I'm not sure how I completely forgot to share this, but at our trial this past weekend I was presented with Kaiser's NATCH ribbon that he earned at the March NADAC trial at Family Dog Center. FDC has moved to these amazing personalized ribbons that somewhat remove that "instant gratification" that we're used to getting when winning large awards, but I'd say they are worth the wait!
They do still have some of the traditional style ribbons left over, which make for handy props when posing for your NATCH photo -- which then gets placed onto your super special personalized ribbon. It's such a fantastic keepsake. I'm really looking forward to having one for Luke's NATCH 5, especially since it will likely be his last. And I dare say I'm now kind of tempted to drag Secret out and make her get the nine Chances Qs that she needs for NATCH 2, just so that she can have a super special personalized ribbon, too. ;o)
I posted the photo on Facebook this morning and a friend made a comment that "FDC's entries just went up." lol Isn't that true, though? We agility folks are kind of ribbon whores in that way. We go to where the good bling is! I fully admit to hand-picking trials when a NATCH has been on the line, based on bars & ribbons. Now that I'm not traveling for NADAC anymore it's not quite the issue, but I used to try to make sure I was spreading the love and getting bars and ribbons from a variety of clubs in the area. We did a pretty good job of it, too. I should share my loot pile one of these days. Or, you know, actually do something with it to display it nicely....
There was a really fun Happy Hurdle Day course posted this week on Ann Croft's Agility Coach Facebook page, so I couldn't help but run home and set it up. Thankfully this was possible because we did NOT get a foot of snow like our friends in Minnesota did the night before last.... We did get between 1"-2" on Sunday night, but thankfully it melted by Tuesday and pretty much just served to help green things up nicely. I might have to think about mowing in the next week or so.... No complaining, it's not shoveling.
The dogs did well on this course. I jumped Secret at 20" to keep her fresh and happy for this weekend. I was most impressed with how well all of the dogs did with the tricky weave entries -- even Luke! The angles are hard to see in the video, but the course was set very true to the map and you can see that they aren't too easy. I did cheat a bit and shaped the entry to 4 with most dogs (especially Luke). The entry to the second set of weaves (9) was killer only because everyone wanted to take the off course jump on the way there. Snooker skills!
With Kizzy, I kept her turn short and opted to work only with food (cheese) since she's been having some distraction issues lately. I also feel like she really hates some of the rear cross exercises I've been working with her on lately in an attempt to get her to actually do them... And her response to those exercises seems to be that she's slowed down on me a bit. I'm a little perplexed by her complete hatred for rear crosses, but we'll figure out a compromise one of these days. I know all of my dogs have initially struggled with rear crosses at tunnels, but never like this one. I think everyone would benefit from a return to the big jump arch for some fun speed-building work again. I don't think Kizzy has ever played that game, actually. God help me, because she doesn't have distance skills, so I'll be running! lol
In other news, life will be changing for all of us shortly. With the addition of the van (or rather, the van payment), I knew I was going to have to look for a second job again. I worked two jobs for nearly three years and it's been exactly one year since I left my job at the Humane Society. It's been nice having that time off (to face it, be a bum on the weekends, because lord knows I never do anything productive when I'm not trialing), but that's coming to an end, as yesterday I accepted a position to be a dog trainer at Petco.
It will be a while before I actually have classes to teach, as first you have to go through all of the basic training for the general positions in the store, and then you have to complete like six weeks of their mentoring program (it used to be 12, so hooray for that), but once that happens it sounds like I'll be able to pretty much set my own schedule AND bring a dog to work with me! How fun will that be! And don't forget about the discount -- that was my main reason for seeking employment at Petco. I would have taken any position just for the discount. :o) During my interview I was asked if I had applied at PetSmart and I openly said, "No, because I don't buy anything from that store and the employee discount wouldn't do me any good." lol Honesty, it works every time.
My start date is pending the background check being completed, but I assume that it will be within the next couple of weeks. I think the dogs are used to me being gone now that it won't be too hard on them -- that was my main reason for backing off the Humane Society job, because it was hard on the dogs when I started my job at Kaplan and they were left home every day, and then I was also gone on the weekends. Now that they are in the routine of, "Mom leaves, we get Kongs" they seem to be okay with it. ;o) This job does involve working until 9 p.m. on week nights, though, and I'm sure that will take some getting used to -- but we may be able to talk my dad into visiting them on his way home from work those nights. We'll see.
We get to go play AKC in New Berlin on Sunday! It's a small two-ring trial thanks to it being Easter and all, so I'm looking forward to getting done early (especially since I'm driving over at 4:30 a.m....). We haven't been to Think Pawsitive for almost a year, when we last ran USDAA. I enjoy the facility and can't wait to see what their AKC trials are like. I'm hoping Kaiser runs okay there, as he's only ran 12" at this facility and of course, his jumping was absolute crap....