Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wordless Wednesday – Happy Halloween

 

CB and Kona dressed up as each other. Friends call CB the little Lion and we call Kona buzz because he buzzes when he plays.

Agility Trial Results – pre-Halloweener

This past weekend CB and I attended one day of the Training Troop’s pre-Hallowener Agility trial. CB was entered in one Gamblers, two Standard and one Jumpers run – all Starters level. We didn’t Q but I had a great time and came home just zapped. The only thing I forgot was CB’s costume for the costume parade – but it was fun to see what other people brought for their dogs. Too bad I didn’t think to take pictures, there were some pretty creative costumes including one inspired by Duck Dynasty.

The trial was at Wet Creek Stables and was on a shaved dirt/sawdust surface so lots of smells. Our first run was Gamblers and it was an overall mess. CB plodded along and we only got 12 points but no matter, I’d rather warm him up on a run like that and I was not alone in having a distracted dog in the ring first thing in the morning.

Our second run was Standard. It started off great with some good speed and we were looking pretty good when CB got on the table. And that was just where we lost  momentum. From the table the next obstacle was 12 weave poles and we just didn’t have the speed so the entry was pokey and we spent way to much time there. I think the fact that the bigger dogs channel the “dirt” away from the weave base either distracts or confuses him as he has to hop over the weave bases when he goes through. In any case it’s different and something else to work on.

Our third run was also Standard. CB started off okay and I had his attention going from the table to the weaves (6 poles) but we lost time in a tunnel. Tunnels usually get him moving but lately he’s been a little weird with tunnels. Once I got him moving we picked up some speed and even though we ran over time again we finished to cheers, because who doesn’t like to see a pom run agility.

Our last run of the day was the most fun. It was Jumpers. CB plodded on the first half of the course but was in a near zoomie dash on the back half. I’m surprised he actually stayed on course because he’s usually uncontrollable at zoomie speed. He can really move when he wants to. Even though we didn’t Q it was a rush running the back half of the course. He did great and got faster the louder the crowd cheered him on.

Some tunnel practice after agility class.

Fortunately we both get better every time we trial. I’m less nervous and CB is less interested in the turf. It took some practice in the summer and he lost interest in grass. It’s going to take some work now but I’m sure he’ll lose interest in “dirt” too. It was really obvious we need to practice going from the table to weaves and other obstacles that slow him down like the chute. And we also need practice in non-ideal conditions like channeled dirt around the weave pole bases. Best thing about the trial was that some other handlers that have seen me around have invited me to join them when they practice at the stables. That will give me a chance to work on some of the things that we lost time on this weekend and hopefully we’ll be that much faster at the next trial.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhouette

I actually attempted to take some silhouette photo’s of the pups but with how dark and cloudy the skies have been this past week I ended up with amorphous fuzzy blobs and some strange reflections off of the snow.

So I delved into my archive of photos and found this weeks photo. It’s of the pagoda roof at Ardbeg distillery, Islay, Scotland. Hope you enjoy.

Tracking Lesson #5

Lucky CB had two weekends in a row of tracking. Just over a week ago we were out and did Lesson 5 (1.5) from Sil Sander’s Enthusiastic Tracking book which we have been slowly working through. Hopefully it wasn’t the last nice weekend – the weather the last few days has been more like this.

A few weeks ago I kind of screwed up Tracking Lesson 4 and jumped ahead in the book by mistake. It was interesting going back to tracks with more bait and no aging.

CB with his nose to the ground following the track.

I set three tracks ranging in length from 30, 60 and 120m, tracks were to be straight and bait at 10m intervals. A couple of things that were interesting – CB  was casting across the track which he didn’t do with Lesson 4 and for several of the food drops he over shot them, came back and then kept going forward. I also took a chance and put in a corner on the third track. The corner was out of necessity as I ran out of park and decided to make a corner instead of cutting the track short. He nailed the turn so I really need to think about what we should be doing next.

Because we have a few agility trials in the next month CB will be on tracking hiatus until mid-November so I don’t confuse him on when he can and can’t track. Not tracking two weeks before a trial seems to be the right amount of time. He really loves doing this and it’s been a great reward for him.

