So much to do when you move, been here two weeks, now seems like longer. Thanks to an epic marathon of ikea bookcase building with my folks, most of the boxes are unpacked - and I can now park in the garage! Dogs are getting really bored as they are so over unpacking.
We did head up for an obedience trial this weekend though, which ended up being a bittersweet event. It was at this trial last year that London got his CDX on his 12th birthday, which was his 'retirement' run. Thought about him a lot this weekend, especially now that things are calming down, missing all the dogs so much.
Haku has never actually shown at this facility, which is a busy, indoor expo center type building with the obedience along side the breed rings. There were four obedience rings in a square, which means there was lots of visual distraction. The utility ring was facing the rally ring, which had all sorts of cones and things, and then, beyond that, more ring gates. Let's just say I understand why Haku had a hard time with this visually for his go-outs.
Mostly Haku was just super high and dorky. Whining, barking, not even vaguely accurate. There was a lot of, "Wheee!" going on. Which isn't to say he wasn't trying, but I'll admit I had not expected Crazed Haku, as he had been pretty focused at his more recent trials. But they were in quieter (much quieter) environments and obviously busy environments is something we haven't really trained in. Obedience people like things QUIET. Very quiet. Deathly quiet.
Still, lots of good from Haku, there are certain exercises that I feel pretty confident with. Signals and articles. Moving stand I feel pretty good with, and not nearly the antsy feet he had at the last trial. Gloves and directed jumping - oh, not confident at all. And gloves is just SILLY, it's not like he doesn't have a firm grasp of this exercise. In theory. But he gets high and his pivots are terrible and he's anticipating like crazy, killing the glove, munching the glove, and, this weekend, refusing to give it to me and trying to play tug. Which is CUTE, I'll admit. But frowned upon.
And directed jumping, still working on this one. We actually started with this exercise our very first run, and he was TRYING, but I'm asking for his look and he just started whining and carrying on and looking all around - he had no idea in these rings where to go - just too confusing. When in doubt he just goes to the right corner. BUT, super bonus points for getting the jump WAY on other side of the ring when he finally did his sit in the opposite corner. I think we've got a good handle on the jumping portion!
We could talk about his ridiculous sideways fronts, and many other things he's normally pretty good at - but guess who actually qualified DESPITE ALL OF IT? We actually managed to squeak by with a 188 today. And it was comical. But he was happy, if not at all accurate, and he really was trying. I will take goofy and enthusiastic. Maybe someday we can also add accurate to that.
So two legs in Utility now, I'm really committed to getting that last leg. It did help that I worked hard to bring my agility mindset to the obedience trial this weekend. Relax, have fun, celebrate the good stuff, take home our trouble spots for work at home and just enjoy the time with my dog. I'll admit I don't find obedience trials as super fun as agility, but any day hanging out with Haku is a good day. And, theoretically once he gets that UD (and notice how I'm all cocky that we can squeak out one more Q), we'll then look at entering both Open and Utility. And doing whatever you're supposed to shoot for after a UD. I know there is something about qualifying in both on the same day, but I've been ignoring learning the rules unless they apply to something I'm doing.
Navarre got to come play at the obedience trial, well, around the rings. He seemed to enjoy working on some obedience behaviors and he just really enjoys the busy environment. He's so comfortable and interested when we go someplace new, yet he can focus and work with me and not be a dork around other dogs and people. What a GOOD dog he has become. Though it was funny, he was alarmed by these recycling bins they had at the facility, which were like 5 foot tall glass soda cans made of plastic. They were dark and had an unusual outline, so Navarre was very suspicious. However, after he explored it and I encouraged him to jump up and smack it, he then wanted to jump up and knock over all the recycling bins in the building. And we went to the craft fair next door and heeled through all the crowds of people and children and strollers and weird things. SUCH a good boy, he really is fun to bring places. Boy though, he was SO TIRED after all that, as we were probably wandering around for an hour or two. He takes it all in, but I think he got overloaded. That's a lot more public than we're normally around.
And then I brought Bright to Lowe's, and she hated it. Children EVERYWHERE. She hurt her foot the day before we moved though, so she's been having to keep quiet - I thought she would enjoy an outing. Ha! Knock on wood, haven't seen anything with the foot recently, so hopefully she can go back to activity soon.
So settling in, don't have a routine yet, but it will come. Did find a good pizza place nearby - bonus! And for the first time in several years, I feel like really celebrating Christmas. Got a new tree, even puts lights up on the patio - really makes me happy. The dogs were less impressed.