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, July 6, 2017

It's been an odd few weeks without a dog show to go to. I must admit I am kind of enjoying all this time at home. I've been spending a lot of time at my parents' house also...grateful that I am able to do so!

Corky? Well, she is the same. I keep hoping to go out to the barn and find a miracle had occurred, but so far the miracle is hiding. She still has complete paralysis on the left side of her face. I spent $500 to have OSU stitch her left eye shut to protect it from not blinking, and it lasted about two days before the stitches came out. Ugh. Thankfully the barn workers have been faithfully putting drops in her eye 4x a day. She wears a fly mask when she goes outside. That's about all I can do. On a good note, she looks fantastic - clean, shiny, happy, and healthy. That makes me happy.

Pretzel's ad appeared in the 2017 edition of the Weimaraner Blue Ribbon magazine! I am pretty proud with how it turned out. Click on the photo below to bring up a full-sized view of the ad:

Today I had a private make-up agility lesson with Noodle, since I missed class last week. She did fantastic! I am so proud of her. She is really loving the 2 on-2 off exercises on the board, and has gotten the hang of the automatic down on the table. Here is a short video of us practicing yesterday:

We are working on going around a cone (precursor to the around command), and proofing our 2 on-2 off command by running past the obstacle, coming back to reward, and then going past it again. We are also doing the "What's Your Choice" game, this time with dropping a treat on the ground and having her wait for me to pick it up and hand it to her. Of course, it's very helpful that we have done this quite a bit in our puppy obedience lessons last spring. I am just having so much fun training her, she is SO enthusiastic! I see great things in our future...as long as I don't screw it up!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

This weekend, we are finally at a regular weekend dog show...it's been over a month since we've done just a regular show, and several weeks since any show!

My hope was to pick up either one or both of Noodle's last two points needed to finish her championship. Today was not her day, as she was beaten by her littermate with the pro handler. She was a little wild today, didn't want to hold her stack. It's been a while since she's done this!

Pretzel got select dog (behind the #1 Weim in the country who also happens to be Noodle's daddy!). the judge stopped me after the class and said he really liked Pretzel, but he was a bit too thin. Too thin??? I've had him on a diet the past few weeks because he was getting so fat eating all of Noodle's leftovers! I guess my diet plus the increased outdoor activity took weight of fast. I looked down at Pretzel and holy cow, the judge was right! He needs some weight. I can't believe I didn't notice, but when you look at a dog all day every day I guess you sometimes miss the obvious. Pretzel will enjoy some full meals when he gets home!

My big goal with Pretzel this weekend was to get one more qualifying score in Beginner Novice Obedience to finish his title (and his obedience career!). We have two shots at it today and one tomorrow. Today's obedience run was awful. his heeling was...um...less than accurate, and he did the same thing he did at Nationals on the recall - he sat there and stared at me and didn't come until I called him twice. he got to about 3 feet away from me and started sniffing the ground and wouldn't come any closer until i called him again. The crazy thing is that the judge said we actually qualified!!! Say what? Apparently she didn't hear me call him a third time on the recall, and his heeling was marginally good enough to pass. You know, I've been screwed enough in the past to take this gift and run with it...so we ended our career on that note. Pretzel just hates obedience, so I just don't want to put him through that anymore. I think he's earned his right to retire.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Today's conformation judging went the same as yesterday, although Noodle showed a LOT better. For the past two days, Pretzel got no love in the owner-handled sporting group. It's been so long since we've had a decent win. I know he needs to retire, but those last 4 points for his silver grand championship are just begging to be had. I just need to get to a show that actually has some class dog entries so he can earn those points! This show only had one class dog, so no grand championship points for Pretzel.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today I took the first step in producing some future "Pretzelettes". I took Pretzel to the Canine Semen Bank of Columbus to be collected and frozen. It was, shall we say, a somewhat weird experience. Pretzel did great, I must say! My friend brought her bitch that was in season to get him in the mood. I was a little worried that he might not be interested as he hasn't shown a ton of interest when we are around girls, but he did great today. The vet was able to get enough for 4 breedings. This will be frozen and stored. It's a little bit of insurance in case something (God forbid) ever happens to Pretzel.

