Monday, August 30, 2010

Yet Another Sporadic Weekend Wrap Up!

Okay, I think that next week things should theoretically be settling back down. At least I certainly hope so! I didn't get around to posting at all last Thursday because I took the dogs for a trail run to burn off some energy. Then it was time to do toe nails. And because they were pretty dirty and we had a rally trial on Saturday and there was no way that I was going to have time to do it on Friday, they both got baths. I was pretty beat after that. And Friday was just hell. I left the house at 6:15 am and got home after 9pm. It was by far the longest day at work that I have ever had. Thankfully everything went well, it was all just very involved and time consuming. And because of that one protocol, I'm a little behind on a few other things. But I'm trying not to think about that right now!

Anyhow, Saturday was the obedience and rally trial hosted by Sherwood Dog Training Club, which is the obedience club that we're a part of. I got there early to help where I could and to get the dogs set up in a nice spot. The location of the trial was very pretty, the weather was perfect, and everyone there were all very nice and in good spirits. It was a really great trial and the club did a fantastic job with it. I had both dogs entered in Rally Advanced. Unfortunately I didn't get any video of either of the runs, which I'm kind of kicking myself now for because there's a few things that I would like to review, but oh well.

There were a lot of good things that happened for us at this trial. Heffner is getting better and better about being in his soft crate. Especially when I'm not standing or sitting directly next to it. He's still not terribly thrilled if he can hear me, but can't see me. Otherwise, he's actually really well behaved in there as long as he can see me. So that's a pretty big deal. The other big deal for both dogs was how well they both performed.
Bess, for whatever reason, seems to have some difficulties working on grass. I've mentioned it before and I'm not exactly sure why it's that way. Her butt just usually has a tendency to get stuck to the ground and she also kind of moves likes she's walking through molasses. On Saturday though, she acted mostly like her normal self! I say mostly because she got a little distracted a couple of times on the course and got ahead of me. Otherwise, she did well.

Heffner actually paid attention to me! I would have to honestly say that I think that was the best run that he has EVER done. He sniffed a little at the beginning and I just sort of ignored it and talked to him in a quiet voice. I expected it to happen, so I just prepared myself ahead of time for it so that I wouldn't get frustrated. We've had one lack of team work comment already, we didn't need another. After about the second obstacle, suddenly he just tuned in to me. He made actually acknowledged me and was happily making eye contact! His first 90 degree pivot was actually tighter than Bess'! I was so happy with how he was doing and I told him so as we were going along. Then we got to about the fourth or fifth sign from the end, which was another 90 degree pivot and he was just sluggish to move with me. I encouraged him and as he stood from the sit, a stream of pee was coming out. ARG!! Not again!! Heffner peed on the course for the second time in the rally ring. I think it's safe to say that the peeing is definitely stress related. Bess was the first dog that I took into the ring and right after her run it was Heffner's turn. I had walked him and he had peed before that and should have been good to go. That wasn't the case though. Ug! Aside from him peeing, it was a beautiful run.

In the end, Bess got first place with a score of 94 and poor Heff got another DQ. On the up side, our judge was really nice and she complimented me on both dogs. I feel pretty good about that. This is the same judge that Heffner got his last leg for his RN under. Which was probably one of our worst runs. So it was kind of nice to be able to show some improvement in the ring. And I have to say, while on one hand it can be a little more stressful to have the dogs off leash in the ring, I swear that it helped me with Heffner more. I didn't have a leash to be fussing with. And I also wasn't wasting needed mental focus on whether or not my leash was tight, how I was holding it, or just fumbling with it in general. It was nice to be able to just focus on the dogs and what the heck I was doing with my body.:)

After the trial, I was pretty much toast. I've been getting up at 5am for the past two weeks regardless of what time I've been getting to bed. I had to cancel doing a few other activities that I was going to try and fit in so that I could take a nap and try to make a dent in my sleep deficit. It definitely helped!

Sunday was more of a lazy day. The weather was thankfully nice and cool so I wasn't in a rush to get the dogs exercised before it was too hot and I had to wait until the evening. They got a nice currying and then we went off for a little hike. It was a much needed relaxing day for us.:)

There was a photographer at the show and I did get some pictures taken with the dogs. Bess got a placement picture taken with her ribbon and the lovely towel that we won. And then I asked the photographer to take some candids of the dogs together, just because. I'll be sure to post those once I get them.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I have a couple more agility videos of Bess to share, courtesy of Kennedy!!

This is her reward after a run:

And here's her Jumpers run!


Jennifer H. said...

It sounds like it was a wonderful Rally trial!! Congrats on your great runs with both puppers (besides the pee-pee ). Just the fact that they both did so well in an outdoor trial is AWESOME! You should be very proud indeed. :)

sagechronicles said...

I am so impressed! Mom says I'm going to start agility when I get a little bit older. Then I can have fun like you do!