Friday, July 22, 2011

I am agility happy even when I am Q'less!

It is Friday and it is a lazy Friday, it is so so hot (30 C) outside that Mama did not even take me for a walk this morning. She hates the hot humid weather, all she does is to sit still, read or play some sort of games on the computer. 
I have not written in a little while because my paws were sore. We have had 3 trials since the last time I wrote.  The first one was at Club agility de Monteregie, on their beautiful new place out in St. Basile le Grand. It still smells delicious from the horses that used to live there, but I have gotten used to it and I did not really take off to investigate this time.  We had 9 runs on July 9+10. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a single Q. Mama did her best but it was not enough. We nearly got a Jumper, we ran clean but we were 0.74 sec over time. Mama was quite upset about this; she told Auntie Mary that she would have preferred a whole bunch of faults or many seconds over than to lose the Q by 0.74 sec. I don’t really care I just want to run and have fun. I think we are doing ok, Mama still thinks it is better to run clean than to run fast. She says the speed will come once she has full control over me (as that is ever going to happen!)
On the 14th of July we went back to Monteregie in the evening and had another 2 Jumpers. The first was ok but we were too slow once again. The second one was a disaster (Mama’s words, I had fun) I took off in all directions and Mama was yelling and yelling again. She seems to forget not to yell. She should simply cool down, sternly say “with me” and all will be well, but she forgets!
Last Sunday we had a trial at Complexe educative Canin in Terrebonne. We had 3 runs, 1 standard, 1 jumper and 1 snooker. Once again we did not get any Q’s. Mama really wanted to get the snooker as we only need 1 to get the Master Snooker title, but I took a tunnel instead of the bridge that Mama wanted me to take, so Mama got lost and we did not get the points necessary to get a Q. It was a beautiful day though I got to meet all my friends and have fun. It was a bit warm but not too too humid.
We have some very nice friends Foxee & Sako (dogs) and Rolando & Michel (men). They shared the tent with us. Rolando wants to try and run me instead of Mama, I heard them talk. He took me out to the practice jumps and I had fun showing off. Mama was wondering if I would follow him; of course I will follow him he had some absolutely delicious chicken pieces in his pocket, so maybe he can run future jumpers with me as Mama is a bit slow, let’s see.
Yesterday we had class at Guides Canins it was very very hot and we left early as Mama had a hard time breathing. Something very nice happened. There is this guy Daniel that I love to pieces. He has a lot of dogs, Yorkies and Chinese crested, I always get so so excited when I see him. Well yesterday he arrived and instead of taking me over to see him Mama hooked me up to the fence and she went to see him alone. When she came back she smelled so delicious of puppies, she told me one of Daniel’s Yorkies had had 3 little girls and he had them in the car. She had held them, given them kisses and admired them. I wish I had been allowed to go too, but they need something called vaccinations before I will be allowed to meet them, not fair!
The next trial we are going to is something called the AAC Nationals. I hear Mama and Auntie Mary talk about it all the time. They are quite excited about this. We have to drive 8 hours to get there (hate that) as it is in Barre Ontario. It is going to be a big affair with more than 600 dogs participating. I will try my best to run clean and fast. I think Mama should set up the jumps in the garden again to train we need it, but it is far too hot for us to run outside. It is supposed to be better by Sunday so I am sure Mama will do something about the training. It is not enough with one class a week, I need more in between and so does Mama.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I heard Mama say that the Agility Nerd had asked every Agility Blogger to post about volunteering at our trials. Well I don’t volunteer, I just sit in my crate and wait for Mama to run me, but I do know that Mama tries her best to lend a helping hand each time we have a trial at our school. As our school Guides Canins is quite big, it has room for 4 rings, they always need Volunteers at our events. Well I have seen Mama ring crew and often we have the last run of a trial so Mama stays and helps to clean up. I am sure she could do more, but she is not as young as she used to be! I have seen all the nice people who volunteer do all the stuff needed and I know (Mama told me) that without them it would not be possible to have our trials and that would be so so sad.
If I had a hand that could hold a glass I would raise it to make a big big toast for all the volunteers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What a weekend

