Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer fun continues

Savi is our resident retriever, loves to retrieve whether on land or in the water.  We let her play with the Armadillo brand Quail toy that Jam won as a trophy for qualifying at the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trial back in July.. Whar is amazing is that this salt marsh is right outside our house and at high tide becomes a  fabulous place for the dogs to swim.  At other times, the perfect place for a romp.
Savi and her quail toy
 Life is good when you have a view like this!
 Savi waiting for the throw...she's always ready for fun and games!
 Jam, practicing her whoa and sister, Savi, did an automatic back, very cool.
There must be critters in these holes...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tuckered out

Savi, all tuckered out after our 3 hour hike/run in the Salt Marsh and then along the beach.  She ran, hunted, swam and retrieved - basically, had a blast.  She even dove into the Bay and swam after a Cormerand, thought she would swim to Boston and finally turned around and came back to us. Then, it was nap time in a comfy chair.  As they say, a tired Weim is a good Weim!

Summer fun on the Cape!

 On the road again...this time for our annual summer holiday on Cape Cod.  We call it our little slice of heaven and you can see why from these photos.
 The dogs love running in the salt marsh and we have amazing views from our rental house.
 Running along the beach at Pamet Harbor and viewing the boats.
 Trixie and Savi cooling off.  We've had spectacular weather - perfect beach day and cool evenings.
 Savi doing what she loves best, swimming and retrieving...until she find birds!
 Savi found the big prize...a dead seagull! Yuck but she retrieved it and dropped it on command.  Good girl!
Fisher Beach, just beautiful!

and a fabulous way to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 5: Major Win for Savi!

Our trip down south just continued to get better and better, the first weekend with Jam's awesome agility trial performance, then, spending time training with Jessica and Diane, and then Savi's Futurity placement.  We were entered for all four days of the WCA Southern Regional show weekend and were set up comfortably near the Weim ring to view all the excitement and have the dogs close.  On Friday, the dogs showed well, with Savi and Sky, Grayhart Lightfoot Early Morning Rain,RN,JH,TD,NSD, both placing 4th in their classes.  Another day, another show....we had a good time with friends and hoped for better results the next day.

Well, Saturday was our day...I showed Savi, Grayhart's Shear Genius,JH,NSD,CGC (Clay x Trixie) and won the BBE (Bred-by-Exhibitor class).  The judge, Jim Martin, didn't even place us in order and after the last go round, pointed to us and said first place!  We then waited patiently for the Winner's class.  In the Open bitch class, Mia-belle went 2nd and Sky was 4th place.  Then we nervously went in for the Winner's class.   Everyone stacked their dogs, did the go around, then down and back and then the judge pointed to us... Savi was Winner's Bitch for a 5-point Major!!!!  I screamed in joy and then got my ribbon.  A friend then took Savi in the breed class for me, since Jam was also being shown and it would have been too distracting for her if I was in the ring.  Savi showed well and was awarded Best of Winners!

The results for the July 30th Greater Charleston Supported Entry at Spartenburg Kennel Club show...Savi, Grayhart's Shear Genius,JH,NSD,CGC, WB/BOW for a 5-pt major!  This was quite a thrill, especially doing it from the BBE class and it was wonderful to have some of our Grayhart family and friends there to cheer us on.  Savi now has 6-pts towards her AKC champion title.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 4: Futurity Placement for Savi!

Savi 2nd place WCA Southern Futurity Intermediate Bitch Class!

The first day of the WCA Southern Futurity/Maturity regional show weekend was an exciting one and extremely hot, with the outdoor temperature hitting 103 degrees!  The show took place in Greenville, SC, a huge indoor, air conditioned venue, that hosts one of the largest dog shows in the country, with approximately 2800 dogs entered per day Friday through Sunday!  Thursday was the WCA Southern Futurity/Maturity and Greater Charleston Weimaraner Club Specialty show along with four other breed club specialties.  There was a last minute judge change for the Futurity/Maturity and Bonnie Linnell Clark was the new judge.  Savi, Grayhart's Shear Genius, JH,NSD,CGC, was in the Intermediate Futurity class and looked fabulous with handler Carissa Demilta Shimpeno.  There were eight in her class and we were thrilled when Savi was awarded 2nd place!  This was tough competition with dogs and professional handlers from all over the country.  With Savi's littermate Bravo winning the Western Futurity, we were thrilled that Savi had such a good showing.
Stacking during the class...our lovely, typey girl
Savi with her effortless movement and reach and drive.  

