Science Fair 2018

E _rocked_ it at the Science Fair today. Despite her voiced concerns over speaking to the judge about her project, my loquacious daughter excitedly and with great animation spoke at length about what and how she did what she did. We couldn’t hear – parents are instructed to get out of dodge and not interfere – but we could see. The kind judge knelt down to be eye to eye with E. I could see the judges mouth moving and imagine her prompting E with questions. E was gesticulating and paging through her lab book and demonstrating her eye dropper. She showed her markers and the filters.

We are SO damn proud.

She didn’t want to leave. We walked through the rest of the fair. We asked other children about their projects.

These future scientists are very clever monkeys with bright curious minds and articulate their ideas well.

At the end E insisted on hanging out at her project. We, and her grandparents, hung out on the side watching. E told anyone who slowed down about her project. Then she looked for folks holding still and drug them back to her project and regaled them too.

We finally tired of watching our girl ambush unwary strangers with science. We bribed her with lunch and headed out.

I love this child so very much. I am so proud. So very proud.


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Iditarod Ceremonial Start


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Ice Cream Social

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Ice Cream!

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Allie swims

At Alaska K9 Aquatics.

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2 Wheel Drive SUVs

At Cabelas: 

Each a bit different. 

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Rockets and cones

Piano was cancelled tonight. So we were fortunate to be invited to two rocket launchs with a classmate. 

Just a bit of Slo-Mo

And then Tastee Freez for dinner. Rich found her a hat. 

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Good boy

My favorite dog show of the year is held the first weekend of June at the Chugiak Benefit Association Ball Fields. 

This year I entered Bing in Rally Advanced B on a whim. I haven’t done Rally Adv B but I knew most of the signs more or less. He hasn’t learned the exercises formally but they are all variations on the noodling heel work we have played at for years. We didn’t squeeze in much practice time before the show. And he’s been feeling his age enough his willingness to jump even a single 8″ obstacle varies daily. 

So my expectations were low. Go out. Have some fun. Support the hosting club with my entry and provide comic relief. Ask my boy if he feels like working and respect his answer. 

We had a kind judge with high standards. I asked about foot movement for one of the exercises. Nope. Not even a teeny bit. 10 point loss. Whoo, I thought, better not figure on earning a Q today!

So we went out and did our best. I made a silly error right off the bat. Bing took about four signs to engage. 

I was a bit shocked we qualified. 

And thrilled we tied for fourth place. 

Then ecstatic, because my sweet nearly 13 year old partner had the faster time. 

Bing brought home a qualifying ribbon in green and a fully respectable ribbon in white for Fourth place. 

I love Bing so much. He has been such a good friend and partner over the years. 

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Healdsburg and ekaphants

Visiting my mom in Healdsburg California. Spent some time at the plaza and drove down to Oakland zoo so EKA could see elephants in person. Rode the sky tram. Road the train. Saw elephants, giraffe, elands, camels, lions, tigers, zebras, emus, wallaby, flamingos and many other birds. 


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Partnership with a Very Good Dog

Video of Bings run

Bing, Wales Tails Roques Crooner HSAsM, RN, BN, CGC, RATN, ASCA STDs, AHBA JHDCook Inlet Kennel Club

20170402, Wasilla AK

Barnhunt, Open
Bing is twelve and was suggesting before we made the drive this morning that maybe he would prefer to stay home today. I’d told a friend I’d give them a ride, so I bribed Bing with a cookie and we loaded up. E joined us. The drive out was uneventful and Bing rode unprotesting. An hour later we picked up our friend and her Cardi.
A quick hop over to the trial site and a great parking spot. 
Bing wasn’t a happy boy. He was protesting with a hoarse whiny bark, and trembling. I got E settled inside the trial, checked Bing in (though I was doubting we would run) and returned to Bing. 
Treats, water, and a quiet walk settled him and he was my happy boy again. 
I watched the Instinct and Novice dogs run. E played with her toys, chatted up other handlers, and convinced our friend to color with her. Plus ate a donut. 
I’ve noticed that this venue, for whatever reason, seems to be tougher. It seems like fewer dogs Q and more dogs mark. I don’t have numbers to back that up, just the sense I’ve gotten of the place. A couple people mentioned that there’d been no Qs in Open the previous day. Hmm. The first three Instinct dogs peed in the ring. Not a shining start. 
I like the judge and enjoy trialing with him. His courses are interesting and creative. 
Our friend was one of the leaky unfortunates in Instinct but showed excellent teamwork and a fine nose in Novice. The rat was found. The Climb accomplished. The tunnel proved to be her boys Achilles heel, and they ran out of time. Still, I think he gave a good run for Novice and she handled him well. Their Novice Qs will come with a bit more work.
Bing was the first dog in the second Open blind. We had another walk, a few more treats and a little water. I asked if he would prefer to kennel or work, and he indicated he was looking forward to working. Ok buddy, you’re the boss. Work it is.
In the ring Bing showed interest in a hide close to the gate, but refrained from stuffing his nose in and didn’t offer me eye contact after checking it. His indications are subtle and I must watch carefully with my mind fully engaged or I miss them. He was patient and willing as we methodically checked hides. He was moving slow so I was not sure he would be able to give me a Climb, and thought it likely we would time out. I was not concerned about the tunnel at all. Even the dark 90 turn is fine in his book. 
In Open there are two rats, two litter tubes, and a single clean tube. We did the outside edges without finding a rat. I asked Bing to climb the ramp. First he told me he couldn’t. We backed off, did a little other work, and approached the ramp again. With encouragement he successfully got his climb. It was pretty tough for him. Before we gave up on the ramp I gave him a few more inches of space and held my hand flat in our classic Touch game pose. I was very careful to not come into contact with the bales or Bing and I didn’t verbally cue Touch. That did it – he dug a little deeper and got up the ramp. He checked the hides atop the bales, no rat. Tunnel happened in there somewhere, no sweat.
I thought time was growing short. I was really tempted to call Rat on the first tube but decided it was a lot more important to trust Bing. 
We timed out. The elevated rat was in a location Bing probably could not have reached (today), the second rat was in a spot off the edges I forgot / ran out of time to check. The tempting tube in the beginning was a litter tube. So pleased I trusted Bing and refrained from calling a wrong tube. 
I am pleased with our teamwork and communication today. This was Bing’s fourth time in the ring, second trial weekend, in Open. It’s been months since we played this game and he was absolutely feeling his age today.
He is my very sweet and smart goody boy. I feel fortunate to have him as my partner. 
We will see if we can pick up that third Q in May…

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