The second weekend in January was the weekend I had to work, but I took it off. I get to miss one a fiscal year and I decided this was a good one to miss. Not only was there a 2 day seminar I wanted to attend, but the closer we get to our inspection at work, the less likely I will be to receive approval for time off.
The seminar I wanted to attend was put on by our SchH club and was regarding the new rules that go along with the name change from SchH to IPO. (I may be boycotting the term IPO. Now that I know what it translates to, it is just so dumb. Like calling agility, “NR” National Regulations. That is what you call the rules governing your sport, not the actual sport.) In the morning there was a slide show, followed by Q/A, then lunch, then some demos on the field, then the field was opened up for practice.
The slide show was informative, the Q/A not so much because people just need to pay better attention. Lunch was good. I got put in charge of the hot dogs on the open flame grill and I got smoked out and then my fire went out (just add more wood next time.) The demos were helpful and Dottie gave a demo of how not to approach the start flag on a track. The dog should be walking calmly, not dragging you. I can’t help it if she gets excited to track. I heard afterwards some people were impressed that she took up the scent and followed the track on the training field where everyone had been walking all day. She really likes to track. Then we got in some protection work on a helper she’s never worked with before. I had him yell really loud at her on the long bite in prep for the regional. She did well. Except for the back transport. We just don’t know how to do that yet.
Then the next day most people went home and the seminar was a new helper classification and current helper re-certification. I am not interested in being a helper (I don’t need a big dog crashing into my knees and popping them out, I handle that just fine on my own) but by watching and listening, I learned a lot about how to spot a good helper vs. one who needs more work. This was only addressing trial helper work, which is very different than a training helper. Then all of the helpers had to work dogs thought out the day, and also do a full SchH 3 routine with a dog they didn’t know. Dottie helped out here, and again it was great for her to get on different helpers. During the practice, it was evident some of the helpers were more skilled than others. The brand new guy almost ran me over on the back transport (another reason I can’t be a helper, I don’t think fast enough- I almost neglected to get out of the way!) and another guy tripped over a dog, who then came off the sleeve, and it was good on the dog’s part to re-grip on the sleeve, and not on the body part that was closest to his mouth (the man’s rear end. Ouch.)
During Dottie’s routine, she was very good, again except on the back transport. And she was a bit dirty with getting in little bites on the outs. But not too bad for a little girl. It gave me confidence to see her work with a helper she didn’t know. I’m told the helper at the regional pressures the dogs a lot, so I wanted to be sure she was ready for that.
It was a great weekend, very educational, fun, and any weekend I’m not at work is an even better than great weekend.Also, one more note- the "judge" in the video was our normal helper, so Dottie gave him a second look during the side transport when we report into him. Wondering, "What are you doing here without the sleeve?"