Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Not too shabby!
We ended up having a fairly decent weekend at the Family Dog Center NADAC trial. The final tally for all three dogs was 16/26, which isn't the most impressive of all times, but the NQs were minor and everyone was having fun.
I don't have video, so this will be a pretty boring post. ;o) Secret ended up 4/6 for her runs. Her NQs were in Chances on Saturday (not even remotely close...) and Jumpers on Sunday. Yeah, an NQ in Jumpers, can you believe it? If I remember right I assumed she would go, she didn't and then she must have back-jumped something. She had a refusal in Saturday's Jumpers run as well (that is, if NADAC called refusals). I don't know if I was expecting too much and peeling away too soon or what, but I became very paranoid when another handler approached me after the run and asked if Secret had been injured. She felt that Secret was favoring her right hind. I asked a few of my friends if they noticed anything and they felt they had seen the same thing as me -- Secret's stride was off over a couple of the last jumps so she was not jumping as smoothly, but they did not feel she was lame.
I obsessively nitpicked over her when we got home, stretching and poking at her. I couldn't find anything, but I'm quite sure I was feeling apprehensive when we went to the line Sunday morning and that would explain the refusals. I cannot find anything wrong with Secret, though, so I'm hoping this well-meaning soul just didn't quite know what she was seeing.
The highlight of Secret's weekend were her two Regular runs -- one each day. HOLY BEJEEZUS, those were fun runs! Not only were the courses not as monotonous and boring as they usually are, but Secret was just on fire. The Regular classes in NADAC are not usually our forte. Don't get me wrong, her Q-rate is through the roof, but typically that's because she is steady and consistent. Speed isn't her strong point in Regular. This weekend, though, she put in some really lovely runs, winning the highly competitive and large (for our area...) 16" Skilled class both times. Saturday's run came in at 5.1 yps (I think our average for Regular is more like 3.9...) and Sunday, despite it being at the end of the day, still pulled in 4.7 yps. That especially surprised me because she found Chances so boring that she trotted through the finish hoop (that run was a Q).
I think part of the reason for the increase in speed was related to my own personal ability to run a bit faster than I have the last several trials. The last month of work seems to be paying off, as I felt as though I was able to push ahead and really go for it to keep ahead of her and driving. The courses were set up quite nicely for blind crosses this weekend, which always helps to keep Secret moving, too.
Check out this course map from Regular Round 2 on Sunday. This is not the round that Secret ran, but both of the boys did this one. Look carefully. Are you to jump 5 yet? Do you see it? It's a WRAP at a JUMP in NADAC! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. Round 1 was backwards of this with that trio of hoops (8-6 on this map) leading into the serpentine and then wrapping the hoop back to the a-frame. We have seen wraps at hoops before; typically off a contact, through the hoop and back to the contact in Touch-n-Go. To see a wrap at a jump in the middle of the course, though, totally blew my mind. I don't know if it was an "oops" in course design that passed through by mistake or if maybe NADAC might be opening up to some changes. I hope it's the latter.
After finishing up his V-NATCH on Friday, Kaiser came back to run 4/6 on Saturday and then 2/4 on Sunday. No Chances Q's for the little guy, which figures since he's the one closest to the next NATCH (needs 4). lol His other NQ on Saturday was in the first round of Regular where I trained his dog walk (ooooh, naughty!), then on Sunday we NQd in the second round of Regular when I handled that 3-6 sequence like crap and he ended up threadling 4-5. Kaiser's Jumpers round on Saturday was 5.8 yps, so I guess we'll see if that makes 100+. Tunnelers on Saturday was 5.6 yps, but I don't think that's high enough in that class. A Q in Elite Hoopers (numbered) finished out Kaiser's title in that class.
Luke only picked up 1 Q on Saturday (in Regular 2). His first round of Regular was kind of a mess and Chances wasn't even close. We were putting in a phenomenal Jumpers round at the end of the day but on the last stretch of jumps (on a curve) I took off while he was in the tunnel and, since he saw my butt when he came out of said tunnel, he crossed behind me to catch up faster. Oh well. It was a lovely run to that point.
