Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hello!

I guess I haven't been blogging lately.  I've been working a lot and have been in a bit of an agility funk.  It happens a lot to me this time of year, I think it's the weather or the short days.  Or a combination of both.  The thought of training in a constructive manner makes me want to curl up in bed and not get up.  The only thing that is motivating me right now is the thought of eating and sleeping. 

But having said that I had one of my best christmases (is that a word?) in a few years.  My sister and nephews came to visit and we had a great time. 

On Christmas Eve my sister made me Pierogie and Shishkabobs (aka shit on a stick), some traditional Fosty dishes.





















The nephews are picky eaters. They had Pierogie innards and raw spinach.  On a Christmas plate!

The dogs got ground beef with some pasta, spinach and a dollop of sour cream. 
I forced my family to go for a walk at Coyote Hills on Christmas Day.  We got lucky and missed the rain, but it was really really windy.  My sister regretted wearing a hat :)






And then we just relaxed at home.  After the first meeting where Rampage hid from the strange alien beings, all of the kids and dogs got along great.  My living room isn't usually that messy.  And there usually aren't kids in it.


We went to Alcatraz and saw Domo (played by my nephew, Jake) attack my nephew David.  I love this photo :)
Jake gave Apollo some fashion advice.




And Rampage gave Jake some modeling advice.

"Tilt your head like this, Jake.  The girls go wild for it!"



David and Icon went all Goth on us.

The day my family left it was very windy.  My neighbors fence blew down.  That's actually my front yard.  Does that mean it's my fence too?  I hope I don't have to pay for it....


I haven't done much agility lately, but I got out with a friend this week to make sure we got some contacts in.  It was fun but I don't feel prepared for our New Years trial starting tomorrow!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

I've been working a lot lately

Icon isn't happy about it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We went to 2 days of an AKC trial last weekend.  It was Icon's first trial back after his break and he was happy to be back!  I decided to jump him at 20" at this trial (for the first time since he was 18 months I think) and he did great going 4/4.  I thought he looked good jumping 20", although he was over jumping a bit.  During our 'agility break' I also switched Icon to  a running a-frame and they went well.  But we'll see how it hold up over time and more importantly over the USDAA a-frame height change.  Our running a-frame has bled over into a running dogwalk, I need to make sure that doesn't last...


SacramentoDTC AKC - Icon Friday Standard from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Apollo had a great weekend going 3/4.  It was just a stupid move on my part kept him from a perfect weekend. He just needs one more QQ for Mach 3.  I was hoping he'd get it last weekend so that after invitationals I could move him to preferred, but it looks like he'll have to at least do the New Years trial at 24" too.

I only got one of Apollo's runs on video.

SacramentoDTC AKC - Apollo Saturday JWW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Rampage and I had lots of fun, but we didn't get any Q's.  We were pretty close at times though!  It was just babydog stuff.  We got all of our contacts and had no bars down.  But I definitely need to do something about our teeter... He has a beautiful 2o/2o with a nose touch in practice, but he has no clue that I expect this same performance at a trial.  Luckily the new years trial will have a fun match at the end of one day so I will have a chance to let him know.  And he has been avoiding the chute for a while now.  He'll go in if I make him, but given a choice he will run around it.  It's something I haven't practiced much with him because the chute is never out in class and I don't have a chute at home.  But it would be nice to not have to escort him directly to the chute entrance on every course.



SacramentoDTC AKC - Rampage Saturday Standard from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Other videos I have taped can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Catching up

We went to a USDAA trial a couple weekends ago and I'm just getting a chance to write about it now.  I've been focusing more on work than blogging lately, which is good :).  In December I'm heading to Warsaw on a business trip which should be... interesting.  On December 5th I'll arrive home from AKC invitationals around midnight and then head to Poland the next morning.  I guess I'm just glad that I don't have to miss AKC Invitationals for the business trip.  But this is the 3rd year in a row that I'll miss the December Bay Team UDSAA trial.  I really wanted to go this year because they have rubber contacts!

The USDAA trail we just came back from was a weird experience for me.  It was weird because I wasn't running Icon (he has been on a break since USDAA nationals... returning this weekend at an AKC trial!) and Rampage got lots of Q's, but I wasn't happy with many of his runs.  How weird is that?

My video camera is broken so I don't have any videos from the weekend, but a friend was there on Saturday and was able to video some of our runs.

