What a great weekend we had! Miles has come such a long long way in the last year that it is almost impossible to remember where we were last July.
We started out with the AKC Match on Wednesday afternoon. I signed him up for 1 JWW run and 2 Standard runs. Since it was tall to small in JWW, we were like the 7th dog to go. Surprisingly, Miles was quite comfortable walking into the arena (just this past March he was extremely stressed going in the front door when we were there observing AKC Nationals and couldn’t even eat treats). So when I found him to be eager to tug on his ball tug and eat frozen Bil-Jac, I was overjoyed! I used the match mostly to get Miles used to the astroturf and to the building. In JWW, we ran out and did about 8 obstacles, left to get a few cookies, and went back in and did 15 or so more. He was FLYING and just having a grand ol’ time. He was definitely slipping on the turf so I was really glad that he got a chance to experience it before the trial.
It was then a really long wait for Standard as it was small to tall. I ended up moving him down to 20″ in order to go a little sooner and only stayed for one run. For this run I wanted to make sure he got his feet on all of his “stressy” obstacles…teeter, table, dogwalk, and chute. So we did jump-tire-teeter (which he ran by at first, but then happily performed) and ran out for cookies. Then we did tunnel-aframe-jump-table with a “down” and ran out for cookies. You only got 60 seconds per turn so when I looked up and saw that I had 18 seconds left I busted out to do a big loop of tunnel-triple-panel-weaves-jump-jump-tunnel-dogwalk-chute 🙂 He was SOOO happy! Unfortunately all of the sliding about on the turf caused him to rub off about 25% of his pads down 😦 Good thing I thought ahead to bring his Pad-Heel stuff and slathered it on that night and made sure to bring a wet washcloth with me to wet his pads down before his runs for the trial.
First up was Open Standard and they were running tall to small all day. I arrived just as the judge was doing her briefing, so I was a little stressed that I wouldn’t have enough time to walk, but thankfully she gave us 8 minutes after her briefing! The opening was very similar to that of the match except more of a straight on approach to the teeter. We were in a different ring than the match ring, so it was a different teeter. Plus the photographer was sitting right next to it, so I figured we’d earn a refusal there. My only hope was that he’d then hit his weaves so that we could Q. He did in fact run past the teeter the first time, then looked at the photographer, and decided to go ahead and do it. after that it was a piece of cake. I chose a blind cross after the weaves to show him the chute so I could get out of there and get to where I needed to be for his a-frame. Miles was a superstar on his table and went right into a down. He popped up in order to see over the curtain since they were applauding in the other ring, but quickly laid back down. He was naughty and didn’t stop on his dogwalk, but happily came back to do the tunnel before the finish. Normally he loves to tuck into tunnels under contacts, but he saw the finish jump and was anticipating the cookies 🙂 This earned us our second Open leg with a 2nd place!
We didn’t have long before Excellent JWW started. We were like the 25th dog to run and I was excited for this course. Miles seemed to have other intentions because after I pushed him back at the start line he decided it would be fun to say hi to the timer/scribe! Silly boy! In the past he’s been way too afraid of them, so this was an interesting manouver. I called him back, but then he was set up wierd to take the first jump and nearly earned a refusal at the weaves, but somehow escaped that and hit his entry. I had debated about layering or not layering in the first box we encountered and decided that I would need to layer as it would be too hard to make it inside for the front. When I got there, I should have commited to the front because I had to slow way down and did a funky layer and then a rear cross. He was such a good boy and stayed with me and kept the bars up for a really nice run! This was our second leg and a 1st place!
Again we started with Open Standard, but small to tall so it was a pretty good while before I got to run. I was confident that today he’d do the teeter on the first try and he did….and nearly had a fly-off he was moving so fast! He went right into his “sit” on the table and stopped on his dogwalk too 🙂 I thought he was just great in this run and earned his OA with another 2nd place finish (by .02 seconds).
It took about 4 hours before we were ready to run Excellent JWW. I had watched team after team run this course and I think I got a little too comfortable with it. I didn’t focus enough on my walk through and it showed as I was not where I should have been for the serpentine out of the second tunnel. He saved me by keeping the bar up there, but then a tunnel call-off and me again being in a wierd spot caused a bar to come down at the double. I was super proud of him in this run though as he was starting to open up a little more and really seemed to have fun. So we’ll be in Excellent A until the next trial….
Overall, he just got more and more comfortable there and I’m sure would have just gone even faster if we had stayed for Saturday and Sunday, but I wanted to have some family time too 😉 We’ve got a few weeks break again and then a few trials in August indoors before the Fall trial season kicks into gear.