Monday, March 14, 2005

Got a Pesky Colors Leg!

Tika had a very fine weekend. We had 10 runs for the weekend, and Tika Qed in 8 of them, including finally getting one of those elusive Level 3 Colors legs.

We had trouble taking 1st in the various classes, though, but not for lack of trying--we just happened to have two of the best dogs at the trial competing against us in many of our classes. Sigh. For example, in Saturday's Full House, Tika earned 49 points--losing 2 points in what I believe was a timing error but I can't prove it--leaving us with 47 points. That made us the 3rd-highest scorer of all 38 dogs at levels 4, 5, and C (championship) who ran the same course. Within each of those 3 levels, dogs were divided into roughly 5 height levels. So there were actually somewhere between 10 & 15 different groups of dogs for placements. But guess where the other 2 higher-scoring dogs were grouped--yes, indeed, Tika's height and Tika's level.

(The 49 pts would have put us in 2nd place. The 1st place dog had 55 points, so I had to ask what course she had chosen for her dog. Turns out that they made more efficient use of their yardage than we did, so they got more lower-point obstacles, more than bypassing our score where we covered more ground to get fewer high-point obstacles. Interesting course.)

Still, she took 1st 6 times out of 10. (This is NOT USDAA. Had a discussion this weekend with someone about how USDAA is probably the most competitive and challenging venue of all of them, with AKC probably 2nd. Most "competitive" people (including myself in that lot) don't do NADAC any more. Most also don't do CPE. But, since I don't do AKC--here I am.

Of Tika's two non-Qs, one was a Jumpers course for which Tika's handler made a bad mistake, resulting in an offcourse, and the other was a Jumpers course in which Tika did not wait for the release at the start line, and her handler (although not in position) foolishly let her go, resulting in an almost instantaneous offcourse.

So we've kept up our pretty much perfect record for Jumpers of: perfectly run course: bars down; offcourse: no bars down.

The particularly exciting news is that Tika did not drop a single bar all day Saturday. Wahoo! I don't know whether that's ever happened; I'd have to search the last 2 years in detail. She did drop 2 bars on Sunday, both of them the first bar on the course, both after she lay down at the start line and was (I think) a little too close to the first bar for a lying takeoff. But she lay down for other rounds, too, and didn't knock bars.

Jake ran, too. He had seemed confused and disgruntled at the last 3 trials where he didn't get to run at all, so I entered him in level C in Jumpers both days. He did beautifully. We had no bobbles, and only a couple of places where he slowed slightly when he wasn't entirely sure where to go next. I hustled to get in front of him on turns. Took 1st both times, too. What a dog! Why did I want to retire him?

He jumps 12" as a Veteran in CPE. People have suggested that I move him down to "Specialist" (the equivalent of Level 3), where he could jump 8", but that's just laughable at the moment for a dog who jumped 24" and 22" in USDAA for most of his career.

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