Sunday, April 28, 2013

And summer begins!

I finished my exams last week, so now I'm off for the summer. I can't begin to describe how much I'm looking forward to hanging out with my dogs as much as I want again!

On Friday evening we went to a mini trial; both dogs did two Masters Jumpers runs (each). Wall-e got his first Masters Jumpers Q! I was really happy with the run and my mindset before during it; I was "in the zone." But as for the run itself, it was very speedy and flowy. Too bad it's not on video (the memory card malfunctioned), but oh well. It was my first time using a blind cross at a trial; at the exit of a tunnel. (I used a blind cross in the next course too.) The only thing we could have improved on in the run was a very late front cross I did on the second jump of a 180; I changed my handling of that part in my next run with Mika (on the same course).

Now that I'm regularly running Wall-e in two different Masters classes (Steeplechase and Jumpers), I'm really starting to appreciate the benefit of running two dogs on the same course. Wall-e is usually the first dog I run, since he's in Regular and Mika is now in Veteran, so he's kind of my "tester dog"; if something goes wrong with my handling while running him, I can change it in my run with Mika. Of course, I try to make the best handling decisions while running Wall-e too, but it does help to be able to make my mistakes with a dog who I don't have to worry about speed with (unlike Mika, who slows down if she gets confused).

Mika was great on Friday too. I recently noticed that she's been slowing down over the past year or two; yes, she has been getting older, but she's still only 8.5 years old and I'd like to keep her feeling young as long as possible (in all aspects of her life). She did have fun on Friday though, barking at the ends of both runs. Her speed was normal (not the normal it used to be, but the normal it's been for the past year or two.) Maybe increasing her fitness will help her speed...not sure. I still absolutely love running with her, even if she isn't as fast as she used to be, but I also want her to live the life of a young dog for as long as she can.

This weekend I've been giving Mika a much-needed haircut. Yup, it takes all weekend because I give her lots of breaks! She looks pretty funny at the moment; groomed everywhere except her head. Cute though! I'll be clipping her ears next.