Last weekend ffluffy and I went to DogStock in Northern CA. Placerville, which is a tiny bit above Sacramento. I had to wait for ffluffy to drive out here, so I went to work on Friday. Then I met her at my parent's house and we transferred all the dogs and gear into my car. Most likely I will be getting my new vehicle over the 4th of July weekend (hope for some good offers) and I was crossing my fingers that the trusty ol' Buick would see us safely through one more long trip. Even though I had the breaks replaced when I got the trailer, they have never been right since, and now the tires are getting worn also. Since I'm typing this you know the car held up for us.
We had all the regular dogs (minus ffluffy's oldest, plus Espresso who was heading to her new home) and also camping gear because we planned on camping at the club Saturday night.
We arrived at our Motel 6 pretty late on Friday, after detouring around a brushfire that had shut down the 5 North. Sleep was short since we wanted to get to the club early to drop of Espresso and get a good parking spot.
DogStock is basically an extended training day. Very extended. We checked in at 7 am.
Espresso got the trade off first thing. Later that day I heard via FaceBook she completed her other legs and made it to her new home! Everyone who comes in contact with her loves her. What a sweetie.
The club invites a bunch of different helpers, and you pick one and he works your dog. One dog on the field at a time, and there were a lot of dogs. I don't know any helpers so I asked for a recommendation and the person recommended ended up working dogs second, so I got to go fairly early in the day. We worked Dottie mostly on the pole, working her grip. She cooperated by demonstrating the problem she always has. She gets a nice full grip, but as the tugs, she tugs herself off into a very shallow grip. Our club helper is always working on it, and this helper worked the same things. I wanted to take her up to DogStock to work on a different helper, in a different place, and also see a lot of other dogs work, and I got all of that.
Dogs worked all day. ffluffy and I watched dogs, ate snacks, walked various dogs, had a nap in the car, and battled the wind. It was so windy and pretty cold. Usually the participants are almost dead from heat stroke, but this time it was cold. Burr. The wind was a real bummer.
|Dottie all suited up for her turn on Saturday. Barking in excitement and posing with just some of the stuff we brought.|
|Working on the pole.|
|Good grip. But will it stay good?|
A few more people still had training to do, then it was the IPO Protection tournament. I entered Dottie, again for the experience. Since we hadn't run the blinds, or even used the "hot" blind, I was curious to see if she'd run them correctly the first time. This field is huge- the distance between the blinds is really a factor.
Dottie ran all 6 blinds correctly! I think I can say she understands the blinds. However, her barking in the blind was very weak. She really does need a helper to warm her up (agitate) her first. On the escape bite she came up underneath the sleeve and it is too wide there to grip. So she came off the grip, then re-bit. I gave her the "out" command, but no dice. I got three tries and I got nothing. In a real trial we would have been tossed out on our ear, but since it is a tournament, we were allowed to keep going. No surprise that I had "no out" for the rest of the routine either. The judge said she appeared to be angry that she missed the first grip and that is why she didn't out. The dog might think of it like this- The guy was getting away, and I missed and he almost did get away, so this time if I don't let go, he isn't going nowhere! (I guess dogs don't have the best English Language skills.)
Each dog was clocked with a radar gun on the courage test/ long bite. I'll give you one guess as to who won. Drumroll...... Dottie! The little weasel ran 35 mph! Another dog did 33 but no one else was close. A few years back a different Malinois ran 36, so she isn't the fastest ever, but close! We won a glass mug, a t-shirt, and $50. Go Dottie, Go!
The tournament didn't start until 9 and didn't finish until around 12:30. So 7 am to 12:30 midnight. Yes, I'd call that an extended training day. We ended up doing back to the motel because it was too windy to camp.
|Dottie and her "Fastest Longbite Prize."|
|Back at the Motel it is 3 against one (but Dottie doesn't mind.)|
On Sunday the participant list had shrunk quite a bit. Since we had to be on the road, I just picked the helper who I could work with the fastest. Since her barking was poor in the tournament, I had him work her up a bit, then sent her in for barking. It was 110% better this time. Then we worked the escape and the out. All was in order, but she isn't a dummy. She knows training vs. trialing and also this time she didn't miss. However, it was still comforting to do it correctly.
|Working with the new helper on Sunday.|
|Going into the hot blind. And this time she knows it.|
|Taking a drive.|
ffluffy had the same helper work her new BC pup in puppy sack work. So cute!
|Something is getting distorted with the pictures I am posting!|
We stuck around for the lunch (which was good) and then we were on our way. We cut over and took the 101 home so we could stop for fish and chips and at the beach. Moss Landing- strange little town.
We also stopped at the Wharf in Santa Barbara. You can drive out on it and then you walk around and shop. Who knew?
I had to pass my house to take ffluffy back to her car. Then it was time to transfer all the dogs and stuff back to her car, and head back to Ventura County, just in time for SchH club training night!
My review of DogStock is that the drive was too long and the training day was too long. If it was in Southern CA I would for sure go again and just put up with the long day, but the drive combined with being up so long on the first day made it more trouble than it was worth. I'm glad I went (I like to brag about my fast dog of course, had fun with ffluffy, worked dogs and watched dogs) but next year I don't expect to go back. Maybe I can get someone to organize one down here....hmmmm...
Here are pictures from the beach in Moss Landing:
|Puppy Peep's first time at the beach. A wave!|
|Fancy was in the Glamor Shot mood, it seemed.|
|Me and my Fancy and the pup is a photo bomber.|
|Work it, work it!|
|The Malinois are not in the Glamor Shot mood. Maybe Sports Illustated, Contact Sports Edition.|
|Or maybe MMA edition. Pie didn't want to sit still for a picture.|
|We took 2 groups to the beach. This was the "bad dog" group.|
|Then it was time to continue driving down the coast. Next stop, Santa Barbara. Fancy on a compass on the Wharf. Ffluffy labeled this picture ComPants. Pretty Silly.|
|Wonder what she is thinking about? The water sure was blue here. Beautiful Santa Barbara.|
|Again with my eldest. :)|
|Ffluffy and her Grinder. See, she isn't an imaginary friend.|| It was a very long, but fun weekend. |
For the rest of the pictures, click here.