a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: A Good Weekend

Monday, January 06, 2003

A Good Weekend

Today's topics:

  • Remington's health and agility performance
  • Jake's agility results
  • Tika's debut agility weekend

Remington's health: He appears to have survived 2 days last week of running amok at parks, plus 5 runs (a fairly light load) of agility this weekend with no ill effects and a positive effect on his mood and outlook. I was afraid I had overdone it when his last run turned slow, and on the way home he was cough-gagging, but he's been fine ever since and this morning is perky, active, enthusiastic, and interested in the world around him. Vet says he looks good & heart sounds great.

Remington's agility: I ran him in veteran's this weekend, which in NADAC is only 16" (he jumps 26" standard in USDAA, in comparison). He was an excellent agility dog:

  • Did one nice standard round for a Q AND 4th place out of 12 dogs in his class.
  • First gamble was nice, fairly fast; missed the bonus obstacle by a bit because he was sight-seeing on the Aframe before the gamble & I couldn't get him moving. But a Q anyway.
  • Second gamble again a happy, pretty fast boy, who popped his Aframe contact during the gamble so missed the Q. (Either sight-seeing or popping contacts--I'm dyin' to ever achieve middle ground with him on contacts.)
  • Jumpers run was in Super-Rem mode, where he leaned into his turns and never slowed down even on 180-degree turns--not only Q and 1st place, but was faster than all except 1 other dog in *regular* (nonveteran) classes! And that's tough in NADAC jumpers.
  • Last standard run was slow and uninspired--last run of the weekend and I probably should've scratched him, but he had looked like he wanted to run.

Jake's agility: For an old man, he did really well in some places. I ran him in standard (16" nonveteran) for his regular classes and veterans (12") for jumpers and gamblers.

  • Standard: He needed 6 full Qs for his O-NATCH (that's a double championship, FYI). Got 2.5 this weekend. Included one 2nd place among about 7 dogs in his class--all quite a bit younger than him (.3 secs behind first place dog), one where he was faster than the other dogs but I managed to push him into an off-course (so even with the off-course he was faster!), one where he was 2 seconds faster than the other dogs but knocked a bar, and the last run of the weekend where we were both a little slow but were still 2nd place.
  • Jumpers: He was SuperJake for both runs--first run he was almost as fast as the fastest nonveteran 16", and second run we had some problems and went a little wild on the course for 110 faults (takes a lot of skill for a champion in 2 org's to get that many--) but MAN he was flying!
  • Gamblers: This was Gamblin' Man weekend; in his first run, he had the second highest total of *all* elite dogs, *all* heights (missed top-scoring dog by 1 pt); in his second run, he had the *highest* total. We just really clicked, and he was flying, and for a change he got all of his contacts. Whatta man!

Tika's debut agility weekend: I feared the weekend would be terrible, but of course hoped she'd dazzle everyone. The truth was tremendously better than I feared, and in fact she dazzled me, although she just missed getting all 3 titles. (In all 3 class types, she could've earned a title with one more Q.) Out of 8 runs,
she got 2.5 standard Qs (.5 due only to a knocked bar), a jumper Q (missed 2nd Q due only to a knocked bar), and a gambler Q (missed second Q due only to a popped contact in gamble).

So pardon me while a hopelessly excited mom brags about the details.


Our 1st standard run was a mess. Chalk it up to First Standard Run At A Trial EverTM. She didn't stay at the start line while I was leading out, so I walked calmly back the start, waited for her to return, and reset her. This is an automatic Elimination, but it's OK in NADAC to do this. Then she stayed--but was light on her first contact and popped her second, so I stopped and put her back on it to make her Touch--which would've also been an automatic E. (She was good the rest of the weekend on contacts.) Then, coming out of a tunnel where I crossed, she missed a couple of jumps, but I just kept running to keep her excited, and we finished fine. But I sure came away thinking, "Boy, I had hoped we were ready, but we sure aren't." Fortunately I was a little wrong about that.

Our 2nd standard run was gorgeous--she didn't stay at the start line, so I stopped and waited for her to come back next to me (but didn't reset her at the start line). She didn't take any extra obstacles, but it wasted about 6 seconds. She Qed clean, and out of 12 dogs in her class, she came in 2nd--just under 6 seconds (note wasted time) behind the 1st place dog, and 15 seconds under SCT.

Third standard run also gorgeous--was sending her 2 or 3 obstacles out and hauling butt to get into position-- she pulled up before last jump, wasting time, so she managed only a 2nd place for her Q (2 seconds behind 1st and 20 seconds under SCT--and she was the 2nd fastest novice dog of any height).

Fourth standard run was awesome, although she knocked a bar (AND stopped before the last jump), for 1/2 Q, 21 under SCT and faster than any other novice dog.

First jumpers run was flawless except that she again stopped before the last jump and came back to me (I have a little problem here). Took about 3 seconds to fix that--and she came in with a Q about 1.5 seconds behind the 1st place dog and 3.5 seconds under SCT [it was a FAST/straight course, so no slop in SCT at all].

Second jumpers run--she was fastest of any novice dogs again, by a second or so, but had a knocked bar.

First gambler's run was a blast. Got a Q, including a ton of opening points and the bonus gamble obstacle--only 4th of 21 dogs in her height, but her opening points were among the highest among all novice dogs, and the other 3 were all experienced novice dogs & handlers. :-)

In 2nd gambler's run, I experimented. I had never done back to back obstacles with her before, but I tried it with 4 different obstacles, and I'm almost ashamed to say that she responded far better than my 2 experienced dogs. Turned on a dime and charged right back to where I directed her. What a doll! I forgot my course, though, so wasted time dashing around looking for obstacles I hadn't already taken twice. She was merely SECOND highest opening points of all novice dogs, by one point. ;-) Plenty of time on gamble, but she popped the Aframe.

I am a very happy handler! If only she'd stop pulling on the leash all the time.

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