Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 3 at Haute TRACS

SUMMARY: Saturday

Another day of beautiful weather, another great night's sleep, two happy eager dogs--yowza all over again!

Tika: 5 Qs out of 5 runs! Four 1sts and a 3rd.

Boost: Well. Hm. Can't possibly hope for actual Qs two days in a row, now, can we. Sigh.


New Stuff

Boost's wonderful Turlock friends presented her with a new toy all her own for finally completing her MAD. She definitely liked the looks of Mr. Flying Fox.

Back around when I first started competing, I bought this black with colored accents slip lead and used it for going to the ring every run. Sometime after Jake joined me, I bought a solid purple one that was a bit longer but essentially the same thing, on the grounds that I now had two dogs so needed two leashes. Well, of course, I almost never needed to have them both at ringside at the same time, so almost never used the purple lead.

Around the time I started competing with Boost, the little leather slip thing that holds the slip loop tight against the neck broke off the black lead, so I started using the purple one instead. Well, sometime in Januaray or February this year, it vanished. So I went back to the black one. Well, for some reason the loop UNloops itself through the little metal ring fairly easily, but it's a bear and a half to get it to loop back through. So, with it falling apart and all, I decided it's time for a new leash.

Tika pulls so much so often that I thought maybe I'd try a martingale this time around instead of a slip lead.

No one had the round rope style ones at this show, but I kinda liked the blue leopard print ones (they had bright purple, too, but I preferred this). So I'm still hanging onto the old black one for emergency backup, but we started using the new one on Saturday. Boost and I play tug on the lead ALL the time, and she doesn't seem so sure about this one. Maybe because it's such soft, thin fabric compared to all the other leashes we own.

I've been keeping an eye out for new lattice-style balls, which are *my* favorite for playing toss and tug in the yard, and a vendor here had a couple of them. Another vendor had some cool smart-dog toys for them to figure out how to get treats out of them, and the Merle Girls have gotten so efficient at emptying their Buster Cubes that I thought I'd try some new ones.

There went my new-dog-stuff budget for the entire year.

Tika knew EXACTLY what the big round ball with holes in it was for; I could barely keep her out of the picture, she wanted to push it around to see whether food would fall out.


Steeplechase


Oh--note--tika is in PERFORMANCE level in everything--I noted that I didn't say that in the previous days' posts. I just know, so I assume everyone else does, too.

So, Steeplechase first thing in the morning.

Tika: Runs like the wind! Gets TWO Aframe contacts (although I hustle butt to be there to meet her on the way down) and, wow, we win round 1 without a backward glance! First of 10 dogs!

Boost: Very fast, knocked one bar, might STILL have qualified except that her human mom did a stupid thing--thought that the last jump was actually the next-to-the last jump, so didn't work it closely while trying to line up for what she thought was the final jump but wasn't, and Boost ran around the REAL last jump for wasted time. Crap! But it was RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER and she should've taken it! Crap.


Standard


Tika: Well, OK, our THIRD shot this weekend at that elusive 3rd Standard for her Perf MAD (PD3)--and, oh my, she is running beautifully, gets all her contacts--has a couple of very wide turns which means I'm getting info too her much to late about where we're going next--but she sails through it and Qs!!! TITLE! Woo hoo! And furthermore wins again! 1st of 9 dogs.

Boost: Popped out of the weaves, ran past a couple of jumps, once disastrously into an off course. JUST TAKE JUMPS IN FRONT OF YOU for crying out loud.


Gamblers


Tika: My notes say "Completely to plan!" (How often does THAT happen?) Does the gamble like we do it every day. Not only does she have high opening points, but she is the ONLY 22" dog out of 8 to Q on that course. Another 1st.

Boost: A lovely opening, only 1 point shy of highest opening points among 51 22" dogs, and then complete meltdown for the gamble, I can't even get her over the first jump! Usually that's not our problem in gamblers. Aughhh! Still, it's a hard enough gamble that lots of dogs miss it, so having high opening points puts us in 16th out of 51 dogs. No ribbons or anything, but better than a poke in the eye with a ring post.


Jumpers


Tika: I can't believe this dog! She OWNS the day! Another flawless run, another 1st place! I'm grinning ear to ear by now.

Boost: Well, despite my attempts to convince myself that we are now on a Jumpers Qing Streak, our streak ends at 1. Off course again.


Snooker

Doing three 7s in the opening required some tricky threading between obstacles. It'll be challenging to do it the first time, but I think manageable, and then very doable IMHO for the 2nd and 3rd times.

Tika: Well, hrm, what did I say about challenging the first time? I get her past a jump and a tunnel opening but the 3rd tunnel opening is too much for her and in she goes. So 2 points instead of 7. The rest is flawless but by taking the risk and not making it, we placed lower than others who didn't take the risk. We were aiming for 51 points, got 47, and lost to two dogs who got 50.  So a 3rd place, not a Super-Q, but at least it's still one teeny Top Ten point. Bummer to end that way, but it's really hard to argue with a USDAA day with 100% Qs and first places in four of them plus FINALLY her PD3 title!

 Boost: The opposite of Tika: Gets past the rough spot easily, but then meltdown trying to do weave poles resulting in several re-dos, and I forget to do a crucial rear cross for a huge time-wasting bobble, and we  run out of time on obstacle 4 in the closing, so again not even a regular Q.

End of day

And that's the end of day 4. Both dogs get to run around like crazy again in the evening, chasing the frisbee or Border Collies as the case may be, both before and after the Bay Team meeting, which was amazingly short (only an hour) and startlingly noncontroversial through careful management. Yeah, new Bay Team Prez!

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