We have been a happy crew for the most part around here lately. Things are heating up with my back-burner-secret-business project and I am hoping I can make an official announcement in a month or two on that front.
The dogs have been awesome. We’ve been trialing, getting in more quality seminaring than we deserve, and practicing both on our own and with some really great people. Its been paying off.
Forest only has to get 7-8 more Qs, in either JWW or STD and he’s qualified for Nationals. I can’t believe that, typing it or saying it out loud. Whether or not we go is basically beside the point, just the fact that we have a very good shot at achieving that is so awesome. I am so proud of him, and proud of myself for sticking with it. He’s powered out his QQs, all four, in only maybe five trials this year? Maybe six? He is so consistent now, with just the occasional bobble. He does still have issues with the teeter, but we’ve been actually practicing(!). My bigger concern is actually that once he does get more confident in a trial setting that he will leap his dogwalk. That I have barely trained, but, it is what it is. If we make the crazy decision to go to Nationals, I may have to come up with an actual DW plan then!
Phin is doing great. We have banged out 2 of our Excellent JWW legs recently, which is funny considering how long it took us to get out of Open JWW. Standard is obviously more of a challenge now. He gets so fired up that still, the contacts are our main issue. But, we are getting closer and I really have been working hard to stay on track with practicing contacts.
Two weekends ago he had his ISC debut. Leading up to it I was quite nervous, fretting that 26″ would be too much for him. Lucky me, I got to see Daisy just a few days before, and so we jumped him up just over a few courses. She said he looked great and she didn’t see any issues. So that floated me going into it, and I walked in the ring feeling confident. He ran beautifully, and we were clean other than two bars. One was at a very big, very wide, and very untrained ISC-style double, which the poor man had never seen before. My bad. I’d say 60% of the dogs across all the height classes took that bar. The second fault was also 100% my fault–a badly managed backside where I didnt plan my handling strategy well (front-blind-no-too late!!!) and got in his way. He made a herculean effort to not take me out and instead got the bar. Sorry pal! But, overall he was spectacular, I couldnt have been happier with how he performed. He also WON 20″ Time 2 Beat that day, as well as his Ex JWW class. He only missed a clean STD run by one bar. If only we could run ISC first thing at every trial and get his ya-yas out we’d be cleaning up. 🙂
Next weekend is our big trip, plane and all. USDAA Regional in Prunedale, here we come! I know I will be stressed when we are at the airport and in the air, but I have had enough time to ready myself for it that I think we’ll be okay. And once that initial flight is over and done with, it’ll be all gravy from there. I love traveling with my dogs, and he has already shown me what a trooper he is. Plenty of friends will be there and hopefully we’ll meet some new ones too. Really looking forward to our mini-vacation, I have a feeling it could be the last for quite some time.