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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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Thursday-Sunday, June 2-5, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Dunkirk, NY

This was a show that I had been looking forward to, but after my ups and downs last weekend I was a little worried that things would be snowballing and getting worse. Not sure why I felt so negative...and boy was I wrong!

We started off on Thursday with a group 3 in the Owner-Handled sporting group. Pretzel was showing really well for me today, so my confidence was coming back. I was feeling pretty excited about Friday. the group judge had given me a Group 1 earlier this year in Hamburg, NY back in January. Now I know there are a thousand different variables - different competition, different day, etc., but I know that since she really liked him 5 months ago she might still really like him (and what's not to love about Pretzel?).

Pretzel showed wonderfully in group, and she did award us a Group 1! I was so excited...I am glad she still thinks he is as nice of a dog as he was back in January.

We were the first group, so we had a long wait until best in show. The best in show judge was someone I had never shown to before (Dr. Carmen Battaglia), so I really didn't have any information as to what he liked or how he judged. We went into the ring, and the first thing I discovered is that he is very soft-spoken (which can be disastrous for someone with some hearing loss like I have!). I had to pay very close attention to what he was saying and gesturing. He gave nothing away when he went over Pretzel, I couldn't read whether he liked him or not. Pretzel showed phenomenally...went perfectly straight on a loose lead on his down and back, and didn't pull on the go-around. Imagine my complete and utter shock when the judge pointed at ME as Best in Show!!!!! Amazing! What some people spend a lifetime never achieving, I managed to get TWO owner-handled best in shows!!!! It was another one of those unbelievable moments that you relive in your mind over and over again. When i got my win picture taken, the judge mentioned that I did a wonderful job in handling and presenting my dog. That is a huge compliment for this dog show newbie!

The next two days went well, but obviously nothing could top that! I got a Group 2 both days, which made my NOHS points skyrocket. By the end of the weekend, my point total reached 995. Way in the back of my mind I had this little goal to try to maybe hit a thousand points by the end of the qualifying season. Now it is totally doable. this year has been incredible for me so far, and I am so lucky!

Now we go home for a week and enjoy running on the 6 acres. I still need to pinch myself daily to believe that this is all really happening to me...to me and my best friend!

Pretzel and his winnings from Dunkirk

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pretzel has been becoming the bad boy of the neighborhood. He has been visiting neighbor dogs and luring them over to our property to play! While I don't mind the visitors, I do NOT like him sneaking out of our property when I am not looking. Looks like we will be getting quotes to have the entire 6 acres fenced in. Yowza! I can just imagine what this will cost...but it will be well worth it to keep Pretzel safe.

I rode Tango yesterday, and was really happy with how he is riding! He is getting ridden every day by an 11 year old girl at the barn, and he has really gotten in shape. He was always a horse that was awful (movement-wise) whenever he got out of shape or lost condition, and I had forgotten how cool he is when he is ridden regularly and is strong. Unfortunately, he is one of those horses that needs to be ridden and exercised a LOT in order to stay fit. Luckily I have help for this task!

Corky is looking good, and is so happy ruling her little band of horses out in the pasture. I never thought she would enjoy being outside all day because she always was such a prima donna, but she is loving it! the bonus of this is because she is outside on soft ground moving around all day, sh has stayed completely sound - very little sign of her usual stiffness she suffers from.

Saturday-Sunday, June 11-12, 2016

AKC Conformation Show - Fishersville, Virginia

Virginia, you ask? Well, that's what happens when you chat with your friend from WEST Virginia about entering a show together, and you enter without really paying attention to what state it is in. So rather than a 2-3 hour drive, I had nearly a 7 hour drive to the mountains of Virginia for this weekend show. Crazy? But, of course!

Saturday started off with another milestone - we won owner-handled best of breed and earned our 1,000th NOHS point for 2016! I am pretty giddy because this was a VERY small goal of mine to POSSIBLY reach by the end of the year, and we hit it in June! But wait...the day only went on to get better...

It was pretty cool, the OH Sporting Group judge was a judge I had shown Pretzel to back when he was a 6 month old puppy. he actually won his class and took reserve winners dog that day (at a Weimaraner specialty) and it was the first time we had ever actually beaten another dog. My how times have changed haha! Pretzel showed wonderful today,he was on fire....and the judge rewarded us with a Group One!

He was still on fire for Best in Show, and I was SO excited to be awarded RESERVE BEST IN SHOW!!! How amazing is this - two weekends back to back of winning in the BIS ring. I am flying HIGH....so incredibly amazing and unbelievable and all those other adjectives I can't think of just now.

After the show, my friend and I took our Weims into Shenandoah National Park, which was only a few miles away. the scenery was breathtaking! we took a short hike on one of the trails. I am definitely DEFINITELY coming back here to do some more hiking!

Sunday started off the same in the morning (we got best opposite sex and BOBOH both days). The owner-handled sporting group went vastly different. Although he showed great again, we got shut out of the placings. Kind of funny...win reserve best in show and then the next day not even making it out of group. Oh well, such are dog shows...some days you are the windshield. Today I was the bug.

This meant that I had more time for the next leg of my trip - driving 4 hours up to Johnstown, PA to meet up with Mark and visit his dad and brother. We sure are a travellin' pair, aren't we? I am so glad Pretzel loves to travel. This would be so difficult with a dog that hated car rides.

Back home we go, and a couple weeks off before our next show. Pretzel and I need some play time!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pretzel got mail! I had no idea that when you earn a Bronze Grand Championship, AKC actually mailed you a bronze medal! Sweet! That was a nice surprise to find in my mailbox. (As always, click on the picture to enlarge it to read the accompanying letter!)

Mark brought his two dogs over for a "test run" in our new dog kennels/runs. I think all 3 dogs liked being able to go in and out of the house, and be together yet separate. Oh the joys of 3 intact male dogs...they crave company, but not too close to each other LOL! Things are moving along in the rehabbing of my new house to make it fit for 3 (and in the future - 4) Weimaraners. My present is so bright, my future is so bright, I could NOT be happier!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poop and crap. Got Tango all saddled up to ride, took him out to the arena, and he is dead lame on his left front. He has a huge scrape on the inside of his upper foreleg and it is a touch swollen, plus a bite mark on his side. He and his turnout buddies must have had a spat overnight. I sure hope that's all it is and not a harbinger of something more serious.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

well, just heard from the barn owner and Tango is 100% sound today, go figure. Little brat. It was really hot yesterday, maybe he just didn't feel like working? Oh well, try try again on Monday.

♫ Friday, June 24, 2016

The NOHS rankings were updated today through June 3rd. We took a big jump forward in points since June 3rd was when we were awarded best in Show at Dunkirk, NY. Wooo-hoooo! We are also # 22 all-breed, and #4 sporting dog. My goal is not only to end up #1 Weim, but to be in the top 20 all-breed rankings. that's going to be a lot of work! But what else are you supposed to do when you achieve goals? set new ones!

Saturday-Sunday, June 25-26, 2016

AKC Conformation show - Crown Point, IN

This weekend we were in Crown Point, Indiana. It was a hot hot HOT weekend, and the building was not air-conditioned. Pretzel spent every moment sleeping in front of his fan that he won in Alabama. We had a pretty good weekend, even though it was hot. We won BOB/OHBOB both days with an OH Sporting Group 3 on Saturday, and a Group 2 on Sunday (and my pal Katie got a Group 1 which was awesome!).

Fun times...I got to show a Pembroke welsh Corgi in the regular herding group! Woo-hoo! I have now shown 19 different breeds...several hundred more to go!

On to July, 2016...