|Jake after a moderate workout in the yard|
Moments of brilliance mixed with moments of dismal handler or dog failure.
I'm just about convinced he's losing his hearing. I really can't explain some of the things he does otherwise.
He Qed only 4 of 10 runs. But the dog who took high in trial at his level (with 9 1st places and one 2nd place) was knocked to 2nd place only once, and by guess who. We almost got him a 2nd time--Jake racked up 8 more points in Sunday's gamble opening, which is a *tremendous* difference--but we hosed on the gamble itself more than they did (they got 10 more points there, but in our case it was a matter of being too fast as much as anything--we arrived abou half a second too soon and I called him off the gamble just as the whistle blew and then I couldn't get the momentum up again, whereas they were way out of place and had to rush to get into the gamble so had the momentum but couldn't complete it in time). We competed directly against that dog only 5 of the 10 runs; one of Sunday's runs (the Standard) was a speed course rather than a handling course. We can beat Max on a handling course many times, but not when it's more dependent on speed. Jake is not as fast through the weaves and Max has lovely fast running contacts as well.
I totally hosed the Snooker run--didn't run the course I had planned for no apparent reason except brain failure and ended up in an awkward position where I couldn't get in front of him and he kept going and going, not responding to "Jake come jake come jake come etc etc etc" and took an offcourse.
But he was fast and happy all weekend and I didn't see any other physical reason why I should be considering retiring him.