Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Agility

It seems like all we are doing these days is agility. That will change shortly as we venture go into obedience and tracking season.

Along with Lyric last week Whisper ran in Excellent as well. She earned another QQ-that makes 6 towards her MACH2 and she had lots of fun. My timing was off with Whisper too that weekend and we had a crash into each other. It cost us a refusal at the weavepoles and thus our QQ that day. It is frustrating in that no matter how much practice or walking the course, stupid mistakes happen. It makes it more understandable when the dogs make a mistake-they have bad days and timing too!

A few fun runs with Whisper

I love her victory leap/circle at the end of her last run.

Friday, December 23, 2011

New OA

Lyric has officially disliked agility since she got hurt in a tunnel 4.5 years ago. She also has always had a hard time with the tire jump-and I can't figure why or how to retrain it. She kicks the tire with her back feet and doesn't like it. She retired from agility thereafter to watch Whisper and Echo train. After watching for so long she seemed willing to try again so this fall I started splitting Echo's class with Lyric. She remembered everything we trained as a youngster and more. But agility is a game for the handler AND dog AND teamwork.

She ran Novice agility well but hesitant. As the courses got harder in Open I wasn't sure what she would do. She tried and tried hard and earned her title in three shows with three legs, one first place and two second places. Our teamwork was rusty and the second day we crashed into each other after the A frame but she kept trying and went on to make a particularly hard weavepole entrance.

By the third day she was obviously getting tired but still kept trying and qualified again with a second place. I realized she and I had never practiced a series of jumps to the table and then stick/stay the table. I noticed in the videos after jumps I would send her to the table tell her to stay and lean back as if to keep her on the table-well whatever it worked! She was able to jump and hold her table position.

I am as proud of Lyric's Open title knowing how hard it was for her to accomplish as I am of Whisper's runs.

And now for some much needed rest

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ch Aragon Morning Mist CD RA

When I went to Helen’s in early 2009 to decide on a puppy from Lyric’s litter, I was very interested in one that I could show in competitive obedience. All my other obedience trained Greyhounds were adults when I started with them--I really wanted to start with a puppy. At 8 weeks Becca was the puppy that followed me around Helen's yard. She would check in with me as we explored the back yard together. Since she obviously had chosen me how could I not choose her? So she came home with me at 9 wks of age.

After obedience classes and Rally competition, we decided to get “serious” and pursue her CD title. At the Greyhound Club Specialty in July, she went High in Trial with a score of 189, and then at the Greyhound Club of Northern California Specialty in October, she earned a 2nd place with a score of 192. At the Valley Hills All Breed Obedience Trial on December 10, Becca finished her CD title with a 184.5, and as a couple of extra “bonuses” thrown in, she earned a 3rd place in the Novice B class with 16 entries and was High Scoring Hound at the Trial that day. Thank you Becca, for making me so proud.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Darby Gets Published!!

A couple of months ago Kira Stackhouse of Nuena Photography contacted me about having one of my greyhounds be the AKC purebred representative in her new hardcover book Project Dog!

Kira is a very talented and creative photographer based in San Francisco. In June of 2011 she left her full-time marketing job to pursue this project, and it is completely a labor of love. Love for dogs!!! Kira had over 4,000 submissions from all over the country (and more than a few out of the country) Nearly 1,000 of those entries were from the SF/Bay area. Project Dog is a 'coffee table style' book that features over 170 purebred dogs, one page for the AKC registered representative, and the opposite page for the purebred rescue/adopted representative of the breed. The entire book is over 300 pages of beautiful photography and a complete question/answer biography for each chosen dog! We were SO HONORED that she chose us!!

We met Kira in San Francisco at the California Museum of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, the setting she chose for Darby's photo shoot. It was raining, of course.

San Francisco in October = rain. Yuck. But it didn't stop Darby's enthusiasm. He pranced and strutted around at the end of his leash and sighted every single squirrel in the park. He schmoozed Kira and anyone hardy enough to be out strolling in the rain. He slowed down just long enough to pose and have Kira shoot some photos through the rain. When we got home, dry and warm, Darby and I sat down and filled out the questionnaire for the biography and then sat back and waited. After a few days Kira sent us the proof for his page.

Here's Darby Crash's spread in the book;

All total, it took Kira over a year of hard work, but the book is finally done! It went to print about 4 weeks ago, and the first 100 copies were delivered for Project Dog's official launch party Saturday at Wags Hotel (a posh doggy daycare and overnight dog-care hotel) in San Francisco. Darby Crash was one of the 50 dogs chosen for the runway show at the peak of the party!! We'll get to pick up our copies of the book while we're there. I'm so tickled.....Darby is in a real book!