Sunday was much better for the big guy. We had another great Jumpers run -- He is really impressing me with his speed in that class lately, as well as his ability to figure out my blind cross cues with really no training... I'm trying to run him more like I do Secret, staying ahead as much as possible versus my old style of handling him from behind all of the time. It's fun and he pushes me! Luke got Chances handily on Sunday and then we got a 5pt Q in the first round of Regular for a knocked bar. In the second round he fell off the side of the dog walk on the descent for a 10pt fault. :o( He just kind of lost his balance and seemed startled. Poor old fart. Just another sign that he's getting older, I guess. Oh well -- Luke reached a milestone this weekend! He hit the 1000 point mark in Elite Regular!
Last but not least there's Kizzy! She was a total spaz for the majority of the weekend, but there were moments of quiet as well. ;o) I ended up letting Kaiser stay in Luke's pen almost the entire weekend because I felt it would be more restful for him than to crate with the wailing banshee who was trying to figure out how to break out of the crate. Remember how good she was at the AKC trial? Yeah, pretty sure it was because she was on drugs. lol The blanket that I had over her crate now has five good-sized holes in it from Kizzy pulling it in the crate and chewing on it. She also pulled in a bag of Zuke's Minis and ate them. I also had to borrow a carabiner clip from a friend after we realized just how close she was to using her tiny little paws to monkey the door open. After all of this (and the screaming, singing and carrying on she did in & out of her crate), I got a surprising number of comments on what a nice dog she is/will be with some training under her belt. Only agility people fawn over the crazy ones!
Kizzy had many moments of brilliance over the weekend, too. She met and played with several new dogs and is very outgoing. I'm quite sure that her screaming fits on leash are not aggression-based, but more coming from an area of "I want to play with you!" Impulse control will go a long way for this one. In addition to meeting new dogs we played, and played, and played, and played some more! I think it's safe to say that Kizzy does not find the trial environment too stressful to play! I got her out whenever I could and just spent time tugging and playing. We played with the practice jump and the little baby dog tunnel that was in the warm-up area. We worked on releasing the toy, which is a very hard skill if you are a Kizzy dog.
After all of that fun, Kizzy also got to come along to my parent's house Sunday night. My brother and his family are in town from Chicago and my parents were hosting a birthday party for my niece. Most everyone had heard about Kizzy by now, so I figured I'd take her along to meet the family. My brother's two dogs were there as well as my parent's dogs, so I wasn't going to bring anyone else along. Kizzy did great! The other dogs mauled her curiously when we arrived but everything settled down quickly. I did keep her on leash the whole night because I'm pretty sure she could squirt through the railings into the basement as well as the deck railings (accessible through a doggy door that she immediately tried to go out). The only Klee Kai my family has ever known is Kaiser, so they were all quite impressed by Kizzy's friendliness. Everyone was a new friend to her and she didn't hesitate to jump on any laps and give kisses.
I'm hitting a roadblock on my Champs fitness goals. Last week my left hip started hurting. It was minor at first, but it's been getting worse. It is worst first thing in the morning and then I seem to be able to walk out of it, so I don't know if it's bursitis or not. It didn't hurt when I was running at the trial, so that's good. Tonight, however, I tried to go for a run and it was not good. It was the first run in a while, as we've been doing evening walks since it's been so hot. I was compensating so much for my hip at first that my shins started screaming at me after just half a mile. Things did get better and I ended up with better splits than I anticipated (did just over 3 miles), but it was disappointing and I'm bummed about how much my hip is starting to hurt (as in, now I can feel it while just sitting down).
I've been putting in 4-5 miles a day since Kizzy came and I think my body is angry with me -- or more likely my poor options in footwear. I ordered a new pair of running shoes that should be here tomorrow, but I'm thinking maybe I need to step back and give myself a few days. Hard call since walking seems to make it feel better, but if this keeps up I'm not going to be a very happy camper.
Tomorrow we're doing a family picture night. That should be loads of fun, as we are planning to include the dogs. I realized the other day that we now have eight dogs and nine people in our immediate family.... I think we should be able to get some "family pics" of my little clan, so that will be nice! Fingers crossed that everyone behaves and that we can actually orchestrate all of this into a few good pictures.