It is Monday and the weekend is over. My feet are sore from all the running and my stomach is also a bit sore because let me tell you I got tons and tons of very delicious treats and a million of “good girl’s”. But let me start at the beginning. Friday we had a normal AAC trial, kind of a “warm-up” for the Regionals on Saturday and Sunday. We had 2 gamblers, a jumper and a standard. The gamblers were impossible, all the mini’s far out and layered, I really don’t know how Mama can expect me to know which jump to take when there are 4 or more to choose from. I did manage to get enough points in one but did not finish the closing and in the 2nd we did not even get the points nor the closing.  In the jumper we were over time and in the standard I missed a jump and was also over time. Well it was just a “warm-up” but Mama got very anxious and nervous, she was so so sure we would not manage to qualify for the Nationals.
Saturday started with a Gambler we only got 25 points but I finished the closing Gambler and Mama nearly fainted. She got a bit upset when she got the results because she said we were over time by 0.32 secs, I don’t think that is very much is it? I heard Mama tell Auntie Mary that we lost out on the 35 bonus points because of that. Then there was the Jumper; Mama and I ran clean, Mama did not lose my attention nor me, I followed her all over, each time she yelled “with me” I was right by her side.  We were over by 5 secs though, but I think that is ok, that is just points taken off the 75 everybody gets to start off with. The last was the Standard. It was a very nice course, but I nearly jumped onto the teeter without touching the yellow so Mama stopped me and put me back on the beginning that, Mama told me, counts as a refusal. We were also over by 6 secs. That means that we got 6+5 points taken off from the 100. All in all it was not a bad day we ended up with 182 points and Mama seemed quite pleased with me and I got treats and treats.
A funny thing happened Saturday; there was this lady who was testing dogs to see if they could be therapy dogs. Mama thought it would be fun to see what I could do so she signed me up.  I did very well, I remembered from obedience how to heel, how to sit when Mama stopped, I let a stranger touch me all over  and I even stayed for 3 mins without Mama in sight. Then came the “big” test, the lady put a piece of cheese on the floor and I was supposed to walk right over it, well come on folks, cheese on the floor, I am a terrier and there is no way I am going to let a piece of cheese go to waste on the floor. Mama tried her best with “leave it” “don’t touch” etc, but if I see a piece of cheese on the floor, it has my name on it and finally I was faster than the lady and Mama and I snapped the cheese right from the floor where it did not belong in the first place, did you not see it said Missy on it? Mama told me we failed the test but I got the cheese!
Sunday for some reason or the other Mama seemed very calm and content so I was happy and content too. We started the day with a Standard we ran clean, I nearly got lost between obstacle 3 and 4 but Mama got me back with “with me” and we continued, then there was a tricky part after the A-frame, there was a very tempting jump just in front of it but we were supposed to take it from the other side where of course there was a very nice tunnel calling my name, but Mama did her best and I followed her. We were over by 5 secs though, but Mama seemed to think it was ok as I got many treats. The next of the day was the Gambler.  Mama took off in front of the dog-walk, but she did not tell me to take it so I did not, she kept running right by the teeter so I did too, nice running straight out without taking any jumps well finally we got to the 2nd mini-gambler it started with a beautiful tire and I took off right into the tunnel behind it, then a jump and around to the 4 point jump, Mama turned and I got to take it again, nice, I love running in circles. Right then I heard the whistle and we took off toward the closing Gambler, jump out to a nice tunnel and wow my favorite the A-frame, it was a bit far out, but I took it nicely, then back to Mama and around the final jump, wow wow we did it. Mama told me we had 22 secs to do that and I did it in 17 so my tail was very proud as was Mama, she said that was 35 bonus points plus 5 bonus points for the time, good eh? The last of the day was the Jumper Mama kept saying to Auntie Mary: “I am going to get lost on this one”. I know that at that point we only needed 1 more point to qualify for Nationals, but I think Mama was sure we were going to get a big fat 0. Well we ran clean clean we did not get lost. We were over by 6 secs, but clean. Mama was very very happy with the day we actually got 235 points in total.
At the end of the day there was the all the prizes to be given out. The rosettes were beautiful and the 1st prize crystal trophies even nicer.  By the time we got to my class, 10” special, Mama had realized that everybody who qualified with over 350 points would get a nice red rosette and the 6 with the highest scores would get placement rosettes so I could feel her energy as being very happy and pleased with the whole weekend.  They read the names and the scores and I ended up in 5th place with 416 points!! Mama did her very best to hide her tears but I know they were right there. My school took 5 1st places, my teacher Yael one of them. Now Mama tells me we are going to the Nationals in Barre Ontario in August and she is so so happy. 
This whole weekend has been a wonderful experience the place was beautiful. It was indoors which was good as it rained all weekend. It was perfectly organized and Club Canin Chomedey deserves a big round of applause for their hard work. I am sure Mama has realized that all our hard work in the garden, in the house and the new lead-out has paid off and I hope she will continue that way so we can get our ATCH.
The next trial is in 2 weeks but first I have to go with Mama to Toronto and visit my big Sister, her husband and baby for the weekend. That means 6 hours in the car - hate that car -. Mama told me Auntie Mary bought me some stuff to spray on my blanket in the car to calm me down. I hope it works I will tell you all later.

