Every year since I met Thomas and started working with dogs full time has been amazing, and I’m sure that 2012 won’t be an exception. The challenge is to prioritize. There is so much I want to do, but way too few days. Weekends are especially rare, all weekends until August are booked and that’s before they even published any herding trials. If I want to do herding trials this spring and summer, something else has to go. Probably agility trials. It’s hard decisions to make! I won’t write down any goals for the year, that never worked well for me and things never turn out as expected anyway. But I will share some thoughts on what we’re going to do this year.
Fly (mother of Squid, Epic and Win) was mated with Ids in the middle of December. We’re expecting puppies in February. The latest report from Fly’s owner is that Fly is eating like a horse and steals food. Let’s hope that it’s a sign of pregnancy and that she is getting many puppies this time. She’s only had four puppies in both her previous litters, but one can always hope. We have high hopes for this combination, Fly has given us wonderful dogs and Ids is an amazing working dog that we just love.
…and Pogue becoming a father
Pogue, Thomas working cocker spaniel, is probably going to father two litters this winter, one in Sweden and one in Finland. Very exciting, we like Pogue a lot!
I am really looking forward to this year. Starting in February, I will have four agility dogs to run. Two in medium, two in large. One in class 1 (Epic), one in class 1+2 (Pogue), one in class 2 (Squid) and one in class 3 (Shejpa). I will have my hands full! I will prioritize class 3 with Shejpa to begin, she needs a few more results to qualify for this years Swedish Championship and we will try to qualify for European Open, which is held in Sweden this year. We’re also going to defend our team gold from last years Swedish Championships.
Squid is a little crazy right now after having such a long time away from agility last year. She was away with puppies from June until September, and we have done one trial since then. My hope for 2012 is that we get synched and find some stability. I don’t really know what to expect from her yet, she is much faster than last year, something has definitely happened there. First trial for Squid is on Saturday and that’ll be very interesting. Starting to trial with Epic will be really fun. I count on him finding new gears many times during the year and my job is to keep him as cool as he is now. Doing running contacts with a big, fast dog in competition will be another fun challenge. Pogue has a lot of capacity, but since I don’t train him much (it’s Thomas’ dog) we’ll just have to see what happens.
Obedience and Working Trials
I am not doing a lot of obedience right now, except for a little training for fun and coaching Thomas. I’ve realized that I should do agility while I’m still fairly young and fast. Obedience will always be there the day when the dogs or I can’t do agility any more. I still plan to make Squid an Obedience Trial Champion, but we’ve got plenty of time for that. Thomas is doing class III with Pogue soon and maybe he’ll start Win or Sarek too during the year. Pogue will also do search and rescue trials.
We hope that we’ll find the time to do herding trials as well. We’ve got several dogs with a lot of kapacity and it’s so much fun to learn more all the time. Training is fun and trials are fascinating. I just wish there were more weekends in a year.
I have tried to work less on weekends this year, to be able to compete more. We can hopefully do some more online classes, which will free a lot of time for training and competing. We’re doing some instructing abroad. Thomas will instruct at ClickerCamp in Denmark and I’m booked in Spain. I also hope to be able to go to the U.S. this year. Some places have asked me to come and I would love to. Since it’s a long way to go, I hope to be able to visit a few places in the same trip. Let me know if you’re interested (will probably be in the fall). At home, we’re still doing some weekend seminars and I also have a weekly handling class that I love to teach. We have so much fun.
We love to learn more! We already have some exciting seminars booked at home. Jo Agnar Hansen from Norway is coming back to teach us more about herding. Vappu Alatalo will come back for a jumping seminar and Jessica Martin (FCI World Champion 2010) from Canada will do a seminar on dog training and handling here.
I’m really looking forward to 2012 and I hope you’ll follow us here.