a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Not The Way I Expected Things To Go

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not The Way I Expected Things To Go

SUMMARY: USDAA weekend results, plus The Campaign and Top Ten updates.

Wellllll I knew it would be an--er--interesting weekend when Saturday's first two runs started off with Boost getting two Qs and Tika none.

Tika ended up with only 3 Qs for the whole weekend of 11 Qable classes, although she won both rounds of Steeplechase, won both Gamblers (although only one was  a Q), won Snooker.  Admittedly, the courses were very hard this weekend, with very low Q rates, but we mostly lost Qs in stupid ways (leaving the table early, called on the dogwalk up contact, things like that). She ran nicely in Pairs on Saturday but her partner Eed; she Eed in Sunday Pairs on a stupid handling move--she did exactly what I asked her to right after we finished what I considered to be the hard part of the run. Just a comedy of errors. 

We were back to having our usual Very High Gamblers Opening Points; on Saturday, that got us the win even though we didn't Q (because almost no one did); on Sunday, that also got us the win (only 2 dogs in our class got the gamble, but also she had 3rd highest points of all dogs at the trial).

I am starting to worry about bars, though--she had 3 or 4 down this weekend, which is nothing compared to, say, Boost, but quite a few more than she's been pulling in Performance. Something to watch, I guess.

Boost also ended with 3 Qs, and floored me by finishing in the top 3 in TWO classes: 2nd in Standard on Saturday (OK, there were only 3 Qs in her whole class of 22 dogs, but her time was really nice, too), and 3rd in Gamblers on Sunday (again, only about 5 of 27 Qed, but she still had about the 4th highest opening points of all dogs at the trial--would've been higher if she hadn't run past the last jump and tire before the gamble). Happy Human Mom.

She missed one weave entry, which I hope is not the first step descending back into "i don't know how to weave", but her other weaves--what few we did--were nice.

She left more than one contact early, so I used our last gamblers of the weekend to hold her for a long time on 3 contacts and she did that nicely. (And still had 4th highest opening points, with that and running past obstacles. If only...   well, ok, don't go there.)

Sadly, we had meltdowns (defined as multiple incidents of bars down, refusals, runouts, etc.) in one Pairs, one Jumpers, and Steeplechase. Nicely, one Jumpers was pretty darned smooth in the handling and running, except 2 bars came down.

My goals and results on The Campaign and Top Ten:
  • Tika Platinum Tournament:
    Weekend goal:
    Finish the one non-team Q she needs.
    Accomplished (Steeplechase). Now on to December to finish (I hope) that last team Q.
  • Tika Platinum LAA:
    Weekend goal: Earn Qs at [at least] the 60% rate she's been earning them since we moved to performance almost 2 years ago.  That should've been 6 or 7 Qs out of 11 possible.
    Results: Jeez, 3 Qs, a paltry 27%.
  • Tika PDCH-Gold:
    Weekend goal: Well, with our 60% expected Q rate, we should've been able to knock off 5 or 6 of these.
    Results: We got two. (Gamblers and Snooker.)
  • Boost ADCH:
    Weekend goal: Well, trying not to be greedy and hope for two Jumpers Qs AND a Snooker Super-Q, but one of the three would be nice.
    Results: Zilch. Not surprising, really, but discouraging.
  • Boost ADCH-Bronze:
    Weekend goal: Other than needing the ADCH and a slew more Jumpers, she also needs 3 Gamblers.
    Results: Got one of those Gamblers.
  • Tika Top Ten Standard [not officially in The Campaign]:
    Weekend goal: Want to get  "a few more"  points to keep us in the top 10. A 1st place either day would've gotten us 5 each; 2nd place 3 each; 3rd place 1 each.
    Result: One pathetic 3rd place, and it wasn't even a Q. But I'll take the 1 point.
  • Tika Top Ten Snooker [not officially in The Campaign]:
    Weekend goal: As I had observed earlier, our only chance in Heckaroonies to make it into the Top Ten this year is to win this weekend's one Snooker AND the December Snooker, and even so, that probably won't be enough. So actually I abandoned this as a goal. Our Q rate was so low on Saturday that I just wanted to pick something very easy and flowy and not even care if we placed, just get the Q. Not only was it a low-point run, but we also knocked a bar on one of the obstacles, making our score even lower. 
    Results: Oddly enough, we won anyway, for 5 Top Ten points. This could just be giving me false hope that we could do it again in December, because based on our history this year and the expected competitors, that's still very unlikely. But maybe...
  • Tika Top Ten Gamblers [not official etc.]:
    Weekend goal: None; we have plenty of points for this year.
    Results: Well, we won *both* gamblers, for 10 more points--and one of them we didn't even Q. That moves us up from 3rd on the list to a very solid 2nd place. In other words, just bragging points.
I've updated the tracking page for The Campaign  and for Tika's Top Ten.


  1. Well that IS confusing isn't it!

  2. Wow, sounds like a good weekend to me. Well, not the dropped bars but still lots of Q's

  3. Who would have thunk a merle girl trial could start out that way! Must have thrown you for a loop.

    Love the new photo in the blog header!

  4. Yeah, it was a bit of a stunner, and also the way it kept going like that. Somehow every time I set an agility goal it backfires on me. I should learn my lesson and have no agility goals. Gah.

    Thanks; I need to learn to shoot photos that are reaaaaalllly wide in the background so it's easy to add them to the header.