Welcome to Diva's and Tessa's Adventures 2008. We started the year with a New Years trial in Pomona, CA. It was a three ring trial, my very first. I ran not only Diva, but Tessa. However, Tessa was in Open and that meant running from ring to ring to try to get my walk-throughs and my runs. I was pooped out and almost missed one run all together. It was not one of our more successful trials Q wise, but we did have a lot of fun. However, I promised myself not to do a three ring trial with the dogs at different levels again. It was just too confusing, tiring and stressful!

Diva and Tessa January 2008

January found us on a plane for Portland, OR. This was Tessa's first plane trip and her first time trialing indoors on mats with a large audience. Diva really hates flying. In the Spokane airport she managed to slip out of her collar and she ran for the exit. I used her sheep herding call, Lie down, You! She dropped in the OPEN door to the street! I ran across the airport and grabbed her up. Thank goodness for her few sheep herding lessons! Tessa got to fly in the cabin in a crate under the seat. She wasn't too happy, but not nearly as unhappy as poor Diva, who hates to fly in the cargo.

Once in Portland we went to our favorite hotel, the Red Lion in Jensen Beach. The rooms are spacious and there is a restaurant and bar in the hotel which is very convenient. Except for some mix ups on the bus picking us up to take us to the trials, it was a very nice stay. Tessa did very well the first three days, getting Q's on all her runs except the FAST class. However by the 4th day we were tired and she got no Q's at all. Diva and I had only one Q on the first day, and then we got 3 double Q's on the rest of the days. So tired or not, Diva and I did really well at this trial. Tessa was quite the ham, entertaining the audience and even coming back out of the tunnel and behind me to the delight of the audience- which of course made the run an "NQ", but very funny. She was fast and fun and not at all worried about the environment, the audience, the noise, the mats, the lights, etc. She was ready to run and play agility!

While in Portland we used this opportunity to get new "glam" shots of the girls. As usual they both did well at posing beautifully and it was hard to choose the pictures. Above is one of the pictures. Click on this link to see the other beautiful pictures done by Betty Hogan of Dart Dog (formerly with Family Tree). Her pictures are very well done and I highly recommend her..

The next AKC trial schedule was the 2008 Nationals in Tulsa, OK. However before leaving for Tulsa there was a very fun NADAC trial with 6 games per day in near by Deer Park, WA (just north of Spokane, WA). I entered both dogs in all the games and off we went. It was great fun, but very long and tiring days. Each dog did really well. Tessa earned a Novice Standard title and got many qualifying runs. Diva also earned a couple of NADAC titles- Open Jumpers and Novice Weavers titles. It was fun to play different games and have the trials near by.

The end of March and we were off to Tulsa, OK. We were worried about the drive as it was snowing at home in the Coeur d'Alene, ID area. But as soon as we cleared our local area, the rest of the drive had clear weather all the way to Tulsa, OK. Four days of driving and we arrived on Monday before the trial. I rented some time practice time at the local dog school. While there the local TV station came out and interviewed not only the owner of the school, but me too! They got great shots of both the dogs and played them on TV. Click this link to view our TV video.

The Nationals were fun, the courses were really challenging. Diva and I got two clean runs out of three this year. Tessa came with us and stayed in her crate while Diva and I ran the courses. I rented a stall so we could have our own little quiet area. The facilities were really nice with climate controlled arenas, well groomed dirt and even flush toilets near by (yeah!). The dirt was very orange and both dogs ended up with very orange feet.

Diva and Tessa in our stall 2008

Our stall 2008

Diva with her ribbons Nationals 2008

Note: When I get the photos and videos from the Nationals I will add them.

After the Nationals we drove home, just missing a tornado in Tulsa, OK. We got home only to have more snow; more rain, more snow, more rain. We are tired of snow and rain. It is April now and we are looking forward to nice weather. Our next trial will be in Helena, MT April 25 to April 27, 2008. I have entered Tessa in her first Excellent A trial. With both dogs doing the same course, I don't have to keep different configurations in mind, just different handling! Tessa is a big challenge. Fast, spunky and a bit unpredictable she requires me to run more and think about different handling techniques than I use for Diva. Following Helena we have a "local" trial just north of Spokane, WA at Nine Mile Park on May 9, 10 and 11, 2008. Following that trial my husband, Ron, will travel with us for a 4 day trial (May 23 to May 26, 2008) in Eugene, WA.

