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, October 3, 2017

Look at my little girl! She looks so grown up now! It is "Happy Gotcha Day! for Noodle - a year ago today she came home to live with me. I cannot believe a whole year has already gone by. In that year, she has become a champion, won a puppy best in show, earned her first grand champion point, earned her CGC and TDN titles, and started agility training. I can't imagine life without her...she is as much a part of me as Pretzel is!

A look back to that first day....

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process."

I am reminding myself of my favorite quote. It's so easy to get frustrated and down when you feel like you are not making any progress in things. It's really a foolish feeling, because I know I am making progress in many parts of my life. But still, I have this feeling today that I am treading water. you know what I mean? Not moving forward...spending a LOT of energy just to stay put.

I looked at my calendar, trying to make plans for the next few months. Not much exciting is in the works. I feel this year I have been kind of slowly fizzling out. I had such a huge goal-oriented 2016 where I blew up my goals. I hit a lot of goals already for 2017, but in looking forward I just am having trouble feeling the positivity that i usually feel. Not sure why.

I was chatting the other day with a horse friend of mine, we were discussing Corky and her foal-to-be. Honestly, I feel zero excitement. Oh, I know I could easily get excited if I let myself. I can't. The shame of it is that half the fun of breeding is the expectations, the dreams, and the anticipation. I have none of those. I cannot let myself have any of those, not anymore.

On the plus side, so far everyone (dogs and horses) looks healthy. I am happy. Life is treating me wonderfully. Not sure why I am complaining...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Today was the kind of day where I needed to go back to yesterday's post and re-read that quote. We will call today the Day of Humility. I was feeling pretty confident about Noodle's agility skills, and excited about her future. OK, let's just say I was a bit proud. Well WHAMMO, today I get knocked back down to reality. Noodle was bad in agility class. No, she was horrible. Wild, uncontrollable, unfocused, a complete mess. We could hardly get anything done. Now granted, we had several excuses: It rained all day so she never got out to run and burn off some energy, and another out of control dog in the class got her revved up and excited. But still, it was downright embarrassing. Just when I think I am on a good path and things are progressing nicely, I get smacked by a wall.

Today is a day of frustration. Noodle and Pretzel have their trick dog testing in a little over a week - Pretzel tests for his advanced, and Noodle is going to do her Intermediate and Advanced. She has ALL of the advanced skills down pat, but is missing ONE skill for her Intermediate. I am trying to teach her to carry a basket, and it isn't going well. She is not grasping it (literally!). I know the trick titles are no big deal, but dang it - I don't like to set goals and then fail! Not an option!

Friday, October 6, 2017

We have PUPPIES!. OK, maybe not "we", but Pretzel and Mouse do! Martha took Mouse to get ultrasounded, and the vet saw at least 4, possibly more puppies. I am so excited! My incredible, awesome boy will live on through his pups. I am thrilled...and cannot wait to see these babies and see what traits they inherit from him. And no...I am not taking a puppy (sad face). I have not the time nor the room for a puppy right now. That really stinks, but I keep reassuring myself that there will be other puppies by Pretzel and I will take one when the time is right.

We estimate the pups will be due starting November 3rd. We bred her September 1 and 4th, so depending on when she ovulated it would be 63 days from then. C A N T W A I T !!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I received the digital copy of my Weimaraner Magazine today, and looked at the "new titles" section that listed all of the new titles earned by weimaraners this past July.

Look at my month of July...pretty impressive! Yup, it's a big deal for me.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lebanon, Tennessee AKC Conformation Show

This weekend starts Noodle's "official" career as my show dog. Pretzel came to the show with us, but he just hung out and socialized.

There was only one other Weimaraner entered, a really nice ranked bitch special. She took breed (obviously!) and Noodle got select. No grand champion points, but we did get owner-handled best of breed by default. She was a little all over the place in the class. I could see her inexperience was showing.

Noodle showed a LOT better in the owner-handled sporting ring. She turned it on, held her stack nicely, and we pulled off a Group Four. Noodle's very first owner-handled group placement! I was thrilled with how she showed. She is so different than Pretzel. While Pretzel was so serious in the show ring, Noodle treats it like it is a fun game, and with very little encouragement she can get over the top enthusiastic. I have to admit, I kinda like that...it makes showing her FUN!

