July 31, 2010

Portraits at 2 years old

I took these today, on his 2nd birthday.  Can't decide which I like the best. I'm leaning toward the first one and the last one.

His eyes are almost closed in this one:

This one is just a hair blurry:

Happy 2nd birthday!

Happy Birthday!
I created a video "look back" at Dazzle's life and activities that goes from 9 weeks old to 2 years in under 10 minutes :-) 
VIDEO: Dazzle 9 weeks to 2 years
Here's a photo comparison- 6 mo. vs. 2 years
I think he has matured very nicely!

July 30, 2010

Water fun

Dazzle had fun trying to sink his big blue ball.  It's a hard plastic, filled with air and sealed so it floats like a bobber.  But he gave it a valiant effort! LOL Good game for a hot day.

July 23, 2010

Tall corn!

Is it just me, or is the corn unusually tall this year?  Our fence, shown here, is 5' high.  Maybe it's all the rain we have been getting?

July 20, 2010

Title, badges and camp

Last Sunday, Dazzle earned the third "leg" (qualifying run) needed for his lure coursing title (CA= Coursing Aptitude).  Here are some other photos from the Saturday and Sunday runs.

We went from the event in Richmond, directly to Dog Scout camp.

Dazzle enjoyed camp and so did I (as usual)!
He earned 5 new badges:

Manners (not rushing out doors, going to a mat, lie on side on cue, etc.) 

Directional Control (I'm able to direct him to targets that are 35' away in several directions, plus a stop on recall)

Carting (pulling a cart, backing up, going through a narrow opening just big enough for the cart, left/right turns and sit/down in harness)

Messenger Dog (Going 200 yards alone and out of my sight back to base, getting "help", bringing that person to my last known location and then tracking me to a new location 100 yards farther away).

Water Racing (This is Dazzle's new favorite activity- lure coursing in the water!  Two dogs race for the "bumper" being pulled through the water).
Water Racing photos:
Waiting his turn (sort of)...
Oops!  False start
Now we're racing!
Dazzle and Indi were neck and neck
The last photo is NOT the desired result! The person in the water pulling the lure has an extra toy to throw for the dog that didn't get the lure, but Dazzle and Cate were neck and neck and neither wanted to go for a different toy!  Cate did let go and go for the other toy (she is looking at it) right after this photo was snapped.
We had some pretty strong thunderstorms go through.  Below you can see just how much water was falling at once.  The ground at camp is all sand and drains quickly, but so much rain was falling, there were temporary rivers!
Thankfully the storms were quick and didn't last all day as predicted. This let us get back on track with the schedule of events.  Like the Devil Duck game!
The idea is for the dog to retrieve as many of the ducks as possible within 60 seconds without picking up the red "devil ducks".  Dazzle picked up the red duck on his second retrieve, so we didn't score well :-)
He had a blast running with friends at the water
There were LOTS of great photos like the ones above, but these two were my favorites. He also enjoyed playing fetch the ball at the lake, either by himself or with other friends.
On the last day of Agility class, the instructors set-up a "tunnels race".  The dogs ran one at a time and had to go through each of the tunnels twice (set in a rough circle).  Dazzle placed 3rd with a time of 21 seconds.  He might have won if he hadn't taken the A-frame inbetween. :-) The winning dog did it in 15 seconds.
Overall, a wonderful time. I did come home with a cold though.  Two people arrived sick and by the end of the week almost every single person had caught it. :-(  It didn't seem to diminish the camp enjoyment TOO much though.
If you have a dog, or can borrow one, you really should think about attending a Dog Scout camp!  It's the time of your life (and of course your dog's life too!)

July 10, 2010

New Title!

Today we again started with Lure Coursing and Dazzle did better on dry ground :-)  He has incredible intensity and tomorrow I plan to buy the photos taken by the lure coursing photographer of both today and tomorrow. Since I'm leaving from the show for MI, the posting of those will have to wait till I return.
Then we went to the Dock Diving and I thought maybe Dazzle was tired.  His first two jumps were 16' 3" and 16' 8".  Anything over 15' was still in the division I needed, so I didn't mind.  We did a bit more browsing of the vendors between that Splash and the next and had time for a nap as well (him not me).  I think the nap must have helped because his next jump was 18' 4"!  That was a new personal best.  Yet he broke that record and jumped 18' 10" the second jump!! 
To get the title, he needed to jump in 5 "splashes" (rounds) and each Splash has 2 attempts.  The best distance from those two attempts are recorded as the dog's "score".  So his scores for his title are:
17' 10"
17' 9"
17' 7"
16' 8"
18' 10"
So now he can add USJ to his list of titles!
I bought the photo disk of photos taken by the Dock Diving photographer (John Beals Photography).  Here are some of his shots:

Tomorrow, we'll go to do one more lure coursing run for the title.  Because the "non-sighthound" titles are so new, there's a good chance Dazzle will be the 1st Malinois to get one!   Then we head north for a week of Dog Scout camp!  Happy Dog

July 09, 2010

Successful show day!