April 27, 2008: Returned home from Helena, MT after 3 days of trialing. I had entered Tessa in her first Excellent level trials and she qualified in two Jumpers courses. Our standard runs were less than perfect, but coming along with the exception that Tessa jumped the A frame contact on the last day. Yes, a little 5 pound dog can leap off of the A frame and keep going at top speed! Tessa also got her first "leg" (qualifying score) in Open FAST. Tessa also managed to do a complete spin on top of the teeter as it wouldn't drop fast enough for her. She runs so fast I can't breathe at the end of a run. I received my T-shirt the next day with the picture below that tells it all! I have joined a gym!

Susy and Tessa at the end of a run cartoon
Get Personal Designs

Diva did nicely with two double Q's for the weekend. We could have had 3, but I accidentally pulled her off of a jump resulting in a "refusal". However by the end of the weekend Diva's contacts were really bad and the judge warned me that she was only 1/4" inside of the contacts and my little dog leaped her contact too, so I had better get back to training! Yes, madam!

Diva flying over the jump April 2008
April 2008, Helena, MT:
Diva really clears the jump.
Photo above and the two below by Best In Show Photography. Photoshop art work by Susy

Tessa leaping through the weaves April 2008
Tessa leaps through the weaves. Check out the shadow under her.

Tessa still doesn't like the table
Tessa still doesn't like to sit still for the table, but she did it!

Diva over the panel May 2008

May 9, 10, 11: Spokane Dog Club at Sontag Park, Nine Mile, WA (North Spokane): Beautiful weather, no rain some wind gusts. Diva and I got one double Q and some really nice 1st places. Tessa was somewhat unreliable running here and there and not paying attention. I found out that there was deer poop in the grass and even though the club members tried to clean up, the smell was just too interesting for Tessa. She did get her AXJ title, one leg in EX A standard and her first leg and 10 MACH points in EX B jumpers.

Tessa flying May 2008

Diva at 9 Mile Falls May 2008
Three photos above by Pat Schlesinger

May 16, 17, 18: Seattle Kennel Club at Argus Ranch in Auburn, WA: Diva and I just were not clicking, no double Q's at all so we are still holding at 138 double Q's- we need two more for MACH 7. Next weekend we have 4 days in Eugene, OR. Now Tessa on the other hand had a really good trial; she earned two qualifying Excellent A standard runs which gave her her Excellent A Standard title and two Open FAST runs that qualified her for an Open FAST title. Now she is in Excellent B in both jumpers and standard and can start to try for those hard to get double Q's.

Tessa with her title ribbons May 2008

May 23, 24: MacKenzie Cascade Dog Fanciers, and May 25, 26: Eugene Kennel Club, Eugene, OR - Well 4 days of trials and only one double Q for Diva and myself. Mostly tension issues- we now need only one more double Q for MACH 7.

June 6, 7 and 8 we did a local (Otis Orchards, WA) NADAC trial. We played 14 games each dog and we got 25 out of 28 runs! Tessa earned 5 NADAC titles and Diva got 3 more titles. It rained all day on Saturday, but both dogs were great and the rain didn't stop either of them from doing quite well.

June 13, 14 and15: Palouse Hills Dog Fanciers, Moscow, ID: Diva earns MACH7 on lucky Friday, June 13, 2008. On Sunday, June 15, Tessa gets her first qualifying Excellent Standard B run and her very first Double Q!

MACH7 Diva wearing her ribbon
Diva at home showing off her very own MACH7 ribbon.

Diva and Tessa
Tessa didn't get a special ribbon for her first Double Q, but her she poses with her "sis" Diva

Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July

July 11, 12 and 13: Washington State Obedience Training Club, Inc., Auburn, WA (Argus Ranch). What a fun 3 day weekend. Two perfect days for both dogs and one complete No-Q day for both dogs. The first two days we double Q'd- wow. Tessa even earned her MXJ title!

The "winning streak" didn't hold by the third day. Although well rested and ready to go we had little mistakes. On Tessa's standard run she started out running zigzagged as if dodging bullets and she missed the chute and earned a refusal. She did do the table and sat, but then went down and I had trouble getting her back into the sit. The rest of the run was perfect.

The next run was Diva's jumpers and I made the mistake of not moving Diva's run to the next jump height and I had only a few minutes between running Tessa and Diva. I was some what out of breath and our opening was a bit messed up, but without a call. However by the time we got to the weaves that were the second to the end obstacle, I rushed her and she apparently popped the last weave pole. I didn't even see it.

Later on when it was time for Tessa to do the Jumpers she was going quite well without zigzags, but apparently she missed the entry to the poles and I didn't see that at all.

