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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How many people have started making plans to go back, or actually competed? My trainer got the Ok to open back up for lessons last week, but they have to be outside, and we need to wear masks when within 12 feet. She expanded the 6 ft to 12 to be on the safe side. We don’t have to wear masks while running, but should the trainer need to come in, we need to have them in our pockets to put on. We can’t touch the equipment or the gate. The trainer only can and there is a six foot leash attached to the gate to ensure distance. I’m in upstate NY, we’re in Phase 1 of opening.

Even with all those restrictions, it was so good to be back! And I was appreciative of the thought that went into the plan to let everyone back but keep us safe. All three dogs did beautifully, we have been practicing a lot at home and it showed.

So the question now is when to return to competition? The clubs here are cleared to have trails with many restrictions. I am thinking of entering an AKC trial the second week in June, the closing date is the 6th so if I get it out now, I’ll make it. I really want to go but I’m worried that we’ve just begun to open back up and other areas are seeing spikes with reopening.

But can I say it again...I really, really want to go! Do I sound like six year old, lol?

What are your plans for reentering competition, or have you done it already? Did you find the restrictions dampened the experience? How did your dogs do with the restrictions?
The trial I am thinking about will have indoor runs, but we will have to crate outside and enter only for runs and walk throughs.
 

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I'm right there with you in wanting to trial again so badly it hurts inside. My classes haven't restarted, but will be back on June 15th or so. I can't wait to get back in the rally ring with Noelle. I have no idea how well she will do. I have not entered any trials, yet. I'll need to get Noelle ring ready first. There's a trial I really liked in August. Maybe we'll do that one again.

Heck, I have so much pent up, "Gotta trial now!" energy, we'll probably go even if she NQ's every entry.
 

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I want to get back, but will need a lot more regular sort of training before entering any trials. I also will be looking for single day trialing events so no hotels are involved. Unfortunately I would love to go to Binghamton in July (assuming they rune) but don't think I will feel ready or comfortable for that one. There are a couple of local things in August and September I will think of entering though.
 

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I’m hoping that NACSW has a plan to resume nosework trials. They lend themselves to virus safety because of crating in vehicles and only one dog in a search area at a time. We last trialed the weekend before the stay at home order went into effect and I hope that all who were at that trial are safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do worry about coming back too soon, but if we can do it fairly safely....it would be nice!

Click, I’m not really worried about NQs either, it will be nice to be back. Many folks I talk to haven’t done a lot of training, so we may all be in the same boat!

Catherine, I wouldn’t want to stay in hotels either right now. There are enough local trials here, which is fortunate.

Scooter Scout, your comment about hoping everyone was safe from the trial before the closing was sobering. Potentially, there is a lot at stake. I keep reminding myself of that.

I may enter the 6/14 trial, I’m going to give it a little more thought and watch the numbers around here. I can always choose to not go if the cases go back up in the area. I’d lose the money, so that’s a risk. Whole different world we're in. A month ago, I was content to just wait it out, starting to get antsy though!
 
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The trial I want to go to requires a hotel stay, which is a little concerning. On the plus side, it's a two hour drive, so no public bathrooms on the route. I will have to do some more thinking, but it's such an awesome trial!
 

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There was a nose work competition last weekend in a bordering state about a 2:30 hour drive. they were even accepting drop ins. Social distancing and completely outside. I almost cried I wanted to go so badly. I had a lot of friends go to compete and I wanted to be with them. :cry: One of my biggest concerns was the bathroom. I would not stay in a hotel room.

I had to go through my reality checklist. I’m at high risk. The stay at home worked to drop the number of infected people but we moved into the first and then second phase of reopen and the numbers went up slightly. The virus hasn’t disappeared, there is and there may never be a cure (based on the fact that there’s no cure for other viruses) and the potential vaccine is months or years away.

I did agree to hold “nose work” socials at one of my dog clubs to raise money before we were allowed to open for classes. I’ve kept is mostly searching out doors. When we’re inside I have three doors open for air flow and stay at the front of the building where we have the best air flow. Everyone wore masks inside and out, dogs and people social distancing, even cars parked with spaces. I had 6 teams. It was wonderful to see friends and Do searches and just get caught up.

My club has a rule about wearing masks inside but I know quite a few people aren’t,especially when running their dogs in agility. I sadly discovered I can’t run with a mask on too so I’m not going back to agility and I’m torn up about that.

I’ve been asked to teaching nose work And maybe obedience and I just don’t feel comfortable for any length of time inside a building so I think I’ll say no, not yet.

I’m so conflicted and unsure. My risk won’t change. I hope the virus mutates to become less virulent. If it was like having a cold or flu, I would be back in a minute. I’m waiting to see what happens because of the peaceful protests and the ugly vandalism that occurred this weekend and our new phase of opening up hair dressers, restaurants etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It’s so hard to make a decision about this, so many factors.

I made the plunge, sent in my entries yesterday via express mail so it gets there by the 6th. I entered the two older girls on Saturday and Gracie will make her debut on Sunady...we’ll see how that goes!

Lily only needs one more leg to move up to Master’s and Misty needs two. They’re older and may never get a PACH but I would like to at least get them into the master’s level.

Gracie is doing great in practice, we’ll see what happens with the distractions at a trial.

The trial is outdoors and it’s where I take lessons. There is a lot of space to spread out and social distance and there will be port a potties, which I will have to live with! If the cases spike in the next week or so, I will stay home.
 

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CarolineK, being outdoors and where you normally practice, sounds like an ideal situation in the era of Covid-19. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Skylar! Yes the conditions are right, minimal risk!
 
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And . . . we’ve made it into an NW3 trial in July! The entries allowed have been reduced so, the cost has risen ($170). NACSW entries are determined by random draw; I was #71 and #114 on recent trial wait lists. Now I need to gear up the NW practice. I’m hoping that our recent agility practice is an indication that my smart spoo hasn’t forgotten his job. He’s been practice sniffing on wildlife during the long COVID walks. Photo is from a NW trial a year ago.
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