Today we attended the UKC Premier in Richmond, IN.  Dazzle started the day with a lure coursing run- in the rain!  No photos because of the rain, but I'm hoping that tomorrow the photographer will be there to get some good shots.  Dazzle ran the course like a pro and qualified.  This means he only has to do that 2 more times (once Sat and once Sun) and he will have a new title. 
After the lure course run, we went to the Dock Diving area.  That event didn't start for a few hours, so we browsed the vendors instead.  LOTS of great stuff!  But I only bought a sweatshirt with the 2010 premier logo embridered on it.  I saw several T-shirts with funny sayings that called to me though!
Before the dock diving competition started, I did two practice throws and Dazzle seemed to be doing well.  He REALLY needs to jump higher so he can go farther.  His jumping is really "flat" instead of an arch.  But he was incredibly consistent on almost all his jumps. Smack dab in the middle of the Sr. Jumper division, so if he maintains his consistency, he will have a new title tomorrow. Thank-you to Laura for the excellent photos above!
Splash #1
1st jump: 16'8"
2nd jump: 17'9"
Splash #2
1st jump: 17' 8"
2nd jump: 17'9"
Splash #3
1st jump: 17' 7"
2nd jump: 16' 6" (I tried a different technique)
So his personal best was 17'9" which was also his best distance at the previous event last year.  If I can teach him to jump higher, he will go farther.
Between jumps, Dazzle played with a new friend named Nash.  Nash is a Malinois owned by the judge/announcer. I have more photos, but they look really vicious in them, even though they were both just playing!
Dazzle also had fun watching the action from our pop-up tent:

However, if the handler on the dock got really excited, so did Dazzle. So I put up a tarp to block his view.  He had some fun rolling on the bottom of it, digging at it and biting at it before I stopped him to prevent damage.
It was a very long day, but at least it wasn't swelteringly hot!  It started with rain - thankfully no thunder. And the rain cleared by around noon.  Tomorrow and Sunday should be really nice. The Premier is really diverse with Conformation, Agility, Rally, Dock Diving, Lure Coursing and Weight Pull all offered.  Weight Pull was even offering "practice runs" for people to try it for $5.  Lure Coursing and Dock Diving also had day of show entries.
Now I'm going to bed because my eyes are slamming shut!

July 07, 2010

Agility run throughs

This evening we attended the Agility run throughs (an extra session this week).  I asked another, much more agile person, to run Dazzle through the course.  It's clear to me that I am really slowing him down and I don't want him to learn to run slowly.  When he ran with Sarah, he got so excited (having a blast!) that about half way through the course he flew off the dog walk and raced ahead to the weaves (one of his favorite obstacles).  The second time through, he did better and was FAST! 
He needs work on respecting the jump bars.  I KNOW he can jump much higher than 24" but I don't think he really tries because he knows he can be faster if he plows through the bar.  This is something I should be able to work on separate from running courses.  Once he understands that bars shouldn't be hit, I think he will really be a force on the agility field!
Friday/Saturday/Sunday we will be competing in Lure Coursing and Dock Diving (2 of Dazzle's favorite activities!) at the UKC Premier.  Hopefully we'll leave there with a few more titles!  I'll be going to camp directly from the show on Sunday though, so I won't likely get a chance to post about the show till we get home from camp.

July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

We spent the day letterboxing, but I only found 2 boxes out of several I went looking for.  A bit dissapointing and I hate to be the bearer of bad news about the missing letterboxes when I report back to the people who placed them.
My hubby treated me to a steak dinner to celebrate the holiday- yum!
Thankfully Dazzle doesn't seem to mind the fireworks like he does the thunder.

July 02, 2010

More letterboxing

I found 10 more letterboxes in Spring Grove Cemetery today.  That place is HUGE (770 acres) and LOADED with letterboxes! Only 3 more finds (and a gathering) needed for the level 3 badge.