Sunday, July 15, 2018

NADD Dock Diving July

Last Sunday I finally "bit the bullet" and made the two hour drive to pretty much the only venue that does NADD dock diving in Pennsylvania. I knew that this summer I wanted to decrease our agility trialing and focus on the sport that is perfect for summer weather: dock diving. I knew Molly would appreciate it as well!

When we arrived at the trial site I immediately knew I would be back! The dock was nestled right in front of an enormous orchard and vineyard, there was a brewery/restaurant on site, and a gorgeous antique round shaped barn just across the road. There was even a geocache. It was well worth the drive for a comfortable and scenic trial site, run by laid back people!

Molly was in three "Splashes" and since this was not a "cluster style" event (as was the NADD event we attended in May.), the Splashes ran according to schedule, with the run order alphabetical. Molly had Splashes at 9, 1030 and 1pm. I really love that in NADD you get up on the dock and have the option to do a "practice" jump or not, and then you do your two jumps and are done with your turn all at one time! (Versus doing one jump and going back into the run order.) Hint: Molly is not so fun to wait beside the dock with! Craziness!

Loch Ness Molly
I decided to just try the "place and send" with Molly for the day. So instead of having her in a down stay and throwing the toy as I released her, I threw it in and let her see it and then took her to the far end of the dock (not the take off end) and revved her up and released her to it. She actually takes off right off the edge of the dock with this method! Still, Molly jumped in the Junior range for her first two Splashes, in the 14' range. Her last Splash of the day she finally broke back into her normal Senior range. I still think I will continue with the place and send technique for her.

So Molly is standing at 2 legs in the Junior Division and 3 in the Senior. Which title will she get first?! (you need five legs for a title.)

While I always love a day of dock with Molly, the most exciting part of the day was Perri! Yes, Perri! We started working on dock confidence next year but I was unsure if Perri could ever truly be confident enough to jump without Molly. I bought her practice access to the dock for the day, and NADD allows you to have two dogs on the dock during practice time. Absolutely perfect for a dog like Perri. Perri has never jumped competition dock height before and I had no idea how it would go. Getting both girls up onto the dock together was rather trying. They were both high as kites and barking like lunatics. Molly knew why she was excited, Perri was just...excited.

I was fortunate to get someone to video! We had to do one tease throw, where Perri was too cowardly to jump so Molly got it. The second time it took a lot of cheering and Perri dove in!

From then on Perri was like, "I got this!!!!!!" We did many more throws on the dock during practice times and Perri was quite happy to jump. Wow!

Perri was so proud of herself. One time we were returning to the car from a jump and she snapped into heel position and heeled next to me, all smiles and tail wagging, front feet flying. The talent that is in that dog is incredible and it surfaces when she is happy. I cannot mourn her reluctance, what could have been, what I feel is a failing of all of my hard work. I have to appreciate when we win over fear. There is no feeling like an underdog pulling ahead and kicking the ass of all that has tried to keep her down. I have been slow to realize, but this comes in ebbs and flows with Perri - I cannot expect a steady stream. Love the dog you're with.

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