Monday, June 6, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

If Blogger allowed me to use background music, there is no doubt that you'd be hearing a little "Sly & the Family Stone" right about now.

Summer has arrived. And since I'm too lazy to pack up the dogs and drive to water, I do the next best thing -- We play with the hose. Well, when I say, "we" I actually mean, "Secret." Luke has no interest, but will allow me to hose his belly to cool him off. Kaiser will sometimes come in for a sneak attack at the hose and if it's REALLY hot he'll let me mist him. But more or less, they both stand back and watch the madhouse of Secret & the hose.

She's really only interested in the JET feature. It is the only one that is fun to attack. It's a great way to wear her out on a hot day. It's also the reason why I can't get a hose nozzle to last more than one season, as she can't seem to limit her biting to the stream...

When I get tired of manually watering the lawn, I set up the sprinkler. Last year Secret really had no interest in this. Apparently things have changed, as she'll sit and play in the sprinkler for about as long as you let her (and this is following a play session with the hose!). The little goofball got absolutely soaked last night. There is no telling how much water she consumed...

We've managed to get some training done between heat waves. The a-frame is finally out in the yard, so we've done some work with that (driving to the bottom, etc.). I've also been doing plenty of flowing lines with Secret to work on getting her to extend over the jumps more. I hate watching her trial videos and watching her jump with zero extension. She's much better at home, so I'm sure it's just another manifestation of stress.

I pulled out the weaves the other day to make a deposit into the "fast weaves bank." lol I used a Kong Squeaker ball and was actually testing her ability to work through distraction by squeaking it while she was in the weaves -- But it actually ended up being a motivator for her and she was a fast little squirt. Still hopping.... But fast. I keep waiting for her to reach the point where she discovers how much easier it would be to single step, but maybe she just isn't built for it. She also carries a lot of tightness in her shoulders, but we continue to do stretching exercises and perhaps it will change one day. Probably not, though. She's a happy hopper. :o)

Inspired by some of the totally wicked rear crosses I saw at the weave poles while watching online coverage of one of the USDAA regional events, I decided to set up a pattern that would require the same maneuver at home. I have to admit that I have been pretty bad at practicing this sort of stuff since going through the 2x2 program -- So Secret's first reaction was, "Wha???" She got it on the second try, though, and rocked it for the rest of the session. She also did better at maintaining her speed as I drove ahead of her -- Yay for Kong Squeaker balls.

So the plan is to head down to Iowa this Saturday to try to get a few more Q's under our belt. I'd love to do the full weekend, but I is 'po and need to cut back. Plus hey, I'll get a day off on Sunday to be a bum! I just need to decide if I want to get up at 3:30 a.m. and save the cost of a hotel, or if I want to fork out $70 and potentially be a better partner for my dogs. I think they will zonk out in the back of the car if we leave at 0-dark-thirty and be fine -- it's me I'd worry about. lol

Secret is actually standing pretty well in her chase for last-minute Champs qualifiers. She has 4/10 of the required Regular Q's (from Open or Elite). She has completed the requirements for Tunnelers, Touch-n-Go, Weavers & Jumpers. Woot! She won't be able to finish Hoopers since we'll only see it one more time before August -- If she Q's on that run she'll finish her Novice title and technically she'll need 2 more Q's from Open. But hey, I call it "good faith effort" considering we never see Hoopers around here and she just started trialing at the end of February. We actually do stand a chance at finishing the Chances Q's -- You know, if she has a 100% Q rate. lol We'll see. I think she'll get close enough that Sharon will let her in.

I still question my sanity of wanting to run three dogs at Champs. In three different height classes......

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