My princesses

My photo
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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I don't normally dress Xsara up into costumes, but we found these adorable fairy wings at a children's store and couldn't help ourselves. So this year Xsara is a Food Fairy for Halloween.

Do you think she doesn't look scary? Well, she's horrifying ... to a hamburger :)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Action Pictures

Big thanks to Iztok and Andraž for these amazing pictures of Xsara, taken on the previous few trials!

Tomorrow I'm going to Djerba to enjoy some sunshine before winter. I think Xsara will love having Gas all for herself, while I know I will miss her like crazy! We will be back to blogging next week.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

National Champion 2008

Yup, that's right! For the second year in the row, Xsara won the combined National Championship in Agility on A2/J2 Medium level. Even though we have been competing in A3/J3 for the past two trials and missed the first trial of the season due to her nail injury, we still had enough points from 9 out of 12 trials. I am super proud because the competition was a lot more difficult this year. It really gives us a nice closure for A2/J2 and now we can set new goals for the next season.

In the final trial of the season we also competed in A3/J3. In the first run we missed the teeter contact, and in jumping we were disqualified due to the wrong tunnel entry and had one knocked bar. Xsara wasn't in a great mood for running, she had an upset tummy the day before and is on a risotto diet. But looking at the videos I think we did some parts of the course quite well. Courses of this type are very difficult for us because the handler stands still and sends the dog around the same jumps, while Xsara performs her best when I run with her and pull her ahead with my movement. We need to gain speed in situations like this, so this will be our main working focus in the next weeks or months. I really hope that we will soon be able to bring the attitude she has in training to the trial field, because we do a lot better in training (well, most teams do). Here are the videos of our runs:



We also had another Rally-Obedience trial last week. Xsara did very well, but she missed the entry into her favorite agility obstacle - the weaves! It was funny to see that many agility dogs had problems with agility obstacles in obedience, because they don't really expect to see them there. She got a very nice score considering we didn't get points for one exercise. We were 5th, but without this silly mistake she would probably have won.

We also have to tell you that we are now driving around safer in our new Hyundai Getz! Well, it's not completely new, it used to be my mom's, but she bought a new Getz this week (she is a huge fan, what can I say), and gave me a really good price for the "old" one (well, at 5 years she is not really "old" yet, but she's older that the new one). Pictures to follow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Help Clint With Just A Click

Xsara and I were so touched by a post on River's Blog, that I decided to publish it here as well, I hope that's OK with River's people (otherwise please let me know). Anyway, there is a Shelter Challenge going on HERE and one of the organizations in the competition is For the Love of Dogs in Tennessee (TN). The rescue with most votes will get a cash prize. Winning this challenge would help them raise money for Clint's hip surgery, so they are asking for help. It doesn't cost a thing and the site doesn't even require a registration. All you need to do is to go to the site: $100,000 Shelter Challenge. Fill in the name For the love of Dogs and the state is Tennessee (choose TN). Then they ask you to type in the name of the animal in a picture. You can vote every day until December 14, every vote will be greatly appreciated. Clint thanks you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

You Can't Always Get What You Want

But if you try sometimes you get what you need. That's how the song goes and those are the best words to describe our first trial in A3/J3.

It was raining on the morning of the trial and the slippery road caused our car to slide out of a curve and we had a car crash. Luckily, nobody got hurt, as I was going very very slowly. Xsara didn't even notice it, she was safe in her crate. The only damage was on our car. We thought that there was no chance we could still make it to the trial, as we couldn't drive there any more. But luckily, agility people are probably the nicest people on Earth.

We called Dasa who was already putting up the tent beside the show-ring and she immediately suggested that she comes to pick us up. I also called my parents and they offered to take care of my car, so we left the car with my mom and went to the trial with Dasa. With a morning like this, I was so grateful that we were fine for the entire day, and I really wasn't nervous about running in A3/J3 any more.

We came to the trial just in time to catch the course viewing. The course was very tricky (tunnel under the A-frame and the A-frame was in the combination twice!). Quite a task for our leading contacts. But strangely, most of her contacts were done better than I anticipated, even though the judge gave us penalty points on the first A-frame. Otherwise our run was nice and we made it through the course with no faults on time. The second course was even more tricky and I'm not proud of myself, but I decided to play it safely. So on two tricky spots I lost quite some time, but got no faults. This time we got a couple of points on time because of my safe strategy, but otherwise I think we had a very nice run. Anyway, with two diecent runs WE PLACED 3rd! An amazing result considering that Slovenia has a very strong Medium team. I never expected we could place so high, so I was super proud. We may not be the fastest team around, but Xsara is a very reliable dog, and I respect her for that. However next time, I'm not going safe any more, I will just run and if I send her to a wrong obstacle, so be it. Here is the video of our Jumping run, thanks to Petrca:

Also another news - we started doing theraball exercises and she loves it. She jumped on the ball right away and on the first day she was already comfortable doing some easy tricks on the ball. That's another thing I love about her, the excitement she puts into everything she does. She is such a cool dog, so full of life and vital energy, and so loving and sweet at the same time. I just can't stop thinking how happy I am that she is fine, as she is sleeping in my lap. I'm taking her for an extra long walk when she wakes up - because today we celebrate life!