SUMMARY: In which we bring home a pretty darned big ribbon.
As we headed out to Elk Grove very early Saturday for another 10 runs (per dog) of CPE, Boost needed just one Colors for her C-ATCH...and since we'd gotten the last 5 Colors in a row, and since Colors courses are only about 10 obstacles long, I figured our odds were pretty good.
Meanwhile, Tika needed to Q in all 10 classes for her C-ATE, and since she's only managed to do that in CPE once ever, I figured that our chances were pretty slim.
Either way, for either dog, I wasn't too worried about things, since we have two more weekends of CPE coming up in the next two weeks, and we *will* finish those titles. 100% probability.
Tika's Saturday was pretty good. She was sometimes fairly fast and sometimes not; sometimes blasting through tunnels and sometimes not, and a couple tunnels quite slow again. She breezed through her two Standard runs like they were nuthin', did her favorite class (Jumpers) smoothly but not spectacularly, did her traditional-style Jackpot (Gamblers) without even thinking twice about it. In Snooker, I picked a conservative course rather than an aggressive one, and although she popped out of her weaves in the opening sequence--very odd for Tika--she looked more excited than confused, and we picked it up and got the Q anyway. So--5 for 5.
Boost had the usual mixture of speed and brilliance with the all-to-frequent refusals, runouts, and bars. Her first standard was somehow a Q despite running past a jump (same one twice, in fact) and missing her weave pole entry. In her second standard, she turned back before a jump in front of her but all of it looked pretty good until she knocked the next-to-last bar, for an NQ. In the Jackpot, she did beautifully in the opening and placed higher than Tika; in the closing she had a little thing where she came to me instead of finishing on the table but, in the end, completed it, so another Q. I did the same conservative Snooker run with her, and she did it, but only after running past a jump on a lead-out pivot at the beginning.
In Colors, however... Well, there were two options: One course with 7 jumps and several turns; one with only 5 jumps and only a couple of turns. I picked the latter. Just to prove that she really didn't want her C-ATCH this weekend, she knocked *TWO* of those 5 jumps (and ran past one of them).
So, 3 of 5 for Saturday.
At the end of the day, we had enough time to go a-birding, so three of us (Quas's mom (Quas is a Boost half-sister) and Chaps' mom (Chaps is our sometime partner and frequent close competitor on course--I've mentioned him before)) drove out to Cosumnes River Crane Preserve again and went looking for cranes. We did finally see some in the distance and saw quite a flew fly overhead as dark silhouettes, but in the meantime we saw plenty of other birds. This clique of pintail ducks cracked us up:
On Sunday, Tika started the day with a Standard run that truly impressed a lot of people--I got compliments on it all day long for all sorts of people. Well, OK, sure, it was a clean run, but the impressive thing was that, as she approached the top of the dogwalk's down ramp, she found herself nose to nose with a Papillon who had somehow slipped out of his crate, decided that agility looked like a fun thing to do, and had headed straight up the dogwalk ramp. This sweet little Papillon, in fact:
I wasn't sure what Tika was going to do. I knew it wasn't a dangerous dog-to-dog situation, but I wasn't sure whether she'd maybe jump off or try to turn around. What she did was to issue a tiny rumble of annoyance, then the two of them kind of sniffed noses, and somewhere about then, someone swooped in, scooped up the Papillon, and Tika calmly descended the ramp and stopped in a perfect 2 on/2 off position! First time she's done THAT in competition in years! Then we completed our course for the Q.
Updated March 18 with a correction from the Papillon's person: "Hi There.... I am the owner of the errant papillion. The dog in the picture is not the rascal who climbed up the dog walk with your dog. His name is Cassie and he is my C-ATCH pap. (He says he wants to clear his name!) The culprit was my little 20 mo old level one dog, Wiki, who didn't escape from his crate, but went through a whole in the fencing between the two rings when we were running jumpers. My husband tried to go into the ring to get him but was stopped by the gate steward. Finally, he just sort of pushed past and said "THAT'S my dog. I have to go get him". I couldn't get over the fence and stood there yelling for him like an idiot. Anyway, a friend said she say my pic on the blog so I had to take a look. Not a bad pic. (I usually take terrible pics!) Anyway, thanks for being so gracious about the whole thing."
Her Jumpers was another nice, fairly smooth but not fast course, for a Q. (Yet Another Ellen in attendance and her dog Pepper earned THEIR C-ATE on that jumpers run. Go Ellens!)
Tika's Snooker...well, the smoothest course I could figure out involved three 7s in the opening and due to a couple of wide turns, we missed completing our final seven by, I swear, one weave pole. But it was easily a Q anyway, so happiness reigned.
At this point, we were looking at 8 out of 8 with two classes to go.
Tika didn't seem too concerned about it.
Meanwhile, back at the Boost--she continued with a mixed bag--her Standard run was really nice except where she turned back to me before a jump, so when I spun her around for a second pass at the jump, I was in the wrong position to prevent an off-course at the very next obstacle. Even with that extra obstacle, she had something like the 4th fastest time of the 60ish dogs who ran that course.
Her jumpers run was mostly nice--no bars down--but, sigh, ran past a jump when she locked onto a tunnel that I then barely called her off of, so her time looks really slow. Still, it was a Q. In Snooker, I couldn't get into position quickly enough on two occasions so we had bobbles that slowed our time, but again, she Qed with no bars down and completed the three sevens plus the whole closing.
I had said that I wasn't worried or nervous about Tika's title, but I found myself getting a little tense around then. The next class was Jackpot, and it is possible for Tika to miss the gamble part. And I couldn't remember what our 5th class of the day was, and so of course we could maybe knock a bar or do something else to disqualify us.
Then--I looked up the last class. Full House! *My* favorite CPE class. It's all about accumulating points. And--well--in 50 other appearances, Tika has only NQed twice. Once, she came out of a tunnel limping (long time ago, and had already acted sore earlier in the day), and wayyyyy back our 2nd-ever one, she was listed as doing only 2 of the required 3 jumps, the judge couldn't remember, and they can't accept video to prove that she actually did it. (This is why I now always plan at least 4 jumps in my Full House runs.)
So, in other words, that's a guaranteed Q.
THEN I looked at the Jackpot course--OMG, it's a nontraditional, and in this case, it is a strictly point-accumulation class! Bingo! We just cannot NOT earn a Q on a point-accumulation course...well, unless I get greedy and end up going over time.
So, what happened was-- Boost and Tika both Qed in Jackpot and both Qed in Full House with a zillion points, and, Huzzah, Boost was 4 for 5 for the day (7 of 10 for the weekend), and Tika was 10 for 10 for the weekend, and we came home with a REALLY REALLY huge C-ATE ribbon--thank you, Haute Dawgs!
We didn't come home with as much Blue as usual--Chaps and Tika have historically typically ended up trading off wins, but there's no doubt that Tika has slowed and Chaps is two years younger. Throw Boost's speed into the mix, and--Tika won the 2 classes that Chaps wasn't in, and came in behind Chaps 8 times and behind Boost 5 times (and behind a couple of other dogs a couple of times), thereby pushing her into 2nd or 3rd place mostly. But still, out of 9 to 10 dogs in their Level C height class, that's nothing to be ashamed of.
Guess I'm not unpacking the car tonight--this took longer to type than I thought. G'nite, all.