My Beagles...

Emma and Levi......are 5 months apart. Emma was born 3 November 2004 and I soon realised she needed a playmate. I was very lucky to find Levi within a few months of getting Emma, as I waited nearly two years for Emma!Levi was born 28 March 2005 and was the naughtiest puppy alive! Him and Emma immediately hit it off and became the best of Beagle Buddies.I desperately needed to find an outlet for my Beagle kids' energy, and ventured into the world of agility. It soon became one of my biggest passions, apart from the Beagle breed, and today Emma and Levi are both competing in the top grades. I made a friend in Slovenia, running her Beagle Xsara in agility, and she inspired me to start teaching them tricks. I'm enjoying it very much and hopefully this blog will be as entertaining and inspiring to others, as Xsara's is to me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Playing catch-up… PART 1

I guess it’s time to play catch-up! I have not been away, just extremely busy!

So since I’ve last written, so much has happened. Let’s start where I left off in Jan. after our Stilbaai trip…

The SA Champs and AWC Qualifying Rounds kicked off on 24 January, and only having done one full course the week before with my BC Chinzi after her tendon injury, I was extremely nervous!

To my delight, she performed extremely well for a young dog who had only been competing for 2 months and then were off for 4 months. Apart from knocking a few poles, 2 in the Contact round and one in Non-Contact, she ran beautifully, getting all her Contacts and making the high set course times of 4m/s for Contact and 4.5m/s for Non-Contact fairly easily with seconds to spare.

The Beagles, well, they were themselves… Levi DQ’ing in the Contact round, but having a brilliant fast clear round in Non-Contact. Emma had 2 clear rounds, but both with some time-faults.

The courses were fair, nothing too challenging though. The second round on the 31st of January was an absolute nightmare and actually great examples of extremely poor course design. There were horrible angles and handlers had to run around the dogwalk ramps and all sorts which made for very uncomfortable handling. Chinzi once again surprised me, and although she missed her dogwalk and A-frame contact due to very tight turns thereafter with traps staring her in the face straight ahead, and one knocked pole, she excelled in the Non-Contact round to win this one Nationally! :)

With the ‘running around the dogwalk downramp’… for the first time in a very long time, I managed to DQ Emma as the flip out the tunnel didn’t work so well & she went back into it. :( At least Levi responded beatifully and although he very weirdly knocked a pole, something he NEVER does, he otherwise had a good Contact round but sadly due to a bad handling error on my part, DQ’d on a serpentine in the Non-Contact round. :(

The first two rounds were over, and we had a month break before the next two, to catch our breath, train and prepare some more & then finally have our last 2 chances on qualifying.

On the 6th of Feb, I took to the road again, fetching my dear little Kooikerhondje puppy from Mosselby, yup, I got her! :) It was a rather scary experience, as the day arrived there, she didn’t want to have anything to do with me and I doubted whether I picked the right pup some weeks before, as her littermates now were the ones interested in playing with me! Well, Saturday morning, she suddenly changed around and came running up to me, from then onwards we have been inseperable! She’s a stunning little dog with loads of drive & speed, so we can only hope this will transfer to the agility ring at a later stage. For now we are doing tricks, chasing Beagles, playing tug and having all sorts of puppy fun!

So I missed a show on the 7th, coming back with my pup, but most certainly worth it! On the 8th we had an Open Show where I could relax a little and work on what had been bugging. Highlights of this day was Chinzi qualifying in Non-Contact with a beautiful 5m/s clear round and Levi winning Top Grade Non-Contact also running over 5m/s.

The week thereafter we had our club’s Open Show and sadly Chinzi had the most stunning Contact round, knocking the very last bar to just lose out on a qualification! :( She did however manage another qualification in Non-Contact, this time running at 5.7m/s! WOW girl!

Emma had two clear rounds, unfortunately only getting her a 2nd and a 4th placing, Levi DQ’ing in Contact but again having a wonderful 4.8m/s victory in Non-Contact. My boy is getting better and better and faster and faster, YAY!

Chinzi & Levi were the two fastest dogs on the day, so mom was delighted!

Neverending weekends of agility continued into 21/22 Feb when we had our SADAA Regional Trials. Levi stunned me this weekend by winning two medals in Agility, one Silver and one Bronze. Remember, in SADAA we jump different heights, IFCS categories, so my poor 42.8cm boy has to compete with 49cm Border Collies! This to me was an incredible achievement on his part!!! Not only does he very seldom go clear in Agility (Contact) rounds, he also beat quite a few of his much taller BC counterparts on time! All this jumping over 55cm jumps instead of the FCI 45cm jumps he’s more used to. My boy amazed me! Emma was her little consistent self, never featuring in the medals, but still performing well enough to come 2nd overall in the Mini category!

Chinzi did not have such a good weekend… only qualifying in Agility once with a brilliant round, having a few knocked bars in the other rounds, just keeping us out the qualifications.

Before I continue with the Champ Shows and last AWC qualifiers, let me take a break first…

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Photos in slideshow courtesy of Gary Killian.

Levi pulling out front in Drag Hunt

Photos in slideshow courtesy of Nico Nel.