News and updates of my Border Collies and our canine performance events.

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December 15, 2008

Fun Agility Weekend Dec 13-14, 2008

Another weekend of USDAA Agility, this time in Dillsburg, PA, hosted by TNT Canines, who did a great job with their first USDAA trial. A huge barn with dirt flooring held two rings, plus plenty of room for crating & hanging out. We had lots of good runs over the two days, even if not alot of Q's. Most runs had just one error, so overall I was very pleased with the progress we are making.

Making the whole trip worthwhile was Token getting another leg in Master Jumpers on Saturday, with a 2nd place! We came SO close to that 5th leg & title on Sunday, but one refusal in a tricky spot resulted in 5 faults....but Token did HIS job perfectly, I was very proud of him. Token also qualified in Sunday's Snooker, with a 4th place.

Dandy came home with two ribbons as well. On Saturday, he qualified in Master Gamblers with a 1st place. And on Sunday, he qualified in Master Snooker with a 1st place and Super Q! Most of his other runs were just one error away from qualifying; he is handling these Master courses better & better. The footing was new for him as the dirt was deep & soft in many spots, but as the weekend wore on, he got more sure-footed. Right now we are "getting mileage" and he is really benefiting from the experience.
Another fun part of the weekend was meeting up with Dandy's brother Seeker, and his mom Jan! Seeker is a very handsome tri, just getting started in agility competition. I snapped a few pics of him, as well as Dandy & Token. What a lovely snow-free December day :-)

December 9, 2008

Good News from OFA

Dandy turned 2 years old last month, so I had his hips xrayed to be certified by OFA. I just received the results in the mail, and it's great news! Dandy's hips were evaluated as EXCELLENT!
Photo shows Dandy's hips at 8 weeks ;-)

December 2, 2008

USDAA Agility Trial Nov.29-30, 2008

Token and Dandy had a good weekend at the Y USDAA Agility Trial in Poughkeepsie, NY. With both dogs in Masters, and both in the 26" class, I didn't have alot of time in between running them, but sometimes that can be good, less time to obsess :-) However, I also sometimes find that whoever runs first is the sacrificial lamb...and the one who runs second benefits from my experience running the course, and therefore can adjust my handling for the pitfalls. I also have a second chance to handle properly and not mess up twice!

I am very pleased that both Token & Dandy ran clean in the Grand Prix to qualify them both for the Northeast Regional Championship which will be held in June 2009, in Bethlehem, PA. Since it's a commutable distance for me, I really wanted to get them qualified for this, and now they are! And the pressure is off for any other Grand Prix Qualifiers that we enter over the next few months. Yeah!

Dandy also qualified in Masters Standard on Sunday, with a 1st place as he was the only 26" dog to run clean. That is his 3rd standard leg, woo hoo! Not too shabby considering he's been in Masters Standard a total of six times...that's a 50% Q rate! I hope it's not just beginners luck ;-)

Token qualifed in Saturday's Master Standard with a 2nd place, and he qualified in Masters Snooker to finish a new title, Snooker Champion. Best of all, he qualified with a 3rd place in Master Jumpers! Jumpers is SO hard for us, it's been the toughest class by far. So I was thrilled to run that one clean!!!

Our next USDAA trial is December 13-14....and that will be the last one for a while.
Winter is on our doorstep...

November 9, 2008

Dandy's Birthday

Happy Birthday to Dandy, 2 years old today!

October 24, 2008

October 18-19, 2008 - AKC Agility Trial

Skyline Agility Club - FDR Park, Yorktown Heights, NY
A lovely dry autumn weekend!

Token earned two legs in Excellent FAST, and his second leg in Open JWW, all First placements.
Dandy earned two legs in Open FAST, a 2nd place and a 1st place, which finished his OF (Open FAST) title. He also earned his first leg in Excellent A Standard with a First Place.

Toss got to relax at home, snoozing away in his new favorite spot atop all the pillows!

October 7, 2008

Flyball at the Fairgrounds October 4-5, 2008

Flyball Tournament - Greenfield, MA
Token's team Infurno Rapid Fire took 1st place in Regular Division 1.
Dandy's team Infurno Wild Fire took 2nd place in Multi Division 1.
Dandy also finished his FDCH-G title (Flyball Dog Champion-Gold, 2500 points)

No more flyball tournies on the calendar for us until 2009....

