Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Flashback...Zoe, April 2005

 I still miss my Zoe, GraytSky's Broadway Bound,CD,JH,NA,OAJ,NSD,CGC, who was a talented agility star and a very special girl.  She literally flew over the jumps.
 Zoe and Wotan were my first agility dogs and taught me so much about the game as well as life.
 This was at one of our favorite trials in Freehold, NJ.  
Photos by Steve Surfman

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hunt Test weekend

Savi, CH Grayhart's Shear Genius,JH,NSD,NRD,CGC,V, during her Senior Hunter test this past weekend, run by the Eastern German Shorthair Pointer Club  Although she didn't pass, I was pleased with how well she ran and held to the shot.  More photos and the full report to come...

Friday, April 20, 2012


Savi, patiently waiting for her turn while I worked Jam at obedience class last night! And no, she wasn't told to get on the chair, her leash was hooked to the fence and she decided to get comfortable!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Playdate for Savi & Memphis

Last week, we spent a fabulous afternoon visiting Memphis (Clay x Trixie) and his family.  Littermates Memphis and Savi, above, had a great time playing and running so much they tired each other out.

Kisses!  It was as if these two had never been apart - they fell right into place, best buddies!

All that running makes for two very thirsty pups! We love Memphis and he is such a mushy, sweet boy.  He has spent time staying at our house and we look forward to seeing him again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Did someone say duck?

 After this morning's hunt test with Jam, which resulted in a fail due to her breaking before the shot, we took Savi on a terrific 5-mile hike along the TMI trail. No, not the Too-Much-Information trail, but the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail through Harriman State Park.  Who knew we would stumble upon a pond with ducks?
 Savi did a super job, went on point and held until I called her back to us.
 We were quite a distance away and she made me proud by listening to the "whoa" command and then came as soon as I called her.
I guess I took the wrong dog to the hunt test!  Savi will get her turn to next weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday in the Field

Savi, CH Grayhart's Shear Genius,JH,NSD,NRD,CGC,V, with her favorite accessory!

We are in high gear training for the Spring hunt tests.  Jam is entered this weekend in Senior Hunter and we are still working on steadying her on the bird.  She is a very smart cookie and an opportunist, taking advantage of any opportunity to take the bird out if she can.  She had a beautiful point in the back course and did a great job backing the other dog before we entered the bird field.  That's when things went downhill.  The wind disappeared and she was very close to the bird when she went on point.  Although she didn't catch it, she broke point, which is very bad.  We had to correct this behavior as it is an automatic fail in the tests and unfortunately, she has learned that she can get away with it.  She spent some time in her crate, not happily, while we then worked Savi.  When we brought Jam back out, she was raring to go and we were very careful to keep her close and bring her into the wind to get a nice point, far from the planted bird.  The wind was blowing lightly and bam, she went on a beautiful point.  I went to the planted bird, reinforced Jam's "whoa" command, setup the gunner and flushed the bird.  Jam held steady, even after the bird did not fly, but ran and then finally flew.  She was not only steady to shot, but stayed until I release her for the retrieve.  She flew out and did a nice retrieve.  Success!  We ended her session on a very positive note.

Savi had a stellar day and was truly impressive.  With little experience backing other dogs, Savi acknowledged the other dog on point, getting her back in.  She also found the pigeon on the back course and pointed it from 20' away!  She held while I flushed the bird, shot the blank gun and then heeled her away.  In the bird field, again, she had a terrific, staunch point from a nice distance and no only held through the shot, but until I sent her for the retrieve.  She ran out and got her bird and retrieved to hand.  This girl is already showing Master hunter potential.  We were so happy with Savi's performance that I entered her in an upcoming hunt test for her first time in Senior Hunter.  

A big weekend ahead and we'll report the results.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weimaraner Wednesday

Sky during her 1st place NAJ title run!

A wonderful Weimaraner Wednesday!  We started the day with a fabulous agility lesson for all three girls.  The weather held and we were able to train outside, a real bonus as we get ready for Spring trial season.  There were many good distractions and I was able to work the girls through these challenges.  We had a great lesson, focusing on body awareness, wrapping around jumps and weave poles.  I was really proud of how they all did since we haven't had a lesson in months.  Jam and Trixie, experienced agility dogs, are ready to get back into trials and we are fine tuning their runs and trying to add speed and accuracy to their weave poles.  Savi really made me proud, as she is a novice dog and quickly picked up everything we asked her to do, even some advance maneuvers including front crosses, pinwheels and wraps.  Our instructor, a top level competitor, gave the girls the ultimate compliment, calling them "brilliant!"

If the morning lesson wasn't enough fun, in the afternoon, we made our weekly Delta Therapy Dog visit.  It was an enjoyable visit for the residents or consumers as they are called and the staff.  They really get a kick out of Jam and her visits have such a positive effect on them, both physically and mentally.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Best Sign in Times Square!

We were in NYC last night to see a show (Rock of Ages, very entertaining) and were walking through Times Square when we spotted this awesome billboard.  Thank you HumaneWatch for exposing HSUS and educating the public on where their donations really go or don't go!

 The Humane Society of the United States gives LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of your donations to pet shelters.

From Bravo's Blog: Sara Renee's visit

SaraRenee visit Bravo -March 22-25, 2012

Lucky Guy when SaraRenee visited from Muncie, Indiana to photograph Bravo for his ad portfolio.

Bravo won three Best of Breeds at the Vallejo Dog Shows and hosted Sara at the beach, Stanford University, and in his yard. 

