Monday, August 29, 2011

Jam-in at Balston Beach

 A picture perfect day for a hike through the hills of Truro to Balston Beach, which is on the Atlantic Ocean.
 We couldn't imagine that the beach would be empty on such a gorgeous August day,
 The surf was a bit rough due to Hurrican Irene and there was a high surf warning.  The little black dot out in the water is a seal.  We saw a number of seals swimming offshore amid the seagulls floating on the surface.
 Jam loved spending time with us and running along the beach,
 Here I come!
 And what could be better than shorebirds to point...we think these are terns.
 August is considered the best month for observing shorebirds on Cape Cod.
 Jam had a wonderful workout and was quite tired when she joined us for dinner at an outdoor cafe in Provincetown.

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...

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!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Certifect: Cover Girl Jam

Jam on the cover of the sales brochure
 We received an exciting package in the mail yesterday...samples of Certifect by the makers Frontline and copies of all the promotional materials that Jam was used in for the launch and on the packaging.  She looks just stunning in all the photos!
 Folded brochure.  All of these promotional materials were given out at the AVMA Convention in St. Louis that we attended in July with Jam and Trixie for the Certifect product launch.
 Special discount coupon
 Single flyer with Jam on the packaging
Certifect package insert for dogs 45-88 lbs.

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 2 B- Agility Star Jam's Videos!

As previously posted, Jam had a great day at the Tarheel Weimaraner Club's Agility Trial in Sanford, NC on July 24th.  She earned her Open Jumpers with Weaves title with a 3rd place!  Then, the pressure was on to qualify in Excellent Standard.

Jam did have a nice Excellent Standard run, her 1st leg and received a 3rd place plus won the Tarheel Weimaraner Club High Combined Award - the giant Armadillo Duck!  The BonClyde Training Center venue was terrific, with a nice, soft dirt floor, lots of air conditioned crating space and warm up area.  The TWC put on a great trial, with yummy food and fun trophies, making our trip definitely a worthwhile one!

My wild girl is running fairly consistently and with control.  Happy that we can do all those front crosses, running contacts and a big lead out.  We'll be working on increasing speed in the weaves and gaining distance.

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...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 2 - Agility Star Jam!

Jam with her new title & 3rd place ribbons for earning her OAJ title! 
We arrived in Sanford, NC on Friday, after an eight hour drive from PA, to compete in the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trial.  It was a relief to finally check into the hotel and get a chance to relax and let the dogs loose in the room.  Debbie, Sky's owner, arrived and we went out for a fabulous dinner at the Steele Pig, which I would highly recommend.  A more upscale BBQ restaurant with a talented chef who brings wonderful flavors to traditional barbecue. Debbie had to leave Sky at home due to her coming into season as bitches in season are not allowed at agility trials. My girls made her feel right at home and Savi even slept with her.

We rose early Saturday morning to head over to Bon Clyde Learning Center, the venue for the agility trial.  Thankfully, the facility is indoors and air conditioned, as we were having a heat wave with temps in around 100 degrees.  We set up the crates and settled the dogs and off I went to walk the Excellent Standard course.  The one ring trial was set in a large arena with a dirt floor and metal building. The Tarheel Club did a terrific job with their hospitality and it was a very well run trial.  Plus, I met a number of lovely Weim folks and saw old friends. Jessica, Mia's owner arrived late morning, and not only helped the club but taped my runs.  Those will be uploaded when I return home.  My girls were the only Weims at the trial.  Trixie had a good run but missed qualifying due to a handle error.  Jam was a bit wild, as the dirt floor made a fast course, and she's never run in this type of environment, but everyone was entertained by her fun run, especially when she had to greet the crowd.  A thunderstorm rolled in just before our Open Jumpers runs and the pounding rain on the metal roof upset Trixie and Jam and I pulled both of them off the course when they showed signs of stress.  Better to throw away the run or know when to excuse yourself from the ring in order to protect your dog from a negative experience.

Sunday was a new day and Jam was up first in our runs.  Boy did she make me proud when she qualified in Open Jumpers with Weaves to earn her OAJ title! She even placed 3rd in the class.  The club had special Armadillo retrieving toy prizes for all Weims who qualified and even a High Combined award for the highest scoring Weim to double qualify. I picked the quail toy shown in the photo. Trixie again had a decent run but we had a bauble so no Q.
Jam and me, with Judge David Blakely, with all her trophies and ribbons for High Combined
The pressure was on for us to qualify in Excellent Standard and win the High Combined award.  Again, Jam ran with speed and control to qualify for her 1st Excellent Standard leg and even got a 3rd place!  Trixie was up at the end of the lineup and my worst fears came true, a thunderstorm rolled in right before her run. She was stressed and after the 4th obstacke, she was not a happy camper from the thunder and rain noise, so I thanked the judge and excused her from the course.  My first priority is her safety and well being.

With Jam double qualifying, she was awarded the High Combined award!   A wonderful honor and she was given the giant duck!

Jam is now CH Grayhart's Purple Haze, CD,JH,OA,OAJ,NSD,CGC,VX
Getting ready for our win photo with the judge.  The a-frame makes a nice background.

The adventures continue as we followed Jessica home to Wilmington.  We have plans to take the dogs swimming and retrieving, to obedience classes and tour downtown Wilmington.

The Grayhart Girls Great Southern Adventure - Part 1

Last Thursday, we loaded up the minivan for the beginning of our almost two week adventure down South to visit friends, Grayhart pups, compete in agility trials and dog shows.  Our first stop was an overnight in PA to visit Trixie's breeders, Michael and Amy of GraytSky Weimaraners. They live on a beaucolic property with 12 acres of pasture and forest.  Heavenly for people and dogs to run and relax.
The highlight was playing with their litter of 6 1/2 week old Maestro x Mia pups.  Adorable and active, who can't resist these babies!
 I love pups this age, friendly, playful and full of curiousity.  Wonderful temperaments and lovely conformation, many of these pups will be going to show and performance homes.
Already mastering the agility equipment!
One of the most interesting things is how dogs remember their breeders and have a special connection to them.  Trixie is no exception.  Although she has seen Amy and Michael over the years on and off, whenever she sees them, they get a greeting like no other, hysterical kissing and an outpouring of love from Trixie. 
 Michael has a special touch with the dogs and they all love girls are no exception...
Savi, Jam and Trixie vying for a treat and attention...
Savi even had some stacking practice and training to get ready for her big Futurity show weekend in Greenville, South Carolina on the 28th.  We're thrilled with how she's maturing.

We left PA for the long drive down to Sanford, North Carolina for the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trials...more news to follow...