These are the chronicles of two Shetland Sheepdogs and their adventures in rally-o, obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and therapy dog work.
Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sheltie Agility Fun Match

Today Saskatoon Area Shetland Sheedog Association (SASSA) hosted a CKC sanction agility match as a fundraiser for the Canadian Shetland Sheepdog National to be held in Saskatoon next spring.

Since Romeo is entered in a couple of agility trials at the end of September, I am taking every opportunity possible to get him running in "trial conditions". Even if this is CKC and he will be running AAC for his first few trials. Plus, I like to get out and support the Sheltie club whenever possible. I'm SUPER excited about the National in May, so it's fun to be around other people that are just as excited as I am!

There were lots of Shelties at the sanction match today, even though all CKC breeds were allowed to run. Seems like all the local Shelties wanted to come out and support the cause as well!

A veritable shaggle of Shelties!

Among the furry crowd was Romeo's momma! She is a super sweet girl, and her and Romeo love to play when they see each other. Now that Romeo has grown into a "big boy", I wanted to get a picture of him and his dam. They look so much alike, and have very similar temperaments (and love for agility!).
Baby Romeo and his mom, Holly.

Big boy Romeo and his mom, Holly.

Like momma, like son.

As for the actual agility part of the morning, that went really well also! I am very pleased with my little man! We ran a standard course where Romeo plowed through the chute after not having seen one for nearly a year. He also met a few new jump types (like the plank jump) that he had never seen before. Those tripped him up a bit, but certainly didn't slow him down. Just a knocked bar, but he kept on his way. Everything else about the standard run I was very pleased with, no complaints for me! Our jumpers with weaves run was also very nice, in my uneducated opinion. Romeo LOVES weaves, it's just a matter of getting IN them. We are working on entries, and they are coming along nicely, but don't always hold up in exciting "trial" situations. But once we were past the weaves, everything else was very nice! I messed up and forced an off course by sending him "go" jump instead of calling him into me and sending to a different jump. He did exactly what I told him to do, so can't blame him at all. I just need to learn to handle on the fly.

I'm quite happy with the outcomes from this morning! Makes me feel better that we might not make fools of ourselves (read: I might not make a fool of Romeo) in our first trials in a couple of weeks!

Now off to a Rally-O fun match that I am hosting out at a friend's acreage!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Therapy Dog Demo Day

I love dog demo days!

Every summer I try to organize a dog day at one of the care homes that I take the boys to visit. I gather a bunch of dog-sport friends and we cart out portable agility equipment and cross our fingers for good weather.

This year was a fabulous turn out, great dogs as always! Thank you to everyone that came out to participate, those that brought jumps and other equipment, and most of all to the staff and residents of Eamer Court for having us out!

Here are a few photos of the festivities. Sorry for the blurriness of some of them, use your imagination.
The whole crew!

We started with introductions and a couple tricks ...

Ruth and Bentley (English Cocker Spaniel)

Emily with Sophie (Poodle cross), Lily (Miniature Poodle), and Nym (Border Collie)

Gisele with Gina and Kate (Miniature Poodles)

Gwyn with Casper (Miniature American Eskimo) and Buddy (Poodle cross)

Dave and Kennedy (Standard Poodle)

Venessa with Sparky (Border Collie)

Kalie and Nola (Afghan Hound)

Jeannette with Gem and Bailey (Cairn Terriers) and Kody (Golden Retriever)
(Kody LOVES his Rally-O sidestep!)

And me and my boys!
(Romeo takes a bow)(Romeo backwards heeling)(Gio backwards heeling)(Gio spins)

Many thanks to Venessa and her superb trigger finger (guess clicker training is good for people as well as dogs, eh?!). She successfully got not one by THREE pictures of Gio and Gina doing their special trick!
Gina goes over ...

Gina goes over again ...

Then Gina goes under!

Yes, the pictures are accurate ... Gina doesn't just jump over Gio, she launches off his back. Such a good boy, Gio, for holding his stand stay! The dogs really like this trick, and the crowds love it, too!

Then on to some agility. Even the non-agility dogs get to play. The course is just a couple bar jumps, a high jump, a broad jump, a tunnel and a set of weave poles. (Here is where things get blurry!)

Lily (Miniature Poodle)

Sparky (Border Collie) Romeo (Shetland Sheepdog ... oh how I wish this picture were in focus!)Kody (Golden Retriever)

Kennedy (Standard Poodle)

Buddy (Poodle cross)Bentley (English Cocker Spaniel)
Nola (Afghan Hound)

Then the REALLY fun part ... socializing! This, folks, is what it is all about. Look at those smiling faces!