Weekly Photo Challenge – BIG

This weeks photo isn’t just about Kona on a big rock. We were in Pearce Estate Park on the weekend which is just where you go to watch kayaks and river rafts going thru the Harvey Passage.

 

Before construction of the Harvey Passage the Weir was generally known as the washing machine because of how dangerous it was. It still is dangerous but for those with the skill – this place is a pretty big deal. It’s also appears to be a great place for kayaking lessons – which we happened to get a glimpse of.

Arial view of Harvey Passage from Calgary Parks Foundation website http://www.parksfdn.com/Weir.htm

Black & White Sunday – 3

This weeks photo for Black & White Sunday was taken outside Wet Creek Stables after a mini Agility Trial last month. CB was entered in a Starters Jumpers run; the run was clean but we were 2 seconds over time. Jumpers seems to be the hardest for us to Q but we’re slowly but surely getting there.

To see who else has been busy or to join check out You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years and, Dachshund Nola.

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park

Last weekend we grabbed the pom crew and checked out Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. It’s one of the newest Provincial Parks and it’s quick to get to taking the 1A out of Calgary toward Cochrane. It still is a working ranch and I was really hoping to see some cows but we had no luck with that.

We also had some pom visitors (Daizy and Lexi) for the night and thought this would be a good way to get everyone good and tired. We did part of Yodel loop and then tied in to the paved pathway to see some of the old buildings from when the town of Glenbow was in this valley.

The views of the valley were quite moody with the clouds. In all we walked 5km and had about 400m of elevation gain, which I found surprising to discover since it didn’t look like there was that much incline while we were walking. Daizy and Lexi were pretty zonked after this, they don’t get out to do as much hiking as CB and Kona do.

We spent about 2 hours here as we took plenty of stops for photographs. I used my kit lens and since it was overcast my photos did turn out quite dark. My attempt to photograph the crew was a major fail as I just couldn’t get in enough light quick enough for the poms to not be blurry. There’s also some weird spot on my lens that I just can’t clean off. It’s not in the camera as it doesn’t show up in photos taken with my telephoto or the lens I rented a couple weeks ago. I hate to admit it but my husbands iPhone took a better photo. I’ve attached both photos for comparison. I guess it’s time to get serious about a new lens.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy

This weeks photo theme is “Happy”. Here are some pictures of places and memories that make me happy, including a rare photo of me with the pups.

Tracking Lesson 4

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to find a place and some time to take CB for another tracking session. It’s been since Donna’s urban seminar that we last tracked and I wasn’t too sure how he would do. I should know better – this little guy loves his tracking.

Here’s a recap of what we did yesterday.

I laid three tracks at 20, 40 and 80 meters length, all three into the wind and aged them for 8 minutes before we started. The park we tracked in today was surrounded by trees on three sides and I think there was some scent pooling that caused CB to fringe a little. Overall he did great.

The three tracks I laid for CB. Tracks are 20, 40 and 80 m in length.

I should have done Session 1.4 from Sil Sanders’ Enthusiastic Tracking book but I goofed up when I jotted down my notes from the book and took down the track descriptions from Session 2.4. It should have been obvious that I read the wrong lesson as the tracks were to be aged 8 minutes, and we haven’t done any aged tracks yet. The track lengths between the two lessons are the same, but not only are the Lesson 2 tracks aged, there was only one food drop on the shorter tracks and 2 on the 80 m track. This should have been tougher for him considering we haven’t tracked in over a month.

Next Tracking lesson we’ll go back to the Session 1 series, but it did turn out to be a good mistake moving on to a more advance track. CB did great without the extra bait and he actually is following the track.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Mine

This weeks photo challenge of “mine” turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be at first.

What is “mine”? First realization is that I have too many things. And what of the pups point of view? I’m sure they have their own concept of “mine” at least when they fight over toys. So this photo is not as much “mine” as it is “ours”.

Here is the view from the hidden park near our home. We can see pieces of this everyday from our home and from the street during our comings and goings. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to move here in the first place.