Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New MX title

The blog has been so busy with updates on conformation I haven't had time post Whisper's agility accomplishments. At her last trial she earned two more Standard legs and her MX. She is now Ch Aragon Lunar Eclipse VCD1 MX MXJ RE JC. She earned another QQ as well. It would have been two except she broke her start stay and started coming after me. I tried to quickly move into the lead out pivot and promptly fell on the wet grass. Oh well the grass was wet and she came over to find out why I was on the ground. Unfortunately she had to miss a jump to get to me. Bummer. She is getting too confident or excited in agility and we are starting to lose our sit stay at the start line. Always something to work on.

The last two agility trials I haven't had anyone to video our runs so I am posting some earlier runs we had. Hopefully handling is getting better!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Champion

The drive out to Texas was worth it! Darby went Winners Dog and Best of Winners for a 4 point major. He is the third puppy in Lyric's litter to finish his championship. He is now officially Ch Aragon Aroi Silver Lining.

It was an exhausting full packed weekend with showing and lure coursing.

We all have to catch up with Donna and Aragon Morning Mist on their obedience/rally training. We need to start working on titles behind their names as well.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leaving California, Ft Worth Here We Come

Tuesday we were on the road for 14 hours, from Sunol, CA (home) to Winslow, AZ. We stopped for 'brunch' at Harris Ranch off of I-5 and found out that they serve tri-tip sandwiches darn near all day! Yay for that!! We stretched our legs and got gas, then hit the road for Arizona. We stopped for a moment near Tehachapie to get pictures of the poppies, fiddleneck and lupine in full bloom, this is one time of the year these hills will be green. We stopped again in the Mohave desert to stretch our legs again (it's the only way to drive this alone, move around as much as possible). Darby discovered lizards and fuzzy little pill bugs in the desert. No rattlesnakes or jacks, and I'm really okay with that.

So much for not lollygagging in California. We said goodnight to the California desert and crossed into Arizona at dusk. Welcome to night driving. I don't like night driving, but it seemed to be a way to buy myself daylight hours for Wednesday, so we drove straight through to Winslow. We stopped in Kingman for some really really bad lukewarm road coffee and a clean bathroom. Then again in Seligham for gas and more coffee, just as bad but at least hot. It was so cold Darby didn't want to pee, but he had held it for 9 hours, and didn't really have a choice. He did what I call a TannerPee.....one of those embarrassingly long drainings (a la Tanner at Del Valle fall specialty), it was really cold so we tucked back in the warm van and pushed on. There was quite a bit of snow in Flagstaff, which is at 7500 feet, and it was horribly cold (30 degrees). Flagstaff turned me around a little, with "old historic Route 66" and the faster "route 40/route 66" but no worries, a rather remedial gas station attendant set us straight and we pulled into Winslow, exhausted, at 11:30. Today we go to Amarillo by way of Albuquerque, NM. But first, breakfast. I will say this, Darby is an EXCELLENT travel companion. He eats well, is great company and doesn't mess with the settings on the radio. Good dog!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Road Trip to the Southern Specialty

I've Been Everywhere, Man......(as told by Darby's owner Lisa)

As Johnny Cash sings it, I doubt we will ever be able to claim that, but we're going to give it our best shot. Back at the end of January I decided that I was going to the GCA southern specialty in Ft. Worth Texas. It was a spontaneous decision, and a resolute one. I was going, I didn't bother to check and see who else was going like I usually do. A lot of my show attendance decisions in the past have been strongly influenced by the company I'd be keeping and how many dogs were going (logical). This decision wasn't based on anything other than my pride and strong held confidence in Darby, I didn't care who else was going. Well, that and my need for a road trip. :)

I've been so excited about this roadtrip, I started packing last week, even though we don't leave until Tuesday. It takes 26 hours to get to Ft. Worth, I'm giving us plenty of time to enjoy the drive. Today I packed my suitcase, and when the suitcase comes out, the dogs are 100% gung-ho with me. They're absolutely sure we're leaving TODAY. Andretti was so sure he planted himself in the big empty suitcase and refused to budge. He's never done that before, I think he might be a genius to have figured it out: suitcase = going away with the mom-lady, so therefore, I'll just be in the suitcase.

After I removed Andretti, Darby decided to see if there was something to this suitcase idea. I can't believe he actually fit. Later, after my camera battery died, he trotted off and came back with his favorite toy and proceeded to try and fit himself and the toy in the suitcase. It didn't work out too well; it's a big toy and he couldn't get it to fit.

But I do think it makes his butt look a little big, maybe something in black would be better?

The two of them played "Going on a Roadtrip" while I packed.

I'm not sure how I'm going to tell Dretti he's not going, it's not going to go over well. But I'm sure Darby will be thrilled to learn he won't be traveling Suitcase Class.

I'll be updating during the roadtrip. It starts Tuesday and we hope to be in Winslow by evening. Ha ha ha, we shall see but the California portion is pretty boring so lollygagging should be kept to a minimum. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Becca and Straight Racing

Becca went to her first straight race for a fun run and had a great time!!
Here's photo of her peering over the top of the x-pen, trying to figure out what all the excited barking by the other dogs was all about. She then got to stand on the side lines and watch a few runs, to give her an idea about what she was about to experience. Her first run was "interesting"--she took off as soon as the lure was moving and she was released, only to make a detour (still running at full speed!!) over to a group of spectators on the side lines to say "hi", then continued on chasing the lure without missing a beat. Her second run was more intense--she was released beyond where the spectators were standing. It was flat out running for Becca this time--no detours for "visiting" purposes; she was totally focused on the lure.

