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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bernese Specialty - Day 2

This blog is going to be very quick - we are all tired. We left our hotel at 7:30 this morning and got back to our hotel at 9:00 tonight.

Maggie Agility
It was very cold in Saskatoon today and Maggie loved it. Maggie was very spunky to the point of being on the crazy side, but she pulled it together enought to get one "Q", the last one we needed to finish her Novice Standard title. She even got all her weave entrances today!

Maggie Rally-O
I think that Maggie has decided that the obedience ring is a horrible place. She was in 3 rally trials today and I didn't finish 2 of her runs because she was just not into it. She did get a High In Class in one of her trials to complete her second leg of her Advanced Rally Title.

Bosley Obedience
Bosley earned his second leg towards his CD today. He did a great job, although a bit more distracted today than yesterday. He finished with 3rd in class and a score of 183.5.

Bosley Rally-O
Bosley was in 3 rally trials today. The first was the Bernese sponsored trial where he placed High in Class and High Bernese in class. Ok - it's not quite as impressive as it sounds - the only other dog in his class was Maggie and I pulled her out during the run because she was stressing too much. The best thing of the run - Bosley got through the food bowl distraction without diving into the bowls (they used weiners in the bowl - his favorite).

The other two Rally trials were evening trials - something that I now do not recommend entering after you have already done a full day of trialing. We did not finish the first run -he was being very goofy - chasing a cricket across the floor, visiting the timekeeper and then jumping on me to give me a hug.

His second trial was as entertaining as the first. He knocked over a pylon and then seem so surprised that it moved so he went over to it, picked it up and then stuck his whole nose in the bottom of it. Ya- we got lots of laughs from the crowd and even the judge said later that it was all she could do to keep from laughing at him. What a guy. We struggled our way through the run and ended up with a score of 76 which was High In Class. He was actually the only dog to qualify out of all the Advanced A and Advanced B dogs. All the dogs and handlers were very tired tonight.

That's all - we are all going to bed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

BMDCC National Specialty - Day 1

Today was the first day of our Bernese Specialty. Maggie didn't have anything going on today for her, so she just got to relax in the hotel room for most of the day. Bosley was entered in Altered Conformation today as well as Novice A obedience. Here is how our day went:

Bosley was very good in the ring - he let the judge examine him (even his teeth) and he wasn't weird about her touching him at all. I was so happy about that because I have been stressing a bit that we would roll over and pee on the judge when she tried to touch him. Bosley won Best of Altered Opposite (the girl who beat him already has her regular Championship). It was kinda fun hanging out at ringside with all the show people, but I am not sure showing is something that I would like to do all the time. Anyway, we had fun.

What can I say about our day in obedience. Bosley performed beyond my expectations. It was his first time in the novice ring and I am so proud of him. He finished the trial with a score of 193.5 and took High In Class and High Scoring Bernese in Class. He was also the youngest Bernese to qualify in the trial. To top it all off, he was the High Scoring Bernese in Trial. He won some very nice ribbons and some great prizes and gets his name on the Bernese Obedience High In Trial Plaque.

What a great day! Now we need to get some rest because we have a very busy day tommorow: agility and rally obedience.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Things Are Best Left To A Professional!

Last night I thought I would start to get Bosley ready for his "big show" this weekend.  We are attending the Bernese National Specialty and Bosley and I are both making our first attempt in the show ring.  Normally, before a big show, I just bathe the dogs and brush them so they look tidy for the obedience or agility ring.  But when you show in conformation, your dog is expected to be groomed a certain way.  Luckily for me, Bernese are shown in a fairly natural coat - which means that you tidy your dog up but should not need to spend hours grooming and fluffing and setting each hair in place with hairspray.  Just tidy Bosley up - that sounded easy enough.  I trimmed up his feet (so far so good); I tidied up the feathering on his legs (yup - looks OK); I got out the thinning shears to trim Bosley's ears and . . . well . . . they looked like a 3 year old trimmed them with dull school scissors.  They looked choppy and all the hairs were sticking out all over - he was a mess. 

Ears are supposed to be ear-shaped!

Yikes!  What have I done!

In a panic, I sent a late night email to Jolene, who is a real groomer and always has the best groomed dogs around. "What should I do?"  Jolene told me not to panic and she offered to help fix Bosley's ears.  So we met at Paws On The Run this afternoon to use the grooming room (Thanks Wendy).  In no time at all, Jolene had Bosley's ears all cleaned up and looking great.

 Thanks to Jolene - Bosley has perfect looking ears.

Bosley looking nice and trimmed.

Here is Bosley, freshly bathed and looking very handsome.  Maybe he will pass for a real show dog!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Jolene!  You made Bosley look beautiful!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birthday Boy !!!

