Petaluma is a fine place with California Cows eating on luxurious plentiful fields of hay and wildflowers. About 40 minutes north of San Francisco it is well known as a vacation destination with it's close proximity to winery's, shopping, hiking, and all else vacationers want out of a destination. Since most agility trials I go to are located in areas of California that are not so pretty, it was fun driving through the beautiful hills and valleys that made up our route to the Petaluma fairgrounds.
Due to the expense of hotel rooms, Laura and I drove up and back both days (about an hour 40 with no traffic). We knew the risks, traffic in the afternoon can be hideous, but it turned out the traffic gods were kind and we got there and back again with minor traffic. In fact, we probably saved a couple hundred dollars and about a billion calories as we didn't pay for hotel or go out to dinner at our favorite fancy places we usually frequent on agility weekends. Getting home before 6pm both days and sleeping in our own beds made the weekend even more sweet. Waking up at 4:30am seemed a minor inconvenience when looking at the big picture.
A huge scare on the first run on Saturday left both Laura and I in tears and Fin recovering from a very scary crash. She sliced jump 3 and hit the metal standard with her left shoulder, taking the jump down on top of her and leaving a massive amount of hair on the jump and holding her foot at a very awkward angle. Two hours later after rest and ice, she was game to go. A miraculous recovery if I ever saw one. I kept her out of most classes that day and ran her in Standard and Gamble. In both runs she was crazy wild and enjoyed life tremendously. Last class of the day was pairs and I couldn't keep it together for my 10 obstacles. She ran off course into her favorite tunnel and that was the end. (So sorry Joan).
Sunday I checked her out and she was good to go. We had an amazing time out there with much brilliance. We just had trouble keeping it together for an entire course. She somehow came away with a standard and snooker Q, but minor mistakes kept us from qualifying in most classes.
The master challenge courses were so much fun! We were one tunnel entrance from clean in the challenge jumpers, but an off course in Master challenge sealed the deal for the master challenge classes. I will say that following the off course in Master Challenge, an amazing weavepole entry made the off course a distant memory for me.
For this weekend I take away that my dog is one hard core, flying, zooming, barking, sometimes biting machine. I won't share the crash, it was horrible and I don't want to watch it again. What I will say is that I am grateful. So Grateful. Fin is healthy and that's all that counts.
Master Challenge Jumpers