REDD hosted their annual musical freestyle and (since last year) rally-free trial this past weekend, at Fetch Sam in San Jose. Chimera competed in the Intermediate RF class on both days, and we earned the 2 legs we needed for our Intermediate level title! (Which, confusingly, is called the "Excellent" title, or RF-E/X.)
Cai spent much of the trial napping in the car or sitting on my mom's lap. We did some fun engaging (like cuddling or giving butt scratches) both before and after our run, but I only did a formal warm up for a few minutes on the first day, and one minute on the second day. I gave him plenty of time to look all around and see who was present (and he got lots of treats whenever a new dog walked in).
We went in the ring and I was ready to have fun and not worried. I knew the course well since I'd helped to set it up! I felt confident that we would qualify, and I didn't care too much about the score otherwise. (Though of course it's nice to score high!)
Well on Saturday my little monster BLEW ME AWAY. He was completely focused the entire time! No looking away when someone made a teeny sound! No worry when he messed up and I had to recue! He was prancing and looking up at me the entire time!
We scored 171, our highest score ever! We only lost significant points on the Circle Around x3 which he doesn't like and I hadn't quite fixed it in time for the event, and a few points for the confusion on the Figure 8 x2.
On Sunday he did have a teensy moment of distraction when he noticed Sherry outside the ring, and a brief floor sniff, but was still much more focused than he has been in the past. In fact, he got revved up and started barking a bunch, which he has never done before. Mostly it was my mistake - I had him do a bunch of barks on cue before we went in the ring. Then I used it as the first Free Choice behavior. And the next sign was a back up, which he sometimes confuses with barking due to old cue issues. So once that pattern happened, he just started barking. Since it messed up the third sign, Spin to Front, we lost major points on that one. We also lost points on the bobbled Switch Back, which usually goes better. And then he left my side to start running for his treats, haha.
Overall I'm still very happy with our second run, since his attitude was so happy! We scored 157.