KAOS did a great job of their first CARO Rally-O trial. It was a lot of fun, and ran very smoothly. Thanks so much to the KAOS group for hosting the trial, and for our judge, Renee Will, for coming out from Manitoba to pass down her judgment on our dogs (and our handling).
Gio and Romeo had a couple of successes each, and a couple of brain-farts as well. But that is pretty much par for the course.
Romeo was entered in one Excellent round. He did very well, was really on top of his game, and took High in Class with a score of 192. This is his second Excellent leg. He got a fancy ribbon and a really cool treat bag filled with Innova treats, a new clicker, and some "human" goodies.
Gio was entered in one Advanced round and one Excellent round. His Advanced round was FEO, as he already has his RACL title. I just entered him for a warm-up. It wasn't his best performance, but he still qualified with a score of 185. It would have been a wonderful round if it weren't for the "Send Over Jump". Making excuses for his poor performance, the jump was angled oddly so that it looked as if it led into a corner. So when I sent him to the jump, Gio in his infinite wisdom, made the judgement call that I couldn't possibly mean for him to go to the left and the jump was really to the right. So he took off running and barking to the right of me, looking for the jump. It took a couple of tries for him to believe that the jump really was to the left where I was sending him. If it weren't for the jump fiasco, he would have wound up with a score of 194. And if I had shut my mouth and not given unneeded double commands, he would have wound up with a 198!
Gio's Excellent round was just about the same as the Advanced. The Excellent course was nested in the Advanced course, so the jump was still in the odd place, except replaced with a spread jump. So another beautiful run that was cancelled out by his insistence that the jump really wasn't were I told him it was. We disqualified that one as redoing stations is not allowed in Excellent.
During the night, the boys switched brains. On Sunday, Romeo was entered in 3 rounds, one Excellent and two Advanced. I had him entered in two Advanced C, under the hope that if he qualified both Excellent rounds (earning his Excellent title) the Advanced rounds would count towards his C Stream Bronze title.
His first round of the day was the Excellent. He did really well, considering that he was dragging his fuzzy butt as slowly as he possibly could. When we got to the jump station, he took off like a bolt of lightening, but at the last second I made the mistake of turning my shoulders ever so slightly and pulling him away from the jump. So I had to resend him. As "redos" are not allowed in Excellent, that disqualified us. If it weren't for the jump, he would have Q'ed with a 181. In all, it was probably best that we did not qualify that one. His previous Excellent scores are 194 and 192, so a 181 really isn't something to be proud of with our previous track record. This way, we can hope for another 190-something score at the next trial and finish the Excellent title off with a nice looking record!
Since he did not qualify the second Excellent round, the Advanced rounds I entered him in only counted as FEO, not C Stream. I did one of the Advanced rounds with him, qualifying with a very sloppy 181. Again, not something I am proud of considering how well I know Romeo can work. He just didn't want to be there at all today, and it showed in his performance. Oh well, we all have our off days, right? I pulled him from the second Advanced round, it would have only been FEO and since he didn't really want to work, I didn't want to push him and ruin the idea that "ring = fun".
Gio more than made up for Romeo's lack-luster Sunday performance. Gio was entered in only one Excellent round on Sunday, and he blew it away with a 188 and High in Class! 4 of the points he lost were because of "handler error" (I didn't allow him enough room on two stations and he ended up sitting on top of the signs), so really, he performed to a 192 standard, I just cost him 4 points. A pretty ribbon and a bag of goodies for Gio, too. We now have more clickers than I know what to do with, but with my track record of losing and/or breaking them, that is probably for the best!
The Fun Stuff
Of course, out-of-town trials are more than just the trials. It's a lot of fun to take off on the road with just the boys. Relaxing in a hectic and crazy sort of way. Since someone, not naming any names *cough*Romeo*cough* decided that he needed to pick up the habit of leash chewing and chewed through his leash when I left him in the car between rounds, we needed to take a little trip to a pet store.
There is a great huge pet store in Regina, called Cowtown. It has an amazing selection of dog treats (lots of really nice high quality chew treats), toys, and food. I picked up a new red leash for Romeo, a couple of bully sticks to keep the boys occupied in the hotel, and a cool new toy.
Saturday evening I went out for supper with some of the members of the host club and our judge. Good food, good drinks, and great company! Laughed a lot and got way too much pesto stuck in my teeth.
Back at the hotel, the boys christened their new toy.
And then chowed down on some bully sticks on the nauseating hotel carpet.
A couple of things I noticed about Regina ... Apparently, the fine residents of Regina 1) don't fill their cars up with gas, and 2) are illiterate.
Firstly, I say that they do not fill their cars with gas due to the complete absence of gas stations along Victoria Avenue. Victoria Avenue is a very commercial street. It has a lot of hotels, big-box stores, and shopping centers. When I left my hotel this morning after checking out, the plan was to find a gas station and fill up before going to the trial venue. Across Victoria from where my hotel was located there was a Petro Canada station. Instead of crossing the busy Victoria, I decided to travel along as surely there would be another gas station on my side of the street within the next couple of blocks. There was, a Shell station ... that was closed. And then that was it. No more gas stations until I reached the trial venue. Now, maybe Saskatoon is just overrun with gas stations, you have your fair pick of stations scattered every couple of blocks. But I find it somewhat ridiculous that one of two "main" commercial/hotel streets in the city is noticeably void of gas stations! How does that make sense at all? If people are travelling from a distance to the fine city of Regina and staying in one of their fine hotels, would it not also make sense that they might need to fill their gas tank after the long journey? Why is it is difficult to find a gas station in that city?!
Secondly, about the illiterate comment. I packed a book with me for the trip, knowing that I only had a couple of chapters left in the book, but also knowing that my hotel was smack in the middle of a very large (large for small-city Saskatchewan) commercial area, so surely there would be a book store close at hand. And even if there wasn't a book store along Victoria Avenue (the concept of which was baffling to me), I knew how to get to Albert Street, so there would surely be a book store there as well. I looked in the City of Regina yellow pages for a book store ... what a let-down. There are something like 8 entries for bookstores in the whole city. 5 of those entries were for "spiritual" book stores, 1 of the entries was only for second hand trade in books, and the other 2 entries were on the other side of the city. And seeing as I nearly got smooshed by a city bus trying to find my hotel, I didn't like my chances trying to find a bookstore, that may or may not stock the books that I was looking for, on the other side of the city.
The drive to and from Regina was pleasant, though. I dug out a couple of old CDs that I hadn't listened to since my high school days. It was a good trip down memory lane (also known as Highway 11), singing along to the "classics" of my day at full volume. I'm sure the boys didn't appreciate it as much as I did, but they survived. Romeo slept through most of it, and Gio sang backup to a couple of the really good ones, allowing me to take lead vocals. Most played included the "Clumsy" CD by Our Lady Peace, and a couple of really good mixed CDs put together for me by my best friend at the time.
Here are a couple of good ones, for old-time's sake. Enjoy the trip down memory lane. I now understand how my mom will occasionally break out singing when some random song is played in a movie or as background music in a shopping center. These are the songs that I will refer to as "the classics", that someday (probably already today) many people younger than I am will never have heard before, and will never really appreciate. I'll be the old lady in the the nursing home humming Our Lady Peace and Matchbox 20 songs.
Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
Our Lady Peace - Right Behind You
Greenday - Basketcase
Oasis - Champagne Supernova
Matchbox20 - Damn