Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, CGC Test

After having lots of fun on Saturday , Zephyr passed his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test on Sunday.  He's such a good boy!  The test was put on by the Flagstaff Kennel Club.   We had tried this one other time a few years ago but he didn't pass because he barked during the 3 minute away.  I have to admit that the reason he didn't pass is that Zephyr has a bit of separation anxiety for which I take full responsibility.  Zephyr is my first dog, we have always done everything together, and he does not like to be left alone or with someone he is not completely bonded to (there's no one like that) when we are out and about doing things (he's fine at home).  Zephyr is also very vocal, he is not one of those silent greyhounds that you read about (and that's fine with me).  But, he will let you know exactly what he thinks about certain situations by whining, "talking", "singing", and bark, bark, barking.  These situations include, but are not limited to; there are people/dogs walking by on the road (he's actually an excellent watch dog), I'm bored, you're sitting on my couch, you've been on the computer too long, and especially you've left me here alone in this stupid crate or with someone I don't really know.
With Lisa, our evaluator, after getting his CGC.  The test was held in a large building that is part of a car dealership.  Pictures in front of the fancy lime green car were complimentary.

So, I waited until I thought he had improved some to try it again.  Actually the day before at the agility match he did really well when I walked away from his crate.  He did bark, especially when I was out walking the course.  But as the day went on I could walk away for a few minutes and by the end of the day I was on the other side of the field talking for some time and he was quiet.  He did a great job during the test!

Here we are with everyone that was part of the crowd.  The person that Zephyr is smiling at is Liz (in yellow), he's an admiring student of hers.  ;-)  Since puppyhood we have taken all of our Kindergarten, Obedience, and Rally classes from Liz.  Zephyr is grateful that she has done an excellent job of training me! :-) 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, Agility

Saturday Zephyr and I went to the Prescott Kennel Club's agility match in Chino Valley.  They were holding an official AKC match so that they can host AKC agility trials.  Since it was a match I decided to enter Zephyr.  Zephyr and I really aren't ready for an AKC trial, we're still working on weaves and definitely working on handling and keeping him focused.  The match was on a very nice fenced grass field.  The ring was not fenced though and was just outlined with poles and rope, which had me really scared.  I'll just say that since puppyhood Zephyr has built himself up a reputation that is known far and wide for getting major cases of the zoomies and refusing to come to me or anyone else.  :-)  This was the first time we were going to attempt to do agility in an unfenced ring at a trial setting.  But, it was a small match with relatively few distractions and I thought it would be a good place to give it a try.

We rode with Chris to the match which made Zephyr and Friday very happy.  Astro was happy too because he got to stay at Chris and Dan's house and play with Linus most of the day.  Astro is doing great and I promise there will be a post featuring him soon.
 The Standard course was first.  This is Rebecca and Charlotte during their great run!  

 Before our first run we met Carrie and Twiggy.  Zephyr was quite taken with Twiggy. 

Here we are setting up for the first run.  Before our first run I was able to let Zephyr run in the fenced field that was next to this one.  I also walked him around the outside of the ring a few times.  I think it helped him calm down a little.  

But, Zephyr was still pretty goofy.  Hmm, he is going the wrong direction on the dogwalk. :-}  Next he entered a tunnel on the wrong side.
 Then after flying off the A-frame he did get a case of the zoomies.  But, I'm happy to say it was a small case, after I called him a few times he kind of came to me and/or didn't run off when I went to him (I can't really remember), and at no time did the boy leave the ring!  Celebrate the small things in life!  I felt a little hot and light headed after all that, I can't imagine why.  ;-) 

Zephyr did a great job on our second run, Jumpers.  Here he is doing a perfect stay during a really long lead out.  I did it to keep him from going straight after the second jump and to make the left turn there easier.  It worked really well and I was so happy with his stay and the way he kept eye contact with me the whole time.

And, he's off!