After the show, we all headed into Nashville to shop at Bass Pro Shop. I have Noodle's first official field lesson scheduled for this coming Tuesday, and I need a blaze orange vest. Fun! Good thing I like orange. I hope she does well, neither of us have any idea what we are doing (though she actually has instinct so she is ahead of me already). I am excited, I LOVE new challenges!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lebanon, Tennessee AKC Conformation Show

Noodle was really ready for breed today. She showed great, really turned it on. Boy was I shocked when the judge ended up putting us up for Best of Breed! Wow!!! Noodle's first best of breed over a special. This weekend is just full of firsts.

So now we have two groups to prepare for. I wasn't worried, because she has a LOT of energy and enthusiasm so showing two groups would be a breeze for her. I was right, she handled it all well. We didn't get a placement in either group, but I am really happy with how she is progressing. We still have a ways to go before I am confident she is truly trained for the show ring.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Today is Trick Dog testing in my obedience class! Pretzel is testing for his advanced title, and Noodle is testing for her intermediate and advanced titles.

Pretzel's advanced tricks were:

  • Circle Right, Circle left
  • Sit/down at a distance
  • Pick up toys and put them in a box
  • Weave poles
  • Put a Nerf basketball through the hoop

He totally nailed every trick....yeah Pretzel! Next it was Noodle's turn. She had to perform 10 Intermediate tricks, and they were:

  • Carry a basket
  • Catch a soft toy or ball
  • Fetch (20 feet)
  • Go to your "place" (go and lie down on a mat set across the room)
  • Hand signals - sit, down, stand)
  • Leg weave (weave around the handler's legs)
  • Shell game (find a treat under 1 of 3 cups)
  • Balance on the wobble board
  • Front paws target on disc
  • Dog Walk

Nailed it! we worked hard on carrying a basket, this was the most difficult trick for her. She figured it out, carried ti all the way across the room with me. next we had to do 5 advanced tricks. they were:

  • Back up (walk backwards)
  • Circle right, circle left
  • Sit or down at a distance
  • Weave Poles
  • A-Frame

These tricks were a lot easier than the Intermediate ones, because she already knew how to do all of them. This was so much fun to train, and both dogs just LOVE the one-on-one training time with me. I will keep teaching them silly things just for fun.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Field lesson day! Let me start off by saying that this was so much fun!!!! I could see the progression in Noodle each time she went out to look for birds. We did it in 3 short sessions, and each session the trainer planted two birds in the high grass. The first session was all about developing enthusiasm - Noodle found the bird and flushed it immediately. the second time through, the trainer worked with teaching Noodle to pause and hold still when she found the scent. the third time she actually went into a full point both times, and waited for the trainer to flush the birds. It was awesome! She loved every minute of it, and I can't wait to go out and try it again. Our goal? Junior Hunter...and maybe beyond.

How appropriate...we all went out for dinner after the training session to a little local restaurant nearby, and look what today's special was!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So THIS just happened! Unexpected? Yes! I am speechless (and that's unusual, believe me!). Never thought I could be this happy, never thought it was possible for me. Guess what? It IS possible, just took time. The RIGHT time. Amazing when you can find someone that is on your same wavelength. The one you laugh with, share your ups and downs, and totally accept each other's curves and edges.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last night officially began the "Weekend From Hell" with a flat tire on my way to jazz rehearsal in Dayton. No, the flat didn't occur close to home, it waited until i had driven an hour and 45 minutes and was about 5 blocks from rehearsal in downtown Dayton before exploding. So that was a wasted night

We got up before dawn today and headed south to Wilmington, Ohio for a weimaraner specialty. After the show we would continue south to Clarksville, Tennessee to do a weekend show.

I was looking forward to the specialty because a couple friends asked me to show their class dogs for them, 2 of them being Noodle's littermates! Let's just say things didn't go as planned. 2 out of the 3 dogs showed terribly for me and I was at a loss as to how to get them comfortable (and under control). I failed pretty big time on all 3. My only hope for personal redemption was Noodle.

