Staycation is still on! Yesterday, we participated in the CARO rally o trial in Kemptville. It was a last minute decision, and we didn’t really practice. Still, I was confident enough with Jasmine’s skills that I knew we could qualify; it would all depend on me.
Environment Canada called for a very hot day, and finally recorded 31.5 degrees Celsius, not counting the humidex. Yuck! Luckily, it was to be a very small trial, so I was hoping for an early finish. Strangely, the only factor I was worried about was the morning dew. I think I was denial about the heat! Normally, Fannie and Jasmine won’t do a sit or a down on wet grass, and at this time of the year, the dew is strong. We arrived on time (Ha!) set everything up, and walked around a bit. Our feet (human and fluffy) were soaking wet in no time. I was in sandals, thank goodness, and changed in dry socks and shoes before our courses.
The judge was actually Jasmine’s first rally o instructor, so I knew pretty much what to expect. At first glance, I couldn’t see a station on the course that could be a problem. We usually lose points for “lagging” or “out of positions”. What I didn’t take into account, was going in my training mode at the 1,2,3 station. I first put Jasmine in a sit, and automatically retrieved a reward from my pocket. My brain goes: “What are you doing??? It’s too early to reward her”. I put the reward back in my pocket, and repeated the station. First, you’re not supposed to reward the dog before a station. Second, my training came back to haunt me. Her release word is “go”, but I told her to “heel”. Normally, that would have been enough for Jasmine to get up and do what I asked her to do. Unfortunately, our lack of practice made Jasmine not respond to it, and she stayed put. Biiiig NQ. I read the score sheet later, and we were going for a 199 points finish!!!!! Sigh… I must remember to be more consistent with my commands, but of course, that’s an ongoing problem with me. The judge asked me why I repeated the station, and I told her why. “Oh, I didn’t see that from my angle, but would have when you completed your station” was her answer. My thought was “I would have known” which is why I repeated it.
Jasmine’s second run was short and sweet. The morning dew and the shade had allowed her to stay fresh and cool. Unfortunately, the sun was moving along its normal trajectory and we no longer had shade. By the 6th station, she was lagging so much behind me, that I knew that she’d had enough. She went into a down, and refused to move. She seemed to be saying “No I don’t want to!” I gently tugged her leash, and nope, it was a no-go. That was the end of the trial for her.
Fannie’s first run was ok, but I NQ on the “moving down” (still working on the station, so no surprise there) and “1,2,3 steps backwards” (I goofed at the beginning). The funny part of the course was when Fannie went in a down at the “pivot left” station. We’ve been practicing so much on the moving down, that I probably gave out the wrong vibes.
The second run was a dud right from the beginning. We had the “offset figure 8” with food distractions as a second station, as well as the infamous “halt-stand-leave-exam” station as the second last one. Well, we still need to work on our “leave it” command, but she is improving on being examined. She sniffed her little heart out at the food bowl, but the judge was able to walk around her during the “leave-exam” and she didn’t move. She did wag her tail…. The judge was nice enough to try it a second time (yes, we were training at this point) and touch Fannie. Ha! Fannie looked at her adoringly and tried to charm her way to a Q. (just kidding!)
Overall, she only left me once during the second run, but by this point, it was boiling HOT!
Jasmine: I’ll start working seriously with her on the advanced exercises. It’s just a question of time before we Q, and I would like her to be ready for that levelwhen the time comes.
Fannie: I only get her undivided attention by the 5th or 6th station. I really, really have to work on our prep routine and our heeling. Obviously, we also need to work on the advanced exercises.
Evil little Jasmine
This is what happens when you leave your clothes hang out to dry in a Jasmine accessible spot. I only discovered this once I had arrived at the trial location, and couldn’t find anything in my car to sew/bind/staple with. The trial secretary saved the day by providing a clip. Yay! My right reward pocket was sound again.
Funny little Fannie
I was very much surprised when we were awarded with the “show great relationship with dog” gift at the end of the advanced level. Here is the little clown with her loot.