a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Surprises Good and Bad

Monday, October 10, 2011

Surprises Good and Bad

SUMMARY: USDAA weekend summary.

It's been 38 tries over more than 3 years since Boost last earned a Grand Prix Q. (I thought it had been only 2 years, worse than I thought.) Today, it wasn't pretty, but we got our 4th-ever GP Q. (At Boost's age, Tika already had 22--however, 18 of them were with 5 faults, back when they allowed it. Under the same rules, Boost would now have an total of 12 GP Qs.) So--that was a pleasant surprise.

Boost's Jumpers run was lovely, but had one bar down on a klutzy handling move. So close!

Boost's Standard run was, well, not lovely, but mostly very nice, and we missed a Q ONLY because she came off the side of the teeter again! Something *always* has to be broken that used to be fixed!

Boost was doing fine in Snooker until 6 in the closing where, once again, she had to keep going over jumps in front of her because I wasn't as fast as she was, and she turned back for a refusal. I really need to find the motivation to work on this.

Boost's cracked toenail didn't seem to bother her at all, all day, all 5 runs plus frisbee. That was nice.

Tika and I had TWO off courses today in 5 runs--compared to our average of about once every 23 runs the rest of this year.

Tika and I finally got all the way through a snooker course--but here's the thing: in the 16" performance class (remember, these are big dogs, like border collies etc.) out of 20 dogs, one had 49 points and one had 47 and everyone else was quite a bit lower, so I figured that our plan for 47 points would get us a placement and some top ten points. Well... dang 22" performance class, there were 7 entered, but 3 scratched (last run of the weekend, I guess), and of the remaining, the scores were 49, 47, 47, 47! And because I mishandled a couple of places, Tika had very wide turns, which knocked us into 3rd place for 0 top ten points. Sheesh.

She did well in Jumpers, placing 2nd to a former national steeplechase finalist dog who's just moved to performance.

And she did the hard part of the gamble but I anticipated a different turn than she actually made, and the result was a backjump, so no Q, and earlier handing bobbles kept our opening points low, too.

But she ran very well, pretty fast, very happily, no signs of soreness or slowing in tunnels or anything. So that was nice.

Overall: Tika 2 Qs out of 5, more Jumpers Top Ten points that we don't really need.

Boost one Q out of 5. Got all her weaves, even stayed in when I veered way off in one direction during snooker. Good start lines. Good contacts except for that one dang teeter. Good lateral lead-out pivots. And only one bar down, I think. It's still just a problem with looking for obstacles to take rather than always looking at me.

And the weather was, once again, perfect. So lucky in October! Ground was a bit goopy in places, but thank goodness the rain chose to stop on Thursday and leave us with a gorgeous, sunny, blue-sky, not-too-warm Sunday. That was very nice.


  1. Congrats, sounds like a great weekend.

  2. Sounds exhausting...we're still working out how the rest of our week will go...I'm thinking if I get an opportunity to meet with you at all it will be Friday. But it's all up in the air still. :(

  3. maybe Thursday. I don't know. We're going into SF today to do the tourist thing then I don't know what we're doing next...

  4. Don't worry about it! Would be fun to meet you, but it's your vacation, not mine, so do what you enjoy doing! Hope you get some pretty skies in SF today.