Apollo qualified in everything I entered him in, although he hit the broadjump in Rd 1 SC and dropped a bar in Rd 2 SC.  I only got his Saturday Jumpers run on tape.


Apollo Jumpers NAF USDAA 11-13-10 from debbie chun on Vimeo.

Rampage qualified in pretty much all of his non-tournament events (aside from one Snooker and one Jumpers where I pulled him for breaking his startline stay).  They weren't pretty Q's though.  So he got 2 Standard Qs for his AD title and is now in Masters Jumpers, Gamblers and Pairs (!).  I certainly don't feel like we're ready for masters in any of those categories and I apologize now for all of our future pairs partners :).

Rampage Sat Standard

Rampage Standard NAF USDAA 11-13-10 from debbie chun on Vimeo.

Rampage Sat Gamblers

Rampage Gamblers NAF USDAA 11-13-10 from debbie chun on Vimeo.

When I watch his videos I really don't like how Rampage jumps 26".  I don't notice it when I'm running him, I just notice that he feels slow.  But watching the video he struggles at 26".  Once he gets into masters I think I'll switch him to performance 22" for a while to see if he just needs to mature a bit still.

Rampage Sat Jumpers


Rampage Jumpers NAF USDAA 11-13-10 from debbie chun on Vimeo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Don't diss Apollo

It has come to my attention that someone wrote on her blog about last weekend:

"We had a nice [Jumpers] run, but Apollo the boxer, of all dogs, beat us by .13. (Sorry, Apollo, I know you're a good dog and you're handled by a National Champion and World Team border collie handler, but [insert 2nd place Jumpers dog name here] usually 's time is notably  faster than yours. Maybe that was just your course! I'll let you have it this time.)"

Well let me say that YES, I'm offended.  I'm not quite so obsessive about keeping track of results as some people but I know that Apollo has beaten this dog on more than one occasion, to the point that us beating this dog is not a shock to me.   Sure they beat us sometimes, but we beat them too. 

It was not just "our course", we won jumpers both days and beat [insert 2nd place Jumpers dog name here] in grand prix as well last weekend.  And considering Apollo was only entered in 4 classes, that's a pretty damn good record. 

This is also not the first time this person has 'dissed' Apollo on her blog, although the first time someone pointed it out to me and I just laughed and ignored it.  I believe the person said something like (this is definitely paraphrased), "If Apollo can make it to [the 2008] pGP finals and get 3rd place, imagine how much better [insert 2nd place Jumpers dog name here] could do!"  Well Apollo didn't just finish 3rd place in 2008 pGP finals, he finished in 4th place in 2009 pGP finals.   That's more than this dogs owner can ever claim.

Say what you will about me.  I don't care if you call me a bitch and never talk to me again.  But don't diss my dogs.  And no one.  NO ONE.  DISSES.  APOLLO.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pollyballs!

Yay!  It came!


Open it!


Fine, I'll open it for you!


Pollyballs!


I love my Pollyball!


We love our Pollyballs!


Who's Pollyball is that?


My Pollyball!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Videos!

Ok, I didn't get either of Icon's Steeplechase runs from USDAA nationals on video, but here are his GP Semi's and GP Finals

USDAA Nationals - Icon GP Semi's from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


USDAA Nationals - Icon GP Finals from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

And last weekend Apollo and Rampage went to an AKC trial (poor Icon is on a break until Thanksgiving, he's not happy about it) and Apollo went 4/4 with a 1st, two 2nds and a 3rd.

Del Valle AKC - Apollo Saturday Std from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Rampage got his first Exc A JWW Q (and his 2nd, but that was was a mistake - not that I'm complaining!) and Open Std title (for realz this time.  No more nasty letters in the mail from AKC telling me we only have 2 Open Std legs)

Del Valle AKC - Rampage Saturday JWW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


Del Valle AKC - Rampage Sunday Standard from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

It was REALLY windy and wet on Sunday.  Watch Apollo's 1st place jww run on an uber twisty course... If you can see anything!

Del Valle AKC - Apollo Sun JWW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Groundhog Year

I have lots I would like to say about Worlds and USDAA nationals and hopefully I will find some time to get around to it.  I will definitely post whatever videos I have but that still might take some time.

First I want to take a moment to reflect back on a rather eerie observation on the outcome for Icon and I at all of our 'large events' in 2009 and 2010 (EO not included since I didn't go 2009).




