March? Why so popular?

It’s not even the end of the month yet and there is so much to blog about that quite frankly this post may end up being a two parter.One should start at the beginning I suppose for that is always a good place to start.
March started with the Western Classic weekend and the SoundWave outdoor music concert with multiple bands at the Claremont Showgrounds.

The highlight of the Classic for me – not only did Spryte win both her Masters Agility and her Masters Jumping class she also picked up her final card needed to complete her
Agility Champion title.

Pending official confirmation she is now Agility Champion Winpara Out Of Sight.
🙂   🙂   🙂


For those unsure of what an ANKC Agility Champ title requires – it’s 1000 points gained by Masters Class qualification cards (500 in Jumping and 500 in Agility) – 1st place is 25, 2nd is 20 and 3rd is 15 and qualifying is 10 points. The last rule change, sadly I think, insisted that you no longer needed to place in the top 3, just that you needed to pass to gain points. Run a reliable dog enough times round enough Masters courses and if they’re steady and consistent you’ll get your Ag Ch. All of Spryte’s cards whether from here or over East were top 3 finishes. That rule change, when it came in, also removed half the points she already had because the 1st and 2nd cards she had reverted all to 10 points. Hence the fairly long, drawn out process to Agility Champion for us which also included over a year of not trialling at all due to puppies and being away travelling. But at last the title is achieved and it was pretty nice that it happened at the Classic with one of the biggest entries for WA trials.

She ran clear in Open as well against all heights and finished 6th. Open Jumping she pulled a bar. Savvy had a great time and I was well pleased with her considering her recent affliction with Weaver Amnesia Syndrome (it would be apparent that over 8 months away from trialling and no doubt with a few holes in our foundation weaver training Savvy had forgotten how to complete 12 weavers there for a while) and we had a nice run and 2nd in Excellent Jumping. More pleasing to me was the fact that she did multiple lots of 12 weavers without problem and repeated them the following weekend at an ADAA trial. We may be on the path to a cure 😉

I had to laugh though. For the Masters Agility class the entrance to the course had the ring rope on the ground as is common for our trials. I felt it to be a little close to the first bar so I set Spryte on the start line with the rope just in front of her. We don’t have exclusion zones set up at most trials these days. I smiled at her and lifted my hand to indicate to the judge I was ready to go. He stared at me a long moment and then pretty much barked a demand at me that I put my dog in the ring. I was a little taken aback but did as I was told as swiftly as possible, taking literally one step forward over the rope and resetting her, hoping that it wasn’t too close to the first bar for her. Thankfully she kept the bar up and we won the class. However as I was waiting for the indication that we were clear at the end of our run and I was putting her back on lead, the judge had gone over to the table, had a quick discussion and now they were moving the ring rope further back. AFTER I had run! I’m glad I could laugh (might have been a different story had she dropped that first bar due to me being unable to set her where I wanted) but thought the whole thing really quite unnecessary.

Much to my teamies disapproval I did skive off from the Classic Teams Event held on the Monday to go to SoundWave. However one of my trusted team mates Karen (who ran Spryte for me a few times when I was overseas with some success and helped contribute to her Ag Ch title) borrowed Spryte for the team to see what they could do. I’m pleased to say, that even without my handling input, The Masters and The Apprentices managed to once again do themselves proud and with Karen running Sonic and Spryte and Kriszty running Terra and Shimmer the team WON the Teams Agility event! GO TEAM!!

Soundwave happened on the Monday and Robyn and I braved our public transport and caught the train in to listen and watch Linkin Park, Blink 182, The Offspring, Garbage and Metallica.

All the performances were great and it was amazing to see such a huge writhing mass of people gathered in the middle of the showgrounds all a little amazed at seeing Enter Sandman performed right there in front of them live with James Hetfield sounding just like we all expected he would. I think Axl Rose should take a leaf out of the Metallica lead singer’s Book of Aging Gracefully because he looked and sounded great.

