This weekend Cisco, Berkley and spent at the Blue Ridge Dog Training Club's Agility trial. Cisco qualified in Jumpers on Friday getting his first leg towards his MXJ title and his first three MACH points. Saturday he Q'd in Open Standard finally getting that third leg and getting his OA title. Sunday his very first Excellent Standard run was met with the first time we've seen the zoomies in about 3 years and blowing all of our contacts. Sunday afternoon jumpers was a bit better, but we missed our weave poles and took a off-course jump. But I'm not complaining.
This weekend marked a few significant events for Cisco. As mentioned above there was a bit of zoomies taking place that hasn't been seen in years. He had six runs in three days and not one of them would I describe as pokey -- for the last year or so typically at least one run a day could be described as pokey. I also had a bunch of people come up to me and tell me how good he looked. All of this on the heels of a week that he practically drove us nuts nightly with his wanting to play with toys or be outside.
I think he's feeling better. And we didn't even know he wasn't feeling well. I really thought that my 6½ year old retriever was finally starting to slow down. Apparently not.
We kind of came to the conclusion this past April that maybe he was allergic to something in the food he had been on since September (he had been having hot spot after hot spot -- which even for my allergic dog was not that common). We switched his food and went to the vet where we got medicine to treat the ear infections. A month later, the ears still looked bad and the doses were upped on the medication for the ears. A month after that the ears still looked bad. At this point I decided to call the allergist and see if we could go see him again or we needed another referral from the vet. So off we went to the allergist who put us on different medication and had us restrict his diet (including treats -- no rawhides or even chicken flavored nylabones (the dogs are really missing those I think)). A month later the ears are looking tons better (not quite perfect yet) and we have a different dog.
Last weekend I went with my parents to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For those of you not familiar with the festival it's a yearly festival downtown on the mall that celebrates the living culture of states and nations. Every year a different nation, state, region or theme is picked. This year is all about Texas (the state), Bhutan (a country in the eastern Himalayas, bordered by China and India), and NASA (who is celebrating 50 years).
I think my mom was a little surprised when I asked if they were going to go this year and if they were, if I could come along. Admittedly it was not one of my favorite things to be dragged to growing up -- I remember it being hot and humid and crowded and boring. The heat, humidity, and the crowds were all the same, but I had more patience for listening and learning than I did growing up and it wasn't nearly as boring as I remember -- they had a ton of activities for kids this year (I don't know if they had the same thing when I was growing up or if I was too shy to want to participate). We had some interesting conversations with monks from Bhutan and engineers from NASA.
This year as part of the festival, the smithsonian has started the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Documentation Project group on flickr for people to share their photos taken at the festival.
The 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Photo Sharing Project strives to strengthen both the mission of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to promote cultural democracy, visitor participation, and cross-cultural conversation and the Smithsonian Photography Initiative's mission to document how photography plays an integral role in our lives and throughout the Smithsonian.
If you have a chance, check out some of the great pictures being posted to the group on flickr. It's really neat being able to see the festival from so many points of views and perspectives.
The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.
If you haven't taken some time to explore the commons, you should. There are some great photos reflecting our nation's and our world's past. So much of this content was hidden away or only viewable from a single location. Now it's available to everyone. How great is that?