Due to triathlon taking over my life the past few years, I have not competed with Stanley as frequently and seriously as I did with Max. We used to spend sometimes every weekend trialing all over the state. Instead poor Stanley gets thrown in the ring for competition every once in a blue moon when his mom has a light training week or hopes she has a light training week. Until New Years weekend, he hadn't trialed since July. 6 months is an awfully long time to go without and expect much from a dog. With the anticipated lighter training schedule this month, I entered us in 3 consecutive weekends of trials and hoped his increased maturity would pay off. It sure has!
Stan has gone from the "unknown factor" that made me so nervous to run (would he get this right? would he act like a nut job?) to Fun To Run. We're not perfect, but we're a TEAM now in a way that we weren't before. On New Years weekend, Stan qualified in Novice FAST both days to finish his NF title and took a 4th place and a 1st place doing it! That title also gave him the last title he needed to accumulate for his Bearded Collie Club of America Versatility Excellent (VX) title, which basically says he's an all-around dog who has titled repeatedly in multiple areas (herding, obedience, agility, conformation). My dog rocks.
This past weekend, we only went to the trial on Sunday because I had such bad calf pain (from run drills) that I couldn't walk. I figured with freezing temps and an indoor venue that he was going to be crazy Stanley again but he proved me wrong. We made one mistake (he missed the contact area on the dog walk) but he had a fast and awesome run!
Stanley is looking forward to post IM-Canada when we can go trial our butts off and kick some ass!