Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BARK weekend trial report!

I know, a little late, but you have to understand how I feel in the heat...........I HATE IT!!!!

OK, so this was a slightly rugged trial. First, it is a three hour drive there. Second, the heat outside was BRUTAL. Yes, we stayed in an AC hotel, we ran agility in an AC sports arena, but STILL we had to walk and potty the dogs and get our stuff in and out. It was HOT! Third, it was not a good weekend for dad's.

Friday we arrive and set up and have dinner. We leave the dogs in the truck with it wide open. We can watch it from the restaurant. At some point we all notice something strange. Our friend Nicole is sitting on the pavement next to the truck. Her car is there, too, but it's strange that she and her friend are sitting there. Turns out her dad had just died unexpectedly. Poor Nicole, it was very sad and very hard. She just lost her mom three months earlier. I guess he couldn't live without her. Nicole stayed for the trial, but the poor thing, it was so hard.

The next morning we arrive and are getting going and I get a call that MY dad had a heart attack. MY DAD? He is a hard working organic farmer? But, he is 73 and these things happen when you are that age. He is fine, but that call was FREAKY!!!! It was pretty crazy. Stress, stress, stress.........

We set the dogs up in an x-pen. First time doing that. Douce (shih tzu), Roscoe, Colby and Spur. We line the pen with covering so it's only open on top. It seems more comfortable, they can move around more and stretch out. Easier for us than bringing in four crates. Howeverrrr.............The Spurminator had other plans. By the end of the first day he figured out how to escape. It happened once while I was there organizing my treats. Next thing I know I have a dog in my arms. Guy next to us says....."Nice catch!". Um, thanks, but dude that's not a catch I wanted. BAD Spur, back in your pen!!!

About a half hour later I am watching the Master's ring and Pam comes along with the Spurminator in her arms. This is a THREE foot tall x-pen! Little buddy, that's a BIG jump!! Crate time for The Spur Man!!! >:/

The next day Douce escapes! DOUCE! He's an 11" tall shih tzu. Surely he didn't jump it???? We are thinking he climbed it. Crate time for The Douce Man!!!! >:/

Roscoe ran great for a few runs, then looks a little sore. I am thinking he "pogo-sticked" too much at the x-pen. That would be jumping up and down each time I came over, in hopes I would pick him up. He can't do that in a crate, so we'll see next time. He just seemed a little sore by day two.

OK, so the x-pen was a good idea. In theory. In practice - NO! Crates all around, next time!!

It seems it was a "run-a-way" weekend. This was Spur's last run, jumpers and he takes a WEE detour to say HI to the judge. "Hey there judge, watch ME run!!!! YAY for ME!!", she just stood still. I squeek out "SssspuRRRRR" and we continue. Yeesh! I knew that would happen one day. He's SO loves his fan club!

Even with all these strange events this was a VERY fun trial. AC worked great inside this place. In fact, at one point I had to put a coat on Colby!!! The hotel was LOVELY and relaxing. The trial ran very smoothly as BARK trials always do. Spur finished his PII title, so he is now in PIII completely. Those are MASTER'S classes!!! :O OMG, Baby Spur in Master's classes?? He ran his first two standard PIII, with a nice Q in his Sunday run. Saturday we had some issues. It's harder. The in-gate is WAY busier. The courses obviously harder. It will be an adjustment for us.

Spur - PII dog! We still need to get more speed and confidence, but I see that coming.........slowly and methodically, it will come. As with everything Spur-like, these things will take time. He did have two iffy dog walk contacts. One was called the other was not. I need to re-group and go back a little in my dog walk training with him. As with all things Spur-like, this will take time. We take August off from trialing, so I have time to get some good work done with it.

What do I learn from these trials? That no matter how well or how crappy we do, I think my dogs appreciate our teamwork and that I do this super fun sport with them. They may leap out of x-pens and pogo-stick themselves sore, but they are not bored, they are not home living sedate lives curled up on the couch, they are mentally and physically involved in my life to the fullest and they work for me and with me and we work as a team and I think they appreciate all of it. I think they enjoy it and are fulfilled and certainly NOT bored. Maybe I am seeing my world through Rose Colored Glasses, but I LOVE those glasses, they fit me well and don't hurt the bridge of my nose!

And besides, they get tons of turkey and chicken and cheese and I KNOW that's really, REALLY important to ME!! I think it's the same for them! Especially the cheese! I love cheese! Turkey, chicken, cheese, baked potatoe, pizza crust, waffles, meatballs, egg sandwich, cheese covered enchilladas........Roscoe even likes his radishes! Yeah, we eat well at dog trials! I didn't bring radishes.

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