This is me with my loot from the trial. Got four Q ribbons, two DQ ribbons and a gift for each Q - so Mum got me and Gracie a few toys and a new travel food/water bowl!
Our drive over on Saturday morning was kind of a knuckle biter. There was an amazing amount of fog, nearly the entire three hour drive. Kind of scary for Mum, but we made it without too much stress. It took us a little longer to get there, but we got there in plenty of time to run.
Overall my runs were kind of slow. My first run was good, but the rest just weren't up to where I was running last fall. But we'll get there - it's probably gonna take some time for me to get back where I was after my injury.
My first run (Standard) was at about 10:00 AM. Mum was kind of nervous, not sure how I would run, since my muscle pull. But I did great! We ended up with a Q and about 8th place out of 37 16"ers, which we felt really good about against those fast Ohio pups. Even one of the World Team dogs was running against us! We had a friend vid our run, but we found out later it didn't come through - so on Sunday Mum ordered the vid from the videographer that was there - we should get the file in about a week. Here's the course (click it to enlarge).
The course wasn't a big dog course at all! But just right for me. Mum led out past two, which made me take off with good speed. (We've been working on that). She also did a rear cross on 9, since she didn't think she would be coordinated enough to get a front cross in after the Frame. It worked well, then she had to give me a 'get out' to 10 - but it made that pinwheel pretty tight. I tried to give Mum a little 'kiss' on the table, but she wouldn't let me. Then it was on to the chute and dog walk, then she rear crossed 17 and we sprinted to the end. We liked the run. Not too bad!
Then it was time for JWW, about a few hours later. I ran pretty well, but Mum thought I was slow. But it was good enough for a Q and about 15th place out of 37. So we ended the first day with a nice Double Q - that makes the 15th DQ overall.
Mum let out again past two, but I didn't take off fast this time, kind of cantering. But I picked it up a little on 4-7. The weaves were clean, but not my usual speed. Mum ended up doing a front cross after the weaves and after 9 to make me tighter into the tunnel, which may or may not have helped. She sent me a bit from 14 into the tunnel, because I love being sent to the tunnel and I did it well and pretty speedy, so we picked up some time there. Then it was just a run to the finish - since 17-19 was pretty much a straight line.
Our first day was really fun. We got to meet Ricky, one of our fellow dog agility blogging friends. They came to watch us and spent almost the entire day with us. We had a blast taking long walks with Gracie, me and Ricky, watching the great runs throughout the day, and talking up a storm. We both felt like we knew each other through our blogs.
Ricky is in training, he's just a pup. But I'm sure he will be a fast one! He's lucky to be a little shorter than me and will probably jump 12". I'm happy for him, there's much less competition in the 12" category in my opinion. My 16" height class is beginning to be invaded by border collies more and more, which makes it much more difficult. But we don't mind, bring 'em on!
We drove home that afternoon and got home at about 5:30 which was great! We got to play outside, take a little nap, catch up on some chores and even got to bed about 9:30 AM.
The next day we got up at about 4:45 AM and headed back over to Ohio. We had our first run (standard) at about 10:00 AM again. This run wasn't nearly as speedy as my run on Saturday, and I kind of stopped and sniffed in front of a jump (but, surprisingly we didn't get called on it as a refusal - we got a gimme). Mum totally let up on me after that sniff, because that was my sign to her at the last trial that I was hurting. So she just watched me as I ran the rest of the course, and I looked pretty fine. But she was a little worried after that run.
One of our friends that is a vet was there and oddly enough is in the process of doing a case study on iliopsoas muscle pulls in agility dogs. So she took a quick look at me. She said my iliopsoas' was tight, but not sore to the touch, so we walked it off and Mum iced me down. She also stretched me out more than usual and rubbed me down. Then she told me to rest until our JWW run.
Mum talked with our friend, the vet, about the iliopsoas muscle pull, rehab ideas and strengthening exercises. From her view, we've been doing all the right things, but she gave us a few more exercises that we can do to strengthen my back end and give me more endurance. She was incredibly helpful.
We also talked with another new agility friend that just went through an iliopsoas pull too. It is really becoming common with a lot of pups. But is very often misdiagnosed. We've had a lot of folks visiting our blog after searching for this subject every day. Of all the people I've talked with so far, it's almost always related to core and backend strength. That's why all those new 'tricks' I've been learning are so important. We're going to write more about our process of core and backend strengthening in another post this week, so stay tuned.
About three hours later I ran my JWW run and I didn't look tooo bad, no sniffing, but I was kind of slow, even though I was faster in this JWW run than the previous day's JWW run. So Mum felt a little better about how I was feeling.
I didn't get the course maps for Sunday, but they were, in Mum's opinion even easier than Saturday for my height - they still weren't big dog courses, by any means. Too many off course ops, but they were easy for me.
We ended yesterday with another DQ! That makes 16 now, but we have a few hundred MACH points to go before the big bar comes our way.
When I was resting between runs, Mum took Gracie into the arena to do some focus, socialization and desensitization work. She did really well - looking to Mum when she was unsure or getting nervous (she got an amazing amount of treats for that). And she got to do some tricks for some nice folks. She loves to wave bye, bye!
Mum and I also got to catch up with some Ohio friends who we hadn't seen since last fall. It's really great to be back trialing, running and having our fun weekends, we sure missed it! And we want to thank a few of Ohio friends for video taping our runs!
The weather was amazing on both Saturday and Sunday. Sunny and somewhat cool, and then by the time we got home it was almost 70 degrees! On Sunday we spent some time outside with Mum, hanging out and herding birds, and Gracie got in some yucky stuff rolling.
I gotta tell ya, Mum has to get back in shape, she's sore today. Not in any one particular spot, but just all over...she's gonna visit the Chiro this week and get an adjustment. That rib is still compressing her breathing.
We sure are glad that we got home safe and sound. You know, some of those folks that drive are pretty crazy - following closely, cutting people off when they change lanes and scaring the heck out of Mum sometimes. Oh if they only knew what could potentially happen like Mum and I do. But we got home really safe and sound and luckily won't need any truck accident lawyer this time! Yeah!
Here are some vids from a few of my runs this past weekend. Mum had to play with the brightness/contrast on the vids, 'cause it's kind of hard to see a black dog on black dirt! As you can see, I'm kind of slow. Mum's thinking I need to build up some endurance, and continue my strength and conditioning from the muscle pull. And maybe even work on some confidence stuff, I seemed kind of cautious. But we'll get there and hopefully be back running like we were last fall by later in the Spring. Enjoy!