September 27-28, 2008 USDAA Agility Trial

Just a quick rundown of our results at the Contact Agility Trial in Carmel, NY, Sept. 27-28.
Token only qualified in one class but it was in Master Jumpers, which is what we really need the most! So I was very happy with that one. And it was a First Place, too.
Dandy had a great debut in Master Gamblers...and the gamble portion was a tough one, a series of 4 jumps requiring a call-back and re-send (Token only got thru 3/4 of it). Much to my surprise, Dandy took my direction without question and executed the gamble like a pro to earn his first Q in Master Gamblers, with a 2nd place! Dandy earned his 2nd Q in Masters Standard with a 4th place, and qualified in Steeplechase as well.

September 21, 2008

Autumn Is Upon Us...

Just a few pics of the last days of summer 2008....
Toss is now 13 years old, Token is 5, and Dandy is 22 months old.

September 16, 2008

Dandy Joins Token in Masters!

On Sunday, September 14, 2008, we went to a USDAA trial in Honey Brook, PA, hosted by Flexible Flyers. It turned out to be about THE hottest day of the the 90's and so humid...I no sooner got there at 7:45 am (after leaving the house at 5am) and I started to think I should have stayed home. But this was a moment in personal was the first time for me running both Token and his son Dandy in Masters in USDAA. They were both entered in the 26" class so I only had a handful of dogs in between. Token ran first so Dandy had the benefit of my working out the glitches on Token's run. First class was Masters Standard, and it was a tough one. Again, maybe I should have stayed home There were multiple handling options in several spots on the course so I was having a tough time deciding how to handle it.
Token was up first, and he really did a wonderful job...we didn't qualify due to one refusal at a jump that I should have supported just a little bit more...but he did his job beautifully, and with 5 faults he still managed a 4th place. Several dogs later, and I'm up with Dandy. I knew what worked with Token, so I kept my plan the same except to make sure I supported that one jump enough. I also had Dandy hold his contacts and I kept the run conservative. Over the last jump, and we were clean! Dandy's first time in Masters, and he qualified in Standard!!! I was so proud of him!!! And the icing on the cake: Dandy took 1st place in 26"! Even with our conservative approach, he was 10 seconds under standard course time.
My first time running Dandy & Token in the same class, and even though I only got the Q with Dandy, both father & son were in the placements :-)
Next was Master Pairs. Dandy broke his stay for the first time, to my shock & surprise ;-) and we got a refusal...But we had a very experienced partner who ran clean, and Dandy earned a Q in Pairs with a 3rd place! Token's run is one we're not talking about ;-)
Jumpers was the last class of the day, and we were all fried from the heat & humidity. I sent Dandy off course (my brain was VERY fried!), and Token knocked just one bar. So close yet so far ;-)
Next trial...USDAA September 27-28...I can't wait! These two dogs are such fun to run!

September 9, 2008

September 5-7, 2008 - New USDAA Titles!

September brought us another 3-day 3-ring USDAA Agility Trial at the Blackthorne in East Durham, NY, hosted by Y Agility. Despite some heat & humidity, rain & wind, we managed to have a rather successful weekend.

Token did some nice work in his Masters classes, though not without the usual glitches & bobbles. He did qualify in Friday's Master Gamblers with a 3rd place. And in Sunday's Masters Standard class, he qualified with a 2nd place in a large competive 26" class. The 186 yard course had a standard course time of 58 seconds, and Token ran it cleanly in 41.39 seconds. This was his 5th Q in Masters Standard, finishing his SAM (Standard Agility Master) title.
Dandy had a very busy weekend in the Advanced classes, and did an amazing job. He was in 4 classes on Friday, 5 on Saturday & 3 on Sunday. That's asking alot of a young dog who just turned 22 months old today! But he rose to the occassion. We didn't qualify in Advanced Gamblers or Jumpers due to one or two errors in each. But he qualified in both Advanced Snooker classes, earning a 1st place & a 2nd place, and finished his AS (Advanced Snooker) title. We ran Advanced Pairs with a fellow flyball enthusiast, a Dutch Shepherd named Brink, and we qualified with a 2nd place (missed 1st place by 0.03 seconds ). I entered Dandy in his first ever Grand Prix, just to see how he'd do on a more difficult course, and while he did not qualify, he only had 10 faults (missed weave entry, and one bar down). Other than those 2 errors, he ran beautifully, and I was very pleased with his run!
Dandy's big news of the weekend is that he qualified all 3 days in Advanced Standard, all First Places, to finish his AAD (Advanced Agility Dog) title!
So Dandy will now be running in Masters along with his dad Token! I have no great expectations and will not be putting pressure on him to qualify, we are just ready to take our training to the next level and continue our journey. The building of skills is just beginning with Dandy, and it is a work in progress with Token; between training the dogs and improving MY handling skills, we always have things to work on...but that's what keeps it interesting! :-)