People-watching at these events is as fascinating as seeing the bands play. I’m glad we got there later as the day was quite warm and there were quite a few red lobster impressionists heading home on the train. We also found Waldo (perhaps he was a week early for Comic Con)

The weekend after that was the Oz Comic Con. Which for a first time Perth Comic Con wasn’t too shabby. The lineup of guest stars was okay but definitely left room for improvement. It was neat to actually see William Shatner in the flesh, along with Richard Dean Anderson who I’ve watched on TV since MacGyver and Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones and SG Atlantis. The stalls were certainly interesting and some people had definitely gone all out in their COSPlay efforts to dress up like favourite characters. I spoke to some published writers, bought some books, caught up with a graphic designer friend from the Supernatural fandom and got my general geek on. Tim took some great pics as well.

Jason Momoa – aka Ronan Dex, Khal Drogo and Conan. His panel was very entertaining, I think he does regret his stint on Baywatch:HAWAII. 😉

He has a new movie coming called Road To Paloma. It looked pretty…and interesting 🙂

Looks like Comic Con will be back next year, I’m hoping they can draw a bigger and better line up. I really would like to see Smallville, Supernatural, GoT and The Walking Dead very well represented. In the mean time Tim and I are planning to spend the July school holidays going to the San Diego Comic Con! Finally have our hotel booked and hopefully there will be time to drop in and see Daisy in Portland and check out the Clear Mind facilities she has there. Of course this is the biggest international Comic Con in the world and pretty much any show I’ve ever watched and invested in will be there including sneak peeks at the big comic book based movies being released.

TRAINING. Training four dogs definitely keeps one busy. Cypher only competes in ADAA now and he’s jumping 16 inch. His training is just for maintenance – we can get round most courses usually and he’s consistent but I like to remind him about his weaving style (always been less than smooth) and the contacts and to make sure he keeps fit enough to jump with confidence. We do have fun with the ADAA courses.

With Spryte now, my goal is to push for better contacts and more technical handling – she’s great at distance and the more logical course designs, I now want to get great with her at push to blinds, post blind turns, threadle push handing, and work towards getting her line on courses as efficient as possible. Her complex weave entries also need addressing. We’re doing lots of great course designs at training recently pulled from agility trainers/trials all over the world and including out of my own head. I’m really enjoying the whole puzzle solving aspect of handling choices when presented with new courses these days. This one in particular? A ripper. Loved it Cathy 🙂

Savvy? Well there’s lots to work on with Savvy. She has a two on two off dogwalk and a running aframe but it still needs a lot of work, repetitions and consistent application discipline on my part in trials. Her understanding of collection needs a back to foundation refresher. Weave training goes without saying and considerable work on her accuracy at speed skills. Much of it is jumping based. She’s not really a bar knocker as more of a making inconsistent judgements with take off points and also when to chip in with an extra stride to help bend. She can also have the tendency to be a bit of an air head filled to the brim with excitement and stimulation when we’re at trials or at training even to start with. I love it but at the same time need her to be a little more thoughtful with her body.

And then there is Colt. We haven’t progressed much farther than introducing the Manners Minder, teaching left and right turns, waits, positions and some flat work. We are doing some low one jump work as well and he’s getting great on the bosu ball. He has the retrieve down pretty good, bringing his toys all the way back to me but I know there is many other things we should probably be tackling by now. I think after much consideration I will teach him a four on the floor contact behaviour as it seems I have managed to teach that one very well to Cypher. He turns 7 months old next week and will have his first play a a dog show next weekend. That way I will be forced to actually bath, trim feet and ears and clip nails to get him and Savvy ready for a show. Hopefully it will be a pleasant social outing for the young man and his mum.

Tonight we have the Dobermann Club trial and then one more trial before our State Titles. It’s heading into Week 7 of Term 1 at school and I am looking forward to the Easter break. Then four more weeks till first term is over and soon after the the World Agility Open in Spain. Sadly I’m unable to run Miss Pip again this year, she will be resting up from injury however I will be running her fabulous sister to Pip – Miss Stig. Stig has had a litter back in January and will be back training with Sandra very shortly. They do run quite similar these two, so I’m hoping that will aid in the whole running someone else’s dog challenge the Aussie team is faced with. Here’s a couple of Stig’s runs with Laura last year:Stig Olympia Semi Final Run
Stig Olympia Warm Up Run

I’m looking forward to having fun with this young girl in Spain 🙂