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