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.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Corky is doing well, but not as good as we had hoped. her uterus is still enlarged, so today the breeding farm manager decided to put her back on oxytocin - 3x a day for 3 days - to see if they can get her uterus to tighten up. No breeding or even thoughts of breeding until that happens. So...we wait...

Meanwhile, I figure that since I STILL don't have a horse to train and who knows when that will happen, I will just concentrate on developing the best-trained dogs on the planet. hey, set your goals high, right?

I have been working on Noodle's training, teaching her basic commands that will help her when we start agility class. We started training weave poles (the 2 x 2 method - worked GREAT for Pretzel!) and have been working on the "around" command for a few days. Below is a video of where we are at now.

I found that taking occasional training videos of Pretzel when we were first getting started really helped me keep track of progress (especially to remind me that there actually was progress!). It has been helpful for me even now to go back and look at old videos of Pretzel to refresh my memory as to how I trained him on certain things (and to calculate how I can do better this time around). one thing I can say...Noodle is 100x more enthusiastic about the whole training process...she gets over-the-top excited whenever we do any training, which is a big change from the mostly-stoic Pretzel.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I've had several inquiries from people interested in breeding to Pretzel. That is so exciting! I put together a little promo video of him so I can show to interested people that may not have seen him in person:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Today I showed in Tallmadge, Ohio. Due to everything going on, I only entered one day. Glad I only entered today...the mojo just isn't with me today. The judge had a definite preference for taller, longer-legged Weims, which Pretzel isn't....so needless to say he didn't have much success today. Noodle won her 6-9 puppy class out of 3, and went on to win reserve winners bitch - it was a major (9 class bitches entered!). We seem to be destined for reserve ever since our very first major in Grayslake. It's OK...I am definitely in NO rush to finish her championship. We are having too much fun!

After the show I headed to Lorain to visit my parents. I am terribly worried about my dad who has cancer, and my mom who is the sole caregiver. This is weighing on me terribly. That's all I can really say on the subject, but my heart is breaking.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I went to visit Corky, she really looks good! Of course, her outside doesn't really show what is going on with her inside. She's been enjoying some time outside, which makes me glad. Nothing like a little sunshine to heal you. I just keep hoping for some good news, somewhere. Someone has to have some good news for me!

I guess the good news for today was that it was bright and sunny and temperatures reached 50 degrees. The dogs had a marvelous time playing outside and running the property. When my dogs are happy, I am happy.

Then i come home and read a post from someone on Facebook who had NO idea her mare was pregnant until she gave birth out in the field today. A healthy, beautiful foal, and this mare got ZERO pre-natal care and the baby wasn't even planned. HOW IS THIS FAIR??? Why? I have to work really really hard to control my bitter feelings. I am getting tired of feeling bitter.

Monday, March 6, 2017

So what do you do when you are feeling bitter and depressed? You enter a dog show haha! I may or may not have went a slight bit crazy on my latest entry. I entered a 5 day show in Raleigh, North Carolina that has a Weimaraner Specialty show and sweeps. that of course means there will be BIG numbers and tough competition. You think I'd have learned my lesson...nope! I entered both Pretzel and Noodle. To top off the insanity, I also entered Pretzel in two days of Rally. Have I ever done rally? No! Have I ever actually trained AKC rally? Nope! Not sure what I was thinking, but what's done is done...so now I enlist the help of some friends to see if I can get some quick learning done.

I am looking forward to this show, looking forward to getting away to someplace brand new that I can explore. Hoping for sunny, warm weather so I can take the dogs for some hikes. This managed to pep up my spirits and make me happy...something to look forward to is paramount in keeping me going.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY PRETZEL!!!! I can't believe he is 5 years old already. What a journey we've had together...still best friends after 5 years! He's probably the most consistent person in my life, next to my parents.

Pretzel had his second agility class at the new place I am training. Things did go a little better than last week- he was a bit more motivated to work. Although he had some sniffabout moments and a few times he tried to run over and visit his new crush in class, it went OK. I am not sure this class is really going to help us, but I will give it a try.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Noodle had a big first today - her first puppy agility class! She did awesome, of course. We have done a lot of pre-training, so nothing much in class fazed her. She got to go through a short, straight tunnel, jump over a 4" jump, walk on a 12" wide plank, walk over the pvc ladder, play on the big wobble board, and even go through the tire jump (on the ground). I love that she can be so focused on me even with the other puppies in class. of course, a major part of her focus is on the treats in my hand, but hey, I'll take it! She is learning to focus only on ME when there are distractions, and that is the most important lesson of all.

That definitely was the bright spot in my day. I came home to find out that my dad, who has cancer, fell and broke his arm today. I still cannot fathom why he is being punished this way and suffering. of all people on earth, he deserves this the LEAST.

One more smidgen of good news - Corky's uterus is shrinking back, and the farm manager feels like she can be given a shot of lutalyse to bring her back in heat any day now. Yes, we are considering re-breeding. I am kind of keeping the whole decision under wraps for many reasons...I am not going to even think about this whole thing with any shred of anticipation, and I definitely don't want to be judged by faceless people on the computer who *think* they actually know me and my reasons. I am tired of being judged. I'll save that for the dog show ring.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pretzel got mail! A certificate from UKC for finishing #2 Weimaraner in the country for 2016, and an invitation to the top 10 Premiere event this coming June. Pretty good for only showing a couple times this year in UKC. My early summer show plans are starting to stack up. I like that. I need something fun to look forward to.

Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12, 2017

This weekend we headed to Auburn, Indiana to a show. Unfortunately there was no owner-handled classes at this show, but I thought this might be a good place for Noodle, and good judges for Pretzel.

Both days were pretty much carbon-copies of each other. Pretzel got Best of opposite both days, and Noodle won Winners Bitch both days for another two points.

On Sunday, Mark and I had a "Hallmark Moment" in the ring. Pretzel took best of opposite, and Noodle (with Mark handling her) took Best of Winners, so we stood in the ribbon lineup together! That was a pretty cool moment. This was our first time both in the ribbons in the best of breed ring.

I also got to show my "godson" Boone the Bullmastiff on Sunday. He is owned by a friend of mine. Big, massive animal, but a completely gentle soul (unless he sees food on the ground, then there is no stopping him haha!). Boone took best of Winners for a point today, I was pretty proud!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

This is going to be a somewhat negative, pity-party post, so feel free to scroll on past and skip this one.

Yes, I am feeling down. Word from the breeding farm is that Corky is still having some sort of discharge, meaning she still has some sort of uterine infection happening. This is very discouraging. The bills are mounting, time is a-wasting, and I am getting so discouraged I can't even think about her right now. I can't WAIT until foaling season is over so I won't have to see all of my friends post a million pictures of their foals they are playing with this year, while I do NOTHING...no foal....AGAIN. I am trying not to drown in bitterness.

To add to things, I am feeling a bit discouraged about the whole dog show world, the politics, and how impossible it is going to be for me to ever reach a place where I can compete equally with the professionals and all of their political pull. Maybe it's a combination of battling this very same thing for 30 years in the horse world, and still having to battle with with the dogs. While I love being the poster child for the amateur-owner-exhibitor, I am getting worn out from fighting to get noticed or get respect. I look at the numbers at the show in Raleigh next weekend and I am doubly discouraged. What on earth made me think I should enter that huge show? It could very well be a bummed 8 hour drive home for me. I hate that I am feeling so negative lately. It's coloring every corner of my world, and it's like a train I can't seem to stop.

Wednesday-Sunday, March 22-26, 2017

AKC Show - Raleigh, North Carolina

Let me start off by saying North Carolina is gorgeous! At least in this area, everything looks so new. The show in Raleigh was a 5 day show, which ends up being a bit of a chore having to show that many days in a row. but it was a major in bitches all 5 days, so I had great hopes of maybe pulling off one of the days...

We started off on Wednesday, things started OK. Noodle won her 6-9 puppy class, but didn't get anything in Winners. Pretzel surprised me and took Select dog, beating a very well-known ranked dog. Pretty cool! We took owner-handled best of breed also., but got nothing in group. Unfortunately, although today was supposed to be our debut in Rally, we had to miss our class due to the OH sporting group going on at the same time. Too bad I wasted my Rally entry on a group where I was ignored...bummer!

Thursday didn't go quite as well - Noodle did not win her class, and Pretzel got nothing other than owner-handled best of breed. However, we did make our Rally debut today! I took Pretzel over to the rally/obedience area and tried practicing with him, but he was completely distracted and would NOT pay any attention to me. It was so frustrating! Then I got out a piece of pork sausage left over from breakfast. WOW did Pretzel wake up! He was totally into the pork sausage. I will admit, when I finally entered the ring, my hads were greasy and smelled like pork sausage. Whatever it takes haha! Pretzel did awesome, way better than I ever dreamed! We ended up qualifying with a 98 and winning the class! there is hope for us yet.

Sadly, that Rally class was pretty much the high point of this entire 5 day show. The competition just got tougher and tougher. Saturday was a weimaraner specialty, so there were crowds of people around the ring. Noodle decided to gait around the ring sideways looking at all of the people. What a diva! Pretzel was bored by this time, and it was a lot of work to keep him up. We didn't get anything in owner-handled group on any of the days, nothing in breed (until Sunday, when Pretzel won Select dog again). I found a lot of holes in Noodle's training...and this was a bit disheartening. The one thing I thought I had going for me was the amount of training I had put in to Noodle, but she decided at this show that she didn't feel like standing still for the judges' inspections. I will say, this puppy thoroughly enjoyed herself at this show. She loves attention, and I really think she loves having people look at her.

We spent a lot of our free time going on hikes in the woods and having some fun on leash. It definitely wasn't a wasted trip - I met some really great people and enjoyed visiting a city I had never been before. Now we go back to the training drawing board and keep working, working, working. I think after this next round of entries that are already done I will give Noodle a bit of a break and let her mature a little bit. She hit a growth spurt and is ALL legs. She needs her body to catch up with her!

Some fun pictures from our week:

Every girl needs her own toy eggplant!

Look at those long legs...yikes!

Chewing on her toy pizza slice

...Pretzel decides HE wants the pizza slice!

Taking a stroll through the woods

Noodle admires the fine artwork in our extended Stay motel room

On to April, 2017