Monday, June 10, 2013

Its a race to the Masters titles

I am putting this in a blog, because otherwise I won't remember where they are.

Bo finished the Pap national with  3 MXP legs, 3 MJP legs, and one QQ-P.  Tip finished the pap national with one MX leg, four MXJ legs and one QQ.We have a couple of agility weekends coming  up the next couple of months, so it is actually possible that they might finish their Masters titles some time.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Tale of Two Papillons: Bo and Tip at the PCA National Specialty Agility Trials

Bo and Tip had a splendid weekend at the Papillon Club of America National Specialty.  Three whole days of papillon-only agility! Bo earned High in Trial Preferred each day, earning huge rosettes and lovely new travel kennels! 
Look at the size of that rosette!  Bo earned THREE of them!
One of Bo's HIT runs:

Bo also earned his first PACH QQ.  Tip finished his AX with first places, then went on to earn his first MACH QQ the next day!

Tip looking particularly captivating. Bo looking slightly weary.
This photo shows only a small fraction of their ribbon haul.  The facility was lovely -- and stayed surprising cool considering there were only fans, no AC.  It only really got hot on Sunday afternoon.

I did mostly remember to run Tip on his runs, rather than trying to run him like Bo.  I also found running Tip so very relaxing after running Bo!  To demonstrate the differences, here are videos from Sunday's Standard run, first Bo:

Then Tip:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What happened in 2012 (part 1)

Wow. Another year almost gone.  I ought to go look up what I had wanted to do with the dogs in 2012 and check that against what actually happened.

Bo was fabulous.  He earned two UDX legs in light campaigning, including a UB class placement. And he earned his MX to match his MXJ.  QQs were few and far between, but if he Qed in agility, he placed.  Except once.  I was so shocked to ONLY get a green ribbon.

Then the year ended sadly for Bo, with his being diagnosed with cervical disk issues and going into 24/7 crate rest for a month.  And I still don't know if he will ever compete in obedience or agility again.  I was feeling all optimistic, until he trotted towards me the other day when I was rowing and his front movement was very uneven.  Despite this he still lives large and hard in his fragile body. 

The  silver lining is that I have learned how to start tracking training with the smalls, and both have started off well.  If I am honest and you promise not to tell Bo ... Bo got an A+++ for enthusiasm, but Tip moved up to the next grade.  Bo was easy to get excited, bouncing out of his skin to race to the glove that I had obviously dropped.  Tip, on the other hand looked disinterested and kept looking away as I walked away while showing off the glove.  He even held a sit stay while I did that.  Bo (of course) had to be restrained by main force. But when I went back and told Tip to find it, he headed off on a beeline.  And when he couldn't find it visually and mistakenly went to a leaf, then his nose dropped to the ground and he started tracking it.  Scary scary little dog.

OK, so apparently 2012 was the year of Tip. Finished his CD in three straight shots.  No NQs. He is already competing in excellent agility and earning legs with placements, having just earned his novice and open titles in the last month or two. He has powered through the agility levels like a knife through hot butter.  Once he's in B (Masters!) he won't be earning placements but I shall be surprised if he doesn't start racking up the QQs.  It is sometimes hard to believe this is the same little dog.

So what will 2013 hold? We all learn about tracking.  Tip will earn a CDX and at least 10 QQs towards his MACH as well as his MX and MXJ titles.  For Bo, we shall see what activity he is cleared for, or not.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tip photo fest

I got the order of photos from Jim Poor from the Golden trial at Westminster in October.   There are reasons to pay a professional:  like I could ever get those photos (well, no since I am out there running).  And even asking a friend to do it is asking a lot! We shall start with the most vibrant photo:  

Tip busting out of the chute! He was screaming out of there and I was out of the frame, calling him for all I was worth to turn him almost 180 to come do the teeter.  You can see he is starting to turn to his left in the photo.
Tip powers out of the chute.
Now, I have mentioned that Tip is a very earnest little dog.  I love this photo.  He looks like a very concerned little pony setting up for a jump.  Look at those ears and that expression!
Tip, looking very concerned, goes over a jump.

And in case you start wondering. "Does this dog like doing these things?  Here are a couple of photos to assuage your concerns:
Have you heard of a Tip Fly?
And remember:  an agility course is much longer for a little dog with 4" legs!  This photo gets that across, I think.
Little teeny dog off in the distance, flying over jumps.

And one last photo, because it is just that perfect:  Tip and the tire!
Nice smile!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tip earns his Open agility titles!

Wow -- that was fast. 

I could have sworn we just started in Novice.  In fact, I have to contact Oriole and tell them to change Tip's entry from Novice to Excellent!

Tip had an amazing weekend at the Cocker trial in Fredericksburg.  (F-burg, to its friends): 4 runs, 4 Qs, 4 first places, two titles (OA and OAJ), and a Q his first time in the Excellent ring.  No faults are allowed in Excellent (other than some time faults in Excellent A).
Tip:  CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way CD BN OA OAJ NJP PCA-VP
 Tip is a little machine, and he takes things very seriously.  And you can see how hard he is trying to be good.  I was very proud of how well he ran, as he had never been in a place like the horse arena before.  And I worked very hard to remember to run him, and not Bo!!!!  I must say it was quite relaxing to just run around the course, with my only job being to remember the course -- no adrenaline-fueled terror! 

