Sunday, November 13, 2011

November already????

How on earth did November get here so soon? 

Steeler and I have been training the last several months.  Mostly in obedience, but also some agility.  Since our last update - Steeler got his second Beginner Novice leg with a 2nd place and a 195 at the Wampanoag Kennel Club in October.  One of my friends got the video on her iPhone.  :-)  I was a little bit frazzled.  I didn't think I was too nervous - but apparently I put Steeler in the car and left the house without anything else ... like cookies for my puppy????  Guess I was a little more nervous than I thought!

This run is MILES from where we were last March.  I am just beyond pleased with my boy and how well he is doing. 

Then in late October we had a freak snow storm here in New England that resulted in much of Massachusetts being without power for several days.  Halloween was cancelled, work was no open due to the power being out.  Thankfully it was not too cold during the day so the nights weren't too bad.  But 5 nights of no electricity was getting to be a bit much!  I hope this is not an indication of what winter is going to be like!
This weekend Steeler was entered in another CDSP trial on our home turf.  I suspected that this might actually be tougher for Steeler rather than going to some other places.  He is used to a certain "feel" to the building when we train and at class, and definitely the atmosphere is different at a trial.  I able to squeeze in an obedience lesson on Friday and E asked me - Why are you entered in Novice C, why didn't you enter him in Open?????  OPEN????? Me and Steeler?  Well honestly when I entered I didn't think that his drop on recall or his go out was ready for the open ring.  And I figured, any good experiences in the obedience ring at an actual trial would be a good thing.  But I've been working on his drop on recall, and that is almost ready for prime time.  So - just for giggles, we decided to see if we could teach him a "go out" during our lesson. 

For the CDSP Open class - the last exercise is the "go out".  The dog must travel half the distance of the ring and turn and sit within a 6 ft box.  This is the first part of the directed jumping exercise in Utility.  Steeler has been playing with this exercise for a while - purely as shaping games.  So he can go out and sit in a hula hoop, and he has pretty strong targeting skills.  He's done some targeting to a stantion and ring gating, but not in a really long time.  So in an hour we had him going out about 20 feet or so and turning and sitting at the ring gate.  What a brilliant boy!  I wish I had some video of the lesson because it was a ton of fun! 

So on Saturday I decided that I would do my first run in Novice C and my second run in Open A.  His Novice C run was a little rough on the figure 8 - he was REALLY interested in one of the posts.  But the rest of the run wasn't too bad.  He was the only qualifying dog in Nov C - so we got to take home a blue ribbon!  His open run was FABULOUS!  He didn't get the go out - but the rest of it more than made up for not being able to do that under pressure.  One of my Monday night classmates was kind enough to get it on video without telling me so I wouldn't get nervous about it.

His runs on Sunday were a little more stressy - we did Open first, and then because he was having a hard time I decided to leave him in Novice C for the last trial. In open, Steeler didn't want to go get his dumbbell for retrieve on the flat, and he didn't really want to drop so far away from me.  I just went into training mode and tried to make things easy for him.  In Novice C,  he again had a bit of trouble with one of the posts, but otherwise had a nice run to finish up the weekend.  I am super proud of my boy!  He did a great job for me, and as a bonus he was quiet in his crate today during the show. 

Back at home - Logan and Keegan got to spend some time with my folks this weekend.  :-)  Something they always enjoy.  Logan's been coughing a little bit lately - so I need to call the vet on Monday.