It’s been a very busy few weeks!
Vada passed the Advanced Canine Good Citizen / Community Canine test with no problem. I was not worried but you never know when some fluke thing will happen.
Letty’s been doing well in the CGC class that she is taking. I still don’t think it will be enough for her to pass on the night of the last class but we will try. She is doing great with me going out of sight when the instructor is there feeding her cookies. She’s much more comfortable with the stranger now but still struggles with me going out of sight for long and she barks. That’s not acceptable for the CGC. And for the petting part – the instructor can scratch her on the side of her face and people can pat her head but if they try to touch her shoulder then she hops away. They need to be able to touch her foot. We have class tonight and next week and then the final night. I’ve been working Vada in the Comp Obed class before Letty’s class and she’s very happy to be back and working on Utility exercises.
I trained with MVSV the Saturday before the IPO trial. It went really well. I was able to work on the field with the dog that I was to be paired up with at the trial. We did kind of a mock trial. Angeli was very helpful with handling tips. I felt like we had a chance. That Sunday we trained with Warren. Then that evening I met with Sandy, Melissa, Emily and Barb and we went thru the BH routines with all the dogs.
Monday was Labor Day so I took some dogs to OTR and played USDAA agility for the day. It was MACs trial and I got the rest of my worker obligations for the end of year awards taken care of. I think the dogs ran well. Honestly, I can’t remember that day. I think Fringe had an awesome Snooker run and got 4th place and a Q. I ran Ms M in Standard and I think I Qd with her. Seven had trouble jumping 18″ but it might have been because he hit the tire and a bar right off the bat on his first run and he’s Mr Sensitive. Poor Letty – I recall nothing of her runs. Maybe they were bad so I flushed them from my memory.
Taught an agility class for Nancy since she was out of town Tuesday night. I have Letty’s Ring Confidence class that night but if I leave a bit early then I can make it to OTR in time to do both. Also, met with Dr Sufka that day for a bi-annual checkup and all is well.
Wednesday a group of us trained at Warren’s. I was the only one who did bitework though. We were running out of dayling and then it started training. But everyone did good obedience. And it’s always good to have a group to train around.
Thursday was obedience and CGC classes.
Friday I took a half day off from work and drove down to Jordan to watch the 3 BHs that were trialing that night. One person couldn’t do Saturday, 1 needed to pass the BH to do a TR1 on Saturday and the other had a different dog trialing for IPO1 on Saturday. All 3 passed! And I felt pretty comfortable with the traffic exercises that the judge had them do. Letty could nail them. I went to dinner with the judge and others after the trial. It was fun.
Saturday it was finally our turn to trial! The TR1 passed tracking. So did the IPO1 dog. But the IPO2 dog failed. That is always sad. We did our obedience before the 1 and 2 dogs since they need a gun shot. First we had to report in to the judge and scan her for her microchip and have the judge evaluate her temperament. We chatted a bit and then I walked her through the crowd. She had no problems with the judge or anyone. I was so happy. The judge was practically petting her neck and he asked if he could pet her and I was like “eehhh”. He was surprised. I just didn’t want to risk her barking at him. Then I put her in her crate for a bit while the other dog did its temperament test. I did not have good engagement from Letty when we went out on the field for obedience. I wasn’t sure where the “line” was for where I could tug and where I could not. And I didn’t want to leave her tug on the side of the field and have her leave me to steal it. So I didn’t have her mentally prepared as well as I could have. Something to keep in mind for future trials. She still had pretty good heeling. It just wasn’t as flashy and drivey as I am use to. I lost her a bit on a corner on the off leash heeling but we were both sick to death to heeling by then. She perked up on the motion exercises. Unfortunately, I was tweaking my speed on the sit in motion and she wasn’t totally focused on me and when I cued “sit” she heard me say something but not what. She stopped but in a stand. But she stayed there until I came back. I should have cued her to “sit” to finish the exercise in basic position but I forgot. She even started to sit but then I walked away to setup for the down in motion. Her down in motion was gorgeous! Then we had the down stay. I was most worried about this exercise. She stayed down for 9.5 minutes!!!! Then she just stood up. The other dog was just about to be recalled on the down in motion. She just stood there. Then I was able to go back to her and we were done with obedience! We passed! Then the other dogs did their obedience. The 1 failed but the 2 passed. Then everyone breaked for lunch. Then finally it was our turn for the traffic portion. We reported in again without any issues. Then we walked along the road with a biker, jogger and honking car going by both ways. Then he had me meet him in the middle of the group of people and down her and go behind her and out of sight. She did not last long. She left and came to find me. So he had me bring her back and down her next to me as the group walked around us. The Friday BHs just walked in front of their dogs. Then he has me tie her up to a fence and go out of sight. The Friday group never had to go out of sight. So I was bummed. We had practiced it but it was our worst exercise. She barked for me to come back. Then he decided to have 2 neutral dogs. We had practiced with one of them and it was not big deal. However the 2nd one was a lighter long haired GSD. Fluffy wolf-like dogs freak Letty out. So she barked at her once or twice but then was barking towards me. He told me to come back. I was wondering what he had in store for us next. But then I saw the medallion on his clipboard! We passed our BH! And I fully learned what the traffic portion is all about. It’s not pass/fail on each exercise. It’s the judge putting each dog into a situation to see what it will do and to get an idea of its overall temperament. So what will you do if…? He definitely saw our weaknesses. I’m very proud of how far she has come and the team that we have become. A few of us went to lunch afterwards at Ruby Tuesdays. Then it was home to do a software upgrade for work.
