Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sassy at the Nationals, Swangard Stadium Vancouver 2015

The National Agility Championships were held in late August, 2015.  After taking fourth place in the qualifying provincial (BC/Yukon) championships, we were hoping to do well at the nats.  The only problem was that I had to work in the Caribbean for all of July and we didn't get a chance to practice or attend any trials.  So out of the six events in the finals, I made some mistakes with my handling in two of them. That was enough to take us off the podium and place 17th out of 31 dogs in our category.  Still, it was a lot of fun, especially since the stadium was only 15 minutes from home!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 BC/Yukon Regional Championships - 4th Place!





So, after two years of no classes, no competitions and no practice, we made fourth place and a spot on the podium!  Sassy was great as usual....pretty fast and very accurate.  Only one error (a refusal on a tunnel entrance, which was my fault for not being clear with my command).

On to the Canadian National Agility Championships in late August!  Swanguard Stadium, Vancouver



Wednesday, June 3, 2015





After a two-year retirement with no classes or competitions, I set up my old guerrilla agility equipment in a local field and we tried a weave pole combination.  Here's how we did.  This is part of our two day prep for the BC Yukon Regional Championships this weekend!  She hasn't touched an A-Frame, Tire Jump or Dog Walk for years. Just hoping to qualify for the Nationals in August.

(turn sound way down to avoid hearing owner's annoying commands: shake a paw, ready?, break, go weave, go-go-go...tunnel, wait!, again, tunnel, weave, jump.  The dog knows what each command means) "go-go-go" tells her to not pop out but to charge forwards.  Popping out is a bad thing in a competition.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Leduc Alberta!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One year later.....

It's close to a year since we took fourth place in the provincial and 8th place in the National Championships. We're out of practice and not expecting to be anywhere near the podium when it's all over, but we've started working out for this weekend's Regional Championships. Here is a video of our run a week and a half ago. Newbieville. Sassy was popping out of every weave obstacle we tried, always at the 10th pole. There's actually a name for this called "10th Pole Syndrome" with some notes as to why it may happen.


 So, I took out the old Dollar Store broom handles and bought a few more and set up 14 of them in the back yard (only a max of 12 poles are used in competition).  Still popping at first, but eventually she got the hang of it, with lots of rewards involved.  Then we took the poles to an abandoned local field where we could practice.  Here's what she can do now (faster and from a distance of 21' from me).


 So with two days to go, I'm hoping to solidify this type of weave action. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

AAC 2012 National Agility Championships - Nanaimo

We took an unbelievable 8th place in the National Agility Championships.  It was our highest placement to date at that level of competition.  Most of the courses were very difficult as you would expect at a national event.  It was the first major competition where I was able to avoid melting down under the pressure and understood the rule book well enough to not do something silly in the ring.  We were also coming with a 4th place finish in the BC/Yukon regional championships.  THAT was a total surprise since, unlike most other competitors who take classes every week and trial often, we haven't had a class in years and only do a few day-trials per season.  Most of our training is modified walks in the park although I did ramp up the practice before the two events.  Now the job is to shave off seconds to place higher next year.
A "blue merle" ribbon for 8th place!  
Yaaay!  What a surprise.  Morgan the Kelpie (1st place in the BC/Yukon championships) took 7th place.  He's so fast and almost always perfect....if we can keep up to Morgan we're doing great.



The final standings for the 16" Special class.  
The loopy Standard 2 course.  I use coloured pencils to help visualize the path.  When obstacles are used more than once I'm in great danger of having a brain meltdown at that point in the course.  I discovered last month doing "tai-chi-lity" after I walk the course right up to the time we have to run it helps keep it in my head so I can focus on Sassy and not worry about where we have to go next.
A very sharp angle over the jump which increases the risk of dropping a bar....especially since Sassy never jumps higher than she needs to!

The pack mule, carrying it all home on Sunday afternoon in 31 degree heat...tough when you're wearing a fur coat that you can't remove.  Staying cool was the main concern this weekend.




A great campsite at Westwood Lake. The evenings were so relaxing and steak grilled over the campfire coals tastes great!

Tired dogs after it was all over.  This is Echo, one of Sassy's best friends and our main competition because they're both such great dogs and very evenly matched!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paws Squad

This is the Paws Squad Dog Agility group.  A fun group of people with a similar outlook towards playing with their dogs.  Competitive but not at the expense of having fun and celebrating everyone else's achievements.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


We took 4th place in the BC/Yukon Regional Championships.  Five perfect runs and one really bad one (the last one) due to handler incompetence.  I need to learn how to relax under pressure. Not bad though, considering we don't train and haven't competed since January.  We were third last year but that went to Cathy with her Shetland Sheepdog, Echo (bottom pic, far right).  Well done!  Now it's on to the National Agility Championships in August and yes, we are training for that!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fido Star Search - We're going for it!


