The boys and I have been staying busy since the Mid-Atlantic Showcase. I came to realization that I have not given Zorro the attention he needed with regarding to his training. I think I have been so focused getting Dasher and Zip to their ADCh and through the Showcase, I have been neglecting Zorro. Zorro hates to make mistakes so I really need to help his confidence by regaining his fundamentals that we had in the fall. I started working with Zorro in the evenings and mornings brushing up on fundamentals, contacts, and back to our 2×2 weaves.
The last few weekends we have been to two USDAA trials and this weekend we attended Salisbury Kennel Club’s AKC trial. The USDAA trials have gone well, Zorro’s hard work is paying off and he is gaining confidence with each run. The Hog Dog USDAA trial Zorro earned his PII Snooker title, he also got another PII Jumpers leg. Dasher and Zip both earned Super Q’s in Snooker, and Q’s in Jumpers, Pairs and Zip got a Standard Q and another Snooker Q. The GP eluded Dasher and yet again with the 1st rail down in an otherwise amazing run.
Mid-Atlantic MADness trial was another great weekend. Although we seemed to have a blast of winter weather, the dogs ran great. Dasher won Jumpers, Gambler, got another Snooker super Q and a Pairs Q. Zippy had a few handler induced errors but we managed to win Pairs. Zorro was running great, got on all the contact both days and even got a serious case of the zoomies in Standard on Sunday. I let him yee-haa around considering in the past speed has not been our strong suit. On Sunday Zorro earned his PII Jumpers title and got a PII Pairs Q. Little Zorro is growing up!! He is eeking his way into Masters!!
This past weekend we switched gears and attended the Salisbury Kennel Club AKC trial. I will doing a bit more AKC in an effort to get Dasher and Zip qualified for AKC Nationals. Saturday was a mixed bag, I made a few handler bobbles which cost Zip and I a Q in Exc A Standard and JWW. Dasher had a great Exc B Standard run which was good enough for 1st place. Dasher broke his start line stay in JWW and I was ticked off at myself for not stopping the game immediately I caused an off course then stopped later on course. I know better than to keep running after a start line stay problem, shame on me!! Zorro’s 1st class was Open JWW and he was a bit distrated and stressed. He made his weave pole entrance but kept popping out. After the 3rd attempt I stopped the game and we left. I wasn’t too harsh as I don’t want to diminish his confidence but I do want him to understand this is not the behavior I am looking for in the ring. Well I think it made some sort of impression because in Open Standard he was a champ and got his weave entrance and weaved great. Zorro earned a 1st and Q in Open Standard. Sunday was stellar!! Dasher and Zip had great Excellent Standard runs. I put in a late front cross with Dasher which caused us to get a refusal, but otherwise a great run. Zip was a star and earned a 1st and Q in Standard. Zorro ran Open JWW first and he was a little champ!! I was hoping he would retain his weave confidence from the day before and he did!! He nailed his entrance and got a 1st and Q in JWW. Both Zip and Dasher had smokin’ JWW runs, each earning a 1st and Q, (Zip in in Exc A and Dasher is in Exc B). Zorro had a couple of bobbles in Open Standard but still earning a 1st and Q.
Here are a few runs from the weekend:
Dasher Standard Exc B
Zip Standard Excellent A
Zorro Open JWW
Zip Excellent A JWW
Earlier in the week Jeannette told me about a blog entry on Susan G’s blog that she thought I should read. Susan talks about the pitfalls of labeling our dogs in a negative manner, i.e. bar dropper, out of control, etc. It was perfect for me because I am guilty of this with Dasher, calling him a “first bar dropper.” The blog entry was an “ah-ha” moment for me making me realize that by labeling Dasher this way I am limiting him and being quite unfair to an amazing agility partner. I came into this weekend thinking about this and keeping the “journey” into perspective. Susan said when she looks at her dogs she sees greatness. I could not agree more!! I look at my dogs and all I see is how wonderful they are and how much they add to my life everyday. I cannot let my own frustrations with Q’s cloud the waters. They truly are great athletes and companions. Thanks to Jeannette and Susan for helping me keep this in perspective.