Monday, January 1, 2018

Alpacamundo Monday: Happy New Year!

It's January 1st.

It's cold (+8F) and snowing.  It's winter.

The sun is also coming out and there were rainbows (snowbows?) on either side of the sun.

Just beautiful!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dog Show: National Owner-Handled Finalist, 2017

Ramen received his formal invitation last week.

He is a finalist for the 2017 National Owner-Handled Series!

As I've mentioned before, the top 10 dogs in each breed (measured October to October) are invited to the National Owner-Handled Series Finals.  Ramen is #5.

The finals are held in conjunction with the AKC National Championship in Orlando, FL in December.

I would love to go, but things outside of the dog world are taking precedence.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dog Show: Buckhorn Valley, 2017

My original plan for the Buckhorn Valley Kennel Club was to bring Ramen's two sisters, who ended up being in the midst of Heat Season at the registration deadline.  Personally I think it's rude and risky to bring a bitch in season to events/activities for intact animals.  So while our girls would be out by the show dates, they had not had any recent practice and weren't going to get any. The drive to breed is strong, which means the attention to other things is difficult for both genders.  So I entered Ramen for the last weekend in October.

Of course Ramen's breed competition was one 8-month old female in high season. sigh.

Her handler warned me ahead of time and we kept them further apart than normal in the ring... but let's just say that Ramen liked her very much.

At almost 3-years old, Ramen has a good idea about the Heat Season now.  It's fun watching him mature, but I do kind of miss my innocent "kindergartner."  ;-)

The two split the Best of Breeds and Ramen was awarded Best Owner-Handled both days.

The judge on the second day violated ring procedure by asking which was the Owner-Handled dog prior to making her selections and the group judge was talking to the steward during our out-and-back.  So while judges are humans and humans make mistakes, these things contribute to a common story in the sport... that judges award professional handlers, not dogs.

My position has always been that Professional Handlers are Professionals.  They handle many different dogs, nearly every weekend.  They are much more experienced so they should win more frequently.

I am not a professional dog handler.  I am an Owner-Handler and a professional project manager.  I enjoy working with and exhibiting my dogs and I am continually striving to do better.... but I do not exhibit multiple dogs, and I do not do it every weekend.  So while I am much better than I was 4 years ago and I am a good handler, I am an amateur in the conformation ring.

It doesn't really bother me that the puppy defeated Ramen.  She is a very nice dog with a great handler.  It does bother me that the ring procedure was violated, which gives the impression that the handler was chosen, not the dog.

Overall, I'm happy with Ramen's performance  He remained happy given the intense distraction and several other professionals (handlers and judges) mentioned how much they like his attitude, movement, and structure.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fiber Arts Friday: More Pink

I have completed my 5th Pussy Hat.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a fast knitter?

Back in January, I decided that I would keep a Pussy Hat in progress at all times... for as long as was appropriate.  So while I was contemplating casting on a different, non-pink, hat as this one was nearing completion, the anniversary of the leak of Trump's Access Hollywood video passed, as did the firing of Harvey Weinstein.

These are just two high profile examples of how women are often treated, as illustrated by the #MeToo event.

So I continue to knit pink.  #6 is in progress.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dog Show: AKC Rankings

There are several rankings in AKC Conformation competition.  Three of which I've been paying attention to:

This ranking is based on number of dogs defeated in one's own breed in a calendar year.  We generally don't have a lot of breed competition in our area, so I am happy to see our dogs anywhere on this list.

Ranking in the Top 5 as of October 31 results in an invitation to the Westminster Kennel Club show in February.

Ramen in currently ranked 16th.

This ranking is based on the total number of dogs defeated in a calendar year.  So this includes group placements, Reserve Best in Show and Best in Show.

Ramen is currently the #2 All Breed Tibetan Mastiff and has been since February 2017.

Ramen has been closing the gap on the #1 All-Breed Tibetan Mastiff.  However Bravo was awarded a group placement last weekend, so the gap will be widening.  ;-)

So far this year, only Bravo, Ramen, and Gemma have been awarded group placements.  Bravo and Gemma were both with professional handlers.

Points are awarded for Best of Breed, Group Placements, Reserve Best in Show and Best in Show.  These points are awarded regardless of competition and are tracked from October to October.  The Top 10 in each breed as of October are invited to the Owner-Handled competition at the AKC National Championship in December.

Ramen is currently ranked 5th and Gunnar is tied for 11th place.

There are also rankings tracked for Top 20 in Group (no TMs in the Top 20 of the Working Group), Grand Championship (dogs that have at least a CH title by Breed), and Juniors (Handlers between 9 and 18 years old).

Monday, October 2, 2017

Alpacamundo Monday: Silas is Healing

A few days before shearing last May, a herd-mate was feeling amorous.  He forced Silas down and shattered his right, front leg.

After speaking with our vet, Hubba made a splint with PVC pipe, cotton batting and vet wrap.  It took a couple of revisions to get it to stay in place.

Silas wore the splint most of the summer and got the the point to where he was quite mobile on three legs.

We reduced the support the splint provided over about last six weeks and completely removed the splint a few weeks ago.

It took about a week for Silas to realize that he could put weight on his foot and about another week to start using his leg for walking.

We're not out of the woods yet, but his prognosis is excellent.

He looks a little funny with one leg un-sheared.  :-)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dog Show: Arapahoe Kennel Club, 2017

Last weekend was our first time entering the Arapahoe Kennel Club.

Hubba got wind that a few other Tibetan Mastiffs would be entered and managed to convince me to enter both Ramen and Aspen.

It turned out to be a good idea.  Seven TMs were entered and six where exhibited.  This means a 4-point major was available for the Best of Breed, as well 2 points for Winners Bitch and Best of Winners.

Our Cane Corso friends helped with holding dogs ring-side.  I entered Aspen in the Bred by Exhibitor class and Ramen in the Best of Breed class.

It was cold and rainy.  Our breed rings were outside.  The dogs thought this was a grand idea.

Ramen won Best of Breed on Saturday and Owner-Handled both days.  He also placed 3rd in the Owner-Handled Working Group on Saturday.

Aspen showed well.

Ramen loves dog shows.  He loves it so much that I have to work to calm him down.... pretty much the exact opposite challenge for every other Tibetan Mastiff I have ever met.  lol.

It's hard to be mad at a 130-lb dog that is leaping in the air because he's ready to get started or galloping around the ring because he's so happy.  It makes it difficult for the judge to assess his structure and frustrates me because I know how well-built he is.  However, his joy is infectious.  I love how much he loves it.... and as I always say, fun is the most important part. :-)

We are now working on using less-exciting bait, in hopes that this will help calm him down... and we'll save the super-exciting bait for the other dogs.  ;-)

With these placements, Ramen now has 1 major, 2 defeats, and 7 points toward his Grand Championship.  This should also improve his ranking on the Owner-Handled list and maintain his 2nd place ranking on the All-Breed list.  I will be watching for the September rankings, due in a couple of weeks.

Aspen currently has 1 major, 3 points, and 1 judge toward her Championship.