August 17, 2008

Four New Titles - AKC Agility Aug.16-17, 2008

Another AKC Agility trial at New Hope Farms in Port Jervis, NY, this time hosted by Monticello Kennel favorite site, 19 miles from home :-)

Token & Dandy both did well, with Dandy bringing home the most ribbons. Token qualified both days in Open FAST to finish his Open FAST title! We had a couple of rough runs & a couple of good ones with minor errors in Open JWW & Excellent Standard. So he came home with 2 Q's and 2 Blue ribbons.
Dandy qualified in 5 out of his 6 classes, and finished 3 titles. He finished his Open Standard title with a 3rd place on Saturday (we had a wrong course, but still qualified) and made his debut in Excellent Standard on Sunday...a wrong course at a dogwalk/tunnel discrimination, but the rest was beautiful! I was already at the next obstacle by the time he finished the weaves, and also while he completed the Aframe, it was so cool to be able to handle him with the independent obstacle performance.
He finished his Novice FAST title with a 2nd place on Saturday, and got his first leg in Open FAST with a 1st place on Sunday! He qualified both days in Open JWW, with a 3rd place (a refusal since I momentarily forgot the course) and a 1st place, and finished his Open JWW title!

It's tough running the two of them, I either have ring conflicts, or just a few dogs in between them...but all in all, a good weekend with a few Q's, a few titles, and lots of fun runs.

August 10, 2008

Dandy Makes His Debut in USDAA Advanced

On August 2-3, 2008, we attended a USDAA Agility Trial in Westfield, MA, hosted by All Dogs LEAP Into Fun Agility. The trial site was a fairgrounds, which worked out really well as I just parked my car in one of the open-sided barns and was sheltered from both sun & rain...which was nice considering we had thunder storms on Saturday afternoon. The trial ended up having 3 rings instead of 2, with the 3rd being quite a hike from the others. So running 2 dogs in 3 rings, with 10 runs on Saturday & 8 runs on Sunday, I had alot of conflicts & found myself unprepared more than once. To further complicate matters, I turned my ankle in Dandy's Advanced Gamblers run on Sunday morning, and besides spending a good part of my run on the ground, I had a hard time running the rest of the day. Just a minor sprain but not good for agility...
Dandy had some very nice runs, earning legs in Advanced Gamblers (2nd pl), Advanced Jumpers (1st pl) and two legs in Advanced Snooker (a 2nd and a 1st pl). He had a bar down in each Standard class. He ran clean in Pairs but our partner had some faults so no Q. I'm very pleased with how Dandy is progressing, he is young & still learning to 'find his stride' in competitions. But considering he just turned 21 months old yesterday, I could not ask for any more than he's been giving me :-)
Token came home with one Q, in Sunday's Master Gamblers, with a 2nd place. The gamble was 4 jumps, including a spread (triple), and an off-course tunnel calling him, yet he executed it beautifully & smoothly. He had some very nice runs with just one error. Contacts remained solid but for one AFrame (his front feet hit the ground and THEN his back feet hit the zone, so we were faulted); he had just one weave error all weekend, in Saturday's gamble. All of his runs on Sunday were affected by my sprained ankle, so we did the best we could.
I'm still working on getting my ankle back into shape, hoping I can run at the trial next weekend!

