Thursday, August 11, 2016

Superdogs at the Prince Albert Exhibition

Kili, Kenna and I spent 5 days playing with the SuperDogs this summer at the Prince Albert Exhibition, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. We ended up being on the road for a total of 10 days though as we piggybacked with a long weekend agility trial in Calgary. That's a long time to be on the road doing high impact dog sports, and to top it off it was very hot for most of that time. The girls were troopers and I was happy with how Kili performed even towards the end when I could tell she was hot and tired.

Kili added 3 new events to her skills list - weaves, mats, and relays. I knew she could do mats and weaves, but I was extremely excited that she was able to run relays. It was helpful because this was a small show with only a cast of 6, so it was ideal if everyone had a relay dog because with 3 races we all had to run a dog. Depending on what events we ran in a particular show, I did sometimes run someone else's dog in relay, but it was nice to have Kili as an option. We chose her matches carefully, choosing dogs that wouldn't mind if she crossed lanes and chased, but we only had it happen twice at the beginning of the week and after that she was great. I was really happy that she was able to focus on me instead of the other dog running.

I do need to get another set of weave poles for at home though. Kili has become a pretty proficient weaver, but it was obvious that she was confused by the sheer number of weave poles in SuperDogs. In agility the dogs weave 12 poles. In SuperDogs we do 24 (we ended up having to go down to 18 after the first day because someone stole some of our poles overnight) back to back for a total of 48. On the way down Kili would weave perfectly, on the way back she tended to want to skip the poles. You could almost see her thinking "what the hell? why are there so many?" In her defense, for 50 weeks of the year there are 12 weave poles, and then for 1-2 weeks there are suddenly 48. So I will buy another set for home and get her used to weaving more than 12 in a row periodically.

Of course Kili played disc as well. She's good at it, she has some big freestyle tricks, and of course she's an unusual disc breed so that's quite the draw. We ran both long throw events and freestyle.

It was quite a small cast and crew so it was all hands on deck. Only having 1 dog is a bit tough in SuperDogs. Your dog ends up having to run a lot of events, but they also like to have variety and not see the same dog too much throughout the entire show. Most people have at least 2 performing dogs. Since I only have Kili right now I ended up getting to run other peoples' dogs in events when needed. I got to play with a sport mix (border collie/jack russell), a fluffy mixed breed, a boxer, and a chihuahua.

The chihuahua, Taco, belonged to my roommate and we had a special relationship. He is apparently not overly social and doesn't let people he doesn't know touch him or pick him up. From the get-go though he kept hopping the baby gate between our halves of the hotel room, and so the first morning I reached over (not knowing he doesn't like to be picked up) and picked him up to put him back on his side of the room. My roommate was literally shocked that I didn't get bit. From then on though, he would jump over to my side of the room ALL the time, he even slept with me several nights. He was my special little buddy and I ran him in relays and did a little freestyle routine with him. Maybe next time I should get a chihuahua? ;)

Kenna came along for the experience, and to be my Pat 'n' Chat dog. Kili does not like to be surrounded, especially by children, and I do not put my dogs in situations they are uncomfortable with. While Kili was relaxing after the show, little Kenna got to come out and enjoy some attention which she reveled in (she also loved the treats that go with it!).

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