Ah, 100 degrees – summer is so overrated. Though my tomato plants grew like six inches in two days, swear to god – and suddenly they’ve got blooms and are making up for lost time. I really didn’t expect all four of the plants I had to survive, hence why I got four. Assuming they actually start producing it’s going to be cherry tomato extravaganza the likes I’ve which I’ve never seen. So, see, summer has things I like about it.
Obedience trial 15 minutes from my house – woot! This is the first time I’ve been to Canby when they’re also having a breed show, and it was CRAZY. Conformation is such a weird, weird world. Though I think all around it was a lot smaller than it would have been, I think a lot of people bailed by this point, what with the weather. In other weather, might have been fun to check things out, but I was focused on getting in and out and not going out in the sun as much as possible.
So, yeah, kind of a ghost town in the obedience building, a lot people were done with it by this point in the weekend. In fact, when we got there they asked if we could start early with Preferred Utility. I said okay, but I think both Haku and I did not have our obedience hats on yet. It’s kind of a cool thing that even when we’re, uh, not super focused, we can still fumble our way through the exercises at this point. Just not our normal connected work, it did not feel ‘real’. He had two stopping short go-outs, which was weird, as that hasn’t been an issue in forever. Still technically legal, but probably 10 feet from the gates, and he’s been really consistent with those, so that was surprising. He did it both times, but at least he was straight! Some moving on the stand, then he was like, “Oh yeah.” Fronts were not even trying to be straight stuff, which definitely shows me we weren’t there together. Gloves he ALMOST locked onto #1 when I marked #2, but fixed it. Heeling he was looking around quite a bit. We just both needed a little more time to acclimate and come together as a team, I needed to make sure I had the exercises in my mind and my responses snappy and focused. Good stuff too though, great articles especially – probably because we never practice those. 😉
The good news, I felt much better about our teamwork later for Open, we were out there together! I was much happier with our work all the way around, including a clean pick up of his dumbbell both times – woot! First time in competition, I was thrilled. What do you know, practice works! Now, here’s the amusing part, the judge was the same one that had given us the ridiculously low score at the last trial. I had asked her at that trial about the scoring as I know we’re not perfect, but that was so many points lost I couldn’t even guess why. She had responded that my change of pace in the fast and slow was not enough. So you can bet your ass my changes of pace were ridiculously obvious this time, almost ran into the gates, so slow Haku was barely moving. And we improved! We only lost 11 points in heeling as opposed to 20 something last time (I still have no idea how we lost 11, but hey). Still, I was really happy with what we did, and keep in mind with our ‘bad’ heeling in Utility today we lost 1.5 points in heeling, then lost 11 points in Open, which I thought was a much better performance. So funny. I think it will become my new personal challenge to try to actually get a good score from that judge.
And now we have three PUDX legs! And probably should work on actually getting to some obedience matches before our next trial, as I felt there were some things we should address before they become actual problems. Good news is that I don’t think there really is anything for us to enter until the Fall anyway, so we’ll look at doing some roadwork. Maybe incorporate some stuff I got from Fenzi camp, my new goal is to teach Haku to play without toys WITHOUT barking like a lunatic. We’ve introduced to the concept, he thinks it’s pretty fun!
Oh, and we got High in Trial for preferred! Which is less exciting as it seems as he really was the last dog standing for the award. We’ll take it though, I think Haku is pretty darn amazing. Haku much preferred the ice cream we got on the way home though.
So after all that craziness last week, I wisely scheduled some time off from classes this week to catch up on things. Doggies NEED action – we’re off hiking tomorrow! And, yeah, once again, Navarre seems totally fine today, no sign of any limping from the time he got up this morning, completely sound, not sore at all. So what is happening with the limp, what is the cause, how can I fix it? I have no idea, so we’re going to go hiking and see if it shows up again.