Welllllllllllll......today wasn't as pleasant as yesterday. Not because of the dogs, but because of a combination of the running order for the classes and the weather. You'll have to bear with me a little bit, I'm going to vent on the side of negativity because I'm pretty annoyed and disappointed.
Our schedule for today was that we all left the house at about 6:30am. We had a 1.5 hour drive down to Corvallis. Thankfully it was early morning and it was nice and cool out, so no worries there. We got there, I took my time walking the dogs around and getting them settled in for the day. I had left Bess' crate there over night, so our prime spot by the door (which equals actual air movement; a very important thing as the temperature rises!) was saved. Things were all together perfect! I got Bess settled into her crate and Heffner settled into the bed of the truck (which I jokingly started calling the penthouse) in a wonderful shady area, and then headed off to watch the elite level people run their standard course. Well after a couple of hous of that, I took the dogs out in turn for some walking time, potty time, and mommy time.:O) I got them settle back into their respective areas and then it was on to watch the Open level people run their standard course. At this point, it's getting close to 11am and I'm getting really antsy! As it turns out, we didn't actually get to run our course, the very first course of the day, until 1pm!!>:O( This is seriously NOT okay! That's just about five hours of sitting around doing nothing when you don't count in the drive time. At this time the temperatures are already into the low 80's and the arena air is thick and unpleasant. So that leaves me with one heat sensitive dog who is starting to melt before he even gets to do his first run of the day, and one very energetic dog, who is NOT heat sensitive who is NOT used to just hanging out for 5+ hours and only getting a bit of walking around.
I ran Bess first and we were pretty much the comic relief! It wasn't bad, and I sort of expected it because she was just going stir crazy while we were waiting. She was tugging on her leash and just having a good ole time. Which is essentially what I want her to do, is have a good time. I want only positive associations with agility trials. So we step out onto the line, I tell the scribe her call name, I take off her slip lead, and she's off! LOL That girl has got some SERIOUS speed on her! She shot through the hoop and took off past the dog walk, which was supposed to be our next obstacle. However, even in the midst of a mad zoomie dash, she came right back to me when I called her. The rest of the course was pretty well done. A few more little crazy girl spots that were apparently pretty entertaining for those watching her. We didn't nail our weaves at all and I wasn't about to harp on her for that. It's just something that I need to work on and probably bring along my own set of warm up weave poles to the trial. All-in-all, she did a very good job for a poor pent up crazy girl! I did manage to coerce a bystander into video taping the run, though I really wish I hadn't! I haven't as yet reviewed the clip, but I doubt that I'll be posting it.LOL
I quickly put Bess back in her crate and ran out to the truck to grab Heffner (I had chatted with the other people in our height division to let them know I was running two dogs and needed to go first and last). He was VERY happy to see mommy!:O) We got inside the arena in the waiting area and he was just panting. I already felt bad because of how hot it was and how much down time both of the dogs were being forced to have. As is our usually Heffner was a bit distracted. Not too terribly bad, but he was also lagging a little bit. Usually if I get too far ahead of him he really picks up the pace and he wasn't really doing that. He also knocked a bar. Considering our jump height for NADAC at this trial is 20", that's just very unlike him unless I physically bump into him hard enough to throw him off. And I definitley didn't do that. So I'm already starting to get concerned (and SWEATY!!).
We then have a quick break while they re-number the course and run our level of Regular again going tallest to smallest (this makes for the least amount of course set-up time). I put Heffner back in the truck with his cool coat and collar on, go back and get crazy Bess out, and am the first person standing in line ready to go for round 2!
Round 2 went better. Bess had gotten her zoomies out in the first round, and except for botched weaves again, and one missed jump (my bad!), she had a clean, happy run! A little after our run, I realized that I hadn't actually entered her in the second round of Regular, but that's the sort of things that you can apparently get away with at a fundraiser (I'll go into that part later).
I then grab Heffner out. I spritz him a little, let him drink out of his favorite sprayer, and we're off. In his second round it was very readily apparent that he was done. He was panting a lot, he was lagging behind me and I don't think broke out of a trot the whole time, was having difficulties with his weaves, and knocked a few more bars. This is all just not like him.
Once we're done, I'm feeling really conflicted. Heffner definitely needed to be scratched, but Bess could have finished out her remaining runs. But it's also only getting hotter, I'm doing nothing but getting sweatier, and it's almost 2pm and there are still 4 more different classes (remember, at this point it is taking them around 5 hours to get through essentially two classes; the Regular 1 and 2 at all levels) with all levels and the various different jump heights to get through. I would be lucky if it was over by 6pm. Oh yeah, and there are NO CONCESSION stands at the trial and I didn't pack anything but a few snacks for myself. And the pop machines only accept $1 bills and all I've got is a $5. Did I mention that I'm also starting to get cranky at this point?:O) Thankfully not at the dogs!!
So my mind was made up. It would be incredibly unfair of me to ask Heffner to just hang out in the truck for the 4+ hours doing nothing, just so I could run Bess in two more runs. I also just wasn't really feeling up to it. So I packed the kids up and we headed home! And right now they are both sprawled out on the office floor around me passed out.
Now onto the beef about NADAC fundraisers. This fundraiser is to raise money for the championships or something like that. I didn't really pay that close attention. It's a trial and the only one that I was going to be able to make it to this month, so I entered. I will never again enter a NADAC fundraiser trial! First of all, they do whatever they can to cut costs. This means that the trial is put on by NADAC itself, and not by a host club. Which means that there is no support staff to speak of. Just one representative for NADAC, who happens to be the judge. They had to borrow equipment from the local agility club just to be able to put this on. There is no sign up sheet for volunteers to get everything organized ahead of time so that people can see what spots are needed at what times. There is also no official running order for the dogs other than level and jump height. This means that instead of being able to arrange things on a list ahead of time if you're running two dogs, you have to hang around until your time is getting close, find all the people in your jump height and figure things out so that you can make it with both dogs. In my opinion, this is NOT cool! It makes for a whole lot of people and dogs standing in a long line just waiting to go in instead of being able to keep your dog off to the side or working on things and being able to continually see what dog is on the line and how many more are ahead of you. It also means that there is no official checking in for each run. As I subsequently figured out, it also makes it incredibly easy to run your dog in a run that you didn't actually enter them in! If there had been a list and a gate steward, I would have known/been told that Bess was not actually entered in the second run of Regular. Oh well! In a nut shell, stay away from the fundraisers unless you don't get annoyed easily!:O)
My plan for tomorrow is that we'll still head down for the trial since the way things are scheduled we're "guaranteed" to be running our Jumpers courses first thing while it's still cool. Once it starts heating up, I'm scratching both dogs and we're heading home. It really sucks that I'm essentially throwing that money away, but there isn't anything else I can do other than make Heffner totally misserable. And probably myself in the process!
I've got Bess entered in a trial in June. Then we're taking July off because there aren't any trials within a reasonable driving distance that don't conflict with a dog show. And considering how much it really sucks for me to be running a course in the heat, I'm thinking that we're going to take the month of Aug. off as well. Then Bess will pick it back up in Sept. and Heffner will come back to it in Oct.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the results of the second Hoopers run from last night! Both dogs had clean runs!! Bess was over time by a bit because we had to redo a test set of hoops when she veered off to say hi to some people. Heffner was only over by 4 seconds!!