Friday, October 31, 2008

USDAA nationals - Day 2 and 3

Day 2 is a bit of a haze to me at this point. It's been a long and hot 3 days. On Thursday we had Team Jumpers and Team Snooker and Icon was awesome in both of them. Team jumpers had a tricky broadjump/tunnel spot that really worried me, but we managed to muddle through it. Apollo was really good on that course too.

I tried for 3 7's in snooker for both dogs. It was a really tricky course for that. Apollo dropped the 2nd red and I had to figure out how to save that. I managed to get to the correct 3rd red but only got through 6 in the close. Icon got through the close, but it wasn't pretty!

Day 3 started out with a bang, or more like a spray, when I was sitting at the dinette in my RV and suddenly heard a "hissssss" sound. I opened up the access to my water heater and my pvc pipe had sprung a leak. So I rushed outside and turned off the water. I tried turning on the pump for the water tank and the spray started again too. So I was totally without water and didn't get my shower :( Thankfully I ran in to Ken Nevarre and asked him to take a look. He told me that to fix it I should get some copper tubing and hose clamps and it would be as good as new. It was first thing in the morning and I had my walkthroughs and runs and so many other things to think about, so I decided to wait until I was done for the day to fix it.

So I went on with my day. I had Apollo's PSJ first in the main ring and got lost and sent him off course :( It was such a shame because he was moving so well. But it's tough getting into the finals so he probalby wouldn't have made it anyway. Next was Icon's Steeplechase run, which was the "same" course in a different ring. The courses were actually totally different, which is why I messed up Apollo's run (haha, I can tell that to myself...). But Icon was really good and we finished that run in 2nd place. I think we hung onto that spot all day (maybe we dropped to 3rd). Yay!

Both dogs were good in team standard but Apollo dropped the first bar. I got lots of compliments on Icon's standard run, but we ended up in 8th place or something like that. Not so good! My story is that I held his contacts, and I'm sticking too it ;)

Polly ended the day with his pGP semi run. He ran clean, but not so fast. It was hot out! I couldn't figure out if we made it to the finals or not, so I figured I would just check when they put up the running order.

I decided then it was time to make the trip to the hardware store to see if I could fix my rv and get some water. I had tons of dishes to wash and needed a shower. BAD. A friend offered to drive me and I took her up on the offer happily. I returned back with some coppper tubing and clamps. On my way back to the rv I passed by the main rain to see the running order and noticed that Polly's name wasn't there. Oh well. I continued to my rv and single handedly FIXED the plumbing in my RV!! I now have water! And can shower!

I was sure this was the highlight of my day, but as I was preparing to have some dinner and go down to watch the finals, I hear them announce on the PA, "Channan and Apollo please come to the main ring" (they also called for Dave and Tahoe, but this is a story about me!). Apparently there was a miscalculation in the original running numbers and Apollo (and Tahoe) were in the finals after all!

Ok, I'm tired of writing. But the moral of this story Polly came 3rd in PNS finals! Woot! Maybe I'll write about the experience later, but I'll probably just post the video. Pictures speak way louder than words (especially mine).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

USDAA nationals - Day 1

The first day of nationals went well for me, although I was only running Icon. It was european standard (which doesn't count for anything!) and we ran clean, with a pretty nice run. I got a bit lost in the 16-17 270, but we managed to keep it together with just a wide turn. I have no clue how we finished, but I'm thinking top 10 at least, hopefully top 5 :) Lots of dogs had faults on this course.

Here is the course map:

Even without the run it was a good day. I woke up at dawn to let the dogs run before it got too hot and there were too many dogs around. At 8am Apollo had an appointment with Cindy DiFranco for a massage. She said he felt really good, just his rear right inner toe was really sore and his front left ring finger. I am supposed to massage/compress/riticulate it at any opportunity. I also got him an appointment at 11:30 on Friday which I hope we can make. I also offered it to Milou if she needs it. While Polly was being massaged I could smell Debbie making fried rice. I got to eat some (well, ok... a lot) after Polly was finished and it was delicious! After that it was a shower and then down for registration. Registration was like a California reunion. Everyone was there! And then I saw Nancy and Spotty!

Walkthroughs started at noon and finished at one. Then for some odd reason we had an hour before the rings started. It was fun watching everyone run the european course. But it was even more fun running it :)

Tomorrow we have Team Jumpers and Team Snooker. Icon is first dog of the day in Team Jumpers, I'm not really looking forward to it. But hopefully we'll run clean for our team!They also have SC Quarterfinals (thankfully I don't have to run that) and PNS Quarterfinals (again, don't have to run, thanfully!).

We went to dinner with a bunch of people and on the way back we drove to "T" lot, which is where Debbie and I would be staying if we hadn't won the lottery. OMG, it's SO FAR AWAY! We clocked almost .9 miles from the lot back to the rings. That would have been horrible! And we have heard reports of SCORPIONS over in "T" lot. All I can say is THANK YOU AGILITY GODS for letting us win the lottery!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hot Hot Hot

We arrived in Scottsdale at around 1pm today. Foster didn't have a good trip, he was restless and whiny the whole 3 hours from Kingman. I still don't know what was bothering him. As soon as I arrived I took him out to pee, but he didn't need to.

