Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nari takes on the Weave Challenge!

I saw a really great idea on the YouTube channel 'bordergirlsmom' - it was a weave challenge to work on building independent weaves. You can read about the details of the weave challenge here on Kathy's blog.

This was perfect for us because both Nari and Starbuck need more independence! I started with Nari because she's a little more independent on her weaves. Here she is working on the exercises for week 1:

And I threw in some of her contact work at the end of the video - what do you think of her running dogwalk? Still a work in progress. I am still recovering from my nose surgery so I wasn't sprinting as much with the dogwalk so I'm hoping we can get it a little bit faster.

Since we finally had a break in the rain (and the doctor just cleared me for running again) I worked on the exercises for week 2 the following day:

After sitting down and watching videos with my agility training on Saturday, he suggested that I do some more work on perfecting my timing on front crosses so we threw some of that in after our weave work.

I'm loving this weave challenge, and it's so much fun to see the other dogs and handlers who are working on the same exercises! Hopefully I will be able to start Starbuck on these exercises soon, she just needs to do a little more work on her send in the weaves so I'll be doing that at home in our basement this week.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trial photos!

Got the photos for the Franklin, TN USDAA trial June 10-12, 2011 (Earl Robbins). Here are some of my favorites! 

First up ribbon pictures! For some reason the girls were really happy to get their pictures taken and gave me lots of kisses. 

See those little husky toys? You got a toy for each dog entered in the trial and they had exactly two mini husky toys so I got them for the girls and they love them. I used the toy huskies to try and hide their leashes in one of the pictures:

And here's one where we were actually all looking at the camera and smiling! 

Of course right after we took that picture Nari won the Grand Prix tournament and they each finished another title so we don't have those ribbons in the picture. Definitely a fun time and it was great to see both the sisters out there and having fun! 

Now onto trial pictures! After looking through lots of pictures, I realized the sisters love to exit tunnels with their butts up in the air - maybe every dog does? Anyway, here's the evidence: 

Now for some cute Starbuck jumping pictures! Look at her with her tongue out! What a crazy Buck!

I don't know why, but I always get a lot of Nari teeter pictures and I love them! It took her months (and lots of steak) to stop being afraid of the teeter. This was during her pairs relay so I have the baton in my hand. 

The next two were taken in sequence - what the heck am I doing in this first picture?!? 

Okay - this one looks much better! 

Whoa - is that Nari on a table and looking kind of happy? It doesn't even look like she's barking at me because she hates that stupid thing. 

Here's another sequence shot of Nari in the weaves! She did great with her weaves this trial - made every entry and stayed in the whole set! 

It was such a fun trial. First time I had to run two dogs by myself (I've had the husband along before). And when I refer to Nari and Starbuck as sisters - I really do mean that. They have the same parents, just from different litters. They really are opposites - Starbuck will literally throw herself through the obstacles and run around like a crazy girl where as Nari will stick by my side and is always very cautious with new things. Nari's first Starters title was Jumpers while Starbuck gets in a Jumpers course and goes wild! Starbuck's first Starters title was Gamblers and that was the very last Starters title that Nari finished! Such crazy girls :) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New banner and a girl with a sandwich

So... have you noticed that I finally have a banner on my blog?! I used 100% of my mad Adobe Illustrator skillz to create that beauty :) Gave me something to do today as I've spent another day confined to my house after recovering from a nose surgery that I had last Thursday (broke my nose when I ran into a wall last year, and not just any wall - a wall at Culver's of all places...I am seriously that clumsy...kind of like those dumb birds that fly into windows..). UGH - my head feels like it is going to explode!! 

In more exciting news, Alpha is in love with a sandwich. Nari won this fabulous sandwich at a trial a while ago and Alpha was playing with it non-stop today. 

She always gets these big happy grins with her favorite toys. Just look at that sandwich - it's the size of her little head! 

And it even splits into two toys - each of which have squeakers in them. Perfect for Alpha to squeak all day long. Although, it looks like it's a ketchup, mustard and lettuce sandwich - sounds kind of nasty.  

And since summer has arrived Starbuck has been doing a lot of this:

Laying on the AC vents! And sometimes she rolls around on them for added fun. 

Since Nari got a nice ribbon for winning the Grand Prix tournament last trial, I wanted to get a picture of her with it:

And of course her sisters were proud of her so they wanted in on this picture. Or maybe they just wanted some of the treats I was using to bribe Nari into posing for the camera... 

Hope everyone is having a great week and remember - don't run into any walls because it really, really hurts!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The sisters take on the K9Sports of TN agility trial!!

That's right, the sisters went to their very first trial together! This time, it was just me running two dogs between two rings by myself. So I decided to only enter Nari in 4 runs per day and Starbuck in 3 to minimize the conflicts between rings. Of course every time I finished a run with one dog I immediately had to grab the other girl and run in the other ring! But it was pretty fun running back and forth, getting to the startline and trying to remember the course.

