When Mira headed off to parts unknown (well, not really, but Nova Scotia is a long ways away), I knew she’d be well cared for but didn’t really know the dedication of her new owner, Keith O’Flaherty, for making sure she’d do and enjoy whatever she could. Her latest accomplishment took place in there rally ring where she completed her rally title with along with an impressive score of 100 resulting in a High in Class. Mira’s official name is now Can Ch & FCC Ch SureShot Chosen One CD, RN, CGN. Thanks to Keith for all the love and attention you’ve shown Mira (and just for being a great friend as well). Here’s a picture of Mira and her roommate and buddy, Denny, who capped off an amazing career with the completion of his Rally Excellent title.
It sure wasn’t my intention but, in the vacuum that this blog became, I’ve really missed out in acknowledging some very worthy accomplishments by some of the dogs I co-own/co-bred. Here’s one of those dogs who really does epitomize all I think is important in our breed…type, substance, and just overall good looks. At a show in California this March, he strutted his stuff to a 4 pt win as Best of Winners. Here’s Winston, Bluewin’s & SureShot Winning Design:
Here’s one of my favourite videos ever of Tatum. Not her fastest run for sure but it was smooth and done without hesitation on any part of the course. And, besides, she looks so very pretty on that last stretch. The best part is going into the weaves with intent and not popping out. She’s such a great dog to run and sometimes I think I frustrate her so it was nice to see a video where we looked like a team. Ch.SureShot Paper Moon, AgNS, AgIJS, ADC, S-NAC, OAC, S-NCC, S-NJC, S-OJC, S-TN-N, S-TN-O, TN-E, S-TG-N, O-WV-N, HP-N, Nov. Vers., Nov. Triple Superior
Perhaps this heading answers the question I’ve heard from several people about the long space of time since my last post on this blog. Not sure. Maybe it’s just ’cause I’ve been lazy. I think that many hobbies (not just dogs) are marked by acknowledging accomplishments and that’s much of what I’ve posted here has been since I started. And, yes, the accomplishments have still been happening for me and the friends I’m connected with in this sport and I’ve shared many of them in the more transitory format of FB.
However, there’s also been some general head-shaking that I’ve experienced while watching what’s happened around me in the sport that’s made it somewhat less important that I put those things out there publicly. Other reasons and even a bit of a change in focus has also dampened my posting enthusiasm . Where to go from here? I’m thinking it’s time to catch up on some of the cool things various people have done with dogs I’m also connected to. And, there’s even a few things I’ve done myself . And then, because I’m really a bit dismayed by the direction that my breed has taken in terms of breeding and judging I’m feeling like sharing some of my opinions on that. But maybe I just want a chance to ramble. So expect some dribs and drabs to surface . If it’s of interest, stick around. If not, well, you’re probably not someone that noticed I haven’t been posting for awhile and that means it likely doesn’t matter to either of us!
I’m not sure if there’s a more challenging camera situation than trying to capture a black dog on white snow on a sunshine-y day. It’s a balance between getting detail on a black coat but not blowing out the definition in the snow. Lynn Fleming, a friend of Barrett’s owner, Brenda Juskow used Barrett (Ch. SureShot Privateer, RN) to play with the settings and captured some amazing action shots. Here are my three favourites. You can see lots more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnsphotos/5405820223/in/set-72157624211902974/
Great job, Lynn!!
New trials and doggy activities are already underway for 2011. The girls and I went to a PACE AAC trial for our first runs of the year. I don’t take too many AAC trials in so wasn’t sure how we’d do. But it was a really great weekend with the girls super glad to be able to run around after weeks of being trapped indoors thanks to the crazy snow we’ve been getting.
I had gone into the trial determined to keep my focus on the fun and to stop worrying about whether or not we got Q’s. And it paid off with a weekend that just felt and looked happy. The best part was that we’ve been struggling with contacts and weave entries at trials and those improved immensely. Tatum had one of the prettiest Snooker runs I’ve ever had with one of the girls, exactly how I’d planned out the course and making it to the end of the course with a 49 pt score. The next day she also had a really nice Advanced Gamble run as well. Not to let down her end of the happy-bargain, Echo had a nice Q in Advanced Jumpers (which is quite surprising as she’s seldom fast enough for Advanced times) as well as getting the final Snooker she required for her Game Dog title (SGDC).
