Thursday, June 19, 2008
Dock Jumping Part 2
This past weekend, Indy and I attended the UKC Premier in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We went all four days and competed in every splash we could, 6 total. Having learned many lessons from the Dog Walk in May, I was much better equipped this time around. Namely, I purchased a pair of Crocs shoes, which are awesome! In fact, I've worn them every single day since I bought them, which was well over a month ago :)
Indy was a little monster the first day, he pulled until every muscle in my body ached and I just didn't think I could hang onto that leash a second longer. Having pushed me to my limit, and probably having grown tired himself, he settled down. He did not stop pulling entirely, but we had a dramatic improvement by the middle of day two. By the end of the weekend, other than the occasional jolt in his excitement to get up on the dock, he was much improved. I think that the more events we attend, the more he will settle down.
On day one, Indy jumped 9'11", a new personal best and top of the novice division. Because they had two pools set up at the Premier, Indy and I were able to get a lot of practice and we were able to get help from Gus' owner, Janet. Having two handlers on dock makes a big difference with certain block headed jumping maniacs. One person holds the dock in the right position and gets them riled up while the other person concentrates on making a well timed and straight throw. By Friday morning, Indy shattered his personal best record again, jumping over 13'. On Saturday, he set a new personal best that still stands, 14' 10"! He picked up 5'! That's near the top of the Junior division, only two inches shy of the Senior division. We were in first place going into the Junior finals on Sunday.
Thunderstorms were rolling in just as we started the finals on Sunday afternoon. Indy, Janet and I were the last team on the dock before the remainder of the event was postponed due to weather. We were a little off, and probably more than a little tired at the end of 4 exhausting days, still, Indy managed to jump 14'1", putting him in second place, right behind the other Indy, a White Shepherd that Jumped 14'4". The other Indy had a fantastic weekend, he also finished his UKC Grand Champion conformation title. We were really happy for him and honestly, you can't feel too bad about moving up a whole division and taking second place at your second event :)
As the rain began to fall, we all ran for our cars. I put Indy in the backseat then ran around picking up all our stuff, crammed it into the trunk, then got in the car myself to wait out the storm. There we sat, melting in the hot humid car for the next 30-40 minutes. Once the storm cleared, the weather was gorgeous. Some of the crowd returned to see the conclusion of the finals. Those who didn't return missed one heck of a show. After that storm all of the dogs were making HUGE jumps. I caught most of them on video, which is posted on this You Tube channel.
Indy got a lot of valuable socialization this weekend. He tends to annoy a lot of dogs and their owners with his hyper friendly rush right up and invade your personal space behavior. Waiting in line with other dogs and their owners is a challenge with him, to say the least. He's not very good about taking cues like growling and snapping to mean that he should leave another dog alone. He got a superficial bite on the muzzle which is healing fine and probably went a long way to teaching him to have respect for dogs who warn him off. He did meet a few other dogs that matched his temperament and who tolerated all of his rude behavior. Kya, a sweet little one year old Pit Bull and Teddi, a nearly two year old Golden Retriever. Indy's becoming quite the lady's man ;)
It was a fantastic weekend. I think Indy rested for a good 24 hours, but he was so happy, he's really hooked on jumping now!
Photo courtesy of Brian L. Butler, Grand Rapids, MI