Saturday, July 23, 2011

CPE Day 1 of 2

SUMMARY: Good and bad.
I think the trial went very well. I started the general briefing just 5 minutes late and had the first dog on the line also 5 minutes late, and I think there's probably a relationship. The crew chiefs timed 8-minute walkthroughs so we didn't spend our entire day doing walkthroughs (and in truth, for most classes, most people didn't even use all 8 minutes). People were on the line and ready to go. We were done and had the next day's courses built by 4 or 4:30. Yeah! What a great team.

The down side from my trial chairperson's view was this: In my general briefing, I noted that the arena has very limited space and tht it was everyone's responsibility to watch their dogs carefully at all times to monitor possible interactions with other dogs. I said explicitly that even if your dog is good with other dogs, the other dogs might not be, so watch your dogs. One of the judges concluded the general briefing with pointing out how one of her dogs had been attacked (in the ring) by another dog whose owner wasn't paying attention, and that *all* owners needed to watch their dogs.

You know where I'm going with this. Two people were not watching their dogs (on leash) simultaneously and a bad thing happened, leaving no one very happy.

I can't repeat too often that these incidents could be avoided if *everyone* took responsibility for the location of their own dog's face at all times.

Anyway.

Tika was a very good girl and Qed 5 out of 5. Dare I hope for a Perfect Weekend? Either she or I usually end up doing *just one little thing* that prevents us from coming home with that special award. She earned the highest points in the entire trial in both Gamblers and Full House. But came in 2nd in the other three classes (Wildcard, Colors, Jumpers, with between 4 and 9 dogs per class) to the same young, fast border collie who also had some excellent successes at last weekend's USDAA trial. Ah, well, we'll have to keep hoping for more point-accrual classes where strategy and experience can win out over speed.

Boost had her moments. She won her Standard round despite running past one jump and having to go back for it (no refusals or runouts in CPE). Kept all her bars up. Oddly, stopped on the dogwalk downramp at the top of the yellow and stood there. Have never seen THAT behavior before. I wonder whether that's related to coming off the side of the teeter last weekend? It's always something, dangit!

She was 2nd in Gamblers. In the opening, she ran past a jump, didn't do "left Through" from the aframe into a tunnel, which is something that she ALWAYS does perfectly, but maybe it was because it was tucked into a corner, and then, as she approached the weaves, she turned back to me. I lined her up at my side, waited till she was looking at the weaves, told her to weave, and she again approached and turned back to me. At this point, the buzzer to go do our gamble sounded, but I was determined that she would do the weaves that were RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER and finally she did, and then did a perfect gamble, and I thought, jeez, that's 2 weekends in a row I've given up a doable gamble to make my point on some issue. But, lo!, she was so fast that she was actually a fraction of a second under time and Qed. But not nearly the points we should've had.

Her Jumpers was very nice. Yeah, she had a bar down, but in CPE that's still a Q at level 5. Her speed was fabulous, 5.9 yps.

In wildcard, I obviously didn't signal a slight pull to a teeter enough and she took the wrong obstacle. In Colors, dagnabbit, the only class in which she's still at Level 4, I ran it perfectly with Tika and then, 6 dogs later, ran it wrong with Boost. And Boost did everything I asked perfectly--no bars, no runouts or refusals or anything. DagNABBIT dumb handler.

Still, what a great bunch of people to spend a weekend with! All those hard workers and cheery faces and i hardly heard a cross word at all from anyone. The way agility should be!

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