Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lompoc Day 3

This was our last day at the shows in Lompoc and we had an 8 AM ringtime once again. Although everyone showed well, we didn't take any ribbons home.

Nonetheless, here are a couple more pictures from the show to share with you.

Once that was done, we took time to take a family picture. It was really great to have so many members of the Aragon Family together!

Then we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel to pack up the van.

The hounds slept soundly on the way home.

We really enjoyed our time in Lompoc. It was fun to be there with puppies with so much future to look forward to! I wonder what next year will bring? Regardless, it is sure to be fun!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lompoc Lure Coursing (Day 2 Part 2)

We went to the lure coursing trial to watch the dogs run and see what the puppies think of the lure.

The puppies hung out most of the day and watched and waited for their turn to run.

Lyric really, really wanted to run but is still recovering from a jammed toe so she didn't get to.

All the puppies got to run a short straight and they all loved it! Here are pictures of the boys. They were very intent!

When it was all done they crashed in the car on the way back to the hotel.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lompoc - Day 2 part 1

Today wasn't our day at the conformation show. That's okay. We did some shopping and then retired back to the hotel for naps and snacks. We are going lure coursing this afternoon so the pups can have some fun. We will let each of them run a short straight and will post pictures later today. Meanwhile, here are some cute pictures of Tanner in the hotel room after the show.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A brief review of the big day

We will post more thoroughly about the specialty in the days to come. Meanwhile, we still have two more days of shows and fun! Here is a quick run down and a bunch of pictures from the specialty.

First up was obedience. Both Lyric and Andretti qualified with really nice scores. Lyric took High in Trial!

Next up was sweeps. Tanner won his sweeps class and Echo won hers. Echo went on to win best puppy at the specialty.

In the classes Sterling beat Tanner but was still too puppyish to go any further. Both boys showed well, got lots of great comments, and had a great time! Here is a picture of Sterling gaiting in the classes.

The girls went in next. Becca showed well despite the fact that she displayed some puppy antics in the ring. Right now, the most important thing is that the puppies learn to enjoy the show ring.

Echo also showed well and had a great time as is evidenced by the following pictures.

We were all surprised and pleased when she managed to work her way up to Winners Bitch! Here she is getting her picture taken after the show.

In the end, Lyric won Best Opposite and Echo went Best of Winners (5 point major)! Lyric also won Best Brood Bitch and it was fun to have all four puppies in the ring with their mom.

After the day was over, everyone took their prizes and headed back to the hotel room for some much needed rest.

The only thing that could have made the day better was if Pearl and Poppy would have been able to join us. We know they were with us in spirit!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All together now!

Everyone has arrived in Lompoc safe and sound. We set up at ring side, ate dinner, spent some time playing and are now headed for bed. The show starts tomorrow at 8 AM. We will update as soon as we can. However, wifi is a bit spotty so bear with us!

We will also post pics of everyone together as soon as we can.

The reunion begins!

Yesterday, after a grueling 10 hour drive, Tanner arrived on Echo's doorstep. We were curious to see if he would remember the house where he was born and raised for the first 8 weeks of his life. We also wondered if he would remember Helen, his breeder. It was hard to tell. He greeted Helen with enthusiasm but it was hard to tell if he remembered her. He met his mom, sister and cousin in the back yard. It didn't take long for him and Echo to take off running around the yard and playing!

We are looking forward to greeting Becca and Sterling when we get to Lompoc later today. The big specialty show is tomorrow. We are thinking about Pearl and wishing she was able to join us this weekend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beauty, Brains AND Flexibility!!!

Becca is shown in a free stack getting ready for the Lompoc shows. Donna has been faithfully taking her to handling class and they BOTH are making progress!!

Becca is also learning to retrieve as is shown in the video. Donna has been using a couple of different toys--the latest one is in the shape of a doughnut, but it doesn't seem to bother Becca that it's not in the shape of a dumb bell. She catches on rather quickly to new things she's being taught, especially when there is a treat involved at the end.