For any dog lover, greyhound or otherwise, this is a fantastic book. The photography is creative and professional, but what's even better are the biographies and personal stories of each and every dog in the book. You start out looking at the pictures of all the different breeds, but then you get drawn into each dog's unique story. Before you know it you've spent an hour reading and haven't really gotten past the breeds starting with the letter C! If you're interested in getting one for yourself or someone you know who loves dogs, go to The Project Dog Book Page (hyperlink to and order one. You will not be disappointed, and somewhere in there, Darby Crash will be staring back at you from his very own page! (by the way, if you flip through the sample spreads on the book order page, Darby's spread is the second sample!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Agility

The same weekend Lyric earned her NA Whisper earned 3 QQs and more class placements. When I started agility with Whisper my goal was to try to earn a MACH. Along the way agility has become so fun that we are now working on our MACH2. In the last 6 trials we have managed to earn 5 QQs and numerous points. It now is a game to see if we can beat our previous best times and to try more distance handling. Generally the two go hand in hand. We are getting faster but I find I handle more cautiously in a trial, especially if a QQ is possible, than in class. I need to learn to let go and let her fly. Agility is a learning game for the handler as well as the dog.

She seems to have more and more fun running agility as both she and I gain confidence and experience running together.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New NA and VCD1

Over Thanksgiving we had a three day agility trial. Since Lyric has been willing to run agility again I decided to enter her in Novice Standard. We have had tire issues-she hits it with her back feet-for years. I stopped showing her the tire until after she got her Excellent Jumpers title. She is now very willing to jump the tire but hits it with her back feet-it is not pretty.

Well she qualified all three days with all first places to earn her NA. She also earned her VCD1(CD+TD+NAJ+NA). She is only the fourth greyhound to earn this performance title.

She is now SBIS GCh Aryal Aroi Stoney Ridge VCD1 RE AXJ SC

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Puppies First Lure Course

So far most of Whisper's puppies have had a chance to see and run the lure. At this age(four months) of course the introduction to the lure is very brief- short with no turns. They get to chase and catch the lure-lots of fun and reward. They next get to see the lure many many months later. Below are brief clips of several of the puppies encounter with the lure. All but one puppy is ready to chase it!!

Aragon Northern Lights aka Breeze

Aragon Tidal Wave aka Kahlua

Aragon Desert Willow aka Willa

Aragon Full Moon Rising aka Riser

Aragon Wind In The Willows aka Willow

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Agility Fun

Last weekend when Lyric earned her AXJ was a three day weekend of agility. The trial started Friday night with Excellent only classes offer. The following two days offered all levels of competition. Not only did Lyric do well but Whisper had a blast running, earning her first two QQs towards her MACH2 and 96 MACH points.

She earned her fastest speed to date in Standard on the second day with this run. She was 27 seconds under course time.

I am happy she is excited AND holding her contacts so well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Agility Videos

Lyric earned her third Excellent Jumpers leg her first time back in the ring since her injury. She tore her lateral collateral toe ligament again last February and has been out for months with surgery and rehab. She doesn't like the hot weather-and Whisper had puppies this summer so we took a long break from agility.
This is her first attempt at her third leg. She did it and under course time.

I also ran Whisper in the same course-it feels strange to run two dogs in the same class now.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This weekend Whisper, Lyric and I went to a three day agility trial. As the weather was starting to cool down I decided to enter Lyric in agility again and see how she did. She earned her third leg with a second place and her AXJ title.

After the trial she was exhausted and required her beauty sleep!
Video to follow.

SBIS GCh Aryal Aroi Stoney Ridge CD TD RE AXJ SC

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Echo's Weekend

Echo had a great weekend at the DelValle Kennel Club and Greyhound Club of Northern California shows. On Saturday the Greyhound Club of Northern California had its specialty. It started the event with 6 obedience entries. Not only did Echo earn her first leg towards her CD her first time in the ring, she went High In Trial with a 198. Unfortunately the video got deleted. She may rival Whisper in obedience. Her sister Becca also earned her second leg towards her CD.

Then later in the day was conformaton. Echo earned an Award of Merit. Her brother Darby went Best Op Sex and her sister Bryn went Select Bitch. So it was all in the family.

The next day was DelValle Kennel Club the all breed dog show. Echo was entered in Rally Excellent and earned her third leg for her Rally Excellent title with a three tie for first place. Way to go Echo. I think she is starting to grow up.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Emma and Goose are learning some new skills for their future performance careers. Big dogs have to learn how to handle their bodies in both obedience and agility.
Costa and Janet have taught both of them how to handle and move their rear legs independant of the front legs. Last week Donna and I went over to visit them and the puppies immediately ran to the stool to show off what they have learned. They love playing this game. I like to call it the "stool dance".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Puppy Reunion

The Whisper pups are growing and getting into mischief.  They recently had a small reunion at Helen's house.  We thought you might enjoy some pics of them getting together and playing. They really enjoyed the chance to run and frolic together again!

