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I should not enter all the things

Today & tomorrow, I'm showing in Albany, and in an amazing feat of stupid, I entered all the things. Agility for all, breed ring for Mercy, obedience for Pirate. They got me on the scheduling for today. Mercy's breed ring was at 10:15, her Novice JWW run was about 10:20, Excellent standard started about 10:30 (small to tall, so I needed to make the first walk through for Tess), Pirate's obedience at 10:40.

I handled it mostly by getting a friend to handle Mercy in breed, so I could walk courses (and no need for me to change clothes). I was actually successful, in that I got to show all the things! And, Mercy got a point!

There were only 3 class bitches showing, and I thought Mercy's odds of winning were actually decent. (she's really a nice typey bitch, and naturally broad enough for show judges to like. And she's now mostly developed.) That's why I wanted to prioritize that ring, but it was also the ring easiest to hand a dog off for. Mercy doesn't care, she'll show for whoever has the food.

Then she came back and ran Novice JWW at the end of the class, which went pretty much like it does. She visited, she came back and took some jumps. I didn't try the weaves, I didn't have focus as it was. She won't be in the ring again for awhile.

Next I took Pirate for his Beginners Novice obedience run. I really had hoped for a Q and the title, but he was pretty hyped up. I was proud of him for managing to heel, since it's the first thing, and he was being wild. (I think he's learning the ring procedure a bit). And his figure-8 was much better than last time. I made use of the fact that you can use a word of encouragement in Beginners Novice to tell him "good!" after the first loop in the figure 8, because he was staying nicely in position. What he could not do is stay. Stood up for the sit-for-exam, stood up and started towards me on the walk around the ring. Not ideal, but I'll give it another try tomorrow and see if he does better when he's not already anguished about his sister getting all the turns.

Excellent courses were really fun ones! This is standard:

Tess, honestly I was winded from dashing from building to building, and couldn't give her enough forward momentum. She did make me laugh, she didn't get enough push to do the A-frame, and was standing right in front of it, so I passed it, and tried to send her to the tire by throwing up a hand and saying "go!" So she went past the tire, looked around, and clearly was confused that there was nothing to go to. My bad.

Pirate had a beautiful run, just so pretty. Nailed his weave entry on a verbal, with me probably 15 ft away, hanging back so I didn't push him out. But at the end, I was afraid to call him over the double, so I pulled a bit and waited for him to land, and by that time he'd decided on the panel. Now I wonder if I could have gotten a FC in on the landing side of the double. Oh well.


My one Q was Tess on this course. (I felt like I had so much time to get places, but she ran it at 4.5 yps, which I think is plenty quick at her age) A couple of spots I could have handled smoother. I tried some different stuff with Pirate, and didn't get it. Tried a FC between 15 & 16, with me executing the FC before he'd actually taken 15, and he didn't get that I wanted him to carry on over it, so I got a refusal there.

Fun courses, with some options!


I asked Heather to bring her camera to class today so we could get a good photo of Mercy in her new collar.
This is the ultimate Mercy picture. This is who Mercy is:

Thanks, Heather!

the birthday boy

Weather was nice today, so he got to go to work.

presents for Pirate

Tomorrow will be Pirate's 7th birthday, meaning he'll be officially a "veteran". (yes, it's a little silly, he's in his prime). In honor of the milestone birthday, his Grammy Dayna sent him a box of presents:

The white thing that is hard to see is 2 window decals. One says "Peaceful Pirate No Dagger Just Swagger", and the other says "Peaceful Pirate Too Cool to Duel". Those decals are going in the windows of my new van, no question. I haven't decided about the other decals, those may go on his crate. I'm sure the stationary set will be useful to him at school.

I do love that boy, so much. If we're likely to have any dry weather tomorrow, maybe I'll take him along to work for his birthday.

Such a good Pirate

International League went much better tonight. I am still coughing, but it's improving, and I was able to run enough to keep things fun for both of us. There were lots of good parts. And some off courses, but I was happy with our runs, they were so much better than we've been doing. Pi tried very hard, and basically did what he was cued.

