Monday, September 16, 2013

We're in the home stretch!

Alrighty, we are getting to that point where I start getting anxious and excited about our trip to Champs. In the months leading up to the event I'm all like, "Cool" -- but now it's starting to get real and I start to have minor meltdowns in my head and attempt to over-plan every tiny detail.

Ball & frisbee play have been banished until we get home from Springfield, although I do plan to have a few more speed work sessions where toys will be involved for those who find toys rewarding (i.e.: everyone but Kaiser). That means our daily routine for the last week and going forward basically consists of walking, running, walking and running some more.  :o)

Yesterday I took the whole crew to the high school track in Bangor for a run. Everyone needed to get out of the house and I didn't want to expose Luke to the still fairly-high ragweed counts on the bike trail. I don't have much experience running on tracks (let's face it, that was torture when I was in school!), so I was also curious to see if running on the springy surface would improve my times significantly. That wasn't really the case (although I did finish 5 miles in 59 minutes, so I'm still getting faster!), but I do think the surface was good for my knees.

At first the dogs were all like "WHEEEEEEE!" The two little dogs were on the new extra-long Flexi leashes and were careening to & fro like hoodlums while Luke & Secret made sure to chase all of the bunnies under the fence. It took about two miles for everyone to really settle in (that would be eight laps, ugh) and then all went well really until about mile four when pretty much everyone but Secret started dragging a bit. I was tempted to push it out to six miles, but when I hit the five-mile mark I decided to call it quits for the dogs' sake. Secret, who had been playing "racehorse" on the track most of the morning, still had plenty left in her -- so it looks like as I continue to increase distance I may have to just take her with me and stop abusing everyone else.

It certainly made for a quiet day yesterday, though! We got back to the house around 1:00 and aside from getting up for dinner, nobody moved at all until we went to bed last night! (See picture above, they were still pooped!)

I went to the NADAC trial in La Crosse on Saturday, but held to my promise of not running any dogs this weekend. I took Kizzy along for the ride, but left the other three at home. Of course, once I got there and saw how stinking easy the Chances course was that day I was regretting not bringing everyone along for a fairly easy Q, but oh well, that's how it goes. All of the courses were fun that day and my dogs would have enjoyed them, but I do not regret my decision to not trial them until Champs. It would just be too much pressure. Instead, I spent the day working (and won the worker raffle, yay!!), course-building and socializing Kizzy. She did great! While there was still plenty of vocalizing, especially in the morning, I felt that it was much less so than at the last trial she attended. We made a stop at Petco on the way home and she was a good girl there, as well!

The run orders for Champs have been posted on the NADAC forum, which really makes things seem real! It looks like Kaiser's group has 19 dogs in it this year. My brain is saying that the top 30% go to the finals, which would be 6 dogs. There's a very good chance that four of those dogs could well be our little group from MN/WI -- we've got some tough competition there.  :o)

Luke's group of 12" Veteran/JH dogs appears to be the largest class with 36 entries. That would send 11 dogs into the finals. Secret's group has 27 dogs, which looks like 8 dogs going into the finals (unless it gets rounded up to 9, who knows). I wish my brain didn't work this way because I shouldn't be so focused on the numbers so much as just running and having fun with my dogs, but I can't help it. I'm sure I'll be putting together score-tracking spreadsheets before I leave this year.

Sharon announced on the forum yesterday that they would be allowing training runs for $6/min in the ring where pre-champs is being held. I signed up for one each day, Thurs-Sat, figuring that it would be a good way to re-enforce Kaiser's dog walk once we get down there. I will use the slot for whomever needs it most, but I'm just going to guess it will be Kaiser. We can even have food in that ring, so it will be a good way to boost his "happy" if he needs it, too.

I need to settle down, I know. I even had a dream the other night about Champs stuff, and I never remember my dreams! This one is sticking with me, though. lol Basically I arrived and found out I was sharing a stall with four other people and was freaking out about not being able to fit a single crate in that area, and then somehow Kaiser and Secret got lost. It was pretty horrible, and shows you my level of internal stress right now. Haha!!! Might need to refill my Xanax prescription before leaving, you think?

Luke & Kaiser visit the chiropractor today. It's been a long time since either of them have been checked out, so I'm curious to see how it goes.

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