November 1st, 2005


More Catching Up

I don't think I recorded how we did at the AKC trial we went to right after the GD seminar. I wish I had decided to go to the USDAA trial in TN instead but I guess I was thinking that I'd be so tired I wouldn't want to drive back from TN on Sunday. Turns out I really wasn't as tired as I expected to be, I mean I was tired physically but not nearly as mentally tired as I was the last time I worked with Greg for three days. I think it was because I'm so much more familiar with his system now.

A bunch of other people from the seminar were at the AKC trial also but they were all in Excellent while I'm still in Novice JWW and Open Std. I really enjoyed it, too. It was so easy compared to what I normally have to do and with what I'd been doing for the last 3 days. In fact I felt really tuned up and ready to go which is not the way I usually feel.

And I refused to put pressure on myself by trying to Q. I decided from the outset that I was there to work on my handling and that a Q wouldn't do me much good anyway since I have no plans to do lots more AKC trials. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that people can get excited about doing AKC anyway. It's so slow and boring compared to USDAA. There are no games to get competitive about, no speed classes to get your adrenelin pumping, no really challenging handling to decide on. Everyone just wants to Q so they go as slow as they can get away with.

But it was fun to handle the way I'd been learning about at the seminar. On one sequence in Open std the course went from the A-frame to a set of weaves which were 90 degrees to it then another 90 degree turn to the chute and then straight to a pipe tunnel under a dw. After the pipe tunnel I really wanted to do a front cross but I knew I couldn't get to it if I stayed to babysit his weaves. So I released him from the a-frame while I was still behind him and sent him to the weaves all alone while I took off in the other direction and just supported him with my left arm. By the time he finished the weaves I had passed the chute and was heading for my front cross. All I had to say was "tunnel" when he came blasting out of the chute and I *still* barely had time to finish my  cross. I would love to know how fast he ran that section--he was flying! He loves it when I handle so aggressively. And I've come to trust his weaves and contacts so much more since I've been forced to let him do them by himself while I run to get into a better position. Anyway, it was a lot of fun for both of us and we even got to go hiking and swimming on Saturday afternoon. So Jaime had a great week and even got to stay with his Aunt Pam and herd her kitty in the evenings.

Next time though, I'm going to TN for the USDAA trial. Or if GD doesn't come next year I'm going to Fairhill which I've been dying to get back to since the one time I went years ago. And maybe by next year we'll be ready for our first Nationals. I'm going to plan on it for now and plan in at least a couple of Regionals, too. I don't care if I have to call in sick for weeks at a time, I'm going to take the time I need. I'm getting so sick of having to beg for every hour of annual leave because the County won't hire anyone to cover for me. I think my dream of working part-time is basically dead since they've frozen hiring for the forseeable future and cut the budget so deeply.

Well, time for lunch and to do some training with a certain spoiled rotten terrier I know.