Friday, May 11, 2007

Border/aussie blogging

Quick round-up of recent news before we head off on the next adventure--walking the Pot spominov in tovarištva/Path of Remembrance and Comradeship around Ljubljana to commemorate the liberation of the city from Nazi/Fascist occupiers on May 9, 1945. For more information about that event and about the commemorative path and walk, see here, here, (both in English), and here (Slovenian wiki entry). Report will follow.

Some holiday postcards from Lyra--in addition to an afternoon jaunt to the seaside (no pictures, she said she was too busy swimming in the ocean to mess around with taking photographs), the next day she got to attend a picnic in the village of Krka, where the source of the Krka River lies.

I got her back from her foster family in time for an agility competition on Saturday April 28 in Ptuj, where she finished fifth. The course for the agility run was extraordinarily challenging. There was only one clean run, and 13 of the 23 A2 competitors were eliminated. Considering the circumstances, Lyra did okay. We got 10 faults for missing a difficult slalom entrance, twice, and 3.88 seconds in time penalties while we corrected it (twice!). Everything else was good apart from a very slow teeter. Still working on that one. After the first run we were in seventh place.

In contrast to the agility course, the jumping course was almost ridiculously easy. There were nine clean runs, including ours; Lyra's was the fourth fastest, a respectable showing for us. With a fifth place overall, we didn't bring home a cup this time, but she did acquire some points towards the national championship, in which she is currently (after three competitions) leading.

We also got in a third run (jumping) for the team. She ran clean, the only one of our three-member team to do so. A little slow since by then she was tired, and the day was hot. A nice feature of the Ptuj grounds is the stream that runs alongside; Lyra took frequent dips but even so the heat got to her.

No photos or videos this time, sorry.

I do, however, have a few shots from the Open Day hosted by the Komen Kennel Club on Sunday April 29 (click to enlarge):

The Postojna and Ajdovščina kennel clubs were invited to do an agility demonstration in the afternoon. Unfortunately someone forgot to truck in the obstacles, so we improvised a little show to fill in the time and amuse the spectators while waiting for the agility course to arrive. As you can see, Lyra and I did a little impromptu frisbee:

Okay, she missed that catch, but you gotta admit it's a spectacular leap.

Olivia got in on the action, too.

In fact, Oli, despite her relative inexperience and clumsiness with the frisbee compared to Lyra, arguably turned in the better performance. Lyra was distracted, unfocused, and hard to motivate--she's supersensitive to environmental factors and clearly didn't feel comfortable in the setting. I finally managed to coax a few of her trademark leaps out of her, but for much of the time her chasing was half-hearted and her catches mediocre.Oli , on the other had, displayed an enthusiasm, will to work/play, intense focus, and desire to please that were extremely gratifying. She just needs to hone the technique a bit (well, me, too). She shows this drive and enthusiasm for just about any task we give her--frisbee, agility, obedience, tricks. Very fun to work with. I would love to see her try out herding--I bet she'd be brilliant.

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Blogger Xsara ... said...

Hey, I just saw your picture in Moj Pes - congradulations for leading the championship! Continue like this ;-)

1:26 PM, May 31, 2007  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Are Lyra and Olivia named after people, or did you just like the names? Is that you in the picture by the way?

11:21 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Jean said...

Xsara: thanks for the congratulations. But after our last (non)performance (disk in jumping at Slovenska Bistrica) the other competitors are nipping at our heels...only a two-point lead over the second-place dog, and another two over the third-place dog. We better start training a little harder!

Elizabeth: Lyra was named by my daughter after the main protaganost in the Philip Pullman trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Kinfe, The Amber Spyglass), which she was reading at the time. Olivia is just a name she came up with, not sure where/how.

That's me in the frisbee picture, but not me in the picnic pictures--that's my neighbor Jana.

8:50 AM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Lilit said...

Oh, Lyra is named after His dark materials - I did not know that! :) What about Nyssa, then?

12:01 PM, June 14, 2007  
Blogger Jean said...

Nisa was named by my ex-husband (she became his dog, even though Monika was the one who picked her out of the litter) after the book of the same name, written by the late anthropologist Marjorie Shostak (wife of evolutionary biologist Melvin Konner, author of "The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit", which also happened to be one of my mother's favorite books).

There's a border collie called Nisa that I've seen at agility competitions here--wonder how she got her name.

12:20 PM, June 14, 2007  

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