Bean FD, FDX!

I picked up Bean at this flyball tournament a year ago. I was so very much hoping that he would be able to debut there this year. I have been kind of… remiss… in training him, but he is so smart and so athletic that it didn’t take much to train him. He’d only been on a real flyball box a few times and had never run with dogs in the other lane before Friday night “mat time” at the tournament. But like a true born and bred flyball puppy, he did great.

Here he is in his first race. He ran start because then we only had to worry about one other dog. The lineup is Bean, Lyelah, Memphis, Deemer. They ran somewhere around 19 seconds.

He got his first two flyball titles, clocked a personal best of 4.1 seconds, and made his mama very very proud.

Steve ran well also, posting a 4.0 for the first time in awhile. Our team took first place in Division 3 which was very exciting. It was an all-around good flyball weekend. Four dogs and a tent. How could it not be?

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Instagrammed.

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Hobo dog lives in his car.

004 - Snoozin' in jail

We are… between homes right now. Well, I still have a home, just… two homes that aren’t either of which full-time. And at the one home, there are six additional dogs plus the frequent boarder, and my dogs are learning to spend lots of time crashing out in crates in the car. They’re getting plenty of exercise, so I don’t feel as bad about it as I maybe would otherwise, but it’s not my favorite thing.

Mushdog, however, doesn’t seem to particularly mind. Provided I remember to feed him dinner on time.

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Those aren’t ears, they’re devil horns.

001 - Beakin' it out the window

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Bean flyball full run

Sorry I’ve fallen off the planet again. Life just gets in the way.

But Bean turned a year old a month ago, and got his NAFA CRN flyball number. He’s got a warm up spot for our tournament at the end of the month, and I am really hopeful he’ll be able to run a few heats and get his first title or two. He’s on the same team as Steve, so as long as we don’t need Steve’s speed, I can substitute Bean in without taking away running time from anybody else.

Here is his second full run ever from earlier this afternoon. And a couple of box turns. We’ll see how he does at practice next week, but he’s focused enough on the game (and especially on his tug) that I don’t think he’ll have trouble moving into the lanes for real.

So proud of my baby boy!

In other news, Steve ran a CPE trial and got his first Level 2 Qs. The judge complemented his running contacts. Unfortunately he’s supposed to have stopped contacts. That boy. Last weekend I ran him outside for the first time at a USDAA trial. We only ran Gamblers and Standard but he was completely insane and not listening even a little bit. We would have Q’d and gotten his Gamblers title if I hadn’t over-anticipated and pulled him off the tunnel in the gamble, but I was not happy with him one bit. I don’t care so much if he does the wrong thing if he’s at least trying to listen. I don’t know if it was being outside, or the extremely hot weather, or if he was just having a crazy day, but he was just a mess.

The pit bulls are well. Luce played guinea pig for our veterinary technician student at work who is learning to draw blood from different places. I sent out bloodwork on her because I’ve had trouble keeping weight on her recently and because she’s been hesitant to jump into or out of the car. Everything (CBC, chem, T4) came back normal. Luce is so cooperative and she has lovely veins in her back legs, so she’s a great dog for people to learn on.

Mushroom is the same old Mushroom. Getting grayer in the face, but otherwise pretty much unchanged. He’s such a steady boy and a good snuggler at night.

So anyway, what have I missed?

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Happy Belated Birthday to Beanhead!

Baby Bean turned a year old last Saturday. Where does the time go? How did we go from this?

20120629db - Eight weeks.

to this

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in the blink of an eye?

I bought him a CRN number so he is all ready to go in flyball. I just need to teach him the rest of the game. Like, a box turn. We wide-passed a dog on him for the first time yesterday and he didn’t even blink, which made me very happy. To this point he’s just been doing restrained recalls and running down to the box for a ball just laying on the ground and bringing it back. But he is so focused. I think the rest of the game will be easy.

He has a warm up spot for the big tournament at the end of June and I’m hoping he’ll be able to get his first title. That would be very very exciting. We’ll see.

He is such a good and social puppy who plays well with other dogs. He is sweet and gentle and barky and a big fan of rolling in the Pond Mud of Dqqm.

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He is not, unfortunately, a big fan of bathtime.

I am proud to own a puppy from this litter. As they grow and mature, they are turning into amazing dogs and I am so excited to see what they all do. Flyball and agility and rally, maybe some herding. Lots of sports out there for the trying. But Bean first and foremost is a super camp dog, an endlessly polite dog who just doesn’t want to make waves. A dog who wants to play whatever game I offer him- ball, frisbee, tug, chase. He’s not picky. He just wants to play. And that is the most important thing, I think, that a dog can bring to a sport relationship. That and a sound body.

So much to be proud of as my boy turns one.

Happy Birthday Wee Beanerkins! Onward and upward.

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Baby Bean flyball practice

He’s not doing the box yet, because I’m still waiting for him to be a little more physically mature, so he’s just going over the jumps and picking up a ball laying on the ground in front of the box and coming back to his tug. This is only his second time doing all the jumps in both directions- so proud of him!

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Steve’s USDAA Debut

So I got suckered into a USDAA agility trial this past weekend, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Showcase at that. Big trial. Three rings. Steve’s never run in a trial with more than one ring before. Steve’s never played USDAA before. But hey. Fine.

We entered Gamblers, Standard, and Jumpers. I didn’t really know the rules of USDAA at all, what qualifies, what doesn’t. How to, you know, play Gamblers. I was afraid Steve was going to be sky freaking high with all of the chaos of a big three-ring trial. And he was loud and whiney in his crate, but other than that, he did really well.

