After making the decision to pull from AWDF, Brody and I took a week off last week.
Monday and Tuesday, we rented a beach house on the Oregon Coast and spent two blissful days playing in the surf and chasing seagulls.
It was great for Brody to get to spend some time just being a dog. We’ve put a lot of pressure on him in the last couple of months, so the trip to the coast was well deserved.
He absolutely loved it and I’ve never seen him so tired at the end of a day. I think Brody wants to live on the coast for sure. Too bad I haven’t won the lottery recently…
After we returned from the coast, it was time to start thinking about changing gears a little bit.
I’ve mentioned before that Brody doesn’t trial well in the heat of the summer. I don’t, either, for that matter.
So the decision to pull from AWDF means that our IPO1 will have to wait until this Fall.
In the meantime, we have some other goals to pursue.
At the end of next month is a three day Rally/Obedience/Agility trial right here in our hometown. This is the closest and cheapest opportunity for new titles all year.
I’m planning to enter Brody for Rally Excellent and Novice Obedience (CD), even if I am a little bit terrified about that second one.
Our attempt at Novice Obedience at this same show last year was an unmitigated disaster. Made worse by the old lady obedience hag that cornered me afterward to make sure I knew that it had been a disaster. As if I wasn’t already embarrassed enough…
AKC trials are a real struggle for Brody and I. I genuinely despise the atmosphere (particularly around the obedience ring) and Brody is pretty well undone by the extremely busy and tight quarters.
But, he’s as ready as he’s ever been and this is a goal that I set out for us, so we’re going to at least try. I’m fairly positive he’ll earn his Rally Excellent (and I actually really enjoy Rally – what a contrast to OB!), and we may as well give it a go toward his CD since the trial is here in town. If it goes poorly, well, there’s always next year.
Additionally, this trial offers Agility (which we’re terrible at, but if we can get the weave poles down solid enough, we may enter anyway), and Fast CAT/Lure Coursing, which we will absolutely be trying out.
I may strongly dislike the atmosphere around AKC shows, but you really can’t complain about the number of opportunities that they offer.
Of course, we won’t be neglecting our IPO roots completely, as we’ll continue to attend club training on Sundays. There are two seminars in the next couple of months that I plan to attend, as well as a Helper Seminar where I hope to earn my certification.
Just writing this all down makes me tired…
Yesterday, was our first day back at club training after a couple of weeks off. I was a little concerned about how Brody would do, but he was excellent.
The tracking field is completely overgrown with hip-height grass, which made for some interesting conditions. Poor Brody had a sneezing fit about 50 paces in, but recovered to find two articles and finish a 250 pace track.
In obedience I pushed him a little and we did the IPO2 routine. Besides a little crookedness while working through the group, there was really nothing to fault him on. I’ll try to remember that when he jumps out of the AKC OB ring next month…
We pushed Brody in protection as well, asking him to do a full IPO1 routine for the first time. We had a few bobbles in control, and he was a little reluctant to ‘out’ after being driven, but I honestly couldn’t be prouder of him. For the first time in awhile, I’m feeling confident that we will, eventually, be able to “do the thing” and earn our IPO1 title.
We’re fortunate in that we will have three+ trials to choose from this fall, so surely we’ll get it done at one of them.
In the meantime, we’ll be brushing up on our AKC etiquette. Keep your fingers crossed for us!