Tuesday, December 28, 2010

End of the Year thoughts and reflections and goals for 2011

So I was reading all the other blogs I like to read and I came across quite a few end of the year wrap ups and goal setting for next year blogs. I figured I'd better get mine in too, only have a few more days of 2010 and i am in an hour hold at work so need something to do. Since this is Miller's blog, I will start with Miller!

What a year for the Miller man! Again we attended both AKC nationals and USDAA nationals. While we didn't win or place or get into any finals, we did get into the semi-finals yet again this year in grand prix which I think is pretty awesome for an 11 year old dog! I felt like our runs were overall better this year at both nationals and I had alot of fun at both as usual. I missed camping out at USDAA but got to spend some time with my friend and her hubby as they graciously opened their house to us, miller, and our crazy getting up and going at the butt crack of dawn national's schedule. I did pull Miller from weekly classes this year, which was a very tough decision, because classes are more for me than him, but I did start deuce in classes so at least I am keeping in the swing of things. I am happy to say that he seems to be keeping fit through us walking and working out at our little patch of land. Miller is slowing down slightly but he seems to know what i am thinking about retiring, and every time I mention anything about it, he goes out and gets three QQS or qualifies in everything in USDAA. I still have faint hopes of finishing up his top USDAA title in performance and also possibly getting his second MACH. I will take it slow, still only showing most shows just two days and try to limit how many classes he runs in at USDAA shows. I just sent in his first entry of the year for USDAA and (gulp, this is very hard) did not enter him in any of the tournament classes:( I feel like there really isn't a point if we aren't going to nationals and it saves me money so I can show him and Deuce. My goals for Miller in 2011 are to keep him healthy and happy and to let him tell me when it is time to retire. So far he is still dragging me to the ring every run and I will continue to do so while he drags.

I might as well include harley in this blog as I have been running him in practice alot lately and even at a show or two. Tony's crazy schedule dictates when he can show or not, so i am always up for running the red rocket. While his running contacts are getting better, we still don't have a dog walk to practice on and i need to do something about that. It's mine and tony's fault that they are crap, and I will not expect anything until we can truly properly train it. I just want tony to have fun when he shows and so far, he is. I got to run harley the other night in class as deuce was down with his bum toe nail, and I had so much fun. Deuce is such a mishmash of Miller and Harley so running the extreme other end of deuce's running style was fun, and actually helped me to understand deuce better. I would love for Tony to get his first QQ this year and maybe get a MACH but I am not pushing it. We still aren't really doing much with Harley in USDAA and while I think he could kick ass in it, we just don't have the money to run all three dogs. I would love for tony to get his act together and us put together a red aussie team for fun but he just doesn't like having others depend on him in agility. He kind of marches to the beat of his own drum and so does harley, so they get along great.

What a year I have had with my baby Deuce! We have been steadily taking classes and improving throughout the year. I think we are still trying to figure each other out in shows (only been in three total days of showing) but I think we will get there. I am very proud of myself for not rushing things and not letting my criteria fall apart (oh the temptations have been there) and I am proud of him for handling the hustle and bustle of the shows. Baby deuce moved up to the competition 2 class a few weeks ago and I am so proud of how he is handling the challenges lori lays down for us. Are we perfect? Heck no, but I see the potential just bubbling under the surface. Now if we can just get that dang toe nail to heal, we can get back to it! I am excited that in 2011, we are going to start in USDAA and in February, we will be on our very first team, The Aussie Brat Pack, made up of other aussie babies starting their agility careers. My goals for Deuce in 2011 are to become more consistent as a team in the ring, to withhold criteria, and to have FUN! Deuce baby is a blast to run so no telling what 2011 will bring!!!!

We also may have an addition to the coleman family coming very soon, maybe even this spring. We are currently waiting to find out if she will be born or not so finger's crossed that we might be adding a new female wiggly butt aussie that will be a direct relation to Deuce to our pack. Happy Holidays, happy new year and hopefully we will see ya down the road at an agility trial!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

miller and me in tulsa 2010

I have been bad about updating Deuce's blog but not Miller's blog. So we took Deuce, Miller, Haley, Chloe, and Danah to Tulsa for an AKC trial a couple of weeks ago. I had previously decided to not do anymore AKC till the end of the year, but just do USDAA and try to finish his top titles and maybe his Patch or whatever the heck it is called. Well, plans changed, Tulsa had novice all three days so I had at least two days to show Deuce in Novice. I decided to go ahead and show Miller all three days just to see how he handled it. He only had two classes a day and they were spread out pretty far. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a very, very emotional weekend with us loosing Haley but I don't want to get into all of that here. Haley has been battling a very long tough illness and her time had come, even though we were out of town. I ended up running not only Deuce in three runs on friday, but Miller in two runs, Danah in two runs, and Chloe in three. Lets just say I was one tired handler both physically and emotionally by the end of the day. I think because I was so pulled in all directions that I really didn't put much into my own runs and of course as usual when I don't care, Miller pulled a double Q out of no where! I didn't have anyone video taping so I can't remember exactly what we did or didn't do but it came together and I am happy with how great he was running! I think he was very close to placing on his standard run which is awesome at his age.

For whatever reason, on saturday, we double NQd with some very silly mistakes. There was a very short curved tunnel before a dog walk and i think he got caught up in the tunnel and I called his name and he came back out the entrance. Then I told him to go back in and he backed in barking at me like "i am not going back in there". I think he finally went back in the wrong entrance but I didn't care. He also popped the poles but I wasn't really worried about it at that point. Same weird stuff in jumpers, i went to do a wrap and when I stopped to wrap him, he also stopped, dead in his tracks and got a refusal. He also ran around a few jumps and i think knocked a bar but I just didn't care. We were running and that was all that mattered.

Sunday for whatever reason was another double Q day. Favorite parts of the runs: I didn't baby sit the weaves (yeah me), a blind cross in jumpers (thank you miller for reading that), dog walk contact in standard, and a good wrap in standard back to the dog walk. Here is the video of the two runs we got, enjoy! I have decided to now to keep Miller in Excellent at least till Deuce is out of Novice. I am half way to my MACH 2 now so we may see if it possible this spring before moving him into performance. Here is the video!