Jan Hare ~ 2017

Welcome to my brain...my world! If you've been reading my training diaries for the past 11 years (yes, I was "blogging" before blogging was cool!), then you know to expect the unexpected. What does 2017 have in store for me? I am excited to find out! Hang with me as we go through all sorts of crazy happenings - expecting a foal in February, Noodle's official show debut, Pretzel's return to agility, and who knows what else I have up my sleeve (heck, I don't even know!). I predict fun and frustration, successes and failures, but above all...keep on keepin' on.

By the way, Click on any image on this page to enlarge it.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today and tomorrow I entered both Pretzel and Noodle in the show at Canfield. It's a Weimaraner Specialty, and Noodle got to compete in Sweepstakes both days, which is fun!

Unfortunately, Mark was unable to come, so today Pretzel hung out in the van while Noodle got all of the ring time. We had sweeps first, and she won her class and ended up taking best of opposite in Sweeps...Cool!. I showed her in best of breed, but she is still way too young and immature to really compete, so we didn't get much of a look.

After the show, I headed 90 minutes west to Lorain to spend the day with my mom. It was good to be home, but also very very strange. A big part of what is "home" was missing, and we both felt it. Even Pretzel noticed, he's been really out of sorts every time we come there and my dad is not around.

Friday, August 4, 2017

For some lucky reason, even though it was scheduled to rain and storm the past two days we seemed to miss it when we showed. It pays to be prepared and pack rain gear, because you'll never need it if you are actually ready to use it LOL!

Noodle started off the morning with sweepstakes again. She is showing like a rockstar, and proved it by not only winning her class but winning Best in Sweepstakes! Woo-hoo! She has actually earned some cash the past couple of days, what a treat. My friend Chan agreed to help me out and take Noodle in to Best of Breed so I could show Pretzel. Pretzel was a slug in the heat, he was trying to remind me that I did tell him he was retired! Only semi-retired, I keep reminding him. The competition was tough, and neither of my kids got a look, but I did get to watch Noodle and she looked fantastic with Chan (he shows Bernese Mountain Dogs, so is an experienced had with the big dogs).

I spent Noodle's winnings on a bunch of bags of training treats. we go through those a LOT! Back home we go, and prepare for mark's company picnic at our house on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Call me crazy, but I just signed up both Noodle and Pretzel for Trick Dog testing on Sunday. I think (assuming he will be cooperative) Pretzel should be ready to test for his Novice and Intermediate trick dog titles. Noodle should be ready for her Novice trick dog title. of course, this all depends on whether either dog is actually willing to focus and follow my commands rather than get caught up in the excitement. We shall see...

I must say, I have never been so excited for agility as I am right now. I had yet another fantastic class with Pretzel yesterday, and then we went outside last night and I worked both dogs over obstacles and both were awesome! I am amazed at how fast Noodle is learning how to follow my body motion and position. I am thrilled that Pretzel has renewed his joy for agility and is running with enthusiasm and happiness. I have him entered at a trial on Friday and Saturday this week - great excuse to go stay with my mom! This will be Pretzel's "Excellent" level debut in standard. I never thought we would actually reach that level, much less in standard agility! Just goes to show you should never ever ever stop dreaming!!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lookie! It's official - Pretzel is a Silver Grand Champion! That's so exciting to me! I put every single stinking point on him myself, and I am crazy proud of that. I can look at his show record and say it is 100% honestly on HIS quality, not on handler politics or judge favors, etc. That's the bonus of doing things yourself - you never have to question whether your dog really deserved the win!

I know Pretzel is retired, but I am calling it "semi-retired". I still want to show him occasionally (I have big plans for him at the 2019 WCA Nationals as a Veteran!), and I want to cement his #1 ranking in the Lifetime NOHS points so that it will stand for a lot of years. Pretzel deserves to be remembered in the record books.

Meanwhile, it's agility time this weekend!

Friday, August 11, 2017

We stayed the night at my mom's, and then Pretzel and I headed to North Olmstead for an agility trial. This is Pretzel's debut in Excellent Standard!

We started off the morning with Open Jumpers. We still need 2 legs for our open title. Well, today wasn't going to be one of those legs. For some reason, Pretzel blew past the weaves and then stressed. Took forever to get him back, but when I did he really finished strong. We ended very positive, and that was my goal.

Excellent Standard went something similar - had a bobble at the weaves, and missed a jump that i didn't go back for...keeping it positive and we ended strong.

Amazingly, it all came together in Time 2 Beat - Pretzel nailed the course with NO flaws, and we not only ran clean, but qualified with a 1st pace in Preferred 20". Yes!!! Our last event was Open FAST. The Send Bonus was very tough - two jumps and a tunnel. I knew I needed to have Pretzel going pretty fast entering the send, so I executed a plan where we jumped a line of jumps to the corner tunnel and back up, right into the send bonus. He nailed it! We weren't trying to be heroes, we went for the minimum number of points and it was enough to qualify and win our division!

After the trial, we headed back to my mom's where she had been cooking my favorite soup for me all day. This was difficult. This is my dad's and my FAVORITE meal, and it was the first time eating it without him. I used his bowl, and I think I did pretty good in holding back the tears. Damn I miss him.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today the agility trial was a hot mess. Not sure what is going on with Pretzel. He was VERY disconnected in all three of our runs, but yet in all 3 runs about halfway through he got a fire lit and did some amazing jump passes. It was so frustrating, it was almost like he is bipolar. I felt like I had two different dogs in every single run. I have no idea what this means, or why it happened after our successes yesterday.

