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    Juno Competes in AAC Regionals & Mars Has Success in Barn Hunt

    What a weekend! Super proud of Juno’s first try at AAC Regionals. She had some really great runs but unfortunately our abysmal jumpers course yesterday was something we just couldn’t get enough points to overcome. She got spooked and, between taking two off-course tunnels and stopping to gawk at the crowd, we finished with almost no points there. No Nationals for us this year but the rest of her performance makes me optimistic for next year! Loved seeing so many familiar faces representing the Okanagan well – congrats everyone on your qualifying scores and even several podium placements!

    Meanwhile, Mars went with his sire’s owner to have fun at Barn Hunt. Mars earned his Instinct title (RATI) and two Qs toward his Novice title (RATN), including one second place score! He just needs one more novice Q for the title. Pretty amazing for a dog who still hasn’t actually seen a rat or participated in a proper practice/introduction.

    Mars Becomes a Canadian Champion!

    In the last post, I wrote about how I spent the weekend racing back and forth between agility and conformation, like a dog handler Superman. But, it was totally worth it when Mars finished his Canadian Champion title on Monday at the Kelowna Kennel Club show!

    This win was particularly sweet, as it was the same show exactly one year ago where I handled in conformation for the very first time. What a nice way for everything to come full circle, and oh how far we’ve both come since that first show!

    Mars finished with WD and BOB over a Special. He is now BPIG CH Jetstream Marsanne Veraison CW-SP CGN.

    Mars was handled to his first 5 points (including Best Puppy in Group and 2 x BOB) by his sire’s owner and then he was owner-handled (poor Mars! ) for the remaining points. I certainly caught the bug and can’t wait to have another reason to get into the ring.

    Juno Earns AAC Advanced Agility Dog of Canada Title

    Juno earned her AAC Advanced Agility Dog of Canada title! I raced back and forth between the agility trial (with Juno) and the conformation show (with Mars), both happening in Kelowna over the long weekend. I felt like the dog handler version of Superman – pulling a dress on and off over top of my agility clothes as I travelled across town between the different venues.

    Despite this less-than-optimal situation, Juno and Mars were both great sports and did a fantastic job (more on Mars in the next post!). It ended up being worth the effort. The AADC title has been difficult for Juno and I; because it has taken so much work to build her confidence, we would regularly be a couple seconds over time or pick up a random refusal somewhere along the way. Always so close yet so far! So, to me, this milestone represents a huge break-through for Juno.

    Juno Finishes Her CKC Intermediate Agility Titles

    Juno had a great start with our first agility trial of the season! She finished her Intermediate Points and Distance and Intermediate Standard titles yesterday, getting 4/6 Qs and today she rallied again for 3/6 with close calls for the other half.

    We ended up with:
    x Steeplechase
    1 x Intermediate PAD
    1 x Intermediate Standard
    1 x Excellent Standard
    2 x Excellent Jumpers with Weaves

    She’s now at the Excellent level for all courses since she finished her Intermediate Jumpers with Weaves title previously.

    The Hounds Try: Nose Work (And Earn a Title!)

    Since I plan to try out all sorts of new and different sports and activities with my whippet, I decided I will try to chronicle them in a way that might be useful for other beginners. I will add updates to these posts if I learn anything else that is new or helpful and, as always, please feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments! So far, I’ve written about conformationagility, and barn hunt. We’ve been learning and practicing nose work (also called scent detection) on and off since last summer and finally felt ready for a trial.

    We entered Level 1 in a C-WAGS scent trial and, amazingly, Mars managed qualifying scores in 4/4 of his runs and earned his first title in just one morning. We had a lot of fun and can’t wait for our next trial and trying Level 2.

    Continue reading…

    The Hounds Try: Barn Hunt

    Since I plan to try out all sorts of new and different sports and activities with my whippet, I decided I will try to chronicle them in a way that might be useful for other beginners. I will add updates to these posts if I learn anything else that is new or helpful and, as always, please feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments! So far, I’ve written about conformation and agility. Last weekend, we were able to try Barn Hunt for the first time! Continue reading…

    What You Appreciate When You Have Three (or More) Dogs

    Two dogs was easy. Sure, Juno didn’t want to pee outside when it was raining. And maybe Oliver had some sharing issues. But, overall, it was good. A year apart in age, only a few pounds difference in size, best buds after just a few rocky months of settling in… why do we dog people always mess with a good thing?

    …To make it even better, of course! Well, and perhaps we want a new puppy trained and ready to compete in some sports before the golden oldies are ready to retire. That’s neither here nor there.

    Whatever the reason, there are a few things I have noticed. The first is that two dogs is usually a very reasonable number to regular folks. You know, the ones whose lives don’t revolve around being a doggy soccer mom. But three (or more!) and you are suddenly “the dog lady.” The other thing I have noticed is that I have come to appreciate some of the smaller things in life.

    Continue reading…