2009
2010
AKC Nationals
2nd place 26”
2nd place 26”
AKC WT Tryouts
1st place Large cumulative Saturday
1st place Large by points overall
1st place Large cumulative Saturday
1st place Large by points overall
Worlds
1 clean run out of 4 :(
1 clean run out of 4 :(
USDAA Nationals
Steeplechase – 3rd place
Grand Prix – 4th place
Steeplechase – 3rd place
Grand Prix – 4th place


I've always known Icon was consistent, but that's pretty weird that we finished EXACTLY THE SAME at every large event this year as he did in 2009!  It would have been nice to improve somewhere, but staying the same is definitely better than getting worse! :)  Hopefully we'll make the AKC/WT again next year and get to go to France so I can try to improve on that performance.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oh dear

The fundraiser for the AKC WT and Kathie has been going very well!  No WT member was required to participate in it, but pretty much everyone did!

One downfall of doing a great job with the fundraising is that the ticketing process is not very streamlined.  I generated tickets (from a pretty handy site www.raffleprinter.com) and sent them out to everyone and they had to print and assemble them into ticket books of 10 tickets/book.

(stay with me, this story is going somewhere)


They look really pretty in color but I'm sure most (or all!) printed them b/w.  I know I did!

After assembling them into ticket books and someone donates we have to write the person's name on each ticket.  For the first book of tickets I made the person write her own name on her tickets but she didn't seem to be so thrilled about it so I decided that going forward I would just write the names in for people.  Most people donated in multiples of 10 so I would write the name on the cover page and store it away to write the names on each ticket while watching tv in the evenings.

(there's a point to this, honest)


This is fine, but OMG this is inefficient since we've had lots of donations.  For example, Ashley Deacon donated his Steeplechase Winnings from two USDAA events, a total of $136.  That's a lot of name writing!

So, now to my point.

I'm about 1/3rd of the way through writing down names, removing staples and placing the ticket stubs in a ziplock bag for safe keeping.  I chose a ziplock bag because I don't want anything to happen to them on the trip to Germany (like, say, my shampoo leaks all over my clothing).  Pretty smart of me, eh?

I leave the bag of ticket stubs on the coffee table because I do a little bit most nights.  The bag has been there for a few weeks at least. 

But today is either my lucky day or my unlucky day.  I left for work and got about 5 minutes away before I realized I forgot my laptop at home.  So I had to turn around and come back home.  As soon as I entered the house I knew someone had been up to no good.  I wanted into the living room to find....


Oh dear!

Someone was trying to destroy the bag of ticket stubs!  Luckily no ticket stubs were destroyed, but there are a few tooth depressions in some of them...

I know the guilty party is not Foster and I'm PRETTY sure it's not Rampage.  I had to look at the forensic evidence to decide if it was Apollo or Icon.
I think the evidence clearly shows it was a team effort.  Icon worked on the upper left corner and Apollo on the lower right.  Their motive is still unknown.  The best theory I have to keep Icon appearing like the perfect dog I think he is, is that he wanted to give each of these tickets his own personal blessing.  Or maybe he saw Apollo trying to destroy the bag of ticket stubs and in his attempt to save them he also damaged it himself. 

All I know for sure is that I'm glad I came home when I did!  If the ticket stubs were destroyed it wouldn't be the end of the world because we have a ticket tracking spreadsheet where we record everyone's name beside the ticket number.  But boy that would not have been fun to re-create and re-name so many tickets!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

WOW! Tunnel Bags!

Can you BELIEVE how great these turned out?

Nancy Holmseth from TunnelBags has designed and created these amazing tunnel bags.  Each star has the name of a team member embroidered on it.  This is a collector's item, to say the least!  These are the *GRAND PRIZE* in the USA WT giveaway! It's not too late to donate or participate!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

49% goofy, 51% business

We're making progress! 

Rampage is starting to figure out the game.  I wish I hadn't broken the flow after he didn't stop on his teeter because that's when the goofy began.  And when Rampage is on the table I'm not feeling myself up, I was just trying to stick my run order numbers back on.  One even fell off near the end and almost distracted him :)

I'm still not happy with our contacts.  I'm not a fan of the one-hit in the yellow execution that he had on his a-frame and his dogwalk looks like he takes small choppy steps instead of extending.   Powerpaws now has rubberized contacts and he seems so much more comfortable on them.  Icon also clearly prefers the rubber a-frame.  I really hope all agility organizations REQUIRE rubber contacts in the very near future.


SFD AKC - Rampage Open Standard from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So cute

Sarah Johnson took these photos at the regionals at labor day and they really show Apollo's personality.  The little dog is Holly Newman's newest addition.





