a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Regrouping

Monday, July 02, 2007


SUMMARY: Sifting through our Q-chasing counts.

Of course agility isn't about the titles. Or the ribbons. It's about having a good time with your dogs.

OK, but I like getting titles. And ribbons. So it's the middle of the summer and I haven't practiced anything seriously with Tika in weeks, with no imminent trials propelling me, and very little serious with Boost except weaves weaves weaves.

But we have a fun match coming up this Sunday, so I need to start thinking what I want to focus on. But my mind's not there yet; it's drifting off into Title Land.

We have a CPE trial in 3 weeks, a week off, and another CPE trial. Tika is SO far from her C-ATE that, at the rate of maybe 4 CPEs a year (which is what I've backed off to), she'll be twenty-two before we get there. So we go mostly for our opportunity to collect those blue ribbons that are so evasive in USDAA--but I think we get them there because I'm really relaxing and enjoying myself.

Boost needs 2 wildcards... oops, new rules now...*3* wildcards and 2 colors to complete her Level 3 title, and she's barely started level 4. She might or might not ever get to her C-ATCH. That'd be another 72 legs beyond the Level 3. If we pick up 10 out of 10 per weekend with 4 weekends a year... OK, you see where I'm going with this. Pretty much nowhere. But I generally approve of CPE as an alternative venue to the insanity of USDAA and so I want to at least periodicall continue to support it.

And speaking of the insanity of USDAA: After the CPEs, it's 2 weekends off and then in rapid succession six USDAAs (including one regional) in the 9 weeks from then til the Nationals in Scottsdale the first week of November.

However, only the first three of those are still in this year's Nationals qualifying calendar--the last three are for next year. So Boost will have 2 or maybe 3 chances to earn exactly--crud--two Grand Prix Qs and two Steeplechase Qs, and 1 chance to earn one Team Q, if she wants to run at Nationals this year. In other words, our showing this year has been pretty sorry!

Actually we have to Q at the first GP or we're sunk because, to enter the Regional GP, you have to already have one GP Q. So if we dont' get the first one, we can't get the 2nd one, and so then the 3rd one wouldn't matter. Sigh. Did you follow that? I think I did--

Boost also needs one Standard and one Pairs to move up to Masters in everything. Or she could move up to Masters in:
- Gamblers with 1 Q
- Standard with 1 Q
- Snooker with 1 Q
- Jumpers with 2 Qs

So she's getting sooo close, my little puppy!

Tika still needs a 2nd Steeplechase Q. We've got to keep those bars up, and her mom needs to stop making stupid handling errors that she knew better about 10 years ago. Or at least 3 or 4 years ago. And I'd REALLY like, for a change, to at least get a bye into the semifinals in the Grand Prix! I'm so tired of those 5-fault runs.

As for her titles, she needs 4 for Bronze Standard, 3 for Bronze Gamblers, 4 for Bronze Jumpers. That'll make us all-Bronze (except Silver in Tournament). But still a long way from Bronze Lifetime Achievement: That's 150 legs total in Masters, P3, and Grand Prix, and she's currently at 85. Then it's a long haul--10 more legs in each of the 5 classes--to get to Silver in each, and a whopping 250 Qs total for LAA Silver. Maybe we'll do it before she retires. Our Q percentage has been hovering around 50%, but that's still not a lot, really; let's say 14 USDAA trials a year, 8 runs a weekend, 50% Q rate--it'll be another 2 years just to get to LAA Bronze. But--

Lord, won't you buy me an LAA Gold?
My friends all have platinum, or so I've been told.
Worked hard on my contacts, we've got them down cold,
So Lord, won't you buy me an LAA Gold?

I think it's bedtime.


  1. At 3.5 yo, Flirt has her RM, JM, 3 gamblers legs, 3 snooker legs (1 super Q), 7 Steeplechase Qs. NO GP Qs, NO DAM Qs and NO Masters Standard Qs.

    Around here dogs that weren't born when Flirt debuted have the ADCH already.

    But who's counting? :-D


  2. Wow, 7 Steeplechase Qs! That's impressive. But no standards!? It's always interesting to see the combinations of strengths and weaknesses in various teams of handler/dog. With me and Remington, it was Standard Qs. With me and Jake, it was Gamblers for the longest time, but that seems to be a strength with me and Tika. With me and Tika, it was Jumpers, but that was what Jake made Top Ten in. I've never done great at Steeplechase or Super-Qs with any dog. ....Oh, wait, who's counting? ;-)

    Then I have a friend whose dog had his Snooker Master title before he made it to masters in anything else. Or, on the other side, the steady team who cranked out dozens of Standard, Jumpers, Pairs, and Gamblers legs in masters but couldn't get those Super-Qs...when they finally earned the 3rd, it was their SM, ADCH, SCh, and SCh-Bronze, and maybe SCh-Silver all with that one Q.

    And, as you note, those super-achievers whose dogs make it to Masters in 4 trials and then, 6 months later, have their ADCH. That won't ever be me.


  3. Hey Elf!
    Just wanted to let you know that I'll definately be at USDAA Nationals with Denver (in the Champion program) and Gypsy (in the Preferred program). So I'll hope to meet you in person there!

  4. Cool! I wish there were tons of time for socializing, because there are several new people I'm looking forward to meeting (or re-meeting). Although this year might be the first year ever that I'll have only one dog entered at Nationals, unless A Miracle Happens with Boost in August/September. So I might have a chance to almost relax. :-)


  5. 14 USDAA trials in a year??!! We have 7 and 3 of those are 2 1/4 hours away. The next closest trials are 6 1/2 to 8 hours away. Sigh, I'm jealous, I live in AKC land.

    Cody and Lola are 1 Q away from their master Snooker and Gamblers titles, Lola has 2 Super Q's, they each have 3 Jumpers legs but only 1 standard leg between them earned just this past weekend. It's all the table's fault I tell you.

  6. Agility equipment is evil, I tell you. How about those sucking tunnels, for example, or the contacts that pop the dogs right off them just before they get to the yellow zone? It's epidemic.

    And there ya go, someone else who can whomp out those Super-Qs but not get Standard legs. What's with that?