a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tika and Jake. Very much here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Tika and Jake. Very much here.

Hard to write about a loss and a success in the same heartbeats. But they're both on my mind.

This most recent weekend, we competed in a NADAC trial at Laguna Seca, with racecars growling along the hills on either side of us. Each dog had 10 runs for the weekend. I walked--according to my trusty sidekick Ped-O-Meter--10 miles each day. It was a small, fairly quiet, pleasant site, so I'm surprised at the mileage.

Tika weavingTika Summary: Tika is like a brand-new dog, at the previous competition and at this one, but this time I didn't make quite so many Stupid Handler Tricks. Contacts were great (She left an Aframe contact early once (after Good Girl but before OK), and I made her come back and do a Behind before going on--). Weaves were great. She grabbed towards my feet only twice, only after the finish, and backed off immediately.

She earned qualifying scores in 7 of them, including (dag-nab it) all 4 Standard runs (clean, 1st place) when all she needed for her Open title was 1/2 Q and they weren't doing move-ups!

Everything felt SO smooth and SO connected and, oh my, wow, it was exhilarating.

Tika Feels The Need For Speed: She was faster than all 25-or-so Open (intermediate) dogs in both of her Jumpers courses--by 2 seconds or more (with times of 18.79, 19.3--that's about 10% faster than any other dog. Whoooo.) She was faster than all Open dogs in all 4 of her Standard courses by 4 to 7 seconds (with only a couple of exceptions); with times in the 37-to-39-second range, that's 10-15% faster than any other dog.

In Tunnelers--where *all* dogs, all levels, use the same course--we had 2 slight bobbles but she was still 7th fastest of all 94 dogs at the trial--at a blazing speed of 7.03 yards per second, the fastest that any of my dogs have ever achieved on an agility course. Of course, that's a course with nothing but tunnels, so except for turns and some lowering of the body, they're basically running straight out.

In Weavers (only tunnels and sets of weave poles), I made one of my weekend's rare bobbles and she ran past the entry to the first set of weaves--but even so, she was 5th fastest of all 60 dogs, *all* levels, *all* heights running the same course. Yowza. For comparison to tunnelers, her blazing-fast weavers time was a mere 4.17 yards per second.

Jake jumpingJake's Weekend: He got most of his dogwalk contacts this time like a good boy. Ran nicely with only one noticeable disconnect between him and his handler. Won several of his classes.

Looking at this photo, you'd be hard-pressed to guess that Jake never knocks bars when jumping. He's such a talented jumper. He could jump as high, or higher, than Remington could--well over 40" when pushed to the limits one day.

Results Here's an experiment: Table of results from last weekend's trial, for my dogs only.

...More in a bit...postus interruptus...

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