The show was a mini-reunion of Grayhart pups, with my three girls, Momma Trixie, Jam, Savi, and Sky (Jam's littermate) and Mia-belle (out of our Zeke litter) all present and crated together for a weekend of fun and socializing.  Jessica did a terrific job showing Mia-belle in her maturity, and didn't let a sprained ankle stop her from competing in the show.  Mia-belle showed well but again, the competition was fierce and I think that Jess was the only non-professional handler in the ring.

The afternoon brought on the Greater Charleston Specialty show, with a large entry of 92 dogs, under judge Jean Fournier.  Eight of the ten top ten Weimaraners in the country were entered in the Best of Breed class and both the dog and bitch points were 5-point majors!  Savi showed nicely for me in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class and received a 3rd place, while Sky, Grayhart Lightfoot Early Morning Rain, RN,JH,TD, shown by Susan Wise, placed 2nd in a very competitive Open bitch class.  Both Winner's Dog and Winner's Bitch were out of Parker, GCH HiBourne's It's All About Me, the sire of Sky and Jam.  

With 30 dogs and bitches entered in Best of Breed, I was quite happy that CH Jam made the judges cut. 
 Jam moving well in the breed ring!
 A fun time to sit ringside with friends and cheer Jam on in the breed ring.
All moving and ring shots by Phyllis Ensley Photography.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 3 - Wilmington fun!

 After the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trial in Sanford, NC, blogged about in a previous post, we followed Jessica and Mia-belle, Grayhart's Special Request, CD,RA,NSD, home for a couple of days of fun in Wilmington, NC.  I've never been to Wilmington and enjoyed touring the downtown with Jess and going in all the little shops.  The main part of trip was to do dog stuff - no surprise there.  Jess is fortunate to train with Diane Gallagher of Dogtrain, who runs one of the premier dog training schools in Wilmington and also specializes in retriever training.  We spent our first morning watching Diane work many talented retrievers, from beginner to master hunter levels dogs, retrieve bumpers from launchers and do blind duck retrieves.  Then it was Savi's turn to work on her duck retrieves as this is one area she needed some help in. 
 Savi has had limited exposure to ducks and when she first met one at the retrieving ratings test last fall, that was a surprise and she did not want to retrieve it during the test.  Once introduced, she was happy to retrieve the duck and as you can see, although the duck is quite large for her, she does what it takes to bring it to me!
 Savi had no problem retrieving the duck from different distances and was happy to finally get her turn in the water.

Jam's training was focused on getting her to swim with confidence.  Unlike her sister Savi, who is a fish in the water, Jam would rather watch from the sidelines.  To help instill confidence, we put a long line on Jam and used a technique called a restrained recall to get her to swim across the water to me.
 The trainer held Jam while I walked to the other side of the pond.  I then called Jam to me and she had no choice but to swim across the water to me.  She was not pulled across but the long line helped guarantee a water entry.  Jam did well swimming across the pond and we practiced this several times and then did it again the next day.
 Jam was happy to be near the water and seemed more comfortable.  Hopefully, we can practice this more over the summer and get her to enter the water independently and work towards water retrieves.

We were quite impressed watching Mia-belle during her water and land retrieves and know that not only will she be ready for her NRD (Novice Retrieving Dog) this fall , but on her way to getting her RD (Retrieving Dog) title as well.

The next day was obedience Tuesday, with Trixie being our main focus.  Since she was entered in obedience in Greenville, I wanted to do open obedience exercises and run throughs in a new environment and have Diane, who is an accomplished obedience competitor, watch and give us feedback.  We had a great lesson and Trixie did well.  I was then able to work Savi and Jam in Diane's group classes, which Jess assists, and enjoyed Diane's philosophy and teaching style.  What a treat to see where Mia-belle trains and meet Jess' mentor and friend, Diane.

Our whirlwind trip to Wilmington was over and on Wednesday the 27th, we packed up and drove across the beautiful state of North Carolina to Debbie and Sky's house.  More on that later...