July 22, 2008

July 18-20, 2008 - AKC Agility Trial

Having an agility trial 25 minutes from home is a real I am thrilled that two AKC clubs have been hosting trials at New Hope Farms in Port Jervis, NY. This past weekend was a 3-day trial hosted by the Non-Sporting Group Club of the Garden State. They had 3 rings running simultaneously inside the huge horse arena with packed dirt providing an excellent surface for the dogs. It was extremely hot & humid all 3 days, and had we been outside in the sun, it would have been unbearable. But being inside was tolerable, and the dogs were able to rest comfortably in between their runs.
Running 2 dogs in multiple levels in 3 rings resulted in my having ring conflicts every day, but we did the best we could. Memorizing 3 courses at once can be a challenge :-)
Overall, Token (in 26") & Dandy (in 24") did great. Between the two of them, I had 6 runs per day. On Friday, we earned 4 Q's, and Saturday & Sunday brought us 3 Q's per day, along with 2 new titles: Token earned his Novice FAST title on Saturday, and Dandy finished his Novice JWW title on Friday.
Here is the recap--
Friday: Token qualified in Excellent A Standard with a 1st place, Score 100, Time 40.89 (SCT: 61, 173 yds) Token also qualified in Open JWW with a 1st place and a score of 95 (one refusal), Time 26.47 (SCT: 38, 132 yds)
Dandy qualified in Open Standard with a 1st place and a score of 95, Time 41.81 (SCT: 71, 174 yds). Dandy also qualified in Novice JWW with a score of 95 (one refusal), Time 20.04 (SCT: 37, 100 yds) He placed 4th because of the refusal but he still had the fastest time in the class. And this finished his NAJ title, so he moved up to Open JWW for Saturday & Sunday.
Saturday: Token qualified in Novice FAST with a 2nd place, 68 points, Time 24.79 (SCT:32), which finished his NF title. Dandy also qualified in Novice FAST, also 68 pts, Time 26.62 . No placement for Dandy as I'm still getting the feel of the new FAST class; I had lots of time left over to garner more points but I played it conservatively.
Dandy earned his 2nd leg in Open Standard with another 1st place, Score 100, Time 47.8 (SCT: 63, 181 yds).
I incurred faults with both boys in Open JWW so no Q's for us in that class. Token ran an awesome Excellent Standard course, but had one bar down, so no Q there either.
Sunday: Token qualified in Open FAST with a 2nd place, 76 pts, Time 28.11 (SCT:32). He had a great run going in Excellent Standard but we got a refusal when I moved too soon & pulled him past a jump. I also blew the Open JWW run when I had a badly executed Front Cross that crowded him and caused him to knock a bar...other than that, he was awesome. So had I done MY job better, we might have had a couple more Q's....
I ran Dandy on the same Open JWW course. His first time in Open JWW and he qualified with a score of 95 (a "refusal" due to another poorly executed Front Cross on my part!). Even with the refusal, he WON the class and posted a time of 23.56 (SCT: 35, 123 yds). Dandy's time, by the way, was 0.52 seconds *faster* than Token's time on this course.
Dandy was a bit jazzed up in his Open Standard course, and knocked a bar so no Q for us there. But he did qualify in Novice FAST with a 1st place! 79 pts, Time 29.43 (I planned to use my whole 32 seconds and still ended too early but I'm getting the hang of it!)

I am very happy with our overall results. Token & I are getting more in sync and he is running really nicely this year. Learning a new "handling system" is a work in progress, but I see much improvement in Token's jumping because of it. And baby-dog Dandy continues to amaze me with his focus & ability, and we are having a blast!

July 16, 2008

One More Video

Here is one more video from a recent USDAA Agility trial, held in Carmel, NY, May 31-June 1, 2008. It is Token in Masters Standard, in the ring that's on that darn hill. Apparently I was having a senior moment when I walked the course...because as I was watching the team before me, and I was getting ready to enter the ring, I noticed that they did the red tunnel after the A-Frame...oh, is THAT part of the course? Duh... So I made a last-second mental note that the tunnel came after the A-Frame, which meant handling the A-Frame with my dog on my LEFT instead of my Right, as I had planned to do before realizing the tunnel was a part of the equation. So, the end of the course was a bit of an ad lib. Well, we not only got through it clean for a Q, but we won the class! Good boy, Token!

Videos from June 20-22, 2008 USDAA Agility Trial

Some Agility Videos of Dandy and Token at the Y Agility Trial held June 20-22, 2008, at The Blackthorne in East Durham, NY. Dandy was in Starters classes, Token in Masters. Not too many of our runs got recorded, but here are a few.

June 25, 2008

Dandy, AD!

