What else does one do over Easter, but enter some Rally Trials. We've done almost no training at all this year and my ankle injury about 6 weeks ago really hadn't helped with our preparations but off we went. I'm really glad we did.
On the first day, on a max'd out course (maximum number of signs, with a maximum number of the most difficult 'Excellent' signs) including stations I know are not Mischa's strong suit, she did me super proud with a qualifying pass and a score of 80/100.
I was so relieved and pleased she had passed but had no idea until presentations at the end of the trial that Mischa had also taken 1st place on the course! I was astonished as thats not a high score by any stretch of the imagination. But I think its a testament to the difficulty of the course that a score of 80 took 1st place. It really was a tough layout. That pass also gave Mischa her 3 passes for her Rally Excellent Title. I'm so proud of Mischa and she's now probably retired from sports except for the odd outing maybe to keep her young at heart.
On Day 2, I decided to leave Mischa at home with her hu-dad. She tends to prefer it anyway. I was so nervous, as I always am, but I have no idea why. Dolce aced his course. A couple of minor errors for enthusiasm (and a typical 10 point deduction for incorrectly performing a station by taking an additional step - yep, its that tough in Excellent) and he passed with a score of 88/100. Yep, 'Dolce' only lost 2 points. Each was after a jump as he gets so excited that he bounces in front of me before returning to heel. But i'll never discourage his enthusiasm and will happily take point deductions if he's happy to be there though I might try to tidy up his returns for future trials. We were complimented several times over the weekend for Dolce's 'very promising' / 'lovely to watch' work ethic. He was a star and now has his first pass in Rally Excellent. I need to work on keeping him in the ring after the course finishes as he thinks we should be running for the rewards as soon as it ends. But I was just so happy with his work, I kept kissing him and telling him how good he was for hours afterwards. He loved all the attention and especially the treats. As usual, both nights saw me driving thru the McDonalds Drive-Thru for 'Nuggies' as their ultimate reward for dinner.
With puppies only a few days old it was rather ambitious of me to enter a double Rally trial. But i told myself if i didn't go then the next one would be forever away and i was only going to get busier.
So at silly o'clock in the morning and running on nothing resembling decent sleep i bundled Dolce and Mischa into the car and we headed to the Dogs Victoria Inaugural State Rally Trial at KCC Park.
The ground was incredibly soggy but the weather was lovely. After several hours of waiting we finally got to go in with Dolce first up. He only needed the one pass in Advance (And i'd already told myself that was my main goal). It wasn't his best performance but he did get his pass and now has enough qualifications to get his Rally Advance title. I was especially pleased that he wasn't distracted by any of the other dogs trialling and practicing around him even if it took all his willpower. He's come so far and i'm very proud of him.
A few more hours and the lack of sleep developed into a nasty headache. Mischa was surprisingly not in the mood for her trial with me having to encourage her around the first half before i stumbled through one station with her, flustered, misread the next station and cost us enough points that we didn't pass.
With it already being after 1pm, and dozens of dogs to go, and an hour long break before the start of the second trial, I decided to take our one pass and call it a day. The dogs were happy to be in the car and we stopped for the traditional McDonalds McBites treats on the way home to share with Summer.
Photos below: trying to get that perfect shot of Dolce. Just love him.
Passes for Dolce and Mischa today in Rally trials at Hastings & District Obedience Club.
We haven't trialled in about 12 months and we've only been back to Obedience classes twice in that time. On top of that I was sick last week so didn't get the chance for that last minute practice I'd been planning on.
Still they did me very proud.
Mischa scored a 94/100 in Advanced B. I put her in this class just to brush off the cobwebs and give her a practice run before tackling the Rally Excellent course. As timing went she had a 1 dog breather between runs but she was on fire and there was no stopping her. Mischa scored a 97/100 in the Rally Excellent course and earned her first qualification. So proud of this beautiful and intelligent girl. She just keeps rising to the occassion.