Today, my sweet Bosley boy is 2 years old.  It is hard to believe that he is 2  already - I guess I will have to stop referring to him as "my puppy". 

Bosley posing in his Birthday Boy hat.

You don't always have to be so serious Bosley . . . it's your birthday!

"Look, I am being cute . . . now can you take off the stupid hat already and just give me my cookie"!

Happy Birthday Bolsey!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Bling !!!

They are finally here!  I ordered new collars for the dogs, not because they really needed them, but it was for a fundraiser so I ordered them just so I could support the Canadian Agility Team (wink, wink).  I also ordered the dogs new ID tags.  The engraving on Bosley's tag is almost worn off, so I got both dogs new tags.  These orders were from totally different places (the collars from eastern Canada and the tags from Australia) and they were ordered at different times, but they both arrived in my mailbox today.

The ID tags were ordered from Pawprint Pet Tags.  This is a small home based company that has very nice ID tags and they only cost $10 each with engraving and shipping included.

Here is the ID Tag that I ordered for Maggie:

This is Bosley's new ID Tag:

Of course, I couldn't resist getting them matching Canada Flag ID tags:

The collars that I ordered are from a Canadian company called Funny Farm Boutique.  This is another small company that will custom make collars and they have a huge selection of fabric to choose from.  They have great customer service and although they had some setbacks with the collars that I ordered (they had a flood in their warehouse and some of the fabric and collars got ruined) they went out of their way to make sure that my order was taken care of as soon as possible.

Here is Maggie's new and very pretty "Indian Spice" collar:

Bosley will look very dashing in his new " Bad Boy Bandana" themed collar:

So Maggie and Bosley are all set to go out with their new collars and tags.

*** My name is Kim. I own Bernese Mountain Dogs and I am an Internet Shop-a-holic.  There,  I said it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect ?

. . . Well, not always, but it helps!  (and it gives me something to blog about).

Last night I took the dogs out to the agility field to practice.  Maggie really needed to work on those weaves - she didn't get one entry at our trial last weekend.  She also got to practice her contacts, which have been giving us grief, and of course, we did some jump work (must work on those rear crosses).

Bosley came out too - he loves to practice agility, but is sometimes too focused on what he likes to do (ie. the table and the A-frame, mostly).  His weaves are coming along great, I am actually quite surprised because we have not been practicing them at home.  He is really improving and is starting to get some speed through them.  In March, I posted a video of Bosley just in the beginning stages of learning to weave.  Last night I took out my camera to get some video of the dogs and this is what Bosley's weaves look like now, less than 5 months later:

Bosley loves the weaves.  He is finally doing the teeter on his own now too, although not very gracefully.  He tries really hard though and always seems to be having fun.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Three's A Crowd

Who is that hiding in the background?   Another Bernese!?!

Well, not quite.  I bought this big stuffed Bernese about a year ago and I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the dogs posing with it.  I had to bribe Maggie and Bosley with cookies though, otherwise they were having no part having their picture taken with a fake Bernese.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Alberta Kennel Club Weekend

The Alberta Kennel Club hosted it's big yearly outdoor show in Calgary this past weekend.  I entered Maggie in the show, mainly to compete in CKC agility, but I also entered her in some obedience.  Overall, we had a pretty good weekend.  I have no pictures to share, so I will just have to give a written description how our weekend went.

We drove up to Calgary Saturday morning and got to the show site a couple hours before Maggie went into the Obedience Novice A ring.  This was our first try at Novice obedience and I was very nervous.  I tried to keep Maggie excited by playing some fun obedience games with her before we went in the ring and she seemed happy to be there.  We were the second last team to go in the ring and Maggie looked good going into the ring.  I have been working on getting her excited to start heeling by playing a "Get Ready" game and when the judge asked if I was ready and I responded "Ready!" Maggie started going before I said "heel".  I didn't mind the lost points, at least she was upbeat.  Our on-leash heel was OK, a couple of rough spots and Maggie didn't sit on the halt.  She started to lag a bit on the figure 8 but did great on the Stand For Exam.  Next was the "Heel Free" exercise.  Maggie started out OK, but I could see that she was getting stressed. Then in the middle of our "Slow Heel" she stopped to scratch,and scratch and scratch.  I had to keep walking and I picked her up on my way back from the about turn (we lost lots of marks there).  We finished up the heeling OK.  Next was the recall.  I put Maggie in a sit, walked away and on the judge's signal, I called her.  Nothing.  Not a movement from her.  I gave her a second arm signal - knowing it would be an automatic NQ.  As she ran towards me the judge said "Bring her Back".  Just as I had called Maggie, the ring next to us broke out in cheering as the winners in their group were announced.  The judge said that he couldn't hear me, so he was sure Maggie couldn't either.  So we waited until the celebrating ceased and we started over.  I yelled extra loud and Maggie ran right to me and nicely into a heel postition (Oops).  Oh well, I was just happy that we were done that part.  Next were the long sits and downs.  Why does the 1 minute sit seem like it takes forever?  Maggie has a bad habit of laying down on the sit, but today she sat nice and straight and never even looked like she was thinking about laying down (good thing for lots of distractions - she was too busy looking around).  She made it through the sit and the down for her 1st leg of her CD.  Our mark was not great, but we "Q"d!  Out of our group of 21 dogs in Novice A, there were only 7 dogs that qualified, so I felt pretty good about that.

