Monday, April 30, 2012

This is good. Oh yeah, this is real good...

I went to an agility trial last weekend, and a wonderful thing happened. But first, some backstory.....

I haven't been very successful lately in agility. It seems like one little thing keeps me from Q'ing (qualifying) on every run. A knocked bar, running around a jump, missing a weavepole - I've done it all. Then mom took Arnie to our last few trials, and he banged out the Q's. Since then, I've overheard mom saying scary things like "maybe I should concentrate on getting Arnie more titles. Maybe I should try and qualify for the Nationals with Arnie. Maybe Arnie should go for his MACH". What the heck? I'M the agility dog.

So off we went, alone, to our show. I show in the 12" Excellent B class, which means I'm competing against all sorts of really great dogs. A lot of these dogs already have their championships, and have been competing for years and years. This is the height that Shelties compete in. And Shelties are usually big winners.

But not that day! Not only did I rock the course, but I was one of only 2 dogs that actually did everything right. And I won first place!!!!

There were lots of hard parts on this course. The big one was the yellow tunnel under dogwalk, which TERRIFIES me for some reason. Can't explain it, but I get really scared when I have to walk over the tunnel. But I dug deep, and kept on walking (mom made sure to encourage me the whole way). Then I kept every bar up, even the dreaded double. I went through every weave pole. I didn't skip the last jump. I got right onto the table. It was perfection. No really, I got a perfect score.

And in the end, the course ate up all the Shelties and other dogs that usually kick my butt. Mom never takes placement ribbons, but she took this one. She says she may never get another one of those again. LOL

I also picked up my first MACH points (a MACH is an agility championship). She's never had a dog get points before, so she was pretty excited about that too.

All in all, a great day. And we get to try again next weekend. Without Arnie. Hopefully all this talk of taking him more often stops now.

The photographer wasn't taking any pictures in the ring I rocked, but here's some from our Jumpers run. I knocked a bar, but mom had told me before we went in that it was OK to screw up, since I'd done so good in my first run.

Notice the flying start - all four OFF the floor

Putting on the afterburners

Driving through the poles

Getting some lift over the triple

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Excellent Times Two

Arnie here. Mom made Gracie give up her airtime, so I can share my success with you all.

As of last Sunday, I am now Pastime's Lightning in a Bottle, AX, AXJ. The AX stands for Agility Excellent. The AXJ stands for Agility Excellent Jumpers. That's right, excellent times two!

Mom was especially happy that I got my title that weekend, under judge Mark Upshaw. He was the judge when I showed for the very first time, in 2008 at our Pug National's Agility Trial. I, uh, didn't do that great that first time out. In fact, I pretty much ran around like a crazy dog. But I managed to pull myself together since then, and was able to show that judge, my mom, and everyone else that I am truly EXCELLENT!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going for the gold

We're off to an agility trial this weekend. Yup, WE. Mom decided to get Arnie another title, so he's coming with us. He only needs one more leg for his title. The reality is that he's a LOT more successful in the ring than I am. 

Arnie flying over the dog walk

But Mom says I'm a lot more fun to run, and cause her less stress. So I get to go to EVERY show. We've got the next 3 weekends booked with agility. The next two are without Arnie. Just us girls.

Me flying over the dogwalk

Monday, April 9, 2012

Plant Pink for Payton

Mom read on Winston's Blog about the Memorial Tribute for Payton, and decided to participate. We were to Plant Pink for Payton, then share our planting. Mom decided to plant an entire section of her new garden pink, to honor our friend Payton.

It's hard to believe that one month ago today, Payton was in this very yard, just feet away from this garden. Not only in the yard, but jumping over an agility jump in our yard. And now sweet Payton is at the Bridge, and our hearts are mourning. 

But this garden will help the healing. 

Mom planted a pink flowering bush (she can't remember the name), pink dianthus, and a pink geranium. And in the section to the right, she planted sunflowers, to honor the Sunflower Sisters. 

Every time mom looks out of our kitchen window, lets us out into our dog yard, or sits on the patio in the evening listening to the birds, she will see Payton's Garden. 

Every time she takes me out to train agility, practice obedience or play fetch, we will walk by Payton's Garden.

Every time she peeks out the office window to check the weather or look at our veggie garden, she will see Payton's Garden. 

When our good friend Suki visits us in a few months, we will take a picture in front of Payton's Garden, to honor our friend, who is gone but never forgotten.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pucks and Paws

I'm letting Arnie on here today, because the latest adventure involved ONLY him. Yeah, you heard that right. I was LEFT AT HOME!!!! Mom said I would hate the adventure, but I'm not buying it. And if I hear that there were treats involved, someone's going to pay.

Arnie here:
Mom's been telling me we about our big adventure for awhile. Since before 1000 Pugs. But she kept saying it was Pucks and Paws. But the only Puck I know is my brother, Puck. And I really didn't want to see multiple versions of him. So I laid low, to see where this thing would take me. 

Bright and early Sunday morning, it took me on a car ride. Gracie was NOT happy, and we could hear her screaming inside the house as we drove away. After a nap, we pulled into a parking space, and there was my Suki, waving over the fence. We were at her house!!! So far, no sign of obnoxious pug mixes, so this "Puck" thing might be something worth waiting for. 

Suki showed me around her house, and I promptly inspected every toy in her toy box. I killed most of them. Can't be too careful, you know.

First order of business - check out all the toys

Then it was into the car, and onto a trail. I could hear water running, and couldn't believe my luck. A little stream, with a bridge across. We ran into the water, and splashed around for awhile. I even got dunked in and had to swim for it. It was pretty hot, so it felt good. 

The cool and inviting creek

Me and my best girl, Suki

We hiked back to the car, and then it was time to get ready for Pucks and Paws. 
I finally would figure out the mystery.

It was a hockey game!

Stars vs Monsters

There was a whole section for dogs. No wonder Gracie didn't come. Everything she hates - cold, crowds, other dogs and loud noises. Me? I loved every minute of it. Well, except when the home team scored. Then it got CRAZY loud, and I got a little scared. But a bite of mom's hot dog helped. 

We got our own seats and everything

Some of the dogs in the section

Suki really enjoyed the game. Even the fights

We even made it onto the jumbotron. Suki was on there twice!

Then it was back home for some well deserved rest. 

Guarding the toys and trying to sleep

The next morning, we went on another adventure. We drove to the Hyatt Lost Pines, and wandered around the beautiful grounds. 

On the banks of the Colorado River

Next to the wagon


Outside the butterfly garden

Suki's mom thought this was an appropriate photo spot

Our moms ate lunch next to the pool, and we got to help them eat. We couldn't go in the pool, but we enjoyed watching the kids rafting and going down the slide. 

We want to go in the pool

Then it was time to head home. It took forever to get back, because traffic was backed up because of a bad wreck (nobody hurt, thank goodness). Mom and a bunch of other drivers got tired of waiting, so they made a break for it by four-wheeling it up and over the embankment. But we made it home safe and sound. 

The view behind us

The view in front of us

Thank you Suki and her mom - we had a blast!!!!