Sunday, December 07, 2008

"...Whether the Weather Will Let Us or Not...."

This isn't looking good.

I went out Friday morning to train and it was COLD. Seriously, my fingers had lost feeling inside my gloves before I made it from the car to the field. It was cold. Granted, those are my second-best gloves and not my warmest pair. But I don't have training mobility in my warmest pair, so that's how it is on the field.

Laev did her best and was okay for a while, but it wasn't long before she was shivering while she worked. Long downs in the snow just aren't likely this weekend, I'm afraid.

It isn't helping that Laev can't spend much time acclimating to the cold. I had been feeling bad about training in the cold, asking her to jump 39" and climb a 6' wall with cold muscles and frozen ground. That was before I learned that her recent escape ability is because she's leaping (not from the doghouse, but from the kennel floor) out the top, through the shade cover, and dropping over 8' to the frozen ground. So 39" doesn't sound so bad.

That means, however, that she's presently inside all the time except for short bathroom breaks, and so she isn't building up the cold resistance she'll need for a successful trial. So she's more sensitive to the cold AND she's going more and more stir-crazy with the change in exercise schedule.

Adding insult to injury, we're supposed to get a warm snap this week, according to weather predictions. The temperature will jump above freezing and rain, they tell us.

And then it will freeze again. Meaning we'll be tracking and working on ice.

And the current prediction for this Saturday is "wintry mix," which, for those who don't live in the midwest, means a lovely mixture of snow, rain, and sleet. All coming down together, making surfaces treacherous and bodies cold.

I'm hoping our judge has some understanding about the weather. Schutzhund trials don't get canceled except for lightning or other life-threatening conditions, but it's going to be very difficult for the dogs and handlers both, I suspect.

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