This past weekend, the Stump Kids and I travelled with our friends in the Small Dog Posse (including Stout and Porter) to Franklin, Tenn., for two days with the Nashville Dog Training Club. I always look forward to this trial because it's the start of the year, and usually the first trial in a long time. Our last AKC agility trail was in mid-November (though we did do one day at a CPE trial and one day at a NADAC trial in December), so it's been a while. Add on top of that the suspense of wanting to see how much LaMesa and I have learned together since our "weave pole bootcamp" and the Dawn Weaver Seminar (I still have to post the videos, sorry!), and I was itchin to get down there!
First we'll cover Dally's weekend. Let's just say we didn't start off the year as hot as we ended 2012. In Standard I told her "tunnel" once for the chute, saw her look at it and I moved on...and so did she. I should have supported it more. But then we bounced back in Jumpers with a 14 point run and 5th place (there were more than 10 dogs in 4-inches this weekend!), so that was nice.
On Sunday, the end of Standard had a 4-jump serpentine--Dally loves serpentines! I was able to get in a blind cross between the first and second jump (go me!), but then I think Dally took the middle jumps a little too close and she came down on a bar. It was a decent time, considering we seemed to have some communication problems. (You can hear me calling for her to get her attention to go towards the correct obstacles in the video.)
Then in Jumpers, I had her revved up and ready to go at the tunnel. She came out of the tunnel winking at me--she must have gotten some dirt in her eye because she spent the first half of the course with one eye open, trying to blink out whatever it was. I was waiting for her to just give up (and I admit I was close to stopping and trying to clean out her eye), but once she got to the weaves, she seemed to be back to normal and turned on the speed! We Qd with 4 points, but I was proud of her for not giving up and sticking without me through the course (a couple of years ago, she would have done just that).
I came away from this trial a little concerned about my and Dally's partnership. We weren't clicking like normal, and she wasn't running with the gusto that we had been seeing the last part of last year. I'm hoping we're just a little rusty, and with some more practice and a couple of trials under our belts we'll be back to normal. I just hope we get our spark back by Nationals!
LaMesa's exciting update coming up next...