Dandy had a very successful weekend at the USDAA Agility trial held at The Blackthorne in East Durham, NY, June 20-22, 2008. He only needed to qualify in Starters Standard one more time to finish his Agility Dog title (AD) and he did that the first day, so we could relax and just have fun for the rest of the weekend. He was entered in 7 Starters classes over the 3 days, and he qualified in 5 of them, all with First Places. And he still got 2nd Place in the two classes we did not qualify in. I also entered him in Steeplechase, for the experience, and to my surprise, he qualified in Round 1 in the 26" division. He did not place in Round 2 as we had an off-course, but I was very proud of my baby dog who did a great job "running with the big dogs". There were 11 qualifiers in the 26" class, and Dandy was 9th, with a time of 34.87 (which included fixing a weave pole entry) plus 5 faults added for one knocked bar.

Stats for his First Place qualifying runs in Starters (26") :
Friday - Standard - Time: 42.51 seconds - SCT: 69 sec, 155 yards
Friday - Jumpers - Time: 18.56 seconds - SCT: 34 sec, 123 yards
Friday - Gamblers - 51 points, Time: 40.06 sec - Max Time: 46 sec
--Note: This was also his 3rd leg in Starters Gamblers, finishing his Starter Gambler title (SG)
Saturday - Standard - Time: 36.14 seconds - SCT: 55 sec, 122 yards
Sunday - Standard - Time: 36.35 seconds - SCT: 64 sec, 142 yards

Over the 3 days, he nailed every contact, only had one weave pole error, and had a total of 3 dropped bars. I did not enter him in *every* class available as this was his first 3-day trial and I didn't want to overface him (and I wanted to reduce the number of ring conflicts as Token was entered as well). I am in awe of how well he did, especially considering he is only 19 months old. Our next USDAA trial will be in August, where he will be entered in the Advanced classes. It's nice to have a few weeks to prepare for the next level.

I also ran Token, in 3 classes per day over the 3 days. He had many great *parts* but also some glitches in nearly every class. He qualified in Master Gamblers with a 4th place, for his sole ribbon of the weekend. For the most part, he ran really well, he nailed every contact, only had one missed weave entry, and only 2 bars down. We did have our share of refusals which cost us some Q's but I also learned what skills we need to work on more at home. And the good parts were really NICE, so the "new & improved handling system" is coming together, little by little.

Our next event will be a local AKC trial July 18-20, so we'll be spending the next few weeks combining training with swimming at the lake...improving skills and conditioning, and having fun :-)

June 8, 2008

Too Darn Hot

Toss (13 yrs old)

Dandy (1 1/2 yrs old)

Token (5 yrs old)

Dandy and Token

Toss, Dandy & Token enjoying the lake.

With temps around 90, it was too hot to do anything but swim!

June 3, 2008

Cirque de Dogue

My agility weekend was preceeded by a trip to the Ringling Brothers Circus on Friday night, to see my friend Gail perform. Gail Mirabella is my first flyball instructor and team captain, and she is responsible for unleashing Token into the world of Flyball. Gail has been with the circus for over 2 years now, performing with her Aussies, Border Collies, Rat Terriers, and little terrier mix Cricket, showcasing their skills with flying discs as well as some agility. It was great fun to see Gail & the dogs again, and to watch them perform in "The Greatest Show on Earth"!

So...I was a bit tired on Saturday morning but on we went for another busy weekend of USDAA Agility, this time in Carmel, NY.

The successes (as well as the not-quites) this weekend were more evenly distributed between Token and Dandy. Dandy earned his second leg in Starters Gamblers with a First Place. And he qualified in Starters Jumpers, with a 3rd place...he missed one jump that we had to "fix", which took some time, but the rest of the course was lovely! Just minor glitches in the other classes that prevented qualifying. I ran him in Steeplechase just for kicks, since it's Time plus Faults scoring, and he actually did great! He didn't qualify as he missed the Broad Jump (twice!) and we had to fix that, which took too much time, but the rest of his run was awesome! I was extremely proud of the baby-dog, only 18 months old!

Token also had some minor glitches in some of the classes, but he did qualify in Masters Standard on Saturday and WON the 26" class! Sunday morning, we had Master Gamblers, which is a challenge for us with Token being quite handler-focused, but this one worked for us, and he got the gamble to earn his fifth leg and his Gambler Master title! And for icing on the cake, he WON that class, too! (First time he's ever won a Master Gamblers class)

Once again, both boys were a blast to run, and they made me proud. :-)

May 26, 2008

Dandy's USDAA debut!

