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.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

We made it to Florida safely, and today we got the boat in the water (oops, I was instructed to say the boat is ON the water, not in it!) and took it to our favorite beach on Dickman Island (near Caxambas Pass). How disappointing to find that once again the tides and the storms have changed the coastline and 75% of this massive beach was gone. the Ten Thousand Islands are constantly changing. Tomorrow we will head out to one of the other 9,999 islands and look for another secluded sandy beach for the dogs to play on.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ahhh, another day in paradise. We headed to Blind Pass, which used to be an awesome beach but over the past couple of years had eroded into nothing. Apparently the sand from Dickman's Point ended up here, because the beach was wonderful! Pretzel's favorite jumping spot was still here - I have photos of him in 2013 jumping this very same spot. It's so cool to see how he remembered. Noodle followed him, at first she waded through the water but then figured out she was supposed to jump it like him (all the cool kids jump!). The joy on their faces is infectious.

I attached my new GoPro camera to Pretzel's back and let it run while they played. It is so fun to watch! Here are some highlights:

Friday, May 5, 2017

It's always a bummer when it rains most of the day when you are on vacation. It's double the bummer when you get a message from the breeding farm manager saying that Corky was checked NOT in foal. Yeah, I am not surprised. Typical of my year. we will try ONCE more, then I am DONE, and she comes home.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Being the true dog show geeks that we are, we hit a show on the way home from Florida! It just so happened that our halfway stopping point in mid-Georgia (Perry) was having a 5 day show starting on Wednesday. I opted not to do 5 days, but just entered the first day. This way we were able to arrive Tuesday evening, relax in the hotel overnight, get up and show the next morning, and then hit the road north again.

Well, it was a major in Weim bitches, but the major broke. No matter...Noodle ended up getting 3rd out of 4 in her 9-12 month puppy class. She was a bit squirrelly on her down and back (too many days being a wild woman at the beach, I guess!). Our biggest hindrance is her lack of body and weight. All of the other bitch puppies were really filled out. She just is too skinny and lanky. I am trying everything under the sun to get her to eat, but she eats about a third and then it's like she gets bored and doesn't want anything else. Ugh!

Pretzel showed pretty well, he ended up winning Select Dog in an impressive lineup! this means we are down to only 6 points (I think) left to get his Silver Grand Championship. Getting close!!! He also won best of breed owner-handled...and went on into a tough owner-handled sporting group to win GROUP ONE! Say what???

I find this amazing, and a bit telling - after a winter's long losing streak, we nail TWO owner-handled group ones in a row (not to mention a REGULAR group one!). It is going to be very hard to retire him...but I know his heart really isn't in the whole conformation thing anymore. he is perfectly willing, but he seems totally bored and it is a lot of work to get him "up" and animated for the show ring. I think he just wants to do other things now, and I can't blame him. Really, we have nothing left to prove as far as I am concerned!

Did I mention I also entered Pretzel in Rally Novice? It was a crazy schedule - and of COURSE it interfered with the sporting group. I rushed over to the rally/obedience building immediately after group and luckily they were right in the middle of my class. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to walk the course, which was bad for me because this course was confusing (check out the map!) and I only have one whopping rally class under my belt. But you know me, I never back out of things unless it is a dire emergency, and my lack of skill or knowledge never stopped me before!

Pretzel was less-than-enthusiastic in his heeling...I could tell he was pretty tired (can you blame him? Travelling ALL day yesterday in the van, plus already showing twice in the conformation ring). However, as sluggish as he was, he still did everything correctly, and amazingly I managed to pick my way (slowly!) though the course and didn't miss any signs. we ended up scoring a 92 and managed to win first place in Novice A Rally! I won a really nice small grooming bag, which surprised me. we so rarely actually win prizes in anything dog show-related.

Once Rally was done, Pretzel got a short break, and then it was back in the show ring for owner-handled best in show. Pretzel continued his tradition of totally BLOWING his free stack in best in show (WHY does he always seem to do this?). I didn't expect to win, and of course we didn't. I can hardly be upset...I am still a bit shocked that he brought me this far today! What a nice end capper to our vacation! Starting and ending our vacation with group one bookends...I love it!

We hit the road after the show (with a much later start than we had anticipated), made it as far as Cleveland Tennessee before we stopped for the night. then it's up bright and early to drive the rest of the way home to Ohio. Time to get my other brain in gear, because this weekend we have an agility trial (thank goodness it's local!) on Saturday and Sunday. Now HERE is something I have zero confidence in anymore.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Well, Corky gets bred tomorrow. My absolute LAST try. Not sure what to think. I am almost afraid to be too hopeful...staying numb is easier.

Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14, 2017

We stayed home this weekend, but we didn't stay "home"...we went to a CPE agility trial all weekend at a venue that is about 3 miles from my house (a nice change!). I've been learning a lot at the new place I've been taking agility classes, but I am not sure Pretzel is improving much. My goal for the weekend was to keep him happy and working with me.

