Last week was a crazy busy week! I finished my XHTML with a strong A. Vada had agility class on Tuesday. It was nice to be back in class where we have a start line stay. That made running the sequences alot more fun. Vada and Narc went tracking afterwards too.
On Monday Karl’s van died again. So we decided that it was time to say good bye to it. Karl took 3 days off from work and spent that time researching vehicles on the internet and visiting dealerships. Tuesday and Wednesday he drove me to work so he could have the van for the day. Wednesday night we went to a local Christian dealership Elk River Ford Dodge and Jeep and did a final test drive on the red 2006 Pontiac Vibe that Karl liked. It was between that and a brand new Toyota Scion. We bought the Vibe. Fringe and Seven missed their classes but it was nice to have this task taken care of. And now Karl is in a safer reliable vehicle. Karl did TONS of research so I had no doubt that this was the best choice.
After we got home from the dealership I had a bit of time to lay a track for Vada to make up for my horrible screw up on Tuesday. It went very well. Thursday I was going to track with Vada and Narc but the night got away from me.
Friday I packed up the van with Copper and Vada and stuff and we headed to Spring Green WI. I had not told anyone that I was trialing that weekend. I knew Mike would be there but not Donna. When I arrived at the trial/training field Mike, his wife Renda and Donna were there. Vada and I did some obedience which looked very nice. Her heeling and motion exercises were excellent. I did a retrieve over the wall and jump with a toy just so she could see what they were like. She went around the wall coming back twice. I remembered that she hit her leg pretty hard when she was the dummy dog at the 10K trial a few weeks previous. So I encouraged her over to show her it was safe. Then I threw one off to the side to encourage her to come around but she went over like a good girl. I took her out later to run the blinds as the field is backwards from how we normally practice and the blinds are permanent and have some trees around them. It was a mess but we worked through it. Then I gave her a break. Later I took her out and did them all 1 at a time. Then put them together and she did great. Then we did just 5 and 6 and Mike asked Phillip the helper to do a run around at 6. He was FAST. She loved it.
We met for tracking at 7am. Vada and I drew the first SchH3 track. We tracked shortly after 9am. She had to do some extra checking off the start pad to make sure she had the scent. Then she did well til the 2nd corner. The leg was going the same direction as the wind and she over shot it a bit. But she worked her way back and found the 3rd leg. The rest was very nice. It was all deep nose tracking. Her first 2 article indications were perfect. Her last one was a bit crooked. I was so happy to have completed the track. We did our first SchH3 trial over a year and a half ago – a few weeks before the wedding. This was our 4th SchH3 trial and we had failed the TR3 a few weeks before. So it felt really good to have it all finally come together and so nicely. And we got a 90 to boot! Finally people could see how well she can track and how she tracks in training.
Here is Donna’s write up on how the trial went for us in obedience and protection:
“Vada just could not figure out what a down command meant and cost them the send out or how Vada perceives that exercise… send out and come back. She also didn’t feel it was necessary to stay on the down long enough for Heather to call her for the recall. Vada also has this sneaking way of coming to a PERFECT stand when Heather turns around, but… after she walked about four body lengths… Oh!! Me??? I was standing here all the while!! Vada also doesn’t see the need to lay down while the other dog is performing their routine… can’t see what’s going on!! So, what was so good about it her obedience??? Her heeling was very enthusiastic and a bit over the top with the gun shots, but remained in perfect position. The power in her recalls and all her retrieves!!
For those of you who have never been to Miller’s field… the blind search on that field is NOT easy. Two of the blinds are within some trees. Heather took Vada out Friday night to show her where the blinds were hiding. When she hit the field on Sat she knew what her job was and ran the blinds beautifully!!! Her hold & bark was nice with her coming around the blind and tagging the helper with a foot. Her call out was very good, but didn’t want to remain in sit position too long. Set up for the escape was perfect and the escape bite…. well, she certainly was NOT going to let the helper get too far. Outs & guarding was good and Heather provided Vada with very clear, crisp meaningful out commands!! Reattack was a bit difficult for the helper as Vada was not going to let him drive her… hehehe…. Vada did not think that Heather was walking fast enough in the back transport and forged a bit then created a bit too much distance between them. The attack was awesome, Vada does those attacks with the speed of a long bite! At the side escort back to the judge, Vada just needed to bite something and bit the stick while Heather was carrying it. The long bite was fast, powerful and intense. I think she did take just one extra nip after the out here or the reattack. “
Vada was quite naughty in obedience. We did pass with an 82 though! She did have good parts but lots of naughtiness. She started barking nonstop in the heeling when the gun shots went off. I told her quiet and she finally got quiet and settled in to heeling. She maintained position while barking though. She did this at the last trial too and I thought it was from my nerves but I was not as nervous this time. The sit in motion was perfect. On the down in motion she recalled before I called her. On the stand in motion she followed me for about 4 body lengths. Then she sat right before I called her. The sit is a new thing. The retrieves were very nice. The judge did have to remind me to use the SchH3 dumbbell on the flat retrieve. I saw that there were 2 different ones but still chose the small one. Not sure why. LOL On the send out she just ran. She checked herself when I yelled “platz” but then kept running looking for a toy that she thought must be out there. She ran FAR. I yelled “platz” again and nothing. She did not see a toy so she ran back to me at full speed and did not “platz” on my 3rd command. So no points for that exercise! On the down stay she saw as soon as I was a step or two away. When I got to the blind and turned around I saw her sitting. She got hot and after about a minute she laid down. Then later she sat up again. Then laid down again. Then crept forward a bit. We did get points but not full points. Thankfully we did not fail obedience!
I love trialing in protection now. My only concern was the blinds but I figured I would help her if she needed help. She did them beautifully! We had some control issues. On the call out of the blind she did not sit and wanted to follow the helper out of the blind. And on the back transport she was forging bit time. When the helper turned left she thought we were going right, as we do in training, and that got her thinking about me again for a bit. But it put us a bit behind too as I let her come back to me to find heel position.
So we earned her SchH3 with a 90-82-92. We have worked hard for this for a long time. We put alot of time and training in and I had to do alot of soul searching for how to proceed with training issues. I’m proud of Vada and I’m proud of myself. It was definitely a team effort! When I got home Karl had written a poem for me that was very clever. He also bought 2 giant brownies and wrote SchH on one and III on the other. Karl and I are going to go to the Texas Roadhouse to celebrate one of these nights. And Saturday he’s going to bring a DQ cake down to training. I have the BEST husband!
Yesterday we met Dad and Dianna at Noodles and Co in Rogers for lunch. I had entered my name in a drawing I guess and they drew my name. So we got to do a free “tasting”. They brought us out so much food. We were so stuffed! It was very yummy and we had a great time. Dad and Dianna had never eaten there before and were impressed. And Karl said that he has a new appreciation for their food since he’d only tried one dish before.
Looks like this week should be a”normal” week. We’ve both got stuff to do to catch up on AMBOR stuff and to get the newsletter published. It’ll be work to work on Friday though since I’ve had the last 3 Fridays off!