a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: CPE Results--Not Always Like What I'd Like

Sunday, November 28, 2004

CPE Results--Not Always Like What I'd Like

So Jake had a good day Friday, but on Saturday--now with everyone watching after I announced that he was retiring with 6 Championships after 7 years of competition (with me), 116 trials, and 876 runs--we couldn't get a Q worth beans. We couldn't hardly even get started. Standard was iffy with a huge flyoff on the dogwalk. In Jumpers and Snooker, he didn't stay at the start line, putting me in very bad positions and ending up with almost instantaneous offcourses. And Jumpers and Snooker are what he has always done best in, with the most legs in those of any classes in all organizations.

Grumble grumble grumble. Tika was wired and had problems with her start line. I pulled her off for the first time in a full year for taking off without even a hint of a release from me, and pulled her off again when she persistently scootched forward after repeated "Sit" commands until she was a mere foot from the first jump. Then we had offcourses galore, which isn't normal for us, but I think I've discovered that Tika has an Overdrive setting that I am, in fact, not always tapping into! I thought I had just learned better how to handle her speed, but I think what's also happened is that she has settled into a comfortable fast speed and I didn't realize that she didn't have the accelerator floored.

We will have to experiment more.

FridayStandard: Q/2ndScootching forward determinedly at start line each time that I started to move forward. Several harsh Sits finally got her to stay in place. No bars down but she was one wired doggie and we missed a few things because my timing was off so we had to circle around and retry. Still her course time was mighty fast.
Colors: NTShe still needs 2 out of 2 at Level 3 to advance to Level 4. We can't get the darned legs because she almost always knocks a bar. Today, she took off from the start without waiting for me so I pulled her off the course.
Wildcard: NTThis is the only other Level 3 class she's still in; needs one more of these, also. But, not to be...she skootched right up to the first jump before staying in a sit and I took her off.
SaturdayStandard: Q/1stManaged to finally get her to stay in one place in a sit. We were a disaster again in terms of smoothness, but very fast and again we earned a qualifying score.
Snooker: Bomb.I led way out, all the way across the snooker field, and she stayed beautifully. I released her and she rocketed towards me perfectly, and I spun perfectly to send her into the first tunnel--and someone I was aimed wrong or spun wrong and she went into an off-course end of the tunnel. Game over. I pushed her immediately to the table to stop the clock, and hoped that our consolation prize would be the absolutely fastest Snooker time for the day of all dogs--at 5.83 seconds--but, sadly, our teammate Mercy from the night before started on the same jump but took an offcourse jump only halfway to the tunnel, putting them closer to the table, so they beat us by .3 seconds. (But Tika traveled twice as far for those .3 seconds--;-) .)
Jumpers: Bomb.Very very fast. Jumpers is the third thing that we most need legs in because she keeps knocking bars. On this course, instead of taking challenging (for me) front-crosses to pull her to challenging sides of the tunnels, I used our well-practiced call-her-name-and-she-looks-at-me, wait until she has veered towards the correct end of the tunnel and let her go. Worked like a charm for the first tunnel; released her too soon for the second tunnel and we were offcourse again. Sigh. But she had a really fast time! And (dagnabbit nagdabbit) no bars down.
FridayStandard: Q/2ndPretty fast, almost popped the dogwalk but the judge gave it to us. Some wide turns where he couldn't hear or see me, but we survived.
Colors: Q/2ndA fairly simple course that we also made it through by the skin of our teeth. Very challenging running a deaf dog who doesn't realize he's deaf.
Wildcard: Q/1stVery nicely and smoothly executed for a change.
SaturdayStandardMade it all the way through the course, veering on the edge of miscommunication and then the dogwalk was the next to the last obstacle--I yelled "Contact!" at the top of my lungs in plenty of time, which apparently made him leap into thin air at exactly the point he was, which was only halfway down the ramp. Did so very happily. The combination of my full-gut yell and his aerobatic effort got a huge laugh from the audience--and a missed-contact fault from the judge.
Snooker: BOMBDidn't stay at the start line on a long lead-out. Didn't even get a third of the way there. And that sucks, because one of the things that has always made him a great Snooker dog is my ability to lead out to any old wild and random far-side obstacle and have him come straight to me. So I had to juggle him around to try to keep him from going offcourse, but when I sent him (from too far away) to the tunnel I wanted, he took the offcourse end. Sigh.
Jumpers: BOMBDidn't stay at the start line on a course that was very tight and twisty and absolutely required that I be doing front-crosses to keep the deaf dog's head turned in my direction. Rear-crosses would be fatal very quickly and he put me in the position of starting with rear crosses from which I couldn't recover in time to prevent an offcourse almost immediately. Fast, though.

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