Monday, April 4, 2011

The Day Grand Prix Became Our Beotch.

(…I can’t believe that in this day and age ‘beotch’ isn’t recognized by spell check. Oh well. *ADD WORD,* check!)

Yes, you are reading this correctly- after living in the land where Grand Prix qualifiers go to die for SEVEN MONTHS The Dog gets TWO clear rounds in a row and cinches up her 2011 Cynosport qualification. Yay! Now we actually have a few months to try and get like, consistent (imagine that!)  so maybe we won’t go off course in round one again this year…

SO yeah.  While she had another good show at the RACE trial, I have a few items to focus on before the next trial at the end of the month, and in the name of that ol’ rascal ‘consistency.’

First- the good stuff:
LOVELY weaves: swimming like a happy fish the whole weekend. One missed entry in the Gamblers opening, BUT she went on the get the distance weave gamble that I was honestly not thinking would be in the cards. I also didn’t try and limit her number of weaves for once and she still kept up speed.

GREAT contacts: Houston, We Have a Pattern.  Zero missed contacts. Not even a close call. The Aframe issue has been solved- case closed.  The Dogwalk performance we’ve been toying with continues to prove successful and no reversion to ‘stickiness.’

GOOD attention:  Something is wrong with The Dog. She is becoming… reliable! She shows up where I expect her to on course!  Only one or two China moments all weekend. She has been such a ‘worldly traveler’ in the past that it is strange to see her making an effort to dig in and follow my line more closely. It is even stranger for me to drop my hand down for her to come in… and for her to do it!

FAST times: I would describe a few of her times as BUTT KICKINGLY fast. She had a new personal highest YPS in Jumpers yesterday. It was a bit shocking to see where she fell in the field a few times.

Overall, she ran clean in 7/10 runs. She also had some very nice placements and so got some Top Ten points where she needs them. Yay.

As for those other three runs, or non-placing runs… HOMEWORK!
Jumps into Tunnels. ALL THREE NQs were due to a knocked bar before a tunnel.  One was my fault. (Thou shall not scream “COME” when Dog is jumping. Bad Leader.) The other two were just plain old flat, inattentive jumping.  I suspect I may have cued the tunnels early (in one case absolutely sure of that), so ok, they are ALL my fault but still- jumping the jump is her job on some level and we can work on that.

Sending to STUFF in between STUFF from afar. Our Snookers run was a Q technically, but a bit of a mess. I wanted to test her send to a tunnel across the ring while threading through jumps. Ah, not quite there yet. I know I didn’t drive appropriately and was worried about her taking a Red-Red. I guess the jumps are still more tempting to her over tunnels too. So we need some value-building in this area, it seems.

Me. Moving. Occasionally, I STILL find myself waiting for The Dog instead of moving. It’s not as horrible as it used to be, but I can think of three times specifically (and that’s only what I recall- I am sure there were others!) where I was watching her from what was apparently quicksand instead of getting to my next place.  No disasters, but resulted in a hesitant rear cross, getting behind, and a super wide front cross. When we are getting down to tenths and, this weekend, only hundredths separating the placements then these hesitations can make all the difference.
Anyways, I am mostly glad that both my girls are alive as of this posting.  The Dog, in addition to her weird shoulder bump injury (which is largely diminished and obviously not bothering her) also had a giant thorn thing buried in her back foot, apparently for some time as it was working itself out like a splinter when I found it. This was not until Saturday afternoon. And this morning, she gashed herself on an open drawer.  I wish she had a teeny bit of self preservation. Just an itsy bit- enough to at least let me know when she is gushing blood. 

A mere FLESH WOUND! Can I haz ball back now? 
The Pup is absolutely 100%. She no longer looks emaciated but has her cute puppy potbelly back again. She seems to be maturing a bit mentally.  She will sit and wait for her dinner which is pretty amazing (considering her levels of starvation the past few days).  We did some loose leash heeling this weekend and might as well call it heeling at this point. She walked at my side in a straight line with her head up in pretty perfect position the length of the arena and back. Both sides!  We’ve been working on her homework for the Silvia Trkman online class and she is doing really well. Pretty consistent recall (and consistently rewarded) at this point, four feet in a box is down (gonna need a smaller box now!), and doing really well on giving me eye contact on behaviors (as opposed to staring at the food while she sits, drops, etc). I think working on this behavior is what led to the great focus in heeling.  AND she got a gold star in hotel behavior this time and another one for car travel, despite the WI traffic jam!
... Are we there yet? Traffic jams SUCK BTW.
She did discover one new way to be naughty though. The flags they use to mark gas lines. Did you know the wind makes them wave at you? And when something waves at you, you have to rip it out of the ground and run away with it… 

1 comment:

  1. Shiver looked AMAZING over the weekend!! Bars are so OVERRATED!! G So glad little "D" is okay!! Cute as they come!!