For the last two weeks Chico and I have been with my siblings and their significant others, helping unpack boxes of family possessions. Boring days for a dog, and mildly upsetting to this one when the moving boxes come out. We lived through it.
Chico and I sneaked in a couple of AKC trials – one on each of the last two Sundays. At the Excellent level we have yet to complete a course as the judge designed it to be run. Fear not, that is not stopping us from having loads of fun. I’m more relaxed, not spooked by the big walk throughs anymore, able to remember courses better, and that – of course – shows in our performance. I was able to look at courses last Sunday and say, “Well, if it was at Julie’e, on home turf, I know we could do it.” It’s not the courses anymore that give us trouble, it’s the “taking it on the road” part.
I have for you a video from last Sunday, our Standard run. You’ll see me crack up laughing early in the course after I over-steer Chico. Obstacle 3 is the A-frame. There’s an entry to a tunnel right next to the up side of the A-frame and it pulled some dogs in. I was so worried about getting Chico to the left to go up the ramp that I pulled him so far left that he went past the ramp and into the far end of the tunnel. That’s a place that had absolutely no draw, was not in front of him at all, until I over-steered. Oops. I’m pretty sure I saw the judge suppressing a smile. I mishandled the two jumps after the table and before the tunnel. If I’d made my change of side between the two jumps instead of at the table, I most likely would have gotten the second jump. The first try at the weave poles Chico has an incorrect entry and when we turn back to try again, he shows that he’d really rather not weave thanks very much because he interprets my movement as directing him to go to the tire obstacle. But he comes back, muffs the entry again and we keep going, and he does all the rest of the poles. Thank you very much, I’m quite happy with that! It’s really a very nice run, even if it isn’t a run that gets a team a ribbon. Happy dog, laughing handler – what’s not to like?
I’ll put the Jumpers run up in the next few days, it’s also amusing.