Monday, December 1, 2014

1st Trial and Thanksgiving Behind Us

I think when all is said and done, that Grover and I had a successful first agility trial.  Had anyone asked me on Friday evening, I may not have thought so.  But we entered on Friday and then again on Sunday because I thought we (Grover in particular) needed to spend some time getting used to totally new surroundings and experiences.  I was right.  If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you may already have read this post about Friday, but since I print all my blog posts to book form at the end of each year, I want to include this here:

Ok, in case anyone is wondering how we did at our first trial yesterday, here goes. Our first run in jumps with weaves was great. It was at around 10 am and Grover and I both did really well, tho he knocked down a bar which is an automatic dq. But otherwise I was really happy with how we did. BUT, ever since Grover has been with us, he has refused to pee in strange places. Despite being taken outside 4 times during the day, he never so much as lifted his leg. Not once. I should have known. Really, I should have. Our second run was novice standard which came around 3 pm. So Grover has not peed since we left the house at around 6:20 am. You can see where this is going right? I was sure we were going to do great. The course was something we could do. I was sure we had it. Or would at least get through it. First jump was the tire. No problem, but before we even got to the second jump, Grover was off sniffing around at the wall of the ring. Totally unresponsive to me calling and calling him. So not like him. This was clue #2 that trouble was coming. Finally, after what seemed like minutes, I got his attention and he seemed ok, for a while, went over and greeted one of the people who sit in the ring to replace knocked down bars, but came back to me and we continued. I was flustered by now. He did the teeter and table fine. I think he missed a weave pole, but we continued.
He did the tunnel and I forgot which obstacle was next, but we figured it out and he did the chute ok, and then it was on to the dog walk and after that there was only one jump, I think. Never got there. Instead of running happily up the ramp on the dog walk like he normally does, he went to the left of it, hiked his leg and peed on it. Yup. Right on the dog walk. It was so nice. A guy brought me a bucket of cleaning stuff and the judge stood there and watched me clean the ramp of the dog walk and the turf underneath while one of my instructors held Grover on his leash. Uh huh. Pretty humiliating. My first reaction was I wanted to cry and never come back. But I had the whole car ride home to think about it (really) and I was already finding the humor in once I stopped at McD’s for a latte for me and plain hamburger for the GroverGator. And really once it is all said, the worst has happened, right? Right? Tomorrow, we go back but are only doing the novice standard. I am working in the ring in some earlier classes, so he will get to spend some time in his crate before our class. Somehow, I need to get him to pee before we go into the ring!

Sunday was much better.  My biggest goal was of course to get Grover to relieve himself in an appropriate place, which was accomplished by walking him around outside multiple times.  Sam and my in-laws showed up about an hour before it was Grover's and my turn in the ring and I think they enjoyed watching the class prior to ours.  It is entertaining after all.  I was SO nervous as our time to run got closer and closer.  Much more nervous than I had been on Friday.  However, with his bladder empty, Grover was attentive to me as he always is and we did great.  He went into the tunnel the wrong way and I re-sent him and he did just great after that, hitting his weave poles perfectly, until I confused him at the A-Frame and he missed that.  But I turned him around (after he jumped on me in protest) and got him onto it and we finished the course with no more problems, with a score of 90, which is a qualifying score!  We also got 3rd place.   We are entered in our next trial the end of this month, Dec 27 and 28 and will be running in both jumps with weaves and standard novice both days.  It is at the same facility in Zanesville.

 Here is a look at the ring for the excellent standard class (I think, I don't really remember) taken from the out gate area.      

And on the other side of the gate is where a lot of the handlers and dogs spend their time waiting for their turn. 

 We had a stretch of very warm weather last week, I think it was around 70 degrees on Tuesday, and on Monday we had extremely high winds.  And when you live in a place with lots of trees, high winds often mean trees falling, and frequently they fall on things.  We had been watching this tree for some time but it was in a place on a steep creek bank where  we could not get to it and we knew whether Sam cut it down or it fell down it would fall on our fence.  And it did.  

On Wednesday, Sam got the top part of the tree cut up for firewood and was able to pull the fence back into shape.  I think he had to replace one post, which isn't bad.  

Then is was off to my mom's for  Thanksgiving, which I admit is my favorite holiday.  It was somewhat quiet this year, with just Sam and myself, Mom, my brother Mike and his wife Jean and their daughter, Krista with her husband Paul and baby boy Blake.  A neighbor of Mom's also joined us, since she had no plans for the day.  I last saw Blake over Labor Day weekend and he is now 4 months old and seems to be a happy content baby.  Its funny to think of my younger brother as a grandpa!  

We avoided the post-Thanksgiving craziness for the most part,but did go to a brand new Field and Stream store right on I-75 on Friday, mostly because it was a handy place to meet a woman driving up from Kentucky to buy the loom I had listed for sale on Ravelry.  That worked out really well.  Then Mom and Sam and I had a nice dinner at the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, which is an historic inn, Ohio's oldest according to their menu.  Sam had wanted to go there and I had not been there in many many years.  It was very nice.  Saturday, we drove back home.  

This week is gun season for deer, and today the weather is miserable.  My weekend ahead will be hectic, as I have a dinner for the Humane Society volunteers on Friday night, the annual Christmas Festival in Woodsfield on Saturday, where I will be set up in the courthouse again, and then the Christmas party for the dog club (Parkersburg Obedience Training Club) on Sunday.  Grover and I have agility class tomorrow night like usual, but then there is a hiatus on classes until January.  I just hope the weather allows Grover and I to keep practicing outside  the rest of the month. 

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