Reno, Here We Come!

Photo By Randy Gaines

2011.  Eight trials to earn 400 speed points.  Many miles, many cookies, many laughs and sometimes a few tears.  Days of sun, rain, skipped lunches, and lots of Duncan kisses.

It was a quest to earn our way to the National Agility Championships in Reno.  And now we’ll soon be on our way for the NAC trial taking place this weekend.  Our goal for the NAC is simply to run…to enjoy running together, and enjoy our dog and people friends.  Each time Dunc sails over that finish jump, grin on his face, I will try to remember to savor that moment, knowing how far Duncan has come, how brave he’s learned to be, and how much I love running this game with my boy.  I love this dog with all of my heart.  Thanks for running with me, little buddy.

Dunc with his "Clooney" expression...all squinty.

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The DesMan At Work

Des and I began Sylvia Trkman’s Agility Foundation course last month.  It’s been a good experience so far, albeit at a pace I’d describe as slightly faster than frenetic.  Part of my lack of posting lately is because I come home from my job and then go to work.  Des and I will go through a skill, then I’ll edit video and catch up on course reading.  Somewhere in there, Dunc and I try to stir up a little dust in the field, and then I spend some time reminding the rest of my family what I look like!  Thank goodness my husband understands time-consuming hobbies.  (By the way, Sweetie, I think the mail guy kicked another 70 lb block of lead out in our driveway…)

Until recently, Des had never done more than three obstacles in a row.  I’ve spent most of our time working mainly on foundation and focus, just with me.  I haven’t shared a lot of Des video to date mainly because I wanted to allow him the time to find his feet, to help him decide if chasing around a field of obstacles was his idea of fun.  This short sequence was part of our current lesson.  I think my boy may have found his feet!

Snow, Sunshine and Dog Toys…it Must Be Spring!

It’s spring in Idaho.  Just two days ago, the wind blew snow sideways most of the day.  It didn’t stick to the ground, or the trees, or the roads…just the side of my face while I was walking Des.  He didn’t mind until the wind filled his ears with icy, white flakes. (Hey, when you have ears that look like satellite dishes…)  And now, two days later…

It’s the other kind of spring!

Just a boy, some newly green grass and a fuzzy-tailed squeaky ball.  After grabbing the toy, lighting up the afterburners and taking a dozen hot laps around the yard, he flopped down to enjoy his prize.

Duncan, in the meantime, did his best superhero pose.  Part-time agility star, full-time protector of the yard, defender of our flock of quail from prowling cats, and our UPS guy alarm system.  Little dog, big heart.  As it turns out, perhaps quite literally.

Later, Des got to play with a friend.  They compared baby brother notes and found they have a lot in common.  I fear we may endure some back seat hijinks later this summer if they get to ride next to each other.  Watch out varsity, the JV squad is pretty cute, too!

What a lovely afternoon…the Merlies and I are awfully happy to share the day with our Boston friends!  Next stop…Reno!!!

Snow Day with the Snow Monsters

For those of you who have little brothers, ’nuff said.  For those that don’t, never fear, about a nanosecond after I took this shot, Des turned on the afterburners and opened up a sizable lead on the bitey one.

We’ve been quiet this week.  To keep our summary short, Duncan and I had far too many visits to the vet, apparently to test how high my blood pressure can go.  Let’s just say we’re thankful for dog doctors who love their work, and are more than willing to take enough time to get to the bottom of a problem.  We begin this week feeling optimistic, and looking forward to getting seriously ripped on our therapy bosu ball.  (To provide clarification; Duncan will be the one getting ripped, I will provide moral support and motivation in the form of cookies).

It’s been a dry winter here, so after a recent snow, the pups threatened to mutiny if they didn’t get to go and romp in it.  Des tried to play keep-away with everyone, but he’s far faster than the other pups now…so he spent a lot of time looping around re-engaging the game of chase.  With all the training we do, sometimes it’s just fun to watch them be goofy together.   I hope you enjoy their antics as much as I did!

Lucy, our Frog Dog, hit the snow to show the boys how it’s done.  Allez, allez, ALLEZ!!  Go go GO!  Tres magnifique, ma petite choux.

And then Des hit a Bulldog Speed Bump.

Even Angus, AKA the Big Red Truck (named for obvious reasons) joined the fun.  For a ten and a half year old Boxer, he’s still got some go.  You can see Des wisely pace him and not attempt to pass.  Sometimes the Big Red Truck gets overly excited and loses a wheel.

Des:  “Play with me!  PLAAAAY with me!!”

Either that, or he’s practicing levitation.  In that case…Wingardium Leviosa!

At the end of the day, everybody crashed with their respective blankies, having had a blast outside.  Angus, our old boy, fell asleep with a big Boxer grin on his face.  And I got an hour of solace with two merlies passed out in my lap.  A pretty good end to a pretty fine day.

All four. In one picture. I'm so lucky I should buy a lottery ticket!