Saturday, April 28, 2012

VALOR Nationals - Day 1

Despite the fact that we've only had two training sessions, Duncan and I are participating in VALOR Nationals this weekend. The league is still small enough that "National" means a group from North Carolina and a group from New Jersey, but its the idea that counts.

Yesterday was the first official day of the event, with an early-bird option Thursday evening. Different Jumpers and Standard agility courses are offered each of the three days, giving teams multiple chances to earn legs. Duncan and I signed up for a late evening slot on Thursday, since I wasn't sure I could get out of work early enough Friday. We only run Jumpers - Standard includes obstacles that neither of us wants to attempt. I was concerned that Duncan might not do too well Thursday as he's still dealing with side effects from the increased dose of Phenobarb (a week and a half seizure-free!). My boy tried so hard, but he knocked a bar on the first run and things went downhill from there.

I decided we'd give it another try Friday (same course, yay!), so we signed up for the last slot at 5:30. I rearranged a few things at work, did a conference call from home and we made it out there with time to spare. We ran our first attempt just after 5:30. Duncan was moving nicely but he knocked two bars - including the very last one. 45 minutes and 6 attempts later, success! And no, Duncan was not running full courses for the 45 minutes. A couple of attempts were aborted at the first or second jump and he had a nice break while we let a couple of other people run their dogs. Unfortunately, it was a good bit warmer than was ideal for Duncan, so by our last run his tongue was hanging practically to his knees. As always, though, Duncan did his best to give me what I asked. Our last run was a lot of work for both of us - we've learned he does best when he basically has to chase me through the course, and if I slow down, he slows down. I also have to line him up and give him plenty of room to build up his speed before each jump. This was not a pretty run, but it was clean, and that's what matters in VALOR. And yes, I am pulling up my pants in a couple of turns out I've lost almost 10lbs since I started back on my meds and I didn't realize how loose those jeans had become. Not to worry, though - I'm wearing a belt today!

We got home around 7:15, I fed the pups and cats and before I could even get my dinner started, Duncan was passed out cold on his bed, snoring away. He was one pooped pup. Not that I can say anything - it was all I could do to stay awake until bedtime.

Last night gave Duncan his second leg towards his Beginner Jumpers title (he earned one a few weeks ago during our training session). Today should be a lot cooler than yesterday, which should help both of us considerably as our run is scheduled for 2:30. Paws crossed we nail it on the first try, or even the second.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Duncan !!!!! Way to go!!!!
:)Love, Mom