Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great dog - very average handler

OK, its back to Sonic and agility now after boring everyone stupid with pictures of pretty flowers from my garden!

Sonic and I headed up for the Geraldton agility trials last weekend and had a really enjoyable time. We ran some very nice courses courtesy of Clive Makepeace and Jill Houston. We ended up with Q's and wins in Masters Agility, Open Agility and Novice Snooker. I actually thought all Sonic's runs were very solid. The only thing that prevented wins and Q's in Masters Jumping was yours truly with poor handling/bad timing. The things that young Sonic has to put up with... Sometimes you got it, sometimes you don't.

Today was a Dogs West Fundraiser. There was lots of sunshine out there but geez the wind was cold. The type that goes straight through you and your clothing. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run Sonic today. Yesterday afternoon I was about to give him a furry foot trim and noticed that one of his dew claws had split and half the nail was sticking out sideways. No doubt he'd done it during the day while doing his best impression of a dickhead charging about out the backyard, crushing my native plants. There was no way I could cut off the broken bit as it was right in the quick so I expected he would be visiting the vet today rather than agility trialling. But while we were out at dinner last night he must have knocked it off because the nail was gone by the time we got home. He appeared totally nonplussed about it so trialling we went.

First up was Masters Agility and I was all set and ready to go. While watching the dogs before me I had a sudden panic when I realised that during course walking I had somehow missed that there was a pull through between jumps 16 and 17. Not normally a big deal, Sonic knows pull throughs, but it was at one of the most critical points of the course and if you were in the wrong place you were fairly likely to put your dog back up the dog walk instead of into the tunnel. When I went up to the line I had no plan other than to just go with where Sonic landed after the pull through. As it happened we got through it. It was very messy and luck most definately played a hand but I'm not complaining! Even after stuffing around he still powered on and I want to make special mention of his dog walk too. He was miles ahead of me and just drove down into two on two off. Not quite as fast as when I'm in front but being consistent is really starting to pay off. The extra exciting thing is though that he ending up winning Masters Agility today which is the now the second week in a row. Not bad for a little fella who still has massive room for improvement.

Our big tragedy for the day was Masters Jumping. He ran an absolute cracker. It was fast and powerful but his mega stupid dodgy handler left him unsupported to go off and do a front cross and surprise, surprise he pulled off the jump *sigh*. Oh what a dork I am! He even did the most superb tight turn from a 180 after a jump. I guess Sonic will just have to hope that next week I pull my socks up or he may just give me the sack!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spring is on its way

While most of the Perth agility community headed down to Bunbury for an agility trial, I was at home doing housey things. Not because I didn't want to do the agility trial I just love being here and it doesn't happen very often.

When I was outside in the garden I noticed for the first time this year that all our native trees have started flowering. They are all probably very confused with the endless sunny winter days and no rain. I will not pretend to be even remotely green thumbed. At my house plants tend to either survive of their own good fortune, get trambled by dogs and die or just die anyway. I have noted that native plants are impresively resiliant. I have no idea what 99% of the plants are called but they all looked so amazing with the different colours and types that I went inside and got my camera out to take some photos.

Bottle brush...? Who cares, look at that awesome bee that I managed to get in the shot!

Pretty purple flower

Pretty pink spikey type flowers

Protea (?)

Bottle brush (maybe the first one wasn't a bottle brush) otherwise known as pretty yellow and red flower

A couple of black and white fluffy flowers otherwise known as border collies

and pink/red flowers to finish off!

I love this place.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Sonic!

What goes squawk, squawk, thump, squawk, squawk, thump?

A tree full of Barnaby's Black Cockatoo's having an afternoon feast perched in a banksia tree. If it wasn't for the amount of noise they made I could easily have thought it had started raining banskia cones. I definitely wouldn't recommend standing under one of the trees while they were up there without wearing some type of head protection.

Squawk, squawk...

stand clear.....thump!

Can you believe that my Little Man turned three years old today? I keep telling him he's a grown up now but I don't think he wants to grow up cause he's having so much fun being the baby of the house!

Happy birthday Sonic!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finding some form

I think I'm starting to get my enthusiasm back for agility training now. There was even one week when I went to training both nights! It has been really nice having a break. Work has just been so full on that taking the dogs for a run around the property instead of having to rush around to get out the door and off to training has been much better for me. I'm sure the break has been pretty good for Sonic but I have noticed a couple of little holes that have appeared at trials that need a bit of extra work. Particularly after I let him run through his dog walk contact at the Cloverdale trial he seemed to think that he didn't have to stop on them anymore. But we seem to have sorted that out again now.

Saturday Perth Training and Obedience Dog Club hosted a single trial. I started the day with a fantastic clear round in Masters Agility courtesy of Lexi. She had a really strong run including her "skying" the A-Frame which seems to have become her signature agility move. I have never made any attempt to train her flying over the A-Frame but for some reason no matter what speed she's going she just loves launching herself over the top. Sonic didn't do very well in the Masters Agility class. We had come straight from the Open Jumping class with a fairly nice run and I only had one dog to run before I had to do Masters. Even though I'd been tugging with him and playing some focus games he was completely unfocused when we got into the ring and his run was full of mistakes. It's not the first time I've found him to be really bad when we've had to go straight from one ring to another. I really don't know why and nothing I've tried seems to make any difference. Thankfully I can normally avoid having to do it and get to give him a break in the car between classes.

Sonic did however have one shining moment to finish the day in Masters Jumping with a really good run. He powered around most of the course and read my body beautifully. There were still a couple of spots where I would like to see him drive out a little harder but he is improving every week which is fantastic. He came in at second place behind one of our fastest dogs Diva. I'm thrilled with the way that he's handling courses at the moment. He is reading my body so well at the moment and I think it's all part of his confidence that the speed is slowly coming. Its so much fun running him when he's like that.