Friday, June 17, 2011

4 Trials done and more to come

It has been a whole month since I wrote about the first trial of the year which was a bit of a disaster, so Mama had big expectations for the next one. Well it was very nice weather for the big trial at Guides Canins. We had 16 runs over 4 days which is not too much for me, I don't know about Mama, she seems to get a bit tired before I do. Out of all those runs I finally managed to get my first Q in Master Gambler. Mama nearly fainted, she does not really trust herself to get me in the right direction with her "outs" but this time it worked just fine and I got a millions treats and "good girls" both from Mama and Auntie Mary. But that was all we managed to get. Even though the first gambler was an achievement I do think I could (and Mama too) have done better. At one point I heard Mama talking to my teacher Yael, they were talking about changing to me "special" not because I can't jump the 16" but because then they can change me to Veteran next year.
I believe Mama did it because at the next trial at Terrebonne  the 29th of May, the jumps were down to 10".
We had 4 runs  that Sunday and even though we ran and ran we did not manage to get any Q's, very disappointing. I really think Mama should play and train with me more often, not only in class but at home too. We have a nice big garden and I know Mama has jumps in the Cabana, tell me how do I let her know?
Mama was a bit stressed out over our lack of Q's and I think she has been thinking about what to change. Up to know she has set me up for a long lead-out, but you know what? She gets me all excited to run and then she sits me down and say "wait", she goes all the way out to the 3rd obstacle, it takes time and I get bored. Then she shouts "come", I am no longer excited and instead of running I just walk, which makes Mama shout "come on - come on - faster - faster" but I lost interest. I tried to tell her.
I think she actually heard me this time because at the trial at Club Agility Montreal on the 2nd of June we got 2 Q's, one in Master Gambler (wow) and one in Master Snooker and we nearly got one more in Master Jumper but I missed a jump. What was so interesting about this trial was that Mama no longer does a long lead-out but she only walks to the other side of the first obstacle, close to the second and then she takes off running and I sprint after her, it is so fun fun fun, I hope she continues this way. Mama tells me that now we only need 1 Snooker, 2 Gamblers and 2 Jumpers for the ATCH.  I want that title I have seen the ribbons and they are stunning lots of colors and nearly bigger than me.
Well we had one more trial at Club Agility Monteregie. We have gone there before but they changed the place. The new place was a delicious one. It used to be a horse farm and let me tell you the smells were so overwhelmingly tempting that I lost it. I simply ran all over, Mama was yelling and yelling, but I did not hear her, I did take some of the obstacles but I do not think it was the right ones so there were no Q's. We only had 2 Standard runs, I promise I will do better next time.
Next weekend, June 24-25-26, Mama tells me we have Regionals (Quebec). It is Club Canin Chomedey which is hosting. That was the first school we went to and I like the teachers and all the people there. It is quite close to where we live so I don't have to spend a lot of time in the car to get there. I hate that car, I will tell you about that at another time. Mama has started to work with me in the garden and also inside the house, especially with this "leave it" and "with me" she seems to say that a lot, it is fun because when I do what she says I get delicious treats and a lots of "good girl's", I hope she continues.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wet Wet Wet