We went in to Sweepstakes first. Right away I noticed she was really gaiting slowly and was concerned with the blue carpeting. It was a bit slippery, and it made a weird whooshing noise as she gaited on it. She did NOT like it. No success in sweeps. Then it was Best of Breed. She still didn't gait out and confident like she normally does. No luck this time either. So we packed up, and off we went to Tennessee.

we got to the show site that evening and set up an x-pen and got our parking spot ready for the next day. Noodle was not very energetic in the x-pen, but I didn't think anything about it. we got to the room, ordered pizza, and I fed the dogs. Pretzel ate his dinner as usual, but Noodle wouldn't touch hers. She hadn't wanted to eat breakfast either. the rest of the evening she just laid on the bed, would not play with Pretzel no matter how hard he tried. I started to get concerned. When she started getting full body tremors, I knew something was very very wrong. we took her temperature twice - 100.3, normal.

The closest 24 hour emergency hospital was an hour away in Nashville. We loaded the dogs up in the van and headed south. Thus started a long, grueling, worrisome, exhausting, stressful night. They took x-rays and saw something suspicious in her small colon that looked like it could be a partial blockage or foreign substance. They took her temperature and it had risen to 104. They also ran a full series of blood tests and found she did not have a virus or anything of that nature, but her white blood count was elevated indicating an infection somewhere.

They put her on fluids overnight and watched her closely. Eventually by morning, she pooped and must have passed whatever caused the inflammation in her intestines. She started feeling a LOT better, so we were able to take her home. What a huge relief! I was so afraid she would need surgery, and we were 6 hours from home.

We loaded up our stuff from the show, checked out of the hotel, and headed home. A crushingly disappointing weekend, but thankful that Noodle was improving and needed no further care.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Noodle is doing a LOT better today! She is starting to act like her normal ornery self. She is still a bit quieter than usual, but it was so wonderful to see her playing with Pretzel again. I think Pretzel missed her, they were inseparable all day long.

I am working on reversing my negative attitude from the weekend. Sure, it was disappointing, but I have often said - you really don't appreciate your successes unless you grapple with some failures along the way. This past weekend will make me appreciate my next success all the more. I can't wait for it to happen...hope it happens soon!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

This weekend we were entered in the show at Delaware, Ohio, only about 45 minutes from me. Nice...no travelling! Saturday started off OK. Kind of disappointing because none of the the other bitch specials or class bitches showed up, so Noodle was the only female. She was guaranteed best of opposite, which she got. we were also the only owner-handler to show up, so we got that also.

Owner-Handled group was fun, it was a very large group which meant a lot of waiting. I spent a lot of time having her do tricks, free stack, all sorts of fun stuff. Noodle made it fun, because she had a blast in the ring.

One little thing we discovered - she hates when people clap around her. She got really angry with me when I was clapping for a friend of mine, and she got really squirrelly on her down and back when spectators clapped. She was also really wound up on the first go-around...took off running and tried to drag me. I think this was the largest group of dogs she has ever had to gait with. It sure was exciting for her! we have some work to do...

Tonight I sat on the couch with her, and Mark and I clapped and clapped and tried to get her used to the sound and not get angry. We'll see if this makes a difference tomorrow.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Today was the second day of the Delaware show. Same scenario in breed today, though I thought she showed better today than yesterday. Baby steps!

The group ring was big and tough again today. I got her in the building nice and early and we hung out for at least an hour before we showed. Amazingly, the clapping didn't seem to bother her today. Maybe last night's "therapy session" helped after all!

I will say she showed MUCH better today in the group. I did a lot of free stacking, and she really turned on for the judge. I was thrilled when the judge awarded us an owner-handled Group 4!

It's funny how a Group 4 can make me almost as excited as when Pretzel would earn a Group 1. I guess it is because I am starting all over with a new, young, barely-trained dog. I realize I am at a HUGE disadvantage here. Not only do I have a breed that does not have a spectacular eye-catching setter or spaniel coat, but I have a young, immature-looking female. Strike strike strikes against me. So this Group 4 is like a big win in my book!

I guess that success I was hoping for after last weekend showed up today. Yay!

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Mouse" had her final vet appointment for baby x-rays today. I went along to watch. The vet said he sees 5, possibly 6 babies in there! On one view he definitely sees 5, and on the other view he possibly sees a 6th one hidden behind several others. I guess we will know in a week...vet predicted she will probably whelp a week from today. How exciting to know that Pretzel has created life!

    On to November, 2017...