Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Midweek Mash-up

Most of our walks lately have been in the big field, due to time constraints and situational constraints (it's been busy out there with all of this warm weather) preventing us from going elsewhere. But, we did manage to go down to the beach the other day for an evening stroll.

Not too many photos from the trip, but a few. Marge was not thrilled about walking on the rocks with us. Normally, she doesn't mind it, even likes it. But, that night, she did it begrudgingly. I'm not sure if either the presence of people or sound of the waves had anything to do with it. Still, my sister took some nice photos. Even when she's less than amused, Marge can still work the camera!

I didn't purposely skip Tuesday Training yesterday, but it kind of worked out, anyway, because I don't have much to say on the training front! We didn't have agility class due to our instructor being away at her breed specialty show. Walks have been more good than bad (with an AWESOME walk Tuesday night with our good friend, Louie), so I'm cautiously optimistic that if I handle things correctly, we can get through the summer in one piece. More to come on that as the warm weather continues.

Our trial is Saturday and Sunday. On both days, our runs are upwards of 5 or 6 hours apart. I did get a tent and set it up in my backyard just for practice - so that will be a nice place to stay. But, the trial site is about 30 minutes from my house. Should Marge and I go home for a little while to beat the heat and take a break? Or, will going home and then going back confuse her and fatigue her more? Spending what could conceivably be 7 or 8 straight hours in the park (as opposed to a completely isolated trial site, like the last one) doesn't seem like a good idea if it can be avoided.

This is the park where the sounds of the hockey rink sent her in to a panic a couple of months ago. She LOVES this park, but the last two trips there have not gone well at all. Part of me is extremely optimistic - the low buzz of the trial environment has the potential to mute out outside noise. Additionally, the mere sight of other dogs and people arranged in what I'm sure she recognizes to be a dog show DOES have an extremely positive effect on her. (For example, she would have never recovered from the loud speaker at the last trial if not for the fact that we, indeed, were at a trial.) The other half of me is worried that I am in for an unpleasant surprise, and that this trial will be nothing like the last, very good trial that we had.

My plan is just to treat it as I treated the last trial. Go, set up my crate and equipment, chill out for a while, warm her up, run, chill out some more. I originally planned on taking her over by the big lake situated in this park, as I figured it'd be nice to cool her down before and/or after her runs, but it might be better for me to stay within the confines of the trial site and not go venturing off.

I'm not sure how much I'm going to post over the remainder of this week. Things have been pretty busy here. So, just keep your fingers crossed that we have a sweet-sounding weekend.


Diana May 5, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

Good luck and Im keeping my fingers crossed. I would probably good home for a few hours esp. if you dog needs a break from the envirnment. Diana

Chris and Ricky May 5, 2010 at 6:49 AM  

Good luck this weekend!!! Don't worry - you guys did great last time and you'll do great this time! We vote for going home in between runs. We did that when we were in novice and the trials were close to our house. The break is nice for the dog and the human!

Crystal (Thompson) Barrera May 5, 2010 at 7:23 AM  

Good luck! I'm always tempted to go home between runs when they're separated by hours like that, but then I'm afraid I'll miss my class, so I end up staying. No easy answer.

Frankie Furter and Ernie May 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

Best of Luck Marge

houndstooth May 5, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

Fingers crossed! Good luck to both of you!

Cyndi and Stumpy May 5, 2010 at 8:37 AM  

Hope for the best, prepare for everything. I think Marge is going to be full of surprizes (good ones)as the spring and summer progresses. You'll realy see how far all your hard work has taken her.

SissySees May 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

Beautiful photos, and Marge's state of mind sure isn't evident. Good luck!

BRUTUS May 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

Now it's your turn again LOL! Good luck! Based on my experience (and the fact that Brutus is a pretty reactive little guy & doesn't relax well in a trial setting), I think you'd do well for Marge by taking her away for a few hours. Unless she finds her crate enough of an escape from the atmosphere - I wish it worked that way for Brutus! We took a 3-hour hiatus from the trial on Saturday (we had stayed there all day on Friday) & he was MUCH more relaxed & willing to work in the latter part of the day. It didn't confuse him at all to come & go from the trial (I think that's our human minds worrying about something that a doggie brain isn't programmed to do).

Good luck & keep us posted! It'll be our turn again the following weekend!


LauraK May 5, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

I'm dealing with the same issue with our first AKC trial in a few weeks. Since we're novice, I might get Riley measured, then drive the 30 minutes home and hang out. Riley tends to get a little wild on course if she's stuck in her kennel all day. I'd like to have a nice AKC debut, so we'll probably just come home and hang out all day, then go back in the afternoon and run our two runs :)

Best of luck to you gals this weekend, I'm looking forward to hearing about it! Cute pictures of Miss Marge!

Sue May 5, 2010 at 9:52 AM  

Good luck this weekend. Stay relaxed and Marge will respond.

We're two miles from the fairgrounds where our events take place, so we usually go home if there's a long delay. It gives the dogs a chance to unwind in their own yard.

Kathy Mocharnuk May 5, 2010 at 10:27 AM  

How nice that the trial is that close, at least you have options if you need to have a plan B. i hope it is a really great trial and I am going to look forward to hearing about it, you guys have been busy lately!

Golden Samantha May 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

If it's hot, and you're 30 mins from home, we also vote cooling off at home. I don't think she'll be confused - it may even help, but if you feel it's going well on the grounds and it's not too hot, maybe you should stay. She's been doing so well - you could probably go either way! Break a leg! Can't wait to hear how the trials go!
Hugs xo

Ruby and Penny May 5, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

Beautiful photos of Marge.
Good luck on the weekend.
Love Ruby & Penny

AC May 5, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

I agree that I think you two will make it through the warm season together.

Your beach pictures are making me want to take another trip with Kona to the coast. Marge really was working the camera.

Super excited about the weekend! I'm amazed that any dog is able to hang out for an entire day at a trial with all the stimulation and still have anything in them to work. If it doesn't stress Marge to come and go, perhaps a rest at home would be good?

Anonymous May 5, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

Hiya! Oh, Marge! You look super-fantastical in your pictures! As always.

Marge's mom - I thinks you're gonna have to play the trial thingie by ear. I'm pretty sure if it was me, I'd be happier going home and then going back. I can really relax at home, stretch out on my bed, chew a stuffie. It sounds like there's lots and lots of stimulations at a trial and at least for me, I'm pretty sure it would get me all tired before I ever stepped foot in the trial place.

You'll know the right thing to do for Miss Marge. You always do!

Wiggles & Wags,

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! May 5, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

Woo are khwite khorrekht!

Marge KNOWS how to work the khamera!

Good lukhk this weekend!


Cinnamon and Mint May 6, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

Good luck with the trial this weekend!

I think how to spend the time between your runs is very important, but I never did it right when we entered agility trials last year. The best way for a dog might be different from that for another dog, so I think you will need to find what is best for Marge through experience and experiments.

Cinnamon's mum

Muttsandaklutz May 6, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

Good luck -- Can't wait to hear how it goes this weekend!

Kari in Alaska May 6, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

hard not to love a dog that can mug for the camera even when unhappy!

Life With Dogs May 7, 2010 at 12:15 AM  

Fingers and toes crossed for your weekend. Good luck!

The Army of Four May 7, 2010 at 12:45 PM  

Good luck this weekend!!! Keep it fun!

Natasha May 7, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

Keepin' em crossed! Have fun and good luck!

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