Fido Canada is doing a casting call.  The winner gets a trip to Montreal for a photo shoot and $500.  I know it's a long shot but the voting benefits Canada Dog Guides (Fido pays a buck for every vote) and it's fun to get Sassy's photo out there.  Anyway, if you're reading this before the deadline, make a habit of voting for us each day and rooting for the Sass-meister!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CFL Half-time Show!


Here we are at the BC Lions half-time show.  The picture of Sassy in mid-air reminds me of the WB classic, "Bully for Bugs" cartoon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Neighbor!

The Good Neighbor Certificate is for dogs that can stay calm and follow commands.  I never tried it before because Sassy gets nervous around dogs in certain circumstances and can snarl and growl, looking (but never actually) aggressive.  She can also be a little too apprehensive with strangers and the test had people with wheelbarrows and others opening and closing umbrellas as they walked past and in front of us....

I never thought we would get it but we did!

Herding Dog!

We signed up for a chance to test Sassy's herding instinct and she did great.  Ran outside the herd and brought them in...wasn't intimidated by them.  The evaluator said Sassy could be herding on her own in 3 months after some classes.  Too bad it's so far a drive (near Hope).

Introductions (under control)

Rounding them up

Bringing them home



Sunday, March 13, 2011

$250 1st place winner in the 60 Weave Pole Challenge!

Entered at the last minute, didn't think we had a chance since we were competing against bigger and faster breeds but only Sassy ran clean without popping out of the weaves!  Here's the video:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Leaps n' Bounds Trial, Feb 13 2011


Five runs, four Q's, two first place finishes (of 8 and 9 dogs).  Sassy's four and a half years old now and starting to make it look easy!  I'm still learning (the reason it wasn't 5 for 5, yesterday).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The New Cat!


Sassy got a little brother. And just like most little brother's, he's a pain trying to dominate!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Agility Trial Champion of Canada!

Sassy earned her last of four Masters level titles at Gabi's Q-Ball trial and took home the Agility Trial Champion title, the weekend following the National Championships and even with the handicap of having me for a handler.  What a star!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

BC Lions - Half time show: Superfly Dogs

The BC Lions/Calgary Stampeders played last Friday and the "Superfly Dogs" were part of the half-time show!  We practiced with the cheerleaders in the afternoon and raced at half-time.  We started with the "weavepole challenge", then ran a steeplechase course and finally competed against Leo the BC Lions' mascot.  Great running on the new artificial turf and a blast performing in front of 25,000 people (who cheered louder for us than they did the football team!)







Tuesday, August 17, 2010

National Championships, Calgary

Had fun and although we didn't place too high overall, got two 9th place finishes in Standard and Jumpers events.  Thanks to Frank Morton for the great pix!





Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Off to the National Championships!

Need to get some sleep because we've rented a car and are driving to Calgary to compete in the Canadian National Agility Championships!  Almost packed.  Camping and taking our time getting there.  This should be a lot of fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Master Gamblers Dog of Canada

Earned another masters title in Gamblers, a game that requires you to run your dog over/through obstacles while standing/running 18-22 feet away from it.  Now we just need the Master Snooker Title to earn our ATCh (Agility Trial Champion...the big one).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Go Germany!

I'm sorry pal....


















Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sassy Meets Her Uncle and Dad














Sassy's uncle and father are also performance dogs! We met at the regionals in Abbotsford. Uncle Sabre in the middle and Merlin on the right.  You can tell by their smiles that they love agility....

MASTER AGILITY DOG OF CANADA

Here we are at the Regionals with our MADC (Masters Agility Dog of Canada) title ribbon.  We earned it in February but they ran out of ribbons and I had to wait until the Regionals.

BC/Yukon Regional Championships

The two day event started off okay.  A decent Gamblers run and a fantastic (4th place of 60 dogs!) placement in the Standard run.  And then came the brain freeze during the Jumpers run where I totally lost my route through the obstacles and ended up with a zero for a Non-Completion!  Qualifying for the Nationals wasn't looking like an option.  We would have to run two perfect runs on Sunday.

With a fried rib-eye steak for treats before and after the events, Sassy pulled it off and did two outstanding runs, basically qualifying in four events of a six-event trial.  The final run, a Gamblers, was all icing on the cake.  We qualified and are headed to Calgary for the National Dog Agility Championships in August!

Here's Sassy in our first run on Sunday.  Thanks for the photos, Frank!













And coming in on a tight circle from a jump....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Regionals Prep with Q-Ball Agility Club





Sunday was a 7 - run Masters event out near Abbotsford on Harold Smith's farm, with a herd of alpacas watching over the fence.  Out of seven events, Sassy made 5 perfect runs finishing in first place for all five.  Get ready Regionals....here we come!

We also earned our Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada ribbon too!  Getting closer to that ATCHC ribbon (Agility Trial Champion of Canada)