The puppies are 13 weeks in these pictures and weigh around 30lbs.   The only two puppies that are not represented in these photos are Willa (Smudge/Jewels) who moved to New Mexico and Bruce (MJ) who is in Washington state.

Friday, October 7, 2011


With all the puppies off to their new home, things are settling down in the house and I can start focusing on my dogs again. Since Whisper's MACH runs haven't been posted yet I will start with a little bit about them.

Whisper was back competing in agility exactly 9 weeks to the day after having and raising 9 puppies. We had exactly one lesson of practice together since mid June when she started feeling pregnant. I went into the ring with very little expectations of a QQ and was amazed she and I could do it. We look alittle rusty together, not quite reading each others cues but she is an amazing dog and pulled it off.

The MACH has been the hardest title I have put on a dog-and the most fun.
I am so proud of you Whisper!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Puppies New Homes

At eight weeks the puppies started leaving for their new homes. It was a sad day to see them leave but a happy day to know new families were waiting to add them to their life and home.

MJ now known as Aragon Helios Blue Spruce or "Bruce" is owned by Sheryl Bartel and Chris Mott of Helios greyhounds. He has several great aunts(dogs) to teach him the ropes.

Little Wisp now known as Aragon Northern Lights or "Breeze" is staying with me.

Brodie now known as Aragon ??? or "Goose" and Bluebell now known as Aragon Emerald Hills or "Emma" are now running the home of Costa Colbert and Janet Stringer.

Dove now know as Aragon Tidal Wave or "Kahlua Kai" is owned by Shelby Bond. She is her first show dog and she is looking forward to to venturing into the show world.

Jewels or Smudge(she has two names) is now known as Aragon Desert Storm or "Freyja". She is owned by the Janice and Ed Senior who also have Lyric's two brothers. She is waiting to go to her new home soon.

Bret is now known as Aragon Full Moon Rising or "Riser". He is owned and loved by Marie and Tommy Hamilton who also have his relative Bryn.

Batman now known as Aragon Eye of the Storm or "Thor" and Midnight now known as Aragon Wind in the Willows or "Willow" are are owned and loved by the Catherine and Leonard Dumas as well as Haley and Drew. The puppies may teach Drew and Haley how to be Junior Handlers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Whisper got her MACH!

Today, Whisper earned the final QQ she needed for her MACH!  This makes her only the third greyhound to earn a MACH and the first greyhound with a conformation championship to earn a MACH!
MACH Ch Aragon Lunar Eclipse VCD2 TDX RE JC

 More details about the trial and hopefully some pictures and video will be forthcoming!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breeze and Freyja

And then there were two. All the puppies have left for their new homes but Freyja(aka Jewels) and of course my puppy Breeze(aka Little Wisp-collar on). In the next post all the new owners and their puppies will be presented.
In the meantime the two puppies are having a blast playing and chasing each other.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Final Week

The pups have been busy growing and gaining independence.  Here are a few short videos and photos of what they have been up to.

Developing their gymnast skills.

Perfecting their future agility star skills.

Learning to eat raw food.

Honing their wrestling skills.

Spending quality time playing with Mom.

Taking lots of naps to conserve energy for use at their new homes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A busy busy day

The puppies had a very busy day today!

They had their first outing. We put 2 pups at a time in a crate in the van and drove them to a local pet store. Each pup rode in a shopping cart (to minimize exposure to pathogens) for a trip around the store. Lots of treats were dispensed and they got to meet some very friendly strangers too. It was interesting to compare their reaction to this trip with the scores they received on their puppy temperament test (they were tested using Shelia Booth's Positive Puppy Preview).

Once they came home they got to play in a tunnel. These puppies are developing a real respect for agility equipment!

In addition the tunnel, they have have some balance discs in their pen. They have been romping on them all week. Today we gave some of them treats for getting all 4 feet up on the balance disc so that we could get some decent video. They seemed to really enjoy the challenge of getting on and staying on!

With so much activity, everyone crashed out at the end of the day. Tomorrow will bring another adventure!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seven Weeks and Counting!

The pups are now 7 weeks old. They have one more week with the puppy pack before they go to their new homes.

Here is a day in the life of an Aragon puppy.

Greeting old friends and getting to know new ones.

Playing with siblings.

Eating together as a family.

Learning some lessons from Mom.

Ending a busy day with a nap.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ch Aragon Mystic Pearl

Bryn earned her championship last weekend at the Reno Kennel Club shows! This makes Lyric's litter an all champion litter.

She was a beautiful puppy!

She is a gorgeous adult!

Congrats to Marie, Tom and Bryn for achieving this goal!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Puppy party!

Whisper's litter enjoyed a puppy party. It's a great way to socialize the pups with other people. A few the soon to be owners were there trying to get a feel for who each the pups are and to think about which one might be coming home with them!

Here are a variety of of pics of the pups enjoying the party! They are a tad over 4 weeks here.