Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blaze - Masters Gamble Dog of Canada

We were at Tamsu Learning Centre for an agility trial this weekend, and Blaze earned his Masters Gamble Dog of Canada title today. Unfortunately we did not do so well otherwise, as I made some critical handling errors that cost us some "Q's". What a way to shake up my confidence with Nationals only a week away. We had some very challenging courses out there today, with some competitors feeling that judge Sue Miller's standard and jumpers courses had a bit of a "challenge" flair to them. Certainly I found them challenging, which is unusal. After training with Sarah, usually I find local trial courses not overly challenging. Sarah sets up some really challenging sequences for us in training. The side effect of this is that regular courses seem very do-able for us. I have also found recently that after having attended the Dave Munnings seminar, that I have trouble deciding how best to handle courses with the new information I have. I have not really practiced the new techniques to the point where I could use them with confidence in a trial, but they are still there in my head, influencing my decisions.... Very strange indeed!

Congrats to Blaze on his new title, and we are now only 2 Q's away from.... well, I won't say it. Don't want to jinx us.

Happy trialing everyone!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Olympic's Zorro - Ausdauerprüfung (AD)

Eros completed his endurance test today, the AD, under Judge Johannes Grewe. This was our second attempt at it, having failed the last one in November in Buffalo due to cut pads. This time it was run at our home club, and I was able to keep him trotting on the grassy shoulder of the dirt road almost all of the time. There were 5 of us running it, and all of the dogs passed.

This is me checking his paws on one of our breaks.

Another break.

The five of us and our dogs peddling off down the road.

At the end, with his medal for completing the test.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Twilight - By Stephanie Meyer

OK, so yes, this is mainly a dog training blog. So, what does Stephanie Meyer's debut novel have to do with dog training????? Well, nothing, in the literal sense. However, there are very few things that can actually pull me away from wanting to do some type of training or fun activity with my dogs. Actually, most of the things that fall into that category are things that I must do... such as working, chores, shopping, family obligations, etc.. There are actually very few things that I want to do that aren't related in someway to the dogs... This book, and the 3 that followed in the series, is definitely one of those things that was able to pull me away from my addiction. Stephanie Meyer is such a brilliant writer, I was captivated by her book, I literally could not put the book down.

It did not start out this way. The fascination with the Twilight story started at work, with some clients and co-workers discussing the book and the movie. I really had no interest at all in reading such a book, after all, it wasn't a dog training book! And really, vampires?????? I'm not really into that kind of stuff, if you know what I mean. So, it wasn't until a client of ours actually brought me my very own copy of the book that I felt obligated to read it. Yes, that is right, obligated. Because she had brought it for me, I felt that I now had to read this book, as she would soon ask me how I liked it, and it would be very rude to not have read it. I was so very busy at the time, getting Blaze ready for the AAC Regionals, and attending agility trials, I really didn't have time to read this book. I actually started the book on at least 3 separate occasions and stopped after only a few pages, wondering truthfully in my head, "Ok, when does it actually get GOOD?". So many people were raving about this book, and after reading the beginning of the book, I really didn't see what all the fuss was about. Then, one fatefull night in June, I decided to pick up the book again, and continue reading. I still felt obligated to finish it. Then, like some spell was cast upon me, I was hooked, drawn in so deep that I could not, did not want to, put this book down...... I was reading in bed, and my back, my neck, my arms were all sore, but I did not want to stop. I kept telling myself, just one more chapter, just one more. The time was ticking by, midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., I was supposed to get up at 5 a.m. for a dog show that morning, but I did not want to put this book down. I eventually had to force myself, and I do mean force myself, to put the book away and try and get some sleep. The following morning we were late for the dog show, and of course, the book came with me. Thank goodness my husband was driving so I could read in the vehicle on the way there! Now, I never, ever read in a moving vehicle, it is not a good idea. But I tell you, I did not have a choice. I barely looked up the whole ride there. Once there, all I could really think about was when could I get a chance to get the book out and continue reading????? I considered getting it out at the show, but thought that was probably a bad idea. Then, while there, I was discussing it with one of my friends, and she said that she has the other 3 books in the series and that I was welcome to borrow them when I was finished the first book! Wow! Yippee! No break in the story. I continued to read with similar enthusiam, although I think I have to honestly say that the first book is the best one in the series. Soon after I was able to watch the movie. The book is by far better, but I still do like the movie, as it brings the characters to life. The movie does not do the best job at portraying Edward's emotions, and I think that if you have not read the book, that you may not 100% "get" the movie. Nonetheless, I really can't remember the last time a story has captivated me so much. Stephanie is nothing short of brilliant and does a fantastic job of bringing the characters' emotions alive.

Sure, it is said that this book was written for teenagers, but it seems to communicate to so many more of us on a deeper level. The only sad part is when the story ends and I have turned the last page.