Monday, May 28, 2012

What we've been up to lately

Not a whole helluva lot, at least in terms of dog sports. Well, I take that back. I'll cover Vegas' recent competitive obedience training in another post, perhaps later in the week. But here's what we've been doing for conditioning - and to enjoy the bursts of beautiful spring weather in the Pacific Northwest.

May 23, 2012:

4.12 mile Road Cycling in Wilsonville on May 23, 2012 at 05:57 pm

May 26, 2012:

0.95 mile Road Cycling in Wilsonville on May 26, 2012 at 06:21 pm

(Part 1)
(Part 2)

1.44 mile Road Cycling in Wilsonville on May 26, 2012 at 06:55 pm


May 28, 2012:

3.36 mile Road Cycling in Wilsonville on May 28, 2012 at 05:35 pm

Off season conditioning, so to speak. is just as important as keeping our act together on course. Vegas is used to getting out and doing and I really enjoy biking so it's a good way to accomplish my goal of tiring her plus conditioning her while doing something I enjoy. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Climbing the Ranks

In 2010 we were #3. In 2011 we were #2. As of today....
So proud of my baby girl. While the very competitive side of me wants to make history, the logical part says, if this is all we did we've done more than many. She's my first agility dog and my first Dane. And they're not "naturals" for this sport. Love, love, love my girlie.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Graham Oaks Nature Park - Mother's Day

My son and I went to Graham Oaks Nature Park on Mother's Day. It's a few minute from our home, just past his school. Most of the area is no dogs, but I did take the dogs back over there for a walk on the one path that's okay. Here are some of the pictures from the first walk on Mother's Day.

Rooftop garden

Up close with the rooftop succulents. They look like piled up grapes.

My favorite little caterpillar
Mt. Hood

And from our walk this week:

I love my dad

The Christmas before last my dad showed me a project he had started. It was a rather plain leather strip with Vegas' name imprinted in it. He asked me what colors I'd like. 

A couple of weeks ago I got the final product. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Last weekend was a mixed bag. We were trialing at a new location, the Yamhill County Fairgrounds in their Delashmutt Arena. The trial was co-hosted by the Portland Agility Club and the Giant Schnauzer Club of America. The arena was nice, well lit, but very dusty. The weather was so-so, off and on showers/sprinkles and mostly cloudy, but mild-ish temperatures. Saturday was cooler than Sunday. The schedule was Excellent/Excellent then Open followed by Novice. The trial didn't get a very large entry so we dropped down to one judge and alternated rings. The Excellent classes were broken into just two walk-throughs which was nice.

Our judge for the weekend was Kimberly Ingraham.

This course looked like a lot of fun. It flowed fairly well and the most difficult spot I identified in walking it was 8-9. My plan was to from the left and front cross at the end of the weaves. I then planned on pulling her toward me, possibly with a treadle arm move at 8 and then drop her into the tunnel. The rest was pretty smooth.
Unfortunately Vegas was having an "off" day. Not sure what it was but she popped her weaves at 10 when I made my cross. I could blame it on my cross and maybe it was, although I front cross very often after the weaves and while she's still in them. Anyway, I gave her the "(Gasp!) We don't do that!" and then hands on hips, let's go back and do it again deal and she blew by the weaves that time. I swear I gave her enough room but....anyway, at that point my brain couldn't wrap around running the course so I bid the judge "thanks" and took our leave.
This, too, looked like a fun course. There were changes in direction that meant the handler had to stay on their toes, but that's a fair challenge. I planned on working from the right through 3, rear crossing at 3, 7, 11, 14, and 17. 
All I can say is, "What the hell?!" I have no idea how I could have possibly been responsible for queuing her to go left around the jump when I was going out/forward on the right. *sigh* Chalking it up to an "I don't feel like playing agility" day. She's allowed. At least she rallied after the start (and the weave entry). 

Sooooo, an NQ day. A disheartening one at that. It's not like my girl to not want to play and there were no signs of such before either run. We were hanging out like usual, she got loves from all her friends and me as well. Treats, chill time, warm up, stretches, working on obedience stuff. The usual. But she got an ice cream cone on the way home. Of course she was in seventh heaven. 

So what was the likelihood that our Saturday course would be nice and flowy and fun looking while Sunday's would.....well, not be ideal for big dogs? Of course! Ugg. 

The plan was to front cross after 3 and pull strong toward the dog walk then send into the tunnel. After sending her into the chute I figured on moving right toward the table and calling her - the a-frame was awfully tempting either way. I knew the a-frame needed to be shaped a bit so planned on moving inward a bit more than I might have otherwise. The next sequence was a toss-up.... blind cross after 10, after 11, front cross in there somewhere? Wasn't sure but had pretty much figured I would work from the right. The tunnel was pretty appealing over the double so knew I had to be careful of that. It was a bit awkward from 14 to the teeter...definitely not a nice line, and then it was a challenge to avoid the table. 
Despite the course's attempts to kick our butt, we rocked it! The only, only issue was her losing footing on the teeter which I think contributed to knocking the bar at #17. No big deal! I was super proud of her and glad to have my girl back. Nothing like getting up, getting ready, and going to do our "thing" and having a dog run like she doesn't want to be there. Honestly, I don't know how people do it with dogs that are lukewarm. No way, man! That's why I leave the course if she tells me she doesn't want to play. In retrospect I just wish I'd known on Saturday at 5 am when the alarm went off. LOL

Another fun course and, of course, I knew if she could pull off anything it'd be a JWW course. Silly girl rocks them jumpers courses. 

Into the tunnel...I moved out in front of #2 and front crossed to call her over. From there I was going to rear at 6 and again at 10. 
And she did it! Good girl, V! Three seconds under time so three more points. And a fun run to boot. Proud of my girl. 

She ran well on Sunday and like she normally does. That's perhaps the most frustrating part is not knowing why our dogs are "off" sometimes. I know my emotions have been all over the board lately with a ton of stressors happening simultaneously so I did consider Saturday being just that. Who knows but her. In the end, alls well that ends well. She got another vanilla cone on the way home cause I just can't resist her enjoyment of it. And the littles' too, of course. They wear more than they taste, I think. One day I'll get a pic. 

126 points and counting.