Monday, July 27, 2009

Video Competition Filming

We had a long day of filming yesterday. Unfortunately, none of the dogs seemed to really be in synch with things, so I'm not sure if we were able to get anything that will be good enough to send in.

The surprising routine of the day was Megan with Nellie. Nellie had a stroke back in January and hasn't really recovered 100%. In addition to a slight mental impact, it also has affected her physically as she has not quite regained full use of her left side. But Nellie did a great job for Megan and they had a very nice routine. We'll probably send it in and hopefully they can maybe finish up their title.

Megan tried really hard with Bonnie, but Bonnie does not always do so well in new environments. Her inability to focus as a result of her brain infection can really make things difficult. Megan was able to get her to do a couple routines that were "OK". Not sure if they will be good enough to qualify, but we may decide to go ahead and send them in after we review the tapes.

Shelby was just slightly off. She had some moments of brilliance in each go, but nothing that I was overly happy with as a whole. Roxie did pretty well, but I can tell her age is starting to catch up to her. Of course, she may not have been feeling 100%. As we were getting in the car to head home, Megan commented that Roxie didn't look right. When I looked back, I saw that she was having a seizure. It wasn't bad and she's doing fine now, but I'm sure that didn't help any.

We were able to get a couple good go's with our pairs routine. Since Bonnie was having challenges, we switched it up a little and Megan danced with Pixie and I danced with Shelby. We'll have to see how it looks on video, but it went pretty well considering the two dogs had never worked together.

I am starting to wonder why I entered brace at the upcoming competition. LOL My "test run" did not go as well as I would have hoped. I'm not sure if Pixie was just having a bad day (she was kind of slow on most things) or if she just thought that since Shelby was there, that Shelby could do all the work! We'll have to work on it some...

We have our TDAA trial next weekend, so that should be fun. I'll try to post some videos once I get through the filming and see if we have anything worth watching!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Look Pointed Toes!

I was really happy when I saw this picture to see that my toes are pointed. I think my friends and students get tired of hearing me say this, so it's nice to see that I follow my own advice!

Here is a link to another article that ran in an Omaha newspaper:
Here is a little clip of the routine - her collar was a little itchy, but that happens sometimes... :)

Competition Results

We had a great time in Omaha! This competition was a little different for us as it was a demo/competition held at a big AKC show that also had conformation, obedience, rally, and agility. We hadn't ever been to a competition where there was so much going on - so it was something new for both me and the dogs.

In addition, the competitions were scheduled for the evening - after we had several demos each day. One of the highlights is that we were included in a clip that ran on the local news on Friday night...

Megan and I arrived on Friday. We did two demos and then started getting ready for the competition. The environment was not "ideal" as the ring was much smaller than we normally have and it was a little dirty from so many demos during the day. But the demos gave us a chance to work out the tweaks that were needed for the choreography to fit in the smaller area, so other than the bits of food on the mats - it wasn't too bad.

Megan was first in on Friday and had a really nice routine with Bonnie. Bonnie is not the easiest dog to work with since she is 13 years old and does have some brain damage. They hit almost all of their moves and choreography and really had a good time.

Unfortunately, Bonnie has an attention span that barely lasts one routine... and the activity in the building and everything else during the day had already taken a bit of a toll. So, our pairs routine and Megan's routine on Saturday did not go as well as we would have liked.

By Sunday, Bonnie was just not able to focus on anything - even during the morning demo when Megan had food in her hand. Bug, Megan showed what a true competitor she really is and handled it better than some adults might have. Even though Bonnie was just not there, she kept working and never gave up or showed any frustration or disappointment. She actually was able to get Bonnie to do a couple moves which was a huge success.

I know Megan was a little disappointed that they weren't able to get their title - but they did get the awards for High Technical and High Artistic combined over Friday and Saturday for the Heelwork to Music division. They also received the Judges Award on Sunday with compliments from the judge on how well she presented herself during a difficult time.

The other girls did extremely well too. Shelby debuted her new "Mary Poppins" routine and qualifed in the advanced division both days to finish up her Championship. She also won the High Overall Technical Score and High Overall Artistic Score for the weekend. This was quite an accomplishment for us (finishing her CH by getting 3 legs in 3 tries) and I was just thrilled with how well she worked. The exciting part was to see her actually get stronger as the routine progressed and to maintain her performance levels through all the demos and the two competitions. This was a big improvement for her.

Roxie did a great job and really seems to enjoy her new tango routine. She also qualified both days which finished up her Senior Masters (intermediate level) title. She's such a fun little dog and I really enjoy working with her.

Pixie had a great time and managed to earn her first leg in Novice Freestyle. Since we were resting Bonnie in the hopes that she might be able to do something (anything?) in the competition for Megan on Saturday, I let Megan demo with Pixie. I knew this might tire her out a little, but I also knew it would be more helpful for Pixie to get out in front of some big crowds and a very busy environment for the demos at this point than it would be for her to get a leg. She is no where near being ready for Intermediate, so I was very happy with getting one leg and letting her have the chance to perform in such a unique setting to help build her confidence.

Megan did an AMAZING job with Pixie and they looked very cute together. We will film Megan & Bonnie to maybe finish up their title, but then maybe next time Megan can dance with Pixie.

All in all, it was a great weekend and we really had a good time. We had some time to visit with our freestyle friends - although it didn't seem like quite enough since I think most of the time we found ourselves either resting from one demo or getting ready for the next one... and I can't remember the last time that I changed clothes over 25 times in one weekend!

We're all pretty tired and will try to rest up this weekend... but it was a lot of fun!