Thursday, December 30, 2010

Byron Photos from Vaca

I took quite a few photos while I was up in Woodville visiting my parents.  Too tired to edit all of them so here are the ones I took of Byron out in the leaves of the yard before sunset.  Hope everyone is having a good week!

Byron - Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Puppy 5 Months

Byron - Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Puppy 5 Months

Byron - Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Puppy 5 Months

Byron - Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Puppy 5 Months

Byron - Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Puppy 5 Months

Friday, December 17, 2010

What Christmas Means to Me

My Baby Rattle is now a tree ornament
Growing up in my home Christmas was always an intimate affair. I didn't have a gigantic mountain of gifts like other kids on my street. I didn't go to a bunch of different houses to open gives either. We usually just stayed at home, woke up early on Christmas morning and I'd open gifts once my grandmother came over. She lived next door so sometimes we'd go to her house to open more gifts afterwards.

I'd get special gifts that my parents knew that I'd like and would take care of for a long time. I don't know if it is something that only children do or maybe it was just me but I would always be quite careful with my toys and try to keep them from getting dirty or breaking so they would last a while. My mom still has some of my toy horses and stable in a closet somewhere. Most of them look new.

My parents never did the whole Santa thing with me. From the outset I was told that Santa didn't exist and where the gifts came from. I was taught to be grateful for what I received, even if some years it wasn't anything at all. We had enough to get by and somehow my parents always made Christmas special for me even when times were tough. I don't know how they did it.

Decorating the tree was always fun for me to do. I think once I moved out my mom didn't want to deal with it for a few years. Then she realized how much she liked it and got a small tree again to decorate. She gave me all the tree decorations so she had to go out and get more.

Each year we have a tradition too - the first person to surprise someone else by saying "Christmas Eve Gift" gets to open a gift on Christmas Eve. I always seem to forget and get phone calls with people blurting out "Christmas Eve Gift" before I even know what is going on!

Christmas Tree 2009
Moving out on your own and getting married has a tendency to change some traditions though. My husband and I do things low-key. I don't make a gigantic meal or really decorate the house much. I don't have children so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. We have our big meal at his parents house if I'm not in Tallahassee and then Christmas day we just relax at home. If we get hungry and don't feel like doing leftovers we'll go get Chinese or Waffle House. Mostly I spend the time watching movies with the doggies in my lap, crafting or reading books.

Generally we get 1-2 special gifts per person in our family. I'm trying to go more homemade so that I don't keep feeding the commercial machine out there demanding we go into debt each holiday. I managed to make 3 homemade gifts and purchase 2 homemade gifts for relatives this year which makes me feel good. Next year I hope to do more. 

So enjoy the holidays!  I'm doing some traveling and when I'm home I'll be quilting and relaxing.  

What are you doing this holiday season?  What are some of your family traditions that you love (or hate)?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Trial Results

