Monday, June 18, 2012

More weekend, please…

I swear, that was the shortest weekend in history. When the alarm went off today I could have sworn it was in error.  Time flies when you are having fun I guess!
Friday night did not include slaving over a draw for the MAC AKC trial. HOORAY. So instead there was wine.  Which may explain where some of that time went…hmmm…

Saturday was an early start, as teleportation has not yet been invented (unless the government is holding out on us??) and we had a trial to get to waaaaaay out in St. Cloud.  Though actually, way less way out than the old site. Only an hour away now, cool! And a pretty nice site. Too bad this one came with a crazy neighbor too (but as far as I know, no police were involved- at least when I was there).

It was HOT but thankfully the rain held off so, win.  We had entered all 4 classes (how often do we get to play all four classes in AKC??) and had fun in all four classes. The Dog was very good except for one naughty start line so we had one naughty dogwalk.  She hasn’t missed in a long time, so ok. It was going to happen sooner or later.  But I really don’t think she wants to go to Tulsa.  All the one-off, teeny tiny weird things preventing the QQ magic have to be coming from somewhere.  What other explanation can there be?? The Dog is Anti-Oklahoma. (That’s where Tulsa is…right?) Hate Crimer.

We’ll see if we get there or not. It’s getting a bit down to the wire unless I want to enter many back-to-back weekends and…ugh. I don’t.  Maybe The Dog is trying to make qualifying more climactic. Er, yeah.
Sunday was an International Handling Day seminar with Tracy Sklenar.   I can’t say I learned anything groundbreaking but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t helpful! It was nice to get a bit of a shot in the arm to run harder.  And once again, I am told that The Dog is a master manipulator and that I shouldn’t bend to her sad-face on things like the start line.  After the battle to get as far as we have I’m not sure how much I will press it, BUT I will continue to ask for more drive in when we are on the course, and I will ask her to take her reward with me (I throw a lot).  That was a fair point to Tracy. 

Aside from that, Tracy helped with some footwork since I was adding unnecessary yardage by not being as precise as I could be.  As I’d hoped, she also helped me pinpoint when to transition into decel mode and out again.  That was my big goal with ‘New Dog’ who pays attention to motion and location cues now.  Also gave me some needed grief over baby-sitting her weave entries too. How many more times must I hear that The Dog is not as bad at finding entries as I think? I guess at least once more.  

The courses she chose were fantastic. Perfect for testing all the little things I was hoping to, including my new course-walking goal of find the true collection point/s (a.k.a. “critical points”) and work out how to be there. I was so happy to be on the right page with what I thought those were! I still have to get better with walking every single option.  On the very first run through, I walked the way that I “knew” would be my path, but OOPS, things happen. I tripped ever so slightly at the second obstacle and could not believe how that escalated! I was exactly opposite of my plan for HALF of the course, so it sure would have been nice to be slightly prepared.  A very good lesson for me.
At the end of the day, I am so, so pleased with what I have right now. The Dog is simply brilliant. I found her to be so…easy at the trial Saturday.  Attentive, predictable, trustworthy.  I hope she thought the same of me!  And Sunday. Such a good girl.   No off-courses. Is that right? I think it is. Even after Tracy said it was time to push harder, and I did.  She got SUPER high on the last course where it was all a blur and she still was right where she was supposed to be.   Some of the lines she found…how? I just thought it, no handling took place, and she was there!  And then, when there was intentional handling and it came together- even better! We can threadle! (Turns out the scary throw back blind wrap was the secret?) And serp! And pull past! She turned the wrong way just once (but yes, it was the right way based on ME), she knocked one bar ALL WEEKEND on an errant rear cross. How is this possible??  Do I really have this now? Ga. I hope so.  I love it.  

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