Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Belvidere, IL and Grove City, OH

I went to the Belvidere trial on Saturday not planning on running her; I thought I'd check out the JWW course and if it had too many tight turns I would just pull her from both runs. It turned out to be a GREAT idea as it rained continuously and after 100 people walked the course, it became utter slop. Good thing my plan was to scratch her on Saturday.

For Sunday they moved the rings...thank God! I was watching her closely during her JWW run so I ended up running her slowly and carefully. I'm sure it's hard for a non-agility person to imagine running a dog around a bunch of equipment and be able to "watch" how your dog lifts over jumps, etc., not run into anything and still qualify. LOL! It got warm before our STD run and she did great, only missing her aframe contact, which was weird as she hasn't done that since November when I was twenty feet away from her doing a send in FAST class. Here are her runs:

She was definitely feeling good though and we headed out to Ohio the following Thursday for a three-day trial inside on dirt. Yea! =)

Ruby LOVES this trial facility; its held at the Buckeye Equestrian Ranch in Grove City, OH. Great judges and great courses ~ lots of fun!!! Ruby went 5 for 6 ~ the only thing that kept us from that last QQ and her MACH was a hop off the table...I could have killed her...but I think she was feeling good and was just really fired up. Here's the video:

We all had a lot of fun that weekend and the weather was great. River decided that playing in the baby pool and killing chipmunks is the most fun ever! =)

Friday, June 12, 2009

German Shepherd DTC - June 6 & 7, 2009

It's taken me some time to feel like writing and updating the blog. Things have been a little messy the last two trials and they're getting me down. We've been missing QQ's by one mistake, usually mine, and she's not been as fast as she has been in the past.

Saturday started out nicely, she had a great run in JWW; not the fastest but she was at least working well for me. We picked up 26 speed points and were set up to run and Q in STD. Or as my friend Ashlee says, "We've teed up for the QQ." Not to happen though. Our judge miscalculated the ring dimensions and they had to squish the course together. So normal in some spots and VERY tight in others. Unfortunately Ruby took an off-course tunnel under the a-frame that I didn't anticipate. After my later findings last weekend it may not even have been my failing to cue her to take the frame that caused the off-course - more on that to follow. She handled all the tough spots and I was fairly happy with how we handled the course. The triple at the end...oh my...she took it, cleared it and I held up right as she landed so as not to run out of the ring - remember the course was squished. Well she tried way too hard to turn back to me and slid on her shoulder. It's kinda hard to see in the video but the damage was done.

Later that day she went out in the yard to run around with River. When they run, the run like the devil is chasing them. Ruby flattens out and sometimes she'll turn way too quickly to try to catch River and he's really fast. They came in, took naps and when Ruby got up she was limping, favoring her right shoulder. I gave her a massage, also working on the tight spots in her neck and it seemed to help. Sunday morning she was moving around just fine.

JWW run on Sunday: Tough course with two loops, passing by a tunnel opening twice. Wow! She read everything great except a tough weave entry. I just didn't give her enough room but considering that at that point I knew she was sore, I'm almost positive that if she wasn't, she would've have gotten the entrance and saved my butt as usual. During STD it started raining so I was just careful on the contacts. One VERY hard call off a jump and she nailed the rest of the course. We picked up another 28 speed points.

Sunday night - again the pups out in the yard running, Ruby suddenly stopped and jogged back up to the house. She took a short nap and got up stiff/limping again on that right shoulder. I'm really freaking out at this point but rubbed her down again and iced her shoulder. I also gave her a couple Traumeel to help with any swelling and pain. I'm thanking myself for making that appointment at Integrative for her on Thursday...I'm also thinking that off-course tunnel on Saturday my have been a choice due to pain. The tunnel is WAY easier than the a-frame.

Thursday - Ruby gets to hang out at work with me. She really loves coming to work with me and seeing everyone. On to our chiro appointment. We saw Dr. Collins this time instead of Dr. Mayer. The last time Ruby was in for an adjustment was right before Nationals so around the end of March. Dr. Mayer didn't have much to do; just a couple spots in her neck and she was good. This time however...right side of her pelvis out, three spots in her neck, a couple spots in her back and...BOTH of her shoulders. Yikes! She really didn't want Dr. Collins to touch them and do the adjustment either so I had to distract her with food, which is not normal for Ruby.

She's all back together again but this weekend's trial is up in the air which sucks because we have awesome judges. Dr. Collins wants me to wait until Sunday before Ruby returns to any activity. Most of the time she's gotten adjusted and is able to compete a day or two later. Ruby definitely feels good now, wanting to play and acting silly. The problem is trying to keep her quiet until I feel she's ready to go. She is NOT happy. So I figured I'd see how she is on Saturday and also see how the JWW course is and decide that morning at the trial. If the course isn't too twisty I may end up running her and then I'll see how she is before I decide if I run her in STD or not.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Glenbard All Breed Obedience Club - May 30 & 31, 2009

After taking a long weekend off, relaxing with my boyfriend and his dogs down in Ohio over Memorial Day I was ready to trial again feeling a bit rejuvenated. Unfortunately it didn't carry over into the trial. The soccer facility in Naperville is still only a year old and the fumes in there from the rubber gave me a migraine that lasted all weekend. Ruby was also very slow. Her YPS times were way off of her usual speedy self. Here are the runs from the weekend:

I didn't know if the extremely loud whistle during our first run of the weekend had anything to do with her speed, if the fumes were effecting her as well or if she was not getting the usual energy from me due to my head hurting but we were not connected as a team. You can see in her STD run on Saturday that she broke our connection briefly when something near the score table caught her attention. Just a strange weekend overall.

After class on Tuesday, in which she was her usual fast, sassy self, I had Ron give her a massage. He found some tight areas in her neck and middle back so he concentrated on stretching them and massaging her knots. I just wonder that if she's feeling a bit of pain and stiffness during a trial that it makes her slow down and concentrate more instead of having fun like she does in class due to the stressful environment of a trial. I've noticed that she's been a little off lately and I definitely think she needs an adjustment. I really think she may have hurt herself in her excitement at the Berwyn Dock Diving event a couple of weeks ago.

That observation made, I watched our DVD from Nationals back in March last night. We were so connected during our runs and had so much fun there. I need to get that back and I know we'd be back to having as much fun as before as well as getting her feeling better and fast again. I'm going to have Kris keep an eye on her this weekend at the Hanover Park trial, see if she notices anything. If she is really off because of Dock Diving we may stop doing that for good which is a shame because she really loves it.