  •  Jackpot - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ 41 points
    • We missed my planned opening, Basil got a bit stressed in the beginning and ran off.  I had to double back to get the correct gamble obstacles and avoid the incorrect ones.  It was a fun gamble (two contacts and a tunnel).  We did well on the contacts and he ran right for the table when I called for it.  
  • Jumpers - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 37.90 and 5 faults
    • Even with the judge changing the opening jump to something easier, I still lost him between jump 1 & 2.  I got him back, kept going and finished out the course that way.  I thought I'd completely missed Jump 2 resulting in a NT (no time, thus no score) but after checking the records we were only given a 5 point fault for an off course.  I was surprised.  
  • Standard - Level 1 - NQ - Off Course
    • Had start line stay issues on this one.  Tried a running start but completely lost him and he wandered off to smell the back fence line where the feral cats mark.  Then he ran completely out of the ring. 
  • Full House - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ 23 points. 
    • I had a plan and mostly stuck with it.  Still had some issues starting out but once we got back together everything flowed pretty well.  He likes tunnel to tunnel entries!  Kept me sprinting that is for sure.  And they had the table wrapped around the jump so when I said table and pointed he took the tunnel.  I managed to get him up on to the table though so everything worked out. 
  • Jackpot - Level 1 - NQ - Ran out of the ring.
    • Thought we'd get the gamble but didn't and then the table was so close to the ring exit he just ran right out and peed on a tree.  I guess he really had to go.  It was a fun gamble though, I made the mistake of doing it the hard way by having him enter on the more difficult side because he happened to be over there.  
  • Standard - Level 1 - NQ - ran out of the ring.
    • Couldn't even get his attention after the first jump.  Did a good start line stay, then totally lost him when he refused the A-frame (obstacle 2).  He ran to the back of the course to smell the cat pee fence line and then ran out of the ring.  
  • Colors - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 25.72
    • This course flowed pretty well.  He ran around obstacle 5 but I managed to fix it and we finished the course just fine.  I avoided obstacles near the cat pee fence line and took the course that kept us away from that.  Start line stay was pretty nice, got a bit of a 1 jump lead out.  
  • Full House - Level 1 - Q - 1st Place w/ time of 39.38
    • He stayed with me really well on this course being that it was the last run of the day and I know he was tired.  Had great running contacts on dog walk, got the jump combo and ran to the table like a champ.  
Things I learned:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quickie Post

Just a quick post before I go to bed - we had a fun day at agility today.  We got qualifying scores in three out of four runs that we entered and 1st places in all.  Fun day :)  Basil now has a title of CL1-F since he got "Qs" in both Jackpot and Fullhouse at level 1 today.  We also managed to squeak out a Jumpers Q.  Totally blew it on Standard - I'm not as much fun as cat pee apparently and Basil thought that was way more interesting.  We did get the opening before he ran off to smell the cat pee on the fence line.

Byron did quite well at the new venue too.  I managed to get a few pictures.

CPE Trial Dec 2010

CPE Trial Dec 2010-2

CPE Trial Dec 2010-4

CPE Trial Dec 2010-6

CPE Trial Dec 2010-11

CPE Trial Dec 2010-13

Tomorrow we have more fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Photo Post!

I took a bunch of pictures at the corgi beach meetup today.  Those of you not in Florida - the beach down here is nice even in the winter months.  It got up to about 65 degrees while we were out there.  Everyone had a good time.  Byron ran in the surf a bit but never actually went for a swim.  I'll post the slideshow and then share some of my favorite pictures under a cut.

Fort De Soto Corgi Meetup-30
I like the crop I did on this photo. Makes Basil look like he's out in the wilderness.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Plan

My lesson last night with Karen Holik was fun and productive I think.  Basil was a little stressed in the beginning, probably because it was a new place and he has only been to a handful of new agility courses so far.  I explained our continuous start line stay problem and she watched us attempt a few segments.   He ran off the first time, came back and we attempted it missing one jump because I pushed in too much. 

Our segments were fine, especially when he was held for a 2 jump leadout.  I've been working on my flying arm syndrome and it has gotten a lot better lately.  Basil is more consistent too without me running around like a flapping chicken.  Byron will benefit from this later on in his training too.

My "prescription" was to work on crate games with him and use a crate at the start line.  I don't have a copy of Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD but I know some of the basic things.  I just have never transferred it outside of my bedroom where the doggie sleeping crates are.  I ordered the DVD.  I'll be working on it as I have time before the trial next week and we will see where that takes us.

I also got some great tips on puppy agility training.  Byron is so young right now I've been doing little more than socialization and play which is perfect.  She showed me how to use a toy to begin training cues like a release, ready, leave it and go get it.  I'll do some crate games with him too so that he has a good start line stay foundation for when we begin actual training.  Karen said at this age you just want to PLAY with your puppy and get them excited about toys.  Overloading a puppy with cues and commands for agility just doesn't work and their little brains right now can't handle it anyway. 

I'm excited about our first real trial next week!  I hope he has fun and I don't get all nervous and mess up my handling plans.

Byron goes to daycare for the first time on Monday.  :)  I'm excited to see how he does.  I think he will have fun playing with other new pups.
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