a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Nice Weekend, Decent Results

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nice Weekend, Decent Results

SUMMARY: Weather: 2 for 2, Tika 7 for 9, Jake 1 for 2, Ankle--well--

Couldn't have asked for better weather in the Central Valley in August! Temperatures were moderate almost all day and night. Needed a light fleece at 6 in the morning, and could've switched to shorts in the early afternoon but didn't feel that it was necessary. Completely unexpected, but it was below average for the time of year.


Jake was in the mood for running, which surprised and delighted me, and did OK in Full House although we wasted a lot of space & time & effort when he went off in random directions, but he was fairly fast and happy. We completely screwed up our snooker Sunday when I did a front cross and he blind-crossed behind me, so I lost track of him for a moment, so he took a wrong obstacle and we were whistled off-- which is how we've blown our last 2 or 3 snookers in a row. I don't know where he gets that from. And it was too bad because he was really moving again and eager to run and that was on only the 2nd obstacle! Argh.

But of course this means it CAN'T be his last trial--I don' want that to be his last run in competition ever! Especially since he still seemed so happy about being there. I even got him to play some running fetch and tug-of-war with his tug-n-treat after the run, which felt like a major success after his growing reluctance lately. He pooped out pretty quickly compared to his usual Energizer Rabbit endurance, but that's not surprising since he doesn't do it much. I just have to be more persistent in getting him going, I guess.


Tika Qed 7 of 9--slightly above average for us at CPE trials--but most were not among our best runs. Missed the first Standard of the weekend on a challenging turn that she took but then backjumped. Missed Wildcard when she knocked a bar. Some of the Qs definitely would not have been Qs if they'd been USDAA events. Managed only one run where Tika was the #1 among 4/5/C (roughy 50-60 dogs)--I usually hope for more than that at a CPE trial [she says greedily]. She wasn't sticking her contacts, so I spent a lot of time standing still waiting for her to come back and settle. Had a few bobbles here and there that would've been refusals elsewhere but aren't in CPE. Had a totally messy Jackpot opening but got a gamble that so few other people were getting that the judge rearranged the gamble and let all the dogs so far rerun it. Still, it was either a 25-point gamble or 20-pt gamble and I proved once again that I don't know how to get Tika to go OUT even when it's a straight line from where she is and I'm moving in that direction, because she came in to me for only the 20 pts.


That was the last run of the weekend. I'd have loved to rerun it anyway when the judge reran people, to try to get some of the 13 to 16 points that we hosed (yikes! that many!--came on the side of the teeter, my fault, for 0 instead of 5; muffed a weave entry, undoubtedly also my fault, so missed 3 pts; those 5 extra pts in the gamble; and a 3-point tunnel I didn't take because we spent time fumblefingering the weaves) but walking back to my canopy after the run, I hit some spot on the ground wrong and really really retorqued my ankle. So I watched other people rerun while I elevated my iced ankle.

I might just go in to see the doc this week and have an *official* "rest it for 3 weeks" kind of lecture, but at least get over the worry that maybe I've cracked something. I still don't think so, but it was still painful Sunday evening. Sigh.

Weekend Take-home

Didn't win anything in the worker raffle; oh, well. The truth is I'm antsy if I'm not doing something during the day, and it was essentially a one-ring trial so I had plenty of available time. But, since agility is not a paying sport, it's a pay-to sport, it's nice to get some of it back on occasion.

None of our usual more familiar friends were there this weekend, including all of the C-level 24" dogs against whom Tika competes (Annie Alles, Cody Hasey, Cate-E and Ana Bickel, Spike Tatsuno), so we were the only 24" level-C competitor, so we took 1sts no matter what we did! I took the ribbons only for our Qualifying firsts, though. Jake took 3rd in Full House among I think 6 dogs, so he can still do it at the ripe old age of 14 3/4.

But I did get to take home a nice oil painting (read about it).

On the Road

Slept in the back of my van again. With the doors and windows partly opened. Reasonably comfortable, even if it does take almost half an hour to get it ready for sleeping and about as much to put it back again afterwards. Woke mainly after getting bitten by a mosquito on one hand and the whole thing itched like crazy for a while before it finally subsided enough for sleeping.

Saturday finished reasonably early, I think around 4:00. Sunday was even earlier. Our last run was about 1:30, but what with the usual Everything plus time out for dealing with my ankle, didn't get onthe road until 3:30. By the time I was driving through Tracy, I was yawning like the Grand Canyon and kept it up across the Altimont Pass. Decided that I should pull over for a nap despite it being the middle of the afternoon. Of course once I started thinking about it, I perked up and stopped yawning, and by the time I exited at my usual favorite Livermore Ave. exit, I was wide awake. Found shade to park in, and the weather was good enough that we wouldn't all die of the heat. After 5 minutes I decided I was completely wide awake and would never fall asleep, but decided to force myself to just rest with my eyes closed for another 10 minutes before heading home. 45 minutes later, I woke up. So I guess it's good that I stopped.

Even so, very tired, went to bed pretty early.

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