All my life I dreamed of living in the country, and for the past 10 - 12 years my dreams have included a place to train the dogs. Dear Husband was very supportive of doing what we could in our little yard in Utah, and for that I am very grateful but I was always handicapped in my training for almost every event by a lack of training space. It is especially hard to train for agility and utility level obedience without a sufficient space, but I have made the best of things -- but I do not have to anymore.
Last weekend while I was in Utah the work was started on my dream -- an area just for dog training. The area was leveled and top soil was brought in, and big pine trees provide shade and an audience. It is 5,000 square feet and will be fenced this week. I will eventually lay sod but since I have trials coming up, I decided to just use it as it is for a while; that will also give the ground time to settle before we finish it with the sod.
Today was moving day and I hitched up Mrs. Maize and Cadi to the cart to help move all the equipment; Galen also helped with the stuff that did not fit in the cart.
Once there, I pulled out a map from last weekend agility trial and set up two excellent level sequences. Here it is -- the official Camp Montana dog training facility -- not quite done but you can get the idea. I have long had a name for my training center (such that it is :) and that is "Dog U" -- so welcome to Dog U!
I would have let Maize to be the first dog to use Dog U but she was resting after quite a bit of carting so Cadi got the honor.
I have a very supportive (okay, pushy ;) agility friend, Kris, who has long seen Cadi's potential for agility, and she has convinced me that I should try to get Cadi qualified for the 2010 AKC Invitational in agility. To do this, Cadi has to be in the top five for berners in agility -- this is based on points between July 1 of this year and June 30 of 2010. She cannot earn points until she reaches Excellent B, and getting to Excellent B is quite a feat so we are in the beginning of this quest but have our sights set on the goal. (You can learn more about agility at: http://www.akc.org/events/agility/what_is_agility.cfm)
And so Cadi's agility life will be a big priority for the next year. She will be doing agility near us (in Lolo, MT) on August 1 & 2. Three weeks later we will be in Minnesota to visit Kris, show Zoey, Sydney and Cadi at a BMDCA Regional Specialty, do three days of agility with Cadi, and gets lots of helpful feedback from Kris about how Cadi and I can improve; we will also be making scones for Kris and her husband -- I plan to bring my mixer just for that purpose :) Labor Day weekend will find us in Salt Lake City doing agility and visiting Dear Husband.
September will be busy for us. The weekend after Labor Day Cadi, Maize and Asia will go with me to Graham, Washington for a two-day draft test. Asia needs to get her Novice Draft Dog title to be my fifth BMDCA Versatility Dog, and the dog has to be two to enter a test -- Asia will be two years this week so that is the first reasonable test we can get to. Asia's new harness arrived yesterday (a lovely maroon!) and the cart is ready to go -- her draft training starts this week. At that same test Maize and Cadi will do novice brace -- Maize has that title but agreed to help Cadi earn it - and Cadi will also do the open draft test.
There is a show in Helena in September and I will likely take Cadi and Halo over to do one day of obedience, and that will finish out a busy September.
I am still finalizing the October plans for showing -- it is so fun to be able to show again, after litters and surgery and etc. so I am having a great time with the dogs. And now with a real place to train?! Well, I'll let you decide what that means... ;0
Sydney is in training -- to be a very spoiled dog like her grandma, Maize. Galen is very partial to Maize, Cadi and Sydney and teaches them all kinds of bad habits. Here he is letting Cadi lick out a yogurt container (yes, with her front feet on the table!) while Asia appears to be saying, "um, Mom, is this really okay?"
Sydney is a beginner at this "bad behavior" training, as you can see!
And here is a picture of almost eight month old Sydney from a couple of days ago -- isn't she adorable?!
The next dream I want to accomplish is getting my husband to Montana -- he says he will come immediately and not wait until March if I win the lottery so I guess I need to go and buy the winning ticket! I hope you are achieving dreams -- but remember that there is no chance of achieving them if you do not first dream them -- so dream and dream big :)