American Bloodhound Club AKC Trial

At last weekend’s trial there was no one videoing runs so I have to count on my memory. And it seems my memory is somewhat flawed. In truth, I often feel like a deer in the headlights during a competition run. It just zips past and I’m unable (yet, damn it, yet) to step back and watch myself. Or. Sometimes, even keep an eye on Chico as I run.

On Saturday, we tried Excellent Standard for the first time. It went pretty well, for at least part of each run. On the way home, I was trying to remember if we achieved the weave poles goal during any of our three runs. As I reviewed the runs, in my head, I heard someone go “Yay” as Chico left the poles during Standard and headed for the wing jump. I knew that we had repeated the poles, and when that “Yay” came back to me, I decided that we must have had success on the second try. The yay came from the gate area, and the woman who was gating had been at the previous weekend’s trial and walked a course or two with me, freely discussing what she was going to do and what else one could do. Doubtless the ‘weave poles at trials’ problem had come up during the walk(s), she was kind enough to remember, and her one-woman cheering section was just the most helpful thing I could have had.

And what they say is true: we can be our own harshest critics. On Sunday, I was chatting with a woman and her a nice Springer Spaniel (Lacy, who was social enough to figure out how to share treats with Chico without getting him riled up), and the woman said, “That was a nice Time 2 Beat run this morning.” My reply was “Wow, thanks, because all I can remember was the moment when I was standing by the A-frame, looking for my dog.” “Oh,” she replied, “you got it back together and it was really nice.” Wow. Thanks very much to the universe for sending me that objective opinion.

It’s a digression, but here’s a goose-bumps-on-your-arms, bring-tears-to-your-eyes story. The woman I spoke to was running the Springer because of a promise she made to Lacy’s original owner as that person lay dying of cancer. “I will get your dog her PACH.” And they are doing so well that this early in the year, they are a mere thirty points from qualifying for nationals.

Our San Francisco teacher, Sandy Rogers, was also competing last weekend, and she was quite encouraging about our runs too. She said watching us gave her some ideas of things that I could work on to fine tune some aspects of our performance. Sounds good to me.

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