Just a little clip of our Sunday morning sing-along session to wake everyone up before getting into this post. Everyone wanted desperately to go outside and were wound up beyond belief, so I started prodding Luke to see if I could get him to set something off. Secret started responding to the noises that Luke was making, which Kaiser didn't care for, so he started "talking," eventually hitting the right note to get everyone going. Oh, the ways I find to entertain myself on weekends at home.... :o)
I didn't mention any of our weekend plans last week for fear of jinxing us! Twice now, I have tried to plan trips to Minnesota to train with a friend and both times Mother Nature interfered and stomped my plans into the ground. This time I decided to keep it to myself in case we got hit with a non-forecasted blizzard that would force us to stay home.
Thankfully, this was not the case! We actually had a miraculous & GORGEOUS stretch of warm weather this weekend! Bring on the melting!
Saturday morning was nice & lazy. We didn't have to leave until 11:00, so we slept in, did our daily poo-pick of the yard (because SOMEONE is still eating frozen poo if given the chance), trimmed nails and clipped feet. I still can't believe what a hairy beast Secret is. She is obviously trying to classify herself as a rough-coat simply based on the amount of hair she can grow from the ankle down.
After a quick stop to fill my parent's wood stove (Secret, stop eating the wood!), we were off! Poor, poor Secret. She'd spent her whole morning playing and was now in desperate need of a nap. Unfortunately, the front seat refuses to grow larger and she found it next to impossible to sleep. Finally, a full hour and a half into our journey, she FINALLY went into the back where she could stretch out and snooze. For about 20 minutes. Oh well, it's better than nothing! I was worried that I wouldn't have a dog to speak of once we got to the facility, but she woke right up.
Secret was overjoyed to see her bestest Border Collie buddies, Peppy & Neeko! Oh, how she loves them so. No doubt running around with them for a bit helped her warm up to the facility and feel more comfortable. From the get-go, this was really the most confident that I've seen Secret in a new location! This made me so happy to see.
Mind you, she was no speed demon -- But she was playing, she was giving a good effort, and she was having fun! Secret had her first introduction to rubber contacts, as the a-frame was coated in the pelleted rubber (with slats). This didn't seem to bother her at all. They had a "mini" dog walk with 8' planks (and slats) that just had the standard painted wood. Secret started out just fine with this at first, but then got spooked somehow later on. She was offering anything she could think of to avoid doing the dog walk (namely, leaving me to go do tunnels & jumps). I ended up having to put her leash on and after two times of luring her across with cheese, she was totally fine and went back and forth repeatedly on her own. It's the first time we've had an issue with a dog walk, so that one threw me a bit.
Secret nailed the new weaves each time she saw them, which is awesome -- At both FDC and ABCTC she tends to run past them the first time, but at this place she hit them in full stride. Again, not super speedy, but at her slower "processing" speed. Jumping sequences were good, including several really nice rear crosses (something we haven't really done anything with this winter). We had several tunnel/contact discriminations set up and this is definitely something that has deteriorated a bit over the winter, but overall she still did quite well.
There was a teeter set up in the back at "baby height", so we also took the opportunity to play on that for a bit. The leash was required to keep her with me for this, but she went over the teeter of her own accord, so that is definitely a step in the right direction. We ended with weaves & a few jumps to rev her up again and end on a happy note. Overall, it was a great practice for us and I'm thankful to have gotten an opportunity to train in a new place!
Finally, just a quick note about the sequence of photos in this post -- Secret's new toy is the Hurley by WestPaw Design. I guess it's part of their new "Zogoflex" line? At any rate, this toy is frightening. Secret has had it for over three weeks now and there isn't so much as a tooth mark on the thing. What kind of alien material do they use??? It's "guaranteed tough" and no doubt, it is! Crazy.