a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Weather Was Lovely Today

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weather Was Lovely Today

SUMMARY: USDAA trial Saturday.
Score table was chaotic. Don't know why it felt so much more that way. I had a new person on the score table--I'm loving this getting more people interested in scoring & volunteering for it--and she's working out really well and I love her attitude, but there are so many little bits and pieces for each class that you just don't know until someone explains it, and I was running two dogs and, well, I dunno, we were behind most of the day and so I never got a chance to write down my results.

Scribbled some notes on course maps and glanced at some of the results, but that's it.

So here's what I know:

Human Mom having trouble really running; legs seem so heavy. But knee and hips are feeling pretty good, thank goodness! As usual, vowing to get back to doing a little more running other than just at trials and in class, and as usual I think I'll probably end up not doing it. We'll see--

Tika was slow again, like 2 weeks ago. In so many ways. Tiptoeing through the Tunnels--I'd be standing there waiting for her to come out. Weaves pokey and kind of awkward-looking. Wouldn't go down on the table in standard for the longest time, and then slowly. In steeplechase Round 2, STOPPED halfway down the Aframe and just stood there. Never never never has she done that. And, just, I was waiting for her so often. She definitely had fast bits, but it's not the Tika I'm familiar with.

Worried about all the things it could be. Something's sore? Muscles tightened up (she got a good massage from Pawssage at the end of the day and LOVED it)? I'm also wondering, vision or hearing issues? (With Jake, I started having weird results on course that I was able to finally attribute to one or the other or both.) And trying not to be scared that it's something else more evil.

She runs full out when I throw a toy, so if it's painful, it's not in a way that affects that.

She has been more reluctant to jump up into her crate in MUTT MVR for a while. I attributed that to work that was done on it a year or so ago and they did something on the bumper so it was slippery, and she slipped a couple of times jumping up to it, but it hasn't been like that in a while. Has not always jumped up immediately onto the bed at night.

Anyway, I need to look into maybe a ramp for the van and setting up "steps" onto the bed (like I did for Jake--took him a few times to figure out that he was supposed to use them instead of jumping on & off, and after that he just always did so without further prompting from me).

Tika Qed in Standard, but the slooooowwww table down dropped us (I think) to at least 3rd place.

She Qed in Snooker but the slow tunnels killed us--I did 3 of the same C-shaped one and she was very slow all 3 times and we were one jump away from finishing when the whistle blew, so dropped to 3rd instead of 1st. I really wanted those top ten points to try to at least show up on the Top 25 list, but it was not to be.

Slow in Gamblers--so again, on the UP side of the teeter when the first whistle blew so didn't get the points, which dropped us from 1st to I dunno, lower; she did, as usual, get the gamble like an old pro.

Her Jumpers wasn't all that fast, and maybe I was thinking more about that than about the course when I sent her into the wrong end of the tunnel. Judge had to explain why he blew the whistle.

Steeplechase she was clean and Qed in Round 1, but was far behind the 1st-place dog; in Round 2, placed 3rd mostly because a couple of the higher-ranked dogs scratched and one E-ed. Wow, another $8!

And Boost--missing weave pole entries like they're poison, plus bars, refusals, and runouts. I'm not seeing any improvements there.

We had 6 sets of weaves today and she ran past the entry on 5 of them. And I was making sure she had a good line! It's like she's back at square one again, like she just doesn't understand that she has to go IN THE FIRST POLE.

So much for intense weave pole practice at home. I'd been working with 6 poles because I didn't want to overdo the stress, but I've always thought that she has more problems entering 12 than 6, so maybe it's time for a week or 2 of intense 12-pole practice. Sighhhhhhh.

Gamblers: Missed weave entry in opening, so didn't get all the points I'd planned so can't even brag about high opneing points; in closing didn't send out.

Jumpers: I was late on a front cross between 3 and 4 and she went off course, followed by a couple of knocked bars, refusals, and runouts in the next half dozen obstacles, so I left the course.

Standard: Missed weave entry. In a sequence where I couldn't keep up with her, she turned back to me instead of TAKING THE JUMP IN FRONT OF HER. Some bobbles. At the end, I abandoned the real course with the goal of having a nice jump-jump CORRECT finish, but she ran past the jump instead, ARGH!

Snooker: I was not having a good handler day; forgot to walk Snooker, invented a course from the sidelines, and Boost started out nicely but I got whistled off because a jump that I thought was a "red jump" wasn't; it was just a jump that happened to be red, doh, I could kick myself.

Steeplechase: In Round 1, Ran past weave entry, turned back to me instead of taking a jump in front of her, but miraculously we Qed. Then I forgot that she Qed (she barely squeaked in) because it hadn't been a lovely run, so I walked Round 2 for Tika but not for Boost and didn't really have a good idea how to handle it with her. Well, didn't matter, she missed the dang weave entries again. One was my fault but not the other one. Plus, yeah, NOT TAKING THE JUMP IN FRONT OF HER.

Anyway, it was a fine day weatherwise, a bit breezy but not unbearably so, sunny after the morning fog burned off. Good people all around me. But not my most favorite day agility-wise with either dog.

Again trying to convince myself that I should just not enter boost in any more USDAA trials if I'm not going to work harder to fix things, but then I think, "what will I do with her all day if I'm running Tika?", and then after the last couple of weekends with this slowness, I'm thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't be running Tika," and then I'm heading towards the depressing thought that that would be the end of my agility career.

So, on that cheery note--dogs came home, had dinner, CRASHED. OUT. BIG. TIME. Neither one has moved as much as a whisker in the last hour. And I'm ready to do the same and then try again tomorrow to have a better day.


  1. as I read about Tika I wondered about her vision before I even got the the point where you wondered about it - I'm quite positive Brody's vision is going and tunnel speed is my biggest indicator to date - his eyes just aren't adjusting to changed light ...

    wondering if worrying about Tika is affecting your runs with Boost too :(

    Hang in there!!

  2. Everything is probably interrelated somehow. Posting about Sunday soon.

  3. ok that's just weird - the tunnel thing :(
    I'd get her eyes checked ...

    and MEGA HUGE congrats on the super QQ!! YAY Boost - that's why we all keep at it isn't it? sometimes it just works so so well:)