The last run was Diva's standard. She did a beautiful job, got all the contacts. I decided during the walk through to rear cross after the second to the last jump even though it was a straight through the box run. It felt like it would put me at a better place (well that wasn't true). I was late telling her to go on and she curled in and took the off course jump. Silly me- I should not have rear crossed and called out to her. Good dog, poor handling move.

July 25, 26, 27 and 28: Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America, Inc., Central Point, OR: We had 4 days of trialing in Medford, OR area at the Expo center in Central Point. The nice indoor facility had two rings on groomed dirt. Although not air-conditioned, there are large fans blowing all day and electrical outlets so that one can bring their own plug in fans too. This clubs gives wonderful double Q pins. Diva not only got 4 double Q's, but also a certificate for 2 free days at next year's trial!

Photos below by Terry Tuttle
Sit? Are you speaking foreign human?
Down doesn't thrill me either!
Down doesn't thrill me either!
This what I like to do - fly over the jumps
Tessa likes to fly over the jumps
And run down the teeter
And run down the teeter!
Watch out for the teeter on exit
Watch out for the teeter on exit.
Diva like to play too
Diva likes to play too.

Tessa had some trouble with the smaller spaced weave poles (21" vs 23" that we get in the Seattle area). Tessa popped the weaves in both runs on the first day. On the second day she got first place in jumpers, but jumped the contact on the dog walk on her standard run. On the third day, Tessa again got first place in jumpers, but when she got to the table in the standard run, she just stared at me like she had never heard the word 'sit.' After about 30 seconds of staring she slowly sat. We completed the rest of run without errors, but we were way over time. On the 4th and last day, Tessa got first place in jumpers. Then it was time for standard and it was a sit on the table again. Tessa went right to the table on command, sat, didn't bark, didn't move and we completed the run 22 seconds under time and got a first place! Thus Tessa got her 4th double Q and her 4th Excellent B standard run. Tessa needs two more double Q's and about 100 more points to qualify for AKC Nationals. Come on Tessa!

More completed trials:
August 15, 16 and 17: Olympic Kennel Club, Inc., Enumclaw, WA

Diva: August 16, 2008, Enumclaw, WA
Collage of Diva doing agility Enumclaw, WA 2008
photos by Creative Indulgence

August 22, 23 and 24: Spokane Dog Training Club, Inc. at: University Elementary School, 1613 S. University, Spokane, WA
Diva: 2 double Q's, Tessa: 2 standard Excellent B runs, no double Q's

August 29, 30, 31 and Sept. 1: Evergreen Golden Retriever Club, Auburn, WA
Diva: 1 double Q, Tessa: 2 double Q's

Cascade Dachshund Club held at: Lake Tye Park, 14964 Freylands Blvd. Monroe, WA
Diva: 2 double Q's, Tessa: 2 doubleQ's and she earned her Master Agility Title!

Tessa with title ribbon and 2 double Q ribbons

Tired Tessa

Diva with double Q ribbons

We had a doggie "house guest", Coco, on Sunday night as her "Daddy" Dave from Spokane was injured at the trial. We drove Dave and Coco home on Monday morning. Coco stayed with us at the hotel for the one night and she was an excellent guest. She fit right in with Diva, Tessa, KK (the cat) and Ronnie the hubby!

Coco gets pets from Ronnie



Helena, MT: 10/3 to 10/5/2008: Diva had a very good three day trial with 3 double Q's out of 3! Way to go Diva. Only two more double Q's for MACH 8! Tessa, however was a little off this weekend getting nabbed with refusals and other faults. She did get one clean run and it was a very nice jumpers run for a first place and 32 points! Wow on her speed. She is spirited and fast and really wants to play the agility games. Go Tessa, go!

Wenatchee, WA: 10/10 to 10/12/2008: This weekend did not go especially well. However Diva did get one double Q out of it and now needs only one more double Q for her MACH 8 title. Tessa got all three jumpers runs with 2nd place behind the great Tigger. She has reverted to having table issues causing over time faults in two of the three days, plus some other errors. Back to practice for all of us. Unfortunately there are no classes this week as our teacher is out of town. Maybe the rest will do us some good.

Union Gap (Yakima), WA: 10/17 to 10/19/200: Diva earns MACH8 on October 17, 2008. 3 days and 3 double Q's for Diva, 1 double Q for Tessa.

Pahrump (Las Vegas), NV: 10/24 to 10/26/2008: One double Q for Diva and none for Tessa. There was a fun Halloween parade on Saturday and we got to visit with some friends that we hadn't seen since last year.

Off to Mexico for play on the beach for two months!

Next trial: I am planning on entering a trial in the City of Industry (Los Angeles, CA) Dec 26, 27 and 28.

Check back for more adventures.