Well it’s been too long folks! I was at the point where I had so much to post that I just posted nothing instead- sorry about that! Instead of trying to rehash everything that has been going on the last 2 months I’m going to just start fresh I think! Me and the dogs went on all our weekly adventures and I documented everything for the blog but between starting a new job and buying a new place to live the blog kind of took the back seat- I think my dogs rather me spend more time with them at night than be on the computer more than I already am 😉
So… this weekend Juno and I competed at our first USDAA Regional event and boy did we have fun! My first impression of the event was a bit overwhelmed (at having to walk 5 courses in the first 30 minutes of being there and being told we couldn’t walk them again throughout the day so the courses we walked in the morning were the courses we were still running 7 hours later!), and the intensity of people gearing up to run their dogs in the biggest event of the year in this area.
Our first run of the weekend was round one of Performance Speed Jumping (Steeplechase). In the last 2 months Juno has become a bit overweight (and is on a new diet) so that morning I didn’t feed her much at all. She was so amped up by the time we were going into the ring since she knew I had salmon waiting for her after her run that she ran faster than I’ve ever seen her run- it was amazing- and earned us a place in Round 2 on Sunday 🙂 I think I may use this hunger trick again in the future.
The rest of Saturday was Performance Versatility Pairs (Team) where we ran 5 more runs and then our score is combined with our partner’s score at the end of the day and the highest ranking teams earn a qualifier. Our team mate was our friend Colleen and her Kelpie, Bella- Black Beauties was our name and while we both had some great runs we also both messed up a few times, dropping us out of the rankings. It was a long but fun day and by 7pm me and my friend who accompanied me all weekend to volunteer, settled into the van with some good wine to relax and pass out!
Sunday was a pretty unsuccessful day overall. We blew our Gamblers and Standard. We ran in the Perf. Speed Jumping finals and placed 5th (just over time and out of the money) although I was still proud of her for running clean despite her obvious fear of the judge at the beginning of the run. The course was great fun too! Last was the Master Challenge courses. I had run these for the first time the weekend before and she came in 4-7 seconds over time on each course so I’m not a fan of those very much. We ran a beautiful MC Jumpers course on Sunday that I thought would definitely make time and everyone cheered and congratulated us but in the end she was 1.5 seconds over time- BUMMER! We scratched from MC Standard after that- I knew if she couldn’t make a Jumpers course time she definitely wouldn’t make a Standard course time- better to save our energy for the last day. Needless to say I’m not sure we will be running those Master Challenges in the future… too tight on course time for this medium speed mutt. We headed back to Gilroy to stay at a motel for the night, eat a ton of Chinese food and veg out with dog friends!
Day 3 is oddly normally Juno’s best day at trails and once again this proved to be the case. She ran 3 out of 4 courses clean, earning a Snooker, Jumpers and Standard Q and completing her Master Performance Dog Title (woohoo!!!)! Last run was the big Grand Prix finals and Juno had earned 2 byes this year into the final event (Perf. Grand Prix actually). She ran pretty fast but popped a weave pole and refused a tunnel that I didn’t support long enough… bummer because she was even under time! It was great though- all the energy around the ring as people pulled up chairsto watch the big final event- I loved all the OOOs and AAAHHs!
Overall I’m very proud of my girl for running strong and pretty fearlessly for 3 intense and long days of hard courses! I’m hoping once she slims down she’ll be running a bit faster- I’m glad we know what to expect for next year since it’s the big year for the Bay Area since Nationals are out here! I’m also glad I didn’t get lost once this weekend on the course- that hasn’t been the case recently- guess I do have to watch the 20 dogs that run before me each time 😉 Also happy I learned some new massage and warm up moves from the masseuse on site at the trial (that really helped a lot) and got Juno a nice cooling coat that really helped keep her body temperature down the whole day- giving her more energy later in the day. I worked as a Crew Chief for 2 of the days and that was fun- I’ll definitely be volunteering for that trial job again! And was so proud of my friends and their amazing dogs- I loved watching each and every run!!!!
Next weekend is our 3rd and final trial weekend for the next month- we are only running 2 runs a day at TDAA… looking forward to a nice mellow trial to unwind and bring down the intensity level 😉 I hope to post again soon- I bought some fun new things this weekend and plan to share some product reviews! Until next time… 🙂