Sunday, August 22, 2010

Proofing Lucky to a Trial Setting - Hattiesburg

Yesterday I drove up to Hattiesburg with Maxie and Lucky, Saturday only, not to compete, just to get Lucky used to the trialing environment.  I didn't enter Max into any runs, fearing that Lucky would be a handful.  I wanted to concentrate on proofing her.  But she was absolutely fine.  Made her longest trip in the car so far, 2.5 hours, without a single complaint.  Hung around the trial site without a single bark, growl, lunge, or complaint of being crated in a heavily trafficed walkway.  I was most impressed.

Maxie and Lucky's crates were side by side, and both behaved well.  I took turns walking one then the other away, leaving one behind, leaving both behind.  We walked on the red dirt, near the course fences, did the practice jumps, went inside, outside, up and down lots of stairs, passed hundreds of dogs in crates and strange people laughing, talking, gyrating around.  Not a single problem.  Several people commented how beautiful and well-behaved she is.

I also videoed the runs of my club mates and others who were competing, which gave me something to do.  I was especially interested in the Excellent JWW course, which lots of competitors had trouble completing.  I plan to set it up on our club's field and practice.  I picked up every course map I could.

Before leaving, I took a drive thru the RV park to see if I might spot some slabs that aren't on a slant.  There wasn't a single level one, and I discovered that what I thought was a "crack" in the sidewalk where I put up my camper before (horror story told in previous blog post), is actually a dip then a hump, and it's on every single slab out there.  I can NEVER bring my pop-up to that RV site again!  Blimey.

The arena gave me a totally different impression this time, though.  While huge, loud and noisy, it seemed much more inviting than previously.  There were 2 rings going instead of just 1 before, and no band equipment. I must have been too nervous before.  I'm like my dogs, I need proofing!!!!!

The drive, on the other hand, had its problems.  No bad traffic whatsoever, but I left home at 6:30 a.m., driving east and straight into the rising sun.  I realized I had left my sunglasses home, and my windshield was filthy.  Stopped at a gas station to clean it, but their squeegee didn't do much good.  Coming home after 4:30, heading west, I was again facing right into the sun.  Same problems.  Two hours of neck craning trying to keep my eyes out of the blinding sun. Soon as I got home, I got out the windex and cleaned my windows inside and out, and put my sunglasses in my car.  Upcoming trials at Kiln and Gulfport will present these same problems, so I'd better remember this experience.

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