Monday, July 9, 2012

Bandit's Agility Debut: Thoughts on handling a Novice Dog

This past weekend was Bandit's first taste of "real agility". This was the first time he has *ever* worked anywhere other than my own agility field. I was a bit nervous, and so was Bandit. I'm not one to post much about training adventures, but Bandit has been one of the most fun dogs to train, and I've learned a lot from him. He is my first dog to take from scratch and teach running contacts to. I was excited to see what they were going to be, and hoped my training had paid off :-)

Bandit is a pretty polite little dog, but with a ton of drive. He is a real thinker, and wants to do things right, but isn't afraid to make a mistake. He reminds me a lot of Ty with his "business-like" manners around the agility field :)

Going in, I expected nothing but for him to chase me around a bit and take a few obstacles, and as long as he was happy, we'd leave the ring excited and happy and get tons of cookies :-)

Thursday morning we ran Standard. He was WAY more nervous than I expected, and he refused more obstacles than I thought he would, but his contacts were AWESOME :-)

Jumpers he was already MUCH more confident, but he was still focusing more on my than actually jumping. Not a bad thing, just not what is "normal".

Over the next 3 days, a loud, obnoxious, focused, fast little sheltie appeared before my eyes. He NEVER barks during practice, and by Sunday, he was barking while waiting for our turn, watching dogs run, offering me every trick he knows and getting PUMPED.

He held all of his start line stays, hit every dogwalk and aframe contact, and only mis-judged one see-saw ;) Some refusals I went back and let him have another try at, some I just kept running. Some refusals were caused by his chasing me, some a lack of confidence, and some just plain me forgetting he's 15 months old :-) With the weaves, I didn't make him re-attempt until Sunday. Prior to that, any attempt at engaging in the weaves was more than enough for me :-)

He was SO brilliant, and I am so pleased with him. I entered him purely for the ring experience and it so paid off. I'm so excited for his next trial: HATTIESBURG. 5 days of agility in a 2 ring trial. A huge, NEW experience for him.

Here's some video footage :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thoughts on the coming week...

I sit here in my hotel room, about to begin my 7th USDAA World Cynosport Games. Has it really been that long? I remember everything about my first USDAA Nationals. It still feels new to me, and every year I walk away with a new experience. Experiences that have changed my life in so many incredible ways, and I am so thankful for each of those opportunites. This year is Ty's last year to compete. He's 11 years old, and although his is still extremely eager to run, his hearing (lack there-of) will keep him from being competitive, and he will "semi-retire" to local trials only. It's a very sad realization for me. He's the only reason I'm still playing this game. He gave me the drive to go further... to be better.. to learn from others. I look forward to showcasing him this weekend. Showing off the amount of heart one little dog can possess. It's truly amazing the opportunities this dog has given me. He didn't take me to France, but he took me down some roads that many people do not get to travel, and he lead me to many lessons that I needed to learn. He introduced me to some incredible people, and he taught me how to win, how to lose, and how to just enjoy the ride. How can only 20lb pup teach so much ? He's amazing.

On the other hand, this will be Smack's FIRST National event. Wow. I can't even put words to how excited I am. I've been dreaming of this day for a LONG time. Again, it's not France, but it's special. I'm sure I'll step to the line tomorrow and all week with a dopey grin on my face, and then run my butt off. I love running my SmackAttack. It's a new feeling of accomplishment every single time we step to the line. He's the dog I have to have in my life. I could spend every second of every day with him. Can't imagine life without Smackers. He's just my goofy, dorky boy, and he's *awesome*.

And Tommy. How can you not love that little dude? I feel good about him this year. We just feel good together. (did I just say that?!) Lookout for Those DAM Jacks taking over ;)

Beaux Beaux is with me this year. He has been on FIRE at trials, so I'm *super* excited to show him off. When do we run snooker? can we just skip that one? I know I can do that :)

So, all of this way pretty random, but at least it's a blog post. I love my dogs, and all of the opportunities they've given me, and all of the journeys I have been on because of them. Life just doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Monday Again...