Dolce gained his 2nd pass in Rally Advance with an 88/100. I cost him a few points when i forgot to complete a station correctly and elected to take the penalty and do it again so I was so happy with him for scoring so well on the rest of the course. He made some noises at me along the course as he was pretty happy to be there. I was laughing at his woo's and grumbles (Especially the grumbling when we had to redo the station i got wrong). Had a great day out although we didn't get home til it was dark and cold.
Pompe's Disease (GSD-II)
We received the happy news that Summers mother and father have both tested Clear for Pompes (GSD-II) which means that Summer is clear by parentage. As Dolce's parents have also tested clear (making him also Clear by Parentage) this also clears our A litter of pups born in November 2013.
Health test results are published on the Lapphund Club of Finlands website periodically. Anyone can submit results for their dogs to be included on this site, predominantly set up for Finlands registered Swedish and Finnish Lapphunds and Lapponian Herders.
Click here for the list of Pompes tested Lappies or here for the homepage
Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (CDM / DM / DGMY) With information coming to light recently that an unrelated Finnish Lapphund in Australia tested as a Carrier for a gene mutation linked to the disease Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, we decided to screen Summer and Dolce for this mutation, getting the all clear and subsequently clearing our A litter.
While there will continue to be many questions surrounding the disease, including its prevalence and its impact, if any, on the Finnish Lapphund, we elected to screen our dogs to have as complete a picture as possible.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us
'The Armani Collection have all departed for new homes across the states of Australia.
We have been hearing stories about their progress with their new families and the delight they are bringing their owners. We are so thrilled to have such happy, vibrant puppies, bringing so much joy to their new owners.
Their registration papers are back and our webpages have been updated. There is more information on the litter here. Photos below taken at 8 weeks by our wonderful friend at MG Studios
Dolce was a superstar today at Obedience and didn't miss a beat. You wouldnt think he'd just come back from a two week break. Due to other commitments we could only take the one dog to training today and i thought Dolce might benefit from the practice. It was our first time in the Advanced class and Dolce executed every manoeuvre perfectly.
There were a few suffering from first day back silliness, including a giant, lovable Doberman, Rousseau, who spent a lot of time rolling in the grass and a pair of SWF's that just couldnt resist the urge to play together, The weather was perfect and it was a great first day back. Next week we will be joined by Jimmy Devine, Dolce's new Staffy buddy, who's starting Puppy socialisation classes. Here is the handsome Jimmy below
Mischa and Dolce went for their Eye Exams last week. Dolce passed without a problem.
Mischa, however was diagnosed with GRD, a moderate form of Retinal Dysplasia. It's a very subtle case, and the specialists have assessed that Mischa's eye sight should never suffer because of it. Whilst it may be caused by trauma or infection in utero, Specialists believe Retinal Dysplasia to be an inherited condition, though there are currently no genetic tests to check for GRD.
Because of this we at Caleebra, together with Jacqualine Lincoln at Armahani don't believe it's worth the risk, and have decided that Mischa will not be used in our breeding program. It is a sad day for all of us. Mischa is a gorgeous Finnish Lapphund with great structure and movement. We'd always believed she would be a great mother since observing her post-season 'phantom' pregnancies where she devoted all her energy to painstakingly 'nesting' and 'nursing' her 'puppies' (toys).
We will devote Mischa's future to her first love, which is training, of ALL sorts.
We had our first obedience assessment day at the Queanbeyan and District Dog Training Club.
I'm happy to announce that they both passed and will be progressing to the next level mid July.
Dolce was the standout today and was just pipped for 1st place, taking out 2nd with a score of 91/100.
Not bad considering the amazing amount of distractions today.
Mischa also did well, but found all the 'stay' work a bit too boring. We will have to work on teaching the little miss some patience. On a positive note, we did discover today that Mischa has a mean commando crawl.
There's a pause now in the classes until mid July which gives us time to enjoy a few shows and maybe attend some flyball training.
Home to the infamous