It has been one week since I wrote a blog post and it’s one week until Penny makes her debut at an AAC trial. Are we ready? Probably not. Why are we going? I have to bite the bullet at some point. On Monday, we had our third seminar with Jess Martin. We didn’t have the mega-success of the second seminar but we had far more success than the first one. We found a nice, medium place to end up during this seminar. Not to mention that it was -28C in a horse barn. For 8 hours. I think part of that was my issue ..I found this seminar I couldn’t focus as much and the first run or two, we ended up with minimal success because my heart wasn’t in it. I was cold, tired and wondering if Penn would ever stop running away.
So, this seminar Jess focused on connecting with your dog ..okay, in all honesty? She focuses on that a lot. Especially with Penny. Why? Unlike a high drive Border Collie, Penny disconnects easily and just goes into the distance. The concept of looking where you want your dog to go instead of looking where they are going makes a lot of sense. That means watching the line you want your dog to run. Which means looking down. It’s an interesting concept but we have had two practices since getting back from the seminar and i’ve made an honest effort to get my eyes following the lines for both Penny and Briar and it is making a difference for sure! I am far from fabulous at it yet but the crunch is on due to Penny heading to that trial in the very near future. We have 2 days of practices left. This is a strange trial as I cannot enter Penn in a gamblers or jumpers course because they aren’t offering starters ..so she’s stuck making her debut in Steeplechase and Standard. Not totally ideal but she can run all the contacts and weave ..it should also encourage some of that connection Jess stresses so much!
With Briar, we are hoping to get out of advanced gamblers and into masters along with hit another 2 advanced standard Qs to bump us up into masters. I also have 0 steeplechase Qs with him so it would be fabulous to start the first trial of the season getting one of those. Mostly this trial is just a check in for how we can expect to do at Regionals. I took a long break from running him much at all (think all winter until about 2 weeks ago!) so it will be interesting to see if we still work as well together as we did at the end of last season. Fingers crossed! We ran a pretty tough course this afternoon and knocked it out of the park so I’m hoping that we are in for much of the same when we head away next weekend. There will be videotape and TWO posts resulting from the trial ..one dedicated to Briar and one to Penny. Since it will be red dogs’ first official run, the least I can do is give her her own recap of the weekend. She only has 3 runs but it is in the Agridome (giant covered building)& that is a totally new concept to Penny. Find success in mini-goals during the trial. Take a deep breath. Don’t stress. If she runs away, she runs away. Not the first dog to do it and not the last. That will be my advice to myself as we step into the ring! And, remember to make sure to let her outside to do her business before we go in the ring.
I think running two dogs this season is going to be quite the change from one. Briar’s owner is always very good to me to make sure B is warmed up and ready to rock ..hopefully he extends his kindness to Penny, as well! Does anyone out there run 2+ dogs? How do you find it? Exhausting? Fun? Stressful? All of the above? Eek!