Whew, it's been 2 weeks since I've blogged!
Sunday was Mika's first time successfully running at a trial in almost 2 months (at our last trial, we had those *incidents* with the other dogs). I've been working very hard on her reactivity since then. We've always worked at it, but for the past several weeks we've been doing as much as we can to get exposure to as many dogs as possible to work on reactivity. For the rest of this year I've only entered Mika in trials that have fenced rings, for the sake of safety, in case she does react to another dog.
She did have a reaction at this trial, but it wasn't in the ring. I can't remember the dog because it happened right before our first run, but I was preparing to cue Mika into a sit-stay close to a few other dogs when one of the dogs approached her and she lunged. Nothing else happened and I moved Mika farther away from the other dogs.
It was hot throughout the whole day, but Mika ran at a good speed considering that. (She has been getting slower these past few months, but we're getting her speed back.) When it was time to do our gamble, Mika read my (wrong) cues, saw the last jump in the gamble, and started running towards it. I called her, but as we approached the first jump of the gamble we were already at a bad angle, so I couldn't send her out to the intended second jump. Off-course to another jump, NQ. Doesn't matter, I'm just happy that she's getting her drive back!
A knocked bar caused our NQ in our Masters Jumpers run. Yes, Mika knocked a bar! She occasionally will knock a 6" bar in training, when she doesn't lift her feet up enough to go over the tiny jump, but she's only ever knocked 2 bars at trials; once at Nationals (last year) and once in a Gamblers run. I don't think she would have knocked the bar at this trial if I had led out. I started with her in this run because she broke her stay in the Gamblers run and, since she's been breaking stays a lot this year, I don't want her to rehearse that. Anyway, it's too bad it was so hot for this run because the course was super flowing. Other than that knocked bar, we ran it clean, except for an off-course to a tunnel (she only put a paw in it, but it was still an off-course). She wasn't fast, but that was to be expected in the heat.
No reactions to other dogs in the ring...things are looking up for us!
I'll talk about Wall-e in a later post, but he isn't showing any signs of lameness at the moment.