Monday, May 23, 2011

Dog Days

  The last two weeks have been very busy times for the dogs.  We hosted an Ice Cream Social and Fun Match for the Northern Virginia Collie club last week-end, and almost every spare minute was spent getting the property, the kennel and the dogs ready for the event.
  We did take a break for some fun, and took Jackson with us to the Reston Pet Fiesta on May 7.  It was very crowded and a bit hot.  We did get some nice samples of dog products, one of which was a treat that Jackson really liked and would put him into "show mode".  After the Pet Fiesta, we went to Casanel Winery to relax and have an early dinner.  They now occasionally offer meals, prepared by a chef from a great restaurant.  We enjoyed individual pizzas, good cheese and a pate.

This Newfie knew where to spend the day at the Reston Pet Fiesta!

Jackson meets an admirer at the Pet Fiesta

Jackson at Casanel

  The next week was spent intensely preparing for the Ice Cream Social.  I was in charge of the raffle and had contacted dog companies for prizes.  The generous donations started to arrive that week--it was like Christmas!  Our UPS driver is now on a first name basis with me.
  All of our preparations were going along quite smoothly, but there was one key element we couldn't control--the weather.  The forecast called for rain and thunderstorms for all of Sunday.  We decided to make the call on postponing the Social a last minute decision.  The day started cloudy, then cleared and the sun came out.  The Social was a go!  The turnout was about what we expected and the day was a blast!
  I entered Gibson in two of the Match classes--Best Muzzle and Best Expression.  He was second in Best Muzzle!  It was a good dry run for him getting back into the show ring as it was very much a show atmosphere, just very relaxed.
  Lauren even got to show again.  A neighbor's granddaughter wanted to try Junior Handling but didn't have a dog.  I threw a show collar and lead on Lauren and off they went.  Even though it's been over three years since Lauren has shown, she knew exactly what to do and loved every second of it!
Just a few of the raffle prizes.

Gibson, back in the ring!

Lauren, happy to be showing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The New Gibson

  I enrolled Gibson in a Basic Agility class in March through the Dulles Gateway Obedience Training Club and now we're taking a Just for Fun Agility Class.  What a difference this has made in him!  He's much more confident and is overall a happier dog.  He plays more with the dogs at home, has a twinkle in his eye and is mischievous like he was as a pup.  He's more relaxed when we take him to public places and is interested in the activity around him instead of being nervous.  We're hoping this new confidence will transfer to the show ring and have entered him at the Mattaponi Kennel Club shows in two weeks to see what will happen.
  Our Just for Fun Agility class just started this past week.  There's only five dogs in the class, Gibson had lots of run throughs in an hour!  He was pretty tired by the end of class and I had lots of exercise, too!  David was on vacation last week so he came along to watch and take pictures.  We ended a fun evening with dinner at Doener Bistro.  Gibson got his share of my doener and fries, of course!
  There's more pictures of Gibson on the Hillcroft Collies Facebook page.