Monthly Archives: June 2012

Back to the Track

It’s finally feeling like summer around here which means we’re spending more time outside which will make the dogs happy. Yesterday, we did a nice evening walk and topped it off with a little pup-cake from Bon-A-Pet-Treat Bakery to celebrate CB’s 2nd Birthday.

I didn’t give it a try, it’s made from beef liver after all, but the pups seemed to like it a lot. They were close to turning into savages and a stay was hard for them to hold but we did get this photo.

The birthday fun continued today as we went for a walk in Edworthy and stopped in a small out of the way field we found on a walk earlier this week and CB got to do some tracking. With all the agility that we’ve been doing lately there hasn’t been a lot of time for Rally or for Tracking. CB was quite sniffy at our last agility trial and that reminded me of why I wanted to know about tracking in the first place.

After Donna’s seminar in April I ordered a book she recommended – Enthusiastic Tracking by Sil Sanders. I’ve actually had this book for a while now and I’ve read it in detail, I just haven’t had a chance to start working on the exercises. I made the time today and did the first days exercise in the book. We started with a serpentine just to see where things were and then did three short tracks with food drops as per the book. I’m quite impressed with how CB did considering it’s been almost 2 months since the last time we tracked.

Because so much time has passed I went back to putting bait in every footstep for the serpentine. That may have been overkill as CB wasn’t interested in all of it and left some behind even though I think he’s just following the food. Then I laid the three tracks from the first exercise (1.1.1) in the book, these tracks have food drops at 5 foot intervals and we ended up doing a total of 45 feet of track. From the amount of sniffing one would think CB was actually following the track. There were a few food drops that he just sniffed past. Not sure what to think about that or if it means anything at all.

I’m going to try to get him out once a week since I think he really enjoys this. I haven’t done much because I find it a little tough to find time to train on more than one skill at a time. Between now and early August we have a rally trial upcoming and either 2 or 3 agility trials and Kona is entered in 1 rally trial and I might enter another if I think he’s ready for Rally Advanced. I was thinking I would wait until CB completed his Rally Excellent before we really started working on new skill but if regular tracking sessions decrease his sniffing at an Agility or Rally trial I think I should put in the effort. I also think I’d like to work toward preparing for a TD test but that will be way down the road and will take us a lot of time to be ready for with only one tracking session per week.

After CB’s tracking session all the dogs got to play with a Frisbee and we rounded things out with a walk up the Douglas Fir Trail towards home. From the overlook on the Douglas Fir Trail you can really see how high the water level is in the Bow right now. The vegetated area in the river is normally an island. And I think the water level has dropped some since it hasn’t rained in a couple of days. The forecast looks good for the rest of this weekend so we should be spending quite a bit of time taking advantage of it.

Wordless Wednesday – it’s better with friends

Ready…. set… LAUNCH!

I just love this series of photos that Wendy Devent of Paws on the Run Photography took during CB’s Snooker run at last weekend’s trial. There’s nothing like tunnels and A-frames to get him moving and I love that it looks like he’s got some speed here. He did. He looks like he’s loving this. Oh, and don’t you think it looks a little windy?

 

Another Agility Trial – Results!

This past weekend CB was entered in the CAA (Calgary Agility Association) trial. This was our second agility trial but our first AAC trial. We were entered in one Standard run and one Snooker run. Yes my first AAC trial and I enter Snooker. What was I thinking. Jumpers was the first run of the day and watching the other dogs run made me really regret that I didn’t enter Jumpers instead. Then I looked at the course map for Snooker and I was having a hard time coming up with a path that would give us a chance for a qualifying score without having run over too long of a distance. I really wished I entered Jumpers.

The day started off quite nice and sunny and it got quite warm in our tent. Maybe a little too warm as there was no breeze. Our first run was Starters Standard and I think the heat really slowed CB down even though I had a cool coat on him. I need to figure out someway to keep him cooler or I’ll be the only one wishing for cool weather forecasts at outdoor trials. He was slower than usual on the course and was a little sniffy, when we got to the table that was the end of our run. He was about to down but then noticed the better half taking video — stuck out his tongue and then decided he needed to go say hello. It’s kind of funny, now. It wasn’t then.

By the time Snooker came around the weather turned a little ugly. The winds picked up and it started to rain a little. Peoples tents were blown around and some folks started to pack up as the sky’s looked really bad; our too hot camping tent was just fine and finally comfortable and because it was so windy they had to switch out the chute for a tunnel. All things that worked in our favor as the weather cooled so CB was no longer too warm and tunnels really work him up so the sooner they are on a course the faster he is after that. In the end we got a score of 39 and his first Starters Snooker Q. How about that.

We’ve hopefully got a few more opportunities to play as the summer goes along. I’ve sent in entries to the Lethbridge trial in July and the AKC trial in August (both CKC) and there is another trial in mid-July (AAC) that opens up on Friday and I’ll be entering something for that. Not sure what yet, I think I need to be a little strategic so I don’t overheat the little guy.

Brickburn

It was a ho-hum rainy kind of day today so we ended up doing some errands and CB and Kona got an expedition to our local garden center. Kona even befriended a Ferret of all things while we were wandering around. Didn’t think of taking a picture of Kona with his Ferret friend but here’s one of CB on some patio furniture we like. And guess what, another opportunity for a sit-stay!