There have been several people interested in breeding to Pretzel. This is very exciting! Totally cool that there are people willing to take a chance on a dog that has been campaigned exclusively by a non-pro, without a lot of big money or experience backing him. I am excited to see what the future holds for us!

Oh yeah, no, I didn't take any pictures today. Haha! I'd say just use your imagination...but no. Don't do that.

Friday, July 14, 2017 - AKC Conformation show - Madison, Ohio

This weekend is all about Noodle. She only needs 2 single points to finish her championship, and I am hoping to do it here. My goal was to finish her before her 1 year birthday, and that is coming up next Saturday, so this weekend is our last shot.

Today's entry was small - only 2 class bitches and one class dog. That's OK, we just need to snag winners bitch for one point to help us on our way....and she did it! Noodle did it in a big way - not only did she get winners bitch, she also won best of winners, best puppy, best of Breed, and Best of Breed Owner-Handled! Holy cow! Potentially three groups to participate in this afternoon!

We stayed in the afternoon and did her very first owner-handled sporting group. It was a huge competitive group, she isn't quite ready for that level of competition yet but she had fun (I especially loved how she ran up to the ramp and did a 2 on-2 off while we were standing around waiting LOL!). We went directly into the puppy sporting group after that, and she showed like a rock star. It was incredibly hot and humid, I fed her lots of ice cubes while we were waiting. No love for us in the puppy group. I can't help but be proud of how well she showed. We would have had to have gone directly into the regular sporting group after that, but I opted to end on a positive note and skip that...2 groups is already a lot for a puppy to handle in this heat!

Tomorrow is the day...we need one more point. Will we get it???

Saturday, July 15, 2017 - AKC Conformation show - Madison, Ohio

Today's the day! The entry was a lot bigger today, more class animals and three specials. The judge was the judge we had at Weim Nationals last month, where Noodle took second to her littermate and the pro handler. I feel more confident today because I have trained her even more, fitted her better, and just feel like the stars are aligning...maybe. This judge historically has not liked Pretzel at all, but Noodle is a completely different style of dog, so there is hope.

I could feel that Noodle was ON today! She went into her class and was a little fired up, but still won. Going into Winnners Bitch, and must admit I was a tad nervous. She settled down and showed fantastic, and she won winners bitch! We did it!!! There was our last point needed for our championship!!! I did it all by myself, earned another conformation championship on my dog without the help of a professional handler or trying to play the political game....nope...just me and my pup. I am so happy, and so so so proud!. But...we aren't done yet! We still had to go into Best of Breed.

The best of breed class was a little confusing. Right off the bat, the judge made me and winners dog go around twice. He had us two go around together THREE more times in that class! I assumed he was having a hard time trying to pick the Best of Winners. But no....it was something way more than that! At the very end he had us two gait together one more time, then he awarded best of breed to the winners dog and best of opposite to Noodle! What was even more shocking was that he then excused the three specials and announced he was withholding select. Say what??? That almost never happens. So Noodle won best opposite along with Best Puppy today, finished her championship in grand style!

We made the cut in our puppy sporting group, but nothing beyond that. Once again she showed like a rock star, or should I say she showed like a champion! Love love love this girl, she tries so darn hard to please me. It makes this whole sport so much fun when your partner loves it like you do (and believe me, she sure loves the attention!).

Sunday, July 16, 2017 - AKC Conformation show - Madison, Ohio

Well, we were already entered today, so I went ahead and moved Noodle up to the Best of Breed class. Yay, her first time out as a "special" (meaning champion). I tell you, she showed even better today. I swear she knows she is a champion. She walked in to the hotel last night like a grown-up dog, and actually slept the entire night without waking up and whining (a first for us!). we ended up select bitch today, which means she earned her very first grand champion point. Only 24 more to go haha!

I must admit that part of me is a little sad that she is finished, and our point run is over. What an amazing ride towards her championship it has been, starting off with a specialty major at age 6 months and 4 days old. She is a bit too young to start showing as a special, she has some growing to do. However, I already have her entered in a show in 2 weeks, so I will go ahead and move her up to best of breed rather than eat those entries. I guess my plan will be to hit a show every now and then for the next year just to keep her trained and "tuned up". I still need 4 more grand champion points on Pretzel to finish his silver grand championship. The journey will continue!

