Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adventures in Winter Park

Our USDAA trial this weekend was in Winter Park, and for those of you not familiar, it's on the north side of Orlando, which for us meant a nice *cough* trip down I-4 on Friday afternoon. For any of you who have spent any time driving on I-4 in the Orlando area, you can appreciate my sarcasm. The drive was actually relatively painless until we made it to the downtown area...then with about 10 miles to go, I-4 became a parking lot. And of course, I had one too many Diet Cokes while driving. And of course, I was already running little late. Those last 10 miles were slow and painful! We finally made it to the trial site just in time to walk Jumpers. Considering I was frazzled and Peyton was um, refreshed after 2 1/2 hours of sleeping in the car, we didn't do too bad and only had one knocked bar. He was definitely a little overstimulated though, and unfortunately that seemed to be the trend for the weekend.

We then had several hours to wait and I spent some time walking around trying to get Peyton to relax a little bit, which wasn't easy. This was a big trial and there was a lot going on! Our next run was Performance Grand Prix and I think this was probably my favorite run of the weekend. By that time, a lot of people had left so there wasn't a whole lot to worry about. Peyton missed a jump after the chute, but otherwise he did great! Getting a nice turn out of the chute is still a challenge for us in trials and I just had way too much speed going in - I don't think he even saw the jump.

Poor Peyton was slipping quite a bit during this run and finished with a nice green spot on his rear. He seemed to struggle quite a bit with the surface this weekend which was surprising since the grass was similar to what we train on. Next up was gamblers and after a wild start, we had a pretty nice run for a 1st place Q and his title. Here's a video of jumpers/gamblers (we didn't get many runs on tape this weekend)...

It was a late night and I think we made it back to the hotel around 10 pm. Unfortunately we had some obnoxious neighbors and managed to sleep maybe 3 1/2 hours that night. Needless to say, Saturday was a little rough.

We started with gamblers first thing in the morning and had a decent qualifying run, but the rest of the day wasn't the best. Because we were at a sports park, there were softball games behind where we were crated and on the other side of the field there were lacrosse games. There were lots of spectators and kids everywhere...I think it was just a little too much going on and while Peyton was handling it all really well, he was clearly a little stressed during our runs. He didn't do anything terrible, but he just wasn't focused.

Sunday was much better crowd-wise and Peyton finally started to relax. We started with snooker (what an evil way to start the day!) and despite our crazy run, I think we both had a lot of fun. Unfortunately I didn't get it on tape! Our standard run was also better, but Peyton got called on the up side of the dogwalk (which was the second obstacle) and I spent the rest of the run thinking about how dumb I think up contacts are and didn't really do much handling. Yes, I need to work on *my* focus too. :) Because it looked like it was going to rain, we called it a weekend and skipped jumpers to head home early.

Overall, it was a fun weekend and Peyton definitely got a lot of experience hanging out in a really stimulating environment. We were around a lot of kids, which in the past would have been enough to cause a total meltdown, but Peyton handled it really well. We were also approached several times by large groups of people who wanted to meet him. Can't tell you how many times I heard "look, a Dalmatian!" this weekend. Even though I don't think Peyton was quite ready this type of environment, I think that with a little more time and experience, he'll be more comfortable. Good spotty boy!


Lisa said...

Isn't it amazing that when something goes wrong, circumstances tend to pile up on you? Sounds like that kind of weekend with the traffic, the trial site, the hotel, etc. Given all of that, looks like you had a good weekend. Beautiful contacts in all the video! Jazz feels the same way as Peyton about kids (maybe she gets that from me). Glad to hear that he handled things so well.

Kim said...

I guess it was kind of one of those weekends. :) Oh well, I think we tried to make the best of it!

And I really don't blame Jazz or Peyton one bit...kids can be pretty strange and scary little creatures!!

Jenn said...

Sounds like a bit of a crazy weekend ... :-) Have you ever tried using any rescue remedy with Peyton? People always ask me that with Steeler and I have some but always forget to use it! He had great contacts though! And your timing on the gamble was awesome! :-) And running a "rested and refreshed" spotty dog is always entertaining! Steeler does great if I can take him for a 4 mile off leash walk in the woods first ... LOL but the chances of that happening at a trial are pretty slim!

Kim said...

It's been a long time since I've tried RR and honestly, I don't remember it helping at all. I've tried a few other natural "remedies" over the years and can't say I've noticed much of a calming effect from any. I use the DAP spray on occasion, but again not sure if it really helps much. :)