Saturday, April 12, 2008


The Perry dog show in April is the largest annual dog show in the southeast. It is also my favorite because the show has everything.... agility, obedience, conformation, herding instinct tests, Canine Good Citizen tests, and lots of vendors. The agility venue is perfect (indoors, dirt footing, and climate controlled). I look forward to Perry week every year, but it is also the most stressful week because the show always falls on the weekend prior or during April 15th - tax return deadline. I am a financial planner (not an accountant, thank goodness), but clients always have these last minute questions and information requests for their tax returns. I used to have an awful employer and the Perry show was always a sore spot and a source of conflict every April. Eventually, I was unable to enjoy it at all and often felt sick to my stomach the entire time. I now have a wonderful employer and so the trip to Perry, GA went off without a hitch this year.

Stephen, Travis, Katie, Reagan, and Allie (token stepdog) left for Perry Thursday afternoon. We arrived at the venue at about 3 PM and set up the ex pen for Katie and Allie and crates for Travis and Reagan. We then headed to the campgrounds to set up our nightly accommodations. We have learned that it is so much cheaper to camp in a tent than to stay in a hotel room. Renting a campsite with electricity, water, and access to bathrooms and showers costs a whopping $10 - 15 per day.......... about the cost of a pet fee charged per day by hotels. Plus I am a germ phobic and so I much prefer sleeping on my sheets, pillow, and mattress. We have an enormous tent with 2 rooms..... a dog room and a people room. With a space heater and a lap top to watch DVDs on, we were happy campers.

Stephen is always such an asset at dog shows. He comes along if there is a camping option and sets up the tent, carries my stuff, and drives me to and from. I couldn't ask for more. He is also very good at watching over our set up at the trial.

Travis ran very well as usual. We ran clean 5 out of 6 times. Generally, I am thrilled with a 50% clean run rate, but he is consistently running clean much higher than that as of lately. He received 2 more QQs (3 more to go for MACH2). Travis did make me a little paranoid this weekend when he fell in the end of the weave poles, was very tired after swimming on Friday, and lost his footing a bit in Jumpers on Sunday. I think he is fine, but at his age.... anything is going to raise red flag and be over analyzed.

We forgot the video camera so we videoed his runs with our camera, so I have them here for you.

1. This a clean run in Jumpers on Friday. I tried to screw him up in the beginning by getting in his way before jump #4 with a really late front cross, but he managed the jump just fine.

2. This is a clean run in Standard on Friday. This is where he fell at the end of the weaves. It looks like he just got caught up in the poles.

3. This is his Jumpers run on Saturday. He dropped a bar towards the end so this was our only non-qualifying run of the weekend.

4. This is his Standard run from Saturday.

5. This is his Standard run from Sunday. Normally, I avoid attempting to out run Travis by running along the outside like I did at the yellow tunnel, triple jump, to the dog walk. Its much easier to turn a dog towards you than away from you. However in this instance, if he saw me running as fast as I could as he came out of the tunnel, he would quickly catch me and start drifting in my direction and set up for the dog walk on a terrible angle. By running along the outside, it was very easy to flip him towards the dog walk for a perfectly straight approach to the dog walk. No one else ran a big dog this way, so I was hesitant to do it, but the logic made perfect sense to me and it did in fact work.

6. This is his Jumpers run from Sunday. The opening sequence (jumps 1 and 2 to the weaves) was very tight and most dogs over shot the turn almost missing the weave poles. Travis did it very smoothly. Once in the weaves, he seemed very disorganized, but he made it through. Everything else was smooth.

In fairness to Stephen, I sleep at agility trials too :-).