We spent New Years Eve at home with the dogs. It was relatively calm here and the dogs did not seem to notice the fireworks at all. A new year means reflecting over the past year and what we have accomplished. The biggest thing that happened to us was of course moving in to our very own house. We’ve lived here for five months now and we couldn’t be happier here, it’s just perfect! We’ve had some really cold days (-20 C) and quite a lot of snow. Perfect for celebrating christmas with our families, not so perfect for dog training. We mostly do sessions indoors (and that isn’t really a problem, there are so many things to work on that doesn’t require a lot of space). We’re also fortunate to have a riding facility really close by, and we get to use it pretty much when ever we like. I have most of my agility equipment there and we do all of our classes and seminars there this winter. I’m hoping to do some herding there this weekend too, that’ll be an interesting experience.
My cute girls waiting for their turn
Looking back at this year, it has been a fairly good one. Shejpa did her first year of trialing (well, she did two trials in 2008) and got into the highest level, earned her Agility Trial Championship and qualified for swedish nationals next year. We’re still far from where I’d like to be, and we have a lot of work to do, but I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made. Shejpa and I also did a seminar with Greg Derrett in December, and I’m happy to see the amazing progress she’s made since last year (I don’t think Greg yelled “spaniel” at all this year…). Shejpa has also gone hunting with Thomas a few times and she’s really the best when it gets tough (she’s not the most obedient spaniel, but no one
Missy and I did not accomplish as much as I had hoped for, but she got her Obedience Trial Championship and did some good trials. Squid is now 15 months old and we haven’t started to trial yet. She’s taking a long time to mature and she’s been a new kind of challenge for me. I’m very thankful for everything that she’s teaching me and I feel like we’re really making good progress now! Her tugging is a lot better, she’s starting to be able to concentrate for longer periods of time and she’s got speed and passion where she needs it. She’s making progress in herding and I hope to be able to start trialing in 2010.
Squid herding on Christmas Eve
My new years resolution is to become a better blogger and writer. I’m going to update this blog more often and share videos and pictures with you all. I’m also going to write a book about shaping. (Look – no “I’ll try” or “I’ll start writing”… it took me a few tries to get that right). Right now, I’m working on an update on my article on retrieving (in Swedish). I will translate it and put it in this blog along with videos.