Thursday, April 28, 2011

CPE Trial Take 2

This past Sunday, the girls and I celebrated Easter in our own unique way--with a trip to Milford, Ohio, for another CPE trial. I decided if I couldn't spend the holiday with my family, enjoying our customary Easter brunch, I would stay busy by running six courses with Dally and Mesa and get more experience under Mesa's collar.

The end results were great--Dally went 3-for-3, earning Qs and first places in Wildcard Level 2, Standard Level 3, and Snooker Level 3. This finally finished her Level 2 title (two years after we had finished everything else--Wildcard is only offered once a weekend, and when you go to a small amount of CPE trials, it's hard to finish up levels quickly). She ran very well, happily going through tunnels and allowing me to run different courses with her than I would with Mesa. Running Dally is so much more relaxing than Mesa, so I appreciate her "Dependable Dally" moniker she's been given.

Mesa also went 3-for-3 on the day, earning Qs and a first place in Wildcard Level 1, second place in Standard Level 1, and second place in Snooker Level 1. Mesa finished her Standard Level 1 title! In her Standard run, she got a little too excited about the A-frame and hopped on that, earning a fault. Also, the smaller dog walk was deemed "unsafe" right before her run, so they replaced it with a straight tunnel, thus allowing her to shoot out of the tunnel extremely fast and barreling through the next jump. So, with two faults, she broke her win streak and earned second place. Oh well, it was good experience and a Q is a Q!

Her Snooker run was actually two-fold. We ran one course, which was not very fluid, and she went to go into the tunnel that started the closing after her third red jump. The judge whistled us off the course, thus NQing our run, but thankfully someone stopped him and said we were still OK in our run, because I still needed a "color" before I started the closing and could have done that tunnel again. So we ran back to the starting line for a re-run, which was a blessing because this run was much smoother than the last. She earned 49 points and was beaten by one point for another second place. I was proud of my little girl, though, because before our run I had heard other exhibitors talking about how Snooker is for "controllable dogs" and it'd be "hard for a young, fast dog" to Q. Well, my "young, fast dog" Qd just fine! :-)

I came home with one more thing from the trial, though this was one not expected, nor invited...a stress fracture. Recently I have been increasing my running distance as I've started training for the Bluegrass 10K in July. Saturday I ran four miles (my longest distance ever), then walked the pups 2.5 miles. The next day was the trial, and after a couple of runs I started noticing sharp pains in my right foot every time I put weight on it. I had hoped it was just a muscle pulling from my hip (long story, but bad hip), so I gritted through the day. Monday night was Mesa's final class in the "puppy/novice/intermediate" level class at Goose Creek, so I gritted through that class and went to the doctor Tuesday morning. Xrays show a "slight" stress fracture on the outside of my right foot. I'm currently in the walking boot and will have Xrays pulled again on three weeks to see if the fracture has started to heal or progressed. Until then, walks with the girls are being done by Matt or my friend Merinda. I've pulled Mesa's Novice FAST entry at the Hamilton, Ohio, AKC trial May 21, but Merinda will attempt to run Dally in her Excellent B Standard and JWW classes all weekend.

So now I'm looking at things I can work with Mesa on to keep her training on the right track, but not put a lot of stress on my foot. We've still got the weave poles set in the back yard, and I can walk with long, fast strides alongside Mesa. I wish she was more set on the poles in line (yes, they are in line now!) so I can try to work on just sending her through the weaves independently, but she's still too green for that. Looks like I'll be searching the Internet for ideas of more things to train her...

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