a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Glory and Disaster

Monday, April 21, 2003

Glory and Disaster

Tika's USDAA weekend

Not sure whether this was the worst weekend we've had, but it has to be close. Back in Feb, when we were doing pretty good, in a fit of ambition I entered her in the DAM tournament AND novice. In order of the runs:

  • Novice gamblers: Didn't stay at the start line. Removed her. Didn't have problems with staying the rest of the weekend.
  • Team jumpers: A pretty complex course, and we did it without E-ing! Missed weave entry & had to go back for it, and crashed a double-jump big time. Grabbed my feet as we crossed the finish line. (I'm trying to put her into a down after each occurrence but that doesn't really work, either.)
  • Novice Standard: Flew off A-frame. I stopped and said "Tika!" She came back & started to put herself back on the contact, so I quickly went on. She flew off the dogwalk. I stopped again. She came back and quickly DID put herself back on the contact. I had to take her off, of course. Never got to the teeter.
  • Novice jumpers: I crossed behind a little early and pulled her off a jump, which she then back-jumped. Otherwise she was fast & with me. Grabbed my feet as we crossed the finish line.
  • Team gamblers: In opening, knocked a bar. Missed one of 2 weave entrances. Flew off 1st teeter but I think she didn't realize it was a teeter because she looked as stunned as I felt. Brought her back & she did 2nd teeter perfectly. Tried to race around to get the gamble when the whistle blew; she started grabbing my feet when I did a front cross to get her into position. Managed to get her to take the first couple of obstacles but then she was off course. When she came back to me as I headed out of the ring, she grabbed my feet. I tried to push her away and said "Cut that out!" Judge said "Don't correct your dog. Leave the ring please." So I had to walk all the rest of the way out of the ring with her hanging on my feet. Argh.
  • Tunnel madness: Lots of fun. Our specialty. ;-) She was 2nd fastest dog out of 100 entries. Worked away from me very nicely and kept moving. Until we crossed the finish line, when she grabbed my feet. 181 yards in 32.31 seconds, with a couple of interesting sharp turns after straight dog-rocketing tunnels.
  • Team standard: 3rd obstacle was dogwalk. She ran past it. I called her back and put her on it. She FLEW off the far end, raced to the far side of the ring, ran around the fence they had erected between there & the novice ring, charged into the novice ring (they were course building at the time, thank heavens), ran all the way around the novice ring full speed a couple of times, went to a couple of people who called her but then dodged away. Got her back when she realized she couldn't see me any more & came looking for me--THEN she came when I called her.
  • Novice pairs: No aframe. Stuck the teeter beautifully. The dogwalk's end was pointed directly at her crate--don't know whether that's why she decided to get that contact, but she did, although it was sloppy--she stopped halfway down & looked back at me. Then slowly did 2-on/2-off. When I came up next to her to say "good girl," she lunged off the side towards me (leaving her back feet on the DW) and grabbed my feet. I managed to get her moving and we finished the course. We were the first dog; she grabbed my feet in the exchange box and I had to work most of my partner's run to get her to stay down and let go of my feet. She also knocked a bar and missed up contact on DW.
  • Novice standard: Missed up contact on dogwalk, then flew off (4th obst.) and I took her off.
  • Team snooker: I picked a fairly simple course--over a red at a fairly sharp angle & into a tunnel. But she ran *past/around* the red and hit the tunnel before I could stop her. 0 points.
  • Novice snooker: A very easy course--over a red straight across and into a tunnel. She knocked the red bar & hit the tunnel before I could stop her. Another 0 points. I felt badly about those 2 runs because she didn't really do anything wrong for a baby dog but we couldn't keep going.
  • Team relay: A weird bobble getting into weaves at an angle where she ended up going around a tunnel instead and coming back to me OVER it. Grabbed my feet and I had to gesture with my whole body a couple of times to get her to let go and get into the weaves. FLEW off the aframe big time but stayed right with me to come back to the tunnel under the Aframe & finish. Grabbed my feet after I handed over the baton.
Sooooo-- except for jumpers & tunnelers--we didn't have an excellent time. And it's 90% contacts and feet grabbing, with some up contacts on DW and some bar knocking. Oh, yeah, and a little bit of handling, too. Just a short list.

Jake's USDAA weekend

Good thing Jake was running well this weekend. (Except for gamblers. Argh! Two VERY doable gambles, and we didn't get either!). In order of the runs:

  • P3 Gamblers: A good, fast, high-scoring opening. In gamble--"Turn? What's a turn?" Still good for a 1st place.
  • P3 Standard: A good boy. 1st place and Qualifying. Pretty light on his contacts.
  • Oscar's Relay: Light on contacts but paying attention and fast enough. Partner was a very novice dog with an off-course, but we were still 2nd out of 13 pairs.
  • P3 Snooker: Wahoo! Just like old times! A stellar performance, 4 reds with a 5-6-7-7 opening & got all the way through with almost 10 seconds to spare! Good for a 1st place and super-Q in P3; would've been 7th in Masters with 6 SQs, but I'd have probably tried for another 7 in that case & just might have gotten it.
  • Tunnel madness: Pretty fast but not Superjake. In this one, he was competing against all the standard 22" dogs, most of whom are younger than his 11.5 yrs. (Not that that's a good excuse--look at the snooker!) Also I forgot where I was going at one point and we probably lost 3 seconds while I turned him around and got him back on track. He was 7 seconds slower than Tika.
  • P3 gamblers: Dag nabbit--carried out *too* far and didn't come in when I said "come come come come COME!" A conservative opening was good for only 2nd place.
  • P3 Standard: Another very nice run, also light on the contacts, also 1st place and Q.
  • P3 Jumpers: Wahoo! An excellent dog. 1st place and Q. And now it's online in a 1.8 MB movie for your viewing pleasure!

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