Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Walk

Years ago I used to hike my dogs a lot-several times a week. Over time I have gotten out of the habit of hiking and letting them free run. Christmas Day I decided to change this, I contacted a few friends and off we went hiking. We had a pack of 6 greyhounds, one golden retriever and 3 people.

It was a lovely walk until we met up with some fresh cow manure. Darby investigated it first-rolled and then proceeded to shake, flinging it everywhere.

Lisa had a great attitude about it saying all she had to do was walk across the road to go home and hose him off,  Terry and I were secretly  happy it wasn't our dogs. I looked over in horror and realized Echo was doing the same thing. It didn't show as well on her since she is a dark brindle. But she was covered as thoughly....and I did have to put her in the car to take her home! It smelled bad.
 Maybe that is why I stopped hiking them????

The rest of the walk was lovely and the dogs went home and slept the rest of the day. A good dog is a tired dog. I will have to add hiking back into our routine.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ch Aragon Full Moon Rising-Group 4 (as told by Marie Hamilton)

The recent weekend in Woodland, CA could be classified as a ”BAD day GOOD day” event.
Saturday, Riser could be described as a “bug on a hot griddle”! He was not a happy camper. He took the Breed and went to the Regular group with a Junior (Sydney) handling him. I hope she still wants to show dogs after that experience!! I had to take him in the Owner-handled group and I was wondering why!!  He never calmed down.
I was reluctant to go back on Sunday. We showed at 0830 and it was cold and the grass was still wet. But, he must have decided to give up and just go with it. When the Judge approached him with a “Well, Hello Big Boy”, he just held his free stack like a PRO!
He took the Breed with a 4 point major toward his Grand Champion title and was qualified to go to Groups again.  The Hound group wasn’t until after 6PM. We went home, rested, played, and returned around 530.  He did nothing in the regular group, but managed to hold his free stack throughout the Owner-Handled Group and was placed 4th in the group.
I think the key to his performance is the old adage “a Tired dog is a Good Dog”
That worked for him. (and ME)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Obedience Adventures of Brego (the Aragon “honorary” dog) and Becca

Brego added two performance titles to the end of his name--his Beginner Novice title in 3 straight trials and his CD title in 3 straight all-breed trials including two High Scoring Hound awards and two second and one third placements.  The last 2 trials (Valley Hills Obedience Club) included very challenging weather for a Greyhound—it was rainy and cold the first day, 37 degrees with blustery rain and the second day there was frost on the ground—of course, both ring times were 8 AM!!! By the second day the ring was nothing but mud and the club laid down sawdust over most of the ring. Definitely not something we had trained for. However both days he willing lay on the ground for the required 3 minutes.  He performed like a real trooper and now is called GCH Aroi Aryal Remarkable BN CD !!

Becca was entered in Graduate Novice at the Valley Hills Trials as well. She came so close both days. The first day she didn't drop in the rain. She was in good company as neither would Darby nor Echo . The second day a low flying jet flew overhead when she was called, with the noise she missed the command.  Next time for sure!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grand Champion Aragon Desert Willow aka Frejya

Our adventure started Dec 7-8 on a cold early morning. With only 5 more points needed to finish her Grand Championship we were ready to make it happen.

 We gave Frejya her mani/pedi, gave her a bath, and she was ready to go. With our “official” assistant (a neighbor’s 10-year-old granddaughter), we piled in our ancient Land Cruiser and headed off before sunrise to the Clark County Event Center. It was snowy, and a balmy 14 degrees; so we made good use of 4WD to get there. We were excited, because Freyja might be able to finish her Grand Championship.

We arrived at our Event Center ring just in time for the 08:00 Saturday kickoff. Freyja showed well, especially considering her long layoff between shows. And with Tawnya’s able handling, she got a 1-point BOS. On Sunday morning, we headed out again in the cold and dark. Our second effort was rewarded with a 4-point BOB, another major, and Freyja’s GCH. Yay! 

Perhaps now onto other venues-will it be lure coursing? agility? obedience? rally? tracking?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Breeze's First Excellent Standard Agility Leg

Breeze earned her first excellent standard agility leg on October 17, 2013.  Two days later she won Best of Breed at the Northern California Greyhound Club Fall Regional Specialty. She is smart, agile and beautiful!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Greyhound Club of Northern California fall specialty

I thought I would wait until I received Breeze's win photo to post this blog. But it hasn't arrived so far and now it seems like so long ago.