Becoming a champion is exhausting!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY NOODLE!!! Can you believe she's a year old today? It's hard to believe that a year ago I didn't even know she existed...didn't even know I was getting a puppy this fall. My life certainly has changed a lot in the past year...as it seems to do every year.

Noodle had to hold off on her birthday cake today as she has a touch of diarrhea. Same thing Pretzel had last week after our property was flooded the first time. I think they are getting some sort of bacteria from all the standing water laying around everywhere. It's been raining for over a week now...ugh! She's on some good meds and probiotics, and some bland food for a few days. The cake went in to the refrigerator for a while!

My mom and I made the cake. trust me, I can't bake worth a darn so I needed supervision! I think it turned out pretty good. Can't wait to see if the dogs will even eat it. In case you are curious, here is the recipe (click to enlarge):

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Time for a Corky update. Today's status is: the same. No change. Not one bit. Her left ear still droops, her left eye still doesn't blink, the left side of her mouth is slack. Otherwise, she looks in perfect health. It will be 7 weeks on Tuesday since it happened. I know I won't see any improvement this quickly, but man I was hoping for a little sliver of something!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I don't talk about a lot of personal stuff on here, as this is my "training diary" about my horses and dogs. But i have to break from that today, because today my dad passed away. That sounds so generic. My dad was/is SO incredibly important to me. He has been a rock in my life, has supported me on everything, and never hesitated to drop everything to come to me whenever I needed help. He battled cancer for almost 11 months. Mentally, I knew this was coming, but emotionally I refused to really admit it, so this is something really hard to deal with. I am writing this entry over a week later, when I had time to process it. I still cry every single day. I still can't conjure up a memory of him without tearing up and feeling devastated. I feel like I have lost control of myself, and I pray for this all to end. The fragility of life and relationships has really hit home, and it is scaring me.

I will try not to bring up this topic too often, because I don't see how it will help me or you, but I just wanted you to know.

My dad's obituary - please open and read it, it's worth the read!

Friday, July 28, 2017

I really wanted to stay home today, but friends convinced me I needed to get out of the house and get my mind on something else. So, we headed to the show in Marion. I had entered Friday, Saturday, and Monday. I will only show Fri and Sat, as my dad's funeral is Monday. I hoped that we might be able to pull off Pretzel's silver grand championship this weekend. He's going to have to do some major winning, as tomorrow there are FIVE dog specials entered.

Today, Pretzel managed to pull off a select, and Owner-handled best of breed. Squeaked out one more grand championship point...need 3 more now! Mark showed Noodle, she kind of gave him a fit about showing her bite as he had never done that before. We will practice some more tonight and try again tomorrow!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Today was a busy day. We showed rather late in the afternoon, so Pretzel was a slug. Apparently, he wasn't a total slug, because he managed to go out in style, winning Best of Breed over all those specials!!! Not only did he reach his Silver Grand Championship, he did it with a bang!

That's me, hugging my boy when the judge announced us as best of breed!

Not to be outdone, Noodle managed to behave better for Mark and he won Select Bitch with her, over another bitch special! It was awesome to be standing in the line up with both my dogs. I hope and pray my Dad was watching. He never got a chance to see me show any of my dogs, so hopefully he has a prime seat now to watch. I plan to work hard to make him proud of me.

Noodle wasn't done for the day - we had one more task to accomplish. Today I had signed her up for her CGC testing. CGC is a Canine Good Citizen title, which shows that she is good with strangers, crowds, other dogs, and basic obedience. Oh yeah, and she has to be separated from me for 3 minutes out of sight and behave. I did this with Pretzel when he was a puppy (read about his experience here) and he passed easily. Noodle had a bit more of a challenge since we had to do it amidst the distraction of a show, but she passed! So now her official name is "CH Luxe All You Can Eat Spaghetti CGC".

Monday, July 31, 2017

We buried my dad today. I cannot put in to words how I feel. Suddenly all life seems precarious, and I am horribly worried about the loved ones I have left.

On to August, 2017...