It appears that Becca is chasing her tail in the "U-Turn" photo, but actually it was her playing with some of her Borzoi friends. Looks like she'll be able to take those turns in future lure coursing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sterling's First Show

Sterling's first show (as well as Echo's) was Del Monte in Carmel Valley. I decided to get Andretti's CD the same show, so the weekend had potential to be very very good for the boys. With an ungodly show time of 8am both Saturday and Sunday and a 2 hour drive time, it was a pretty easy decision to stay in a hotel near Carmel. Carmel is such a nice place to visit, this was a weekend we were really looking forward to. The accomodations were fabulous at the Mariposa Inn in Monterey. Andretti's traditional hotel routine is to immediately jump up on the bed and bounce long and hard for little bit to prep it for our stay, of course Sterling was more than willing to help. We got video of this:

Saturday morning was perfect, the weather was wonderfuly cool and the dogs were relaxed and comfortable. Watching Sterling calmly accepting all the hustle and bustle of the dog show without blinking an eye justified every minute we spent walking around Berkeley, going to street fairs and busy parks and sitting at outside cafes desensitizing him to crowds and noise. I was even more pleased when he moved easily into the ring to be judged, stacked and held it, greeted the judge with a puppy smile, didn't flinch or move during examination and then gaited his way perfectly to Winners Dog, Best of Winners and Best Op. for a 3 point major!! He even held his stack (albeit briefly and not without a lot of fiddling and puppy-fidgiting) for his win photo! What an amazing way to start his show career!

After obedience with Andretti, and hanging out for Best Puppy In Show competition (which made for a very long day for the baby) we went out for a late lunch at Forge in the Forest with Sheila and her dog Treasure, and Helen and her kids. Andretti and Sterling were so exhausted, it wasn't hard to be well behaved. They mostly snoozed through lunch, occasionaly waking up to take cookies from one of the servers and of course to admire Sheila's Banana Cream pie. We all admired Sheila's banana cream pie, it was fabulous.

Sunday was a good day as well. Both Echo and Sterling got one point each and showed like puppy-pros. The handling classes Helen and I have been going to weekly paid off in spades this weekend. I also think that the constant and random stacking that Sterling and I do everyday is making it second nature for him. We still have a ways to go, but he just keeps impressing me more and more everyday!!!! Andretti got his CD on Sunday, complete with flopping over on his side and sleeping through the long down. And then promptly got stung by a bee going back into the ring for awards. He placed 4th in a group of 9 with a 187. Overall, a very very successful weekend! Thanks to the help of no less than a dozen dog show people, Andretti recovered quickly and Art the Husband came down for lunch and a trip to the beach after the show. Sterlings first trip to the beach was a blast! He played with other dogs and tried to drink the ocean.....this litter LOVES WATER!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Additional pictures!

I added some additional pictures to the previous post. Those of you that checked in right after I posted the entry may have missed the new pics. Check them out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sterling and Echo's first show

This weekend both Echo and Sterling were entered in Del Monte Kennel Club show as a test run for Lompoc. Both Lisa and I have been working hard to teach the puppies how to show for the big sighthound show the end of July. The puppies were wild with excitement when we first arrived at the show grounds-so many people so little time to meet and greet. Both dogs did quite
well in the ring and both took Winners Dog and Winners Bitch from the 6-9 mth puppy class both days. The first day the puppies got their first points and first major! Sterlings performance will be chronicled by Lisa.

I quickly learned with Echo one thing we need to stop working on is sitting for treats. In the ring when we stopped for the judge to go over the dog she quickly sat and looked up at me for her reward. I repositioned her and she again quickly sat. We did this several times-the judge was not laughing so I did and said well she is confused about what ring she is in. At least it made him smile. Except for the sitting thing she did great and I was really proud of her. When we went into the ring and stacked, I miscalculated and stacked too soon. This is a hard thing for a puppy to hold still that long and I should have repositioned her to give her a break. I kept thinking the judge would turn around so made her hold her position. It turned out we must have stood that way for 2-3 minutes. She was so good. Her gaiting was perfect. Lompoc here we come!!

Lyric showed equally well both days but Best of Breed went to another dog both days. Whisper wasn't entered but went along for moral support.