So a belated post to brag Breeze won the specialty. The photo of her is from last year though. The entry was very good this year-25 dogs excluding Sweeps and Obedience. Since I thought the judge would like Echo I gave Breeze to my obedience trainer to handle in the show. Terry has working Goldens and never shows in conformation. I gave her a 10 minute lesson after my obedience session the week before the specialty. Guess I am a pretty good teacher!!!!
Aragon kennels did very well. In addition to Breeze's Best of Breed win, "Darby" GCH Aragon Aroi Silver Lining CD RE owned by Lisa Stine went Best of Opposite Sex. Winners Bitch for a 4 point major was a Whisper puppy Aragon Tidal Wave aka "Lou" owned by Shelby Bond.
Select Dog was GCH Aragon Helios Blue Spruce aka "Bruce" owned by Sheryl Bartel.
Select Bitch was BISS GCH Aragon Black Ice VCD1 RE AX AXJ JC aka "Echo" owned and handled by me!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scary Halloween

Breeze and company wish everyone a Happy Halloween

Monday, October 21, 2013

Obedience That Almost Was

This past weekend was the Greyhound Club of Northern California fall specialty in Pleasanton California.
Conformation results will be posted in a separate blog-pictures not available yet.
The morning started with a nice obedience entry-1 Utility, 2 Open, 1 Graduate Novice and 1 Beginner Novice.
Unfortunately only the Beginner Novice qualified.
Below are the videos of the dog's performance starting with Utility.

This was Whisper's first attempt at Utility and my first time in the Utility ring. Normally the Directed Jumping is her best exercise-but not that day. She was qualifying until that exercise. Big big Bummer.

Next was Open A. Again two good attempts by Darby and Echo. Both dogs NQed on the Drop on Recall. The drop was on the cold wet grass in the shade. Almost a certainty to not perform. In fact all three dogs, both Open A and Graduate Novice would not drop.

Echo and Helen

Darby and Lisa

Next was Graduate Novice with Donna
Again the Drop on Recall was her undoing. The shade, the cold wet grass was too much.

No video for Beginner Novice but Brego and Donna qualified.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New OA and OAJ

Breeze competed again  in agility mid  September. It was a two day trial and all we needed was one Open Jumpers leg and One Open Standard leg for her title. She did it!!!!
However it is very obvious she has several weakness still that we need to work on.
Her contacts are great! Her tunnel send is great! Her enthusiasm is great!
Other than that everything needs work. And I need to remember who she is and she doesn't know.
Weavepoles entrances need ALOT of work, reading each others cues needs ALOT of work. Serps, rear crosses, front crosses, send outs all need to worked on.

The next level of competition is Excellent. Not only are the courses significantly harder but NO mistakes are allowed. We are not ready but have so much fun together we want to keep going. So our next trial is in one week.......Even if we don't Q we will have fun and learn to work as a team.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Breeze Debut in Open Agility

We have been so busy I have had no time to update the blog. Between training all the dogs, competing, and working I am having a hard time keeping current.

On the Aug 23 weekend Breeze made her debut in Open Agility as well as competing in Rally. After running back and forth between rings, I was exhausted by the end of the weekend. She had a three day trial and earned two Open Jumpers and two Open Standard legs that weekend. Not bad for a baby dog.
However as the levels get higher the skills needed get more difficult.

Weavepole entrances is what caused our initial failure in the course on both NQs. Definitely something to work on. Another problem encountered the first day in Standard was her apprehension of going into the chute. The first day we never did succeed.  After the trial was over I borrowed a chute without the tunnel portion and got her through finally with enthusiasm. But you can see my nervousness as the chute approaches in the course. Luckily she went through although not as quickly and willingly as I would have liked. I suspect the lightening of the arena was the cause.

The first run of the weekend was Open Jumpers. She had an awesome course with a speed of 5.95 yds/sec. My goal is to someday break 6 yds/sec. So close and of course no video! The rest of the runs that weekend were not as spectacular. In agility success is based on teamwork. The dog and handler have to read each others cues and know what each other is saying. This takes a long time and many many runs together. She is doing fabulous but I still need to remember she doesn't read me well and I don't read her well yet either.