A very nice start to the year and a NADAC trial calls out to us for the next fun weekend together.
What a joy-full year it’s been. Like anyone’s life, there’s up’s and down’s but it seems that the joys, as they should, always add up to the events remembered. Given that this is my ‘dog-blog’, I celebrate the joys that each of us can find through the simple of pleasures of being owned by a dog.
It’s hard to actually remember all the great times I’ve had with the dogs this year but here’s a shot at some of the highlights:
- the lovely Bentley completed his American championship title with one more major win at a specialty, making him officially, Am. Can. Ch. SureShot Flying Spur TT. He also sired a very promising litter that we look forward with anticipation to their activities in the future. Thanks forever to Dianna Ellis of Bluewin Gordons, his co-owner, for making all these events possible.
- Over a year ago, another lovely litter was produced by Mira (Can Ch. FCC Ch. SureShot Chosen One, CD, CGN) who I co-own with a very dear friend Keith O’Flaherty. That litter produced Skye who, as just a youngster, has several group placements and puppy group wins this year as well as two new titles. She’s now Ch. Vanoras SureShot Highland Skye, CGN. Her brother Kole also picked up his CGN this year, making him Vanoras SureShot Coal Town Boy, CGN.
- There’s been a ton of new agility titles for the girls this year but I guess the history-making one was Echo’s Excellent Standard title in CKC making her the first Gordon to get that award. The list of new accomplishments for each of them is extensive and is seen through all the new titles they got that are included in their official names:
- Echo, Ch. Sureshot Caisteal Sassenach, AGXS, AGIJS, ADC, S-NAC, S-NJC, O-NCC, S-TG-N, TG-O, S-WV-N, HP-N, TN-N, OAC, Nov Vers.
- Ticket, Ch. Drumdaroch Sure’s Hot, AgNS, AgNJS, S-NAC, S-NJC, O-OJC, O-NCC, S-TG-N, O-WV-N, S-TN-N, HP-N, O-TN-O, OAC, SGDC, Nov Vers
- Tatum, Ch. SureShot Paper Moon, AgNS, AgNJS, S-TN-N, O-TN-O, S, S-NAC, O-NCC, O-TG-N, S-NJC, HP-N, WV-N, OJC, Nov Vers
Each of them owns a special place in my heart with their unique personalities and ability to make me smile.
The start of the year saw the loss of my ‘heart-dog’, Erin (Ch. Rokeena Downunder Delite, AgN, AgNS, AgIJS, NCC, O-NJC-V, TG-N-V, OAC, VADC, VSGDC). The loss of a dog that really was a once-in-a-lifetime, still weighs heavily at times but, this season, it seems so much better to celebrate the 10 years I shared and learned with her: the many activities we pursued together, and, yes, the Joy with which she embraced life and the Joy she gave to me as a result.
So, no matter your hobby or occupation of choice. Whatever paths you take on your road. Whatever interests capture your spirit….
MAY YOU ALWAYS FIND YOUR JOY
I’m not one to wish time away as making the most of every minute seems to be a better way to enjoy life but there’s a teensy sadness in knowing that the next agility trial isn’t going to happen till the new year. As much as I enjoyed the PACE trial a week ago, I should have soaked up the experience even more given that it turned out to be my last one for a few months. I’d been looking at this weekend’s CKC trial as the wrap up but then Denham decided on a self-induced stomach upset that saw me rushing to the vets and then hovering over him all weekend instead.
