Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I entered Dally in only the morning trial because I figured she could pretty much get her title by going 3-for-3. And, she did. But let's just say, I don't think Rally is Dally's thing--she gets bored with it. And I have to keep my eye on her that she stays by my side and doesn't start walking behind me. Because of this, I was trying to do the course by memory and when it came to a point when I knew I had to go to the right to go into the serpentine, I did a 90 degree right turn. WRONG! It was supposed to be a 270 degree left turn. That meant Dally got a -10 points--she would have scored a 96 (good enough to place fourth), but instead she scored an 86. It was still a Q, but not a high score like she deserved. Oh well...it's the title that's most important, and she earned it going 3-for-3. She's now "Frontiers Honkytonkbadonkadonk CGC, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, RN"
While Dally plods along the course, Mesa tends to be uber excited to do anything, and since this was one week after her agility trial debut, she thought she could cheer on all the dogs at the obedience trial. And she had the advantage of going after Dally so I had learned my lesson and we did the 270 to the left and ended with a score of 95 and fourth place! She barked at me in excitement only a few times, but she stayed pretty calm and controlled.
With Dally done in the morning, I was able to concentrate solely on Mesa to hopefully finish her title as well. This time, there was not as much barking (I wonder if she figured out we weren't at agility?), but she did try to herd me through a few of the maneuvers on the second course. I was very proud of her, though, because both courses called for a sit and for me to walk around her and she nailed it both times! (In December there were down and walk-arounds and she could not handle me walking around her. Needless to say I really worked on that because I also knew that would help with our start-line-stays for agility.) She scored a 90 on the second course and placed third to finish her title. (I feel the second judge was a little more critical in her judging when comparing the scores of everyone in both courses. Oh well.) Her registered name is now "Mill Creeks Chyna Rust RN"
Now that we're done with all this "obedience nonsense" and back to concentrating on agility. The countdown is on for Mesa's AKC agility debut, and I've sent in her and Dally's entries for a NADAC trial in April in Taylorsville, Ky.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
This is it...what we've all been waiting for. Mesa made her big agility trial debut over the weekend at a CPE (Canine Performance Events) trial in Milford, Ohio. Of course, Dally went along and competed as well, so I'll tell you about her trial first.
So far, Dally has stayed at the 8 inch jump height for CPE, mostly because we rarely do that venue and the amount of obstacles isn't as high as in AKC. She's in Level 3 and 4 for everything, so the courses are finally starting to get to the level of AKC Excellent. In Jumpers Level 3, she Qd and placed 2nd with a time of 42.47/47. Standard Level 3, she Qd and placed 2nd with a time of 55.61/61. In Jackpot Level 4, she Qd and placed 1st with 54 points and a time of 50.78/57. And, finally, in Full House Level 3, she Qd and placed 2nd with 26 points and a time of 39.59/40.
Overall, it was a good day for Dally--she ran well and we had fun. That's all that matters.
When I sent in the entries, I decided to only run Mesa in three of the four classes because I wasn't sure how the Jackpot would play out. I started her in Level 1 because that level does not require weave poles nor a teeter. The teeter isn't a problem, but we're still working on the weave poles being tilted out and a small channel. This is why I think CPE is the best venue for beginner dogs.
In Full House, Level 1, our first run of the day, I was nervous only because I didn't know how she would act or what she would do--would she run around the course? Run out? Pee in the tunnel? She was full of excitement, barking in the line and barking at the speaker that proclaimed "Go." I wanted to run her the same course I mapped out with Dally, however she had other thoughts and loved the dog walk. But all was good, I just changed it up and we ran through the course with no problems. We ended with a Q and first place with 25 points and a time of 40.13/40.
