***I thought I would post my updates from the Working Dog Championships here for the folks who don't subscribe to the lists where they were originally posted. Enjoy!***
What would a trip to a major event be without road drama? At least, for me! After my struggles to make it to Minnesota last weekend, I thought I had all that behind me. But nooooo.... the night before I was to leave for the WDC my van sputters to a stop, redlining the battery, on the outskirts of my town. Whew! Once again, the good news was that I was within walking distance of a bathroom, and could call my husband for help, without a tow! He put in a new battery and on Wednesday, I hit the road. This time I made it to Madison until I noticed that the battery light had again edged into the red and I coasted down a nearby off-ramp. Good news? Walking distance of a bathroom, of course!! This one required a tow to the local GMC repair, and I learned that the problem was not the battery, but the alternator! I hauled the fold-up crate into their waiting room, indulged in free coffee and bad court TV until they had the part in and made repairs. It only took a few hours, but it was late enough that my practice time had come and gone.
Not to worry! I called Michelle when I broke down, to advise that someone else could take my practice spot if they wanted. Al gave up his 6:30 spot on Thursday, so I was good to go. Michelle was super helpful in taking care of that. I was on the road once again. I love to listen to audio books when I travel and had been looking forward to this trip so that I could finish listening to "Know it all." I learned many interesting but obscure facts that I hope I can work into conversations before I forget them!
I am staying at the Super 8 in Davenport. It is near the stadium, very reasonably priced (dog fee only $5 per night) and has a great green space. I also have a microwave and refrigerator in the room, at a fraction of the price of the fancier hotels. It doesn't have a separate sitting room and expensive towels, but it's pretty darned nice.
The route from my hotel to the stadium is a lovely drive. The architecture of the older, brick buildings with beautifully landscaped yards and pretty tree-lined streets make the drive very calming. And who couldn't use that? Apparently there was significant flooding next to the waterfront as the sidewalks at the stadium are covered with dried mud and work crews are re-building parts of the parking area. The river view and the bridges are pretty, at least in the eyes of someone who doesn't have to drive over them every day.
Thursday was a 90-plus degree day, and I thought it was deja vu of the AWDF! The stadium is a baseball diamond, home of the River Bandits. It reminds me of trialing at Inselstadt, because the curve of the field is deceptive. What you think is straight... isn't. I got Pre over the jumps and did a send away, and Dave Kroyer (a total cheesehead-- who knew??) did a run-out of the blind and an escape bite for me in protection. The draw was held at the stadium last evening. To save money, the club did not produce catalogs but they have been quite good at keeping the scores updated on the website, along with having nice photos of the competitors.
http://www.2011workingdogchamp.com/ (go to "results" for that list)
After the draw, a small group of us... Mike Williams, Susan Dooling and Donovan, convened at the Texas Roadhouse, where Mike decided to make a bet with me regarding a red-haired female police officer handling a Dutch Shepherd at the 2006 NC Region Championship at Inselstadt. He claims to be checking his sources, but I think he can kiss his money goodbye on that one. I don't recall anyone but myself with a dutch shepherd there. Anyone? ka-ching!
TODAY WE TRACKED. I'm putting that in capital letters, and past tense so I can put the pain behind me. haha. First, let me say that I was in a really fun flight and got to visit with so many great people. Dan Cox and Jason Wiggins were in my flight, and both had very nice scores. Me, not so much! I had great hopes for Pre. He had been tracking so well but today he had a happy romp through the field instead. The temps were low, less than 60 degrees and the grounds were thick, lush green pasture grass on rolling hills. The rain that was predicted even held off! Craig Groh was the tracking judge and he was very pleasant to work with. Pre took off like a shot, but was clearly not tracking. He air-scented his way around the track but it was never convincing and he missed two articles, resulting in 59 points! Once he even pounced on something in the grass, and in general just had a terrific time out there as I was wishing for lightning to strike us! When I commented that I wish I knew what was going on in his head at that moment, one of my FB friends noted that is one of the mysteries of the universe. True enough! So there went our hopes of earning a SchH3 here.
Tomorrow our flight works in the stadium at 8..........hopefully cool weather and a spunky dog will be a good combination! Wish you all could be here to join us!
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