May 24-25, 2008
Dandy made his debut in USDAA Agility in Saratoga Springs, NY. I entered him in the 26" class as that's what I've prepared him for in case he measures over 21" and has to jump 26". (His first measurement came in UNDER 21", so we'll see!) Oddly, this trial had a huge 26" Starters class compared to 22"...the 26" class was 50% larger than the 22", which is extremely unusual.
He exceeded my expectations by qualifying in 5 of his 6 Starters classes. His first class was Snooker, something totally new for him, and my goal was not to earn the most points but to practice obstacles of my choice in the opening (the tunnel was worth more points than the seesaw, but I wanted to get him on that seesaw for the experience). He finished the course in plenty of time with 44 points to earn a Q and a 3rd place.
Second class was Pairs, Dandy never ran agility with another dog in the ring, but we were paired up with someone I've known for years and we put no pressure at all on one another. Dandy ran the 2nd half, and each of us had to restart weaves plus each of us had 5 faults but we still managed to qualify with less than 1/2 second to spare!
Last class of the day was Starters Standard, but because I was concentrating on the other 2 rings where I had to run Token in Masters classes, I not only missed my walk-thru for Dandy's class but almost missed my run! Someone told me they were calling me to go to the ring (I was working in another ring at the time), so I ran out to the car to get Dandy, quickly looked at one dog running the course, and went in the ring. I did not handle him well at all since I didn't really know the course, but I winged it. We were 2 paws away from an off-course, but we held on & managed to finish the course without faults, and Dandy earned his first Standard leg with a 3rd place.
Sunday, our first class was Gamblers. We earned 22 points in the opening (11 pts required to qualify), and he successfully completed the gamble for a total of 42 points, a Q and a First Place!
Second class of the day was Starters Standard, which I actually got to walk this time ;-) Dandy was awesome, finishing the course cleanly in 37.01 seconds (Standard Course Time was 60 seconds, 130 yards). He won the class easily (the 2nd place dog was 10 seconds behind him) for another Blue ribbon and his 2nd leg in Standard.
Last class of the weekend was Jumpers, and he kicked it up a gear for that one (he was flying!!!), which resulted in going off-course and knocking a bar. So no Q in Jumpers, but I'm still thrilled with everything he accomplished for his first USDAA trial.

Unfortunately, all of my focus going into Dandy, and all of the ring conflicts I had all weekend, resulted in my short-changing Token. I simply was not able to focus enough on his runs, and he really needs 100% from me. So no Q's for Token. But he still made me proud, especially when we came out of the ring after his final class of the weekend, and a spectator was taking pictures of him. She told me he really stood out from the others with his intensity and speed and enthusiasm, and she told me she could tell that he was a very special dog. That was just as good as getting a ribbon :-D

May 10-11 Flyball Tournament

On May 10-11, we went to Greenfield, Massachusettes for New England TrailBlazers' Flyball tournament. Token raced fulltime on our Regular Division 1 team which took 3rd place. And he raced halftime, sharing a spot with another Border Collie, on our Multi Division 2 team which took First place.
Dandy raced fulltime as start dog on our Multi Division 1 team which took 3rd place. He broke 4.0 THREE times on Sunday, twice being in his last race of the weekend, so being tired didn't slow him down! He set a new personal best time of 3.962!
Dandy also was back-up for our Regular Division 4 team, and he was called upon to pinch-hit several times when one of the dogs needed a break. He was needed in their very first race of the weekend, replacing the anchor dog in the 5th heat. Apparently he caught the eye of a dog on the opposing team who decided to cross over to our lane and go after Dandy. When the chaos ended & I had Dandy back to me, I checked him for possible injuries. His neck was completely wet, so I know he was grabbed. But there were no indications of an actual bite, and he seemed to be OK. (The dog that chased him did not run again for the entire weekend, so we didn't have to worry about a repeat of the incident.) The judge was very concerned, and she allowed Dandy to run down by himself to retrieve his ball & bring it back, which he did without hesitation. And he continued to race all weekend without any issues at all, so we were very lucky on many accounts. I found this to be an incredible testament to Dandy, who is just 18 months old, and to his drive and "work ethic" as well as his trust in me, just like his dad Token. They both continue to make me very proud.

