Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catching Up

Haven't blogged in a few weeks - originally because I was so busy, and now because I'm not even sure what to write about to catch up. We've been having a lovely spring with lots of fun adventures lately. Since mid-May, we've:

-Taken a long road/camping trip to Kissimmee, Florida and back, with stops in Mammoth Cave National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Maebe and Django came to compete at CPE Agility Nationals in Kissimmee, while Cade came along for the ride. They all made great driving, hiking, and campfire buddies, although Maebe was looking into nearby hotels hoping for more posh accomodations. Apparently my pillow was the only suitable sleeping area in the camper, so she had to settle for that.

-Competed in CPE Nationals, and watched Maebe and her dad kick some serious agility ass there. So proud of both of them. Maebe came home with four first place ribbons, two seconds, one fourth, and a plaque for Reserve High in Standard. Django had a mixed weekend - some brilliance, some "what on earth made him decide to turn around and go back up the dogwalk in the other direction?" moments - but as always we had a lot of fun running together, he made me proud, and he even came home with a plaque for fourth place veteran in the games (non-standard) classes.

-I competed in my first triathlon for the season, and was pleased with my finish, especially given how early in the season it was. They are truly just a lot of fun, and I can't wait for the next one at the end of the month. In the end, I came in seventh in my age group, but would have placed in every other women's age group. The field was just pretty good at my age - lucky me!

-Have done a couple more local agility trials, and even Tristan got to come out and run a few courses. He was very happy. I can't believe just a year ago he was running so great at Nationals. I think his vision is definitely affecting his jumping now, so we moved him to the "Specialist" category so he only has to jump 12-inches, and we don't ask him to do contact obstacles anymore. He has held up fine with these runs, so hopefully we can continue to bring him out to play a little during this summer's trials.

-Continued to train Cade to be a good little Noodle. He is doing great on the agility obstacles at home. He is now doing 2-on/2-off stops on the contacts, I have him jumping 16" jumps on the jump grids, and think he is now old enough that I will start him on 2x2 weaves very soon. His focus and drive keep getting better. At home. Class has been an increasing challenge in recent weeks with the temper tantrums when other dogs are running. He'd been doing pretty good, but then met the one dog that I have ever seen him actively dislike - an adolescent, exuberant male Beardie in the class. This poor dog sends Noodle up the wall. The beardie is young and excited like Cade, and Cade thinks it his Border Collie duty to take him down a few notches to maintain order in the world. So, the impulse control and attention work continues. . . which means a lot of standing at the back of class doing heelwork and eye contact. He is going to be well worth it though. While he has his squirrely moments, he's just a teenager really, and he is just a delight overall. I do adore the little goofball.

-Oh, and we signed up our first road trip for 2011 already! The British trainer Kay Laurence, who we saw at ClickerExpo this year, is holding a three-day "Learning about Border Collies" seminar at a dairy farm in Missouri in April. Kay is one of the most fascinating dog trainers we've ever seen speak, and the site was described as "Border Collie heaven." We immediately sent in our registration, so plan on taking Cadence and Tristan next spring. We can hardly wait.

In between all that, there have been lots of peaceful drinks on the patio, lovely walks along the pond at sunrise, and just generally enjoying the start of summer, which seemed to arrive while we were off on our camping trip. Feeling very grateful for the many great things that have happened in the last several weeks, and excited for everything still to come in the next couple months.

Some pics from recent adventures:

1 comment:

dharmaspoon guy said...

So thankful to be sharing all of these wonderful moments with you.