SUMMARY: Generally had a good time. But pretty awful in the Q department.
My first run of the day was with Tika in Grand Prix, and like yesterday's first run, it was lovely and gave me hopes for a successful day--cool weather, Tika was jazzed, we connected well, and although she slammed a bar that I thought had cost us 5 faults, in fact it never fell, so she Qed and was one of only 5 of twenty-one 26" dogs who ran clean, for a lovely 5th place grand prix ribbon. We run clean so seldom in GP--and place almost never--that it delighted me.
A friend also delivered our custom-ordered fancy ribbon from the earlier trial where Tika finished her ADCH-Bronze, so I got to hang that on her crate and enjoy it all day.
However--that was it. Snooker--I made a bad mistake and knocked us out on the 2nd obstacle. Jumpers: One bar down. Standard: Missed getting a toenail into the A-frame contact zone by a hair's breadth, according to the judge. (She could've gotten a toenail in and it would've looked the same to me: Dog flying off the Aframe. So I'm glad that the judge is looking! Or maybe not!)
So much for Tika's 50% Q rate in USDAA. Last time she had a USDAA weekend that bad was 3 whole years ago--34 USDAA trials ago--where she managed 0 for 10--and before that, a whole 'nother year back, where she had 3 trials in 3 months with 0 or 1 Qs.
So that made me sad. On the other hand, I made a special effort to get her revved up for every run this weekend, no slacking off (could the bars and contacts be a byproduct? Perhaps, perhaps--) and she ran very well indeed and it was a pleasure to be in the ring with her every round.
Boost continued today with refusal, runouts, and bar crashing, although she did weave poles just beautifully in all 3 classes that had them. In fact, she completed a beautiful and difficult opening in Snooker, requiring her to take a jump after I led out 2/3 of the way across the field, wrap around the Aframe into the weaves, and then complete the weaves as I did a rear cross. It was lovely. And then we went back into refusals/runouts/bar crashing.
I managed to laugh after our last run of the day, Jumpers, which was so full of errors that it was hard to do anything but laugh, but really can't I figure out how to run with this dog? All those entry fees for nuthin' are an expensive way to not have as much fun as I'd like.
Walking the Jumpers course (including Team Small Dog Leader) to show what nice, pleasant weather we had and of course since it was Team Small Dog, I had to get a different angle on the whole thing. Hmm. This could work. Must practice technique more.
I'm threatening to go up to Power Paws every day this week just to run jumpers courses for an hour (with breaks). Maybe I need another private lesson for more suggestions, because some of the ones I've worked on don't seem to have the desired effect. That's a lot of time, though, and I'm busy busy busy...
Here's most of the 16" USA World Team dissecting a course run. I'll bet they practice at Power Paws a lot more than I do. Or somewhere.
My shoulders have nearly bought the farm--I'm doing physical therapy now, and the right biceps hurts SO badly most of the time. Not sure what aggravated them more now, as they've been off & on bad for a few years now. But they're baaaaaaad in the very bad sense. Had to borrow shade space from a couple of friends because there was no way I could manage a canopy. It worked out very nicely. (Boost's crate covered or she throws herself wildly against the sides when she sees dogs doing anything interesting, knocking over the water and putting holes in the crate and like that.)
We also didn't manage to win any free entries in the workers raffler, but we did land this catch instead (I think I dropped one ticket in because, what the heck, who doesn't need dogfood?). Tika thinks this was the best raffle prize ever and wants to know when's dinner?
Lastly, I remembered to take a picture of agility feet so that we can compare and contrast to hiking feet. What to do with the comparison is left as an exercise for the student.