Since we are heading full steam into Agility season, we have no flyball on the calendar for the next couple of months.

May 4, 2008

Token goes MAD!

May 3-4, 2008 - USDAA Agility Trial - ACE Agility Club, Granby, MA

Token qualified Saturday in Masters Standard with a 2nd place, and on Sunday, he qualified again in Masters Standard, this time with a First place, to finish his Master Agility Dog title (MAD)! He had an awesome run on Karen Gloor's course...173 yards, SCT: 56 seconds, and Token finished clean in 40.6 seconds to win the 26" class.

Ten years ago, Robin & Toss both finished their MAD titles under Karen Gloor, on the same weekend (Robin on Saturday & Toss on Sunday, in the pouring rain in New Hampshire in May 1998). So it was extra special that Token finished his MAD in Karen's ring.

Token also finished his Snooker Master title today! He needed one more Super Q, and he earned 57 points (4 reds) by nailing SIX sets of weaves in this course (4 sets in the opening, and TWO in the closing as #6 & #7 were both the 12 weaves, in opposite directions). We finished our closing & crossed the finish line at 51.37 (SCT was 51). After all the 26" dogs had run, Token came away with First place, and a Super Q to finish his SM!

In addition....Token qualifed in Master Pairs and also in the Grand Prix with a 3rd place. So we ended up with 5 Q's out of 7 classes (we blew Gamblers & Jumpers). I am so very proud of Token, and running him is a blast!

April 30, 2008

April AKC Agility Trials

Our first outdoor Agility trials of the year!
April 26-27, 2008 - Mid Hudson Kennel Assoc - Dutchess Co. Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY
Brisk weather but we were spared the predicted showers, for which I'm grateful :-)

Dandy qualified both days in Novice B Standard, 24", for his first two Q's in Standard.
Saturday: Score 95 (1 Refusal), Time 42.33 (SCT:73, 153 yards) - 1st Place
Sunday: Score 100, Time 41.05 (SCT:69, 143 yards) - 2nd Place

Token had 2 very nice runs in Excellent A Standard although not qualifying...just one refusal on Saturday, and one refusal & one bar down on Sunday. Overall I was very pleased with our runs.

April 28, 2008 - Clumber Spaniel Club of America - Shawnee, PA - RAIN all day!!!
Dandy shook off the rain & qualified in Novice B Standard, 24", for his 3rd leg finishing his Novice Agility title (NA)
Score 100, Time 39.75 (SCT: 69, 143 yards) - 1st Place

Novice B Jumpers With Weaves was the last class of the day, as the rains started to come down harder, and both boys were running in the same class. Dandy ran in 24" and Token in 26", and I only had 4 dogs in between. The SCT was 39 seconds, 118 yards. They BOTH ran clean, qualifying with scores of 100, and Dandy was right on the heels of his papa! Token's time was 20.18 and Dandy's time was 20.56! This is Dandy's second leg in Novice JWW, and finally, it's Token's 3rd leg for his NAJ!

April 23, 2008

April 2008 Flyball

April 5-6, 2008 - Flyball tournament in Dover, NH. (An extra bonus to our NH trip was we got to see Lynn & Fran this time!) Both Token & Dandy raced fulltime, and Dandy also raced a few extra heats as a backup on our Regular Division 5 team.
Token & I are getting better at passing (running "3rd" position, as opposed to start dog), but it's still a work in progress. His team placed 3rd in Regular 1 Division, and Token earned his FMX (Flyball Master Excellent) title by hitting 10,000 points!
Dandy races as the Start dog our our Multi Division 1 team, who placed 3rd. Dandy earned his FDCH-Silver title (Flyball Dog Champion-Silver) and now has over 1,000 points.

