Sunday, October 20, 2013

Genuinely Good Dogs

Sometimes we're lucky enough to come across genuinely good dogs in our lives. Ones that are just good souls with kind hearts. You might get one in a lifetime or you might get many, but they're the dogs we'll always remember for their almost human like qualities. These dogs put up with our mistakes and fumbles in training, they take it in stride and just ask we do our best and they turn out to be our heart dogs. That's what Izzie is for me, she's just that damn good dog. I know lots of dogs who fit that part for their people too.

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Take Rio for example...

She was a rehome, taken from a really bad situation and acquired by my friend, Madison, who at that time was a young, first time dog owner. Probably wasn't the best idea at that time for her, but sometimes logic falls away when that poor abused puppy looks you in the eyes and tries to bite you from the end of their tether. None of us expected her to stick it out with this dog she got suckered into taking, especially me (sorry love, but you knew I doubted you!)

... Am I ever glad I was wrong about that.

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I met Rio last weekend. I remembered what she was like years ago when Madison brought her home. Fearful, reactive, skeptical of the world. She was a mess at less than a year old. I thought that without someone very experienced, this dog would be a disaster and would bite and meet her end sooner rather than later. Like I said, I am really glad that I was wrong. This dog is amazing and I would take her home in an instant.  For a first time dog owner to take that damaged dog and turn her into this lovely, well mannered, happy-go-lucky dog is awesome. It took years of hard work, patience, persistence, and tough decisions. She still has her quirks, she still can't be trusted around kids and is a little guardy with food and toys, but she is who she is and it's managed well (I don't generally like kids either and am a little guardy around my food too, so I guess we're kindred spirits in that sense)

Rio is just naturally a sweetheart. I spent much of my mornings playing with her and Izzie out in the backyard and giving endless belly rubs while just hanging out on the couch. She's a total introvert (dogs can be introverted and extroverted right?), she is a gentle loving soul who just wants to be cuddled and played with by people she loves. She's not a very naughty dog, although she has her moments i'm told, she just wants to be good and make her people happy. She's just such a chill dog, I love that about her.


I'm very proud of how far this dog has come and she's not even my dog, hell I barely had any influence in how she turned out. Back then I never would have thought I would ever be able to bring Izzie over for fear of Rio maybe attacking her. I don't think she'd be where she is with anyone else. All she asked from Madison was to understand her and love her and do the best she could. It wasn't without hard work and mistakes, but she gave this dog her all and Rio turned out to be that genuinely good dog for Madison. I think they were both what each other needed in their lives. The connection is unmistakable with the way Rio looks at her and seem to understand every word she says. Rio is her heart dog. 

Those Once-in-a-Lifetime Dogs...

I'm so glad they stuck it out together and I think Izzie is pretty glad too because she likes her new friend. It was lovely to have our heart dogs there together and getting along so well. Neither dog without their quirks, but from snarfing in peoples faces to obsessively patrolling the backyard we love our girlies for who they are and they are definitely genuinely good dogs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Red Balloon

Red Balloon

Really there's not much to blog about. On the dog front our outside classes have ended and we have a month off before we move to the barn. Izzie and I haven't been doing much at all for training. I haven't sent entries for any trials either. I'm so busy lately that I not only forget but just don't feel like doing anything or going anywhere dog related on my weekends. 

In what little free time I get I am working on another hobby of mine. One day I would like to take some photography classes but for now I have the internet tutorials and simply like to just play around until i figure it out. So I'll put a few here for you guys to enjoy.

I've been wanting to try these photos for weeks now and finally got around to trying them out. They're a bit outside my comfort zone and more thought out and planned than most of my photos. Gotta step out of the box occasionally I guess!

Enjoy!

  It's following me...

Brick and Balloon

Back Alley Balloon

Street Corner Balloon

Cute Balloon Pug

40/52:. Luftballon

Monday, September 23, 2013

Flower Child

I haven't been spending too much time lately photographing Izzie. So when on Sunday I couldn't go play agility with her due to car troubles, I decided to check out a local public garden where a friend of mine has shot recently. Photographing my muse sure made me feel better, it's been a while since I've taken her out for a good shoot. Here are a few for you fine folks to enjoy.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blogging Fail

Oh man, I'm terrible at this blogging stuff.