And, when I came home, I'd got my photos from Beginners Novice obedience at Rose City! Here is obedient Pirate:

Heel pattern (yes, his tail is mysteriously invisible. I purchased this particular photo because he's not forging in it. Deal.):

Figure 8. He's a bit wide, but I like the focus:

He really does not approve of the "stay while handler walks around the ring". In fact, apparently his disapproval is so great that he can't even look at me.

A cute bit of focus while we set up for the recall:

Really worked nice that day. (those were Sunday). We'll hopefully get the last BN leg soon, and then I'll have to decide whether to get a regular CD and then go to preferred, or go straight for preferred. If I go straight for preferred, he's probably just about ready (I might want to polish him up a bit more, first); if I want to do regular Novice, I'll have to proof him for group stays.

Tess got mail

And of course, I knew it was coming, but still sort of gratifying to see it. I might frame it. Title certificates just get jumbled off somewhere, but we won't see many of these.

Of course, I'm in my "discouraged about agility" mode. Though I do think I'm going to enter the Albany trial at the end of February, it's through Monday, so I can actually do 2 days without changing my work schedule. I don't know after that, going to SBTCA nationals end of March/beginning of April, so I'm not sure I'll have funds for any other entries.

Also a little concerned about my sickness, and afraid I might have to come up with the money to see a doctor. I've got a lot of fluid in my chest that isn't moving. I'll give it a little longer. I'm just starting to sleep decent again, so maybe that will help me heal.

not feeling it

Tonight was international agility league again, and we really sucked. Mostly I sucked, and not entirely my fault, as I'm pretty sick. I didn't really want to go, but felt committed. It's hard to run the international courses when my breathing is compromised, which it is. I haven't been able to run well lately anyway, because I'm out of shape. From not running enough, I guess. I can still walk plenty, and do walk a reasonable amount (should walk more), but it's not the same.

I don't really have time to practice agility, and my running was mostly when I practiced agility. I just have the 2 days off a week, and one day is Mercy's class, so that doesn't leave me with any good time to go just practice. So, not just physically out of shape (which admittedly, I could find another way to work on that), but Pirate and I are not practicing together. And don't have much opportunity to compete any more. When we do trial, it's mostly just one day, and I don't get in the spirit of it.

So I don't know. Maybe I should put the agility aside for awhile. I've been feeling the obedience a little more, maybe I should concentrate on that. That is easier for me to do as a one day thing.

And I suppose when I'm sick is not the time to think about it, but I really have been feeling like we are not able to do what I want in agility right now, and I'm thinking with Pirate anyway, maybe never. We don't even qualify.

Rose City wrap-up: Fun while dying.

This weekend, of course, was the Rose City shows. I dialed back my participation a little this year, and only entered Pirate, but I was really looking forward to our fun weekend together. Saturday/Sunday only, 3 agility runs, and one run of Beginners Novice obedience each day.

Then I got sick. And I don't really know how I got sick, I haven't been around people that much. Mercy's class has been on break, and our last event was New Years. I know a lot of people have been sick, but I wasn't around those people. Wednesday, I was fine, went to agility league, Wednesday night I felt poorly and didn't sleep well. That's too soon to have picked anything up at league. I tried to hope that I wasn't really sick, but by Friday, there was no denying it. Full on chest cold. (I hope just a cold!). So, not breathing well, coughing, still not sleeping much, low-grade fever... I was not happy. This was going to be a rare opportunity to actually do 2 days of an event, though, and I couldn't give it up. So I went anyway (with some guilt about spreading my virus)

I did manage to have some fun, but agility-wise, it wasn't a good weekend. Even with the inhaler, the asthma was triggered enough that I had trouble thinking on course. Also moving, but mostly thinking, the brain function goes first. The courses were rather challenging (and not necessarily in ways I approved of), and I just wasn't up to the challenge. Pirate was exceptional, and did his job, handling things I wouldn't have thought he knew (I rear crossed an A-frame, with his RC cue that I haven't used in a long time, to call him into the tunnel that was under that A-frame so he wouldn't continue straight over the dummy jump in front of him. We've never done anything like that. He was a little confused, but got it.)