The below videos are our first weekend together at this level. I apologize for the first Open Std video. If I only knew how to edit videos......I got into the ring too early and should have walked out but I stayed and started playing with her in the ring. I was nervous about starting with the chute so was trying to make her happy and excited. The run starts well into that video.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ch Aragon Northern Lights TD NA NAJ RN

This past weekend at Mensona Kennel Club I had Breeze entered in Rally and Agility two out of three days. It seemed so reasonable on the entry form to enter both events. I was at the show anyway so why not do both? Of course the events were at opposite ends of the fairgrounds. And of course there was a ring conflict both days.

How likely is it in the entire day both events I was entered in were at the same time. As this always happens you would think I would learn....

Breeze did super in both Rally and Agility. She earned her second and third Rally Novice legs and thus her Rally Novice title. I love her attention, fronts we need to work on!!

And her third Rally Novice leg

Next post will be about her  Open agility debut

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breeze NA NAJ or Bendy Breeze

Breeze earned her NA and NAJ titles at the agility trials in Livermore Ca Aug 3 and 4th. She is fast and fun to handle. I have learned a lot of handling from her mother Whisper but I also made many mistakes. I hope to improve my handling with Breeze. Two mistakes that plagued Whisper and I throughout her career was holding contacts and lead outs from the table.

By the time I realized I had a problem it was almost too late to fix them. With Breeze I vowed to teach her early on what I wanted in a trial.

In her second and third Novice Standard videos you will notice I am trying to leave her on the table and lead out. I am nervous to go very far, when dogs are in a trial their adrenaline is high and they are almost hyper responsive. At least at the Novice level you can make two mistakes and still qualify. Her contacts have been excellent until the last contact of the third Standard run-the dog walk. She jumps off to follow me to the tunnel. Allowing her to do this would lead to earlier and earlier leaving  or to jump the contact zone entirely which is what happened with Whisper. So instead of making a big deal of the mistake , a simple Uh Oh!! and stop running for a second or two will hopefully correct the problem.

Now on to Open which allows only one mistake per run!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Western Sighthound Combined Greyhound Specialty

The Western Sighthound Combined Specialty in Lompoc is a yearly event. The Greyhound Club of America has the Western Greyhound Specialty at this site. On Friday July 27 2013 we had our conformation and obedience specialty.

Best of Breed was GCH Aroi Aryal Remarkable aka "Brego"and his owner Donna Arcaro.  A big congratulations to both of them. Brego has long been a favorite of mine so much so that he is the father of the Whisper puppies.

In obedience Echo did super-her first time in the Open A ring and she went High In Trial with a 196. This was especially suprising since she had been in bandages with a lacerated toe, then a broken tail, then another lacerated toe. She had been in bandages for at least 6 weeks before the specialty, hence minimal to no practice. Stitches came out and bandage off 4 days before the specialty. We quickly had to practice our teamwork.

Breeze also had her first attempt at Rally. In obedience I always start my dogs off with Rally. It is much easier and more interactive than regular obedience. She also did a great job earning her first Rally Novice leg with a perfect score of 100.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ch Aragon Full Moon Rising JC

Riser is  now 2 years old and a new Champion and has his JC. But he is definitely still a PUPPY. His  two main pastimes are sleeping and running through the backyard corn and through the peach tree branches.  Of course, Bryn is right behind him!!!!
Bryn and Riser ran a fun lure course of about 200 yds at the Ferndale show and I am still hearing about the greyhounds that ran that night. People with other breeds don’t get the opportunity to see them run as nature intended.
He gets a lot of attention at the shows due to his red brindle coloring and very glossy coat and, of course, his height. He is quite tall and so his other name is “legs”.
As for the sleeping, he waits patiently until I am in bed and then proceeds to bring his night time toy to bed and lays his head on my shoulder and goes to sleep. Fortunately, when he gets hot, he  moves to the foot of the bed.  What a relief !!
He is the most loving greyhound of all my greys.  He seems to think it is his job to keep everyone in shape. That certainly includes me.
We love him and thank Helen and Whisper and Brego for the opportunity to enjoy him
Tom and Marie