Today’s 10 degrees (C) felt cold compared to the nicer weather we had on Thursday earlier this week. Thursday was our only nice day and so far we really haven’t had that great of a spring. But when it’s nice we try to spend our time outside as much as possible and lucky for us we can wander into Edworthy Park through a gate down the road from our home which is what we did Thursday after work.

There are a number trails on the slope to explore and the park is quite extensive so we end up taking a lot of photos here. The park extends from west of my Brickburn label on the map to the natural area below the Shaganappi golf course on the east end. It’s a massive park but convenient enough to be able to go for anything from a 30 minutes walk to a hike of several hours.

Last year we did some exterior renovations to our house and we removed a large  planter that was attached to the front and found that it was constructed out of these bricks.

We started to get a little curious as to whether they might be Brickburn bricks as we’ve walked past the Brickburn site in the valley many times and had seen the  artifacts and remnants the Brickburn factory so we decided to do a little more investigating – CB and Kona came along for the walk.

The area of the park was first settled in the 1880’s and there were several sandstone quarries as well as the Brickburn plant that were operational in the area during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The photo from this Wordless Wednesday post was from wandering into the woods off of the Douglas Fir Trial adjacent to one of the rock quarries.

To get to the Brickburn site you head west from the paved pathway at the south Edworthy parking lot and follow the double track path along the railway. The Brickburn rail sign is an homage to the history of the area.

The location of  Brickburn is marked with this historical placard. We are looking towards the east and in the early spring before the veg grows you can see more remnants of some of the buildings from Brickburn.

There are still plenty of bricks laying about and here is one of the many that were left behind. I’ve been here a couple of times but have not read the placard.

Brickburn operated from 1905 to 1931 and the bricks made here were either stamped “EHC” , the initials for Edward Henry Crandell who was the owner, like the one we found in the above photo or with “Calgary” for Calgary Pressed Brick and Sandstone Company like the bricks from our home.

What’s interesting is that our house was originally built in 1957, 26 years after Brickburn ceased operating. Brickburn bricks must have been available for years later, or someone went down to the old site in the late 50’s and collected some from the factory remnants to use as the base for our old planter. I guess anything is possible.

Wordless Wednesday – Time for a pause

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First Agility Trial – NACA Results

All set up and ready to go!

This agility game isn’t easy but it sure is fun. I have to admit it is so much harder to Q than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t expect we’d come home with 4 out of 4 Q’s I just didn’t think it would be so tricky. Even though you can Q at CKC agility without a clean run I don’t think I saw any Qualifying runs that were not clean.

For our first trial we did very well. With the exception of our first run where CB was distracted at the start by a little piece of Styrofoam that was stuck against the weave pole base he was perfect. CB is so sensitive to my positioning and body language, and I learned just how much so this weekend. I entered 2 Standard Novice runs and 2 Jumpers with Weave Novice runs. In the end we got one Q in Novice Standard, and an “almost Q” in two runs. Each run got progressively better and our last run which was the slowest was our only Q of the weekend.

First Q!

CB was a little slower this afternoon that usual – I think I let him get a bit too hot. I thought keeping him in the tent in the shade he’d stay pretty comfortable but I regret not putting his cool coat on earlier. It wasn’t that hot out today (20C) so I’m definitely going to have to be more proactive on this for our next trial. Although we were not lightning fast, slow turned out to work in our favor as we didn’t blow any contacts and finished clean. CB was also First in Class!

The goods!

It was a gorgeous day and I think CB had fun as well. These are a couple of my favorite pics from our qualifying run. I just love the picture of him going thru the Tire, I think he looks so happy. What a cutey!

What I find most interesting is how much more I learned from the runs we didn’t Q than the run that we did. It was great to come home with a ribbon but we did better in the runs we missed than we did in this one overall.

Our best and most exciting run of the weekend was our Jumpers with Weaves today. CB was perfect! I was completely unprepared for how much speed he was going to pick up towards the end of the course. CB was a rocket going through the tunnels and progressively picked up more speed with each one. I had to boogy to get in front of him on the third tunnel and I ended up on the left of jump 13 and I didn’t indicate jump 14 well, I took my eye off him and and CB blew past it. I’ve seen him this fast in our yard playing but have never got this kind of speed on a course – I really can’t take my eye off him. It was a great run though and so many people came up to me after at it and commented on how fast he was. A couple people said they have never seen a little dog go this fast before. Way to go CB!

Our Standard run yesterday afternoon was also quite fast. CB was perfect to the end and did everything as I asked. I got too excited about how well we were doing that I got too far ahead of CB on the A-frame (2nd last obstacle) and he jumped the contact. Crud. I learned that I need to make sure that I don’t get too far ahead of him on the dog walk and the A-frame and cause him to miss his contact. All good pieces of information that helped make that last run clean.

another “Almost” run – as Maxwell Smart would say “missed it by that much”

I had a great time this weekend and it was fun seeing familiar faces and meeting new people. What a great experience and I’m so looking forward to the next one!