Well we had the trial this weekend. We started on Friday with 3 runs. The weather was warm and nice. This was the first outdoors run of the year and I was very exicted about the whole thing. Mama and Auntie Mary had set up our tent just inside the exit so I had a ball greeting absolutely everybody who came in, I just love saying hi to all and get nice scratches, kisses and hello from them all.
The first run of the day was a Steeplechase, I have only run one of those before but I was ready as was Mama, we started out OK, but then we came to the weaves and I just had to take a look around to see who was there, Mama tried to make me go faster but I did not really feel like it. I got going again but then there was this pinwheel and once again I just had to look around in between 2 jumps. I ran clean but Mama says we ran in 47 sec and only had 41 so we did not get a nice red ribbon (Q). After the steeplechase there was a Jumper and again my nose and curiosity got the better of me and I went in the wrong direction = no red Ribbon here either. The last run was a Standard, it was pretty good, but then Mama wanted me to take the weaves right next to the A-Frame and oh well you know what I chose, the A-Frame, I just love that thing so much fun to go up and down. Mama still told me I was a good girl and I even got treats, my Mama is very nice.
The next day, Saturday, was another story, it rained rained and then rained some more. I don't have a lot of fur, Mama calls it hair, not fur, so I get wet very easily. I don't know how they can expect me to run fast and clean in weather like that, Mama had clothes on I only had my hair. We were supposed to run 8 runs, we ended up only doing 6 Mama finally said "enough" oh was I happy I just wanted to go home and get warm. So all in all it was not a good Trial for Q's. We have another trial this week on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 16 runs hopefully we will get a couple of Q's Mama says we need them for the ATCH. I promise to do my very best. It is only 4 runs a day I do think I can handle that, don't you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting Ready

Hi again, the first post was Mama writing but this is my blog so in the future it will be me, Missy, who writes. Mama is a bit stressed out, she says we have a full weekend ahead of us with trials and many runs, she says 11 runs, but I can't really count I will just run whatever Mama tells me to run. I love my agility, especially the A-frame, I love to run full speed up and full speed down and would like to just run off, but Mama keeps yelling "spot" at the end, it cuts into my speed and fun, but I am a good girl so I stop and "spot" mostly with my butt on the grass. I know I am supposed to keep that little butt of mine on the frame but it is hard to stop like that. We have been training a lot lately especially the gambler, Mama keeps telling me "out", I run out but Mama has the tendency to point in the wrong direction and I can't see which obstacle she wants me to take, so I just take whatever is there I want to have fun fun fun. Mama tells me we are going to Club Agility Montreal (AAC) for the first trial outdoors, can't wait all those delicious smells in the grass. It is such a lovely place and I know, I can smell them, that many small animals have been visiting during the winter I hope Mama will give me permission to smell them out, but I doubt it. Should I ignore her and just smell? I am a terrier and we live by out noses, but Mama has delicious stuff in her pouch so what to do? What is better the smells or the treats? Well I will decide tomorrow and will come back and tell you all about it. We are supposed to get something called Q's, I will just do my best and have fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our first blog

Today was Thursday which means agility class in the morning.
We are very fortunate to have a beautiful school to go to called Guides Canins. It is located in St. Lazare, Quebec, Canada, in the middle of a big forest with many wonderful trails to explore as rewards for good performance at class. We have been doing agility for 3 1/2 years now and last spring we began competing seriously. We both enjoy it a lot and have been quite successful now running at the Master level and working very hard towards the ATCH (AAC Canada). The outdoor trial season begins seriously in May and we are already signed up for 10 trials with a "million" runs in all desciplines. Hopefully we will get as many Q's and titles.
Missy is far better than I, she is a young one and I am an older one. I have never done anything like this before in my life where I believe she was born to do it. But I am catching up (I hope!)
I am including a link to our latest Master Standard run, it was a Q and it also gave us the MADC, the first Master title of the 4 needed for the ATCH. Our run. It will show you who we are. More to come.