Sunday, January 24, 2010

It has been a while since I blogged but figured what better time to start into it again then while hanging around the airport waiting for a flight home.

I have been in Portland, OR, since Wednesday, judging a 4-day AKC Agility trial. This trial, part of the Rose City Classic, featured ISC classes which served as a qualifier for the World Team Tryouts. For those non-agility (or non-AKC) folks out there, ISC classes are international style agility classes with rules and course design a little different from what we would normally see here in the States. And the World Team is the team of agility competitors that the AKC sends to an international competition (often in Europe - next one is in Reiden, Germany) where teams from around the world represent their countries in individual and team competition, within 3 different jump heights. Very exciting to watch, even if you can't be there in person. Here is my course for small and medium dogs:

...and the large dog course:

I have judged ISC Standard previously but this was my first opportunity to design and judge ISC Jumpers with Weaves - which as a judge, was great fun. Watching some of the teams run these courses (especially the large dogs) was like watching a dance, skillfully choreographed and performed by dog and handler.

My enthusiasm for judging is renewed with every assignment and this one should last for a while. The Rose City Classic is a well run set of agility trials held as part of a larger cluster of shows spanning 5 days (1/20 thru 1/24 this year) - including Conformation, Rally, Obedience, Agility, and even an art show! I believe they were expecting over 4,000 dogs. Agility Trial Secretary, Robin Cohen, and her husband Robin are awesome! I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I shared this assignment with fellow AKC Agility Judge Scott Stock. I've known Scott for a few years and he is great fun - Go Michigan! Andy Hartman was also there - for those that don't know, he is the Director of Agility at AKC and a really great guy in his own right!

Beyond agility there is a lot going on at home right now. Okay I realize that to most people it always seems like there is a lot going on in my life. I like to be busy (sorry Rob). This little factoid is true to a fault. I am getting better at saying "no."

Kidding season has officially begun on the farm. The first 2 kids (twins) were born days before I left for Oregon, quickly followed (within hours) by the second set of twins. While I was in Oregon Rob discovered the unexpected (well unannounced at least) arrival of a couple more kids! And many more kids are expected. Hopefully we'll have the "Kid" cam up and running soon with a live stream. Kids are so much fun to watch as they practice their moves. Visit the farm for updates at

So besides kidding season, which falls primarily on my mother's shoulders, we are also continuing plans for cheese making. Construction will really begin next month, as does our training. Mom and I are headed to our first artisan cheese making class in February as well.

Then of course there is hundreds of feet of new fencing to plan for in the spring, selecting and purchasing our new sheep (yup we're adding sheep to the farm this year!), agility trials to plan, courses to be designed for judging, new lighting for the agility yard, agility league, lesson plans/schedules, and the list goes on. For now though I am focusing on equipment building and winter training (for me and the dogs!). After making it through the bronchitis which was followed by walking pneumonia, I feel like I'm finally through the worst. While sick I also missed out on some beautiful snowshoeing weather too, something I hope to change soon!

Still a few hours to my red eye flight, time enough to file my judging report and work on some work work.