It's a small USDAA trial, only one day and only 3 runs offered-Gamblers, Standard and Jumpers. I hemmed and hawed and hemmed some more about entering because August means HOT and neither the dogs nor myself enjoy trialing in the heat. But you never know, I've been to trials in August where I'm in rain pants and a thick fleece jacket. In the end it was hard to resist a one-ring USDAA trial only 45 minutes away and I figured at the very least we'd be o.k. for the first run of the day so it was only $40 worth of entries I was gambling on if we had to pull for heat for the other runs. The trial is small, only 58 dogs and 163 runs or so and I'm hoping it will be some good ring experience for Strummer and maybe Lola can pick up a few more Q's towards her Perf. ADCH, we'll see. I haven't been training with her much in an effort to preserve her feet and yikes it was not pretty out there when I finally took her out to the field the other day to brush up on some things. I'm hoping her loopiness was due to being distracted by the zillions of bunnies that were out there but wow she was having problems with the simplest of sequences and was slow to lie down on the table (sigh). Hopefully she'll have her head about her on Sunday when she realizes there are sardines at stake.
I've been plugging away at Strum's dogwalk and I'm finally starting to see some consistency between practices. I had brought back the treat gizmo and the plan was to work a lot more with it until I was having a lot of success and consistency but then the inevitable happened and I lost the remote. $42 to replace the sucker. I decided to try doing without for a few weeks since Strum is happy to run to the thing then I run up to it and drop the treats in the bowl myself. Then I decided to give up and order the remote and of course they're out of stock. Stupid gizmos, I hate relying on them. We're up to the point of having a jump after the dogwalk and before the gizmo so hopefully we're close to fading it completely. I live in hope the remote will pop up somewhere but it's been a couple of weeks now and I've combed every possible place. On the other hand my house keys turned up in my bike shoes once so you never know, maybe it will magically appear when I finally look in the most unlikely place.
Anyway, Strum had a lot of practice this week since we've been enjoying cool, cloudy weather-was a high in the 50's one day and I was shivering in my shorts at the practice field. He had one bad practice with the dogwalk and I was tearing my hair out and cursing this stupid sport and why don't I take up something more sensible then he was better at a second practice that day in the evening then this morning he was doing much better and seemed to understand what to do and we'll just see how my sanity and his contacts hold up on Sunday. We've had about a month's worth of lessons with Joy and I was feeling better about my handling then Joy had sudden knee surgery and she's out until Sept. so I'm on my own for a while and hopefully I can remember everything and not revert to my bad habits while she's rehabbing. She's had a terrible time of it, hasn't been able to run her dog for over a year and is on her second knee surgery. Ugh, not fun.
We'll see how the training holds up for Strum this weekend. I feel like I haven't progressed all that much since his last trial in May but hopefully that's because we chip away at things little by little on a daily basis so it's hard to see the overall improvement. The trial is part of the Larmier County Fair and I'm not sure exactly what the implications of that are but I talked to the trial secretary about it before entering and it sounds like the distractions shouldn't be anything other than what I'd see at a normal trial. I'm hoping these are not famous last words but again if things look iffy once the crowds show up it's not a huge financial disaster if I have to pull one or both dogs for the later runs.
I'm hoping I'll be able to check out the fair a bit myself but we'll see. I don't want to leave the dogs unattended for too long and I can imagine the chaos if I tried to walk around the fair with them. I loved the County Fair as a kid and it's been a lifetime since I've been to one so hopefully I can sneak away for a short bit to check it out. Maybe even sneak a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl so I can jumble my brains around before my Jumpers run. Or...maybe not.