I am officially done with snow, cold, mud, frost, ice, you get the idea! We had sneak peek at spring, but today .... more snow. Damn groundhogs were right, maybe Jane can take care of that problem next year ....
I keep putting my winter boots away, only to bring them back out. I thought it would cheer me up to look at summer photos, but now I'm more depressed ...
Jane misses fishing.
Gyp misses swimming for K's bumpers and hanging out with her dad on the beach.
Kaleb really wants to swim and be wet 7 days a week, and hog all the toys.
So I have a little free time today - how that happened I will NEVER know ... anyway, I should be doing laundry, but this more fun. I was playing around with this photo of Gyp and thought I would post the some fun variations!
A quick day trip to Calgary for one day of the Calgary Agility AAC Trial ....
Up at 4 am, on the road at 4:30am with my friend Julia and her gang. I was in the ring running my first Jumpers course 7:45am with Gyp, Kaleb followed soon at 7:55am. Wow that is ALOT of stuff before 8am, nothing a little caffeine can't take care of.
G & K had three runs today: Jumpers, Team and Standard. The courses were tough, technical and challenging - but FUN!! The dogs ran 3 for 3 today, I was thrilled!
I went in to the Jumpers ring, and I said to myself "NO second guessing" "Trust my training". I was thrilled with the outcome, this run really felt good with both dogs and I REALLY challenged myself. It was a cool course to watch people run, as there were many different strategies on this course. And the times were so tight with the top dogs which was really cool, there was a second between the fastest dog Piper and around the 10th fastest, Gyp was around 5th fastest in the Masters group. I didn't even walk the course for Kaleb - as I was so caught up in how I was going to run it for Gyp, but K and we pulled off a Q and had a REALLY good time and he had FUN!
Here is Gyps Jumpers run... I've been starting her from a stand, rather than a sit for the last few weeks, this was our first time at a trial, and I was happy with the results.
Our second course was Team, and Gyp and K both ran great, Gyp stuck her dogwalk like there was glue on the end, I was happy, even with her leash taunting her in the box just ahead of the dogwalk. Her team partner had a little bobble (it's Team afterall!) so we didn't Q, but Kaleb Q'd with his little JRT buddy!
The Standard was a really fun course - complete with a 270, serpentine, a few front crosses and some neat approaches to and from contacts. Kaleb ran really good on this course, he gave it and ran well and Qd, it wasn't his best run ever, probably just average. Gyppie was super, again I just went for it, no bobbles, and she was 22 seconds under time.
We were done by 3pm! And home by 6! Unpacked, showered, dogs fed by 7:30.
.... now for nice glass of red wine (or 2), ooooh yaaaaa!
Rules: it's harder than it looks! Hit forward, erase my answers, enter yours, send it on to 10 people including the one that sent this to you. Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names, things, nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.
1. What is your name: Sarah 2. 4 Letter Word: Shit 3. A boys Name: Shawn 4. A girls Name: Susanne 5. An occupation: Surgeon 6. A color: Sienna (or Shit brown) 7. Something you wear: Shoes 8. A beverage: Sprite 9. A food: Soup (Shit, if you are Gyp) 10. Something found in the bathroom: Soap (or Shit) 11. A place: Subway 12. A reason for being late: Slept in 13. Something you shout : Shit!
The hardest part is finding 10 people that will play with you!!!
This weekend we hosted Terry Simons from Flying Dog Agility in California. This was my fourth seminar with Terry, and I really wanted people to experience his teaching style. We were thrilled when he agreed to make the trip from L.A. to L.A. (Lethbridge, Alberta har har).
It was an action packed weekend full of: lost luggage; a trip to wal-mart at 7am for socks, shoes and a $5 sweater; a bottle of Tequila; a sparkly shot glass; some mention of Ropes to tie up Jolayne; lots of laughs, lots of learning, and MANY, MANY lightbulb moments for everyone.
The kicker to top off the weekend was this morning was at the airport. Terry was checking-in his recently found luggage, the check-in lady says "Here's your return ticket to Saskatoon", we looked at each other and laughed, the lady quickly realized she read the wrong name, indeed he is on a flight back to L.A. .... I hope :)
Terry really has a gift for bringing out the best in people and their dogs, no matter who the dog, or the person, he is a very patient person :). He helped me bring out the best in Kaleb the first year I went to a seminar with him. In a matter of a few hours, it changed the course of how I approach training and trialing with him forever. Something as simple as lots of random reinforcement, a toy appears out of nowhere, I might have a different toy in my hand two times in an exercise or have someone throw to him when he least expects it, and I have to be the most exciting person around - there is more to it, but that is the basic idea. I still carry an arsenal of toys and treats in my training bag, and it works. So essentially we had to teach Kaleb that Agility = Awesome.
He has a great eye for watching dogs and handlers and can pick up on the tiniest things, and most of all I appreciate his honesty!
This was Gyp's third time seeing Terry, and again, some GREAT suggestions. He has seen Gyp progress from just 8 months after I had gotten her, to this time, 2 years later. I got some great ideas for tightening my lines even more, getting better collection in turns, all of my goals for the year. My words of wisdom this weekend, that I will always stay with me: "Don't drive Gyp with MY speed. Drive her from the inside", so essentially run with purpose, charisma and confidence. I tend to OVER run and rush because I am not always confident with her ability. He says she has a great set of skills and I have to trust her more, DUH Sarah. I tend to over run with my other guys to keep them motivated - because they are not as fast as Gyp, I do NOT need to do this with Gyp, but at the same time I shouldn't run her casually either. That is where the confidence comes in. It took me a minute to understand what "drive from the inside" meant, but I get it, I really, really get it. The best runs I have with her are when I drive from the inside.
We see Terry again in a few months in Calgary, and I have lots to work on, and if I keep handling my dogs good, maybe I'll get to drink some more tequila :) And now we can, as a group help each other better, with the knowledge we learned about us and our dogs this weekend!
Jose Cuervo, our #1 fan waiting at the finish line.
He was always there for us, and lets us know when we have a done a good job.
Sparkly shot glass and 1 oz of Tequila = Awesome.
Terry and Jolayne excited, that Jo had some lightblub moments!
Terry giving us a lesson geometry, oh and training the Novice dogs to "Get Out!"
Judy and Roxy learning to "GO ON" in the beginner distance session.
Julia and Tea learning to GO ON!
Boone and the rest of the gang taking notes and learning.
Gyppie had a herding lesson on Saturday. We are both getting more confident with each other and what to do with those wooly creatures. It's neat to see her look like a Border Collie - head and tail low, and showing some patience. She's not the crazed creature running around taking the occasion piece of floss between her teeth with head and tail high over her back :), though she still likes to give a bit of chase, just to mix it up and keep me on my toes.
I still really know nothing about this herding stuff, but between Scott and Jenny I am slowly learning a few things. I got to watch Scott and Jenny each move some sheep yesterday and it was pretty cool to see how it all comes together. There is so much to watch - the sheep, the dog, where you are going next, and where you are then. It seems you need eyes in the back of your head.
I am enjoying it more and more with each lesson. Gyp is still really soft and can be a bit sulky on her lie down, but she was really taking direction well. And I am starting to understand how my position affects her and I need to back off, and just let her go, it is a pretty neat feeling.
She is working alot farther away from me now too, which is different than when we were in the round pen. I love that she keeps getting more confident with each lesson, I think it is good for her, not just in the herding situation, but for life in general. It's good for her to be a bit bossy :)
And to top off the day, we got to feed some lambs, they are just soooooo cute. I didn't get any photos of them though, but trust me, they are CUTE!!!!