October 11, 2010

Well, after 25+ years of showing dogs, I now have a dog with an AKC title at both ends. Dash, at the ripe old age of 10.5, is now CH Van Gunn’s Kickin’ It Up RN.

Our picture with the judge when we finish our RN

Dash finishes his RN

Dash was always a dog who loved to show, and he was so happy to be back in the show ring. He earned his 3rd RN leg with a score of 96 at the all Terrier Trial in Kimberton last week. He got up on the Sit-Walk-Around, which cost us 3 points for the do-over, but otherwise he was great. And, like in his other 2 trials, people commented on how HAPPY he was to be working.

Dash’s arthritis will keep him out of AKC Rally Advanced because he can’t jump. But, since he had SUCH a good time, we may look into competing in APDT, or maybe trying for the new AKC Beginner Novice obedience title.

Here are some pictures of the happy boy in the ring.

Left Turn

Figure 8



5 days of Dog Adventures

September 20, 2010

Wednesday – FAST class

Our agility class on Wednesday was a FAST course. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the class much, but we did well, and it was interesting. Carla has been much speedier in class lately, but if I get lost, and stop to figure out where I’m going, it definitely slows her down, a LOT. I also learned that the send was not as much of a problem as I expected – good to know! Since we did well, I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy the class more, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that l still feel so inept at planning a course, and FAST was all about the planning.

Thursday and Friday – Rally

On Thursday and Friday, my senior citizen, Dash, was back at a dog show for the first time in over 5 years. Dash always enjoyed showing, and was thrilled to get back into the ring again. He far exceeded my expectations, and came home with a blue ribbon from Rally Novice B both days. He scored a 98 on Thursday, and a 97 on Friday. I got several comments from spectators about how happy Dash was and how much fun he was to watch. Here’s a picture of him from when he was much younger. He’s still a handsome happy guy.

Saturday and Sunday – Agility

Carla and I entered our first ever agility trial, the Y2K9’s CPE trial. I entered this trial primarily so we could work on our (my) stress issues, in an environment that doesn’t have our “trouble” obstacles, the weaves and teeter. So, to that end, I guess the weekend was successful, I went from feeling drastically ill on Saturday to actually being able to enjoy eating on Sunday.

On Saturday we were entered in Standard and Jumpers. Our standard run was very, VERY, slow and painful, right up until when we were whistled off for time. Our jumpers run was more successful, although still way over in time faults.

On Sunday we were entered in Standard and Colors. Our standard run on Sunday was the most successful of the weekend, only 10 time faults. Here’s the run:

I know that it was our first weekend, and that I should be thrilled that Carla kept working, albeit slowly, despite the new environment and her stressed out handler, but I’m still frustrated and discouraged, not so much because of the slugg-y-ness, but more because I haven’t a clue how to fix it.

I’m trying to remember that in our first off lead Rally trials, our stress behaviors were much worse, a LOT of sniffing, and some out and out refusals, so I’m hoping that there’s hope for us in agility yet.

To end things on a positive note, here’s a picture of Carla practicing with Reanna at Y2 2 weeks ago, both of them having a good time.

Canine Experience

August 4, 2010

Reanna and Carla at the Canine Experience

On Sunday, a very rare thing happened. The whole family attended the Suffolk County Kennel Club Canine Experience in Long Island. Normally dog events are a me-only activity, with Audra occasionally coming along, BUT, since the canine experience was the first opportunity Reanna has had to “show” a dog, Perry came along to watch (and film).

Reanna was entered in pee-wee junior handlers with Beaker. Pee-wee juniors is a class for all children under 10. Parents were allowed to enter the ring with their child, but I was the only one who did. Reanna was by far the youngest in the class, and she was right between a child with a staffy bull and a child with an adolescent black GSD, neither of which had very good control of their dogs. I wish THEIR parents had been in the ring. At one point I actually picked Beaker up when the staffy bull got VERY interested in him.

All children won a rosette and a Pro-Plan towel, so Reanna was on cloud nine. She was very proud of herself.

Audra, Reanna and I showed Carla, Beaker and Lizzie in conformation. The judge was very happy to have Podengos in his ring. He was very patient with the kids, and very gentle with the puppies. Beaker won the puppy group which was very exciting. Here’s Audra showing Carla.

I also entered Carla in an agility fun “run.” As you can see, she clearly didn’t read the “run” part of the entry form.

