Well, this was our third day of trialing this weekend and I’m tired. I don’t know how people do this kind of thing week after week. I can’t hang! Must get more trial stamina…
All in all, this was another fantastic day for us. Again the weather was perfect–mid 60’s and sunny. No wind either, thank goodness since the arena was just winterized and covered in flappy flippy sometimes scaaaary plastic! Miles has a history of not being too fond of the plastic coated arena. Of course that was last year and he’s come along way, so who knows. Anyway, I had signed up for four runs which in and of itself was a lot for us, but to follow two days of trialing away from home and getting a title, this was a big deal. I had no idea how it was all going to go down, but my strategy was to keep it fun and happy (as usual) but also to get him on some contact equipment at a trial. He goes through times of being ok with contacts and not so ok. I was hopeful that with our recent successes and with Jumpers being the first run of the day that his confidence would be up enough for him to be comfortable with this equipment. Much to my excitement, lots of my training buddies were there today as well as my instructor, Melanie, who agreed to be my taping buddy. So I got all my runs on tape–woohoo!
So first run was Jumpers and the course was typical of NADAC, open and flowing. It was all jumps and ended with a long straight tunnel. After walking it, I decided on doing two rear crosses even though we sometimes have issues with them causing a slow down, it really made the most sense to do. Miles was more than happy to come out and play and just seemed to be oozing confidence. He even did “speak for the ball” near the ring!! He’s still not jazzed enough to really play near there, but he’s getting much better. We went into the ring and I asked for a couple of hand touches before removing his lead and running. He was FAST!! Holy cow, he was smokin’. As we finished our run, the timer and scribe shouted out 17seconds! We got a lot of complements on that run which turned out to be a Q and a 1st by a long shot. The coolest thing was that he was the second fastest dog for all jump heights, only .3 seconds behind Melanie’s Smitten–yowsers! He was moving out at 5.11yps.
Up next were Regular Rounds 1 and 2. We had a long wait because they did Elite 1 and 2 followed by Open 1 and 2 before setting up the course for Novice. The nice thing for us in NADAC is that there are no teeters….ever. The only question I had for Miles today was if he was going to do the other contact obstacles. With the home court advantage and coming off of 3 very successful runs for the weekend, I thought we probably had a good chance. If not, I planned out an alternative strategy taking off course tunnels if necessary to keep him moving. The first course started with a jump and then straight to the dogwalk. The dogwalk was the one that concerned me the most as it was the most frequently refused obstacle by him and this one is particularly bouncy. I lined him up good, pushed back, and we were off. And, he went right up the ramp–SUCCESS! The rest of the run was happy. He seemed to notice the judge from the a-frame and paused for a second before coming down, but he finished the course with joy and speed. Q and a 2nd place just a fraction of a second behind Val’s dog Air-E.
Round 2 was not so good. I could tell something was not right from the beginning. I think it was a few things. First, it was a very short time between runs which didn’t give him much downtime at all. Second, as I discovered right after the run, his tummy hurt and he had liquid poo. Third, I didn’t line him up right for the a-frame causing us to have to reset. Fourth, as he came out of the weaves he noticed the giant camera over his head. Lastly, he missed a jump which I corrected and I believe that led him to deciding against doing the dogwalk. He did do the last jump though which was right after the dogwalk…he just skipped the dogwalk. Oh well, he obviously needs more confidence with all contacts still. Will work on this. The recorder malfunctioned so the video skips the first three jumps, but you can see all the areas where we messed up.
After the somewhat abysmal Regular run, I debated about even staying for the last run which was Chances. The course was tough with a very challenging distance portion that included the weave poles and then a tunnel/a-frame discrimination. The minimum distace for Novice is 10ft–sweet jebus! I had decided right away that if I was going to stay, that I wouldn’t even attempt the distance portion, but just cross the gamble line and handle it like any other course. The weaves were in the same postion that they were in for the last run, so my goal was to hopefully end on a success with having a good experience in the poles in that position. I decided to stay after I realized that he had the loose poo because I thought maybe that was the issue and now that he went to the bathroom he’d feel better. I was right. He smoked it and didn’t even blink at doing the weaves out in the scary area at all. Yay Miles!! Of course we didn’t Q because I crossed the line, but it was exactly what I wanted and he needed. Good boy.