The rest of the day we relaxed and wandered around the show site watching the dogs and visiting people we knew.  

Sunday was our very first CKC agility trial.  The weather was perfect - very cloudy and cool.  Maggie had a great agility day.  She was spunky all day and tried very hard.  The courses were fun and a little shorter than we are used to and it was the first time Maggie has seen a double jump or panel jump (which I was a little worried about).  Maggie ran great all day and 'Q'd all 4 runs, with 3 perfect scores of 100 and one score of 89 where she had a tunnel refusal (which was my fault) and some time faults (again my fault - I got lost).  

Good thing Maggie had a good day in agility because our Advanced Rally run was not so great.  I think that the Novice Obedience run on Saturday had her really stressed to go back into the ring.  She was OK in our warm up but not really excited and when we entered the ring, her ears were back and she would not even look at me.  I couldn't convice her to do anything except the jump.  After about the 5th station I was getting frustrated and she was not having a good time, so I thanked the judge and left the course. Normally she loves Rally because I can talk to her and cheer her on.

It was much warmer on Monday, but Maggie did well all day.  Our first run was Jumpers With Weaves. Maggie was very spunky and did great with a perfect score of 100 which earned Maggie her first CKC agility title (AGNJS)!!!  Our next run was Standard.  Our walkthrough was at 9:45 and I had to be in the Rally ring at 10:00, so I got moved close to the top of the running list.  It was 9:55 when we got in the ring, so I new we had to hurry.  I ran fast. Maggie ran faster.  She was flying around the course, responding great to everything.  She was so fast that she flew off the end of the dogwalk, missing her contact!  Oops!  I guess I pushed her a bit too much, but she was really moving and it was great to see.  

We ran to the obedience building, where an unexpected large Excellent Rally group were still finishing up their runs.  They were not even ready for us yet (uggg).  I was a bit worried about taking Maggie back in the ring, although she seemed a bit better than Sunday.  We walked into the ring and Maggie looked a bit stressed but not as bad as our first Rally try.  She started out sluggish and I kept cheering her on and about halfway though the run she started to pick up a bit and act more like her normal self.  I however, was concentrating so hard on trying to keep her upbeat that I did not read a sign correctly and did a U-turn instead of a pivot and lost 10 marks for incorrect handling - up until that point we only had 4 deductions.  We finished with a score of 86 and were 4th place out of 10 dogs.

By this time, my next agility walkthrough was starting, so we ran back to the agility field for our second Standard run of the day.  It was really starting to get warm outside and I was not sure how Maggie would do, but she ran great.  She knocked the first bar (her only one all weekend), but the rest of the course was great - fast and she got all her contacts.

In our last jumpers run, I thought we would just have some fun (since she already earned her title in this event).  There was a great spot to try out the rear crosses that we have been practicing - and it worked - yay!  Our first ever successful rear cross in a trial situation.  Then we got to the weave poles.  Maggie stopped and sniffed them and then refused to go near them - a dog must have peed on them because she never acts like that with the weaves.  Oh well, I just moved her on to the next obstacle and she finished great.

Overall, Maggie had a great weekend.  Her table in agility was great - no hesitation all day.  Her weave poles need some work - she didn't get one entry on the first try all weekend.  I am not sure what happened there - she usually gets her entries fairly consistanly.  The only thing that I can think of is that the poles were all white with no contrasing color and maybe that threw her off a bit.  

Maggie's favorite part of the weekend was getting lots of attention and treats from people that we met - especially the kids.  Lots of kids stopped to pet her and some even asked to take her picture.  One little girl had bought a stuffed Bernese from one of the vendors and when she saw Maggie she was so excited!  Her Mom took a picture of the little girl, Maggie and the stuffed Bernese all sitting together - it was very cute. There was even another Bernese in agility this weekend, which was great to see!