The temperature here was about 500 degrees, although the weather channels are trying to make everyone believe it was only in the 90's. It's supposed to be the same all week. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

The location for the special lottery RVs is, in a word, AWESOME. I really can't say enough about it and I'm so spoiled that if nationals is here next year it will hurt to come and not be in this awesome spot. I have taken some photos and will try to post them. We are about 100 yards from the ring. It's awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Tomorrow we only have one run, European Standard. This is our chance to warm up and see what kind of courses the guest eurpoean judges usually create. Only Icon is entered for this one, I didn't see a point in entering Apollo. Walkthrus start at noon so it'll be an easy morning. Apollo has a massage scheduled with Cindy DiFranco at 8am tomorrow (or maybe 8:30) so I will have to get up relatively early and warm him up for that. I will also hopefully take Foster dockdiving before the walkthrus start.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yesterday we wrapped up the trial in Pahrump, NV. It ended up being a good trial for Icon, he got another double Q yesterday on some tricky courses so he ended up 7/8 for that trial (two runs were FAST so I'm couting them, but they don't REALLY count). I really liked Icon's JWW run, we got some nice turns in that one. There was one turn that we could have tightened up a bit, but he had nice acceleration out of the turn so I don't think we lost too much time. The only really tricky part on the standard course was a sharp turn to the dogwalk that I was worried Icon might fall off. I really tried to shape it with a rear cross, but he still scrambled a bit. We won every class, but we were the only 26" dog ;).

Polly was really good yesterday too, we didn't get JWW because he didn't hold his start line and ran past the first jump, but he did the rest of it beautifully. We got Standard, but he was pretty slow at the start. I think Scott Chamberlain worried him a bit. Speaking of which, on yesterday's Std run, Scott really freaked out Icon. You can totally see it on the video when he's on the dogwalk. Apollo also won every class he Q'd in! And there were at least 5 dogs he was competing against ;)

Shadow had two nice runs but dropped a bar in each of them.

After the trial, we headed out of Pahrump to Kingman, NV. The trip was uneventful aside from when we went through the hoover dam. First we crawled along the highway for about 30 minutes and 2 miles before we had to go through the security checkpoint where Nalu barked at the security guys and scared the crap out of them. So we both had to get all of our dogs out of our rvs and let them search them. I don't know if it's normal for them to search every rv or if we just got lucky! But I got the dogs out and while one guy did a quick search, the other guy played with Apollo. Apollo thought that was pretty cool. I think Debbie's RV got a bit more thorough of a search because they actually asked to look in one of her compartments.

After security I thought we would start moving better, but we actually moved even slower after that. We inched along until we were just before the dam when sirens started sounding behind us and 3 police cars passed us. We continued over the dam before traffic came to a complete stop. Up ahead we could see that the police had halted all traffic in both directions. We sat around for about 15 minutes (I took some photos and played with the dogs) before we started moving again. At the top of the hill after the dam, the police had a minivan pulled over and were talking to a guy. We're not sure what happened there and probably will never know.

We continued on to Kingman after that and arrived around 5:30 pm. It's a pretty nice spot, not much grass though. The RVs are on pea gravel and the dog runs are dirt, but I guess beggers can't be choosers, especially in the middle of the desert! It's nice to have full hookups and not have to run the generator to get electricity. They even have cable here! But of course I don't have a cable cord to hook up. Oh well! They also have wifi, but the signal isn't great. I can't even seem to check my email this morning.

Today we're going to hang out at the rv park. I plan on doing some laundry, cleaning the rv a bit and taking the dogs for a walk. I also need to give Icon a bath (I gave Foster and Polly a bath in Pahrump) and do their nails. This rv park advertises amazing showers, so I'm also going to check those out!

Tomorrow we head on to Scottsdale!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flies, agility and more flies

Debbie and I arrived in Pahrump at about 5:30 on Thursday. We caravaned most of the way from the bay area. We got a nice spot for the RVs right by the ring. It wasn't hard though, there are hardly any people at this trial!

The ground here is really awful, especially in the JWW ring. Apollo dropped THREE bars in his JWW run on Friday. Now, I know he's a bar knocker, but THREE bars? Come on! Luckily Shadow and Icon both Q'd though. It was a really nice course. The Standard course was really nice too. Apollo Q'd in it (yay, no bars!), Shadow dropped one bar and Icon was NAUGHTY. We got about 6 obstacles in when he decided to ignore me and go to the weaves instead of doing a 180 and heading to the dogwalk. I just downed him and carried him off.

Luckily Icon redeemed himself on the FAST run, although we only got 77 points. 79 actual points and we lost 2 for being over time. He was a good boy on that run though.

The trial was over at about 1pm so Debbie and I took a walk to get some ice from a corner store so we could have margaritas. Our freezers were so packed that we couldn't bring any ice. So after that I don't remember much aside from some tasty margaritas and korean bbq and I got to play with Icon's 10 week old niece. She's really cute, her name is GiGi.

