My princesses

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Sava Sara Brakada, AKA Xsara was born on 06-27-2004. She was raised in Kennel Brakada spending the first two months of her life on beautiful countryside Gorenjska (Slovenia) with her siblings and parents. As soon as she came to Ljubljana we started a puppy class, followed by an obedience class. She passed her B-bh exam with 96 points (instructor Agility EO winner Polona Bonač). We now continue with Rally-Obedience under Polona's supervision. Our biggest passion however is Agility. We started our first Agility class in October 2005 (club Agility Ilirija, instructor Silvia Trkman, two times agility world champion). When Silvia stopped teaching agility classes, we switched to Daša Zakotnik. We regularly participate in Agility trials in Slovenia and sometimes abroad. Xsara also loves to learn new dog tricks, you can see some of them in our videos. Her other passions include long walks, big meals and playing with dogs, specially her pyr shep sister Tani, her crazy agility pals and her sister Sena.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Too Much Work, Too Little Fun

I haven't posted anything new in a while because I had a lot of work, so Xsara was a little bored. Out of protest she learned how to climb on the kitchen counter, which was a disaster so I had to remove one shelve from the room. Sometimes she does something to remind me she's a beagle, and that I should never take her nice behaviour for granted.

We haven't had any trials since the Eukanuba finale, but there will be one on Saturday. This will be our first trial in A3/J3, so it's very exciting. Naturally we regularly take time for our usual trainings and I'm very pleased with our work in both, agility and RO. We also visited a couple of nice places last week: we went back to Kamniska Bistrica and towards Kokrsko sedlo (man, how I love that place!) and to Bloke, where we saw bear traces!

Also we want to express our congratulations to all Xsara's friends from the Slovenian World Team for nice runs in Helsinki!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hiking, Eukanuba Finale And The Ball That Was M.I.A.

Last week we had to repair the obstacles in our club. It was still sunny outside and we wanted to finish all the work before it would start raining. Once we started to work we realised that the obstacles were in a worse shape than we had suspected, so we couldn't repair them in time. But we did manage to give them a very unique touch. Do you think this will make it easier for the dogs with contact problems? Hehe, probably not! So we will paint them as soon as the weather improves :)

As I heard the weather forecast, I decided to enjoy the last sunny day of the week hiking with Xsara. We didn't actually even have the entire day as it would start raining in the evening, so we went from the lake of Jezersko to Češka koča mountain hut (1543m). This time I decided to go alone with Xsara and I really enjoyed it. It was so beautiful!

First we saw the lake:

... there were also beautiful meadows with cows and horses:

... and, of course - the pretty pretty mountains! Xsara was posing like a professional doggy model, so here are some of our best shots:

On Saturday we had the finale of Eukanuba Cup - our last trial in A2/J2. It was raining for the entire day and it was very cold. The judge was Bernd Hueppe from Austria. I liked running his courses, but I thought they were a little dangerous for very fast dogs given the weather circumstances. Anyway, we were 3rd (again with very nice contacts) and in combined results for the Eukanuba Cup 2008 we were 2nd. Xsara got a nice doggy sleeping bag from the sponsor, but the best reward for her came on Sunday - after three months we managed to find her green ball and I think she's never letting it go again :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

RO-II exam: Passed!

We had more trials this weekend. First we had an agility trial here in Ljubljana. Unfortunately I made a handling error and got us eliminated, but was very happy with Xsara's contacts, which were my priority for this trial. I am planning on moving us to the highest Agility 3 Level this season, so contacts are very important right now. We don't have any pictures from this trial yet, so I'm posting a picture from the last week, kindly sent to me by Teja and Luna.

On Sunday we had a RO trial and for the first time competed in RO-II cathegory. In order to compete on a higher level, a team must complete the exam for this cathegory. I wasn't very happy with our performance because Xsara started sniffing on the start and I couldn't get her concentrated on me. But the judge saw potential in us and was very pleased with some of the exercises that she really did well. So we didn't just pass the exam but also finished on the 4th place. I was surprised to see that we could score so high even on our bad day :) Maybe I'm too self-critical.

After the trial we took Xsara for a long walk. I had to work in the evening so we didn't have a lot of time, but I really wanted to enjoy at least a little bit of mountains. So we went to Kokrsko sedlo, but as we didn't have the time to go to the top, we just walked for a couple of hours and then returned to the valley. Xsara loves hiking so much, it's so nice to watch her jump around like an agile little ibex. And the mountains are absolutely amazing this time of year, so we will definitely do more hiking in the next moths.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Trial in Selca 2008

We had another trial on Saturday and it was held in Xsara's birth town, Selca. Unfortunately our breeder couldn't come because she was on a dog expo on the other side of Slovenia. But we visited her a couple of days before the trial to see their new puppies. The 4 weeks old Z-litter is really adorable - 4 sweet girls and one boy.

Anyway, the trial went very well. We had two nice runs and won in our cathegory, so I was a super proud beagle mummy. Seems like Xsara has gained even some more speed lately, so all the training is really paying off for both of us. I know we are still not running our full speed, so I'm working on it and hopefully we will improve our times even more this season. I have to admit that training with other dogs is very helpful to both of us. So no, I'm not "on the dark side" as someone suggested, but I don't want to hold Xsara back so I have to train a lot more than she does.

Dasa was on the same dog expo as our breeder, so I ran with Kate again, as "the white dog". We started very well but I was so afraid that she would hit her shoulder into the flat tunnel entry (which was placed in a nasty 180° turn) that I didn't call her enough, causing her to enter into the wrong tunnel. After that mistake I got a little distracted and made another little handling error and forgot to run faster than I'm used to, but all in all I think it was still a diecent run.

Our next trial is on Saturday and it's also a team trial. Unfortunately one canine member of our team hurt her toe and another one is pregnant, so it seems like our team won't run. I wish both of them a very fast recovery!