I officially have trucker's butt from the driving back and forth to Corvallis this many times in one weekend! Our long weekend of trialing has come to a close. And on a good note to boot!:O) But first, I have to tell you about the rest of yesterday, from what I heard this morning.
I am INCREDIBLY glad that I decided to leave when I did. If I had tried to stick it out, the dogs and I would have been absolutely miserable. Everything was taking forever and they didn't actually rap things up until around 9:30pm. That's right, more than 12 HOURS of trialing!! And we would have been in the very last group to run because I had both dogs enetered in novice Jumpers. Then we would have had to drive an hour and a half to get home, eat a very late dinner, grab a little sleep, and do it all over again the next day. The dogs wouldn't have been terribly happy and I certainly would not have been in the best frame of mind!
This morning I had a better game plan with the dogs. I knew that they really needed to stretch their legs a little bit before it started warming up, and Bess most definitely needed to get out and run a bit. So we went into one of the unused outdoor arenas. I shut and locked the gate and unleashed the hounds!! They were so cute! We raced around the dirt floor for a bit, but there wasn't a whole lot of running around. And Bess was more focussed on trying to wrestle with Heffner, who wasn't really in the mood for that. So we did some long distance recalls. This is something that Bess absolutely LOVES! She's great at staying and just totally digs in when it's time to come to momma! She gets going so fast that she usually flies right by me and has to turn around. Thankfully she no longer runs straight into me. And yes, she really did use to run straight into my legs if I stood still. Not fun!
Heffner was up for the game for a couple of rounds, but then he decided that it was just a lot more fun to follow me around. I went ahead and let him because I figured having him "practice" following me around would hopefully help with his moments of distraction in the ring. And I think it actually did! We did these little games for about a half hour. Then I got them watered and put into their holding pens.:O)
Thankfully the Jumpers rounds were going faster than anything yesterday did. I watched the elite and open people and then it was our turn. I quickly walked the course (it was a GREAT flowing course with only one tunnel, so there really wasn't much to it) and got Bess out to wait in line. We played tug for a little while and ran around the waiting area to burn off a little bit of the crazies. Then it was our turn!!
Bess did soooooo great! She stuck with me, was excited, but not too crazy, and had a clean run! We had one minor bobble where I pulled away from a jump too soon and she went around it to follow me, so I had to take her back over it. Unfortunately that little bobble cost us the Q, but she did AWESOME!! We were 4 seconds over on time and therefore didn't end up qualifying, but it was still a GREAT run!!
I quickly put Bess in her crate after a lot of hugs and smooches, and I got Heffner out of his penthouse. He was totally ready to go and was doing such a great job of only paying attention to me. I wasn't even really trying to hold his focus. You would have never known that he can be snarky by the way he was acting while we were waiting in line! And then his run! It was beautiful!! Totally clean and no bobbles! He got a few claps from the people watching when he zipped through the tunnel. Then we were in the home stretch and hauling tail to the finish jump! I was just totally thrilled with him! And he very definitely was thrilled with himself! However, we managed to be 1 second, yes 1 second over time and missed the Q. That's one of the frustrating things about NADAC, they're times are pretty tight, even for novice.
The next class after Jumpers was Regular, which was the one that took FOREVER yesterday. There was no way that I was going to wait around for 4+ hours just to get one more run in on each dog. Since it was still fairly early and cool out, I took the dogs for a walk along one of the trails by the fairgrounds. Unfortunately there was a foot race going on on the trail that I preferred, but we went on a route that goes across the covered bridge by OSU's agriculture fields. The dogs got to meander around off leash and we even got to go into a field that was open! Then we splashed around in the creek so they could get a drink and cool off a bit. After that we headed back to the fairgrounds to hang out in the shade for a while. Once they were cooled off, I loaded them and our stuff into the truck, and we headed for home!
Today was definitely a more positive feeling day. I feel like we accomplished more. Both dogs had great runs and they both had a great time! I had MANY compliments on how especially happy Bess looked while she was on the course all three days! Unfortunately there wasn't a photographer there at all and I didn't manage to get anyone to video tape either of the runs. But Bess has another trial in two weeks, so we'll try again there!