Sunday, August 31, 2008

The elusive third leg...

The third leg of Sophie's CDX has been a bit elusive... We earned two legs fairly easily then ran into some trouble trialing outdoors. As summer approached, I backed off all together on obedience entries to get ready for and spend some time trialing in agility. It has been several months since we were even at an obedience trial - let alone entered!
To focus my thoughts, I put a magnetic blurb on the fridge about three weeks ago. Every time I went to get a drink or feed the dogs, I saw this:
So today was our first obedience trial in a very long time. We were entered at Morris Hills Dog Training Club's show - held at Top Dog Obedience School in Flanders, NJ. The alarm went off at 4:45 A.M. and we were out the door and on the road at 6 A.M. Sophie and I were the second team in the ring - about 8:15 A.M. Things started out well - she stayed with me on the first step of heeling - always a good sign! There was a missed sit and a bit of lagging, but all in all, the heeling was acceptable for me - 9 points off - whatever - its a huge improvement from the days in Novice when she wouldn't move a single step on the off lead heeling! Her "Drop On Recall" was drop-dead-gorgeous! ZERO points deducted! "Retrieve on the Flat" lost us 1.5 points - no sit on the return and a bit of mouthing on the dumbbell. "Retrieve over the High" was very nice - .5 point deduction. "Broad Jump" was also very nice - .5 point deduction. Going into the stays I was VERY nervous - everything relied on her little butt staying put for the long sit and the long down - with an active Utility ring VERY close to her! But she did it! She qualified and earned that elusive third leg to complete her title! Saving Sophie - Companion Dog Excellent!
Here are our three qualifying ribbons for Open Obedience. No placement today with a 188.5 final score - but don't care at all! Having completed this title means we can take a break from obedience trials for a long time while we teach Utility...which means more time for AGILITY!!!
Here's my little star enjoying a new toy for the win :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Auntie Kristin came to visit!!!

Kristin is my very bestest friend on the planet. She and I have known each other since we were 2 years old! She is SOOOO busy these days, going to school full time and working almost full time, I don't get to see her as often as I would like :(
But she came up to visit last night and Cash was REALLY happy to see his Auntie!

We all love Kristin! Cash needs to practice licking people till they cringe more often!

Friday, August 22, 2008

BOSU training with the fur kids

Finally got a BOSU to help with core strengthening for the dogs. Everyone had a turn to see what they could do today...

Sophie says - I can stand with my front feet on and move my back feet around from left to right...

Cash says - ME TOO!!!
AND I can SIT on it!!!

Sophie says - Ha - sit on it, I can SIT UP on it! Silly baby, Tricks are for RED DOGS!

Meanwhile - Jesse says - I think this thing makes a nice pillow...
Photos of Cash and Sophie taken by Carol Durr

New family pictures...

All photos in this post taken by Carol Durr - my wonderful, patient Mamma!

Getting one dog to stay for a picture, well anyone can do that!
Getting two dogs to stay - no problem, been doing that for 5 years now!
But getting three dogs to stay (one of which is only 17 weeks old) - now that's a big problem! But we managed to capture the moment and now you can share in the my fur kids' HUGE accomplishment for the day :)

We also got a quick update for the family photo - my happy kids, all smiles!
Cash's growing so fast - he's like a totally different puppy - and its only been 6 weeks since the last 'family picture'!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

TV watching

Jesse likes to watch the TV - all the dogs do actually... But Jesse likes to make sure that she is comfortable first - she MOVED the pillow to be just right for her... This picture shows her intense concentration on the Olympic Games. The dog has a good life despite all her physical pains...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not sure how this happened...

So at today's match at Clever K9 there was Therapy Dog Testing going on. I watched a few of the tests as they were being completed and thought to myself, Sophie could do that...
On a whim, I entered her. The tests were being done through Therapy Dogs International (TDI). Sophie passed the test with flying colors. Now, those of you who KNOW my Sophie may be some what surprised by the thought of her as a 'therapy dog'...but she did it and we are not going to question how! It may be some time before we actually VISIT as a therapy dog, but at least she passed the test and proved that she can control her joyfulness from time to time.
Sorry, no pictures.

Cash attends his first Obedience Match

Cash tagged along to today's match at Clever K9. Sophie was entered - getting ready for the last leg of her CDX in a few weeks - and i thought it would be fun to let Cash experience the 'show' environment. We only did the things he knows - some sits, downs and a little loose leash walking. The judge held him for recalls and he did his very first 'stand for exam'. Cash also played with his toys - staying focused on me - while people were watching him and dumbells were flying near by. He caught lots of eyes from the crowd and all were impressed with his big feet :)

photo by Barbara Lassinger

Cash's first Stand For Examination with match show judge Patti Nicholson

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wrestling with a greased pig

Yes - I KNOW - it would be TONS easier to wash the puppy without the camera around my neck. Yes - I KNOW that taking pictures of every milestone in Cash's life is silly. But, I don't want to forget any of these silly firsts and thus, I will make them all a bit trickier by having the camera around my neck :)
So here is our adventure of the day - Cash's first bath in the tub. His previous baths were given in the big laundry room sink. He doesn't fit there anymore so it was into the the tub...
and quickly OUT of the tub...

But as always, he is too cute! And as I sit here with sopping wet shoes and damp pants and shirt, I am happy that I had the camera in the bathroom to catch these oh-so-fun moments! Next bath will be in the walk in shower where I can close the door and trap him!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sitting still is a task we will master...

Mr. Cash actually sat still for 5 seconds - without being restrained - to allow me to take his picture! Unbelievable! Some day we will be able to achieve stillness on a regular basis, but until then, we must mark the calendar for each baby step that is made...

Look at me RUNNIN'!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cash and his buddy...

So Michael was given one job - please get the dogs out of the car for me so I can finish organizing all my travel / trial gear and get it all put away...
I get done emptying the truck to find this...

Mikey - in the bed - with Mr. Cash...
Not quite what I asked for, but it was so cute that pictures were necessary!

Michael got a little lecture about puppies in bed and what not, but that face - I can see how one could be convinced that Cash belongs in bed for snuggling :)

PVGR Club Agility Trial

August 9 and 10 found us in Maryland for the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club - Golden Only Agility Trial. Sophie, Cash and I headed down on Friday night and Sophie and I competed in Novice A classes on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday yielded two first place runs for the Sofa Dog. Sunday yielded a second place run in Standard and an NQ (for having WAY too much fun!) in Jumpers. The Standard run completed our first ever agility title - NA!

Many thanks to the club for a great show and site. Huge thanks to the Fast-Traks and Pine Run family that we met! You are all amazing people and we had so much fun getting to know you and your dogs better! Cash is going to need his big feet to follow in those foot steps!

photo by a fellow competitor

Me and Sophie with Judge Donna Gomer after completing her first agility title!

Cash - settled in to his first over night away from home...he was such a good little traveler!

Sofa dog all tuckered out after her big wins of the weekend.