Monday, August 10, 2009

The Ft. Dodge recap

Every once in a while, I do something very sensible. Deciding to get a motel and NOT camp at the Fort Dodge UKC trials over the weekend was one of those things. So don’t expect anything sensible from me for the rest of the month.

Getting a motel was breaking with tradition. I ALWAYS camp at Ft. Dodge, even if I did end up pitching my tent in the 4-H poultry barn the last time I was there. But with the forecast for heat index readings over 100, I decided to be a weenie. I wanted AC and I wanted a lot of it. So did the dogs. Sleeping in a tent when nighttime lows only dropped to 75 with dripping humidity would not have been any fun.

Saturday was blazingly hot. The show site had awesome air conditioning and we all sat around in jackets. When I took dogs outside, my glasses fogged up. I happily cranked the AC at the Super 8 that evening and the dogs and I watched “Finding Nemo.” Am I the ONLY person in the free world who hadn’t seen that movie before? It was adorable. I think I found my soulmate in the blue fish, Dorrie. “Oh look, a shiny object!”

Sunday morning brought some wicked weather. Between 9 and 10 a.m., the sky went dark as night, the wind howled and rain, lightning and hail slammed the fairgrounds. The hail was big enough to make us all a little twitchy as we watched it bouncing off our vans but there wasn’t any damage that I heard of. The power went out in the building for a brief period but soon came back. Jamie was not impressed with any of it. Connor slept through it. Phoenix didn’t care.

From the show ring standpoint, the weekend was perfect. We came home with 2 U-CDX legs but MOST importantly, it showed me what Phoenix understands and what he most certainly does not. His individual exercises were solid and he recognized the broad jump as a JUMP, not a BRIDGE, both days. He gave me lovely, elbows-down drop on recalls and was patient enough to keep them down while the walker went past. Retrieves were solid, with nice speed going out but the return was a slower trot than I would like. Our heeling was a bit of a garage sale on Saturday but on Sunday, only 1/2 point off and awesome, driving figure 8s both days. Yippee!!!

The darn out-of-sight sit/stay was nearly our undoing. I had anticipated this being a problem. He scooted forward both days for major deductions. This confirmed my decision not to enter AKC Open this fall. Fronts and finishes remain largely a mystery. We’ll keep training and test him again at some local UKC trials in October. I feel good about the weekend and have a better focus for the direction our training needs to take.

Will post soon about my Saturday “shopping trip.”


  1. congratulations!!! It looks like your hard working is paying off in folds! Do you think the new sit board will help with the stays?

  2. Just keep swimming swimming swimming... I love that movie!! And now you are NOT the only person in the world that hasn't seen it! :-)

    Good job Phoenix! It was probably all that nice A/C!