of a sprinters block start position, told her the command for the first obstacle and then we both took off! So much better because I was able to keep up with her this time. I also wasn't so stressed about the start line then. And we got qualifying scores in 7 out of the 9 runs we had!!!! Here is a proud Nari with her ribbons and the toys she won (the trial gave out a toy for every Q): 

Here are the highlights:

Saturday -
Q's in Masters Snooker (3rd place), Advanced Gamblers (2nd place) and Advanced Pairs Relay (2nd place)
Finished our Advanced Gamblers and Advanced Pairs Relay titles.
Q with a 3rd place finish in the Grand Prix Local Qualifier!!!!!!

Sunday - all 1st places!!
SuperQ in Masters Snooker!!!! I decided that it was time to go all out in this run if we were going to have any chance at that SuperQ because Cheer, the super fast and super awesome sheltie who always takes first, was there. It was a 3 red jump Snooker and even though all of the dogs before us who tried to go for all three 7s ran out of time, we went for it anyway. In the opening things were going pretty smoothly and we were going pretty fast and in the closing I almost lost the run to an off-course tunnel but Nari was being such a good listener and kept with me. As soon as we made it over the finish line with the highest amount of points possible and within the time limit, everyone starting yelling and clapping for us - it was so awesome. And Cheer's handler immediately yelled out 'Nice run!!!' and she must have came up to us a couple times and told us how nice it was. It really meant a lot to me because she has got to be one of the best handlers in our height division around and she's also been on the World Team before. I think only 3 or 4 dogs out of the whole Championship class got as many points as us and the other dogs were BCs.

Q's in Advanced Gamblers and Masters Standard - It was a difficult Standard course and only 3 dogs in the whole Masters Championship class got Qs. We beat Cheer in this one as well, but only because she missed her weave entry - it would be great if we could beat her sometime with clean runs but that is going to be really difficult because that team is amazing! I love watching their runs - they are gorgeous.

Well, back in late March of this year when we went to our first USDAA trial I set this crazy goal for us to be in Masters in all of the classes before the end of this year. I never thought I would come close to that goal, especially considering all of the struggles that we have had with Gamblers, teeter fear and our table stays - but we did it!!!!

So long Starters and Advanced - we had a blast!

Hello Masters - we're here to stay for quite a while :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are you ready for the Nar-pocalypse?

Or maybe it's Nar-mageddon? Well, whatever event it was - it has taken Nari's start line stay! Not like we really had a nice one to begin with, but the 5 feet lead out I had before was nice. During this USDAA trial (it was in Franklin, TN on October 29-31, 2010), Nari would walk in the ring nicely on the least and stand still to let me take off her lead. The moment the lead was off - she ran around me in a circle while screaming and then twice she crashed into the first jump! It was quite comical and frustrating at the same time. 

Despite the issues with our start line, we had so much fun at the trial! Nari had a blast and just wanted to get out there and run. There was one particular spot in the ring where dogs kept stopping to sniff. Since we're running in Masters, they give out faults for that. After the first day, the judges stopped giving faults because so many dogs kept pausing briefly in that spot. Apparently there was an AKC trial there a couple of weeks ago and the dogs were doing the same thing, so something is definitely out there. Oh, well! 

Overall I think we did really well! We ended up with 5 total Q's - two in both Advanced Pairs Relay and Advanced Gamblers and a Q in Masters Jumpers. We also finished our Advanced Agility Dog title! We were so close to getting a third Advanced Gamblers Q but the buzzer went off right before she took the last jump in the joker. I just wasn't in a great position when the Joker started. 

Here are videos of our runs:

Friday - notice how as soon as I take off the leash in Gamblers she immediately goes over a jump without me!! Luckily she was able to Q and finish her AAD. 

Saturday -  

Sunday -