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Friday, November 14, 2008
A quick run down of what we have been up to ...
Wednesday night there was a St. John Ambulance volunteer open house in town. Basically a recruiting session for new SJA volunteers, to learn what the organization is all about and how to join up. They wanted to have a therapy dog team on hand to answer any questions, so I volunteered myself and the boys. We were out for a couple of hours, gave a really short presentation on what the therapy dog program is all about, and answered a couple of questions from prospective therapy dog teams. It was a good time, and the boys love being out in the spotlight. Romeo made a couple of new best friends when they found his special scratch spot just underneath his collar. And Gio just like showing off all his tricks and how attentive he can be (ie. how long he can stare at me without blinking) ... it really seems to amuse people.
Last night we got together with a couple of friends for some last minute practice before the Rally-O trial this weekend. We rented the training building for two hours and set up a couple of Advanced/Excellent courses. The building that we are currently training in is great for trial-proofing dogs. It is small, essentially a concrete cube with very high ceilings. As such, it is really echo-y and confined, so the courses are really tight and any mingling people or dogs serve as great distractions. I think if a dog can do a course successfully in that building during regular club training time, they will be able to easily handle the hub-bub of a real trial! At least, let's hope so anyways. The boys did really well last night and I have confidence that they will do well this weekend, too!
This afternoon I am leaving for Regina with the boys. KAOS Dog Sports is hosting their first ever CARO Rally-O trial this weekend. They are bringing in a new judge that I have never trialed under before, but I have some friends that have met her and have passed on a few little tips that she likes to throw into her courses. One being that she likes to place the "Off-Set Figure 8" with the food bowls close to the "Send Over Jump" station, so that the dog may be tempted to go for the food when they are sent out away from the handler for the jump. I think my guys should be fine with that, they rarely even notice the food bowls anyways. *knock on wood*
The trial this weekend has 3 Novice rounds, 3 Advanced rounds, and 2 Excellent rounds. Both of my guys have their Advanced titles already, so we are primarily working on Excellent. Romeo has one Excellent leg, so only needs two more. I have him entered in both Excellent rounds in hopes of finishing off that title. *fingers crossed* I am being hopeful and have also entered Romeo in 2 Advanced rounds on Sunday. IF he finishes his Excellent title, then we can start working on the new C Stream addition to CARO. C String is a new titling scheme implimented earlier this year. It involves collecting a certain number of Advanced/Excellent/Versatility qualifying rounds all above a certain score to gain new titles. After you finish the Excellent title, you can start collecting towards the CRB (CARO Rally Bronze) and CRS (CARO Rally Silver) titles. The CRB requires 5 qualifying scores of 190/200 or higher, with at least 3 of the qualifying scores coming from Excellent or Versatility levels, and the remaining ones can be from Advanced level. So ideally, Romeo would be able to finish his Excellent title AND collect his two Advanced legs for his CRB this weekend. That, of course, would require that he qualify every leg that I have him entered in, so that might not happen knowing my tendency to mess up in the handling and Romeo's tendency to flake out for at least one leg each trial. But it's a goal to aim towards anyways.
Gio doesn't have any Excellent legs yet, so the best he can do this weekend is earn 2 of the required Excellent legs towards his RX. I have Gio entered in one Advanced leg on Saturday, just as FEO for a warm-up. Advanced his Gio's favorite level, he always seems to have so much fun with the stations, so I like to enter him in legs just for giggles.
So this will be my last blog entry until Sunday evening (or Monday, depending how tired I am). But rest assured, we will have pictures and stories to tell when we get back!
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