Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back On Track Pt. 1: The Story of Cas

So apparently "over the next few days" meant "take two months off to think about blogging again before taking any action." Oops.

Anyways, here I am. And this time, I have a plan.  See, I have these four dogs (yes, I said four. wait for it....). And these four dogs all require different things from me. They each have their own purpose in my life, personally, and in some cases, professionally.  Over the next week, each of them will get a blog post explaining what I mean.

First up is the big, fluffy, black and white, testosterone-laden Elephant in the room, Castiel, since he is new to my life since I stopped blogging last year.

His favorite trick that he in no way uses to manipulate people
Cas is one of those amazing dogs that comes into your life when you least expect or want them.  I was not looking for a new dog last fall, let alone a boy, let alone a SHOW DOG, but one of my Facebook friends posted his pictures on her page saying he was available, and I just couldn't stop thinking about him. His beautiful structure and adorable face stole my heart. Cliche, I know. Now, I probably would have been able to resist him if not for a few rather, erm, "pushy" friends of mine who knew, more than I did, just how much I needed this puppy.

First pic I ever saw of him. I wondered why no one had snapped him up yet!
See, I grew up showing dogs primarily in conformation. Although I have since drifted into doing other things with dogs competitively, primarily agility, I've always missed it. Unfortunately, neither of my girls are particularly meant for that purpose ;). Last fall and winter, I was experiencing some pretty terrible depression. I struggled with even getting out of bed to go to work in the morning. I had no motivation. It was hard to look forward and see anything worthwhile. Getting Cas helped me to have the courage to change all that. He gave me something new and exciting, but familiar, to look forward to. He's one of those dogs that really reads human emotions well, and can be what you need them to be in times that you cant tell them. What a good boy he is. The first night I met him, after driving a long ways to meet his breeder in Klamath Falls, I asked him if he was supposed to be my dog. He looked me right in the eye and licked my face before settling down on my lap with a sigh. He has been my buddy ever since... and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish together.

Cas, now 11 months old and 40 lbs of flash and fluff, is absolutely full of personality, sass, and joie de vivre. Not only is he absolutely gorgeous, with awesome structure and movement, but he is also wicked smart and athletic, and shows a lot of aptitude for agility. I would love to make him into an obedience and canine freestyle dog, too.  Right now, our focus is on foundation agility skills and relationship-building exercises. But that boy needs to learn how to do a formal heel... so that is coming soon :)

Plans for Cas... because why not be ambitious?: 

  1. Conformation
    1. CH, GCh, ultimate goal of a Group Placement and national ranking. Would like to show him at Westminster. Dream goal of winning a specialty and/or something at the BCSA national specialty (BOB, BOS, Select, AOM) that would qualify us to show at Crufts in England.  
  2. Agility
    1. Excellent/Elite titles in AKC and NADAC. MACH and/or NATCH. Qualify and compete in AKC or NADAC nationals/champs.
  3. Freestyle
    1. Become my main "Freestyle Fridays" dog (more info to come later). Possibly compete, but mostly do it for fun. 
  4. Obedience/Rally
    1. CD/CDX in obedience because I really just want to prove that I can do it and that obedience isn't scary. At least an RA in rally. 
  5. Herding
    1. At least intermediate titles in AKC/ASCA/AHBA. I'd like to see if he can drive and how much natural ability he as, as a show-bred dog. 
  6. Tracking and Nosework
    1. I'd like to earn a TD and a level-one Nosework title. 
  7. Disc Dog
    1. I am just learning about this sport, but my dogs go CRAZY for it and I would love to learn more and maybe compete on a local/regional level. 
...but not necessarily in that order ;). Basically, I just want to play around and enjoy life with him. Experience different sports and find something we both love to do together. I am a big proponent of cross-training with our dogs, even if you have one main sport you focus on. I think it makes them happier, more engaged, and better able to deal with a variety of situations. 

Regardless of how many of these goals we actually achieve, I'm sure we will have a blast trying. I will be using this blog as a training journal part of the time to help document our progress. Of course, lots of videos, pictures, and introspection will be found.  

Next up.... my right hand man, my sun and stars.... Ember. Stay tuned. 

1 comment:

  1. Right hand bitch you mean. Excellent post it was good to see the pland for Cas all laid out, lots of work to do with him!


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