Monday, November 26, 2007

Warm Up in Huntsville, AL

Travis and I competed at the Huntsville Obedience Training Club's agility trial in Priceville, AL this weekend. Michelle (a dog training friend), Ellie (English Springer), and Emma (Dalmatian) traveled with Travis, Katie, and I Thanksgiving evening to AL. We shared expenses and stayed in a lovely Motel 6. Only one vehicle had its window punched out Saturday morning........ and it wasn't my van, so life is good. I think there were a few shady deals (drugs?) going on a few doors down in the wee hours of the morning and night. But no one dared to mess with me while I had my 2 big dogs dressed in penguin and leopard print fleece PJs. Who wouldn't be scared to approach that? The van did give us a good scare with the engine light coming on and a sluggish start. I had Advanced Auto Parts read the error code for me and it turned out to be the same code I had last time. I remembered that last time when I researched the code, it said to tighten your gas cap because air might be leaking in and causing the error. I tried that and Bingo! It worked.

It was an interesting weekend. Travis was either brilliant or humbling. He earned 3 first places and 1 second place. He earned another QQ and 130 speed or MACH points. In fact, we earned 40 points on just one run.... the most we ever have. So overall a great weekend. But on the 2 courses he did not qualify, he either displaced a jump bar or missed his weave pole entrance. Its my job to give good directions, but its his job to keep the rails up and to complete the weaves correctly. These kinds of mistakes don't happen often, but I would just prefer not to see any while we are in California. All in all, I think we ran really well. He is as fast as ever and very responsive. I felt very focused and was happy with my preparation for each course. I ran perfectly..................... well almost. There was this one section where I was crossing in front of him and needed to direct him to the jump right behind me. In doing so, I almost ran into a jump and tripped. This put me in a bad position and would normally cause Travis to turn towards me (missing the next jump), but I threw out my arm and told him to go and he did. So he saved my butt on that one and we qualified. Good dog!

So I think we are ready for the invitational. I am very excited and can't sleep anymore. I think this weekend was a good warm up....... we had some brilliant courses to make me feel confident about CA, but also a couple of reminders to make sure I put Travis in the best position for weaves and jump take offs. For rounds 1 - 4, we need to run clean..... Travis will be plenty fast, so no need to drive for that.

And kudos to husband, Stephen, who cleaned house while I was gone. He washed and changed the sheets. He washed people and DOG laundry! Washed dishes and EMPTIED the dishwasher. I always tell him that nothing is sexier on a man then dish pan hands. :-)