January 03, 2009

Back home- Prep for 1st show

We're back home now. It was a nice visit with family for the holidays, but now it's time to get back in the swing of 2009 here at home. I had a pile of mail on my desk but haven't gotten through it all yet. Tomorrow is going to be Dazzle's 1st "competition." It's an obedience Show n' Go at Kuliga. It will be interesting to see how he does! Thanks to a friend, I also entered him in a conformation show next weekend. I have absolutely no interest in showing in conformation, but as a one time thing, I think it will be interesting to see what the judges think and he could get a title out of it if they like him. It's an IABCA show, (http://www.iabca.com/showinfoOH01-09.html) well actually there are 4 shows that weekend. I entered him into 3 of them and he could get a national title out of it if they like him. I'm actually just doing it for the possibilities of letters after his name :-) I'd have to register him with that organization to keep the "points" but don't think I'll bother. Because he is judged against the breed standard and not other dogs in the class, it doesn't matter that he's the only Mal registered.
Monday nights we're going to start a "show prep" class to help me prepare myself (and him) for competition. He has 3 more weeks in intermediate classes on Tuesday nights and he's signed up for 8 weeks of rally class starting on Thursday. So we'll be doing a lot of training! I'm already entering him in rally and obedience shows next month when he's eligible to compete.
On the 2nd of January, the family went to see the gingerbread houses displayed at the botanical garden. Some of them were really amazing!
This is the first place winner:
This one was nice
So was this one
We also went into the glass house where they had butterflies and birds free to fly about and lots of cool plants to look at as well. Dazzle did really well with the 3 active nephews under 10 yrs old, my neice in a stroller and my 92 yr old grandmother in a wheelchair along with all the other visitors, flora and fauna. Though the small birds chirping in an enclosure in the lobby held his attention for a bit.
Here's a huge leaf I had him sit hext to. This is not an optical illusion, the leaf was huge!
He wasn't too sure at first about the loud waterfall but ended up being fine with it. I think it was more the water spray than the noise.
Some of the birds that were flying around us:
There were some really large butterflies! I couldn't get photos of the iridecent blue ones that didn't seem to stop moving and kept flying out of the frame by the time the digital camera finally took the photo. This photo doesn't do justice to this creature's colors.
After 3 hours at the garden, my brother and his family came over to play some games. The dogs were put upstairs to eliminate any chance of issues between dogs and kids while the adults played a board game. For some reason, Dazzle was having fits in his crate. I think because Coyote was barking, Dazzle was barking. And because Dazzle was barking, Coyote was barking. Plus, they could hear the activities downstairs even though I had a noise machine as loud as possible in the room. But after the day at the garden and the barking during their visit, when I went to bed, he ran into his crate and was sound asleep before I even got into bed! AND he was willing to sleep in late the next day. :-)

Our trip home was good and we stopped off to see Chad, Sarah and Cynic. Dazzle seemed to remember him as a play buddy and there was only a short time of hackles raised from neck to tail before they were running and playing together. Then Dazzle decided the tug toy was his and got in Cynic's face about it. It was just a "yelling arguement" but after that, Cynic kind of kept his distance and was hesitant to tug with him again. Cynic is very good at reading other dog's signals, but Dazzle is still learning how to get his point across without over doing it. :-)
Here's some photos I took. Most of these were taken into the sun, so the color is not as good as it could have been in other light conditions and some of the shadows are dark.
Dazzle loved leading Cynic around with the toy.
Running together with their toys.
Keep away!
The dogs running with Sarah
Nice trot
The dogs are really close in height, but Cynic is much longer and heavier, though certainly not over weight, just more filled out because he's older. Dazzle is 20.5" tall now and turned 5 months old on Jan 1st. Not sure how much he weighs now though. I didn't get many profile shots while visiting family because of the weather and how I was feeling. Rather than weekly photos, I might now do them every few weeks. But I think I'll still check his height each week. He has lost all his puppy teeth now (I think) but still has lots of gaps where the adult teeth are not fully grown in yet. Those adult molars sure go through toys fast!
Now I really need to get to bed because I have to get up early for the show!