Last Saturday we went to Canby, Oregon, for a barn hunt trial. I was hoping her false pregnancy would hold off until after the trial. It did, starting this Wednesday.
On Saturday morning we had our first try at Crazy-8's. Gimme got 50 points. It takes 500 points to get each Crazy-8's title. She did well in Masters, finding three rats. Gimme did the tunnel several times and normally I can only get her to do it once and only after she finds all the rats. So I thought she must be done and called "finish", but there was one more rat tube. Later I talked to the judge and she said the final rat tube was positioned over the first turn in the tunnel and she thinks some dogs could smell it there and were attracted into the tunnel. Makes sense.
In the afternoon we got 40 points in Crazy-8's. I was just opening my mouth to call another rat when I heard the judge say "time". We got a nice Q in Masters, her fourth leg toward a barn hunt championship (6 to go). I was really proud of her since it was very hot by then. 99º according to my car, which may be a couple degrees low.
Sunday morning Gimme again got 50 points in Crazy-8's. It's a fun and low stress class. In Masters, Gimme smelled a rat from under a leaner bale and indicated it to me by barking, and after I called it the judge said it was a false alert. Her nose was only inches from the rat tube, so I think it was a bad call. I'm sure we'll get other generous calls to make up for it.
In the afternoon, Crazy-8's didn't go as well. Gimme found a rat, climbed and did a tunnel, bringing her points to 30. She then caught her toenail in the ring fencing which scared her, so it took a bit for her to get back to searching and her next alert was a false alert costing us 20 points; there wasn't even a tube there. She was able to find one more rat, so we ended with 20 points. Scoring: climb, rat1, tunnel, false alert, rat2 (10+10+10-20+10=20 points)
Unfortunately, because of the heat, which was several degrees hotter than the day before, some people went home early, so we got moved up into an earlier blind. This meant Gimme didn't get a break or a chance to cool off between Crazy-8's and Masters. I could see she wasn't really into it, but was making an effort because I asked her to. I was even thinking about calling "finish" early, but didn't have to since she did a false alert.
We were both happy to get the car packed up, crank the air conditioning all the way up and get on the road heading home. BTW having just cleaned out the car, I can tell you Gimme drank 14 coconut waters last weekend. She also munched a lot of ice cubes and tanked up a lot in the hotel room. She was just so thirsty.
While not wildly successful, it was still a good weekend. We came away with 160 points in Crazy-8's (one-third of a title) and our fourth leg toward a RATCH. Since Gimme had not done Crazy-8's before and the temps were so high, I'm pleased with her efforts. Not sure when our next trial will be.