Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Happy 10th Birthday, Luke!
Yes, right on the heels of Kaiser's birthday, but happy TENTH birthday to the big black dog! Luke hit double-digits today! Diagnosed with Addison's Disease in 2009 and doing as awesome as he ever has. Luke thinks that posing for pictures is about the worst thing in the world, so I was pleased as punch to get a nice shot out of him. :o) Thankfully it was dinner time, so my repeated murmurs of "Dinner?" got him to perk his ears up for me. You know he's miserable when "frisbee" doesn't even do the trick. lol
So Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Luke!
The weather behaved (aside from being freaking cold still) and we were able to make the drive over to Oshkosh to play at the fun match. It's a nice little drive on all two-lane roads, which is kind of a nice change-up from the boring Interstate driving that I always have to do to get to trials. And despite it being a 2.5 hour drive each way, thanks to the lower speeds and lower mileage, it sucked up a lot less gas than usual, too! That will be another nice bonus to going to the Oshkosh Kennel Club for trials in the future.
It's small, but it sounds like their trials stay fairly small, too, and crating doesn't get too bad. There was obviously plenty of room today, although the fun match was pretty well-populated. I counted about 40 dogs on the run sheet for the first run and a few less on the second. Considering that every dog got two full minutes in the ring, it ended up going a bit longer than I'd planned/hoped for. We rolled in shortly after noon, the run-through started at 1:00 p.m. and we left a bit after four, getting us home at about 6:45 p.m. I was hoping to not have to drive home in the dark, but we "only" saw three deer, so it could have been worse. That's the one downside to that drive -- the entire trip is deer country!
The course we ran is shown above, with the modifications they made drawn in by me. Instead of the pinwheel after the jump under the dog walk they had us run across the arena into a tunnel and back across the top of the arena. Other than that it was pretty similar to what you see. The teeter was aimed more at the weaves, though, and the jump after the weaves was much more of a back-side than what is pictured.
Secret ran GREAT at this facility! I was very happy with her speed and enthusiasm on both runs. She was fast enough that we got through the course twice during each of our turns, including stopping to reward several times. I was using one of our new food-stuffable tug toys from Clean Run and while Secret was happy to tug it while waiting our turn, I appeased her and fed her pieces of food from it during our runs. This worked for her and she stayed happy and up. Her fastest parts each time were the sequences following the table -- she just rip-roared through that section and thought it was lots of fun.
We got in lots of blind cross practice. Blind cross before the teeter, after sending to the back side after the weaves, between a-frame and table and I even threw in a fun little blind cross while she was on the dog walk. Her dog walks today were, by the way, vastly improved. That was nice to see. She could have been naughty on those blinds, but she wasn't.
Kaiser was kind of hesitant on his first run for some reason. Part of it seemed to be that he was trying to get a feel for the floor, but I have no explanation for his creepy teeter. Hmm. No idea what that was about, but he got over it. His second turn was much more confident and he was a zippy little boy. Lots of good dog walks from him today and I also threw in an unnecessary rear cross at the weaves just to test him. He also nailed each one of his tables and he was coming at it with pretty good speed, too! Maybe we're catching on there!
Kizzy did great, too! She did awesome on the new equipment, which thrills me to no end. This was a quick/light teeter and that seemed to take her by surprise at first, but we finished up our first round by doing it several times and she was fine with it. Tunnels were a bit tricky on the first turn, with her coming back out of the entrance of each one. On her second turn she was fine with them, though.
The weaves weren't perfect, but she did do a full set of 12 on each turn. I actually didn't get a chance to go back to them in the first round, but I was going to finish there on the second round. Kizzy was very distracted, and I soon found out why.... They called time on me and Kizzy shot off to the far back corner of the ring and squatted. Oops. Poor girl, maybe I should have taken her outside again... I should have grabbed her while she was pooping, but I didn't figure that would be a very good experience for her -- and then I spent the next couple of minutes trying to catch her again. Sigh. That was probably our biggest issue today, as in her first run I was having problems getting her and then they had the next dog start. I don't think they realized that I didn't have Kizzy yet and she took off to go say hi to the dog -- it was a Doberman running at 12", but thankfully it's handler was quick and grabbed it's collar as Kizzy went to sniff it's butt. I think this issue is just going to take some time.... But it's probably something that will keep me from wanting to stick her in an AKC trial any time soon. I might have to look at doing some drop-ins at an upcoming class at FDC just to get her some experience at working and then being caught. I've also considered putting her harness on before each meal, but she likes her harness and I don't think that's necessarily the issue. She just doesn't want the fun to stop. Ever.
It was a very nice group of people in Oshkosh. I knew several of them from their trips to the AKC trials in La Crosse, so it was nice to see some familiar faces -- though I was still too gutless to ask anyone to video. :o(
The bad news of the day is that I'm pretty sure my other set of wheel bearings are finally going on me. Ugh. I need to sit down and do some serious thinking as to whether or not it's worth it to replace another set or if I need to bite the bullet and replace my vehicle (with a van!). The sad part is that I think I really need to look for a part time job if I'm going to take on a car payment, and that is like the last thing I want to do. Or give up trialing -- and okay, THAT'S the last thing I want to do.