Tuesday, May 27, 2008

General Update & UDC Nationals

As I'm about a month behind, here's a quick update on the life and training of Laev....

UDC Nationals went well this year, despite my being distracted by show secretarial duties. Laev passed her Working Aptitude Evaluation (a DPCA test), thereby earning her UDC Versatility Certificate and some compliments. A couple of days later she passed her UDC Adult Temperament Test, though she was merely "satisfactory" instead of "pronounced" (a dual product of both higher temperatures and her distracted handler's failure to give her permission to tell off the threatening bad guy when he appeared, forcing her to hesitate and then finally act on her own).

We went in one conformation class, where Laev earned second place and a VG rating. I was pleasantly surprised; I never expected to place above anybody. I just like getting the written critique of my dog.

The next day was the endurance test, the AD. Laev could have done this in her sleep; 12.4 miles of running alongside a bike. The rain did not come as scheduled, so we actually had very nice cool weather for the run. (I had a rain jacket just in case.) Laev refused water at every pause and didn't even pant until mile 10 or 11; she stopped panting and refused water again when we pulled in for the final check. Then she threw a minor play fit when we didn't start running again. Silly dog.

I met Laev's littermate Lexa, who is lovely and much, much smaller than Laev! Lexa is about 45 pounds, while Laev is about 65 with a hint of rib and muscle like Arnold Strong. Lexa was competing in the IPO trial, and I am so frustrated that I couldn't stay and watch her.

Then we took a week off because I was both exhausted and ill, and we went back to training last night. Laev was very good up until she was a total brat. We were working on retrieves until, mid-jump, she apparently decided to explore and took off, jumping a pasture fence ("like a gazelle," my impressed but annoyed friends noted) and doing a big circle. She came back promptly, but I was quite irate.

Laev doesn't think she's running away, one friend suggested. She knows she'll be back in three seconds, so it doesn't seem that far to her. She's just doing a quick loop. I, on the other hand, see my dog a quarter mile away, and leaving mid-exercise. Not good. We'll be making some changes.

In better news, her outs seem to be holding up nicely. So if I can just convince her that if she sticks with me we'll have more fun than the woods offers, we'll be fine. Grr.

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