Amazingly, we started off the morning on Saturday with a qualifying run in Jackpot! The weekend went up (and down, and then up) from there. We had some pretty decent runs, a run where he saw his best buddy leaving the ring and decided to bypass everything after the first jump to go visit him, and a couple runs where he made a mistake and checked out. Even though I made it a point NOT to correct him or signal in any way that he was wrong, he knew he was wrong, dropped his head to the ground and went off stress-sniffing. That's the problem...he knows when he misses a jump, and he worries. Silly boy, doesn't he realize I don't care if me messes up, I just want my enthusiastic boy back? We ended the trial on Sunday on a very positive note. All in all, the weekend was 5 qualifying runs out of 8, which is a darn good percentage for us!

We are doing an AKC agility trial the first weekend in June in preparation for Weimaraner Nationals the following week. I am NOT giving up (yet)!

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, May 18, 19, 21, 2017

We did three days of the show at Marietta (taking Saturday off to go to Shelby's graduation). I was on my own for the most part since Mark wasn't able to come with me on Thursday and Friday. It was, um, an interesting experience staying in a hotel with two dogs by myself. We managed OK, but it was nutty at times!

Thursday was OK - Pretzel got select dog and best of breed owner-handled, and nothing in the group. Noodle got 2nd out of 3 in her class, but went back in and got reserve winners bitch. Friday wasn't quite as good - Pretzel had the same results and Noodle got 3rd in her class. It's pretty frustrating, she is showing for me, but she is so skinny and immature-looking, she just can't rise to the top. I struggle to get her to eat, every single day. Ugh.

Sunday, Noodle had the same results - 3rd place. I can't ask for better behavior, she stacked beautifully, gaited well, but judges don' seem to like the twiggy look haha!

Pretzel is the one that surprised me. He managed to pull off a best of breed over the #1 Weimaraner in the country. Talk about being shocked...I was floored! As I stood waiting for my ribbon, the ring steward asked me if I was owner-handled eligible, and I said yes. The judge then turned to me and said, "I can't give you the best of breed ribbon." I asked "why not?" He smiled and replied, "Everyone knows judges don't give best of breed to owner-handlers!" My response was "I don't believe that for a second, and that's why I am here!" Every dog has his day...just have to be patient and keep working.

I was thoroughly excited and took a win picture because this breed win meant that Pretzel achieved his Silver Grand Championship. After all that, i sat down and decided to check his record and add the points just to be sure. CRAP. I am still 4 points short! Math is not my strong suit LOL! So, Pretzel doesn't get to retire quite yet. Dang it!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Last night Pretzel, Noodle, and I headed to New Castle, Pennsylvania for a show. Unfortunately I ended up having to go alone. It rained. Rained HARD. Did I mention it rained? We got to the show grounds early Thursday morning and it was raining. Oh yeah, raining. By the way, it was an outdoor show. Did I mention it was raining? Since I was alone and none of my dog show peeps were here, Pretzel had to just hang out in the van all morning and I forfeited his entry. This show was all about Noodle, because it was a major in Weimaraner bitches every single day. I am entered Today, Friday, and Monday (have to go home Saturday and Sunday for Shelby's graduation party). I would LOVE to pick up her second major and relieve some of the major-searching pressure.

well, all I can say is that Noodle was a rockstar! It was raining HARD when we showed, many dogs were acting up or cowering but not my Noodle! She showed like the champion-to-be that she is! Never moved a foot on her stacks, gaited in the rain beautifully, I could ask for nothing more. She won her 9-12 month class, and went on to win Winners Bitch for the major!!! that is our second major, so all we really need now are single points. I was thrilled!

After we were done showing it was only about 10am, and I had the entire day ahead of me...in the rain. So I loaded up the van and headed 2 hours west to spend the day with my parents. It was worth every mile to get to spend a surprise day hanging out with them.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thir morning started off early, cold, and wet. It rained all night, and continued to rain in the morning. Today was much worse...it had been raining for more than 24 hours straight, and was at least 15 degrees colder than yesterday. So we were FREEZING, and the show rings were MUDDY.

Today's show had a slightly bigger entry. Noodle went into the ring, in the COLD rain and once again was a rockstar, winning her class out of 4 and then taking Winners Bitch for another MAJOR! This is our third major. We now have 12 points (though AKC has their records messed up and lists us with 13 points). This means if I come back on Monday to show her and win again, she will be a finished champion. Cool! But NOT cool. I don't want to finish her before Weimaraner Nationals, and that is in a week and a half. She is too young to move up and compete with the older champions. So my plan is to skip Monday's show (there are plenty of entries so I won't be breaking the major). This will save me a lot of time, gas money, and hotel costs.

It was a long drive home (3 1/2 hours) but it was a victorious drive home, and those are always the BEST. Next on the agenda - Pretzel has an agility trial next weekend and then we leave for gray Summit, Missouri and the Weimaraner National Specialty on the following Monday...can't wait!

On to JUNE, 2017...