Monday, January 31, 2011

Starbuck's latest flyball pictures

One of our teammates, Adam, brought his camera to flyball practice again and took some amazing photos of Starbuck!! We were working on her focus with distractions so they had a dog running loose in the room, lots of yelling and balls bouncing everywhere. Since I had taken her on a hike right before the lesson, she was more tired than she usually is and her focus wasn't as good. We also had the orange cone too far to one side so that made her box turn too wide but once we corrected that she was catching the ball. Here are a couple of pictures followed by a video:

Starbuck fumbled the ball and then caught it on the bounce! She actually had two of those that night, and one didn't even have time to bounce - I'm quite impressed with how hard she's trying to get that ball. 

Starbuck going in for the catch!

And Starbuck totally misses but it looks like she tried pretty hard to get that one. 

Here is a video with all of the photos:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Agility practice - finally!!!

We finally got a break in this awful weather! We've had so much rain/sleet/snow in the past couple months that we were only able to get in one agility practice. We haven't had any precipitation since last Monday so I convinced Ace to give us a lesson. It was in the mid 30's today so the ground was still a little frozen (in fact, several of the jumps were frozen to the ground) so we took it easy and just did a little work on our contacts. 

You can see the snow has finally melted but this picture does not show how cold it was! 

And of course Nari had to start the lesson by barking at the kennel dogs to tell them how much fun they were missing. 

Starbuck had to find a stick to quickly chew on before I took it from her. 

And here are some happy, muddy girls practicing their table downs: 

Here is Starbuck checking out the field while Nari stays in her down:

And here are the tired girls hanging out in their crate before we hit the road back home; 

They were so happy to finally be able to run around outside and of course they were super happy to see Ace!! Especially Starbuck because she thinks Ace is the coolest person ever. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's so tired in here!

Alpha and Starbuck went hiking this morning while Nari and I finally got in a short agility practice. Here are some pictures of their lazy afternoon:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Carolina Piedmont Agility USDAA 4-Star Event!

Sooooo..... What do you do when you haven't been able to practice or go to an agility trial in over 2 months? Why - enter the first USDAA 4-Star Event of the year that was also streaming live over the internet! Right.. what a great idea.. Yeah... I don't know what I was thinking but we still had so much fun!

It was run by Carolina Piedmont Agility and they put on amazing trials! Since it was a 4-Star Event the teams that were competing for a spot on the World Team were there so we got to watch some amazing runs! And it was a live cast event so Aaron got to watch some of our runs from home (and hopefully we didn't do anything too embarrassing).

We got to the site nice and early every morning so we got to watch the sun rise:

And we also saw the sun set there because it went on until well after 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. There were around 300 dogs entered and it was a 3 ring trial. Here is a picture of the blue ring - where Starters/Advanced ran:

Next to it was the yellow (Masters) ring where we spent half of our time: 

And next to that was the red (Masters) ring:

Since they were running two Masters rings at once, we had to walk both courses then run them. I was nervous that I had to remember two courses at once, but we got the hang of it. We only got eliminated due to off-course twice the entire weekend which I thought was pretty good! 

Here are some highlights:

- Only got two E's this time and it seems like we have been improving our speed and accuracy little by little with every trial. 

- Ran our fastest Steeplechase yet at 36 seconds (Aaron got to see it, too!) and qualified in round 1! I never though we'd be able to Q in Steeplechase at this trial because there were a team going for the World Team in our group and the winner that was a super fast 16" BC! We got 4th place in round 2 and won around $14. Nari decided to blow her half of the money on matching Nylabones for her and her sisters, I got a sandwich that I shared with Nari. 

- Our first time doing the DAM team tournament and we made the Overall Top Individual list!! Here is the list for the 12" and 16" dogs:

Okay, so there's kind of a big gap between 2nd and 3rd, but hey - there were still like ten 16" dogs and it was our first time doing team so I was super happy with that. By the way - the number one 16" dog on that list is trying out for the World Team. Oh, and here's the list for the 22" and 26" dogs: 

Whoaa!!! Is that Nari on the same list of top individuals as a bunch of awesome handlers like Stuart Mah and Linda Mecklenburg!! Never thought I'd see her on a list with those people unless it was a gate sheet or something. Yeah, they totally creamed us in terms of points earned, but hey - I'm still super proud of how hard little Nari worked. 

Cute Nari highlights: 

- Nari being my own personal little judge. Whenever I would mess up a cue and cause a fault, she would stop to scream at me. Seriously, she was totally the judge's pet all weekend long, they probably didn't even need to watch us to know if I messed up. 

- Right during the walkthrough before our last run of the weekend, ~50 kids came in and sat in the stands right next to where the table was. So Nari jumped up on the table, saw the kids then started screaming at me, proceeded to spend several seconds hacking up some treat and then finally did her table down. The run was clean but she ate up so much time with her craziness that we were over time by 1 second. I couldn't help but just laugh at the whole thing - and that's why I love running with Nari, she just does the silliest things that I can never get upset or frustrated or mad during a run. 

Here she is looking all cute right before we headed back home:

And here she is posing with her ribbons: 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nari at the B-match

Last weekend there was an AKC agility trial in town and they had a B-match after the trial finished on Saturday. I smuggled Nari into the arena early in the afternoon and volunteered to work a couple of classes. A lot of AKC agility trials now allow Canine Partners (mixed breeds or dogs that are not recognized by the AKC) to compete, however, this one did not - hence the smuggling. Well, I found it difficult to smuggle Nari in because some people have seen us before so they were coming up to say hi or told their friends about Nari so they came over. But I covered her crate with a table cloth and we didn't get kicked out, that was good. 

The B-match was a lot of fun. They just set up a basic course and give you 60 seconds to do whatever you want. Very laid back and fun. We've had only one practice in the past two months so it was great to actually get out there on some real equipment. I just decided to run the course they had set up - I was pretty rusty but Nari did such a great job, she loves this stuff. 

Here's a video of our runs at the B-match: 

We'll see how our trials go in the next couple of months, I'm pretty rusty since I haven't had any opportunity to practice. I really wish we had an indoor training facility down here! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unexpected snow storm today!

Since we live in the south, I consider any amount of snow fall to be classified as a snow storm. Once those little flakes start falling down here, it is utter chaos on the streets so we immediately head home and stay there. Not to mention our neighborhood is a disaster zone when snow or ice falls because we live in the hills. Here are some pictures from our snow walk this afternoon:

Starbuck LOVES laying in the snow and eating it. 

Aaron walking the girls. Notice Starbuck is laying in the snow again. 

Looks like Nari and Starbuck are running at light speed! 

And here I am with the girls. They LOVE snow and I bet they wish it would snow more often down here.