Saturday, March 24, 2007

CPE Day One

SUMMARY: As usual, plunging from top to bottom and back up again.

Since it's a local trial, I'm here at my computer this evening. Icing my knee. It's not feeling good. Not swollen that I can tell, but stiff and getting painful. Sigh.

I crapped out entirely with both dogs in Snooker, usually one of our CPE strong points. Stupid handler tricks both times.

Boost can't do weaves. They are broken. Competely. I mean, as if she'd barely ever seen weaves before in her life. Broken broken broken.

Tika had a lovely Jumpers run going until my front cross was in the wrong place and she crashed into me and she yiped and I fell and then we both told each other how exciting the whole thing was and got up and finished the run. Of course we kept all our bars up and had no offcourses or runouts, but because I was fondling my dog while sitting on the ground, that's an NQ.

Boost's Jumpers was just a mishmash of runnning past jumps, turning back to me, blah blah. After last weekend and today I feel like I shouldn't be trialing her at all. (Heaves deep sigh.) Her standard round was absolutely beautiful except that we couldn't complete the weaves.

On the up side at various times during the day, both dogs completed their Gambles on courses where very few dogs Qed. Tika had the second highest points of any dogs in all levels 3/4/5/C (about 80 dogs I think))--and she'd have gotten that extra darned point to tie the highest if she hadn't stopped before a back-to-back tunnel to snarf at my feet about how exciting things were. Boost was 2nd of 10 dogs in her group but because we weren't doing weaves, we missed out on 20 points that Tika got during her run. And her gamble wasn't perfect--came inside one jump that I had to spin her around to make a 2nd approach on, but at least she did a lovely Out the 2nd time.

And then there's Full House. OK, it's sort of a silly game for many people--I think of it as an automatic Q because it's basically design-your-own-course and just meet the minimum obstacle requirements. But after working score table today, I realize that the Level 1 dogs at least have a VERY difficult time getting a Q in Full House. (Reinforces my feeling that Level 1 is for pre-Novice dogs and/or handlers.) I had a lovely flowing course that I thought both my dogs could run nicely and rack up the points.

Two small, fast dogs with 5 seconds more than us for point accumulation earned 44 points. My course I hoped would get us at least 44 points. I keep hoping for a class where both dogs run well and I can compare and see who's really faster.

Boost was right in tune with me. Required a lot of running and maybe I could've gotten a couple of ighter turns if I could've gotten there, but really she was fast and lovely and the whistle blew while we were in our last tunnel, so we ended with 41 points (the 3-point tunnel didn't score), which aside from those 2 small-fast dogs, was the highest of any of the dogs competing at any height, any level. So I got Tika good and revved up, so much so that she didn't stick her Aframe either time so carried out a bit further than I'd have liked for a really tight course, but mostly did a very nice job and--the whistle blew whie we were in our last tunnel, so we also ended with 41 points, and their times were within a tenth of a second of each other. So I still don't know who's really going to be the faster dog.

Some wise voices joshed with me about "what is it that the dogs have in common that their times are so close on the same course?" I of course pointed out that they're both blue merles, so that must be it. Of course the limiting factor might indeed be the handler, but the places where they weren't as tight were different for the 2 dogs, so it's not just entirely how fast I can move around the course (and this did require a lot of running).

Anyway, THAT was fun. But I wish I hadn't broken boost's weaves so entirely. Tomorrow I think I'll go ahead and try them but just keep going if she blows out because I think I've been pulling her away from them so often as she makes more and more mistakes that I'm patterning her to make mistakes, as Nancy suggested in class this week. (Heaves similar deep sigh.)

OK, I haven't quite made 20 minutes on the knee icing yet. Then shower and bed.

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