We did get one Q, today's JWW, although I got a little confused in the beginning ("where am I? where am I going?"), but managed to work it out. Then I was very amused by the spectators, not agility people, as they gasped in awe when I did a front cross at the end. I mean, it was a very good front cross, but still, not exactly Sylvia Trkman.

The crowds were actually too much this year, and I think that's because the entry was so small, and just one judge. It meant just one ring to watch, so everybody crowded around that ring and it was hard to get in or out of the area.

Still, Pirate and I love performing for the crowd, we enjoy running on the mats, and having some time together is always good. So, still fun, despite me dying, and the crowd frustration.

Now, the obedience went great! Just Beginners Novice, of course, but he's been unsuccessful at that before, and with the weather I haven't really been able to practice, so I had little hope. Instead, he qualified both days, with a 190 on Saturday and a 193 on Sunday. (BN scores tend to be high) I was just pleased he did everything on Saturday, and on Sunday, I was absolutely thrilled, because it was a clear improvement (despite only getting another 3 points). Saturday, he seemed like he was just blundering along beside me; Sunday we felt connected. Saturday, I wasn't sure he'd hold the stays (3 stays in BN, all with different challenges: the sit for exam, the stay-while-handler-walks-around-the-ring, and of course the recall starts with a stay.) Sunday, I felt pretty confident that he knew that job and intended to perform it. So, I really feel heartened that he's coming together as an obedience dog, though much more work needed! Hopefully finish the BN at our next trial, then on to Novice! (probably preferred)

And since it was a specialty, and he was the only Stafford entered in obedience, he won some prizes.

Birthday girl!

Somebody is 2 today.

I might have forgotten her birthday if her brother's owner hadn't posted about it yesterday. (all her littermates had their birthday yesterday. Time zones are weird.) It was really hard to get a birthday picture of her, because Pirate was pretty sure it should be a picture of him.

we did International League too

I won't post the course, because Heather did. It was a challenging course, which nobody got. Pirate and I were not stellar, which was mostly me. I was actually super happy with how hard he tried, considering how stir crazy he should be by now. He did ditch me about halfway through the first run to try and raid a bucket of Charlee Bears which was in the ring. (I had no idea there was food there, and couldn't figure out why he didn't want to leave it). However, I'd really been messing up my handling at that point, so the initial "fine, I'm looking for food" was my fault.

Anyway, we had fun, maybe next week we'll do better. (though none of these courses look like good ones for us, and we're woefully out of practice)

One thing a little odd, hopefully nothing. I went to league straight from work, so I had brought all the dogs with me. Got them out to pee at my break, though it was super cold and windy in Troutdale, so it was a quick pee. Anyway, when we got to Daisy's place (which was much warmer), I let Pirate out in the field to run around a bit and empty himself. And he lifted his leg on something for a few minutes. After a while, I walked over to see if he was actually producing anything, because it was such an excessively long time to pee, and he headed off.

So, I didn't bother to walk him again before his first run (it wasn't that long between), and when we left the building after his run, he immediately hoisted a leg on a pole, and peed for another few minutes. This time, I could see that he was in fact peeing, and had a steady stream, but that was a LOT of time peeing. I hope he doesn't have something going on.

Mercy is not entered in International League, though experience would be good for her, because she still doesn't know contacts. I did bring her in after we were done with League, with Daisy's permission, and ran her over a few jumps and tunnels. Just for some experience in a different location. She tried to run off and see Daisy (who was in the ring) or any of the people outside the ring, but nobody would even look at her, so she came back and did some more agility with me. Just what I wanted for her! I didn't do much, and didn't really try any handling moves, I just wanted to work on the "play with me, not them" thing. Hopefully, we can keep doing this.