Each time I drive up the driveway from the mailbox to the house I have a bit of a shock. For the last 2-1/2 years, regardless of fencing and control plans, Red met me in the driveway or was hanging out beside the highway. God speed, Red. I’ll see you when I get to the rainbow bridge.
For the last 3 weekends I’ve been running Hazard at TDAA trials. The activity and travel have relieved some of the introspection that accompanies hard decisions about dogs. Hazard has put up with me.
First was OUR trial of August 15-16. Hazard ran steadily but with little joy and none of the exuberance with which she attacked courses several years ago. The events of August 16 morning kept me from focusing on Hazard on Sunday, and we struggled with our partnership.
Second was Janet Kemerer’s TDAA trial in Washingtonville on August 22-23. Hazard began Saturday morning with plenty of energy but, as the weekend wore on, she petered out. I’d been attempting to use a tambourine (food/toy) to build excitement and I believe Hazard got a belly-ache from the rich treats.
Hazard’s Qs for the weekend included: G3 Louganis and Time & Score and Pin Ball Wizard plus 3 Superior Standard Qs with a few seconds and thirds for placements.
Third was Central Ohio Dog Sports’ TDAA trial at our old place in Ostrander on August 29-30. I gave up the tambourine in favor of Hazard’s favorite treat, string cheese. On Saturday I limited Hazard to 1/2 of a single string of cheese and she seemed to maintain energy better. She ate her dinner without much relish, though, so I imagine even that was more food than she needed. On Sunday morning she actually ate her tiny breakfast with some gusto, so I think I’ve finally got her a little hungry. She maintained a fairly modest energy level throughout Sunday and was eager for dinner Sunday night.
Hazard’s Qs for the weekend included: G3 Weakest Link (with a first place, she did a couple of distance sends to a tunnel and corresponding draws to an a-frame, earning 24 points each time) and Who Dares Wins (with another first place — my proudest moment was when I realized we arrived at the pause table at 55.35 seconds, with a course time of 55 seconds, with exactly the points I’d guessed, earning zero faults in this — our FINAL ROUND game in Wisconsin). Additionally she earned 4 Superior Standard Qs with a couple of placements, no firsts. What she did NOT do, unfortunately, was any distance work such as sending to the tire in Quidditch, or sending to a tunnel in Nested Gamblers. Our awesome Strategic Team had a couple of handling breakdowns and a magnificent closing line but earned NQs.
This tells me we’re building partnership and that she’s gaining confidence in my handling. We need to continue working on speed and drive and motivation. I plan to take her for several walks a day and do some conditioning exercises to build her stamina and strength.
I know Bud misses working with Hazard. It makes sense for both of us to be prepared to work her at the Petit Prix.
Another positive note on the 3 weekend run — my knees held up for every run. I hyper-extended my right knee a bit and have some soreness, but this happened while walking, not on an agility course, so my swimming and strengthening exercises are working.
In other news, we’ve received pictures from Barbara Ray of Jagger’s lovely pups. Barb’s husband Thad was checking on the bitch and pups and found they were being neglected, so the Rays have taken over raising these 3 black & tan coonhound pups. Barb sent pics of coonhound puppies doing agility on low equipment. SO CUTE !!!
Yesterday Bud ran all our agility workshops by himself. This was the last workshop day in our summer session, and very few of our students have completed their registrations for fall session, so my job over the next few days will be to contact everyone and finalize the roster.
Tomorrow morning Missy Richards (she has a new last name but I can’t remember it !) is going to meet me at Lowe’s and help me get all the supplies to plumb in a washtub in the basement. Visiting my sister a few weeks ago I glanced at her neighbor’s yard sale and saw a double washtub, complete with all the hardware, and bought it for $10 !!!
Having a plumbed washtub in the basement, a place to wash dogs and dinner bowls, a place to fill ice trays for the freezer, is going to be a godsend.