After the conformation it was up to the obedience ring to watch Andretti try for his third leg for his CD. Although he did super in the individual exercises the group sits and down were too much for him and he laid down to rest. Ah well there was always the next day. We then went over to the shade and lined up all the dogs for a group down stay and photo session. It is nice to have obedience trained dogs. Even puppies should be able to handle this. It was a little hard though since it was a new area and strange dogs kept walking around. However the picture proves all can do it.

Then it was time for some human fun. Some of the greyhound exhibitors went with us to Forge in the Valley, a lovely little dog friendly restaurant in Carmel Valley. Dogs are allowed to be with their owners on the patio. I think only at a dog show would one find 6 greyhounds, two Gt Danes, one Bernese Mtn Dog, one English Bulldog, two dachshunds, some little white dogs all sitting or laying quietly at their owners feet in a small patio area. I wish the public would take lessons from dog people on behavior, it would lead to a lot less dog restrictions and regulations.

The next day was more of the same-Echo and Sterling did super in the ring and again both went Winners Dog and Winners Bitch for one point each.

Andretti did qualify in obedience and earned his CD. Yeah!!!!!!!!

After they work hard showing for me, I like to do something for the dogs. They like free running best of all so Lyric, Whisper and Echo and I went to Ft Ord to run their hearts content. All in all a very busy tiring weekend.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Becca's first show

At the tender age of 7 months minus one day, Becca was shown by Donna in her first show in the 6-9 puppy bitch class on July 4. The goal was for Becca to have a good time and show the world her wonderful temperament. Mission accomplished!!

She was "play bowing" to all the dogs she met while walking around the show grounds, greeting people "in their face" so they would pet her (lots of favorable comments received by folks about her happy, outgoing attitude) and was totally relaxed as an Amtrak train parked next to the show
ring with the engine running. The cutest incident was when she encountered a stuffed toy shaped like a dog inside of a wire crate. She wagged her tail, play bowed, and continued to bark to encourage the "dog" to play with her. Though she didn't win any points that day, she did pretty well with her gaiting; a little more work needs to be done on her stacking to get her to "stay put", but that will come in time. At the end of the day, she was ready for a long nap, dreaming about future dog shows I'm sure. She slept through the noise of the neighborhood fireworks that night as well!

Next month Becca will start a beginning obedience class--she has been having some obedience play training with Donna ever since she was brought home and seems to be a fast learner. She's already showing promise by retrieving a toy dumb bell that Donna throws for her in the backyard.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sterling's adventures in Northern California

Sterling came back up to Northern California for some handling lessons in preparation for Lompoc. He is staying with the god-mother of the litter, Lisa Stine and she will be chronicling his experiences.

Sterling is adjusting so well to all the changes! He has such a sweet and loving personality, he wants attention from everyone, all the time. He thinks he's a lap dog, but at 70 pounds, he's more of a lap-brick. He plays well with Q, the Italian Greyhound, and adjusts his level of bounce and paw-talk for Q's size. Not that size is something that Q is concerned about, if Sterling gets too rough, Q quickly takes him down and puts him in his place. All is forgiven quickly though, and they go back to playing tug and wrestling with each other. Andretti and Sterling are becoming good buddies, Andretti shows Sterling the ropes out in public as well as around the ranch. Sterling follows him around like an older brother; if Andretti is comfortable with something, so is Sterling.

A lot of running happens everyday, and Sterling is very good at it. Even through water, he loves to run. Now, if we can just keep him from crashing into things. 6 month old puppies are less than graceful sometimes.

This week we are working on several things, one of them being space issues. Greyhounds notoriously do not like to cuddle with each other, unlike some breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labs. Sharing personal space with other dogs can be touchy. All of Sterling's new pack are pretty good about sharing (toys, food, treats, beds, etc.), so Sterling has decided that in order to fit in, he will share everything, including his sleeping space. Good dogs!!!

As a side note, Sterling got a bath today. It was a good thing, as the water ran grey and silty from all the playing and running (a daily occurance with his sister Echo now). He is now squeaky clean and bright and sparkley. Fortunately he didn't hurt himself running back and forth on the freshly waxed floor with wet paws, although there were a few ice-rink moments when the only thing that stopped his wet-paw-skid was the wall or an unsuspecting bystander. Very entertaining!!!