4 days of USDAA in College Station. It had to be one of the smoothest running shows Dog Gone Fun has run, yet! The dirt was OMG, PERFECT. (Those of you that might have skipped because of the SAND BEACH it was before-- you missed out!) It was awesome! The loose and fluffy was a little thick at first, but it packed down quickly and made the surface to die for!

So, Here it goes. Thursday:

Jumpers-- Smack had three bars down. (he was adjusted to the surface that had not yet been packed down) And, they were all in a row... so kind of a domino effect.

Snooker-- He lost his mind. Enough said.

Pairs -- Smack had a bar down (I should have helped him), but Big Bro Cisco and Aunt Renee were clean, so we Q'd. That's #3!

Standard-- *sigh* a gorgeous run, but he fell off of the dogwalk. bummer.

Gamblers -- *bigger sigh* he broke his stay. and got the walk of shame.

Gamblers --Reall great opening, no gamble.

Standard -- Another spectacular run, but *note to self* : "Work rear crossing the tunnel, when you are on your dog's left, and the tunnel curves to the right." In case you can't picture that:

Pairs -- Smacky ran clean, his partner went off course. Bummer!

Snooker -- It started off a little rocky, but we saved it and ran 1-2-1-7-1-7 and closed for a Q!

Jumpers -- AWESOME run, and got to try out a tricky rear cross that a month ago we couldn't do, but he dropped a bar (Not the one I rear crossed!)


Jumpers -- One bar down. I'll take this one. It was near the end, and we were going along and then I took off for the finish line, and that's the bar he took down... *work on this, work on this, work on this*

Snooker-- Oh yeah baby, this was our best snooker run E.V.E.R. 1-7-1-7-1-6-1-7 and close. 1st place and Super Q. :-) That's his 3rd leg & 2nd SQ!

Pairs -- Very shocking thing happened. I thought I had Smack-A-Doodle's head, and ran to the dogwalk, but he read my "pause" as a cue to the weaves, and shot off into the poles. Oopsie!

Standard -- YAHOO! We *finally* made it through a course without something FREAKY happening. Held contacts, 40 second run, 2nd place. Leg #2!

Gamblers -- Smokin' opening (holding contacts), good gamble, 2nd place! Leg #6.


Gamblers -- Good opening! No good gamble. HA!

Grand Prix -- I was the first dog to run. And boy, do I love this dog because he just lets me ask everything from him and he gives it his all. He put in a time of 32.14. A few others ran... Smack still in the lead... Stacy Peardot-Goudy steps to the line with Maze. Stacy is so confident when she runs, and really went for it knowing I had put in a great time. She did get me, just barely with a time of 31.34. 0.8 of a second difference. WOW. I enjoyed watching Stacy really GO FOR IT, and am SO proud of my little BABY SmackAttack for smackin' down two GP's in a row.

Standard -- Megan, CONTROL yourself. Don't freakin' blip out. WATCH your dog to see that he's actually TURNED *before* BLASTING off towards the next jump. That's what I was telling myself as I watched my dog's gorgeous body sail over an off course jump. Hmph, no MAD title *this* weekend.

Jumpers -- ARGHHH. Last run of the weekend. B-E-A-UTIFUL. I made *every**single**front*, and he knocked the last bar. *sigh* Oh well. I'll get my Jumper Master later. ;-)

So, all in all, this was a GREAT show for me and Smack. I can feel everything clicking and Smack getting FASTER and FASTER.

I have competed in 3 USDAA Shows for the 2011 Qualifying year, and Smack is ready to go to Cynosport. So what if we don't have vouchers?

In two weeks, we go to Kerrville for the 4star event. I *did* fill out an Intent To Compete form for IFCS with Smack. I'm confident in our skills, and I'm looking forward to pushing those skills to the limit and seeing how we fare. I'm on some great teams with AWESOME people, so I'm SO excited! Althought it's just a local trial, there will be the "pressure" of earning IFCS Points. This will be "new" to Smack. That small amount of added pressure. I'm not worried about him. He will do great. And this *isn't* new to me. I'm looking forward to showing my dog off!


