First off I have to say that this was the BEST run trial I have ever entered. It felt like I was in a Regional or National event. The arena was great, the surface was cushy dirt, the club’s workers were friendly and efficient, vendors were decent, and crating space was ample. They even had a print out of all the entrants and run orders for the 3 day weekend available at check in, wow! I have to also add that judges Christin Dewey and Randy Reed had awesome big dog courses that really allowed them to rip 🙂 I’m so sad that it’s over….
I had arrived early Thursday afternoon to secure good crating space for me and my friends. My friend Melanie had arrived fairly early too, so we were able to go to one of my favorite restaurants downtown and then take all of our dogs for a short hike.
I was a bit skeptical at that point as to how Miles would handle both the indoor venue and crating inside among all of the other dogs and distractions. So we brought him in after Melanie set up so that he could wander around and get some exposure before the craziness started. He was off-lead so that I didn’t add any pressure to him which helped, but he was still a little concerned. We walked confidently beside him and we went around the whole arena so he could sniff all the other crates/tents/xpens. His comfort level grew as we were there so I left feeling hopeful for the morning.
Off to the hotel with 6 dogs to try to get some shut eye….
The alarm went off far too early, but I hadn’t slept too well anyway…too much nervous excitement. We got to the arena around 7:30 to give us time to check in and get our dogs settled. Miles was a bit wary to enter with all of the hubbub, but did so anyway and happily showed me back to where I had put his crate. Unfortunately, I kinda had to shove him in his crate backwards cuz he wasn’t going in any other way! Once in he was quiet though 🙂
The Open JWW course looked great! Very open with only one pinwheel at the very end. The weaves were heading out into nothing, however, and they were facing the other ring where Excellent Standard was running so I figured that would be challenging for him. Much to my surprise, he was super psyched to come out of his crate and walk with me to the ring. He was able to do all of his tricks while we waited to go and then gave me a very solid run! He noticed the other ring when he came out of the first tunnel and then found all of the ring crew while happily jumping along before heading to the weaves. In the weaves he definitely was watching the other ring and slowed towards the end, but kept going and didn’t pop out! As expected the pinwheel was a bit demotivating and he was again looking around, but overall he did great and we got our first Open JWW Q with a 3rd place at 3.9yps! He was very happy to discover his breakfast waiting for him at the end of the run and his orange ball right outside the building to play with 🙂
Since Novice Standard was at the end of the day, I decided to take the dogs with me on my trail run. Of course, in the mountains a trail run is never flat. The one I picked sent me up a mountain and back, ugh. Thankfully it followed a stream so the dogs could dip in whenever they needed. We went back to the hotel to cool off, rest, and get cleaned up for the afternoon.
Chris Dewey was judging the Standard classes and gave us a really nice course. The teeter was pretty early on which is always a good scenario for us. Miles was psyched to be back in the building and ready to run. He enjoyed playing on the practice jump and doing his tricks while we waited our turn. It just really amazes me what a long way he’s come since our first indoor experience in NY in December! Anyway, he handled the course great, but ran beside the teeter twice before deciding that he’d try it. Unlike what happened in W-S, he had no fear issue when it banged down so I kept going (instead of praising him and leaving for a reward). He showed me that he was totally fine by hopping up on the table with a happy wag 🙂 He thought twice about the chute but then turned out a nice finish. I thought I had gotten either 3 refusals at the teeter or 2 refusals there and 1 at the chute so I never checked the results. Turns out he was only called for 2 refusals so we actually Q’d this run with a 1st place…funny!
Once again beautiful courses! JWW ran really fast except for once again weaving into nothing. Miles hesitated at pole 3 to check out the Excellent Standard ring, but got it back together for a strong finish. I love how he shakes himself off after those poles…getting rid of the stress. It was great to see his confidence increase from yesterday…he only looked at the other ring that one time and looked around a bit in the ending pinwheel, but otherwise very focused on the course! Q with a 2nd place at 4.2yps.
Again we had a long break so I brought the pups back to the hotel to rest while I went for a beautiful, yet very hilly, 20 mile bike ride. Couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the whole time….I just LOVE the mountains!
Novice Standard looked straight forward enough. I was interested to see how Miles reacted to the teeter and the chute today. I was fairly certain that his experience yesterday was good and I was right! He didn’t hesitate with either one, but was a stinker on the table and wasted 20 seconds trying to get him to lie down…grrr! Still under course time and got 1st place again! This was technically our title, but I didn’t know that I had Q’d on Friday so I didn’t move him up for Sunday.
Once again we were blessed with super awesome big dog courses! The JWW was so fun and finally we weren’t weaving into nothing. I don’t think he looked around once on this course and just really smoked it! He seemed to really benefit from being there 3 days as he just got better and better 🙂 Q for our title and a 2nd place at 4.9yps! Up to Excellent A now, wow!!
Last but not least, I got to run Novice Standard under Chris Dewey again! Another nice course with the teeter nearly in the same spot as yesterday. He got a bit spooked by a strange noise at the start line and was a bit spacey and missed the weave entry, but then got himself back together and absolutely flew through the rest of the course! Up to Open Standard now too!!
So we are entered in one day indoors locally where I’ve been doing my drop-ins this Sunday. It will be fun to see what he thinks of this venue as a trial site and how he handles the increased challenges of Excellent JWW and Open Standard!