Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 8: Nationals Rounds 1 & 2

Legend had a fantastic run in JWW this morning for our first clean run at nationals!  Everything was beautiful and she was almost 10 seconds under time.  That's about as good as she can do, and a great place to do it! it would be nice if they gave out fancier ribbons for clean runs but we'll take what we can get.  So where did her best effort place her?  Are you ready for this.........123rd place!  I know, super exciting right?  That's about halfway through the class (more towards the end of the clean runs) which is just about par for her.  We were about 7 seconds behind first place.  Good enough for me, we just wanted to do our best.

Several hours later we ran standard-I was dog #215 out of 267 20 inchers in this round.  Again she put forth a solid effort running right at or slightly better than average pace for her.  She nailed her poles and did all her contacts but took a crazy off course.  I could not have predicted that one.  I'm not sure what she was thinking but she actually made a hard turn away from me instead of coming with me on the natural curve of the course.  Oh well. Also you will see in the video my getting confused between the tunnel and the teeter.  I had planned a front cross there but forgot what I was doing. Then she took a really wide turn in the corner on her way to the dogwalk.  Best I can tell her cumulative score puts her at around 116th place.  We still have one round to run tomorrow.


In our hours of free time today we watched a lot of the 8 inch class to size up some up Lyric's possible future competition.  There are some super fast little dogs out there.  Some were as fast as some of the better border collies.  It was pretty amazing.  Lyric has her work cut out for her if she wants to compete with those guys!  But it make me anxious to get her to the point of qualifying for nationals and giving it a shot!  Maybe in 2 years, of if we are really lucky next year!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 7: Nationals Prelude

The good news is Legend is running great.  The bad news is she's popping out of her weave poles.  I think both of these stem from the fact that she has spent the last 6 days in "captivity."  She was pretty wound up this morning and I think ran both her runs, but especially the first one, faster than her average.

First up was warm-up standard.  The a-frame was the third obstacle but she went up it just fine so I was happy about that.  And she was really fired up-had she not been listening we would have definitely had an off-course or two!  The weave poles were second to last and she came out around pole 9 and just blasted  to the last obstacle.

Next up was Time 2 Beat.  She was again running well but popped out of the last pole or two.  I was really trying to watch her to make sure she finished so I don't know if that contributed or not, maybe I should have just stood back and let her go.  Either way, she knows to finish them and was being naughty!  I even tried again and she still did it.  Stinker.  Neither of these runs actually count anyway, but sure would have been nice to walk away from today with a couple clean run ribbons.

So tomorrow our actual Nationals runs start, we don't expect to actually place or get to finals or anything but are hoping to just show off our best work. I have ordered all my runs on video for the weekend so hopefully I'll be able to post those later, but here is our T2B that Jerry taped for me today.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 6: Reno!

Salt Lake City, UT to Reno, NV

We got up early this morning and made the 8 hour drive to Reno.  Legend slept pretty much the whole way.  I think she's starting to think that there is no hope of ever getting out of the car once she gets in!

Anyway, we got all checked in and set up in our crate space and then spent a little time wandering around the rings, letting her take in all the new signs and smells.

 We passed this local shopping center on the way to the trial site.  Obviously we had to go back and take a few pictures!
 Can you see her on the wall?  She kind of blends in but how cool right?
 She gets her own bed and seems quite happy with it.
Wish us luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 5: Our very long walk

As if all the driving wasn't enough, we had to go on a very long hike as well.

We decided to spend today at Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.  Overall, I would say this is a good place to go if you just want to drive around and look for wildlife  They are not that hard to find, after all, they are on an island.  However, I do not strongly recommend this place for hiking.  It's only moderately scenic (today was very hazy and gray so that didn't help), some trails don't allow dogs (which may not be a problem for everyone) and many trails are only accessible via other trails.  So unless you are prepared to hike 10-15 miles or more, you won't get to see many of the interior trails.

So, our plan was to hike a 6 mile loop and then do a few of the very short trails.  However, the other problem with this park is the lack of decent signage.  The trails and trailheads are well marked, but not well labeled as to which one is which.  We ended up following the wrong trail and probably ended up walking closer to 8 or 9 miles instead of 6.  Thus, we skipped the smaller trails.

We did get to see some wildlife, but as I mentioned before we actually saw these while driving.  We did see some while on our hike, but it certainly wasn't necessary to hike to see them!

 Legend, who has spent most of the last 4 days in the car, crate, or hotel thought this was the greatest day so far.  She never did get tired on the hike and I'm sure she thought the only thing wrong with the outing was that she had to stay on her leash.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 4: In and around Salt Lake City

We got to sleep in today!  And then I was able to get in a good run at the hotel before heading out on our activities for the day.

Our first stop was the Olympic Park in Park City.  This is where the sliding events and some of the skiing events were held.  We took the guided tour, which was pretty interesting.  This is not the greatest time to visit the park though, as the athletes are between winter and summer training so nothing was going on.  Much of the snow was melting off the hills and the ice had melted off the sliding track.  If you go during training season you get to ride a bobsled down the track, which is pretty cool.
 This is the view from the top of the ski-jump hill.
 The medals for the Salt Lake games took 20 hours each to make and weigh over one pound.
Then we returned to Salt Lake City for some shopping and sight-seeing.  This is the view from the Capitol Building.
 The Utah State Capitol Building is pretty spectacular.  With all the marble and granite architecture it't the perfect example of a building that would be cost-prohibitive to build in modern day times.