The trial went way better than I thought it would. I was able to have fun while running like crazy between the rings and the girls even managed to pick up some Qs and titles! 

I was so proud of little Starbuck - she is back in the ring and having fun!! Although the husky in her did kick in for two runs and she ran out of the ring but I was able to call her back in to put her leash on her. I was just stressed that morning so she probably picked up on that. Oh well - I was able to save the rest of her runs that day and she ended the weekend with 6 Qs (including a Q in Steeplechase) and finished her Starters Performance Gambler title. Here she is hanging out in her crate with her ribbons:

Nari had fun this weekend and picked up 9 more Qs - including two SuperQs in Snooker! - and finished her Relay Master and Snooker Champion titles!!! Oh yeah, and she won the Grand Prix tournament and picked up another regional bye into the final round!!! Maybe I should try to get to a Regional so I can use at least one of her byes :) Here she is peaking out from behind her ribbons. That big blue ribbon in the center is for winning Grand Prix. 

I was able to get most of Starbuck's runs on video - so here they are:

Because I was running between rings I wasn't able to get that many of Nari's runs recorded but here are a few (of course I missed her awesome SuperQ, Standard and Pairs runs...):

After the great weekend the girls had I took them to out to dinner. And you may be wondering where Grand Prix winners eat their celebratory dinners at.... Culver's of course!!! 

They each got the tiniest piece of a butter burger with cheese, cheese curd and a tiny lick of vanilla custard. I so love these trials near Nashville so I can get my Culver's fix. I think that Culver's should start sponsoring us because I talk about it all the time :) 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New dog in the neighborhood and new collars

First of all, the neighbors have a dog now. This means that the girls have been super busy keeping an eye on this strange dog:

And the girls think this house guarding stuff is serious business. 

Now onto the second topic - collars! Alpha seems to chew through everything so we were quite surprised to see these collars that have a lifetime guarantee even if they have been chewed?! They are made by Lupine and I think Alpha is totally up for this challenge! Here is Alpha modeling her new collar (she got the 'Sea Glass' design):

She was pretty happy to get a new collar. 

Nari's new collar has butterflies on it and the pattern is called 'Wing It': 

And of course she was also quite happy with it :) 

Starbuck got the cute one with ducks on it (pattern called 'Just Ducky'). I tried to get a good picture of her modeling the new collar, but most of Starbuck's pictures turn out like this:

Starbuck is usually quite lazy but whenever I have the camera she thinks that means it's time to give me kisses and she can't sit still.... Luckily the neighbor dog came back out so she stared at him for a couple of seconds. 

Hmmm.... looks like someone needs to clean those windows - so many puppy nose prints all over them! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A cake and a new car!

Well, haven't posted in a while - been traveling a lot including flying to the west and east coast all in less than a week! And the past month and a half I took the girls to agility trials in TN, VA and GA. Also had a couple of work trips in there as well (hence the trips to west coast - CA - and east coast - RI). 

Let's see... I told Nari if she finished her Snooker Master title that I would get her a cake and since she actually finished 3 titles at her last trial I picked up the cake for her this weekend. I made her share with her sisters but I'm pretty sure she had no intention of sharing as she tried to rip the cake out of the box when I went to break off pieces of Starbuck and Alpha :) 

Picture of the excellent cake - and it had Nari's favorite peanut butter frosting on it: 

Here she is very patiently waiting for the okay to eat the cake (she is also on her new crate bed from West Paw Design):

Digging in and licking off the frosting first:

When the cake was gone she insisted on licking the cake box and snuggling with it for about an hour. We finally took the box away when she tried gnawing on it! 

Now onto the other subject of my post - my new car! I don't think I mentioned this before in the blog but back in March I was at a stop light and a car slammed into the car behind me at 50 mph. The wreck was so big that they shut down the turnpike and we were all sent to the hospital in ambulances. I had to share an ambulance with the girl who hit me - turns out she was texting while driving 50 mph - and she continued to text while we were strapped to those awful boards in the ambulance. The wreck was so bad that I received a 'Saved By the Belt' from the Governor's Highway Safety Office. I think it's pretty sad that they have to give out an award to people who wear the seat belts just because so many people not wearing their seat belts die in wrecks in TN. We got a certificate and also a nice pin:

I was always taught that when you're in a vehicle you have to wear a seat belt, but for some reason some people think they don't need to wear them :( So everyone out there - make sure you always wear your seat belts - they really do save lives! And also make sure that your pets are always wearing their safety harnesses or are in a crate. Luckily my dogs weren't with me but when they are in a car they are always in a crate or on the rare occasion I don't have a crate they wear their seat belt harnesses. 

So with the old car gone, I bought my very first dog car! Isn't it beautiful - I call it 'The Transporter'!