Thanks to everyone that came out, and special thanks to Kathy and the folks of Eamer for having us over to play!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Are Excellent!

This past weekend Gio, Romeo and I took a trip to Yorkton to take part in a CKC Rally-O trial.

It's been a very long time since we have hit the road for a trial of any sort. It was really good to get out there again! We left Friday night in order to get settled in before the trial on Saturday and Sunday. And of course, take part in our hotel tradition ... cuddling on the bed with pizza and the TV remote*.

* TV remote not featured

Sure, we can do this any night at home. But somehow it is more relaxing in a hotel. Maybe it's not being surrounded by "other stuff I really should do". No internet (which normally terrifies me!), no house work, no commitments.

The trial started up on Saturday with two Rally-O trials. And the boys totally rocked it!!

Trial 1: Romeo took High in Class in Excellent B with a perfect score of 100/100 and a time of 1:26.88. Gio took a score of 99/100 with a time of 1:36.10.

Trial 1 Qualifying Excellent B Dogs

Trial 2: I messed the boys up by accruing a number of handler errors. So Gio wound up with a 94/100 with a time of 1:34.85 and Romeo took a 96/100 with a time of 1:26.28.

Trial 2 Qualifying Excellent B Dogs

Day two included two more Rally-O trails.

Trial 3: Romeo took another 100/100 with a time of 1:30.19. And Gio was a total dink, just couldn't stop the excited barking. None the less, he pulled off a 93/100 with a time of 2:06.07.

Trial 4: Gio pulled it together and took a perfect score of 100/100 with a time of 1:39.81, and Romeo followed closely with a near-perfect 99/100 with a time of 1:34.12. And I have to add that the judge, Jan Leach, pencilled in a couple of comments on Romeo's score sheet. Commenting that he has a "beautiful back up [backwards heel] and moving stand". *CHUFF*

So with those performances, both boys started and finished their Rally Excellent (RE) titles this weekend! I had a professional photograph taken by the photographer on site. But it is being mailed to me as they were too busy to get them all printed off before the end of the trial. So I will have to post it here separately when it finally arrives.

Romeo won a squeaky plush soccer ball for his High in Class on day one. So that kept the boys entertained at the hotel.


There was a great showing of Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club members participating in the trial. Everyone did really REALLY well, so we all got together for a picture with our pretty blue loot!
From left to right: Verna and Sasha (earned their Rally Novice title), Jill and Tetley (had great success in Utility level Obedience), Gisele with Gina and Katie (new titles, High in Class and High in Trial awards for Obedience and Rally-O), Jeannette and Gem (new Rally Advanced title with High in Class), Dayna with Gio and Romeo (new Rally Excellent titles with High in Class), and Elaine with Harley (High in Class in Rally Novice and great success in Open level Obedience). Not featured is Claire and her Havanese, Petey, who did really well in Open level Obedience but flatly refused to be photographed.

It was a really great weekend overall. Of course, just to add a little bit of drama, my car decided to be temperamental. Saturday morning when I got us all loaded up to head to the trial venue from the hotel, the "check engine" light popped on. It did this last time I got an oil change, and I just had another change last Thursday, so coincidence? The car was running fine, so I decided to ignore it (smart, eh?). Later that evening, light still on, I checked all the obvious things ... gas cap, oil level, various other fluids (of which I have no idea what they do). Everything was fine, nothing leaking. So with that, and the ever-helpful tips from the two guys leaning out the KFC drive-thru window across the parking lot, decided that it wasn't important. One of the guys suggested a dead battery (thank Einstein ... I'm not that stupid, the battery is fine). The other guy said "oxygen sensor". That sounded smarter, and less important, so I decided to accept that diagnosis and continued to ignore the light. The car made it the rest of the weekend and the 3.5 hour drive home, so whatever the light is trying to tell me can't be all that important.

We are home now. Exhausted, but very pleased.

And Romeo and Gio weren't the only ones that got new toys!! I picked up a Mars Coat King for what I'm hoping is a reasonable price. Last time I took Romeo out to visit his breeder, she attacked his rogue butt hair with a Coat King, and I was awed and amazed by how easily it tamed the butt fluff. So when I saw some at one of the vendor stands, I snatched it up. Will attempt to use it later this evening!

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