Thursday, June 24, 2010

Erie & Charlie

[Photo shamelessly stolen from the Budha/Szari Litter FB page where Liz posted it]
Have I explained about Charlie on this blog? Dog relationships are so confusing . . .
Erie's (dog) mom is Kezza. Kezza was bred to Budha. They had Erie (and six other puppies). Szari is a puppy from Kezza's first litter. That makes Szari and Erie half sisters. Szari is owned by Judy, also Budha's owner. Judy bred Szari to Budha a few months after Erie's litter. Charlie is one of those puppies. That makes Erie Charlie's auntie (on their mom's sides) and his half sister (on their daddy's side). WHEW! Did you get all that? (Even more confusing for me to figure out . . . Kezza's full-sister Stella just had puppies with Budha. I think those puppies are Erie's cousins and half-siblings but I'm not gonna guarantee I thought that out properly).
Anyhow, I met Liz and her family when Erie was just like five weeks old or something, the first time I went to Kit's house to meet the puppies. They wanted a vizsla and were in the process of deciding on breeders and litters. Getting a puppy from that same litter didn't work out but last month Liz and one of her sons traveled to Utah to pick up Charlie. I didn't realize how close we lived until they brought Charlie home and Liz suggested play-dates.
Today was our second one and we went to the mostly fenced but not completely, kind-of a dog park but not exactly grassy field area in the housing development Liz lives in. Liz had a lot going on at her house with family so I was only there for about two hours I think and I believe the dogs ran for about 45 minutes.
I had been really nervous to let them play in this area as it's not completely fenced but Liz and Judy convinced me to try it. I left a long line on Erie and made sure she realized I had her bait bag and let her go. Scary!!! I only had to call her back about five times when she made us nervous by getting to close to the exits (I don't think she realized she was though) and SHE CAME BACK EVERY STINKIN' TIME!!! She did blow one of them by running past me before returning for real but I was such a proud doggy mommy. Erie is, in my opinion, easily the best behaved dog in her obedience class, (as well as being the youngest) but real life is so different than class. All you GDB people aught to understand that. Just like PITs know the jacket means they're working, Erie knows that when we're at class we're working. It is so gratifying to see that training play out in real life situations.
The above photo was taken in Liz's yard after the run. Charlie is quite the handsome guy. We're all looking forward to another play-date soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My dog loves me

You can't see me but I'm what she's looking at so intently. When she does remember to offer eye contact she has the most intense gaze ever. Being a 6.5 month old puppy, though, she doesn't always remember.

I saw this on Judy's website last night and asked her for it. It's from the dog show (see previous post). I'm not sure who took it or I'd give them credit. It's Judy's camera! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Best Puppy"

Two weekends ago was the annual four day long "Woofstock" dog show in Vallejo, California. For all you people from here, that's pronounced "Valelle." If you're not from here, go ahead and use its Spanish pronunciation.

The show was Thursday-Sunday, with Erie turning 6 months old on that Saturday, making it the very first day she could be entered in a show. It's also the day of the Vizsla Club of Northern California's Specialty show. Essentially what that means is that within the all breed dog show, the VCNC sponsored extra classes and prizes for Vizslas. There are a lot more dogs at specialties which means more points are up for grabs. The VCNC specialty is one of the largest in the country.

Erie was handled by Judy, the owner of her daddy Budha. She came all the way from Draper, Utah for the show. Judy also brought two of her dogs, Budha and Szari, Erie's half sister (they have the same mom) who just had her own litter of puppies go home a little over a month before the show. She did show both of her dogs but Budha was also here to meet some people who are interested in getting puppies from Kit (Erie's breeder) who just bred two of her dogs- that came into heat within a week of each other- to Budha. There are lots of Budha puppies now, a good thing in my opinion because he is a stunning dog.

We had lots of fun. It was hot and I was tired but I enjoyed spending time with vizslas and vizsla people. So did Erie. The pictures aren't fabulous but neither is my camera!

Judy handling Erie (center) with Kit (owner of the mom and breeder of the litter) handling Zoe (right), Erie's full sister, in the Sweepstakes Puppy 6-9 months bitches class. The puppy on the left (who is cut off) actually won this particular class but because it was the sweepstakes class it works a little differently. I'd explain except I don't fully understand. The gist of what I know: in sweepstakes you don't win points but you do win part of your entry fee back.

Judy stacking Erie. I think this is the sweepstakes class again.

After the sweepstakes the regular show began. These are the classes that count for points. In order to put a championship on a dog the dog must earn 15 points, with at least two majors (a win worth three or more points). The number of points that a win is worth is based on the number of dogs entered (I think- it might actually be based on the number of dogs entered in that show the previous year). Only the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch earn points. This is a picture of Erie in her Puppy 6-8 months bitches class. She won and moved on to the Winners Bitch judging (which she did not win).

After all the regular classes were over, there were a few special classes offered because it was a vizsla specialty. One of them was Best Puppy. There are six puppy classes: Dogs and Bitches in three age groups. The winner of each class is eligible to compete for Best Puppy and Erie won. The professional pictures will be delivered in the mail later but this is a picture of Erie and me with all her "spoils" from winning two puppy classes (she won on Sunday too- this picture was taken right before I left for home on Sunday) and her Best Puppy win on Saturday (Best Puppy was not offered Sunday since it wasn't a specialty).

Before I left we took photos of (left to right) Erie, her daddy Budha, her mommy Kezza, and her litter mate Zoe.
Erie held an excellent sit-stay for these photos. I was so proud. Maybe even more proud then I was of her wins. People were literally climbing over her to get their dogs back in their spot and she just sat there. "Good girl!"

She was exhausted when we got home. I had to hurry up and get ready for church because I was teaching Relief Society that day so she got to stay home and recover while I ran off to give what I hope was a decent lesson given how sun struck I was.

That's all. I'll post her professional photo when I get it. I'm planning on entering her in another Vizsla specialty in Carmel, California in a month. I'd be showing her myself which makes me nervous but it would be a good experience. We've got lots of practicing to do. Best Puppy wins are fun but we want points!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Erie "listening" Really Well

I uploaded this video so that Erie's breeders can come watch it. The rest of you might not find it all that interesting. I was trying to get Erie to play with her jolly ball and instead she was being a little nerd and ignoring me. She was up on a ledge in the backyard and I was filming and there really wasn't much I could do to insist she follow directions and it kinda seems like she knew that.

Sorry for my annoying voice. Ugghh.

Erie weighs 38.6 pounds today.