What is the best way to ring in the New Year, you might ask? What a silly question. Why, at a trial!
I packed up the crew and drove in the freezing rain down to Davenport, IA on New Years Eve. While the weather was terribly crappy at home (freezing rain & 24 degrees), the sun was shining and it was a bright & beautiful 58 degrees when we arrived in Iowa!! (Don't get too excited, a cold front rolled in and the next morning we had wind chills of five below zero.)
In addition to the experience of traveling to a new facility (one of the best in this part of the country, no doubt), Secret also had the brand new experience of sharing a hotel room. I swore off room sharing over two years ago because it never seems to go well, but these days I'll do about anything to save a buck -- So.... We knew our dogs get along and we can at least tolerate each other (snicker, snicker), so we went for it. Secret thought it was AWESOME. Two Border Collies to play with all weekend! And they brought toys! Oh yes, she was in heaven.
We crated at the end of the row where it would be less busy and we could have more of an area to ourselves. Secret did well with this arrangement and wasn't nearly so "rumbly" as she can be in La Crosse with many people & dogs passing us. She met lots of new people as well as a few new dogs and she did very well. I was hoping to play frisbee outside, but it was too windy -- So we made due with tugging and catching games in the aisle and this made her happy.
I've been waffling on whether or not I want to drive down to Iowa for Secret's first trial in February since she is such an unknown at this point, but the boys had such a fantastic weekend that I'm leaning at going for them, if nothing else. Secret should probably only run a couple classes per day at her first trial, anyhow.
Our next lesson with Deb is confirmed! We will be heading to Eau Claire on Sunday, January 16. I have opted to do a private lesson this time, but Secret will still have to share the session with Kaiser. I feel there is so much to cover at this point that it will be better to have the whole hour to myself.
I also learned that Family Dog Center will be hosting run-throughs (with a course, not the messed up "open agility") on Wednesday, January 12 & 19. We will be sure to hit those up, for sure!
I've gotten in a couple of jump sessions with Secret in the basement and things are going great. She still doesn't drive through her turns as much as I would hope for, but she's doing very well with all of the call to heel foundation exercises that Deb gave us. I finally got around to getting her back on the ball again last night as well and she's doing great with that as well.
It totally sucks outside right now. Warmer temperatures and rain took away the majority of our snow pack, then the plummeting temperatures turned everything into a solid block of ice. Last night we got just under an inch of fluff to cover it all, making things downright dangerous out there now. The dogs are going completely stir-crazy.
I complain a lot about winter, but I have to admit that December was actually a very pleasant month and the dogs really enjoyed it. I could deal with a winter like that, even though we got way too much snow. It's all this ice that puts me into a foul mood....