Apollo has always loved puppies and small dogs.





It's pretty hard for me to look at these photos because it shows how gray Apollo has become in his face. It's so odd to me because when I look at him every morning he looks exactly like he did when he was 2 years old.  I guess that means that it's me that's becoming senile :).  But that's ok so long as Apollo's smile wakes me up for years to come.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A day in the life of Pook

Pook is undeniably the most aggressive and effective beggar in my house.


Pook: Hey there, MeatLady! Why are you working on a Saturday night?



MeatLady: Hi Pook! Well I'm working because we have a production roll-out this weekend. It's just a small roll-out, but it will provide us some important timing information for a very large roll-out at the end of October.  So I need to collect metrics and ensure everything goes according to plan.

Pook: Uhm... (awkward silence)



Pook: So... Anyway... Something smells good. Did you put something on the BBQ?



MeatLady: Why yes, I'm grilling a steak!

Pook: Ooooh, a steak? YUM!


Pook: Can I have some?

MeatLady: Well Pook, I don't know... I need to keep my strength up so I can work and make enough money to buy you your cat food.

Pook: PLEEZE? I'm so old and cute!


MeatLady: Well OK, maybe just a piece

NOM NOM NOM

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To go or not to go...

My decision on whether or not to go to USDAA nationals this year has always been hinged on if we got our bye for SC and GP semi-finals. After our SC Finals run at regionals last weekend I thought my 'big decision' of whether to go was made. We missed the first weave entry and had to reload so I figured bye-bye bye. But it turns out the top 2 placement times were pretty slow so the SF bye qualifying time was quite generous. EVERY 26" dog in the SC finals who didn't E got a semi-finals bye!

So now that I have both bye's I need to make a decision. I have sent my entry in (only GP/SC, I don't have the vacation time or energy for DAM team) but I'm not fully committed until I purchase my flights. It would be fun to go but we'll have just arrived back from Germany 9 days before and the thought of jumping on another plane so soon after that makes me want to crawl into bed and not get out. Or maybe it's just the fall-like weather making me feel that way. :)

Regionals

I had a great but tiring time at the Bay Team SW Regionals this year. My big mistake was entering THREE dogs in DAM team! That's a lot of runs in one day! But along with being tiring it was also fun, and all three of my teams got Q's. :) It was also pretty fun that Icon's DAM Team won! But I'm really excited about Rampage's first DAM Team Q. He performed very well for his team. We had a bar in Jumpers, a bar and a missed contact in Standard and did acceptably well in Gamblers and Snooker. But no E's which is the most important thing in team!

Rampage and I had a couple of recurring problems that I need to focus on, the main one being the fact that he popped out of the weaves in both SC Rd1 and GP Rd1. That's not a big deal in itself, but I didn't even notice that he popped out on either of them until I heard the whistle. That's some mighty bad handling on my part!

I wasn't happy with any of his contacts on the weekend. He was in on some, he was out on some, he got called for some he was in on and he got gifted on some he missed. But none of them were what I was looking for. His a-frame was especially discouraging for me because I was really happy with it the weekend before at the AKC trial. I don't mind if I eventually have to go to a stop on the dogwalk, but I refuse to go to a stop on the a-frame.

Some video highlights...

I was happy with Rammy's weave entrances all weekend. We had some nice stuff and some baby dog stuff in our SC run.

Bay Team Regional - Rampage SC1 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


BayTeam Regional - Rampage GP1 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


BayTeam Regional - Icon GP2 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


BayTeam Regional - Icon SC2 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TunnelBags!

We have a last minute surprise addition to the USA WT Giveaway Prize list! Nancy Holmseth from TunnelBags has offered to donate a set of patriotic red, white and blue TunnelBags for the giveaway! This might just beat out the softshell jacket for the title of 'first prize'. Maybe we'll call the TunnelBags the "GRAND PRIZE"!

It's not too late to get your giveaway ticket! Or to donate, of course :)

*09-Sept-2010 Update*

I just heard that Nancy is going to make these tunnel bags EXTRA SPECIAL. Stay tuned for details. I'm pretty excited about it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mensona AKC

This summer I have mostly been doing 1 day of AKC trials, mainly because it gets really really hot in Dixon and I know that on Saturday we're done by 10am or earlier so I just enter that day.  Other considerations are the cost of running three dogs.  Can you say *cha-ching!*  Of course we've had a ridiculously cool summer so my heat precautions weren't really necessary.  The cost precautions still were though...