Sunday morning the users tested the software upgrade and it was successful! Then we went to training but Letty was not into it. Lots of grass eating when I was trying to do retrieves over the jumps. We should have taken the day off.
I had moved Vada’s appointment with Dr Julia up a week. Good thing that I did! Turns out she sprained the 2 small bones under her right foot. That is probably what has been causing all of her odd problems over the last few months. Especially with what we thought was an off and on sore wrist. So she taped up her foot with instructions for me to retape it every other day. No agility for her but I had already decided to give her a few months off anyways. But otherwise she can do pretty much anything else.
Saturday Karl and I did the Suds Run 5K. It’s such a fun 5K and Karl was ready to run it this year. My plan was to walk it with Vada. But entering it got me motivated to get back on the treadmill. I was just finishing up week 2 but I did run some of it. My time was 62 minutes. Vada hated the crowds and being close to the band. She was ok once we started running and people spread out. She was fine after the race too as long as we didn’t see close to the band. And we fed her pork from out sandwiches. Love her!
Sunday we did our last outdoor trial of the year. CPE in St Cloud. We’ve had a bit of rain so the grass was really nice. It was cool so I just left the dogs in the van for the day and didn’t setup a tent. The dogs ran really well. Fringe got her Level 1 Colors leg so she’s out of Level 1 now. She went 3/3. It was really fun to run her on the CPE courses. Seven weaved in Snooker and Colors and picked up Qs in those classes. His Snooker weaving was absolutely gorgeous. Narc didn’t have any Qs but he had fun as always. Letty went 3/5. She was running in Jackpot like she was on crack! I loved it but it scared me a bit. She also picked up another Level 5 Colors Q. She just needs 3 more and 2 Standard Qs to finish her CATCH! We are getting so close!
Tuesday we saw Dr Julia for a recheck. Vada’s foot is still sore. And I was not wrapping it tight enough. But it counted for having 1 week of taping under our belts. And it seems we have 5 more weeks to go. That was a surprise to me. I’m glad I was planning on a long break from agility. But maybe she’ll be able to play again once this is healed. And I’m hopeful that it will be healed so she can run at the AKC Invitational in December.
Tuesday was also my last Ring Confidence class with Letty. What an awesome class it has been. I need to come up with some play/motivators that I can take in the ring with me. It was apparent when we trialed for our BH. I taught Nancy’s agility class for her again too. There was one rotten egg in class but everyone else was happy with me covering for her.
Last night Emily and I went to Warren’s to train. I was able to train all 3 phases. Letty smoked her track. Awesome corners and articles! For obedience, I was prepared for grass eating around the jumps so I had a plan to help her. It worked and I got some good retrieves. I had worked her at TCOTC the other night to start her low and work her up in height while holding the heavy IPO dumbbell. We worked on obedience and the call out in bitework. It went pretty well. We have some work to do though – as I expected.
I did not renew my Puppy Peaks for another year. It’s hard to let go of Susan’s classes but it’s time. And maybe I’ll come back one day when I get a puppy.
The draw period just opened for the first CPE trial. So in 2 weeks I’ll do my first draw. Another sign that winter is coming.
Shade is teaching a retrieve class starting October 1st. My plan was to do a working spot. But now that I am planning to trial Letty at the Dutch Shepherd National Championship in TN the first weekend in November I don’t know that I’ll have time for video recording and uploading and editing and all that extra work since I’ll be training all 3 phases. I do value Shade’s feedback and I know she could help our retrieves a lot though. Decisions to make…