P is for Photography Passions

One of my favourite hobbies that I don’t get to do enough of is photography. I love taking photos of my favourite dogs, actors, landscapes, food, toys, books and random moments during travelling times. Here’s a few I took at a recent convention held for Supernatural in Australia.

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Jensen Ackles aka Dean Winchester

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Tim Omundson aka Cain

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Mark Sheppard aka Crowley

But I also love it when people take great pictures of my dogs in action…

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Colt aka Winpara Weapon Ov Choice – so named after the Colt gun used in my favourite Television show.

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Savvy aka Winpara Stay Frosty (named for the hope that I’d have a clever little girl on my hands and her fancy name came about after watching the fantastic HBO series Generation Kill).

It’s tricky to take photos of your own dogs in action, but it’s great when other people can do the job quite well!
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So after participating in my very first agility trial back in 1995 I decided perhaps it was time to help support our dwindling pool of available ANKC Agility judges and threw my hat into the ring for trainee agility judges course towards the last half of 2014. Seven of us started and five of us finished the course in February/March and today was my first official judging experience. It was quite brief, apparently all the Novice dogs have recently just qualified out and up to Excellent! At least in the jumping so I only had 4 dogs in. However I did get a qualifier with a lovely clean run on my Novice Jumping course. I’m going to post my course maps here. As part of my requirements to attain elevation to be able to judge at all levels I have to design and scribe at least three times at the Excellent, Masters and Open level – so today I got my Masters requirement done by designing and scribing for ANKC judge Anne in the JDM ring.

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My Novice Jumping measured out to 107m and I gave dogs a run rate of between 2.1 and 2.2mps. This worked out to a SCT of 49 seconds. I had 2 dogs in 400 and 2 Dobes in 600 compete and my one winner and clear round was the Finnish Lapphund in 400.

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My Masters Jumping course which I designed, set and scribed for had about 60 dogs of all heights (200/300/400/500/600) competing on it. SCT was set for 500/600 dogs at 49 seconds (run rate 3.4mps as it was quite wet) and 55 seconds for 200/300/400. Ended up with 8 qualifiers across all heights except 600. I did have to tweak it a little from the above map to satisfy my own intentions. The number 14 was moved to the number 3 tunnel entry which made it more challenging and then jump 20 was moved further down to sit on the 12 grid line. I was pleased with the way it ran and so was the judge, a number of NQ runs simply had some bad luck management of 20 to 21 or at 12 to 13 (some dogs swung wide to the broad causing off course DQs) and some handlers didn’t quite execute a front cross from 10 to 11 nicely causing a push to the back of 11 instead. Some dogs did indeed take the wrong end of 14 as well. Happy to see my own Savvy run the course with very competent handler Karen to get a clear too. First place I think did it in 32 point something seconds.

I think I’m going to enjoy designing the puzzles of creating flowing yet challenging and unique agility courses. I’m looking forward to my next appointment in September but hopefully I’ll be designing some courses before then!

On the home front there’s quite a lot of progress afoot! We will, fingers crossed, so long as everything goes well, be moving in around August or September so not long to go now. It’s getting quite exciting thinking about moving into a brand new house but also a bit daunting with the amount of stuff we need to do between now and then. I’ve been reflecting a lot on how much stuff, material things we actually have but don’t ever actually use or need. When you whittle it down to the bare essentials leaving room of course for the sentimental memories and truly meaningful mementos we really shouldn’t be quite as surrounded as we are. I feel a trip to the Swap meet is soon in the cards.

My next biggest excitement though will be San Diego Comic Con 2015. Two weeks in July school holidays! I’m hoping to have much to report on then!