Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surviving the Wasteland

AKC show over the Memorial weekend. I worked really REALLY hard at not thinking about the fact that we are in a QQ wasteland (and remain there still, hint hint). I worked really REALLY hard at dismissing the NQing runs and recovering positively.  Since I got a lot of practice in over three days I can say it is all getting easier.

In fact, I held on to a pretty nice mental state all weekend.  Despite the fact that tempers ran hotter in correlation with the temperature, I did not let crabby people ruin my fun.  (Seriously though- SIDE NOTE- what the heck? Dog show equals dogs which equals some amount of barking. Stop giving my Pup the evil eye! She didn’t even display her full lung capacity. You got off EASY! And please don’t further suggest I move her outside when it’s either a tornado watch or 90 plus degrees.  I’d have had a quiet corner for her if there weren’t so many saved spots for people who didn’t even come until Monday. True fact! Side note done.)  I turned it around and just decided to make it all about me and my little Dog.

Let it be known that while we are in a QQ wasteland, I’m ridiculously happy with how she is running.  I’d be an idiot to be any less than pleased at this point.  Her jumping was very good. Back at 20” she is making nice choices about her take off points and I’m making better choices about motion and location.  I decidedly spent zero time worrying about ‘supporting jumps’ and instead focused on just handling regularly.  Clearly, something is working. No bars!

Other fun results- I tried a new (to me) concept for walking courses. Usually, I walk lines and try to handle in the way that gets the most efficient A to B line.  And then I find the challenging points and figure out the multitude of survival plans so my backups have backups. These methods have been leaving me horribly disengaged from the average AKC course for a lot of reasons.  And also, left me working WAY too hard.  Basically I have been trying to get places to collect when I don’t really need it, and in doing so was not always  ‘there’ to cue the true collections points.  So my new challenge to myself was to walk and then find the true collection points. Imagine my surprise when I found one or two ONLY per course. WOW.  So I worked on being at those points and relied on my motion and location for the rest. And wouldn’t you know- brilliant! And because we had an excellent balance going on, she was super tight- even at the times when I felt like I was letting her shoot clear across the ring. She went, but no further than necessary. And no hesitation!  Ahhhhh…synchronicity! It was awesome, totally enabling me to get downstream. I only felt unintentionally behind once all weekend.

AND (the best bit comes now). After struggling on start lines for what feels like years (oh, wait, it HAS been years), we may have found something that works to get Squishy Start line Dog up to full speed before hitting the timers.  She was boiling hot and looking dead on Sunday before our last run, and since it was FAST I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try something to wake her up a little. We went on course; I put her in a stay, moved ten feet behind her (she said WHAT?? Ok I am awake now!) then took off without her, eventually releasing when I was well into the course. She approved. Highly.  I employed this maneuver Monday and she was so intrigued she forgot to squish in her desire to race. So grateful to our friend who has been using this start line for giving me the idea!  

I put many of our runs in here to mostly show the difference between the old and new start lines.  Typically, starting with JWW bums her out to no end. Especially on Day Three. ESPECIALLY when there are no tunnels in JWW on Day Three. But the third day, no tunnel JWW course was her absolute best run of the weekend and her time really reflected it.  In general, in fact, she was much a Dog on Fire for her runs. And really, the NQs were so WEIRD that I’m not worried. Next time.  I feel the edge of the wasteland nearing. 
Pupdate- nothing to report. Pup sad. AKC hates Frankenpup and the people were readying their torches and pitchforks.  Pup, much like the original Franken Monster, only wanted to get out a little bit but NOT to eat anyone.  She was just a smidge unhappy being crated SO CLOSE to a tunnel, but never being able to take it.  Actually, I’m not sure WHY but she definitely was pretty high anxiety. I can guess that she was sad about not playing, or wanted the tunnel, or was bugged by all the traffic in front of her crate.  But who knows. All I know is that I left her home yesterday, but now she is sick and I really think she is sick from anxiety- too much stress.  From the being there, or being left though?  Not sure what to do with her now.  Snuggles sound like a good idea. 

More media seems required, I've been QUITE lazy with that recently. 

Dog park the other day (after I finished my 5k- without stopping! I am totally awesomeness. The dogs were unimpressed since they ran a marathon from lake to lake at the park that day. Pfff.). The Pup swims next to The Dog like a baby dolphin. Cutest. Swimmer. EVER. 

The Dog's butt AFTER the dog park. POOF.
Yes Dog, that fur DOES make your butt look big. 

Koi fish trying to eat my pal at the tattoo parlor! Ok, so they SAID they are friendly and want pats, but do they have to swarm like that??
And my new little tattoo. 

Yes, it's in Kryptonian. 

Yes, that is the language of Superman's home planet.

Yes. I am a nerd. 


  1. I totally got The Hunger Games reference, even if Peta the potato was not involved! Shiv looks great back at 20"! And the tattoo, well that just looks painful...cool reference but still painful!

  2. On your side note.
    I know! I’ve been asked to leave a dog park before because my dogs where running and barking too much and I just couldn’t make them sit and enjoy the grass. Seriously. Barking and running to much. At a dog park? Some people are crazy.
    (long time reader and LOVE your blog)

    1. What a great weekend, and that's such a great idea for start lines! I may have to try that with the Toller!

      How fun getting a tattoo. I am very tempted :)

    2. Hooray! The 'dog should be dogs' coalition has spoken! Thanks for reading! Someday we will win over the crazy people.

    3. And Laura should GO FOR IT! :) It's not painful! Not really... Mosty.