Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trials -- Nosework and More

It's been busy around here! Since my last post:
  • A new guy started at work
  • We've had two GSD Club meetings
  • A major hurricane blew through Florida 
  • I hosted the K-9 Obedience Club meeting -- and it was spooktacular!
  • Jedi and I had two weekends of UKC nosework trials
WHEW! This is the first time I've had the opportunity to sit down and blog. I missed it. Truthfully, I hate writing catch-up posts, but there's not enough time to break it down into individual posts. Plus, some of it is old news anyway. So, here you go:

New Guy: The new ACO trainee started on October 3. It's been a rough month. It's difficult to train someone to do your job while still doing your job. And contrary to what most people think (including New Guy) mine is not an easy job. There's a lot of multi-tasking and thinking on your feet. We have standard operating procedures, but no two situations are alike. New Guy was supposed to be up and running at the end of four weeks. Didn't happen. Week five starts tomorrow and Management is breathing down my neck to have him ready to go. Unfortunately, New Guy has never worked in civil service or in an enforcement role. More challenging is the fact that he has very little computer or office technology experience. (But his lack of a criminal record, zero drug use and no visible tattoos or piercings made him my boss's #1 pick.) My work is cut out for me. This last month has really stretched my teaching skills. Suggestions, prayers and happy thoughts are most welcome!

GSD Club Meetings: St. Francis Animal Hospital has moved into a new building. It's so high tech! One member convinced the hospital to give us a behind the scenes tour and let us use their conference room for our October meeting. How cool was that?! St. Francis has a new veterinary Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) chamber and the staff was thrilled to tell us all about.

The regular meeting was followed a Meet-the-Breed Committee meeting at a nearby restaurant. I shared last month that our club is hosting the GSD Meet-the-Breed booth at the AKC National Championship shows in December. Did I mention that I'm terrified? Thankfully, I have another member heading it up.

Hurricane Matthew: This storm gave us all quite the scare. The news was forecasting "catastrophic conditions" for the east coast of Florida. Something happened last minute and our storm damage turned out to be much lighter than predicted. BTW, we're not complaining! However, most of us learned that we've become complacent. We haven't had a hurricane hit in over a decade and we need to prepare better for the next one. I'm working on a post about that now and hope to have it ready for you soon.

Some of the fun foods offered at the meeting
K-9 Obedience Club: (This is my other dog club -- 'cuz you can't have just one!) Every December K-9 Obedience Club passes around a sign-up sheet asking members to provide refreshments for the monthly meetings. Last year I volunteered to host October. At the time I had no idea how busy this month would be. UGH. But an equally fun friend joined me and we went all out, theme and all. The menu included: monster fruit cups, candy-filled shot glasses, mini pumpkin pies, vampire donuts and jack-o-lantern carrots and cucumbers (with a not-so-spooky ranch dip).

Back-to-Back UKC Nosework Trials: We hit Ocala one weekend and St. Petersburg the next. All-in-all Jedi had 11 different trials. He passed 10 of them. He walked away with a Novice Vehicle (NV) title, a Novice Exterior (NE) title and a Novice Interior (NI) title. He also passed PTs in clove, myrrh and vetiver. I learned a lot about my dog, met some great people and came home with a handful of ribbons. One thing I didn't do was take a single picture. Fortunately, someone else did so I can show you this:

One scented Q-tip hidden among 12 identical boxes -- and he found it!
OK, so you're caught up. Told you I was busy! And things were busier than I wanted. I had originally asked for several days off this month (Sundays are my regular work day) so I could attend the ORT and the UKC trials. Even though I have 200 hours of personal leave on the books, my request was denied. I was told by my bosses "We don't know your job well enough to train the new hire, so you'll have to adjust your hours if you want to go." That means I've been working 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday, packing and travelling on Fridays, competing on the weekends, then returning to work on Monday to repeat the cycle. I'm exhausted!

Hubby took this at the hotel in
St. Pete. Jedi and I were pooped!
There's more I'd like to share with you, but it's already after noon and I really need to get going. This is a short weekend for me. I'm returning to my regular Sunday through Wednesday schedule. Yesterday was Catch-Up-On-Chores Day -- not fun! My weekend is being cut even shorter by a work-related community relations event this afternoon. I'm getting paid, but I'd really like to sleep. (Though more likely, I'd end up writing the agenda for next week's GSD Club board meeting.)

Thanks for sticking around. I've missed my blogging buddies. (BTW, even when I'm not posting I'm lurking on my favorite blogs.) I have more news and several posts in the works, so please come back. Hopefully New Guy will be ready to go soon and I'll have more time -- and energy -- to share with you all. Until next time, -- K

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