But last weekend I went to a full THREE day trial Fri-Sun!  I even got to stay in my RV (I really miss that part of multiple day trialing.  I love my RV!)  And I couldn't have been happier with all of my boys!

Like a fine Napa wine, Apollo just gets better with age.  He had 6 gorgeous runs over the weekend with some 1st places :).  I messed him up on 2 runs so we only got 1 double Q but I'm having more fun than ever with him!



Mensona AKC - Apollo Friday JWW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

Icon had 3 picture perfect runs in a row, but on his 1st run on Saturday morning he was holding his right paw up for a bit after his run.  Of course I freaked out and had a vet friend look at him.  She found nothing but a bit of sensitivity in his 4th toe.  And he was fine after she checked him out.   But I scratched him from JWW and his Sunday runs.  It turns out he had a cut deep in the grooves of his pads, probably from stepping on a stone or something sharp on his last run.

Mensona AKC - Icon Friday Standard from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


Rampage showed me his potential.  He has always been great at collection, but he showed some nice extension this weekend and OMG, this dog can turn!

(ignore everything that happens after Rammy takes the tunnel for the 2nd time)

Mensona AKC - Rampage Sunday JWW from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


Can't forget Foster!  As ever, he was my loyal stable pony keeping all of the other dogs happy and in line :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thank you to the WT Gear Sponsors!

How awesome! We have sponsors for all of our WT Gear Giveaway prizes!


The Softshell Jacket is sponsored by Aqua Dogs Rehabilitation in New Jersey.



The Duffel Bag is sponsored by Paw Parade located in Washington. Paw Parade is a new online store that will be launching soon!



BOTH Sports shirts were donated by Jan DeMello of Hob Nob Border Collies in Washington.



And BOTH Baseball caps shirts were also donated by Jan DeMello of Hob Nob Border Collies

Jan gave a very generous donation of $200 and said she was donating $100 for each Hob Nob on the 2010 world team, referring to Icon and Presto of course. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The US Agility Team has a blog!

There's not much action there yet, but I'm sure there will be!  I plan on posting there about our Team Practices.  I just need to find some time...

USA Agility Team Blog

And THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and received tickets for the US WT Giveaway so far! The response has been amazing! More on that later too :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

***2010 USA Agility World Team Gear Giveaway***

The 2010 USA Agility World Team is excited to announce that we are having a 2010 USA Agility World Team Gear Giveaway this year! Anyone can get a ticket, you don't need to buy or donate anything!

However, we are asking for people to support the USA Agility Team with donations. Half the donations will go towards our hard working Assistant Team Coach, Kathie Leggett, who travels to WT Practices and the World Championships on her own dime. The WT could not function without everything that Kathie does. The other half of the donations will go to the AKC/USA Agility World Team, which will helps to pay for practices, amongst all of the other costs involved in sending WT members to Germany.  We are hoping to have 2 practices in Germany on the actual competition surface, which is an interesting sandy mixture.  This will allow us to kick some European butt, er,  I mean show the world what great sportsmanship USA has!

Now, back to the exciting part... The Giveaway!

The drawing will be held at the USA Supporter Dinner in Germany on Sept 29th. Agility Vision has graciously offered to record the drawing and post it to their website so you can watch it happen and see if you win (it won't be live-streamed, but will be uploaded soon after)!

See your local World Team Member for your Giveaway ticket.  If you don't have a local WT Member near you, you can email your favorite one, or email me at c.fosty at comcast dot net.  And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider donating at the same time. Any amount can help, even $1!

So what are we giving away? Really cool team gear with the USA Agility Team logo embroidered on it!  This logo is generally reserved for ONLY World Team members, so it's a pretty cool to own one!
Please let me know if you or your company is willing to donate the cost of a giveaway prize (contact me for expected costs.)  You will be publicly thanked during the giveaway and any way we can before!

(note: all prizes will be purchased after the drawing so we can get the correct size and style - mens/womens - from the Giveaway winners) 

1st Prize

A Softshell Jacket in Red or Blue! 

(men's style available)







2nd Prize

A Duffel Bag in Red or Blue!




3rd and 4th Prize (two will be given away)

A Sports Shirt in Red or Blue!

(men's style available)








5th and 6th Prize (two will be given away)

A Baseball Cap in Red or Blue!





Your 2010 USA Agility World Team thanks you!