The NADAC Championships are over, I just finished my last seminar and judging assignment for the year, its official, Winter Break has started!
Champs this year was amazing, Try was so awesome and blew me away with some of the things she did. One of them being she never missed one set of weave poles all week long. And that is something i have been struggling with her over, so that alone was so amazing i can’t even put it into words. One of the runs (i can’t remember what day, its all a blur lol) there were three sets of 6 poles and one set of 12, and the set of 12 had her weaving toward me which she truly hates doing. And she did all of them…. I was so happy my mind just went to mush for the rest of the run, i was ready to go home right then and there, that for us was awesome and i will never forget it.
About a week before i left for champs i took Try and Nargles into the vet for a routine blood work and check up, during that my vet found a murmur, so we did some x-rays and her heart looks slightly enlarged and some fluid buildup. My vet thought it was mild and she would have no problem competing at champs, when i returned home i would need to take her in for an echo and various tests to really see everything that is going on.
I pretty much lost it, i was freaked out the whole drive there wondering if she would really be okay, should i run, shouldn’t I…. it was a long drive….
In the end after much thought and talking with my boyfriend we decided to watch her carefully and if she even so much as looked slightly funny i would pull her.
The first run of the first day of champs was an absolute disaster, i spent much of the run staring at her to see if she was running or breathing funny, which in turn made her stare at me with this ” what the hell are you doing look?”, so we pretty much took a header that whole first run.
After that, i swear she knew i wasn’t “all there” and she covered for me, she truly became my rock, she was calm and just seemed to take charge with this look of “don’t worry, i got this”.
In the end she placed 2nd Overall in Superstakes, Highest Number of Bonus Points in Superstakes and at the Pre-trial on Tuesday she finished her MOD SQUAD. An amazing week, and i couldn’t ask for more from her, she is so much more then a teammate, she is my best friend.
Nargles also got to play in champs, one of the teams needed a replacement dog, so she got to fill in. Needless to say Nargles had a great time! Nargles has a great time no matter what she is doing, she is the definition of happy. lol
So begins my winter break, and like i said; i love it. I get a chance to just relax, play World of Warcraft and hang out. My dogs also get time to just be dogs, they get to be lazy and hang out. We still go out for walks and throw toys but training wise they are off until at least mid January
Does it set me back a bit and i will have to “tune them up” before trial season? Yep, it does, but i think they need the break, not only physically but mentally as well.
Physically, they need to let their muscles, tendons and ligaments rest. Mentally they need to just be dogs, to just get treats without having to work for them and let their little brains get a break.
Honestly i do the same thing before champs as well, generally the champs are held mid to late September and the last trial i do is Labor Day at the first of September. Then i just let them sit for those 1-2 weeks, it lets their brains re-group, lets their bodies have a rest and honestly my dogs fire so much harder and they are so much more “on” when i let them have a break before a big competition. And in all honestly if there is some bug or something that i haven’t fixed 1-2 weeks before champs, it isn’t going to get fixed last minute, so i let them have a break.
Try ran so hard and so on this year at champs and because the champs were in Oct she had a solid 3 weeks off before she went to champs. And she fired and ran better this year then she ever has and i really give credit to that time off.
So from now until around the end of January when i start doing a little training, they get to just hang out, eat treats, get a little soft around the middle and be dogs.
|Nargles and Try in Springfield, IL NADAC Championships 2011
Photo taken by Pris Warnock