Sunday, April 26, 2009

My boy turns 1!

Here is my boy - about a year ago - when he went by "Wally"...
Photo taken by Gerry Clinchy - I think :)
and here is my boy on his first birthday!
Wishing Mr. Cash a VERY happy first birthday - a few days late :)

He's such a lucky boy! On his birthday we went swimming and played with his presents - a big mallard duck dokken and a bunch of new bumpers - big boy sized bumpers! No special treats, as his guts are still weird from time to time, but a great first birthday for a boy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oh what a weekend!

Sing the title of this post like you would the song "Oh what a night"! This was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time - it was ALL about the puppies!
To start off the excitement - Karen Hocker (, Kristen Hocker, Nikon (Cash's uncle), Snapshot (Cash's half-sister), and Trey (Cash's 'little' brother) came down on Friday night. They spent the entire weekend with us! Karen and Nikon were signed up to participate in the Lorie Jolly ( Seminar being held on my property on Saturday. The seminar was hosted by New Jersey Pine Barrens Golden Retriever Club.

The seminar started fairly early Saturday morning - but this was no big deal because all we had to do was walk out the back door to attend! Lorie was instructing the seminarians on 'transitioning from Junior to Senior and Master Hunter work' - WAY above my head, but very interesting none the less! It was very interesting to watch these talented dog and handler teams work. I learned a great deal - and was able to see the connections between what I already train for obedience/agility and how they would apply to field work. Very cool! The only down side was the weather - it was cloudy, on the cold side and WINDY! Karen and I almost blew away a few times! Exhaustion and windburn followed the day of fun in the field!

On Sunday morning we started the day with a good breakfast and some agility. Karen had offered to teach me some of the skills she uses to take her amazing photographs and Kristen ran the dogs so I could practice shooting. The Hockers also helped me to practice taking more posed shots - stacked poses, seated poses and head shots using Nikon, Snapshot and Trey. And lastly we did a little field work with the young boys and Sophie - both on land and in the water. Oh how the boys love the birdies! Karen was nice enough to take some shots of Jesse, Sophie and Cash doing some agility, field stuff and posed shots as well. I can't wait to see what she got!

My photos were better than what I've taken in the past. Karen taught me so much - I just need to practice now and get the timing right! Here's some of the best shots from the day... focus isn't always 'on' - but I'm a green to doing this the right way, so give me a break and in time, my shots will ROCK! Or at least I hope they will :)
This is Nikon jumping the double - and he's not quite in focus...
Here's Trey jumping - again, not quite in focus and the composition is poor...

Here's another shot of Trey jumping - better focus and composition (better, not GOOD!), but POOR TIMING! Way too early with those dangling feets!

This is a shot of half of Snapshot on the bottom of the teeter. Of all the teeter shots, it was the only one where the dog was in focus.

This is Trey - stacked - looking like a big boy - but he's SOOO the 'little' brother compared to my MOOSE - Mr. Cash! I like this image though and there's not too much for me to complain about :)

Uncle Nikon stacked - and his face isn't quite in focus...

I think this image needed that reflector thing to eliminate the shadow on Nikon's right side (left side of image), but other than that, its an OK shot I guess...

Trey was the last of the Hocker dogs to pose for portraits, so all of his are nicer, in my opinion! This one just looks cute and dignified :)

Then there's Snapshot's head shot... Do you see her PINK nose? At first we all thought the poor baby had sunburn - she has a very light nose. But nope - she rubbed it raw trying to escape her crate in the house! Silly Girl!

This is the best shot of the day - Trey is a handsome young man!

However, this is my FAVORITE shot of the day! Its so TREY!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

updates - long time coming!

Sorry for the lack of posts - been a little distracted and busy during the month of March. After the snow at the start of the month, I enjoyed a week with the stomach flu. Then, my Momma fell ill, with what turned out to be a ruptured appendix! Then, my Papa came down with shingles. Not much time for photography and puppy stories with a month of illness! The good news is that Momma is on the mend, Papa's shingles are almost totally cleared up and life is getting back to normal for everyone!

So - what's happened since our last post?

On March 18th Jesse turned 6! I can't believe she's been in my life for 6 years... She is such a peaceful creature.

On March 21st and 22nd Sophie and I trialed at Dream Park again - SOJAC trial. This was a special trial for us for many reasons. First, our judge for the weekend was family! Clyde Closson - owner of Cash-man's grandma "Rosie" was the judge. This was Clyde's first official judging assignment and he designed some beautiful courses! Sophie Q'd in his Open Standard course on Saturday (Q#2 for OA). Then she Q'd in Novice Fast to finish her NF title - taking Second Place! On Sunday, Sophie took Third Place in Open Standard to finish her OA title! (Her time was actually the fastest in her class, but she lost points with a wrong course and refusal, so she came in third) Our Jumper's runs were not bad, but not worth talking about either...

On March 27th and 28th Sophie and I trialed in Freehold - Afghan Hound Cluster trials. Our Friday Open Jumpers run was AWESOME! We took first place and had a beautiful run. She was fast and connected to me. The run felt 'right' - a great feeling! We also ran in Excellent Standard - but fell off the table and couldn't manage the tricky weave pole entry. Saturday was also a great day, but no Q's. Excellent Standard was another amazing run, but a handler error sent Sophie into the wrong end of a tunnel - NQ :( Open Jumpers was at the very end of a long day and we were both shot - not our best effort and another NQ. Either way, showing on Saturday was a great way to spend my birthday.

Cash started a 'super star' puppy class on the 16th with one of the area's premiere obedience instructors. What a great class this is! He and I are learning so much - and its so nice to be starting off on the right foot!

This coming weekend is a big one - Lorie Jolly Field Training seminar at my house hosted by New Jersey Pine Barrens Golden Retriever Club. This should be a really cool experience and to make it even better, Cash-man's family is coming to visit again :)