After a long wait through Jackpot and most of Standard, it was finally time for Mesa's Standard, Level 1. I came up with the idea of taking Mesa for a short run up and down the short road in front of the building to try to get some of her extra energy out. I had meant to put a front cross in between the jump (#2) and the dog walk (#3), but she came out of the tunnel so fast that I just ran the long way. Not a bad idea, right? Did I mention that it had been raining all day? Apparently I hadn't dried my shoes off well-enough after our run because right at the end of the dog walk, my feet slipped out from under me and down I went. I was able to keep my eye on Mesa, and to my surprise she stayed on the dog walk, hit her contact, and flipped right into the tunnel while I directed her, all from the floor. I was so proud of her for keeping going while I fell--I was afraid she'd jump off to see why I was on the floor. I quickly got back up and we ran through the course without any hiccups. I was so happy and proud of her!! She Qd and placed 1st with a (smoking) time of 28.88/51.
Mesa's Jumpers, Level 1, was the last class of the long day, but she stayed on the ball. She had a couple of moments of being a puppy--we barked at the photographer before going into the first tunnel, had a conversation about going into the third tunnel, and then ran by the last jump. But we stuck together, and I even got a rear cross in, and she Qd to place 1st, yet again, with a time of 33.67/52. She went 3-for-3, with three 1st places and her Handlers Games Level 1 title in her first agility trial ever!
One of the BFO trainers described her as a "firecracker" and I think that's the best term to call her. She loves agility and she loves running with me. This is evident when we're at training and, now, at trials because she just barks and barks and refuses to sit and be still for one moment on the start line. Now Merinda is working with me on trying to contain her excitement by waiting out her barks. Last night at class I would just stand at the start line while she barked and jumped around until she finally sat and was quiet--as soon as she was, I'd just run flat out for her reward. It's going to time and a lot of patience from me, but it's something just as important as nailing those weave poles. I need to have a calm down to start our runs and to have a decent length start line lead-out as we get into AKC courses, and this is the foundation for that.
Once I get a photo from the photographer at the trial, I'll share for everyone to see. Until then, enjoy the videos.
This Friday the girls and I are heading to Queen City for a rally trial--two trials in one day. I'm hoping to finish both their Rally Novice titles. I'll let you know how that turns out.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Last weekend my friend Merinda and I traveled up to Lewisburg, Ohio, for an AKC trial at Circle G Arena, known affectionately as the "Mud Hole." My goal for the weekend was for me to not get lost in any courses (re: the Nashville trial) and for Dally to continue her speed.
Well, I didn't get lost in any of the courses = mission accomplished for me. And, Dally ran beautifully all four runs! We only Qd once, and it was a much-needed Q to finish up her Excellent A Preferred JWW title, but they were four awesome runs that had me grinning from ear to ear.
First of all, here's her Q run, one that that required me to BYARF (Bust Yo A**, Run Fast) in the opening. There were three ways you could handle this run. The first would have been for me to start off on the left side, run past the first three jumps and do a front cross. The second option would have been start on the left side and rear cross that jump, or the third was to just RLH (Run Like H*ll) on the right side and do no crosses. I decided on option three because I was nervous with the front cross I would not get there in time and I could slow her down and with the rear cross she can some times do them (if she's running fast enough), but I didn't want to slow her down with confusion if she came over that jump and tried to find me. It wasn't a very pretty run, but it got the jump done and she ran fast (which made me run fast)!
Her standard runs were NQs due to little things--but she ran so fast and happy, how could I fault her?? On Sunday our standard course had a 180 towards the end. Most of the time Dally hates those and I have to work deep into the angles to keep her going. This time, she ran tight and fast--I was so happy. We NQd only because I wanted to pull her off an off-course jump and I over-exaggerated my shoulder and pulled her off the jump she needed to take. Oh well! She was so good with everything else, I couldn't have been happier. See for yourself.
Her jumpers run on Saturday was fast and happy, but she popped out of her weaves. Saturday saw a comical Corgi who decided she loved contacts more than tunnels for once.
She's now back in Excellent B for both STD and Jumpers, so now we can start earning Double Qs towards our PAX (soon-to-be PACH in 2013) and maybe see if we can qualify for the AKC Nationals in 4 inches. ;-)
Mesa's weekend was spent training on measuring table in preparations for her first trials. She's measuring right at or so close to 11 inches (the cut-off for the 8-inch jump height is 11") that any amount of relaxation we can get from her on the table will be a big help.
Next post....Mesa's agility trial debut in CPE!!!