 I was very happy with our run.  We made it through a nice pinwheel, around to a tunnel, and out to the end.  He missed a few jumps, but he was happy and working with me the whole time.  I was thrilled!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's Play

I finally got a new camera, so I thought I would share a few pictures of the boys doing what they do best.  The new camera has a setting that lets you continuously take pictures, a few pic/sec, very fun.  This is new to me considering my last camera was about 10 years old and painfully slow.  I have wondered if I subconsciously let the camera die.  I remember watching Zephyr head toward the pond and thinking to myself something like, "Zephyr is heading for the water and my camera is in his pack, maybe I should stop him and get it out?  Oh, it will probably be okay."  Anyway, the new camera is great.  Here's a series of shots taken in the continuous sports setting.

This play session went on for awhile and they only bumped the jump once.  It always amazes me, and sometimes scares me, when they run full speed in and out of trees, etc. and don't hit anything.  I love the looks on their faces, I want to have that much fun!
Pablo seems to love this "new" bed.  It's a dog bed that didn't have much padding so I put two sleeping bags in the middle for some cushion.  Nice and cozy.

Yet another fall color picture.  This view is from Hart Prairie to the west on a rainy afternoon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bear Jaw - Abineau Trail Fall Hike

Last Saturday Chris and I took the boys up to the San Francisco Peaks for a hike along the Bear Jaw - Abineau loop trail.  It's one of my favorite hikes because it's on the north side of the mountains, has great views, and it goes up to about 10,400 ft. in elevation so you really get in to the alpine vegetation.  The aspen trees on the south side of the mountain (what you see from town) had barely started turning so we thought they might be more colorful on the north.  It turned out we were right.  The leaves were beautiful and it was a perfect day for a hike.  These awesome pictures are again courtesy of Chris since I still haven't replaced my broken camera. 

The day was sunny and warm, a perfect fall day.  

 The trail starts at about 8,500 ft. and goes up to about 10,400 ft.

The dogs had no problem going up the steep part of the Bear Jaw Canyon trail.  Notice Astro at the top of the trail.  He was happy to be hiking with the big boys.

Most of the aspen trees had turned bright yellow.

Some of the aspens are curved over from the weight of snow.

 Friday and Zephyr, best buddies since puppyhood.  If your wondering what the second collar with the antenea is on Zephyr, it's his GPS tracking collar.  He didn't go off leash on the hike, but I had him wear it anyway.

 Linus and Friday are right at home high in the mountains.

Part of the trail is along an old waterline road that winds around the side of the mountain.

Who wouldn't be happy in the company of good friends?

The fall colors were the best that I can remember seeing here in a long time.

Nothing like being escorted and guarded by two handsome men. :-)  Linus and Zephyr stayed in this position for a long time even if we stopped and started up again.

This is the view as we come in to the top of Abineau Canyon.  The top of the ridge on the right is really close to Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,637 ft.

The view from the top of the trial is toward the north.  The hills in the background are all cinder cone volcanoes and I think you can see the eastern part of the Grand Canyon in the very back on the left side of the picture.  What is up with those two serious looking greyhounds? 

Astro is almost 15 months old now and is completely full of puppy energy.  He never slowed down and was going non-stop the whole hike.

Friday and Linus take a break and enjoy the view of the peaks.

We went down Abineau Canyon which is really steep.  When we were near the bottom we had a little excitement.  All of a sudden two animals were running down the side of the canyon headed for the trail and us.  At first I thought maybe we were being charged by dogs, but then I realized they were deer.  Zephyr and Astro were out ahead of us near the end of their Flexi leads and the deer jumped out on to the trail about 10 ft. in front of them.  Talk about two very alert excited greyhounds!  Luckily I had a good hold on their leashes.  Friday and Linus sounded the alert and the deer ran off down the trail.  It took a few minutes for everyone to calm down.  

What could be better than this? 

Thanks to Chris, Friday and Linus for an excellent day!