a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Bad Saturday, Good Sunday

Monday, October 20, 2003

Bad Saturday, Good Sunday

USDAA trial in Madera. We could've stayed home Saturday. We all did crappy. I felt so tired, as if my legs weighed 400 pounds each. As if I'd gone suddenly from sea level to 8000 feet and was trying to get around. It was hard to keep my own energy up, let alone keep my dogs focused and enthused. Don't know why. Did get up at 4 a.m. but I also went to bed & to sleep not long after 8 Friday night.

Jake's Saturday: Jake had a decent gamblers opening sequence, our timing was perfect (unlike last weekend where i called him off the gamble both times) but then I did a stupid cross-behind as he was approaching the first obstacle and pulled him off it.

He was very slow in his standard course and I think I ran him on an off-course early on.

In the Grand Prix national qualifier, he was slow and also started going around jumps. This is not like Jake. I entered him at standard 22", but I haven't been practicing much at 22"--just occasional jumping sequences in the yard. Mostly in training and competition he's been doing 16". Maybe it really is time to give up and not try him at 22" in these qualifiers any more. He *is* going to be 12 next month.

Tika's Saturday:

Sat. Pairs: missed up contact on dogwalk and knocked the preceding bar (a turn). But fast. And good contacts. Fast enough, along with her fast partner, to make up for the errors and take 2nd out of 10 teams.

Sat. Gamblers: Same opening as pairs, didn't knock bar, apparently got *2* up contacts on DW OK because we got points for both. A very nice run, good contacts (2 dogwalks & 2 Aframes), but knocked a bar in the gamble so didn't get credit for it. Dang.

Sat. Std: Same opening again, didn't knock bar, missed up on on the dogwalk, took an off course, and then flew off the Aframe. That ended THAT run.

Grand Prix: Stood up at start line to investigate a bunch of food that she had found in the grass while we were waiting to go in. Left teeter and Afr early and I made her come back each time--for 2 refusals (at least I think that's what the 10 faults were for--I think my watchers said that she wasn't called for the up on the DW).

Jake's Sunday: MUCH better.

Standard: Fairly fast although not super-zippy; looked like he popped his dogwalk but judge didn't call it, so we got a Q and a 2nd place.

Jumpers: A nice fast run--could've been tighter on a couple of turns but I was happy with it. Couldn't beat a very fast border collie, but we took 2nd place again.

Snooker: I've been desperate to get that third super-Q to finish our Performance Snooker title. This particular course lent itself to doing all three 7s in the opening, so I knew it would be a speed course rather than a handling course, and we have trouble beating others on speed because he's at the short end of his height range. But we executed perfectly and it turns out that almost everyone else messed up, so he earned a first and the lovely Super-Q. Happy mom.

Tika's Sunday:

Sun Std: Missed up on dogwalk but otherwise an excellent run. Sigh. I really want that third Novice qualifying leg so we can move up to Advanced, but it looks like, unless we can fix this up-dogwalk-contact problem, we're not going to get there quickly. At least I now have 2 solid weekends of videos, so hopefully our instructor can analyze what she's doing and we can come up with a plan. On the other hand--lots of other dogs messed up, too, and again she was fast enough that she took 3rd out of about 10 dogs.

Sun Jumpers: Knocked a bar that I had been worried about but mostly smooth and, again, very fast--still fast enough for 2nd place. Had she been half a second faster, she'd have taken 1st--making up for the 5-point fault by beating the first-place dog by 5 seconds.

Sun Snooker: Dagnabbit, went AROUND first jump at an angled lead-out pivot attempt. I need to work on this-- I had planned 2 DWs in that run for more opportunities for filming, but, oh, well. Another 0-point snooker run.

STANDING UP AT STARTLINE: Man, I've been practicing this for 2 weeks. Tossing food. Running jake in front of her. Sometimes doing obstacles, sometimes not. Me running, me stopping. Tossing her favorite toy. Sitting while I get dressed, while I pick up dog messes in the yard, while I sweep the floor, anything I can think of. She mostly holds that little start very nicely. But in class & at competition, she stands up. Sits down again when I tell her to, or else instead of standing up, lies down. We'll see how she does Wed. in class.

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