The opening of the JWW course had a very tricky weave entrance; it was the same for the Excellent dogs. You had to really trust your dog to have independent weave entrances for this one. Not only did I trust her, but I thought the line was better using a rear cross, so for the first time in competition, I rear crossed the weave poles. Devon nailed the entrance and never hesitated in the poles!
In fact, Devon stayed in the poles even though the photographer was shooting away and his shutter was really loud. The photographer pulled out at least two Excellent dogs with seasoned handlers, so I was especially pleased with Devon's focus. This was an area I worried over before we ran, but I decided Devon would have to work through these distractions, and I wasn't going to fuss over it.
I saved a near off course before a 180 in the back of the course, but I didn't save another one in the front of the course. I saw her head off, I thought I had her redirected and I took my eyes off her and she went off course. Bad mom. However, Devon was in good company with these two off courses, because I saw lots of Excellent level dogs end lovely runs at the same places.
I worried that Devon would worry when she found herself out of position relative to me when she landed over the off course, so I told her was brilliant. I thought later that I'm sure there were those outside the ring that thought, "That stupid handler just rewarded her dog for being wrong." Yep, I did because I want her to always think she's right! And after the class, the judge made a point of saying that I had a wonderful run with my dog.
Devon ran JWW at 8:30 a.m. and she didn't run Standard until around 3 p.m. It was a long day at a busy trial, and I had a headache and was very tired for her Standard run. To backtrack a little, last night we had severe storms and a tornado warning, so all four dogs and I spent about 20 minutes in the half bathroom below the stairs before going to bed. Then just as we were settled, Connor decided to throw up on my bedroom carpeting. So I got to bed after 10:30 p.m. and had to get up at 5 a.m. and leave the house at 6 a.m. I worked as chief ring steward for the JWW ring, so I wanted to be set up early so I could concentrate on my job.
So when it came time to walk and run the Open Standard course, I was worried I wasn't concentrating enough and I was too relaxed. Apparently this was just the ticket for Devon. She absolutely ran this course to perfection!
The two tunnel entrances were very challenging, and she never even looked at the off course ends of the tunnels. The triple, jump, tunnel sequence after the table was also a very tricky angle, and Devon made it look easy. And you have to check out those weave poles! In addition to nailing the off side entrance, Devon actually gets into her two footed stride at the end! Devon was the last 20 inch dog to run and she was the only clean run in the 20 or 24 inch jump height! She was 10 seconds under time, too, and took first place! This is a fantastic run, and it's her second Open Standard Q in three tries!
Devon ended her day with a massage from Susan. Susan thought her muscle tone and coat were great, likely due to a combination of the new raw diet and the field work she's been doing.