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Welcome to my world - 2016! Come along on this crazy ride I call "life". Follow my horse and dog training and showing escapades, and my newly renovated life (because all lives need a little remodeling every now and then!).


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Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy FOOL'S Day!

It's my personal holiday! I took Pretzel to the vet today to have his hips and elbows x-rayed for OFA, which (if he passes) will enable him to be used for breeding someday. He had to be sedated for the x-rays, so he had to spend the day at the vet's office. I swear, I think I am the one with separation anxiety...I was awful being home all day without him! I kept talking to him, and looking to make sure he wasn't underfoot when I was going up and down the stairs. Not fun! I sure missed him.

The x-rays have to be sent in to OFA to get an official rating, but the vet taking the x-rays looked at them and told me in his opinion they look "nearly perfect". Yes!!!! That is awesome! Now I wait for the official rating.

elbow #1
elbow #2

Thursday, April 7, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Columbiana, Alabama

Only a true dog show geek would schedule a dog show on the way south to vacation! Yep, we are headed south to Goodland, Florida again, but of course being the obsessive person I am, I found a show in Alabama that we could hit on the way down...

Let me start off by saying that hitting this dog show was a GREAT idea! We started off the morning with a BOS (Best of Opposite Sex). Unfortunately the only other male dog (a class dog) entered was DQ-ed for being over-sized, so we didn't earn any grand championship points toward our Bronze. Only 3 points to go! We did get owner-Handled Best of Breed, which was what I really came for.

I spent the afternoon sitting outside in the sun, even got a little sunburn! It felt even better when I looked at photos everyone from Ohio was posting on Facebook - of snow ! Finally it was time for the OH Sporting Group. Pretzel was showing really well for me, and amazingly we got a GROUP ONE!!! The judge absolutely loved him. She said when I was gaiting in my down and back all she could see was his muscle-y rear end (haha!). It was nice to get compliments from the judge on my boy.

It was a pretty epic feeling to get a Group One at a show so far from home where I knew practically no one. Now I had a bit of a wait for Owner-Handled Best in Show. I had not anticipated winning a group one (I never do!), I was running pretty low on bait. But Pretzel was really "up" and alert and I felt we were as ready as we could be for this challenge.

We went in to Best in Show, Pretzel was on fire, and NAILED his free stack. Yesssss!!! In this class I managed to do something that i never though possible, and something that is on my Long Term Goal list....we were selected for RESERVE BEST IN SHOW!!!! What a phenomenal, awesome, fantastic, wonderful feeling! I feel like I finally "made it".

I cannot tell you words that describe how I am feeling...absolutely over the moon with excitement! We went to Olive Garden to celebrate, of course! I promised Pretzel tomorrow we would go to a steak house and we would get him some prime rib as a reward.

Friday, April 8, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Columbiana, Alabama

Well, nothing could top yesterday, so I went into today's show with a happy face and positive attitude...if I accomplish nothing else this weekend I still had a raging success in my mind.

The breed ring went the same as yesterday (minus the DQ, who didn't show). We got our BOS for zero grand points, but we got OHBOB so once again we waited all day for group.

Another successful group - we ended up with a Group Three! So, from yesterday and today we gained a total of 130 owner-handled points. that should move me into first place! Am I excited? HECK YEAH!!!!!!!. I have one huge goal this year - to end the year in the #1 spot. This will be our last year really hitting the NOHS conformation shows, as next year we want to concentrate more on agility (plus we have Corky's baby coming!). So this year needs to be our year. I have a massive schedule planned out...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Columbiana, Alabama

Saturday started off the same in the morning - only there actually was a class dog entered today so we earned one grand championship point...only 2 more to go til we reach our bronze!

I want to preface this by saying I had stated yesterday that nothing could ever top the day I had on Thursday. Well, let me take back that statement. Today was another day of waiting all day for the owner-handled groups. They had a lot of judge changes due to the sudden illness of one of the judges. This made me nervous, because I didn't know what to expect or who was going to judge my group. Well, the judge changed worked out well for me as Pretzel showed awesome and we earned another Group ONE!!! Unbelievable!!!

I won a towel with my group one, that was really cool. I love it when we win actual prizes. I was a little disappointed in my reserve Best in Show ribbon - only a measly flat ribbon for such a big win. I did get a purple towel for that win, so that was something. I still love winning big rosettes that I can display in my house. I doubt if I will ever get tired of that.

So, this epic and awesome Group One meant that of course we had to stay until Best in Show. Pretzel was on fire, and I actually felt confident (which is unusual for me when it comes to dog shows!).

