Friday, October 08, 2010

Preparing to Trial - Part Two

Part One of this series was about finding and entering trials, in the second part of this series we'll talk about what to bring with you for your first trial...

In the car:
Most of the things I pack for the car are things that are in there nearly year-round - though the winter tote and the summer tote are slightly different - and fall and spring I rotate out various things based on where we're going and if the trial is indoors or outdoors and whether or not I plan on crating in the car for the weekend.
- Fleece Jacket and Raincoat/Umbrella
First Aid Kit - After breaking my wrist field training, I don't go anywhere without one.Mine includes provisions for the dogs too. Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Arnica, Allergy meds (non-drowsy AND benedryl), pepto bismal (caplets), antacids, etc etc. Nothing sucks more than being on the road and having a dog with a need for pepto and not having any pepto....I take benedryl to help me sleep on those nights when my brain doesn't want to stop.
Shade cloths/tarps (including clips and bungees to secure them to the car)
Water. I always have at least two gallons of water for the dogs and a few bottles of water for myself. Some dogs won't drink strange water - some dogs get GI upsets on "new" water.
Doggie Documents: Registration paperwork (AKC number), Rabies Certificate, Jump height Card, Contact information for your vet. Don't forget to have photos of your dog - You NEVER know when you'll need them.
Extra collar and leash.
Flashlight
- High value - but shelf stable - treats (something that can be left in the car indefinitely in case of emergency)
Fans (Summer)
Hand sanitizer
Papertowels/Lysol wipes
- Waste Bags

For you:
I know it's tempting to just hop in the car and go - but a bit of planning can make for a much more enjoyable weekend at the dog show - especially if you don't come home resembling a certain boiled crustacean.
Sunscreen/Bug Spray
Video Camera
Folding chair or chair cushion (for the venues that provide metal chairs)
Rain coat
Extra socks and a spare pair of sneakers (BOOTS).
Change of clothes - including shorts/pants. I use this stash of clean clothes most often for heading directly from trial site to restaurant
Snacks and assorted goodies (I always pack juice for the morning, yogurt for a snack and chocolate - just in case)
A cooler with some beverages
Mittens, Hat, gloves - weather dependent.

For your dog: 
Some planning for your dog can go a long way. Most of our trial stuff fits into an LL Bean boat tote - easy access and convenient to pack.
Winter 2009: Murphy modeling his turnout blanket from
Dover Saddlery...Warm and toasty. 
His food - portioned out into meals; always pack at least one extra set of rations.
Medication and supplements for the weekend (plus at least one dose).
Portable crate/crate pad - Crate Mat
Extra bowls (crate, hotel, trial site)
Sheet or blanket to cover the bedspread at the hotel
A few different kinds of treats - including some really high value goodies..in the same cooler as above
Chewies and/or a Kong for settling down in the hotel room.
Show collar and leash (if applicable)
Flexi-leash
Toys - we never leave home without our chuck-it.
Winter items include blankets (we got some of these from Dover Saddlery) - especially if the boys will be in the car between runs.In the summer I pack their cool-coats.

What's next? 
In part three of this series we'll get to trial day - What to expect when you arrive on-site.

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