SUMMARY: Mixed bag again. OK, it's almost always a mixed bag.
Tika ran nicely, for the most part. She really is my reliable agility dog. Finally! At age 7!
- She knocked 2 bars --one in full house that didn't matter, one in Jumpers that prevented a Perfect Weekend of 10 Qs. Back to bar-knocking drills.
- Contacts: Got all of her contacts--barely--but there were almost no contacts all weekend on course! Aframe/teeter/dogwalk in Standard on Saturday (she wasn't entered on Sunday), Aframe in Jackpot on Sunday 3 times, and that's it.
- Most of the weekend, the only dog in her same height and level (24" Level C) was Annie the very fast & experienced rescue BC, who debuted about the same time that Tika did.
- But in CPE, levels 4/5/C run the same course, and sometimes Level 3, too, and even sometimes everyone competing at the trial, all levels. So I can compare against more than just my group.
- Sat Jumpers/no Q: Very fast and smooth, that one dang bar. 6th fastest of 56 4/5/C dogs (faster: Cody the Aussie, Reilly the spotted mixed-breed, Vixen, and Cory the super Sheltie, but not Annie for a change).
- Sat Wildcard/Q and 1st: Really smooth-looking on a twisty course. The fastest of all 44 4/5/C dogs--but Annie wasn't entered.
- Sat Colors/Q and 2nd: Nice but I forgot to call her coming out of a tunnel so she way overshot and had to come back. Still, 6th fastest of 57 3/4/5/C dogs (Annie beat us by 3.5 seconds! Jeez! Also faster: Sydney the Aussie, Cody the Aussie again, Steamer the zippy BC, and some dog named Boost.)
- Sat Full House/Q and 2nd:That's the one where she was a stride away from exiting a tunnel for 3 more points. I thought she had made it, she was moving so fast; had to review the video to assure myself that the scribe hadn't made a mistake. Still, she was 5th-highest of all 114 dogs, with 46 points; Annie had 49 and three had 47 (Django the 24" Border Collie, Sydney again, and Sooner the Papillon, who is fast but also had 5 more seconds than the rest of us).
- Sat Standard/Q and 2nd: One big turn where she headed the wrong way after the dogwalk so wasted time. Still, she was 4th fastest of 49 4/5/C dogs (faster: Annie of course, and Steamer again, and that Boost critter also).
- Sun Jackpot/Q and 2nd: I chickened out when the whistle blew and didn't take one more 5-point obstacle. Turns out that I had 7 seconds left, so I could've easily done it, it was right next to me. I remember that when I ran Boost. So, with 59 points instead of 64, she was only 9th-highest scoring of 114 dogs (all levels same course). (Scoring higher: Annie, naturally, with 61, Boost with 61 (would've had that 64 except she popped out one pole early on her last weaves), Cory the Sheltie again with 63, Chaps the Aussie (who wasn't there Saturday) with 64, Steamer again with 62, and three little dogs who got 7 more seconds--Porsche the Corgi with 66, MeiMei the Corgi with 62, and Beau the mini poodle with 61.)
- Sun Full House/Q and 1st: I thought I had a clever course that would get me 52 points, but it involved lots of tight turns and I didn't call/manage Tika tightly enough. We ended up with 46 points (she knocked one 1-point bar and the wide turns didn't allow time for the one final 5-pointer). (For a change, Annie had only 44--they missed 4 more points on a misdirected jump--but Chaps once again had more with 48, and that Steamer zipped with 49.) So Tika was "only" the 3rd highest of all 101 dogs.
- Sun Jumpers/Q and 1st: A clean, smooth run. Annie knocked a bar and bobbled a jump, so we took 1st again, but there were two other dogs faster among the 55 4/5/C (Chaps 0.4 secs faster, Sydney 2 secs faster).
- Sun Wildcard/Q and 1st: Pretty smooth if you ask me. Don't know that it could've been faster. Annie was over 2 seconds faster but knocked the last bar, so we eked out another 1st. (Others faster in the 64 3/4/5/C dogs: Cory again by 1.1, Steamer again by almost 2.)
- Sun Snooker/Q and 1st: The 7-pointer was a combo of a 20-foot tunnel and 12-pole weaves, but I really pushed her and we made it through the last weave just before the whistle blew, for a perfect 51-point round and a 1st place. Only 3 other dogs out of 68 3/4/5/C dogs got 51 (Chaps again, Cory again, and Ouzo), but Annie didn't run this one, or Steamer, or Sydney--and Boost and I blew it.
Boost had her moments. She's very fast--even sometimes having to repeat obstacles or recover from repeated refusals, she still had some of the fastest course times.
- Weaves: Problems again. She's running past them completely again, or ducking in somewhere in the middle, or popping out. Can't they just stay fixed? If I can be there near the beginning and end to manage her a teensy bit, she's good. But I want independent weaves like Tika's! Out of 16 sets of poles, 7 had problems. Back to the drawing board.
- Refusals: Only maybe 3 really bad ones, one of which cost us Snooker on Saturday when I had to run out of position to get her to take the danged thing. I think rear crosses are the worst. Back to the drawing board.
- Go on: At the end of the courses, where judges like to put several jumps in a run for a really fast fun race to the finish, Boost keeps stopping and looking back at me, while I'm running as fast as I can yelling "go hup! Go! Hup! Go! Hup!" and my arm is up and then half the time we end up with a refusal or two because she's too close to the jump to take it comfortably. Known issue. Work harder.
- Contacts and start line: Lovely lovely lovely.
- Bars: Well, she knocked fewer this weekend than last weekend jumping 20" instead of 24", but still knocked enough to make me go back to my thinking that it's a bar-knocking issue, not a height issue.
- Sat Jumpers/Q and 3rd: Ran past 2nd jump on a lead-out so I reset her to get into position, wasting beaucoup time.
- Sat Wildcard/Q and 1st: Missed weave entry so had to come back for it.
- Sat Colors/Q and 2nd: Yay! Kept bars up! Finished Level C! But looking back at me instead of running to end.
- Sat Snooker/no Q: Started very nicely with 3 sets of weaves but in the closing, that stubborn refusal on a rear cross, leading to a juicy tunnel offcourse.
- Sat Standard/Q and 1st: A really really nice run.
- Sun Jackpot/Q and 2nd: I got into the wrong position so we bobbled some things, leading into a refusal, and she popped out of one set of weaves, but our score was 2nd highest of all 112 dogs, so I shouldn't complain too much. Except that the only dog with more points--that lovely Steamer--was in our height/level again, keeping us from a first place.
- Sun Full House/Q and 2nd: Missed weave entry twice, so couldn't pick up the rest of our planned points. Not a bad score, and also, too bad that fast Steamer is in her height and level!
- Sun Standard/No Q: Bars bars bars, missed weaves twice, looking back at me at the end.
- Sun Wildcard/No Q: Missed weaves, and when I pulled her around to try again, took a juicy tunnel offcourse.
- Sun Snooker/No Q: Lovely two sets of weaves, then she didn't go where I wanted after the 3rd red, and I fell flat on my back trying to call her to me. She came over to tell me to GET UP COME ON! and I petted her, stood up, then just took her straight to the table to stop the clock instead of it occurring to me until the next day that what she did was LEGAL and I could've just stood up and gone on and maybe gotten the Q. But I don't think that fast. Dang. You'd think that after hundreds of snooker runs--this was my 305th, if you'd like to know--I'd have that idea embedded in my brain. But no.
But I had a good time, weather was great, judges were nice, friends were fun, dogs were fast and a joy to be on the course with.