Well, it can get better than Thursday! Pretzel was exhausted by the time BIS rolled around. On our down and back, he actually started pacing briefly on his back, but I corrected him within one stride and got him going correctly. He only does that when he is truly wiped out. At the end of the class, we stood in the lineup and the judge spoke on the microphone and announced that the reserve best in show was awarded to the Pomeranian. Then she started announcing the Best In Show winner, and she looked at me...I could not believe me ears when she said "The Weimaraner"! I swear I about fainted. It was unbelievable. Me and Pretzel - Best in Show! Me, a dog show newbie with my very first show dog that I trained by myself...I still can't believe it. Freaking amazing.

I managed to hold it together until after the win photo was taken. Yes, then i cried...bawled like a baby for nearly an hour. Cried all the way back to the hotel, cried while I changed clothes, cried the half hour drive into Birmingham and while waiting for a table at Carrabbas. I honestly cannot believe it. It specially means a lot that it happened today - the biggest show day with the largest number of entries. My little Pretzel got singled out as the best owner-handled dog at the entire show. I don't think I have ever been best at anything before. Words cannot describe my feelings, I can't seem to put it in writing. Hopefully you will get an idea of my incredible emotion just from what I write here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Columbiana, Alabama

Every time I think about yesterday's win, I tear up. I still can't believe it. I am emotionally exhausted and ready for some quality beach time, for sure.

Breed went the same today, we got BOS and one more grand championship point. We now sit at 99 points...only one more to go for our Bronze.

My group judge today was one I didn't expect to do well under because I know he doesn't really care for Pretzel (or me). We ended up with a Group Three, which I though was pretty awesome since I didn't expect anything. But get this - we earned a whopping 285 NOHS (Owner-handled) points at this show! That's more than I had total since the qualifying period started last October! What an epic experience, I will never ever forget.

After group, we loaded up the car and headed south. Florida, here we come!!!

NOHS Group 1 - Thursday

NOHS Reserve Best in Show - Thursday

NOHS Group 1 - Saturday

NOHS Best in Show - Saturday

April 21-24, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Terre Haute, Indiana

Call me crazy...yep. I got home from Florida on Tuesday early evening, and I left Wednesday afternoon for Terre Haute, Indiana (a lovely 4+ hour drive). I'm telling you, setting goals leads me straight to insanity!

It was kind of stinky being at a show all by myself without Mark or any of my friends there. I had to search for things to do in the down times...these things included eating pasta, shopping, and going on some really awesome hikes in the hilly woods. Pretzel and I hiked about 3 miles each evening, he loved every minute of it (I must confess, so did I). A somewhat lonely show, but I met a bunch of new people (all owner-handlers, of course - they are the coolest). A fun, fun 4 days.

Every day in breed I took select as usual...same competition I have everywhere that I just can't get past! I picked up Owner-Handled best of breed each day, and I managed to collect a virtual rainbow of ribbons - a Group 1, 2, 3, and 4.

For the most part, the show and the judges were pretty good. I appreciated that the show awarded NICE rosettes to all of the placements in the owner-handled groups. I didn't like that the one day they hired a single judge to judge all of the OH groups, and this judge made it pretty obvious that he didn't care one bit about the NOHS groups or anyone in it. Kind of insulting to do my down and back, turn and find he was looking over his shoulder not even watching me. I hate that attitude...why does a judge take the assignment if he truly does not care for the program? Frustrating!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Early this morning I had an appointment to have Corky ultrasounded. Today is Day 53 of her pregnancy. The vet said everything looks perfect! Yes, I am feeling optimistic and positive about this pregnancy. What a beautiful morning!

April 28-May 1, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Decatur, Illinois

Yep, still crazy! Home for 2 1/2 days and then we headed to Decatur, Illinois. Our last show for a few weeks...taking about 3 weeks off to relax and do a little agility after this.

We started off the show with a bang - took best of breed over a top weim and that was ultra cool! We only need ONE point to finish Pretzel's bronze grand championship (100 grand champ points). Unfortunately there were no male Weims showing at this show, so in order to get that last needed point I am going to have to take breed one more time.

We did pretty good in the owner-Handled groups the first two days - picked up a group two and a group three. Unfortunately on Friday and Saturday we did not win best of breed, so that single needed point was still hanging off in the distance.

One of the vendors had this really cool GOLD blingy collar and I said I would buy it for Pretzel if he got his bronze this weekend. Mark, ever the optimist, bought it on Saturday even though we had lost the past 2 days...confident we would get it on Sunday

I should never doubt Mark - he was right! Sunday rolled around and we won best of breed! It was a pretty cool 4 days because all 4 of the judges had a hard time picking between the two of us for breed. I am proud to finally hold my own against the pros.

So Pretzel got his gold collar, and I celebrated! Unfortunately we didn't place in the owner-handled groups the last two days, but I left the show with two things accomplished - finished Pretzel's bronze grand championship and cracked the 700 mark on NOHS points - we now have 705...woo-hoo! Now we go home, rest, and PLAY!

On to May, 2016...