We attended our first SMART trial this weekend down in Prundedale (near Monterey). Me and the dogs had great fun and it took my mind off all the stresses that going into buying my first home. I really just enjoyed the time away with the dogs and our friends and didn’t think about finances too much. Luckily I’d signed up to work the score table all weekend so we got a free entry into the trial- that helped a lot. I had a great time working ringside all weekend and watching all the Masters runs as I helped score. Talk about high intensity fast dogs! It was very exciting and I actually learned a lot from scoring and had a blast. Rookie had a very lazy weekend at the trail since I didn’t get any nosework practice done with him sadly. But he was a good sport and sat quietly ringside a lot of the time.
Juno had a great weekend… no fear of judges at all! She was running pretty fast and was feeling good overall. She finished up her Advanced Performance Dog title with a nice Standard run on Saturday and also got her Advanced Gamblers title that day. On Saturday she ran her first 2 Masters courses- a jumpers and snooker and she took first place and a super Q in a tricky snooker run! On Sunday she was in Masters all day and got another Standard and Jumpers. Surprisingly we normally do best on games but she didn’t get either game on Sunday which was shocking but also nice (I’ll take a Standard Q any day!). We did good on the opening of the snooker but I was in the wrong place in the closing before the teeter and it caused her to refuse it. In the gamble she did great until the last pole of 12 weaves where she popped out to come to me- something we practice a lot and she does solid at class but probably not at a trial with all the stress factors for her- that or maybe I dropped a hand or moved to soon- no video to go back and review. Overall she ran 7 out of 9 runs clean, fearless and all while having fun- which is all I really care about with my little girl!
On Saturday evening we headed down to the Monterey pier with a friend and the dogs and ate clam chowder and sour dough on the pier overlooking the water. While the Manzanita park where the trial was held wasn’t my favorite venue, it wasn’t horrible and being close to the coast was really nice. We camped on Saturday night and when I went to take the dogs and me out to potty before bed, we hopped out of the van and into a cloud! I had my head lamp on and it was seriously like walking in a dream-state down to the bathroom… kind of spooky not being able to see 2 feet in front of me.
Got home last night and Juno was out like a light the rest of the night and I finally practiced nosework with Rookie, something I’d been promising for a few days and felt so bad I was just getting around to it last night at 9pm. He was super stoked though and did great with some hard converging odor hides in our apartment. Sadly we don’t have any more USDAA for a while due to low finances while closing on the new place, and also 2 vacations in the next 2 months. But we do have 2 TDAA trials in the next 2 months and I’m so excited for those- we have a great group of small dog handlers who attend and the weekend is all about fun and no pressure! Off to Vegas this week so will talk to you all when I get home…