We had a blast down in Davenport, IA this weekend at our first ever NADAC FUN-Raiser. I'd heard rumors of how they are run -- No running order, no gate sheet, no set order, etc. As someone who is very fond of structure, I wasn't sure how well I would handle it -- But we went with the flow and it was an all around great group of people there over the weekend.
Secret was her usual awesome self. She qualified 8/12 for the weekend -- going 3/6 on Saturday and 5/6 on Sunday!! More about that in a bit...
I was surprised at how Secret handled the turf at Quad City Dog Center. My boys don't have any problem with it and I've seen many very fast dogs run on the surface with little to no problem. Secret's feet were shaved on Friday before we left and I never thought it would be an issue -- She was sliding ALL OVER THE PLACE. She really wiped out a couple of times on Saturday. I have absolutely no idea how to explain it, but she seemed to get better as she got used to the footing.
Chances was up first on Saturday. It was an interesting little course, as it allowed for a "choice" halfway through. As your dog came out of a tunnel you had the option of a hoop or a jump going into a bi-directional tunnel. Whichever one your dog took first (whether or not it was the one you directed....), you had to then take the other obstacle on the way back. So many Novice handlers tried for the harder "out" on the first pass, only to fail and have their dog take the inner hoop -- Secret was no exception. She even shimmied over the line a bit on her way through, but apparently not with all four feet because it wasn't called. Thankfully she stayed out on the second pass and finished the run clean for her first Chances Q!
Open Regular was next and it was a lovely run (with a couple of diggers....) until she got distracted by something and totally spaced out for a second. She cut in past a hoop and then saw me and went, "Oh! Was I supposed to take that?" As a result she turned around and went backwards through the hoop. Other than that it was a lovely run -- She made up for it and put in a super Regular round 2 for another Q.
We had time faults in Open Jumpers and Elite Weavers, which is always a bummer. She was lagging to begin with in Jumpers and then I started to cut out on her line in preparation for a front cross, causing her to follow me and miss the jump. Due to her snail-like speed in that round, it caused us to be 4.5 seconds over time. Elite Weavers was very nice, but again it was like pulling teeth to get her to move. I was pleasantly surprised when she was ONLY 2.5 seconds over time. I expected more. She easily made time in Touch-n-Go, thankfully.
Sunday.... Oh Sunday. What fun that was. Thunderstorms -- BIG thunderstorms -- started to roll into Davenport shortly before Open Regular was to begin. I tried to take Secret out to go potty and had to give up when she heard the thunder. I could barely get her out of her crate before the run, so I didn't have high hopes. Thankfully we did make it through the first run -- slowly. Just as she finished, before I was able to get her leash on, there was a giant crack of thunder and she bolted a few steps out of the ring and stood there in shock. I tried to call her back into the ring to avoid getting eliminated, but she was frozen with fear. Another rumble of thunder went through the building and I jumped for her to get her leash on before she could take off. The judge must have taken pity on me for the thunder situation, as we didn't get Eliminated and ended up with a Q in that round.
The storm was at its high point when it was time for our next round. Honestly, I should have scratched it. I could NOT get Secret to come out of her crate for anything. I pretty much had to drag her out and as we waited our turn I couldn't even get her to look at me. She was so scared. Much to my surprise, she actually did start to run the course with me -- We made it three obstacles before a low rumble made her skirt around a jump. As I was getting her back, a REALLY loud clap of thunder terrified her out of her wits and she made a beeline for the exit. The leash runner had to blockade her to keep her in the ring until I got there. I let her go hide in her crate, she wasn't interested in anything else.
THANKFULLY there was quite a bit of time between Open Regular and her next class, Novice Chances. The storm held on as long as it could, but thankfully it passed and I was actually able to get Secret to go potty before Chances. I literally had to DRAG her out into the grass. Once she was out there a few minutes (I continued to drag her around...) she realized that it wasn't thundering anymore and she got much better. I worried that she would think the arena was a scary place because of her last run, but she bounced right back and got another Q in Novice Chances. Yay!!!
The whole extreme fear thing took a lot out of her and I wasn't sure Secret would be able to make it the rest of the day. It was a long weekend, after all. She was a trooper, though, and ended up finishing the day with Q's in everything -- she even made time in Elite Tunnelers! She was pretty done by Hoopers, but thankfully Novice time is very lenient. So even though she trotted a good portion of it, she was still well under time.
So lesson learned -- Pack the thundershirt for away trials. I wasn't aware that it was supposed to storm, so it didn't even occur to me. Guess I should just keep it in the car!
Secret finished her OAC and OJC titles this weekend. Is it possible that she is in Elite in four classes already? She still needs one more Novice Chances Q to finish up her Novice Versatility award -- And one more Open Q in Touch-n-Go to finish up that title. Baby Girl is on a roll!
(PS, the boys have videos on my YouTube channel as well if you want to see them!)