a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Team the Second Day and Grand Prix

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Team the Second Day and Grand Prix

SUMMARY: We survived Team Standard but not Grand Prix.

We ran Grand Prix first this morning, around 10:30. I fixed her start-line stay problem from yesterday with one session at the practice jump this morning, because she actually broke her stay just with that one jump in front of her. (Usually she's clever enough to realize that it's "merely" a practice jump and just waits patiently.) So I was able to lead out to an advantageous position, although watching her carefully this time.

Our opening was lovely; she kept her bars up even on a couple of tight turns, but then got called on the Aframe contact. Then I sent her into the weave poles and moved laterally away from her to layer the next jump to try to get more speed to make up for the 5-point fault. However, Tika, the absolutely reliable weaver whom I can leave in the poles and go do just about anything on course, popped out of the last pole and I was in no position to do anything except let her continue for an off-course.

It's SO disappointing; I just want to make semifinals once in her life! On the way to the Grand Prix ring, I had a flash of --I dunno--reality? I thought, "Hey, you're at the national championships, the weather is great, you're running with your dog and you're both healthy and love doing agility; what could possibly be more important?" But it didn't hold through our run; it was so hard to keep enthusiasm for rewarding her after the run (we left the ring doing obstacles at my direction to keep her off my feet) when I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry.

I talked myself out of the funk fairly quickly, but it was tough.

Team: After our unfortunate first day of competition, Borderin' on K-Aus (our team) sat in 150th place out of 201 teams. At least we weren't last.

The Team Standard course, in my opinion, was moderately challenging but nothing that dogs of National Qualifying caliber couldn't handle, but many dogs Eed on this course. Tika handled smoothly all the way through, although this seems to be the weekend when her contacts have gone to na-na land: The judge faulted both her dogwalk and A-frame down contacts.

HOw funny that, a year ago, we ran Power & Speed and I was very confident of her ability to get through the contacts/weaves portion because she so reliably got contacts. We've been fighting these alleged running contacts all spring and summer and it's biting us today. I worry about gamblers tomorrow; our ability to get points on the Aframe is often a benefit to our score.

She might have knocked a bar, too, but none of us could remember. Teammate Brenn got called for both the up and the down on the dogwalk and a bar, but made the Aframe for a change. Teammate Trane knocked a bar. But none of us Eliminated. Woohoo!

In team standard, each dog starts with 120 points and then the running time and faults are subtracted from that. So, subtracting 10-15 points for faults each for 2 dogs isn't nearly as bad as losing the whole 120 points if you go offcourse.

I didn't see any team standings before leaving yesterday, but I'm guessing that we moved up in the standings a bit by not eliminating on that round. Gamblers tomorrow.


  1. Welcome home and good job (forget about contacts...they are the devil)! Sarah says y'all had a chance to meet although it sounds like if you don't run in the same group, it's near impossible to watch anyone else run. I wish I could have been there. We'll be in Long Beach for the invitational if you have plans to go to that.

  2. I don't do AKC, so I give AKC events a pass. But good luck! It was fun to meet Sarah in person, no matter how briefly. She recognized me in passing, just from photos on the web, and we spoke briefly again when she borrowed some of our shade in the bleachers. I couldn't even find all of my fellow Bay Teamers at this event, let alone people I'd barely/never met. :-)


  3. Ha, I just happened to see your standard run. Looked up from yakking with someone and noticed hey I know that dog on the dog walk. It was a lovely run and unless you knocked one of the first 2 bars I'm pretty sure all the rest stayed up. Too bad I didn't notice sooner or I'd have taped your run.

  4. Thanks! I looked it up the next day and you're correct, we only had the two contact faults. Our time wasn't bad, but still a long way off the pace of the top dogs.