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Month: February 2014

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

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The boys and I have been settling in well to California life.  Honestly, it wasn’t too hard!  What’s not to love about CA?  Everyone is enjoying our walks on the beach and the mild temps.  Zorro has decided that he can take on all the seagulls and is beside himself when they hover just beyond his reach.  Roxy has gained more and more confidence on each walk.   She used to be leary of other dogs, bikes and people on the path but now handles all those distractions like a champ.  I think it helps having the “Jack pack” with her as a confidence builder.

Now that we are pretty well settled in, its time to focus our attention on our upcoming international competitions.  At the end of last year, Zip’s back had

20140105-37been giving him lots of issues and he definitely was not quite himself.  My main focus so far this year has been getting him healthy and happy.  We have had the opportunity to see some wonderful massage therapists at local trials.  They have given me some things to work on and I believe they are helping.  I also think our beach walks are really helping Zip’s core muscles which in turn also help his back.  I have seen very encouraging results so far.  I am cautiously optimistic that he will continue to improve.

Last month, friend and former WAO teamie, Ann Kajava, was gracious enough to lend out her facility for an impromptu practice for some of us on the team plus a few others willing to take on some tough challenges.  We set up some sequences sent to us by

our fearless leader and coach, Blake Stafford.  It was just what Zip and I needed.  (Well, probably more what “I” needed…)  Tough weave pole entries and exits, long jump challenges and all out running.  The day could not have been more perfect and lucky for us, Erika Maurer was in attendance and she was kind enough to snap some pictures of Zippy.

Last weekend Zip and I headed to Ohio for a more formal WAO team practice.  Big thanks to Jenn Crank for the use of her IncrediPaws facility, it was perfect!  Most of our teamies were  able to attend and it was great seeing everyone.  It was especially nice to see my partner in crime, Jeannette Hutchison.  Blake had lots of tough challenges for us to work.  It was so great to see how well the entire team handled these tough sequences.  Coming into the weeknd I was a little apprehensive in how Zip might handle 2 long days of lots of running.  I am so proud and happy to say that he did great! He was fired up and ready to run by the last run as he was on our first run of the weekend.  So very encouraging that our regime seems to be really helping him.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we continue down this path.  The entire weekend was incredibly well organized thanks to our team manager, Susan Crank.  I also have to give a huge shout out to all our incredible sponsors, Clean Run, Brilliant K9, UK Agility International, Max 200, Way to Weave, All Leashed Up, Fleecy Paws and Karen’s Canines.  None of this would even be possible without their support.  So very grateful!! Here are some tidbits from our WAO team practice weekend:

Not to be completely outdone, Roxy has started some of her training too.  I may be biased but this little girl is smart as a whip!! She has boundless energy and wants to play all the time.  Puts a smile on my face just being around her.  We have mainly been working on playing/tugging with distractions.  She has great toy drive at home but was a bit distracted when other dogs and people were around.  We signed up for a few classes at Jumpin’ Java as well as training there on our own and each time I have seen a ton of improvement.  Our last time training at Jumpin’ Java there was an agility class running courses in the next ring and little Miss Roxstar was just that!  She was retrieving her toy, tugging and focused on me and quickly got over the loud sounds like the banging teeter and A-frame.   So very proud of her!! Very excited for our journey together!