March 2008 - Dandy's Agility Debut

March 20-21, 2008 - Dandy made his official debut in Agility competition at an AKC Trial hosted by the Hudson Valley Golden Retriever Club. It was a nice, small one-ring trial, indoors at the Sullivan County Community College. The surface was Max Trax, a type of indoor carpeting designed for dog agility. But it is sometimes a difficult surface for the big, fast dogs to run on, as it can be slippery. Neither Token nor Dandy had ever run on this surface, so I was pleased that they both did pretty well on it. Dandy was jumping 24" while Token was entered in the 26" division.
In the Novice Standard class, Dandy did great, he nailed everything except the collapsed tunnel...he would start to go in, then turn around & come out...he just didn't trust this in a "new location". So he didn't qualify either day since he never completed that obstacle.
In Novice Jumpers With Weaves, he knocked one bar the first day. But the 2nd day, he ran clean & got his very first "Q" and a First Place.
Token didn't bring home any ribbons, but he had some really awesome runs; just one bar down in Jumpers both days, and in one standard run, I caused a refusal...otherwise, he did great, nailing his contacts & weaves just beautifully.
To commemorate Dandy's debut, I bought a lovely big print from the show photographer, Dog House Arts. It's a great shot of Dandy coming over the double jump, a wonderful memento!

March 22, 2008

In Memory of Robin

Merlynn's Running On Faith
LAA-Bronze, ADCH-Bronze, SACH-Gold, TM-Gold, JCH-Silver, SCH-Silver, MX, MXJ, CD

April 19, 1993 - March 22, 2008

Robin turned out to be one of my greatest teachers. He was not an easy dog to train, but that is why he taught me so much. He introduced me to sheep herding, which was his greatest desire. He convinced me to leave competitive obedience and focus on agility instead. And he was my portal to so many life lessons. He made an indelible impact on my life and he will always be with me in spirit.
I love you, Dinky Doody.

March 3, 2008

Flyball Tournament March 1-2, 2008

We trekked to New Hampshire for another Flyball tournament, and both Token & Dandy did great. Token ran full time on our Division 1 Regular team and we took 2nd place. Token ran half-time on our Division 1 Multi team, which also took a 2nd place. Token earned a total of 865 points over the weekend, inching closer to hitting 10,000 points for the FMX title. Less than 600 more points are needed, so maybe next month! Token continues to have an amazing boxturn, especially for such a big boy....a talent which he seems to have passed on to Dandy :-)

Dandy raced full-time for 2 days for the first time. This was just his 3rd tournament. He had 4 races per day, with a 3/5 format, and he was the start dog on our Division 3 Regular team, so he got plenty of racing time without being overfaced. This team of young, green dogs took a few races to get in sync but we got it together and pulled off a 2nd place!
Dandy earned a total of 462 points over the weekend, finishing his FDCH title, and he now needs just 48 points for the FDCH-Silver (1,000 pts).
And best of all, Dandy hit a new personal best time for himself with a 3.996! Again he's made me very proud!

Our next Flyball tournament will be in Dover, NH, in April.

February 24, 2008

Dandy's First Agility Match

February 24, 2008 - Today I took Dandy to his first Agility Match. I ran him on the Excellent course even though he's just a Novice. We need work on tunnel/contact discriminations but everything else was good! (Training issues edited out of video!) But he did a great job, I'm very very pleased!

February 6, 2008

February 2008 - Flyball

Pictured here is Dandy at practice.
February 2, 2008 - At a one-day Flyball tournament at All Dogs Gym in Manchester, NH, Dandy raced fulltime on our Regular Division 4 team, which took a 1st place. Dandy raced start position for the first time and he loved it! He raced equally well in both left and right lanes, with no issues. Other than just one bobbled ball, he raced like a seasoned dog. He averaged 4.18 and he posted a new personal-best time of 4.01 !
Token raced on both our Regular Division 2 and our Multi Division 1 teams. (A total of 9 races for the day) Our Regular team set a new record of 17.397 in our first heat of the day. However, since the break-out time was 17.4, we had to hold back a little for the rest of the day, but we did still take First Place in our division. Token raced the Start position on Multi & there he averaged a 4.18, with a best-time of 4.08 .
More Flyball to come in March!

January 2008

January 5-6, 2008 - Dandy made his official debut in Flyball at Fur Fun's tournament at Y2K9s in Pennsylvania. He shared a spot on our Regular Division 1 team with his papa Token. Dandy raced in 2 races on Saturday, and in one on Sunday, keeping him in the left lane as he had trouble switching to the right lane. But he did great in his comfortable left lane and earned his FD & FDX!And this team placed 2nd in Division 1 with a new team record of 17.6 .
This video shows Dandy (13 months old) learning his boxturn, with Token coaching in the background!