Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winston-Salem Win Photo

Winners Bitch
December 2010
Winston-Salem, NC

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Mia was delighted to wake up and find Santa Paws had come to see her last night. She got a lot of toys but then again, she's been a very good girl this year. Here are a few pictures...more to come later:)

Working on a tentacle of the octopus
Mia loves to nook on a stuffed hedgehog. This year, Santa brought her a giant one...and she couldn't be more pleased.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Awesome Weekend!

We had a wonderful weekend in Winston-Salem! Mia competed in conformation and went Winners Bitch Friday and Saturday for 2 more show points. We also competed in obedience Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, Mia didn't hear me call her on Saturday so we NQ'd on her recall. The video of her run will be posted later - even though we didn't qualify, it was still a beautiful run. The good news is she qualified on Sunday with a first place. That was her 3rd leg which means she now has her CD (Companion Dog - novice obedience title). This makes her:
Grayhart's Special Request, CD, RA, NSD, CGC

Hopefully, her win photos with the judge will come out well and I will post them to the blog. Debbie and Sky were also in Winston-Salem and we had a wonderful time visiting with them. And - Sky went Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite today:) Congrats to Debbie and Sky.

Mia and Sky

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Obedience Pictures

Here are some of the pictures the photographer took in Asheville where we earned the first 2 legs of our CD. I've found that when I compete, I don't really remember much about what happens in the ring and the pictures and video help to see what we did well and what we could improve. They can be a great teaching tool as long as you can accept constructive criticism and are willing and able to critique yourself.
Heel free (Saturday)

Finish (after our recall)
You can tell she is a little crooked

Figure 8 (Sunday)

Stand for Exam


Down Stay

(Photos: Dean Lake)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mia earns the first 2 legs of her CD

So I have to start this post with the big news - Mia earned the first 2 legs of her CD this weekend at the Obedience Club of Asheville's show in Asheville, NC! Woohoo! Mia had 2 awesome runs and scored a 193 Saturday and 193.5 Sunday, earning 2 first place ribbons as well. I was so proud of my girl!

After our run Sunday, we met up with Debbie and Sky (whose house we were staying at, of course) and went for a wonderful hike in the NC mountains. The weather was beautiful and the girls had a fabulous time running all over the place.

At first, Mia didn't want to get her feet wet (she is a princess) but after a few trips through the creek, she decided that running through the water was pretty cool!

I love this picture of Mia and Sky looking out over the mountains.

On Saturday, Mia and I went to Lake Junaluska to walk around.

There were geese everywhere and Mia was quite fascinated by them.

Mia passed out at Debbie's house Saturday night.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mia on point

We traveled to Charleston, SC this weekend to take part in the Greater Charleston Weimaraner Club's Pointing Dog Day. This event is designed to help novice owners get their dogs started on birds. Mia and I stayed with Linda Garrett who owns and handles "Strider," a Master Hunter who also got to demonstrate what master hunters do in the field. We got a lot of tips and advice from everyone and had a wonderful day. After the demonstration of master hunter, senior hunter, and junior hunter, the club went over all of the rules for the different tests. They also gave us some ways to get dogs started on birds. To see which dogs were interested in birds, they were each "teased" with a freshly killed quail wing on a fishing line. Mia was sort of interested in the wing, at least enough to point it.

Mia pointing the quail wing.
After being exposed to the quail wing, the dogs were then introduced to a live pigeon. These pictures are of Mia intensely watching the other dogs with the pigeon. In the past, Mia has always tried to grab the bird so when it was her turn, I was pretty shocked when she went straight in and pointed the shocked I didn't get a picture of it:(

