a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Friday and Saturday morning at Scottsdale

Monday, November 03, 2008

Friday and Saturday morning at Scottsdale

SUMMARY: Not at my best; some personal notes.

Well, I've been hit by either severe allergies or a cold. Picture walking around the Nationals with a hankie crammed permanently against one's nose, eyes bleary, in the continuing 90-ish degree heat. Really sucked my energy for doing much of anything, so this is the first time I've hit the computer in 2 days.

Thursday I tried a benadryl, which not only left my existing symptoms in place but added Xtreme Drowsiness (new sport I guess). I tried Claritin Friday, which I've used before and felt that it didn't help and, by golly, it didn't help again. Last night I popped a Sudafed with antihistamine/decongestant, and last night and so far today it's been somewhat manageable.

I took Boost over to the herding instinct test again, and the Herding Guy said that she's very easy to work with and could probably pass her "PT" (Pretest?) title right away, although he suggests that I should take a lesson or two first so that I knew better what she was supposed to be doing. She seems to have a pretty good job already: Herding Guy told me that he was telling her to do left flanks and right flanks and other things that I don't remember, but he wasn't actually telling her anything, it must have been subtle body language, because I could see that she changed what she was doing but I couldn't really tell how his body language was different each time. It's fun watching her work, but it makes her tired pretty quickly, especially in this heat. I think that she's in pretty good condition, but then I see this, and she's probably nowhere near where she'd need to be for real herding.

In competition, both dogs had Team Standard on Friday, Boost had Grand Prix quarterfinals Friday, both have Team Gamblers today and Tika has Grand Prix semis.

Tika and one of her partners did fairly well in Standard, each with a bar down, and respectable although not fantastic times, but our 3rd Eed. Still, apparently many people were Eing, because that dropped us only about 15 places of 174 teams, while at least one team I know who had been in the 90th range zoomed up to 40th range when none of them Eed.

Boost didn't E, but we had a runout, a refusal, and two knocked bars. One partner was clean, one partner went offcourse on a hard calloff that wasn't quite hard enough. I haven't check to see our current standings yet.

Boost also did not E in Grand Prix, which was OK since lots of dogs seemed to be getting off courses there. However, she knocked a bar, popped out of the MIDDLE of the weaves even though I stayed with her this time to keep her in, and then on a hard call to the teeter, she was too busy doing a runout again and ran ACROSS the teeter up so that we had to go back for it. So I think it was 15 faults--have to go check--or possibly an E on refusals. So no semifinals for her.

This morning so far I've run only Boost in gamblers, and although I thought I picked a fairly flowy course, we miscommunicated on 6 of the 10 obstacles that we actually got around to attempting in the opening. I salvaged some points out of the closing, but not as many as I was hoping for.


Afternoon: Tika had a lovely Gamblers run; did everything I had planned and timing was perfect for my chosen ideal closing and we ended up with 64 points, which was good for 20th place out of (I think) about 130 26" dogs.

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