I ran him in Performance 1, which meant that he jumped 22″ instead of the 26″ he’d have to jump in their regular “Championship” program. I felt no need to jump him at 26″. He jumps well at 22″, and while he’s faster and I have less time to think, he is also better able to save my bacon when I am late giving him information.

Friday went really well. He was the only dog to Qualify in P1 Gamblers, which is a choose your own adventure game at the beginning with a distance challenge at the end on the opposite side of a line that the handler can’t cross.

In standard, he did not qualify because he missed his a-frame contact, but everything else went smoothly. He was listening. He was high and he wanted to take some off-course obstacles, but I was able to call him off and redirect him every time.

His jumpers run was absolutely beautiful with the exception of he started himself before I released him, so he ended up on the far side of the first jump before I did. He also had one refusal where he ran around a jump, but I was able to call him back and restart him, and everything else was clean. Qualified and took first place in that, too.

This is my dog that I took out of classes and was going to quit agility with altogether because he’d knock or crash 75% of jumps. Yes, that dog. I think he took one bar in his first Gamblers class and that was it all weekend.

Saturday we just ran Gamblers and Standard. Gamblers was wonderful again. My plan worked beautifully to get me to the right place when the buzzer went off, and again we got the gamble, even though it was pretty hard for a baby dog. He didn’t do it the way I had planned for him to do it, but we got it. Again, the only Qualifying dog in P1 Gamblers.

His standard run was nothing to write home about. We had some moments of poor communication which caused an off-course tunnel and an off-course jump. Of course, he’d missed his dogwalk contact on the third obstacle, so it didn’t much matter by then. But he wasn’t being wild, I was just slow and discombobulated and things didn’t quite work out the way I’d intended.

I am really really proud of my guy. He did far better than I hoped. He got both his tables in Standard without any question. No springboarding and no discussion about downing. That is HUGE. I got a couple lead-outs. He didn’t actually STAY on any of his contacts, but he got most of them. And he kept his bars up, which is a good indication of his frame of mind– that he wasn’t too wild to think.

He did have a moment in his first run when he noticed that there was a dog in the ring next to him also running agility and his face went OMG DOG but then he switched his brain back to what he was doing and that was the last he bothered with it. That was a big relief for me. I think that’s a benefit of flyball- he’s used to working with a dog running right next to him. But agility is different for him. Agility requires so much more thinking than flyball.

So here’s his second Gamblers leg. For those who don’t know the game, all the obstacles have different point values (in this case, jumps are 1, tunnels and tire are 3, dogwalk/teeter/weaves are 5, and a-frame is 7) and you need to rack up at least 21 points in the 30 second opening. When the buzzer goes off, you have to go to the numbered gamble and complete those obstacles in order without the handler crossing the line marked on the ground. The gamble was worth 20 points. Succeed at both parts, and you Qualify. Steve had 52 points in this run.

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It’s not a tumor!

Despite the number of mast cells the doctor saw on the fine needle aspirate of the lump we took off Mushroom’s leg, the histopath actually read out as a viral papilloma– a wart! Totally benign, most likely related to all the mouth warts the rest of the dogs had a number of months ago (that was gross), and the edges of the sample were clean, which is always good news.

I am glad I took it off even though it ended up being nothing worrisome. I didn’t like the way it looked, I didn’t like the way the size changed, and I didn’t like how inflamed it was. Even if the vet had not found mast cells on his slide, I would have had it removed and sent out, because he is ten and a pit bull and I am a paranoid dog mom.

So yay! We’ll take his stitches out in another week or so and that will be that.

Yay cancer-free pit bull!

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Flyball weekend: running with the big dogs

Last weekend Steve’s flyball team borrowed a height dog and were seeded in Open 1. We were running against the big name teams from our region, and we all pretty much figured we were going to have our butts handed to us. Ok, so we were celebrating running a 19.4 and the other team had just run a 17.2 BUT. You have to run clean to win, and the other teams weren’t doing that so well. We may be slow, but we’re mostly steady. Somehow we ended up first place for the weekend. Crazy.

Steve is out of shape. He was TIRED by the end of Sunday. He ran start, and in the one race we had a bunch of false starts. I’d false start, the other start dog would false start, back and forth. By the end of it, Steve was just standing there, not straining to run, not crouched down ready to spring. I need to run him more. MORE HILLS.

I always look like a monkey in flyball pictures. Sigh. Readddddddddddy!

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It was freezing cold inside the building even though it was relatively warm outside. So I was making a huge fashion statement with my awesome hat. (Steve was naked. Is that a fashion statement? It was the “Bare Naked Flyball Tournament” after all.)

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Steven does not wait well to go in the ring. BERK BERK BERK

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Love this!

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I will admit, I do not envy his boxloaders. I would not want to face this barreling down the lane directly at my shins.

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And the Labradoodle I ran for awhile on Sunday. She really made me appreciate my “point and shoot” dog. You had to bowl her down the lane toward the box, yell a lot, and then have food out to wave around when she was coming back. But you couldn’t have food out when you sent her because she wouldn’t go. TOO MUCH THINKING. Plus she started from like 23′ whereas I start Steve from 40′, so I had to remember to get out of the way of the next dog instead of being back behind everybody else. But still, it was a lot of fun and I didn’t have any bad passes even though I didn’t really know what I was doing.

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Steve is five points from his next title, so that is exciting. The next tournament usually has very nice ribbons. I like nice ribbons….

(photos by Kim H and Laura K)

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