This past weekend AKC held the World Team Tryouts just a hop, skip, and jump away over in Hopkins, MN. One of these years I would really, really love to go watch -- but wouldn't you know it, this ended up being the one weekend that I was working at the shelter. It's probably for the best, though, considering that I drove over 3,000 miles in April. Maybe it's time to stop taking so many trips (that aren't for trials, at least!).
Because I was working all weekend, I didn't spring for the live stream. I thought about it because they offer video on demand for a period of time after the completion of tryouts, but I figured I could be patient and wait for people to get videos posted online. Each day, though, I looked forward to getting a chance to check out the courses as they were posted online!
Last night I decided to set up the first round from Saturday, a really fun looking Jumpers course (will I get my contacts out this year?). I built it starting at the top of the yard to try to cram in as much of the course as I could manage. I ended up omitting the first jump and replacing the broad jump with a single. I also couldn't manage the last jump without sending a dog straight into the deck, so I left that out. And finally, because I only have two tunnels in my possession, I replaced the tunnel on the right with two hoops. In actuality, that was probably more difficult than had it been a tunnel!
My dad decided that last night was the night he was going to bring dirt to edge the new driveway with and gave very little advanced warning -- so I was just finishing setting the course when my parents arrived. My immediate thought was, "Oh great, now Secret will never run." She struggled greatly when Bethany and Rascal first started coming over -- Now my parents AND their dogs were here to serve as a distraction, but honestly it was probably a good thing for us to have to work through.
As anticipated, Secret was a superfreak when I first brought her out for her turn. She didn't want her udder tug at all and was being pathetic and dropping to the ground to grovel like she always does when she wants attention and doesn't want to play. After attempting the first few obstacles and having Secret come trotting out of the tunnel I abandoned the udder tug and went straight to the Jolly Ball.
Surprisingly she played! We had some struggles starting out -- mostly because I was handling like garbage due to feeling rushed (I begged my mother to video us so I wouldn't have to prop the camera on the fence like usual and she was concerned about the fact that their dogs were being giant asses and barking in the garage where we'd crated them -- oh, and of course my dad was out working while we... weren't). Considering how distracted and discombobulated I was, it's a miracle that Secret worked with me at all!
My mother finally begged out after a couple of failed attempts (backsides and threadles/push-throughs were not our friends last night) and I went back to using my old trusty fence as a tripod -- and things got better! We finally were able to get the sequence after the weaves, but the threadle/push sequence was our nemesis all evening (with all three dogs, so I guess we know what to work on!).
I had all jumps set at 24" for the first couple of sessions (with my mom videoing and then after she left). I brought Secret out for one more session after I ran the boys and set everything at 20" to give her a break because it had been a pretty exciting evening with everyone there. I'm very pleased with her jumping as of late and hope that she does equally well at the AKC trial next weekend -- her first time jumping 24" at a trial.
The boys got their turn to play, too (yes, while my dad was still out front working... I'm a bad daughter). Kaiser struggled more than usual with this course. Heck, it took us forever to get through the opening because he kept going wide on the wrap before the tunnel and taking the jump to the side. There was NOTHING my body was doing to even remotely point him in that direction; he just decided that's what he was supposed to do. Once we got it figured out he was fine. Kaiser also struggled greatly with the threadle sequence. I also don't think he took the correct final obstacle even once... lol
Luke was surprisingly awesome. That threadle sequence probably would be easier with wings and using jumps that are wider than 3'.... Especially for a dog Luke's size. Oh well, it's good proofing.
As mentioned earlier, my parents brought their dogs along. Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder because my dogs weren't complete jackasses to them for a change! Or maybe it's because we've seen them more frequently on their turf lately, who knows. But my dogs were actually rather civil, minus Secret going after Wes once when she apparently thought she owned my mom. Yeah, that doesn't work for me.
Kaiser was an exceptionally good boy, though, and was playing with Lexie and even a bit with Wes (he wasn't attacking Wes, which is a huge improvement). They had a close call when a stupid, stupid squirrel went running along the top of the fence (almost falling into the yard!!) and the dogs all tore across the yard to go after it. Secret was, thank god, in the garage at the time and missed this. Kaiser was so focused on the squirrel that he somehow let it slide when Wes jumped straight on top of him. Oh Wes, I'll protect you, but that's just stupid...
I was glad that everyone got along, as I guess Wes & Lexie are staying with us for a day next month. Sadly, I think Lexie has pretty much forgotten her miniscule agility training, as I couldn't even direct her through the tunnel. Granted, I didn't have food and that girl's world is ruled by food....
I got my final confirmation for the AKC trial yesterday. Secret and Kaiser are both the only dogs in their respective classes/jump heights. The Novice classes are pretty sad. They ended up with around 220 runs per day, so the day should go by quickly enough. It's a wonder that trials in the Cities fill with massive wait lists, yet nobody bothers to make the drive to La Crosse... Oh well, it works out for me since I didn't enter until the last minute!
I mowed the lawn tonight for the first time this year. The dogs followed behind and chowed down on the fresh salad bar that the mower kicks out -- guess nothing has changed there! They are more cow/horse than dog, I swear.... Then I threw out a ton more grass seed and watered the lawn in attempt to get the bare spots to grow. I suppose that means we shouldn't run on it for a while to let it get started.... So the dogs will be happy that the coming days will bring more hiking again! Maybe I'll get brave and dig out the rollerblades now that I have that nice driveway I can safely roll down.... :o)