Last weekend the dogs and I headed over to Victoria for a dog trial. This was Stella's very first trial. I had originally planned to just take her along to introduce her to the environment and see how comfortable she was with the crating, noises and other dogs. Last minute as I was submitting the entries I decided what the heck I would enter Stella in one round of rally novice each day. Once I entered her there was a few mild moments of panic when I checked the exercises and realized I had a few things I had to teach quickly.
Riley has been injured the past month or so and had aggravated that injury the weekend before so he also had basically no training or work in the time leading up to the trial. Needless to say I didn't hold high hopes for our success. We headed over on friday night in time for the "correction" matches and to set up all of our gear. During the practice with Riley he slipped on the floor and again seemed quite sore. I was all set to scratch him for the weekend but after a nights rest he seemed more comfortable. He wasn't quite his normal self and his sits were slow but we did manage to finish off his pre-novice title and his final two rounds of Rally Excellent title so I was very proud of my handsome dog. We moved up for a round of novice obedience which didn't go so well but considering he wasn't feeling great and there was a lot of distractions I wasn't that disappointed. That same weekend there was a confirmation show and a horse show on the same grounds as our trial. The trial was indoors but it was hot so all the doors were open and we shared some areas with the outdoor confirmation show.
Stella was wonderful in her two classes. Her first round was a 96 and won her first place in the class. She would have had a 99 but I screwed up and mishandled a turn. I even managed to screw it up again on the redo! Riley reads my body language better so I didn't provide the extra information she needed for the about turn. Her second class also went very well and we scored a 95 and second place. I was very proud of my happy, bouncy bean because even though she was a little distracted she was happy, comfortable and worked well in the ring with me. I am even starting to see a few moments of lovely attention heeling with her which I have only just begun to start working. She also seems quite at ease in all the chaos and other dogs which makes me very happy!
Here is the video of our first rally round.
It was a nice weekend away and on our return home we were all exhausted. This week I took Riley in for his xrays and received the horrible news that his left hip is quite dysplasic. I am still trying to digest that information and process all that means for the future. I'm generally a pretty accepting person but when my furries are hurt I get all knotted up. I've had quite a few crying moments while this has been happening but will post later this week with more information. Please keep my wonderful big dog in your thoughts.