Thursday, December 10, 2009

Naming my puppy

This afternoon I completed a large research project two days before the deadline. I should have taken advantage of the extra time and gotten a head start on the next project but no, I ended up spending the last few hours surfing the Internet for puppy names.

I have a list started. I have no puppy but I darn sure have a list of possible names. I did this with Sage and Summit. I spent months researching the etymology and examining each name based on how it looks in print and how it sounds (a name sounds very different when spoken softly and when screamed on the course to avoid an off-course tunnel).

Why the obsession with names? I don't know but I take naming my dogs very seriously. I really like the sound of "S" names - Sage and Summit. I am tempted to continue the trend of "S" names (although quite a few on my list do not begin with "S") in addition to sticking with the nature theme of the Rocky Mountain West. The name needs to be no more than two syllables and if longer, needs to be able to be shortened for a call name on the agility course. As a really impressive example of creativity, Summit's name is shortened to "Sum" when I need to verbally get his attention while running a course.

I have a lot of great Border Collie names but somehow they don't quite fit a Sheltie.

So far my favorites are the following names: Soleil (French for sun for a Sable Sheltie); Kite (a rare and endangered Raptor in the British Isles known for graceful flight)...

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Last agility trial for the year and Sage's *almost* MACH

Thanksgiving weekend we attended an AKC trial in the Black Forest (outside of Colorado Springs). Joan Meyer was the judge and she put up some fun and challenging courses.

On Saturday, both Sage and Summit double Q'd. Sage placed third in Standard with 38 seconds and around 7th or 8th in jumpers with a time of 25 seconds and double Q number 19.

Summit won Standard with a time of 34 seconds and won jumpers with a time of 23 seconds for double Q number 5.

On Sunday Summit NQ'd with several faults in Standard but had a nice run in Jumpers that afternoon but with one bar (would have been first place). I admit that I walked the course with Sage in mind when I ran Summit, made handling decisions on the fly.

Sage WON Standard and that afternoon, we ran Jumpers to earn her MACH. She had a lovely run (very smooth) except for a missed weavepole entry. It was such a rush to go for that MACH run. I loved the pressure and although it didn't happen that weekend, it will eventually.

Overall I was very pleased with both dogs' performance. A few things to work on to improve. Summit is starting to push his contact behavior in competition again so it's time to start reminding him in training about his release cue. Sage was awesome and very consistent all weekend.

We are taking December off from competition. I have several seminars and workshops planned for Summit and of course, lot's of hikes for all the dogs.

Below are videos from the weekend.

Summit Saturday Standard - 1st place

So in case you are wondering what the fuss is at the startline. Summit did not want to face away from the course. I put him in a down at the first jump (facing away from the rest of the course) and he argued with me, "No Momma, the course goes the other way!" Joan was laughing and I finally just picked him up and placed him down and ran with him.

Sage Saturday Standard - 3rd place

Summit Saturday Jumpers - 1st place

A wide turn into the weavepoles. I ran Sage second and did a front cross two jumps before the weaves which really tightened the turn.

Sage Saturday Jumpers

Summit Sunday Standard - NQ

I ran Summit first. I was not really focused on handling him and had really walked the course for Sage. Needless to say, I made several handling mistakes and sent him off course after the chute.

Sage Sunday Standard run - 1st place

This really was an awesome run!

Sage Sunday Jumpers - almost MACH ;-)

Summit Sunday Jumpers - dropped bar