In Summary: We survived. It was a very long weekend, but we made it through all of our classes with no meltdowns or jumping out of the ring or attacking the judge or making any other major blunders. And, at the end of it all, we Q’ed in our last class–Standard! Video of the triumph (Forest gets mucho credit for winning this one) below. Our First Trial was exhausting and at times frustrating, but a big accomplishment for Team Forest.
In Detail: We packed up the car on Friday after work and headed an hour South to my parents (dad and stepmom’s) place. We got there to much chaos (as usual). Uncles visiting, cats to chase, sisters and SO’s coming and going. We had dinner late (as usual) and went to bed late. Forest was not happy. He pitched a fit about sleeping in his crate after sleeping about an hour. I caved and let him out hoping he’d shut up on the bed. He did, for another hour, then would get up, whine, run around the room, jump back on the bed and kick us. The bed was also a double, it was crowded. So, we did not sleep well.
Got up early because I was paranoid about being there on time. Arrived around 9, I don’t think our first class was until at least 1. I tried to keep him settled in his crate, but there was a lot going on. When we finally got to go for our first class–Jumpers–he was seriously asleep. Tried to pep him up but he was exhausted between being up all night and stimulated all day. The start was excruciating–a tunnel to weaves. Ugh. We had just done some send exercises into tunnels on Thursday night and I think he still had tunnel-on-the-brain. We missed our weave entries a few times, and when I’d try to reset him he’d blow right past me back into the tunnel. It was ugly but we got through it. He was slightly less asleep for Standard. We actually had a very nice round, other than me almost going off course and then a bar by him! A bar! So odd. I totally forgave him because that’s probably the second time I’ve seen him hit a bar in the 10 months we’ve been doing this. So I was happy with him and chalked up the days issues to sleep deprivation.
We went back to the parents where we napped, laid in front of the fire, chased cats a lot less enthusiastically, watched Hurt Locker (yeaow, intense!) and slept much better on that night, awaking quite a bit more bushy-tailed the next AM. I had to get down there early again to do my volunteering. I set bars for a few of the Excellent classes. Was pretty interesting to see the wide range of skills. Everything from the girl with her Golden who got her MACH the day before getting another Q, to totally out-of-control people blasting through jumps and getting whistled off within 10 seconds. Interesting. Made me feel better about where I am.
Jumpers came up first again. I think its funny how I thought JWW would be our “easy” class, yeah, not so much. This time we started with three jumps–yay momentum!–then went tunnel to weaves. Boo. Again, we blew our first weave entry so had to reset. Watching the videos–on Saturday I definitely sent him back in with my body cues. So on Sunday I was much more aware of keeping my back to the tunnel, to no avail. Massive tunnel suck took place again, plus a horrific attempt at a front cross and a resulting off course NQ’ed us. Oh well.
By the time we got to Standard I was frankly over it. But sucked up my competitive demons and went on with it. Was watching the 16″ dogs before us and noticed they hadnt reset the table from 12″. Mentioned it to the ring people and sent everyone into a tizzy resetting and getting the mis-run dog to go back in and do the table again. Not sure if that gave me some extra confidence or what, but we put in a relatively good course. We were semi-slow-mo, but hit the weaves right the first time, he did a perfect down on the table, and completely saved my butt–again on a horrendous front cross (see video)–and we made it through clean. I think everyone was relieved from our camp! We were the only ones who hadnt yet had a Q, so we pulled it out at the last minute. It felt good.
I have a lot of opinions/commentary on the trial in general, the Canine Companions inclusion, etc., but I will leave it for another post. We made it through, and we are tired. UKI match on Saturday will be a good place to pick up where we left off, for fun.