The Summer Solstice Weekend at the Isanti County Fairgrounds is now in the books. This year was Bailie’s fourth year, and my third. In 2016, Bailie and Emma went for the first time. Other years Mom has gone for two or three of the days, but this year, we just went for one. The days are long, the drive is over an hour, and we thought one day would be good.
When Bailie and Emma went for the first time, it was just a dog show, and the barn hunt. Over the years, the event has really grown. Now they offer not only the Bales and Tales barn hunt, but Fast CAT, Scent Work, dock diving, and you could try UpDog disc. The number of people attending has also increased. Both Bailie and I signed up for barn hunt, and Mom signed Bailie up for Fast CAT, so the day was pretty busy, trying not to have scheduling conflicts with all the runs.
During the down times between running events, Mom takes us for walks around the grounds to stretch our legs and see what all it happening. It is always pretty warm out, so she takes us one at a time when we don’t have a run coming up soon and can cool down and rest before our next turn. I got to do some shopping in the vendor area. Didn’t find anything I needed, but the sniffing around was nice.
Bailie also was out enjoying the weather. She actually spent a lot of time out and about waiting for her fastCAT runs which were running slowly yesterday. The big building behind her is actually where barn hunt takes place. There are three rings running all day.
Speaking of barn hunt, Miss Bailie, how did you do? The best way to put it is to say she was a total flop! Mom is pretty much out of options for motivating Bailie. She did tunnel and climb, but that was it, did not want to hunt for rats. Bailie only needs one leg for her Senior Title, but she won’t get it without putting forth some effort. Mom is deciding whether to just quit doing barn hunt with Bailie for a while, or maybe enter her in the Novice level again to see if she has more fun with that, and try to build up some motivation. The next trial we will enter isn’t for a few months, so we have time to decide
Remember Bailie got two Fast CAT runs from Mom for her birthday last week? We really thought it would be the sport for her. All she has to do is chase a bag on a string for a hundred yards. She seemed interested when she watched other dogs do it. Mom was a bit worried as the area was not fenced, but hopefully Bailie would stay in the chute and chase the lure. It was really warm with the sun, but there was a nice cool wind too.
How did it work out? She did great on her first try, and Q’d! She ran the hundred yards in 13.5 seconds, putting her speed at 15.15 mph. Not bad on a hot day for a first try. The afternoon did not go well. Bailie was out of gas. She took off great, but shortly before the finish line she slowed, turned around and ran back to Mom at the start. They let her have a do over and said Mom needs to be at the finish. The do over was a disaster! Bailie would not move off the start line. Lesson learned for next time – Mom at the start, don’t say a word to her after she starts chasing. This might work better.
The highlight of the entire day was my first Masters run. I’m always excited to hunt rats, or do almost anything really. I coudn’t wait for my turn, but I had to wait almost all morning.
This is the course I had to run. In Masters, there are a total of eight hidden tubes. The tubes are a mix of litter and rats. They don’t tell you how many rats, just one to five is the range. If there is one rat, there are seven litter, five rats, three litter, etc. This particular course also had a distance challenge in the back right quarter. A distance challenge means the human isn’t allowed to go into that space, but the dog should go because there may be rats there.
Mom was super proud of me because I did my tunnel on both my runs. On my first run, I worked really hard, found a rat in the distance challenge and the judge asked Mom where. Luckily, I had done a good job of showing her, so she knew. I found a second rat too. Humans can see most of the tubes, but they don’t know if they are rats or litter. Of course, Mom was afraid to call clear with only two rats, but she did, and guess what? She was right to trust me and I got my first Master’s Q, as well as first place in my class. My afternoon run I found three of the five, but I was super slow because it was really warm and humid. It’s okay, because I had fun, I worked, and I got a Q.
Another Summer Solstice Weekend has gone by, and we had some success, and a lot of fun…except for Bailie and barn hunt. Can’t wait for next year when we will take Olivia along to compete with us!
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