Monday, March 29, 2010

WPKA Rally

Jazz had a great weekend at the Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association's Rally Trial at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Saturday's run was a bit shaky, as I immediately started off by patting my leg, which you are NOT allowed to do in Rally Excellent! Fortunately, I caught myself, and although we lost points for it, we were not disqualified. Then I had a "wardobe malfunction" when my nifty new armband holder slid down my arm to my elbow and nearly fell off! I spent the first three obstacles trying to push it back up my arm, and by that point Jazz knew something was up. I finally got myself together and we had a nice finish to the course. Jazz then followed that with a wonderful down-stay honor, despite the fact that there were young children lining the ring gating immediately behind her! Amazingly, we not only qualified but took first place with that crazy run!

Sunday, things were looking a little better for Team Jazz. I was determined not to pat my leg. Friends suggested that I put my hand in my pocket or put my arm in a sling to prevent another mishap, but I kept my head on straight and made it through the course without patting my leg. I also cinched that armband holder up so tight that I nearly lost circulation in my arm, but it prevented any "wardrobe malfunctions" on Sunday. Since I could devote all my attention to Jazz, she had a great run with a score of 93!! This time, Jazz was the only qualifier in Rally Excellent A, so it was another first place and the second leg towards our RE title. None of the other dogs in the class held their honor, which was a sit-stay. We again had quite the audience of young children right at the ring gating, and my friends were enjoying the look of abject terror on my face as one little boy started to reach across the ring gating to pet Jazz as she performed the honor with her back to the little boy. Another Rally competitor saved us by stepping forward and asking the child to move back from the ring gating, but I was already suffering from heart palpitations at that point!

The WPKA show is probably the biggest of the year in Pittsburgh. There is a huge conformation show, obedience, and rally, and many members of the general public attend; hence, the presence of small children at the ring gating. On the other hand, many of our friends were there Saturday to cheer us on, including all of Jazz's "Grandmas": LaDonna, who owns Jazz's mom Gia, and Barb and Nancy, who co-own Jazz's dad Tolliver. Jazz's brother Peet's parents were also there (thanks, Eric, for the sling suggestion), as well as my nephew and his wife, who took some really awesome photos of me and Jazz, including the ones here. Thanks, guys, for all of your support!

Several of the Rally competitors were also friends and students from our Rally class. Karen and Bullet qualified both days and earned their Rally Novice title. Ron and Deb with Bailey qualified on Saturday and earned their Rally Novice title. Nancy and Andy qualified both days and earned their Rally Novice title on Sunday with a first place finish. Sally and Sweet Pea qualified on Saturday, their very first time in the Rally ring. Val and Oslo qualified both days, and Kristi and Izzi qualified on Sunday. Congratulations to everyone and thanks for a fun weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Tess got her very first AKC Excellent B Double Q yesterday at the Westmoreland County Obedience Training Club trial! She also received qualifying scores in Excellent B Standard on Friday and Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves on Saturday.
Way to go, Jim and Tess!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spotty Leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Remember, on St. Patrick's Day, EVERYBODY is Irish!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CPE Weekend

We had a great weekend in CPE agility at Washingtonville, OH. It was a three-day trial, and we had a blast meeting up with our friends and staying in adjoining hotel rooms with Mariann, Jim, Rocky, and Sammie.

The video above is from Tess' Wildcard run on Sunday. In Wildcard, there are three places where there are two obstacles side by side and you must make a choice. You need two of one kind and one of another. Just when you think you have a good plan, the dog can change all that by making an incorrect choice. Tess did a great job on this tough course.

Overall, Tess had eight qualifying runs, three of them in the Championship level and all with placements. She even got to run with "Aunt Mariann" on Friday evening and was a very good girl.

Next up is Jazz's Full House run from Saturday. In Full House, you need three jumps, two round obstacles (tunnel, tire, chute) and a Joker (usually contact obstacles). You also must accumulate enough points to qualify. After the whistle, the dog has five seconds to get to the table to stop the clock. For each second you're late to the table, you lose a point. As you can see, Jazz did a great job on this run and had a fun time with it.

Jazz also had a very nice weekend, qualifying in five runs, with three first place and two second place. She also earned her Level 2 Handler Games title. Go, Jazz!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

National Nap Day

So if the "Opposable Thumbs" holiday wasn't quite up your alley, today is National Nap Day! Now, this is a holiday that I'm definitely willing to celebrate, but, unfortunately, I didn't have that opportunity today. Jazz, however, was in full holiday spirit as she napped on the couch! There's nothing this girl loves better than a little sunshine and a comfy place to snooze.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Silly Holiday?!!

According to Modern Dog magazine, "March 3rd is What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day, one of the most important holidays of the year. Sit back and think about the chaos your furry friends could cause if only they hadn't been shafted by evolution." I kid you's on page 14 of the Spring 2010 edition!

Well, I've sat back and thought about it, and I can't imagine what life would be like if Tess and Jazz were in charge of the remote (although Jazz does seem to enjoy hockey) and they could text me their demands for a comfortable life (treats, treats, and more treats) or phone their friends while I was at work (Hello...Sammie? Let's get together later for some agility or maybe some wrestling). Although we treat these two as if they were children, there are certain advantages to them being just, well, dogs!! For now, I think we should leave this opposable thumbs business to the humans :)