Ty had a great time at the trial. He got Snooker and Jumpers legs, and placed in all of them I think. I need to get his eyes checked again; I'm not sure how fast his cataracts are developing, but sometimes during the trial, I felt that he couldn't see *me* or the obstacles, so I don't know how well he's able to *work* the obstacles. I did feel however, that if he couldn't figure out *how*, he would just run by it (a little confused-looking) instead of *guessing* and getting himself hurt.


Tommy did well also. Won some jumpers classes (3/3) and did well in Snooker. He finished his Relay Champion-Gold title! No gambles... bummer. and No standards. I did make some revelations with this see-saw... but his dogwalks were not what I wanted. *sigh* LOTS more work to be done with the little guy.


ALSO! A big, huge WOOHOOO to Beaux for finishing up his Snooker Champion PLATINUM! He is only 5 years old and of those 50 legs, *24* of them were Super Q's!


The non-agility part of the weekend was awesome, too! Dinners were VERY tasty and a TON of fun!

I *did* wear my VIBRAMS. So far, *so* GOOD! No pain, no slipping, no sliding, and I did feel faster. I really enjoyed them!!

The judges were fantastic, and I had a lot of fun running their courses!

I also enjoyed talking to people about health and fitness! It made me feel *good* to know that people are noticing my athleticism as *hard work*, not just being 18 years old!

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard this weekend, and ALL of the compliments on Smack-A-Doodle-Doo! He's a special guy!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's been a long week.

So last weekend we had AKC. Pups did well. I was overall pretty pleased with how things went.

Monday we got the house ready for Grandma to visit!

Tuesday, Grandma came :-) WOOHOO! Went to class that night. I only brought Smack, and we worked HARD. Did lots of good things. I was pretty pleased.

Wednesday = Rodeo. WOW, what a LONG day. GREAT food. AWESOME rides. A DANG good show too!

Thursday, Carol came out and we worked Beaux, Tommy, Binks, and Smack. Then, we all got cleaned up and went into Houston to shop at the Premium Outlets. Another long day. We ended the day with Macayo's and headed home for some sleep.

Friday, we had kind of a lazy day while I did my last minute cramming for the SAT. That evening we went to SAM's and HEB... then made FRIED RAVIOLI! And Fried Chicken. YUM! Then, off to bed. I haven't been to sleep so early in WEEKS.

Today, up WAY TOO EARLY to take the SAT. Locked in a room full of "people my age" for 5-6 hours = my own personal HELL. Not good for Megan.
However, I apparently have a "badass calculator".
And, I think I did pretty well for not studying nearly as much as I probably should have :)

Then, we headed down to Houston to eat some Chinese. YUMMY! Then, REI where I tried on all of the Vibrams that they had ! I completely fell in love walking around the shoe department... I completely forgot I had them on. So, since they didn't have the color I wanted, I came home and ordered them :-) I should get to wear them some in College Station this weekend. Yippee!
Now, we are back home and chilling out.

Tomorrow = agility = love. (:

AND, I have *4* days of USDAA this weekend. = happiness.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Weekend Is Near...

Here's how my weekend went:

Monday --> Daisy Peel Seminar = Success.
Tuesday --> Babysat Colbie most of the day. I did however work out. AND my order from Clean Run came in! YaY! Smack has a harness that fits him. = Success.
Wednesday --> Preparation for AKC this weekend began. School. Worked out. = Success.
Thursday (Today) --> Major show prep done: buckets, binders, van loading, trailer loading, packing, dogfood, blah blah blah. = Success. Will I work out before bed? Most likely.

Friday-Sunday. AKC in Hitchcock. Yesssss.

Goals? Yeah, I got 'em. Stay focused. Cue my dogs correctly. Stay in motion. End of story.

