Also, I'm a lazy blogger. Today was our first entry into Rally Advanced B, and despite it being atrocious, we managed a qualifying score. The judge kindly went through the deductions with me, so I can't honestly say I have no clue why we passed ... but still. How did we pass???
First mistake, it was an outdoor trial on grass. This has never been a good thing for us. Second mistake, not actually knowing that they could have a broad jump in Rally. The broad jump is a big reason we're not in regular obedience anymore! I saw that thing when we walked in, and was like, “Well, we're gonna NQ!” Juno walks on/through broad jumps. I was told by one of the stewards that that'd be an NQ. But, remembering that we do Rally not to win things but to have individual fun bonding time, I figured who cares if we totally screw up.
Another mistake, I realized later, was that we may have done too much warming up right before our run. It was a rather warm day and when we got in the ring, Juno was panting. We had a bad start, too. Right as I told the judge we were ready, a huge green bug landed in the middle of Juno's back and at least tickled, perhaps even bit her. So instead of being focused, she was twisted trying to get it off. I flicked it off but she kept stopping to try and scratch throughout the run. And of course there was the usual lagging that happens when she does heeling off leash. So we got a lot of handler error deductions and points off for being out of position. And Juno walked over the broad jump.
The judge said nothing as we left the ring, so I figured I didn't qualify. Then they called in all the qualifiers at the end, and they were missing one the whole time. So just for shits and giggles, I checked the list of scores, and there we were, with an 83 instead of an NQ by Juno's name! I was totally flabbergasted. But yay! Not gonna argue! Our next trial is going to be in the same place; I realize it's not even close to an ideal setup for us, but we need to trial once a month, and this place is only half an hour away, and our friend Marissa is going with her studly boy Hunter. So we gotta go.
The parents have returned, and training with Kaline/work with Juno continues apace. Kaline and I had a bit of a breakthrough about a week ago regarding loose-leash walking and it is going so much better now! I'm super happy about that. He's been doing pretty well on his outings, to various restaurants, stores, etc. Both dogs have basically only been going on short working outings lately, just because we walk the packs and then we crash. We sometimes do stuff at night but that's about it. Kaline also is over his elevator fear finally. We went through a few days where we'd just do about fifteen minutes of riding up and down, up and down, and I think that helped. Elevators are now exceedingly boring rather than scary. They've both been really great at training in the park—I'm working really hard on finding heel with Kaline and on polishing up his recalls.
Our BLD harness shipped this past Friday, so hopefully it will be here in plenty of time for our upcoming Pennsylvania trip! I would love to get Juno some practice in it before we use it on the trip, but it shouldn't be a huge change for her from her Petjoy harness vest in terms of how we'll use it. She's been getting massages lately from our local dog masseur, Carla, who has a Seeing Eye dog named Justin. Juno doesn't always enjoy the massages (it's hard to explain to her that it'll be uncomfortable for a minute and then she'll feel a lot better; she just feels the discomfort and wants to move away) but I can tell that they're helping, and it's great fun talking shop with Carla.