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A Notable Bookmark

Posted on 04/05/10 13 Comments

Road trip this past weekend. John, myself & all the dogs packed into the RV. We drove convoy style with John & Lynda and their trailer Penny & Yvon and their fifth wheel rig all the way down to Virginia for a three day trial. The trip down was longer then necessary due to some unforseen outlet mall shopping and crazy traffic tie ups in the Washington D.C. area (the men reminded us women that if we hadn’t stopped to shop we wouldn’t have been stuck in D.C. traffic at 5 PM on a holiday weekend:)).

I felt kind of guilty going to the trial at all since I really have only trained my dogs in agility no more than three or four times since last fall. Encore has been off almost all activity due to her off and on lameness and of course I hadn’t even seen my dogs in almost a month as I was away in Europe teaching.  I am grateful that I have such a great support team behind me.  John was diligently swimming both dogs to get them into shape while I was away and Lynda came by to do jump grids with them so they won’t be completely out of shape for this trial.

Greg Derrett often manages to pull off big wins when he hasn’t seen his dogs in ages so I tested his methodology over this weekend. The results where mixed. The best news of all is that Encore looks great!  She doesn’t appear to be struggling with her jumping the way she certainly was last fall. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. She had one refusal in the finals of the big money event this weekend but that was due to rusty handling cues I think. No bars. She won the Grand Prix as well as a few other classes. I thought after one class I saw I bit of a limp on that right front leg but I couldn’t be sure and I never saw anything remotely like it throughout the rest of the weekend. Not only didn’t she limp, but she appeared to be once again jumping with power.  So in spite of everyone telling me her blood values where too low to be considered an active Lyme infection the 6 weeks on antibiotics was the only thing that seemed to make a difference to her.  I really don’t care why, I am just thrilled she is healthy again!

Feature, still being a 2 year old showed me, in case I didn’t know already that 6 months off with absolutely no handling training does not work too well for a youngster. At one point in a snookers class she actually ran between my legs on a front cross, oh my! She did have some lovely runs and even managed to win a class or two plus had the fastest time in the big money class finals but uncharacteristically pulled a bar by jumping too close on a threadle.  However the fact both girls made it to the finals of the big Triathlon class was a bonus!  By Sunday I think I had got my “handling legs” back again and the two of them came first and second in Masters Standard, that was a nice way to wrap things up.

More exciting news from the weekend was that Say Yes’s own Tracy Sklenar and her young mix breed “Export” won the 16″ triathlon (money class). Not only did she beat all of the dogs here competing in Virginia but she also beat all of the dogs running the same course at the trial in Texas! Tracy had a great weekend, in addition to placing in Steeplechase and Grand Prix her and Export teamed up with myself and Encore and another GD style handler, Debby Cartney and her Sheltie “Divot” to place third over all in the team event.

It was a great trial over all. Lovely venue, perfect weather, nice people and they even changed up the last day events to help get us all out of there and on the road earlier than was first expected. Kudos to all involved.

I went into the weekend with no expectations for either dog, knowing how little we have seen of each other and how little I have trained. I could only do my best and the girls could do no wrong, was my attitude going in. No expectations.  They are brilliant dogs and to win as much as did is a tribute to just how brilliant they both are.  Funny thing, just before the finals of the Triathalon I was sitting in a chair and happened to look over to the chair beside me which had a book mark sticking out of a pocket. I could only see the top but it read “I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all, I just love to play.” That pretty much sums it all up for me.

Today I am grateful for this gorgeous, scenic drive home. I think taking highway 15 up through Pennsylvania and New York State has got to be about my favorite drive in all of the USA.


  1. Michelle says:
    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:51pm

    Delighted to hear that Encore’s troubles are behind her!

    Love the bookmark quote…..I’m going to write that one down 🙂


  2. Diane says:
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 8:10am

    You wrote: I could only do my best and the girls could do no wrong, was my attitude going in. No expectations

    Wonderful perspective and words to remember when trialing! 🙂 I will try to remember this even though I do have expectations of myself and my dogs when I fork over good hard cash for an agility trial. But the bottom line is – It’s only a dog show – not solving world peace so I may as well just enjoy the experience! Also glad to hear your dogs are doing well. 🙂


  3. Mary Jo says:
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 6:35pm

    Glad to hear Encore is doing better! Hope that’s the last you see of it.

    DC at 5pm, you’re mad, woman! Definitely not the place to be. Rt. 15 – that’s one I know well having lived near Harrisburg for several years. It is indeed a nice drive, particularly when the daffodil fields are blooming (millions of daffodils!)


  4. S Weaver says:
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 1:42pm

    Yesterday, I received my online order from Clean Run Store. Among other things, I ordered your book, Ruff Love, and tucked inside was a pretty little book mark. The quote is on one side of the book mark and the other side has a quote by Rick DeAmelio.


  5. Deb Bogart says:
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:51pm

    The quote is from Boris Becker, a retired professional tennis player form Germany.



  6. Ami says:
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10:56am

    Yeah Tracy! Congrats! We’ll be seeing her in a few days, we *must* celebrate! (I’m sure we can easily fit that in!) Glad Encore seems to be back in stride! What a great way to begin Spring!


  7. Elizabeth says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 8:13pm

    According to a quick search, Boris Becker is the author of the wonderful quote http://quotationsbook.com/quote/7495/

    Thanks for sharing it, and congratulations on your fun weekend and the health of Encore.


  8. denise says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 7:07pm

    Delighted to hear that Encore’s troubles are behind her!

    Love the bookmark quote…..I’m going to write that one down 🙂


  9. Stacy says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 5:40pm

    Susan…it was great seeing you and John down here in Virginia. I hope you all will make the trip again sometime soon.


  10. Helen Verte says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 3:04pm

    I’m glad Encore is feeling better. Sometimes you have to go with the suspected possibility when nothing else is pointing to the cause of a problem. I had a rescue dog that was bleeding from the nose. The vet checked him out and found no tumors. The dog was from a shelter and had a heavy tick infestation. I suspected Ehrlichia, but the tests came back inconclusive. However, the vet went ahead and put the dog on the antibiotic because no other reason was found, and within a day or two, the bleeding stopped. The treatment was rather long, but it was well worth it. There hasn’t been any symptoms since.

    Congratulations on a good weekend in Virgina with your girls. And to Tracy and Export, too. I got to meet them both recently. Tracy is a vibrant instructor and I enjoyed watching her work with Export on the demonstrations.


  11. Karissa says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 2:21pm

    Congratulations! I hope we get to see video on YouTube?!


  12. Jan V says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 12:50pm

    Oh – and a huge congratulations to Trouble Gower and Export on their phenomenal showing!


  13. Jan V says:
    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 12:48pm

    Glad to hear you had a great weekend and road trip. Most happy to hear that Encore is doing well. Looking forward to our training at Say Yes in 2 weeks!

    Isn’t it ironic that such subtle things (such as bookmarks) happen when we most need them? Thanks for sharing that little tidbit!!


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