On a new and different note for me, I'm considering the Vibram's Five Finger Shoe thingys. Yeah, super weird for me since I hate being barefoot in dirt, but I'm hoping it doesn't FEEL gross, and doesn't get my feet GROSS and I'm really wanting to give them a shot. They seem like they would help me some. Hmmm, now to hunt them down, try them on, and buy them. Case closed. No talking me out of it now. :)

Hmm, I'm not really sure what else to say. I've had a pretty good last fews days. :)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Great Monday

Yeah, so this is being posted on Tuesday. Oh well, I was really tired last night.

So, my weekend was long and pretty boring. BUT I had a pretty awesome Monday. Sounds strange, right?? I know. I'll explain.

Sunday afternoon I headed up to Tyler, Texas. Met Lucy at a yummy mexican place and had a very yummy dinner.

Got some pretty good sleep, and started the day early with a yummy breakfast, and went way back in the boonies to an awesome training facility and met Daisy Peel for her Internationl Handling Skills seminar! It was a great group of people! Lucy, Rosanne, Stacy, Elizabeth, Susan, Shawn, Giuliana, Bonnie and a couple of new people I had never met. We all stuck it out through the drills, good and bad, and had some good laughs.
No one walked away broken or crying, so that was a success.

Smack & I had such a great time. I learned a lot from Daisy. Listening to her instruct others, as well as her thoughts on mine & Smack's teamwork. It was a ton of great feedback and information. I can't wait to find more time to work with Daisy! I really enjoyed it.

However, it was a long day and I was TIRED. Whew.

This morning, the Baby Bug surprised me bright & early... Maxie dropped mom off at her dentist appointment, so I took the early morning babysitting shift. We played for a while, now she's back to sleep and my day is getting started. :)
To do list:
Workout (my goal is 1 hour a day 3-4 days a week)
School work (something about graduation is exciting me)
Study for SAT (this does not excite me)

Giving SmackAttack a break today, and probably won't go to class tonight since mom will still be all dopey from her sedation. HA! So, I might have to hold down the fort tonight ;-)

Rodeo started today! YEEHAW!!!!!

That's all I got. OH! Yeah, I've got an AKC show this weekend! Woohoo!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weekend Overview

So, yeah... haven't really gotten around to posting about the rest of my weekend:

Ty ended the weekend with a Snooker & Jumpers Q. He was great all weekend, I just need to start training him again. I've put him on the back burner some since Smack's been coming up.

Tommy did OK. His contacts were NOT what they were at the New Year's trial. That bothers me a lot. He just doesn't get it yet. *sigh* Other than that, he was pretty great. He kept the bars up, and didn't do any "terrior" like things behind my back. HOWEVER, he did have one snooker run where EVER front cross I did, he ignored the side change and took the jump on the wrong side. TOMMY has to keep things interesting.

Smack was a SUPER star! Definitely our best show to date. Lovely contacts, awesome start line stays, and we were ON. Over the weekend he racked up:
1 standard leg (#1)
2 gamble legs (GAMBLE MASTER TITLE!!!!!!!)
1 pairs leg (with Pete & Jackie) (#2)
0 snooker legs--- okay, our first attempt he gave me a great opening, knocked the third red and just couldn't by pass a tunnel. Oops. the second attempt, I could have kicked myself. BEAUTIFUL, FLAWLESS opening, and I had to go and rush things and send him up the aframe instead of the tunnel. STUPID.
1 jumpers leg (#4) -- his other jumpers run was gorgeous as well, had the fastest time (of all heights) but he took down two bars.
1 Steeplechase q :) 2nd place to big brother Cisco... (#2 at 26" for Nationals!)
1 GRAND PRIX q!!!! wooo freakin' hooo! So happy to finally break that funk!! He smoked that course and it was the most thrilling run we have ever had as a team... and oh yeah, I've got it on video ;-) I'll post soon! However, his big brother Cisco & Aunt Renee came in and caught us by half of a second. They're run was fantastic as well :)

Anyways, I just rushed through the post because its WAY late... but I am so proud of my Smack a doodle and I know y'all just want to see the videos anyways, so... they will be on my youtube.

k, thanks?

I'll catch y'all up more this weekend. I've been sick ALL week. It's not fun.