Then we romped at the beach


Showing off for SaraRenee!!

Coffee and Donuts are a MUST!

Bravo hosted a wonderful visit from Mara Wildfeuer.  Always kisses for the girls!

           Bravo let his lil sister, Emme get hugs too.              It's a great life with Dogs!

                           Too much excitement, too little sleep.  Bravo watches over SaraRenee. 

Even our Tulips were in full bloom for SaraRenee.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New NAJ title for Sky!!!

Hurray!  Huge congratulations to Debbie Moody and Sky, CH Grayhart Lightfoot Early Morning Rain,RN,JH,TD,NA,NAJ,NSD,NRD,CGC,VX, for finishing Sky's Novice Agility Jumpers title (NAJ) with a 1st place today!  Sky earned her 2nd NAJ leg yesterday with a 2nd place.

Good luck to this awesome team as they continue their agility career in both Open Standard and Open Jumpers!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts...

Puppy Savi at the 2010 WCA Nationals with her bird
 As I begin my Spring Break, yes, I'm one of the lucky ones that gets to enjoy a week off in April, there is much to do (house projects, family activities and dog stuff) and other stuff I'd love to do but just can't fit in.  It is a challenge juggling a full-time job and trying to keep up a training schedule for the girls.  At the begiining of the year, I set goals for each of the dogs and then attempt to set a training schedule to help achieve these goals.  Happily, I already accomplished two on my list and that would be finishing Trudy and Savi's show championships!

Now we move on to obedience, agility and hunt tests.  The hardest is field training so I have scheduled sessions for Jam and Savi during vacation.  There are upcoming hunt tests that Jam is entered in Senior Hunter and she needs a tune up.  Savi, who has amazing drive and natural ability, needs more training before she'll be ready for the Senior Hunter tests.  My goal is to have Savi ready for the fall hunt tests.
Jam at the 2010 WCA Nationals in the obedience ring
 Obedience is easy.  I have the tools and resources close by to practice and train.  The girls typically go to obedience class once a week and I can practice with them in multiple locations.  I plan on getting Savi ready to compete in Novice Obedience this summer and she is well on her way to being ready.  Jam has begun training for Open but I'm not sure when she will be ready to compete.
Trixie at the 2011 WCA Nationals
Agility, my favorite of all the dog sports, has been on hold since the local training school is still shut down from last year's hurricane damage.  I've taken some seminars and private lessons and am working on an alternate place to train.  With the Spring trials coming up, Trixie and Jam need practice and coursework.  I'll setup the weaves and jumps in the backyard and try to get them ready.  Savi would benefit from a weekly class to work on foundation skills.  So much to do, so little time!

We are also working with some of our other Grayhart dogs to get them ready for the show ring this year.  And if that isn't enough, we are planning on breeding Jam this summer and hope for a fall litter.  A very full plate but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weimaraner Wednesday

Weimaraner Wednesday has a new meaning for us as it has become our new Delta Therapy Dog visiting day.  Jam resumed her visits a few weeks ago and the consumers and staff were beyond thrilled to have her back.  As mentioned in a previous post, we visit a residence that is part of the Rockland County Association for Learning Disabilities and had wanted a pet therapy team for a long time. From the start back in the fall, Jam was a hit and I was honored to be asked back and offered to do weekly visits. The residents or consumers as they are called, are mostly men in their mid-twenties with ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) plus developmental disabilities and neurological issues and are non-verbal.

Due to Jam's season and breeding plans, we had taken seven weeks off before returning. When we visited, it was as if we had never left. The staff of course, were very excited to see us and I was happy to see that the consumers remembered us. We met one of them outside and he immediately put his hand out to pet Jam!  We went into the rec center and had a nice visit with the consumers wanting to do their favorite tricks with Jam.

Last week's visit was a bit different as the rec center was occupied so the staff asked if Jam would be okay in the house in the TV room and she was fine. It was more intimate than the rec center and I think a little better as the consumers all sat on couches and it was easier for all to pay attention and get their time with Jam. One of the consumers started to do something new with Jam, not sure if he was copying one of the other consumers, who always loves to feed Jam, but this consumer wanted to repeatedly feed Jam a treat from his open hand. He smiled, which his aide said was the first time he had smiled all day and then he laughed and smiled some more.  The consumers each have their favorite things to do with Jam, some feed her, others give her the hand signals to down, spin or speak, which is a big crowd-pleaser. We really crammed a lot of quality interaction into our visit.

Today's visit was extra special as one of the consumers had a private visit with Jam as the other consumers were at their therapeutic horseback riding lesson. This consumer continues to feel more comfortable with Jam each visit and reaches out to her independently. May not seem like a big deal but for this individual, it is huge.  This is also the same consumer who first started to feed Jam treats last week and he again surprised us by opening his hand for me to put a treat on it so Jam could get it! The resident behaviorist witnessed this for the first time and was thrilled.  The consumer laughed and smiled when Jam ate the treat from his hand.  We all smiled too!

I guess we should say this was a truly Wonderful Weimaraner Wednesday!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Bravo, BIF GCH Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, CGC, standing strong at Stanford University.  Photo by the oh-so-talented SaraRenee.

From the Weimaraner Standard:
A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of 
grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog's conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bravo vs Academia

Bravo, BIF GCH Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, (Clay x Trixie), at a very special photoshoot with the talented Sara Renee at Stamford University.  More fabulous shots to come...