Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dream Fields trial (in which Lucy does her best kite impression)

[Warning: Long post. How I manage to write such long posts about single-run trials is beyond me!]

Well, dang, I messed up today and Lucy was not in forgiving mode so she stressed as high as a kite during her one run, Advanced Jumpers. The course looked nice, there were a few spots for potential offcourses or run-bys but I wasn't worried about that, hoping just to have a good connected run with her, who cares if it would be clean or not. She looked good before her run as we hung out, relaxed and focused with a happy look on her face. Put her over the warmup jumps a few times and she was pretty peppy. A nice non-sniffy start-line stay followed by a good opening line, faster than I was expecting, then she went for the offcourse tunnel. Just as well because my front cross there would never have worked -- I had been expecting the pokey Lucy from our last two trials in which case the front cross may have worked but on second thought, probably not. No pokeying about today though. Then coming out of the offcourse tunnel the poor dog never saw my front cross so she didn't know what to do next -- and I lost her.

Zoomy time!

My videographer stopped recording at this point figuring she'd save me from the horror of having to watch footage of crazy Lucy, so the rest is a bit of a blur, but my best recollection is that she (Lucy, not the videographer ;) ) did a few laps, taking some jumps and tunnels on her way. We did get back on track for the last two closing lines during which she continued to fly like a bat out of heck. On the homestretch line she totally left me in her dust -- NO WAY can I keep up with her on a straight line when she's running like that.

Don't get me wrong, it's fun running Lucy when she's in fast mode even if it means we don't go clean, but it would be a lot more fun if she were running fast because she's having a good time rather than because she's in frantic stresscase mode.

Watching the video back it looks like Lucy totally locked onto that tunnel, suggesting she was somewhat stressed to begin with (she'll tune me out and become obstacle-focused), but then it's totally my fault that I lost her after that with the front cross that she never saw.


Okay, so here's what i'm thinking for next time to reduce the chances of Lucy going frantic:

  • Take her for a good walk before the trial to hopefully take some nervous energy off;
  • Plan the course for FastLucy just in case it's she who makes an appearance; and
  • Always be in the right place at the right time. Sooooo much easier said than done as we all know...
Walter's turn tomorrow. I'm very lucky that he's so predictable, and forgiving...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hanging out at Guides Canins

Lucy was a good sport and a pleasure to hang out with at Guides Canins for Walter's trial this weekend. She's entered in a few trial runs later this fall but not at Guides Canins as it's just toooo distracting with so many little critter smells everywhere.