a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: End of a Long Weekend

Monday, September 03, 2007

End of a Long Weekend

SUMMARY: Not as many successes as I'd have liked. But some.

Out of ten opportunities to earn qualifying scores this weekend, Tika earned 5, stubbornly maintaining our 50% average. Would be nice to start seeing those numbers edge upwards. And they weren't spectacular Qs, either. Qed in one of two Standards, but the run felt slow and the time was 7 seconds behind the winning dog--we were merely 10th of 37.

Qed in Snooker but missed pulling her in to the last #7, so we had 44 instead of 51, and (on a 4-red course) most dogs with SuperQs had 52 or more points and only one 51-pointer earned a Super-Q, so we were hosed anyway. That put us 17th of 42.

Qed in Pairs Relay, with both Tika and partner having faults, so we placed 30th of 60--and even without it, our time wasn't good enough to get into the placements (although Tika's fault was a refusal when I pulled her off the A-frame, so 2-3 seconds might have helped).

Took my eyes off of her on a twisty Jumpers course to be sure I was in the right place, and she pulled inside the jump she was supposed to be taking, and then it all went to Hades, so no Q there.

Weren't even close in the Gambler's gamble--although I had thought it was something that we'd be able to do fairly well-- and her opening points weren't spectacular; I ran a similar course to Boost's and Boost got a full tunnel more in than Tika did, and even that wasn't close to the highest opening points.

Qed in Grand Prix round 1 with a clean run, which I'm pleased with, but again not superfast; however, I really wanted the "Q" to bye into the semifinals in Round 2, and there she was excited and turned on but first I bobbled a tunnel entry for a refusal and then she fell off the downramp of the dogwalk--no one was able to figure out why--so we wasted a lot of time and had 10 faults as well, so once again we'll have to start in the quarter finals at Scottsdale.

Really wanted that second Steeplechase Q, but knocked a bar and, while trying to make up the time, I pulled her off a jump, which wasn't a fault, but wasted enough time that we didn't make it--although it would have been iffy even without the bobble, as we were over by 4 and a half seconds including the 5 faults, and I'm not sure that that pull-off and fix really took that long.

Boost had ongoing weave issues--I think made one entry all weekend; popped out 3 or 4 times. Earned only one Q all weekend out of 7 possibilities.

With all of our screw-ups in the Team events, our partners did well enough that the team still placed 52 of 75, but we needed to be 38 to Q.

Our two standard runs were a complete mess. We Qed in Pairs Relay because we merely messed up the weaves a couple of times and our partner was clean. She had a pretty smooth Jumpers run--no runouts or refusals, which made me very happy, but knocked 3 bars, and a friend said that's because I called her on top of the jump every time.

This was her first trial doing anything in Masters. Her Gamblers opening was nice, as I mentioned, but that's because I can plan a course that goes to our strengths, but I couldn't send her out to the 2nd jump in the Gamble itself. She started her first Masters Snooker course nicely, but on a reallllllly wide pull-through that I thought would be a no-brainer, I proved that I've been concentrating too hard on fixing the serpentines that we didn't used to be able to do and not enough on pull-throughs (threadles), so we bombed out after the 2nd red again.

So, no placements for anyone (except Tika's 7th and 9th in 2 of the Team events, but no ribbons for those...). But at least Boost's contacts and start line remain strong, and a friend who hasn't seen TIka run much in several years said that she had tears in her eyes watching her runs, remembering what a disaster she was in "real life", in training, and in the agility ring when we first started. It's good to have a reminder of that, too.

AND I got to meet another agility blogger, Wishy the Writer, and her family, who came out from Arizona for this big event.

I have more to say, but it'll have to wait because I thihk I'm about to keel over from fatigue.

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