The PACE trial seems to be a fitting celebration to the end of the trial year though as it saw Denham make his agility debut with a very slow, but most of the time accommodating, saunter around the courses. I learned that he knows the equipment and commands even if his tail wagging didn’t translate into a determination to finish the course as quickly as we’d hoped. The girls, Ticket and Tatum, had several successful runs with Ticket finally getting her contacts quite successfully, resulting in enough Q’s in Regular for her Open title. Just need her to do it on one Novice Chances run so she can pick up her Novice Triple Superior Award!
Both girls totally smoked the Open Jumpers courses with the Q’s there giving Tatum her Open Jumpers title. Tatum also upped her successes with contacts and even managed to hold one at the end of a really lovely Chances run. They both seem to like the freedom of Jumpers and Chances so I need to bring that feeling into our other runs.
Another great thing that happened was weave entries! Yay! both girls are wonderful weavers at class but we’ve been having a challenge getting them on the first approach all year long. I think a missed entry only happened once all weekend so that was a super achievement for them. Here’s Ticket showing off her confident weave entry:
In addition, there were no total “play-to-the-crowd-and-totally-ignore-mom” moments from Tatum. I think she has so much potential but we don’t always pull things together as a team.
While we wait for the new year trials, here’s the goals related to training:
* translate Denham’s enthusiasm at class into a reliable attitude that can happen at trials.
* contacts that I don’t have to worry about for both Ticket and Tatum and continued success at weave entries.
* a healthy Echo that can return to trials along with the others.
* if quick table downs come together as well that will be a bonus that’ll make Q’s much more attainable as well.
One last reason to celebrate the fun of the PACE trial was Afton’s debut. While she’s signed up for one more trial for 2010, she showed the potential we’ve all seen by blasting around the course with total enthusiasm, picking up her very first Q with a first place in Novice Jumpers. Congratulations to her handler, Tad Drinkwater on a lovely starting trial.
Here’s a video of one of Afton’s runs:
Our planned agility trials for the next few months start to lessen as winter roads and travelling with several dogs become a bit problematic. However, the girls have been making the last few trials count. A week ago, we had a wonderful weekend in Red Deer at the Hot Diggity Dogs NADAC trial. The club puts on a really nice trial and judge, Kirsty Pearson made the runs lots of fun. In all, we picked up four new titles, a new Award, and a great recognition:
Tatum, controlled her enthusiasm long enough to get her weaves and complete her Novice Weavers title. That was the final requirement we’ve been waiting for to get her Novice Versatility Award so was cause for celebration. And, she also managed the final Q’s for her Superior Novice Regular title to top that off. Strangely (or not, since, really…who cares about the Q’s), her most exciting run of the weekend was an NQ in Chances where she missed a very simple discrimination right off the start line but went on to do the actual Chances portion flawlessly. Tatum’s official (titled) name is now: Ch. SureShot Paper Moon, AgNS, AgNJS, S-TN-N, O-TN-O, S-NAC, O-NCC, TG-N, S-NJC, HP-N, WV-N, Nov Vers.
Ticket also managed several Q’s which completed her Outstanding Open Jumpers and Outstanding Novice Weavers. The most surprising celebration was for her Top Open Dog presentation. Very cool! Ticket is now: Ch. Drumdaroch Sure’sHot, AgNS, AgNJS, S-NAC, S-NJC, O-OJC, O-NCC, O-TG-N, O-WV-N, S-TN-N, HP-N, O-TN-O, SGDC, Nov Vers.
Echo picked up three Q’s in Open Regular at what appears to be her last trial for the year. She’s showing some tenderness in her back so she’ll be on rest and rehab while we try to get a handle on that issue with, hopefully, a return to trials in the new year. This looks like the perfect opportunity to try out her roommate, Denham, to see how he takes to this sport when he’s not running at our practice barn. Could be really interesting as he’s got quite a different approach to things than his female friends! It’s also possible he may be put to shame by Afton who also plans to make her debut that weekend.
Meanwhile, in another reminder that fall has come and gone, I got this lovely picture of Buck from his family, the Burkes, who put Buck’s talents to good use this season. Buck is one of the offspring of our Erin’s litter and sibling to Mira, Clay, Logan, Clark and Afton.