Sunday, December 9, 2012
It's hard to hate the snow when the dogs love it so much. As I type this, Secret has been outside for over an hour playing SO happily in it. Kaiser & Luke joined her in a game of chase and now that Luke is back in the house Kaiser is keeping Secret entertained. Seriously, she is going bonkers out there. Who knew she liked snow THAT much?
It's hard to say how much we've got so far. It's very wet & heavy, but there must be close to 3" out there by now.
It made for a fun day at the trial. It was a very, very small trial today anyhow -- made even smaller by those who opted to not take their chances with the weather. We started at 8:00 a.m. and our last run of the day was around 12:10 p.m.
I don't have video from today (seriously, it was SMALL and everyone was so busy running or working that I didn't even get my camera out). The dogs all ran well and were on their best behavior all weekend. I didn't even mention that yesterday, but Secret did SO WELL in her crate all weekend! I crated in the back of the arena again and used the same thick blanket (better at blocking movement/noise) that I did at the USDAA trial where she seemed to stay quiet. I did not hear her bark even once the entire weekend. Not once! That makes me so happy and I think she rests a lot more in that situation as well!
Jumpers went well for all. It was nice and flowing, so I managed to use all blind crosses in Secret's run. Gotta keep it fun one way or another. ;o) Luke sailed through the course nicely, so we managed to get the last of the Jumpers Q's that he needs for the next NATCH. Phew, glad that's out of the way -- although it would be kind of fun to have gotten a NATCH on something other than Chances for once! Kaiser was a little twitchy in Jumpers because I over-handled a few tight spots, but he stayed with me for a Q.
Chances was up next and while it didn't look like a bad course, it ended up being pretty brutal. The overall success rate in Chances this entire weekend was dismal, which might be why our judge decided to give us all a mulligan and offered the opportunity to try it again before we switched to Open. Sadly it wasn't for points, but who hasn't wanted the chance to try a Chances course again?
On Secret's first run I handled a turn-away/send out from the wrong side of the hoop (something I only noted when I watched one of the two successful runs). So on her second go I changed my tactics and she did a beautiful job! It was just lovely -- and not many dogs managed to get it on even the second try, so I was very proud of her.
Luke had gotten that turn/send out, but then didn't get the additional switch after that jump. I fixed my blunders with him and he also got it on the second go. Kaiser, being Kaiser, did even worse on the second go round and decided to just make up his own course.
Luke Q'd in both rounds of Regular. Yay! Secret decided I'd used up my runs for the day with that extra Chances run and pretty much said, "Meh, I'm done," on the second round of Regular (the first was lovely!). She made it through, but we had all sorts of blunders that more or less stemmed from me not supporting enough (because I assumed she'd get there on her own -- so yes, I was being lazy, too). Her weaves were very slow and we had two big redirects that sucked up a lot of time, so Secret ended up being 0.6 seconds over time in Round 2 -- Which means she got one of those stupid 5-point Q's to screw up all of my nice round numbers.
Kaiser didn't have a good day in Regular. Fifteen runs in a weekend might be a little much for him. He nailed all of his contacts, I'll give him that! His first run was really nice but we failed to get a turn following the a-frame and he took an off-course hoop. I loved his dog walk in that run, though. It was the second-to-last obstacle and he ran across and nailed the stop at the end (vs. creeping like we usually do). In Round 2 he decided he'd had enough and took the weirdest turn/path ever to take an off course hoop. This hoop was also the finish hoop, so I guess he just thought he was done for the day. I debated just ending the run there, but it was kind of a naughty turn away so we did the last few obstacles, which included a really pretty a-frame contact (especially for the end of the weekend where he usually short-strides them).
So Secret & Luke ended up tied in the Q department with 5.5 each. Kaiser came home with 9 Q's and a new title ribbon -- Family Dog Center has a new style new title ribbon that I should really get a picture of, but my floors need cleaning and I'd be embarrassed to set up for a ribbon picture. ;o) Maybe next time.
The next NADAC trial isn't until the end of January, so there won't be any more NATCH opportunities yet in 2012. We actually don't even have any more trials the rest of the year, so I guess it's okay that the snow has come because now we just get to play for the next few weeks.
Oh, and speaking of play -- Secret continued to tug all day today and put in even more effort than she did yesterday -- actively sitting back and jerking the leash a few times. I am happy, happy, happy about the progress we've made in such short time! And I'm sure everyone we trial with is happy as well because Secret no longer sits and barks the entire time we are waiting to go in the ring....