Somehow we haven’t trialed for a while. I think we may have gone to a trial back in March when we got back from Reno maybe? I don’t recall. It has been a while, but before our break, I was feeling pretty good about Navarre. Yes, he’s drifty, but we were no longer battling over running around all the jumps in trials. Well, yeah, nevermind, we’re back to that. Things that don’t help include screaming ‘NA-VARRE!!” REALLY LOUD, waving my arms like a maniac, lying him down when he keeps running past everything, or screaming, ‘COME!’. Oh my, he was all over the place.
We definitely had some regression all around. Had issues with him sightseeing while he was running, waving to his fans and obsessing about puppies he wanted to go molest. His brain was not quite switched into the ‘on’ position. Still, he had a lot of nice stuff, but that is the curse of the 3 year old dog, trying not to get frustrated when suddenly they look like a 1 year old dog again. Navarre is still a baby, and will be a baby for a while – time cures a lot of things.
Now, the driftiness, this I don’t think time will fix. Admittedly, I only used his ‘hand’ cue once today, and that’s something that I think should help, because ‘COME!!’ and ‘NA-VARRE!!’ mean nothing, apparently. I have also not been terribly consistent with my concern about the driftiness, I don’t expect him to magically morph into bendy pretzel dog, but this isn’t really about bending, this is about COME INTO ME, DAMMIT. We can work on that, and today most definitely proved if I don’t it’s going to be a total mess.
Things that probably didn’t help include focusing on his herding training, where I’m trying to get him to MOVE THE HELL AWAY FROM THE SHEEP, and then we ran in Gamblers and standard where he got to just run and take things that were right in front of him. Then we attempted biathlon standard … right after having Navarre play with a puppy right outside the ring – who he was then obsessed about. Oh, biathlon – it was not pretty. Thankfully, he had steeplechase afterwards, where he only ran around the LAST jump looking for any puppies by the ring.
Anyway, yes, still lots of good, but I hated feeling like I was shouting and screaming and feeling disconnected with my dog. Yes, he can be a little drifty in practice – but nothing like this. Hard to know what to do other than scream at him trying to get him to come into me. It doesn’t work though, so, hey.
Navarre ran a LOT today, he ended up with an Advanced Standard Q, Pairs Q, Gamblers Q, Steeplechase Q … but no snooker. I hate snooker. Gamblers I can at least practice contacts … But the plan was to see if I could finish up his Advanced title, but he’ll need a snooker Q and one more standard. Doesn’t really matter, I like being in Advanced, it’s so tiny! And we clearly don’t need anything harder in trials.
I am glad that I ended up just running Navarre. No conflicts, and I was plenty tired just running Navarre! Bright was not happy about the arrangement, naturally. I thought there might be a chiropractor at the trial, but USDAA trials are so tiny these days that they don’t have all the amenities that bigger trials have. Yes, she’s still off in the rear, no it hasn’t gotten any better or worse. I even took her hiking on Friday, where with the excitement I couldn’t even see her limp – ha! It’s still there though, and now I need to start figuring out who I can bring her to for an evaluation. Hm.
I didn’t go back to the trial today, it was supposed to be 88 degrees and the other dogs need love too. I did send Navarre up with Heidi though, and she ran him! He was being a really good boy and tried very hard, he was on his best behavior. He accidentally took a little detour to the table at one point, but other than that they did great!
Now, my big complaint about the trial – changing schedules day of with no warning. On Saturday my first class was supposed to start at 8am. So with Heidi driving up with me we both got up ridiculously early to meet up then drive up to the trial. Once there I got Navarre warmed up and ready to go and then was informed that they had decided right then they were going to run all the dogs through the Not For Competition class before starting the other classes. Which meant that my class didn’t start until 9:30, and we had gotten there early for no reason at all and then had to sit around and wait. I have no problem with the schedule if that’s what they wanted to do, but you don’t just randomly decide the day of to change schedules like that. Which also meant that we were there until 5pm in Starters/Advanced ring, in the heat of the afternoon, finishing up what should have been done hours ago.
Then I didn’t realize they were doing only one round of steeplechase, which I wouldn’t have entered if I realized. Steeplechase is only worth paying that amount if you get two runs, Navarre loves the class so I always enter it, but I’ll have to be more careful to double check I’m not just paying for one expensive class next time.
I am thankful for being able to pull Bright from the competition, but I am not feeling the love for USDAA at the moment. We have AKC in a couple weeks, just Navarre, of course. I think we should REALLY work on that hand touch in the meantime …
I did take the boys herding this week, I had Dave work Navarre, as I get my share of being run over by sheep with our terrible practice sheep – let someone else do it! I was really happy with what he was doing! Which is not GOOD, but considering where he came from, this is miles of improvement – he’s thinking, a little. We’re supposed to continue to work on trying to get him to understand what the flag or stick MEANS, and always about increasing distance and bending on his flanks. His baby outrun looked good there, we get to continue to work on it. He’s in a fun place, there is a little lightbulb going on that, perhaps, we’re not just there to annoy him, but we might be able to work together.
And Haku, well, he’s trying, bless his heart. He had a lot to deal with this week, the livestock guardian dogs were barking and running the fence when Haku was driving to drive the sheep – it wasn’t helpful. And Haku was not taking my flanking cues, so I’d ask and ask and then have to shout at him to get him to actually listen. Which is less than fun. He had a little good stuff, and we have a plan of taking him out in the big BIG field and just letting him drive and drive and drive – no fences, just wide open acreage. So, we’ll see, that’s in a couple weeks.
Looking at setting up a plan for the summer, where we head out hiking early in the morning and then stop for a lesson in the later morning on our way home. It makes the dogs happy, we may not be good at it, but they like it.
In kitty news, I took Marvin in for his rabies shot last week. Ended up with the vet that owns the place and apparently does most of the appointments. And I didn’t like him. Sigh. I try not be one of ‘those people’ that comes into a vet and acts like a know it all and refuses to take their advice … but don’t talk to me like a moron. And don’t try to threaten me that if I don’t put flea medication on my indoor cats that my house will become infested with fleas. And that Marvin needs to be wormed 4 or 5 TIMES to get rid of his ‘parasite load’ that all kittens have regardless of whether he was wormed as a kitten and shows absolutely no signs of worms and certainly did not have a fecal or anything else to warrant worming him FOUR OR FIVE TIMES. Jesus.
And then Marvin reacted to his rabies shot and was all lethargic and didn’t eat for like two days. Which I know is not necessarily unusual, but does make me feel like one of ‘those people’ that doesn’t want to vaccinate her animals. And don’t get me wrong, I do vaccinate my pets, but especially with things like rabies for an indoor cat, they get it once per lifetime. Which I’m sure this vet would not agree with.
Still, Mavin’s set up for his neuter next week, then he’ll be ‘done’. I do kitten vaccines and then a rabies when they’re older, but other than that they only go in when I think something may be wrong or to see about a dental. Because I’m of one of ‘those people’.
Oh, but I got Marvin a carrier backpack to take him in, because we may still yet look into being an Adventure Kitty. And the dog carrier I use to bring Fizzy or Dragon into the vet seemed extraneous for Marvin. And the vet had to use rubbing alcohol in front of Marvin’s nose to get him to stop purring. And then Marvin struggled and cried for his shot. Sigh. Sorry buddy.