This morning my rv was totally filled with flies. I left the door to the rv open for a few minutes last night, no more than 20, and THOUSANDS had gotten in. It was so disgusting. Thankfully, during the course of the day I was able to herd them out of the RV, through the door and the sunroof. But the flies outside were awful too. I went to home depot (just across the street) with Diana to get some fly killer type things and there were a lot of people there for the same reason. Apparently 'fly season' is synonomous with 'fall' in pahrump. For some reason the flies seem the worst around our RVs though. I don't know what it is! But we are here for only one more day so it should be over soon. I hope I don't take any fly hitchikers with me on the next leg of the trip though.

As far as agility goes, today was a good day for everyone. Icon got a QQ and 80 points in FAST, Apollo got JWW, but dropped the panel in Std :(. And Shadow got a QQ!

We were going to go to the Pahrump winery with Moe and Diana, but Debbie was worried about Shadow because she looked like she might have been limping a bit and I was worried about Icon because he was acting 'weird' and when I laid down with him for a bit he was shivering a lot. So we decided to just hang out at the RVs and had steak for dinner. I let the dogs stay in the RV to rest. I think they all were just really really REALLY tired. They slept for 2 hours while we had dinner and then I fed them and took them out to potty after and Icon seemed much better. They're all sleeping now and I suspect they'll sleep through the night!

Tomorrow is our last day of the AKC trial and we'll see what it brings. Then we head to an RV park which is about half way to Scottsdale. We'll stay there for 2 nights and head to Scottsdale on Tuesday. I'm just hoping that there aren't any flies there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So much to do!

I have so much to do before leaving for Pahrump on Thursday morning! Most of today is going to be taken up by the raw meat co-op I'm in. I have to drive to Martinez (or somewhere in that area) to organize and pick up meat. Then I have to package and store my meat when I get it home. Of course I have to clean out my freezer first because I decided that this was the perfect time to defrost and clean it. And then tonight I have Icon's agility class. I would also like to go shopping today. I have to go to OSH, Safeway, Target, Pet Club, Costco and Camping World. I don't think I have time! Hopefully I'll be able to dedicate wednesday to packing up the RV (and I would really like to give it a good cleaning before this trip too) but I also have a private scheudled for Icon as well.

I also need to mow my lawns and tidy the house for the cleaning lady to come next week. I have about 5 loads of laundry to do and I haven't even started packing my rv, although yesterday I did unpack a lot of it it so I could remove the things I don't need to take. Oh, and I put my folding bike in. I was able to fit it in the storage area under my bed. But that reminds me, I need to get a lock for my bike to use in Scottsdale. I don't need this bike stolen too!

I am starting to look forward to the trip though! We just finished a four day trial that was really fun. The courses were really nice from both judges, Mark Upshaw and Dan Butcher. Icon went 5/8 for two qq's (two bars and one stupid me move)and Apollo went 4/8 for one qq (bar, bar, bar, *#&$*ing bar). I think for MACH2 Icon is now at 4 and Polly is at 11, but I'm pretty sure Icon will beat Polly to it. My main goal for Polly is to keep him in the #1 boxer spot through the end of the year. I would really like him to end up #1, but we'll see... We haven't been so consistent lately! He got a good number of points this weekend though! The judges wheeled nicely. Apollo got 19 points on one standard run and 17 on another!

Friday, October 10, 2008


USDAA has changed their long jump specifications "to create a more dynamic jump by conforming the long jump to specifications used historically in the sport and in current use overseas."

Now it matches the international style broad-jump more, which is cool. I never really liked the USDAA broadjump because it is so low.

They seem easy to make! I think I might try to make one on my sabbatical. :)

Shuttle failure

The problem with exercising your dogs on a regular basis, is that they start to INSIST on that exercize.

I was taking the shuttle to work for about 2 months and during that time my dogs didn't get their normal amount of exercise. When taking the shuttle, I leave at 6:40 so didn't have time to take them to the park before going to work. I come home at 5:30-ish and am too freaking tired to take them anywhere so they just got to play/train in the back yard.

I felt guilty all the time so I left the back door open. I could tell they were running in and out of the house because the carpet got dirty (well dirtier - time to get it cleaned again) and my yard started to become a disaster area. And most importantly, my dogs just didn't seem as happy. Yeah, it's probably my imagination I couldn't help it.

So I no longer take the shuttle. Maybe I'll take it once in a while, but not on a regular basis. I can take my dogs to the park in the morning again and by golly, they are way happier! And Polly looks like he's in better shape, which probably means all of my dogs are - I just can't see it on them because of the fur. Or maybe I'm just way happier (I'm not in better shape though). Either way I'm not saving $400/month like I was taking the shuttle but being happy is way more important than saving a few bucks!

I've been back taking them to the park in the morning for about a week and a half and they are back INSITING on it. Speaking of which, I have a boxer on my lap right now, so I had better take them out.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Look at Polly do a rear cross!

This is Kay and Polly from the AKC trial at the beginning of September when I was in texas. I don't usually do rear crosses with Polly, but he read it well and even kept the bar up! Although, Kay, next time try running Apollo with your eyes OPEN ;) Photo Gallery - dm_104197

(yeah, I stole the photo-I'm too cheap to buy a photo of my dog being run by someone else!)