Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Reunion

This weekend was the Louisville Cluster/Kentuckiana Cluster--an AKC dog show featuring rally, obedience, agility, and conformation all at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds. It was also my "Two-Year Trial" in which Dally and I marked the end of our second year of competing.

I showed Dally only Saturday and Sunday: Saturday saw us place first and finish our title in Novice FAST, and then two slow Excellent Standard and Jumpers runs in which I was caught off guard because she wasn't the same dog she was in the past two trials. There were many excuses--she's sore from the puppy jumping on her (her chiropractor trip Wednesday revealed she was out in seven places), it is an overwhelming experience for the dogs, etc. I don't know which is true...but I wasn't happy. :-(

Sunday saw slow, disturbed runs in Excellent Standard and Jumpers. In Standard Dally was stressed after jumping out of the weaves twice (third time she finished all 12, but lept sideways out of the last pole) and kept looking behind her. Observers say it was the photographer's camera clicking. I don't know, but I did everything I could to motivate and cheer her through the course. After a second trip to a message therapist (she had an initial session Saturday after her runs), we realized her hips seemed to be bothering her, so I put her up in her crate to rest and see how she felt for Jumpers. The course was a nice one--would have been a great run if I had my fast Corgi back. However, she seemed somewhat excited for the run, and I just wanted to try to have fun with her on the course. We ran (errr, umm, trotted through) the course and she did everything cleanly, stopping the clock at 60.19 seconds (SCT was 39). Oh well, we celebrated and I praised her. A decent way to end the weekend.

Mesa, on the other hand, had a busy weekend of visiting with her daddy and sister, as well as her breeder. Debbie came to town with Toby to keep his #1 ranking, and brought Hannah (Mesa's litter mate) along for the experience and to play with Mesa. Hannah is a spit fire, just like Mesa, only you could easily tell that Hannah was the dominate one in the litter before I got Mesa. At first she was a little overwhelmed, but when I'd leave the two alone with either Debbie or Matt, they'd play and play! The two look so different from each other--different coat (Hannah has a longer, fluffier coat like her grandmother; Mesa a shorter, smoother coat like her daddy), tail versus nub, color (Hannah is a tan sable, Mesa red sable), and Hannah will be bigger (her feet are huge!!). Oh well...I like my little petite nubbin!! Mesa also played a little with a fellow BFOer's Sheltie puppy who is 1 month younger than Mesa. However, when we put them in an ex-pen, Mesa barked and barked until I'd come back, and would refuse to play with the Sheltie puppy ("Karma"). Sigh...

The Cluster is also known for it's dog-related shopping. While there, I bought a supply of turkey trecheas (Dally loves them) and some bones, a new bed for Dally, a couple of leather leads (one for me, one for mom), and a nylon choke collar for Mesa. I decided to save some money and purchase a nylon choke chain for $3 that Mesa can grow into (16") instead of paying around $15 for a metal one she'll grow out of in a month or two. It's time to start working on her paying attention to me while walking and to come back better. I'm trying to work on her focusing on me more now, while she's a sponge, and make sure she doesn't start thinking she can get away with everything.

Until then, it's back to my "Focus" book and simple clicker training with Mesa, and back to the motivation drawing board with Dally. We have a CPE trial in two weeks back home, but no more AKC until May.

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