Well back a couple weekends ago we had our annual Go Dog Go trial. I love our group and we put on a damn good trial if you ask me. Great organizers, great courses and freakin' fantastic judges. Izzie did awesome first of all. I couldn't be more proud of the smush.

So here's the breakdown...

- 5/7 runs Q'd
- MADC earned
- AGDC earned (on a Kim Anderson gamble with WEAVES! Holy shit!)
- MSDC earned

Most of all, Izzie had a good time and so did I. That's what matters. Anyway, I would write more but I have to study for school so here's a video!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oh yeah, Nationals happened!

So I've been slacking on the blog front for the last few weeks. I've just been busy and a bit burnt out from summertime but summer is almost over and I'm getting on to a new schedule to start next week. It's going to be insane. 

Anyways...

The biggest event of the summer has come and gone. The 2013 AAC National Agility Championships happened on August 1st through 4th in Leduc, AB and it was Izzie's very first nationals. 

... All I can say is "holy crap".

What an experience. Izzie did wonderfully. She ran 4/6 runs clean and under time, we were smooth and connected and just a great team. She placed in all 4 of her clean rounds; two 5ths, a 6th and a 10th and she was about 1.5 points of the aggregate podium for her division, so close! More than the ribbons, I'm so very proud of my little dog. She worked her heart out for me and was happy to play with me which is what really matters. My girly and I are finally becoming the team I know we can be. 

As a result of doing so well at nationals, I've had a seriously needed confidence boost. We can do this shit, and we can do it well. Just gotta believe in us. More on that later. 

I don't have video due to being a scatterbrain and forgetting to charge my camera for all three freaking days, well I have part of one run on video but I'm too lazy to put it up on youtube. I also don't have much for pictures. I did bring my camera and did take it out but I took zero pictures, I guess I was too distracted? Oh well. Here's a photo of the GDG gang there, have I mentioned how much I love GDG lately? Seriously, I love our group. 

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Release the hounds!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five Years of Pug


31/52:. Birthday Froyo, originally uploaded by mandypug.
Izzie turned the big FIVE today. I got her some froyo with her favourite fruit toppings to celebrate. She would be more concerned about ageing if she wasn't so concerned about getting every last lick of this delicious treat.

Happy Birthday, Buddy. Now let's show 'em what we're made of this weekend at Nationals!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our Annual CKC Agility Weekend

The Lethbridge and District Kennel Club CKC agility trial has come and gone for another year. I don't do much CKC as it costs a bit more than AAC and there really aren't a lot of trials around these parts. This was our third trial and we were competing at the Excellent A level. Izzie ran well all weekend, only a few little things like a couple of missed weave entries and a pretty gnarly table slide off. Other than that she ran fast and happy, just how we like, and she went 2/4 which narrowly misses her AGXS title. We'll get it next year, I have no worries about that! But even better was the fact that all her runs, she ran about 20-30 seconds under time. That's HUGE for the Iz and is a major win. She's definitely feeling good and my newly refined ability to move and focus is making a huge difference in our performance. 

Anyway! Take home points...

1. Izzie knows how to weave, but she gets all weird when I over handle for it and don't trust her to find her entry and ends up missing it. Don't over handle, she can find her entry. 

2. We prefer to run tighter, more technical courses. Wide open courses with lots of running and time to think are more common in CKC than AAC (depending on the judge). We can do them fine, the courses don't tend to get us, but they're not our preference. I find that Izzie likes the connection through handling of the more technical courses as it keeps her engaged (And well, I like all the twisty junk and challenges so I'm probably in a different mindset too). So I guess I need to learn to like wide open courses too. 

3. Tables that aren't rubberized are slippery as... Well as a bad word that I would normally say but I know children read this now so I probably should cut back on the f-bombs. Note to self, put hands on the table during the walkthrough to take note of the surface and know how to handle for it. 

Other than that it was a great weekend and ran smoothly. We ended up getting out of there pretty early both days! I got to cheer on lots of my friends who were very successful at their respective levels, Q or not they ran great! I even learned how to scribe for CKC agility (there's a bit of a difference in what you write compared to AAC). Can't wait for next year for sure!