After the dogs were exposed to the birds on the fishing line, it was time to see what they would do in the field. I was thrilled to see Mia really hunting for birds and not just running around. Unfortunately, as soon as she found the quail, she went in and grabbed it. I called her to me and removed the quail from her mouth. The quail flew so I sent Mia off to see if she could find it again and point it, but she was too quick and caught it again without me even seeing her do it. This time, she was much more reluctant to give up the bird but I managed to get it out of her mouth.
After a lunch break, we took the dogs out again. We were ready this time and prevented Mia from catching the bird, but she still didn't point. Mia is super smart (and quick) and just figured she didn't need to point, she would save us the ammo and catch the bird herself. Because these dogs were novice dogs, the quail were dizzied first and planted under cover so they wouldn't fly as fast. In Mia's case, we need the quail to fly quickly so she learns that she can't catch them and when she runs up on them, they fly away. Then, she would figure out that if she slows down and points them, they don't fly off and someone will flush the bird (which she then gets to chase).
We had one last opportunity to get Mia to point. Everyone had had their turns and the club had a few quail left so Mia got to go again. This time, the quail was planted in a place where Mia couldn't grab it and where the quail could fly quickly. She caught sent, went in to grab it, and corrected herself on the sticks that were sticking up around the quail. She jumped back and the bird flew. It landed about 75 feet away so I took Mia over to see if she could find it again. She did and she went right in and pointed! Yay!!!

Overall it was a wonderful day and we left with some ideas for how I can get Mia to slow down and point (instead of grab). Here she is, exhausted after the long day and ready to go to bed (as was her owner).

In a few weeks, the Tarheel Weim club will have their hunt day and I'm looking forward to taking Mia and seeing if we can continue to improve. If she does well, I will enter her in the shooting ratings the next day and maybe get her novice shooting dog. And if she isn't ready, no big deal, we will keep working on it. One of the biggest lessons I learned this weekend was that you never know when the light bulb will go on for these dogs. It's important not to give up just because they don't get it right the first time. You just have to keep at it and maintain a positive attitude. And if it doesn't happen, that's fine - there are lots of other things we are going to do...and that's what makes this all so much fun - it's all part of the journey you take together.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where have we been?

Mia loves her doughnut bed!

Not much has been going on in the month of September, and there are several reasons for that. After a truly wonderful summer break, I had to return to work. Mia also came into season and hasn't been able to go to any of her training classes. I also had to take a short break from showing and competing. As much as I love traveling and doing all kinds of neat things with Mia, the costs do begin to add up so it's important to slow things down every now and then, both for Mia and me.

So what is going on? Well...I started beginner agility class without Mia. She will start when she comes out of season. In the meantime, I have been working with some of the other dogs in the class to improve my handling skills. I've also been working Mia at home. I have the home version of jumps and weave poles so we can practice in between classes. Our next conformation show will be the one here in October. I'm not sure yet if any other weims will enter but I'm really looking forward to my family getting to come and watch us. Since we travel for almost all of our shows, they don't usually get to see us so it will be nice to have them there and to see what we do. I am also planning to attend some "Learn to Hunt" days with the Charleston Weimaraner Club and our own Tarheel Weimaraner Club. It's challenging to find qualified people to help you train in the field but I haven't given up on training Mia to hunt. She has the interest and instinct, we just have to teach her what to do with it. I'm also planning to enter her in novice obedience sometime this fall/winter and compete for her CD (companion dog). For right now, we're enjoying the not so hot temperatures (it doesn't quite feel like fall around here yet) and football weekends with the family.
When we went to Atlanta this summer to visit with my grandmother, Mia thoroughly enjoyed trying out all of the comfy places to sleep.
Bed number 1
The couch is nice too!
Bed number 2
Bed number 3
This is from our trip to Debbie's this past summer in the mountains of North Carolina. The girls were exhausted after our hike and enjoyed a peaceful nap on the porch while we ate a nice lunch.
Taken on the way home from out hike. Poor babies! Mia on the left, Sky on the right.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best of Winners!

August 20, 2010
Winners Bitch and Best of Winners (2 points)
Greensboro, NC

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Greensboro, NC

We traveled to Greensboro, NC to compete in conformation. So far, we've had a great weekend of showing. Mia went winners' bitch and best of winners on Friday (which gave her 2 more points towards her championship), and then went reserve on Saturday. She also earned her canine good citizen on Saturday and impressed the evaluator with her obedience and solid temperament.
Mia and Sky at the hotel

Loving my girl:)


Mia on the left, Sky on the right

We even had a chance to go to a park in Burlington and let the girls stretch their legs. Here they are going after a stick in the creek.
Sky trying to retrieve the stick.

Mia on the left, Sky on the right