Winston wins again!

For the first time in over 45 years I had a dog in The Obedience ring. Winston was entered in beginning novice at the greater Washington Bouvier Club in Glen Allen today. On his first time out he got his first “leg”, or qualifying score, towards his Beginning Novice title (3 legs earn the BN title). It’s the lowest level of obedience. I’m particularly proud that he got this on his first try less than six weeks from when he finished his championship in AKC conformation. After all, dogs are taught not to sit in the confirmation ring and then must sit automatically in the Obedience ring. He wasn’t perfect: he got a a score of 187 out of a possible 200. But he was the only dog out of six in Beginning Novice to qualify today! So we got a first place ribbon in addition to the green qualifying ribbon.

If you are wondering why I took a German Shepherd to a Bouvier Des Flanders club specialty show, most specialty clubs open up their Obedience and other performance events to all breeds. And I got a free Regulations book because I realized how much has changed in 45 years, or maybe I just forgot everything!

Winston back at home playing with his ball

We will be at the same show tomorrow and Sunday. So it’s possible he could get his title in one weekend if he gets two more qualifying scores. Hopefully I can get some video of him in the ring.

Bea, formally Jean, from Jane’s second litter

Every now and then I get an update from one of “my” babies. Bea is two years old, and plays with her housemate, Clara, an Australian Shepherd. They play nicely with toys, like Winston, Clyde, and See See.

Thank you Julie, for sending this pic of Bea with Clara!

Happy Birthday to Nellie

Nellie is 12 years old today! She is the dam of Johnny and Jane, and granddam of Winston, Clyde and See See.

Turn the sound off if you don’t want to listen to my tuneless voice sing happy birthday to Nellie
Nellie is playing with Winston. Notice he lets her have the stick.
Nellie and Winston are playing the dominance game. Nellie is clearly outmatched, but Winston rolls over for her.
Nellie is having a conversation with her grand babies. I don’t let them play together because she doesn’t like to get knocked around anymore. Clyde and See See get pretty rambunctious.
Me and Nellie

Goodbye pink chaise lounge, Hello futon

The end of an Era. The pink chaise lounge had seen better days, so off to the dump it goes. The arm was about half falling off, and just, yuck. I did save the cushions, which make a nice dog bed, until they don’t. Johnny claimed the futon first, and then I shooed him off to put the pillow and throw on. Jane preferred it with the green throw. No one has tried the cushions on the floor yet.

I like futons because I can change the covers and wash them. I also put a waterproof mattress cover over the futon mattress before putting the cover on, for easier clean up of accidents. Let’s face it, I like futons because it’s easier than a chair to share with a dog.

Clyde and See See at dog class

We went to dog class again with the Virginia Kennel Club in Goochland. Liz, one of the members of the club, handled See See for me while I handled Clyde.

Clyde’s left rear foot should be back a little further. This is a free stack, where Clyde only gets a treat when he gets closer and closer to the correct pose.
See See’s left rear foot should be back much further. If she were stacked correctly, this would make her back appear to be sloped more. Even so, Liz is doing great with her.

The dogs do not look their best here, but I was pleased that Clyde was focused on me even with See See right behind. And I was very happy that See See let someone else handle her, and stayed focused and relaxed.

Thank you Michael, for taking pics again! Thank you Liz, for doing so much to help See See feel at ease with you! Thank you Ashley, for running the class and running outside with me and the dogs! Thank you Katherine, for watching us run and offering your analysis of the gaits! Thank you Barbara, for making it all happen!

Clyde and See See meet a Gang

A gang of kids that is. We walked down by the church near my house, and there were a bunch of kids playing in the parking lot. They all ran up to Clyde and See See and asked if they could pet them, and if they would bite. I launched into my spiel of how they shouldn’t run up on a dog that they don’t know, and to stand quietly and let the dog approach. Clyde and See See were fine, but I always like to coach kids about how to approach a strange dog. Their parents came up too and petted the dogs. Clyde and See See had a great time. Because I don’t know the kids, their faces are blurred. But they were all smiles!

Virginia Kennel Club dog handling class, featuring Clyde and See See

Thank you Michael, for taking these pics at class tonight. Michael has a German Shepherd too, so he knows how to get the right pose, picture, and video.

Keith worked with Clyde to get him accustomed to being stacked
Clyde is leaning forward just a tad. You can tell because his front legs are not perfectly straight. But really this is pretty darn good.
Clyde moved out as much as possible in the small room with no mats for traction. The club should be getting some mats for this room soon, and we may get a bigger room!
Ideally, See See would have her ears up and her left rear leg extended a little more, to where the leg between foot and hock is perpendicular to the ground.
Show dogs have to tolerate a lot. Here is See See letting me place her leg just so. Then she will have to hold it while a judge touches her all over.
At the end of class, the dogs all go around together, and everyone claps, just like in a real show. In this video Clyde kept turning around to look at See See, which is not great. That’s why we go to class, practice!

Having fun stacking and moving Clyde and See See

My friend Keith is learning to move and stack my GSDs, and he took some of these pics too.

Clyde at 14 months
See See at 14 months

In the next two videos, you can sort of compare the gaiting of Clyde and See See. I’m planning on getting better video tomorrow at dog class.

Check out my vanity plates on my van and car!
Keith is a way better runner than I am!

Winston and the turtles

Winston went to Three Lakes Park today. There were a bunch of turtles basking in the sun on a log in the big lake. I tried to get a pic of Winston and turtles together, but they’re hard to see.

The biggest turtle is above the bridge of Winston’s nose.
Two big turtles.
Turtles always remind me of my mom. She passed away 15 years ago this month. Her mother found a turtle the day my mother was born. My mother always liked them, and she collected little turtles made of ceramic, glass, or just about anything.