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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jasmine's 1st Agility Competition!

Saturday, Feb. 26th, Jaz and I participated in our first agility competition! We entered a USDAA trial at the P1 level. Even though we're normally not good at Gamblers, my friend suggested we enter just to use it as a warm-up! (Gamblers is where you have to run the course from behind a line at a certain distance.) And I'm so glad we entered this class! Jaz was way distracted! She wasn't really paying attention ... and at the very end of the course, one jump shy of the end, she stops suddenly to go potty!! So... we got eliminated! lol... she just couldn't wait for one more jump! ;) (and yes, she had gone that morning already!) So... I'm very glad we did that class... just to get the wiggles out! And to warm up on the agility obstacles!

Our next class was a P1 Standard- which is more of what we're used to. Jaz was still a little distracted, but stayed with me for the most part! I laugh every time I watch the part on the video where Jaz runs off... she genuinely seems surprised I wasn't following her! I was happy with how we ran the Standard class. We took it slow... but didn't mess up any obstacles either!
And as it turns out, I was surprised when Jaz got 3rd place in that class!! We had 0 faults... we only had a time penalty. (which was to be expected!)

In between classes, I volunteered as a scribe runner. So I got to see how other people ran their classes. (Harder ones than the ones we were in!) There are some lightning fast border collies and aussies at the more advanced levels!! Very impressive to watch!!

Our last class was a P1 Jumpers. Jaz likes to jump, so I wasn't worried about this class. It was just a matter of keeping her focused on me! Because this was more jumps than we had ever done at the same time! But it went really well. And Jaz ended up taking 3rd place in this class too!! And got a qualifying score!! So she got her 1st Q at her 1st show! (And since I'm new to agility, I knew that was a good thing... but I wasn't sure exactly what it meant!!!) And I found out that you have to get 3 Q's in each class in order to move up to the next level. So... yay! We got a Q! ;)

Overall, it was a very good experience. One of my friends named Heather (an instructor from agility class) was there when we checked in, and showed us the ropes. (Which helped calm my nerves a lot!) So she was very helpful! She even walked the 1st course with me- since I wasn't really familiar with a Gambler's course. A lot of other people from my agility class were there too, so we were among friends. So that made it fun! And regardless of whether we would have placed or not, I still would have thought it was a good experience for Jaz. (actually both of us!)

I overheard one lady (who I didn't know) say how desperate she was to Q in the class she was in. She said, (pointing to her dog), "she isn't desperate... but I am!" And I thought that was an interesting point. Sometimes when we're so desperate for something, we forget to live in the moment and enjoy life. (like our dogs do). When I was writing to my friend Janet on Facebook about how I was a little nervous, she gave me excellent advice. She commented back that "She who has the most FUN wins!!!" And she is absolutely right. As long as you're having fun with your dog, that's what matters. That's why I do tricks or agility or any of that... to increase the bond I share with Jasmine. And truthfully, I find that if Jaz is engaged and excited about something, she'll do a better job at it anyway!

It was interesting watching the personality types at this competition...when things didn't go as anticipated. The handlers that I admired didn't get angry at their dogs, they just shrugged it off, or said it was their fault. (Not communicating clearly enough, or not practicing enough, or whatever.) They're the ones I admire. And I think I'm officially hooked on agility. Jaz loves it (if you can't tell from the video). So we're going to keep at it... and see where it takes us! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jaz is on Twitter! =)

One of my friends convinced me to create Jaz a twitter account! Are any of you guys on Twitter?
If so, come find us!

(Not that I really know how to use it yet!) But I'm figuring it out! Just another avenue to connect with dog-lovers! =)

If you do use Twitter, please educate me! I learned that if you put a #WW is woof Wednesdays... (I think). And #FF is Follow Friday. But I'm not exactly sure what that means! ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Barkworld Speaker??

Wow, I feel really honored. Earlier this week, I got an email asking if I would consider being a speaker at this year's BarkWorld Convention/Expo! http://www.barkworldexpo.com/

They saw Jasmine's "Dog Goes Shopping" video and loved it. And they want me to just talk about our experience- how Jasmine's popularity has grown through social media- YT, Facebook, etc. And how to instill creativity to create unique videos.

And I thought about it. My philosophy for Jasmine's videos is similar to the famous quote from the movie "Field of Dreams". **"If you build it, they will come."**

So instead of being one of those people who ask for subs on YouTube... I just try to put up interesting videos that people would want to subscribe to. Because to me, the # of subscribers you have doesn't mean much. A lot of people do that "Sub 4 Sub" thing on YouTube. (which I won't participate in) I don't just want a high # of subscribers. I want the people who subscribe to honestly enjoy Jasmine's videos... whatever the # might be. So I focus more on the content. And connecting with the true dog-lovers on YT and FB.

So they want me to talk about that. And our experience- how Jasmine originally won that online contest with Mighty Dog. And how she was featured in a commercial, photoshoot, and on their website. Which lead to being on TV (local news) and newspaper articles. Then how we auditioned and got accepted by 2 animal talent agencies. (one in CA, one in AZ) And the opportunities we've had so far. All the way to me becoming a freelance writer for Havanese Breed magazine. This all started because of social media.

So... I guess I'm going to be going to Atlanta this fall! It's funny because I didn't start off as a professional dog trainer. This all just happened gradually. But I guess that's what people can relate to. The good news is that Jaz is invited to go with me! =) So it should be fun!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dog Tricks by Jasmine!

Last Monday, our neighbors invited us over to their house. Their grandchildren were visiting, and they wanted to know if we would do a little trick show for them!

So we went over and did all our tricks! Here's a video showing the highlights of the night. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of room before the end. So I didn't get all of them... but here is most of them! (all in one place too!) :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New movie ideas?

Jasmine's shopping video just hit 4,700 views!! =D
I've decided I'm ready to make her next little movie. Since this one was already the sequel to "Dog Goes Shopping", I'm thinking I need to do a new plot line.

And I want your input! Any ideas for her next little movie? I have contemplated the idea of "Jasmine's birthday party"- and using a some of my friend's and family's dogs. The only problem would be that Jaz is the only one who knows tricks. And actually, not many of their dogs have good off-leash obedience either! (But they are good, friendly dogs!) And that might just make the movie more funny! And I can only imagine the madness that would ensue... if I tried to have them all sit/stay around a table- and placed a dog-edible birthday cake in the middle!!

So... that's all I've been able to come up with! Any ideas?? Please share! Help me figure out a way to combine all of Jasmine's many tricks into a fun story line! =D If I end up using your idea, I will mention you in the credits! =D

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My dog has OCD!!

So... just for fun, I decided to submit this video to David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks.
It seems goofy enough! I also included Jasmine's shopping cart trick. So we'll see if anything comes of it! (Trust me, I'll be sure to let you know!) =)