a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: An above-average agility weekend

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

An above-average agility weekend

Statistics are so much--um--fun? Trouble? Pointless trivia? I figured out that, over my entire agility career with all 3 dogs, my qualification average is 40%. That is, out of every 10 runs we do in competition, we get qualifying scores in 4 of them. That feels like it sucks. Although I'm sure we do better then some.

One friend runs a French Bulldog. He's a game little guy, who for some inexplicable reason has been getting faster and more enthusiastic about doing agility the older he gets, and he's getting up there! But even when he's running full out, his body just isn't built for doing agility. I'm sure that there are some Frenchies who can manage to make time more often--just as there's at least one Basset Hound who can whup the Corgis' butts in this area--but I'm guessing it's rare. Still, they keep competing and they keep improving and she keeps having fun (which, after all, is SUPPOSED to be why we're here). I try to remember that when I'm annoyed at myself for doing something dunderheaded in the ring.

Seemed as though my head had more than its share of dunders this weekend. Still, I see that we Qed 16 out of 36 runs (sheesh! no WONDER I could barely move last night!), which is 44%, so I guess that makes it above average. If Saturday hadn't been so gawdawful--1 Q per dog out of 6 runs each--I'd have felt better about things.

If I hadn't left Jake's collar on during a perfectly executed, very complicated jumpers course that most dogs mucked up, I'd have felt better about things.

If I had Kept Up The Pressure when sending Tika out to--the Tunnel on Saturday, the Jump on Monday, the _______ (fill in obstacle) on __________ (fill in day), I'd have felt better about things.

The dogs were actually very good. People keep commenting on how good Tika has turned out after all of last year's challenges. And she is SO fast! In her Weavers course on Saturday, she missed the entrance to TWO sets of weave poles (and we've been working SO hard on that!) so I had to spin her around and restart them both--and she still beat all 16 dogs in her class by 2 seconds or more. Someone said to me "She's too fast to be in Novice!" (only in the "new games" that haven't been around for long).

Speed has nothing to do with it. I'm blown away over and over by the speed and skill of so many novice dogs these days. This is not your father's novice agility! (If your father was doing agility when it started here in northern CA 12 years ago, or when I started 9 years ago--)

And of course Jake is 12 1/2 and people marvel at his energy level. By Sunday afternoon on a danged hot day when I was drooping like 10-day old celery, even the driven Tika dog slowed down on her last run and then bailed off the Aframe! Only reason we could figure was that she just was hot and tired. But I got Jake out for his last 2 runs, and he was the superball of semidachshunds, leaping straight into the air to try to get me to give him more doggie junk food, wagging his tail, perky perky perky. Ran two runs and his tongue was barely hanging out, his eyes sparkling, dancing in circles asking for more.

I pray to the Gods In Charge of Such Stuff that I have that kind of stamina and energy when I'm his equivalent in dog years. Or human years. Whichever.

Ramble ramble ramble.

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