a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Two New Dogs, Two Old Dogs

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two New Dogs, Two Old Dogs

SUMMARY: And by that I mean--I have two brand new dogs, AND I have two dogs who are doing the same old things.

USDAA trial report: Five classes today.

Tika. Well.

I've been reporting how gloriously well she's been doing in Performance at 22". Including consistently placing 1st/2nd in Performance Steeplechase (and Grand Prix). And getting lots of Qs. And not knocking bars. And hitting her contacts one way or another.

Pairs Relay: She missed her up AND down on the dogwalk--didn't even TRY to hit the down. Fortunately she was fast enough and partner clean enought that we still qualified.

Standard: Knocked the first two bars. FLEW off the dogwalk. Didn't even try for the Aframe contact, so although she got a toe in, she launched beyond me and the resulting confusion earned a refusal at the next jump. How often does Tika get 20 faults in a single run any more? I mean, really!?!

Steeplechase: Ticked the broad jump very thoroughly, knocked the next bar, two obstacles later launched off the A-frame so thoroughly that she did NOT get a toenail in. 15 faults! And then--it was so bloody hot today--she was slower than I expected, I got ahead of her on an intended push and so had to step aside in front of her, pulling her off course. I mean, really!?! (But her time was spectacular even given the slowness and the additional offcourse. Dang.)

So this is my NEW tika--worse than she was back in Championship 26", where her Q rate had held steady at about 50% with only minor faults (like one in a class) keeping us from Qing?

And then the old Tika returned for a while.

Gamblers: Out of 17 Performance dogs, she placed third--an excellent opening, in which she got 2 Aframes just fine, kept her bars up, got lots of points, and then just missed a gamble that stymied almost everyone. Only 2 dogs in her class Qed, and I believe they both had fewer opening points than she did.

Snooker: One of those 3-red 7-point-weave speed courses where everyone does exactly the same thing and there were so many people competing that a goodly number were getting the maximum 51 points. So, to guarantee being in Super-Q range, we'd have to go for the 51, although it was a real stretch for us on time and, with the heat, Tika had been slower than normal. However, by the time we ran, it had started to cool, with a bit of a breeze, and she ran absolutely like a champ, completing the 51 points with a second or two to spare. Turns out only 2 of the 15 or so dogs in her height got 51--she was a bit slower, so 2nd place. But that's my old reliable Snooker dog returning!

OK, so Boost.

I've been reporting how, in class the last 2 weeks, she has suddenly turned into a dog who can do agility! Bars stay up, no refusals or runouts, doing weaves like a true pro, and so on.

Pairs Relay: Absolutely gorgeous! Her partner knocked 2 bars, but between them, they were plenty fast enough to Q and even place in the middle of the Qing pack! Only issue was that she hit bottom on the Aframe and immediately popped off.

Standard: Oh, this one was so close it hurt! She had a just gorgeous run, did everything right, except then I overran her on an intended rear cross, and I could've SWORN she was committed to the jump when I started moving, and she stopped, and I literally almost tripped over her and she spun to see what I was doing--anyway, that was a refusal, and the only thing wrong (except that, ahem, she hit bottom on the Aframe and immediately popped off. I made her Down--her front end went down but her rear never did).

Gamblers: The New Improved Boost was still in attendance. Did GREAT in the opening, just everything I asked her to, and was SO close on the gamble--a couple of friends said that I didn't keep the pressure up, and if I had, they thought she'd have gotten it. Such a good girl. Did 2 Aframes--the first one she stuck the 2o2o, the second one she hit bottom and came off immediately, in front of where I was trying to run, so we had some discombobulation to get back on plan. So, OK, I can handle having a nonsticky Aframe issue given everything else we've worked through

And then.

Snooker. She missed her first weave entrance. Knocked the third red bar, putting me out of position for the closing. She went over the #2 in the closing sort of sideways looking at me, hit the bar but didn't knock it, and then we had a complete refusal-what-this-jump insanity at #3 and then she crashed it. Just like the old Boost.

Then, in Steeplechase, the new Boost returned briefly--long enough for me to completely forget where I was going, send her off course twice--but she did everything I asked her to perfectly, kept her bars up, etc.

Sooo... all is not lost.

Too bad neither dog Qed in Steeplechase. Boost's sisters Bette and Gina and her mom Tala all placed well and will be in the money run tomorrow. I don't remember whether sister Beck and brother Derby made it, though. Fun sometimes to have the whole family around and see how they do. Gina is doing SO well. Won Gamblers by a bunch. Won Standard by a bunch. Was I think 4th in Steeplechase. A good day for them. Finally--they had a lot of consistency problems earlier on. Maybe both sisters are "getting it" at four and a half?

I just hope that it is 20 degrees cooler tomorrow. I am not a fond of excessive heat, and I am ashamed to admit that I did not do well today. Didn't feel great. Too droopy. Every time I ate something, I felt bleahhh. All heat related, methinks. But at least my knee is still doing well, and my dogs look like they're having fun. So I guess we'll go back tomorrow anyway. It got only to 87 today (sure felt hotter than that), and tomorrow's high is predicted at 72, which is much more Prunedale-like, so I have high hopes for a lovely day.

And I hope that these tail ends of Tropical Storm Ignacio get outa town soon.

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