I think today was one of the hardest days I've had since my dad's funeral. Mark and I went through his workshop and started gathering up some equipment that will be rehomed at my house. I am creating a woodshop in our barn, and am going to learn how to do a few things. I've always wanted to try this, and now I will be able to. I cried pretty much all evening - going through my dad's workshop, driving home, all night. It hit me yet again that he will never get to use these tools that he loved so much, and took such great care of. I hate how this just keeps hitting me every day as if it is new. And I especially hate leaving my mom all alone while I drive the 2 1/2 hours home. It's a hard, hard day all around.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I signed up Pretzel and Noodle for AKC's new Trick Dog Testing today. Since they both have their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title, they only needed to do 5 tricks from the list for Novice, and then Pretzel needed an additional 10 tricks for Intermediate.

Noodle went first. As usual, she did everything with unbridled enthusiasm (I love this about her!). She nailed all 5 tricks perfectly to earn her TDN title. Her 5 tricks were: Stand on a platform, jump through a hoop (tire), shake hands, spin in a circle, and run through a tunnel. Easy-peasy!

Pretzel did the same 5 tricks, though we replaced the shake hands with a high 5 because he is an extra cool dog. Intermediate was a little trickier. We needed 10 tricks, and I realized just a few days ago that I was short a trick so I hurried up and shaped a new trick - carrying a basket. He nailed that, carried it all over the place for me! His other tricks were: balance a treat on his nose, catch a toy in the air, hand signals (sit, down, and stay), weave through my legs as I walk, roll over, weave poles, stand on a wobble board, do a teeter, and put his front feet on a plate and pivot. Nailed every single one! So Pretzel earned his TDN and TDI titles. Good kids! I needed that today. I woke up super depressed, and this really cheered me up. Leave it to my puppies to make me happy. I can always count on them.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I spent a lazy Sunday doing a lot of nothing and enjoying every minute of it. I actually woke up feeling very down and lethargic. I spent the day outside with my dogs and the puppies and sunshine made me suddenly happy again. What a magic cure! No need for anti-depressant drugs, everyone just needs a sunny day and a loyal Weimaraner.

Watching these two play is just the funniest thing ever - they look so ferocious but they never ever leave a mark on each other or actually make contact.

...and a couple pictures to show that they are truly angels haha!

Monday, August 21, 2017

I received word that Corky had her progesterone levels checked, and she is at a healthy 5.1, so the pregnancy appears to be good!. That's a bit of news I was happy to hear. Just keep on keepin' on...

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - AKC Conformation Show - Owensboro, Kentucky

I can't believe it's already the end of August! The show at Owensboro is my favorite show of the year. This town knows how to put on a dog show! the entire community is welcoming to the dogs and their people. We camp right in the downtown of the city near the Ohio River, there is live music on the river Friday and Saturday nights, and many dog friendly restaurants. It's like a vacation for us.

The show started today with a double show - 2 shows in one day. Unfortunately there was no owner-handled today, and also unfortunate that the #1 Weimaraner bitch (who is absolutely gorgeous) was here showing, so she was a lock to win best of breed every day.

Pretzel showed like his usual cement-block unenthusiastic self in the morning. Noodle was a bit over the top for Mark. For the afternoon show, I decided to just leave Pretzel in his crate and have me show only Noodle. Noodle showed very good for me, I do SO love showing her. I've made the decision that once this year's NOHS (owner-handled) point season is over in early October, I will truly retire Pretzel and only show Noodle. It is time...

Friday, August 25, 2017 - AKC Conformation Show - Owensboro, Kentucky

Today was a "normal" show - one complete show and they did have the owner-handled series. Pretzel won owner-handled best of breed (which was a given since his only competition was Mark with Noodle!). By the time the group rolled around in the afternoon, Pretzel was bored and tired. He was completely uninterested in the steak I had for bait. On a flash of inspiration, I sent Mark over to the concession stand at the last minute and had him buy a raw hot dog (for a whopping $2). Holy cow did that wake Pretzel up! I can honestly say that I don't think he has EVER shown this good for me! I couldn't believe it. He was so incredible, that I actually wasn't too surprised when the judge pulled us out for an Owner-Handled Group ONE!!!

Pretzel was still pretty good in best in show, but he wasn't quite as on fire as he was in group. So, nothing in best in show, but I couldn't be happier with how he performed and our results. Go figure, my silly dog turns his nose up at the expensive steak I cooked for him in favor of a cheap raw hot dog! Dogs can be so unpredictable sometimes.

We won a beautiful engraved glass ice bucket for our group one. It is possibly the nicest prize I have ever won at a dog show. Kudos to the Evansville Kennel Club!

Saturday-Sunday, August 26-27, 2017 - AKC Conformation Show - Owensboro, Kentucky

I got to add breed #30 to my list - got to show a Smooth Collie today! I took her in as the Winners Bitch into best of Breed, and won Best of Winners. Fun!

The rest of the weekend wasn't as stellar as Friday. The breed show results stayed the same every day, and interestingly enough we didn't get any other group placements. Just goes to show how interesting dog shows can be. Same dogs, same place, different judge today in the owner handled sporting group...yesterday a group one and today we are shut out. This is what I love about the owner handled groups. Since none of us are professionals or "big names", the judge can't fall back on picking the predictable winners, so they have to actually look at the dog and judge what they see that day. Every day is anybody's game! I love it because every win I have is a win my dog earns by his own merit, not riding on the name or reputation of a big name handler. It's a great feeling, even when you lose!

Walking back to the motorhome after dinner, I found this sticky note stuck to a road sign. Pretty cool. I firmly believe that things are put in our path every day as signs to teach us or open up our minds, and this definitely fit the criteria. It's a lesson to be satisfied with your accomplishments, or whatever you have managed to succeed at that day with what you have, wherever you are. Don't be so worried about what you don't have, haven't done, or haven't gone. Yes....

On to September, 2017...