These are all from Temple Square.  The Temple itself is a beautiful building but the whole area was beautifully landscaped and all the spring blooming flowers and trees were really pretty.

Day 3....a little late

Rapid City, SD to Salt Lake City, UT

That is a very long drive.  I was too tired to update when we finally made it to our hotel last night so I'm catching up today.

Although I have been assured that there are some very beautiful parts of Wyoming, the part we went through was mostly rocks and tumbleweeds.  Also, very much uninhabited-I would suspect for those very reasons.  It was the most desolate place I have ever been.  Certainly not a place you would want to break down!  Plus, to make it just that much more miserable there was a high wind advisory in effect.  At times it would actually be darker because of all the dust blowing in the air.  If that happens often you could add it to the list of why people don't live there!

But we did take one detour to do something cool.  We stopped at Devil's Tower national monument.  In addition to being a national monument it is apparently also famous for being in the movie Close Encounter of the Third Kind, which I have not seen.

National Parks don't allow pets on trails so here is Legend in the parking area before we had to put her back in the car to take a short hike.

 The tower is much larger than it looks in the pictures.  It's actually quite impressive.

On the way up to the tower there is a prairie dog town.  The little guys were literally popping up everywhere.  Despite being carriers of plague, they were pretty cute.  

A windshield pic on the way to Utah

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 2: More of South Dakota

Sioux Falls to Rapid City

We started the day by stopping at the famed Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD but despite the sign saying it opened at 8, on Sunday it clearly opens sometime after nine.  So we only saw the outside.  I've been there years ago, so no big loss.
The it was on to Badlands National Park. Keep in mind none of my photos are edited since I don't have photoshop on my laptop.  I will repost my favorites when I get home and they are "fixed."

 Watching daddy climb a path too narrow for wound up border collies.
 We saw these guys bounding across the road.
 See the pointy peak on the right?  We climbed to the top of that.  Looks scary from here, but it really wasn't that bad.
 Then there were these guys...
 How cool is he?  No Legend didn't get to get out of the car around the sheep.
 At quirky Wall Drug in Wall, SD.
 And we finished up with Mount Rushmore.
 Legend thinks this is the longest ride to an agility trial ever.  She would be right.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Legend's Journey: Day 1

Home to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

We left on our cross country road trip to AKC nationals today!  This was not a particularly exciting leg of the journey however, as we drove through  northern Missouri, Iowa, and then into South Dakota.  Thus far I feel pretty safe in saying those are places I would not want to live.

The only interesting that really happened today was a change in our travel plans for the next few days.  We had wanted to go to Yellowstone on our way to Reno but it seems the park is pretty much closed to cars right now.  I realized when we planned this trip that is was not the ideal time to go (but that was out of our control) and that some of the park roads would be closed.  But I didn't anticipate that basically ALL the park would be closed.  So the new plan is to head from Rapid City straight to Salt Lake City and spend an extra day there.

These are the only photos from today because there is absolutely nothing worth photographing from our drive.  I guess Legend agreed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More of why

I need to come home and bang my head on the wall.

Middle aged toy breed dog presents for dental.  Horrific dental disease present and he loses all but two teeth.  Upon hearing this, the owner (who is somewhere between a backyard breeder and a puppy mill-obviously not a client of mine) laughs and responds with "well I knew it was bad."

First of all-it's not funny that you let your dog suffer for years and now it has to live half it's life without teeth.  Second of all....well, see above.  There really isn't anything else to say.

Two teenage girls walk in with a sick puppy and no appointment.  One barely speaks during the whole exam. The other can only be bothered to answer in between texting, seemed irritated at basic questions like has he had any vaccines or deworming, and seemed unconcerned that the answer to these questions was no even though the littermate died of parvo.  They eventually left and we started treating the puppy for...surprise...parvo.

At the other clinic we are treating three different dogs for broken legs.  One of them has TWO broken legs. All were hit by cars or some similar trauma due to not being properly confined in a fence.  ALL three dogs have fractures that need to be plated, pinned or in some way surgically repaired.  NONE of the owners have money for this.  Thus, they are all being treated with splints and "hope."  Two of the three let them out in the rain and got the splints wet.  One is not keeping the dog confined and he removed his own splints which the owner attempted to rewrap.

Owner presents young lab mix with a history of "eating everything," for a few days of vomiting followed by several days of not eating and extreme lethargy.  I finally convinced them to do some diagnostics and based on the history and x-rays I was very suspicious of a foreign body.  I wanted to hospitalize the dog and do a barium series in the morning to either confirm or negate my theory but naturally they spent all their money saving their other puppy who had parvo and didn't have any left for this dog.  I did convince them to at least come back in first thing in the morning to take one more x-ray and see if anything had changed.  About mid-morning we called to see why they hadn't come in.  Seems her husband had the car and she was home alone with a small child and a dog in desperate need of medical care and no transportation.  Seems like a good plan huh?  I presume the child is being exposed to every parasite under the sun since these dogs obviously receive no preventive health care.

Two momma cats and their eleven kittens were left in a box outside the clinic this week.

Sometimes I just want to work in a factory.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More cat photos

Icy did some posing this week.  So, more cat stuff.

And just for fun, something a little more abstract

And yes, I did get my 12 miles in today.  I am now excused from doing anything besides sitting on the couch tonight right?