Another fun thing about the day--some folks had set up a few agility items nearby the straight racing. Since this feature was unanticipated, I didn't have any treats with her to reward Becca for her efforts at agility.
Despite this, Becca went over the jumps, went through the tunnel a couple of times and as shown in the photo, sat on the make shift table. She seemed to remember these things from her puppy socialization class. She received lots of verbal praise for doing her little agility course--next time, treats will
definitely be taken along for rewards.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Champion!

Tanner, finished his championship on March 14! He is the second in the litter to finish. It is amazing how quickly he finished! He earned 3 majors, one best of breed and one puppy group 3 along the way. I wonder what his future holds?

One thing's for sure, it's gonna be fun!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Greyhounds Are Versatile Part 2

Darby loving the snow

Becca imitating a giraffe.

Then there is Pearl. Pearl is my girl.

She is not lucky enough to be in dog shows. I am disabled. She has a yard to run in with her pal JD. It has taken a whole year to get JD to play tug of toy with her but Pearl finally taught him. Even though JD and Pearl don't get to run in the highlands or go to shows, they exercise each other and have a great life. Greyhounds will exercise themselves in whatever space they have - they will run a track of their own making in a small or large yard. Of course the track always varies and is a lot more fun when there are two or more greyhounds chasing each other


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Greyhounds Are Versatile Part 1

Poppy has been a long time friend and owns Pearl(Aragon Mystic Pearl). She has known me through my original greyhounds and all subsequent generations. When I first met Poppy she owned Weimaraners and Beagles. Owning a greyhound wasn't something she had considered. Through our friendship she learned about the breed. She has helped raise and socialize litters, helped through their illnesses and puppy placements. In fact when I think back through my years with the dogs, Poppy frequently comes to mind. Many years ago she moved across the country to be nearer to her family. When she lost her last greyhound Angel(Aragon Shimmering Mist) she was on the list for another puppy from Lyric. Below is her story of her involvement and thoughts on greyhounds.

Greyhounds are wonderful dogs. A lot of people think that greyhounds need a lot of space to run all of the time but that is not always the case. Some get to run in the great outdoors, up hill and down dale. Lyric(mom),Whisper(cousin)and Dede(friend).

Jesse(aunt) and Merlin(father)

Some have their own sand pit to play in at home - Lyric, Whisper and Apollo.

Beautiful and lucky greyhounds have families that work a lot with them and take them to dog shows and show them off and get their championships with them. - Lyric, Darby Crash, Echo, Tanner, and Becca.

Some are lucky enough to sleep on the furniture. - Tanner and Ember.

To Continue in Part 2

Saturday, March 13, 2010

And Then There Were Three

Three cats that is. Nutmeg aka Sassy joined my other two cats in the greyhound household. I feel so sorry for all the adult shelter cats that don't have a chance to be adopted simply because they are adults. Nutmeg was at the same shelter as Bacchus for years-no one wanted her because she was a slightly overweight sedate girl. Her owner went into a retirement home and hoped Town Cats would be able to find a home for her. Well after two years she finally found her home. Now she has to learn to live with greyhounds. Because she is so mellow she should fit right in. Greyhounds are more likely to accept a cat if they don't run or dart away. One nice thing about adopting cats from a noncage shelter is that they usually tolerate other cats quite readily.

She has already met and accepted the other cats Bacchus and Cleo and they her.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raw Diet

The past year I switched my adult dogs to a raw food diet. After hearing and reading other people's experiences with raw foods I thought I would give it a one month trial. One month extended to two and then three months. One year later I am still feeding a raw diet. As the food trial continued I have been looking into sources to get less expensive cuts of meat than the grocery store. The small tidy cellophane wrapped packages of meat have given way to buying bulk and distibuting into smaller portions.

With bulk buying though you never know quite what you will get. This time I ordered 40# of young turkey legs. DeDe's head is a model of the size of the legs. If these are young turkey legs I can't imagine a full grown turkey.

Since the leg is as a big as a greyhound head maybe the turkey is a big as the dog?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tannerlocks and the dog door

My dad used to tell a story about a boy who was given a baby calf to raise. The short version of the story is that every day the boy picked up the calf. The calf grew quickly and before long the boy was picking up a 500lb steer every day. The change was gradual enough that he never really noticed.

I can tell you a similar story about Tanner. And, No, I have not been picking him up every day! When we moved into this house, there was already a dog door in the laundry room. The folks who owned the house before us had Min Pins. I thought it would be great door for the cat, Ember. The door is a little bit bigger than she needs but she never complains.

I keep Tanner and Shine separated during the day and I thought it might be nice to give Shine access to a part of the yard during the day. This door is just right!

This door gives us quicker access to the back yard and as a puppy, Tanner used it often. However, I had hoped that he would outgrow it so the cat and Shine could have an escape route from Tanner. Alas, like the boy and the calf, Tanner grew slowly enough that he does not seem deterred despite the fact that he is way too big for this door!

Please don't feel sorry for Tanner, he has his own Tanner-sized door in his room. For him, that door is just right!