All in all I thought it was a successful outing. In between rings we hosted a Meet The Breed Booth for the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America (PPPAmerica) As always, the pod puppies drew a lot of admirers and we handed out a lot of pamphlets. Perry did have an unfortunate (and painful) encounter with an easy up that wasn’t all the way “up.” Perry turned around and smacked his head right into one of the metal parts that was slowly sliding down. Ouch!

Here are the girls 10 minutes out of the show site on the way home.

Audra asleep on the way home Reanna asleep on the way home

In class on Wednesday, Carla had weave pole issues. She did 6 poles twice, but then had a real problem doing them again. So, in our private lesson on Friday, we concentrated on, you got it, weave poles!

In all our different classes and different instructors, we’ve never consistently worked on weave poles. In our very early classes we did a lot of work with very open channels, then one instructor introduced 2x2s so we did some work with that, but I never really followed up well with ANY method. Not surprisingly, while I occasionally get a very nice weave performance, it’s highly erratic.

So, on Friday we started over, using 6 straight poles with guide wires and ex-pens. I wish I had a video of this, because Carla did GREAT! She was faster and more confident than she has ever been. And even while we weren’t working, she would go over and offer poles. At the end of the session, she was consistently weaving 6 poles with no ex-pens and only 1 guide wire. When we practice at home, I’ll put the ex-pens and guide wires back to start, and I’ll make sure I get video.

The puppies, are continuing to be stellar performers. Here’s Lizzie weaving – this is about as many trials as we do with her because she is still just a baby. You can also see her here on Audra’s blog.

We also worked the puppies on the chute – they’re very wiling to go in, but sometimes come out crooked. When we introduced a jump in front of the chute, both puppies immediately tried going around the jump and the chute and running right for the treat at the end. Luckily Dawn is very quick so the both learned that they will not get rewarded for bypassing an obstacle. Here’s Audra and Beaker:

Puppy Agility

July 18, 2010

Well, here we are, 5.5 months after the puppies were born and they’re both still here. Lizzie is definitely staying. She is Audra’s puppy, and while she may not be the most agile dog out there, what she lacks in structure, she sure makes up for with enthusiasm.

Beaker (formerly Leonardo) is also still here. If the absolutely perfect home comes along, I might let him go, but in the meantime, I’m having a good time introducting him to agility. Both puppies are in class with Sassie Joiris and it’s a real hoot to watch them.

Lizzie is a very earnest worker and tries very hard to be right. Beaker is much more laid back, and distractable, but Sassie assures me he’ll be a great agility dog some day. We haven’t done much with them outside of class, but here are some videos that we took today.

The puppies don’t know much about showing yet, but here are some pictures of them getting used to a grooming table. As you can see, Beaker is finally losing his baby fluff. His tail wouldn’t stop wagging long enough to get a good picture.

From July 2010

Lizzie looks more and more like her mom, although I think she has more substance.

From July 2010

Week 2

February 15, 2010

The big news this week has been the weather.  Snow, snow and more snow!

Of course the puppies have stayed nice and warm inside. Here’s one from a few days ago, all snuggled up with Reanna.

And of course, the obligatory 2 week photo shoot pictures:

The puppies got hungry on the set, so we had some food brought in:

Then after the dinner break, it was nap time.

Darlene provided us with some “L” names that are in keeping with this breed’s Portuguese heritage. So far, the favorites are Leonardo and Lisette.

1 Week Old

February 8, 2010

We all made it through our first week.  Mom and puppies are doing well.  Weights today were 11.5 oz (girl) and 10.8 oz (boy).  These puppies are going to be the Casa De Maio “L” litter, so the girls have been having a good time coming up with names.  So far the favorites are “Lexi” and “Laser.”  Somehow I don’t think that’s what Darlene, Carla’s breeder and co-breeder of this litter, has in mind.

Here are the 1 week pictures:

Since we’ve decided to let Audra have her “own” dog, she’s been diligently researching different breeds.  Before the puppies were born she did most of her research online and went through Aussies, Entlebuchers, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, and Shelties.  Approximately 10 minutes after the first puppy (girl) was born, she decided that was the dog she wanted.  However, she’s reconsidering (again!) and now thinks she wants a Norfolk Terrier.  I’m hoping that the Podengo Pequenos will make a comeback once the puppies are a little more interactive.

Here’s Reanna enjoying the snow.