Happy Monday! My weekend feels like a blur, and I could definitely use a few days to recover. Last week was extremely busy at work, with a full week of appointments. Because of my introverted ways, I usually need Friday-Sunday to recuperate mentally and take some time for myself – it truly has become crucial for holding my symptoms at bay, and making for a mentally happy Heather!
That didn’t happen this weekend, because it was my training clubs obedience and rally trials! Saturday, I spent my day stewarding and helping out at the trial. I learn a lot from stewarding!
Sunday, Seth and I competed in our first obedience trial. We were entered in Beginner Novice – it is all completed on leash, and the exercises are heeling, figure 8, sit for exam, sit stay while the handler walks around the ring, and a recall. Our heeling was okay, and had hints of perfection. The figure 8 needs some work. When practicing alone, I use cones as the posts, but during trials, stewards are the posts, and Seth stopped to say hi to one (a person we’ve been in class with before). But there are two halts (and the dog should sit automatically) during the figure 8, and Seth nailed those! He was perfect for the sit for exam, and resisted what I’m sure was an urge to say hi to the judge. During the sit stay while I walked around the ring, I got just around the first corner, and Seth laid down – which was points off, but still qualifying since he didn’t really move from the spot I put him in. And I was almost back to him, and he got up and came to me. So we didn’t qualify. The judge asked if I wanted to finish the full course with the recall, which I did. I knew he could do that, and I wanted to end on a good note. His recall was perfect. We need to get him to come in a little straighter when he sits in front of me, but I’m so happy with his progress!
So, we didn’t come home with a green ribbon for a qualifying score, but I really entered to see how he was going to do in that environment. I can train at home, or at my clubs building all of the time, and he can do great, but there are so many distractions (smells, noises, new dogs, etc) at a trial, and the only way to proof, is to be in that environment.
I am going to start taking him to Tractor Supply and Lowes, to get in practice with more distractions. And I know what needs the most work over the winter in preparation for Spring trials! Next year the goal will be to get the beginner novice title, and I’ll probably hop back over into Rally to give the intermediate class I try. We got our Rally Novice title last November.
So that was my weekend in a nutshell. And now, I’m mentally preparing for a very busy Tuesday-Thursday here at work. I just keep reminding myself that I only have to get through the next two weeks, then I’m on vacation the week of Thanksgiving. It will be a much-needed mental break. I imagine some quiet time and some craft time during that week!