Thursday, December 10, 2015

Oh, The Places You Will Go, Astro!

I came home from work one day in August and checked the mail.  There was a letter from AKC.  I thought it was an advertisement at first.  But then at the bottom of the envelope I noticed it said something about the #8 Greyhound and somewhere else on the envelope I noticed it said something about the AKC Agility Invitational.  I didn't really think it could be, but I rushed and opened it right there at the mailbox.  Yes! Holy crap, Astro was invited to the AKC Agility Invitational!  

It's in Orlando, Florida, so at first I thought, I don't think I can go to Florida.  And then I thought about it and talked to a few other people who had gone.  They all said it was an awesome experience.

And then, I thought, I think Astro and I are going to Orlando, Florida!

And we are here! My Dad was super sweet and volunteered to drive with me on the way out so I wouldn't be so exhausted when I got here.  We made without any troubles and Astro did great with the drive.  I'm so excited to be able to meet others who do agility with their greyhounds!

Today we went to a local agility site and practiced a little and then we went to check out the show site (one of the rings above).  This is a huge show with agility, conformation, obedience, dock diving, etc. going on.  The show doesn't get into full swing until the weekend, but I wanted to have Astro get used to the site and practice on the turf.

Astro did great! He wasn't too bothered by all the activity going on.  Best of all his focus was pretty good on the practice jump and he was happy, playing with me, giving kisses, and eating treats! Sometimes in new areas he gets distracted and a little nervous and won't do those things easily. He can also get a little zoomy and distracted in the agility ring when were in new places.  When the show starts on Friday it will be even louder and busy, but we will do our best.

My sweet love Zephyr is doing great! He doesn't compete in agility, but he often comes to practice and does a little agility, but mostly he loves to run and chase his ball or play chase with me. 

He couldn't come to the show, which is probably best for him anyway, and is staying with my parents.  I will be so happy to see him when we get home!

Monday, November 30, 2015

He's an Excellent Boy!

On October 25 Astro and I finally got our Excellent Standard title!  It was exactly 2 years to the day after we got our Open Standard Title and started competing in Excellent.

It took us so long because Astro had a few toe injuries, and he also suffers from having a team mate who was/is still learning how to be a good handler.  ;-)

But, Astro doesn't really care what happens as long as he can share kisses afterward.  Here is the run that we qualified on.  Despite the overcast sky and judge's sweater making it look cool, it was actually almost 90.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Astro's Excellent Adventure

Finally got our Excellent Jumpers Title, 10-25-14
Astro and I have been working on our Excellent level Standard and Jumpers with Weaves titles for over a year.  We were sidelined last May when he hurt a front toe while running like a crazy greyhound with Zephyr.  So we missed a few trials.  Things looked good in October, 2014, so we entered a trial.  Astro did a great job and we got our Excellent Jumpers title along with our first Masters level Jumpers Q.  I was, of course, super proud of my boy!

This is our Excellent Jumpers title run.

And, this is our first Master Jumpers qualifying run the next day.

Getting our last Excellent Standard Q has been rather difficult.  We've had a lot of good fun runs where we came really close.  But, it hasn't happened as of writing this post and we've been in a few trials since these videos were taken.  I thought he did really well on these standard runs, but I'm always making a mistake. 

Saturday's Standard run

Sunday's Standard run

Hopefully I'll be able to get my act together one of these days and get this boy his Excellent Standard title.  In the mean time we will have lots of fun and he will get lots of treats. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Imogene Pass Run

At the start of the race
I don't usually post about things I do, and this is long overdue, but it was pretty cool and I wanted to put it on the blog.  Last summer a group of friends and I trained for and did the Imogene Pass Run.  It's a race that goes from Ouray, CO to Telluride, CO.  The race is 17.1 miles long, goes up 10 miles and climbs about 5,300 ft to the pass, and then down 7.1 miles into Telluride.  Imogene Pass is at 13,114ft.  It's in a beautiful area, although I spent most of the time looking down at the ground so don't remember most of it.  :-)

The pass is the at the reddish brown area to the left of center at the ridge top.  This picture was about mile 8.5.
 We spent the whole summer training by doing a ton of hiking/trail running that had a lot of hard climbing at high elevation.  Luckily living at about 7,000 ft in Flagstaff makes the elevation training somewhat easier.  Yes, I was in some sort of pain the entire summer and after the race.  :-)  I had never done a race like this before.  The really good people run the whole thing, but most people including my friends and I, do a combination of fast hiking and running when you can on the way up, and then run down.  It was one of the hardest and funnest things I've ever done.

Super happy girls at the end of the run!
We all made it and in good time.  I hoped I would come in around 4 hours and I did at about 4 hrs 3 min, which turned out to be 17th in my age group.  So, I was super happy.  Post race celebration included a large lunch with drink, large ice creams, cookies, hot tub, and a large dinner with drink.  I'm hoping to do it again this year.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Zephyr Turns 8!

Zephyr received this birthday card from a friend and now he wants me to buy him another car.  I had to buy them a new Toyota Sienna this summer so as to insure that he and Astro ride comfortably with all their stuff.  But, he says the next one is for the babes.
My sweet Zephyr turned 8 years old on January 6.  It's hard to believe that he's that old, but in some ways it seems like he's been with me forever.  I still feel so grateful to have him with me everyday.  He has been super healthy and has even managed to not injure himself in the past year. 

To celebrate the passing of his eighth year I cooked some bison burger to add to his meal.  He loves it and bison seems to sit better with his belly than beef.  The bowl was licked clean.  Zephyr has become even more sweet and loving as he has aged.  He loves to just push up against me and others for some serious love and rubs.

Astro greatly appreciated Zephyr's birthday celebration too.  It's also hard to accept that this boy will be 6 this summer.

Our winter has been fairly mild again this year.  We've had a couple snow storms but then it warms up into the 40s and even 50s.  So, we've been heading out to the agility field in Cottonwood to enjoy the nice weather.