I'm late getting Sunday's recap in and for good reason. I was too grumpy and tired to deal with it yesterday. Poor Vegas. Poor kids of mine. I'm realizing too many weekends in a row plus stressful work, raising kids, trying to take care of life although my house is falling apart, sickness, doctor appointments, groceries, meals, bills, etc. Gah!
Sunday we got to leave a bit later even though it was tall to small. The run order was Jackpot, Standard, Wildcard, then Colors. I particularly liked the choice of classes this weekend because the two shortest classes were Sunday which is a lot easier on Vegas' body - Wilcard and Colors. I was really, really tired though and kind of off. Unfortunately I didn't really realize I was "off" until much later in the day. Poor Vegas was in a snit over being put in the crate right away so that didn't help either. The weather was atrocious on top of it all and most of the day we had to strain to hear and yell to be heard due to the pounding of Oregon weather on the barn. Yeah, it was kind of a crummy day. At some points we even had hail, sleet, and then random sun breaks where you felt the need for shades. Our weather needs a good therapist or some drugs. So messed up.
Jackpot was non-traditional which is always good. Until I read the description at the top of the map, I almost thought it was like the non-traditional course we ran two weekends ago, but it turned out it wasn't double points. Either way, my preference is always non-traditional so the Jackpot can be done at any point. In my opinion, it's less stressful and allows the handler a bit more control over his or her course. I find it difficult to plan the opening not knowing how many things we can actually accommodate before the warning buzzer goes, plus worrying about being too far from where the Jackpot begins. Of course the least of the issue is also working from a distance, although CPE is not as difficult as AKC's distance challenges. Here's the course:
Next up and a while later, Standard. Ah, now that's our game.
Rachel and I chatted back at our crates and she reminded me how rock solid Vegas is. This wasn't like her. She will work for me no matter what without getting distracted, ignoring me, etc. She is consistent, hard working, and dependable. So Rachel pointed out there must be something wrong. She felt her back and found a warm spot. Uh oh. She was nice enough to massage it a bit and determined it was just a sore spot that might be giving her a smidge of trouble until a few obstacles into the course when she was a bit more warmed up and limber. I wondered about scratching our last two runs and taking her home but Rachel figured it wasn't that bad and to try the next run and see how she handled it. Until then, I massaged her back quite a bit, focusing on that area but also working other areas. I warmed her up more before our next run - difficult in tight spaces and with the weather thundering down outside - and stretched her back really good, too. One of my favorite stretches with her is to use a treat to lure her to reach toward her rear forming her body into a "C" shape. I get her to do this and sustain the position for a good 10 seconds or more and then repeat on the opposite side. If I can, we do it at least twice for each side. I also lure her head between her front feet with a treat. Shes fairly cooperative and I know it's important to stretch that long back of hers.
We learned we did qualify in that Standard run. Usually with six poles in the higher levels they must be completed cleanly or will be faulted. Turns out they are not faulted if the entry isn't correct to start with. We did receive a two point deduction for time though. That was our third level five standard leg. Yippee!
She was acting more like herself by Wildcard, bouncing, playful, ornery, and happy. The course was fun and, like I said, short. I was able to choose the wildcard options that did not require her to go through tunnels. My plan was to take 2B, 6B, and 9A. There was one change to the course and that was to move the double to the right for obstacle #2 versus the left because the club's double has wings which weren't expected.
Last run of the weekend was colors. I was excited for Vegas again. Usually the tunnel choices are equal. This course gave me three tunnels to one tunnel. Easy choice! This course (the "circle" course on the map) appeared to also be the easier of the two. Unfortunately I screwed it up and couldn't fix it. I decided to eliminate us just to save on her and me. As I said, I was tired and getting grumpier although it wasn't at Vegas. She tried and was simply confused about my bumbling handling. The issue was the transition from the 180 into the obstacle # 5. I was so focused on preventing her from going out to the tunnel that I didn't make my front cross and turn into the #5 jump. Instead I tried to handle it from the front and she wasn't reading me. After going around the jump twice she took it from the wrong direction. She was trying and I could see the puzzlement on her face. Poor girl.
The plan for the rest of this week is to keep things low key. She's going to get some core and body work done, simple stretches and exercises such as hind end awareness, plus massage and I'll be paying close attention to her back. She should be fine for the coming weekend's three-day AKC trial where we'll only have two runs a day, but until then she gets rest and loads of love.