Closing in on our goal...

Terra and I are happy to report that we have moved into the Elite Advanced division of Rally Freestyle Elements Musical Freestyle and just earned our first qualifying score with a newly-debuted routine! We are working toward RFE’s first Elite Grand Champion title, and I have choreographed a new routine to allow her to show off her talents while being physically less taxing on her body. She still absolutely loves to play and train with me, so it is very important to me that I honor the joy she gets from training and performing.

Terra is hanging out while I read, but she wants to go for a walk…

Terra is hanging out while I read, but she wants to go for a walk…

“Hey mom! Stop reading!”

“Hey mom! Stop reading!”

Our new routine scored 95/100 with extremely valuable and wonderful comments like “Lovely storytelling!” “Super clever prop use!” and “Creative interpretation of the music” . This routine was a skit-style routine, very different from our usual heel/dance style of freestyle, so it was a creative stretch for me that presented lots of training challenges. The sheer duration of a few of her behaviors took time to build, as well as the independence to work further from me than she would prefer. Anyone who has seen her sidepass with me knows how she loves to GLOM and SHOVE into me! lol

This routine has also been challenging in the prop department: lots of them and some that even change throughout the routine! Oy!

She’s got a better idea!

She’s got a better idea!

Going for a walk… Now the fun really starts!

Going for a walk… Now the fun really starts!

I have been resting her for a couple weeks, hoping to perform again in the Dogs Gone Dancing Bandstand show April 27-28. I’ve practiced, but made her rest her body. We’ll feel the need to sneak in one more practice this week, play around with some bits during the Friday fun match and then see how she feels.

Stay tuned as we continue to work toward our goal with this new routine! Enjoy the video stills! :)

Scoring Big in Elite Novice!

Omg what an amazing weekend! Our first "go" at Elite Novice!

Ringo and Terra both performed their first Elite Novice routines at the Come to the Cabaret RFE Musical Freestyle Event. Terra only performed once (to be conservative about her arthritis) but our routine earned a first place with 98/100, and TWO Audience Choice Awards: "Celebrating the Bond" and "This routine made me cry". Ringo performed both days, earning his Elite Novice Title with a 2nd place 88/100 & 1st place 89/100, as well as a Judge's Choice Award for "A dog who dances with a joyful heart" in memory of Patricia Nash's Chase.

Jenn & Terra

Elite Novice Leg #1. Earned 98/100 Come to the Cabaret Musical Freestyle Event; 6/30/18

Jenn & Ringo

Elite Novice Leg #2. Earned 89/100 Come to the Cabaret Musical Freestyle Event; 7/1/18

I also felt the love with my going-away gift card and TIARA! Much love to all my freestyle friends here. I will miss you tons! I'll be finding excuses to come visit, that is for sure! ❤️❤️

Thank you to our judge Carrol Haines and to  Nancy Bartosik Marston and Lindsay Crampton who worked hard to help me put this show on! Also major thank you to Arlene Zingale and Kathy Labella for all your volunteer time helping us with music and scorekeeping. Thank you to Petra Ford and Sue Yanoff and Joe Zuckerman without whose help, I would not have been dancing with Terra at all this weekend. I'm beyond grateful for her good health!! 

I'm super excited for others' accomplishments over the weekend but I can't divulge it before they have. MAJOR CONGRATS TO EVERYONE!

Moving Toward Syracuse! Musical Freestyle Madness!

Moving Toward Syracuse! Musical Freestyle Madness!

Terra and I just earned the second leg of her In-Sync Novice title with one of our favorite routines, the Seneca Square Dance. This weekend we are off to Maine to see Michelle Pouliot and all our freestyle friends at Dancing Paws of Maine. Then we will be off to Syracuse November 5th and 6th, for the Muttly Masquerade freestyle competition. I will be competing in not one, not two, not three freestyle routines, but FOUR freestyle routines!

Following that Super Nose!

Following that Super Nose!

Nosework competing in 2015 and 2016 has been a little rough for Terra and I, as we have been waitlisted on over 10 attempts to enter any NW2 trial just about anywhere within a day's drive of NY. There is a serious bottleneck of competitors and it will take us a lot longer than I thought to earn our NW2. We, however, had a great weekend in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago, at our first Element Specialty trial!

Terra's new musical freestyle routine "Flying Home"

Terra and I have moved on up to the Premier Freestyle division with the Musical Dog Sport Association and the Advanced Freestyle division with Rally Freestyle Elements. This means our routines are longer (3 minutes or more!), have more requirements, and must be done with precision heeling and minimal overt signals. We are really enjoying the challenge and love the training time we get together. Here is our first Premier level routine for MDSA. Hope you enjoy it! 

Odor Recognition Test, what's that?

I'm happy to report that on March 16th, Terra passed her Odor Recognition Test for Birch!

She had three minutes to identify which of the twelve identical boxes held birch odor, and she found it in less than ten seconds! There are no special prizes for speed, but she was certain about her decision without even sniffing all 12 boxes. 

Once a dog passes an ORT, they are eligible to compete in K9 Nosework trials, where they will hunt for the same odor (birch) in four elements: interior searches, exterior searches, vehicle searches, and container searches.

To learn more: www.nacsw.net

Working toward Standard Freestyle Dog

Terra just received her qualifying score (42/50) and a leg toward her Standard Freestyle Dog Title!

We spent all of 2013 rehabbing and trying to avoid having surgery on her torn CCL (the human equivalent is an ACL). Ultimately surgery was the best option, and 6 months later we were able to get back to doing what we love most: canine musical freestyle!!

In 2012 Terra earned her Novice Freestyle Dog title with three qualifying routines, so now we are after our Standard title. Next routine is due in April!