Friday night's crash-course in remembering weaves helped.  Tip had a couple little bobbles or uncertainties in weaves on Saturday, but on Sunday he did both sets of weaves very nicely.  He nailed the entrances and got some rhythm going through them (though not as fast as he can be).  He still can't do offside weaves, and we still don't really do rear crosses but apparently these are shortcomings that don't come between us and Qs.  He also has a fabulous start-line stay, but he is happier if we run together.

The last run of the weekend was Excellent Jumpers -- Tip's first time in the excellent ring.  He had just run his Open standard course and finished his OA title half an hour before (and spent the intervening time outside on Paul's lap in the sun, watching the hayfield in the sun).   It was a nice, flowing course.  I cheered Tip through the first 9 jumps, he got the weaves, then the remaining ten jumps I ended up running the crazy long outside line -- because it kept Tip going and I could.  It wasn't a very speedy run (44 seconds in a 50 second course), but it was CLEAN, and a Q, and BELOW SCT, and a first place!

I am hoping that as Tip gets more experienced with doing agility, he will be able to relax and I can even play with him a bit to get him revved up a little.  Right now I am respecting his need to understand and feel that everything is in control -- fluffing at this stage merely makes him feel that things are out of control.

On to Bo!  First day without any meds.  Another week in the crate and we can start doing more activity. No stairs etc for a month, but can start walking.  My plan is to take the next few months to get him back into condition, and see how he goes.  We will be starting tracking at Oriole.   If things go well, I will try him in a couple jumpers preferred runs in the spring, to see how he does.  That has no contact obstacles for him to leap off and hurt himself.  And he would be doing 4" in preferred; I  have a hard time seeing him hurting himself there, as there is nothing that he wouldn't be doing in normal life, to tell the truth.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I am keeping Bo company (not wasting time on the computer)

For some reason, John is not fully buying that I am being selfless and keeping Bo company...

The agility and obedience equipment have been stowed.  The kiddie pool is under the deck, and I have a Sazerac to indicate that happy hour has commenced.

I am not wasting time on the computer: I am staying here with Bo in his crate at my feet, keeping the incarcerated one company.  See -- it is a selfless act.

Tip was splendid this weekend.  2 Open JWW legs, and two wonderful open STD runs.  Today's should've been a Q and a clean run at 25 secs under course time, except the last 2 jumps I forgot what dog I was running.  instead of sticking with him, I sprinted way ahead (like he was Bo).  But when I do that for Tip, he tries to keep up, and ends up jumping flat ... and knocked the bar on the very last jump.  TOTALLY my fault! But he did great and nailed all his weave poles today. 

What was particualry impressive this afternoon was how well he rose above stress and feat to work.  I had worked the 24" excellent class, then there was a VERY fast course change (they only removed one jump and a dummy jump and moved the tunnel), So Tip as in his crate in the upper building for several hours.  I had him fully covered, in hopes that would keep him more relaxed.  Unfortunately, while I was working 24", the big 20" dogs arrived.  Even if he couldn't see them, the poor little guy could HEAR them all around him.  After I walked, I ran up to the upper building and grabbed Tip and some treats (and stripped off the extra clothes).  I carried him outside and he was visibly distressed.  He barely had time to pee, and I took him inside, during which we encountered several more big bouncy dogs, which terrified him more.  Just seeing him (they were perfectly harmless).  By the time I got him ringside he was pretty well shell-shocked, and I had about 1-2 minutes before our run.

Bless his heart:  I gave him a few bits of chicken, and did a couple little tricks, then just sat with him on my lap.  He got less terrified but was clearly not happy.  When it was our turn to go in the ring, he was clearly still a very stressed little dog.  What is most impressive about all this is how hard he tried to do what I wanted, in the face of being stressed.  That is why I am unhappy with myself, for going to fast at the end and blowing the valiant little dog's gift to me:  a perfect fast run, with no warm up, and while stressed and scared.  I know he was stressed, because he didn't light up at the end and was very happy to have me pick him up and hold him.  I won't be doing THAT again (leaving him alone crated in the upper building while it was loud and busy!)

So:  haul form the weekend:  2 Open JWW legs (4th and 1st).  Tip now has two Open JWW and one Open Standard leg!

for entertainment:  the video o Tip's Saturday's Open JWW run (I didn't realize we had Qed until much later!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The whining will continue until ...

Well, the good news is Bo is feeling MUCH better.  The bad news is he has another 3 weeks of mandatory 24-h crate rest.  He is not a fan of this.  It was OK when he was still in pain, because he did not want to do anything but be a sad little dog lump but now ... Thanksgiving can't come soon enough!

At least he has gotten accustomed to sleeping in the crate next to the bed.  Maybe I will continue this.  What a luxury to be able to turn over in the middle of the night!!!!

On to Tip: Life gives and takes away.  What it is giving is a chance for Tip to blossom, even without the real impact of is best little friend Bo.  I was pleased at how well he handled himself this past weekend, without his buddy.  And in class, he gets my full attention, which I think he enjoys and is thriving under.  We have a few more agility trials then it goes quiescent for most of the winter -- time to polish obedience for the National!  reminds me -- gotta make those hotel resevation.  Maybe I will do that right now...