SUMMARY: Pretty much for my own recollections.
TikaTika started Saturday by scaring me about her physical comfort. Going over a practice jump, she looked more like she was catching herself than extending. Part of our warmup involves the "hug", which is really her putting her front paws on my chest and stretching her front legs way out; well, she wouldn't stretch them way out.
I ran her in the first class and, indeed, she continued looking like she was doing jumps cautiously, but at the end she dove in and grabbed at my feet, which is a good indicator that she's happy and excited and eager to run some more.
I had started her on rimadyl on Friday "just in case," so continued that through the weekend; did my feeble best at massage and manipulation of the joints. She seemed a bit more stretchy on Sunday. But she also seemed slow to me all weekend.
- first Standard: A decent run. Not fast. Placed 3rd of 8 dogs, 5 seconds behind the winner, which is a lot in any venue.
- Second Standard: Also a decent run, except for a knocked bar when I raced for, then abruptly abandoned, an intended front cross. So, no Q--and our only NQ for the weekend. 6 seconds slower than the winner.
- Snooker: I picked a course for Qability rather than for glory, and she did it very nicely, but again only 3rd place of 9 dogs because we did two 6s and a 7, one dog did two 7s and a six, and one dog did three 7s. There was ample time to attempt any of those options, and the paths were fairly simple to do it--but I opted for the simplest of the simple.
- Full House: This was supposed to be our glory moment of highest points in trial (remember the awards in My Own Mind). But I sent her to a tunnel, she pulled off it and ran past it and towards me, and I decided it was easier to take her back and pick that up than to reinvent my course on the fly. As a result of that and possibly reduced speed, she was in a 3-pt tunnel when the whistle blew, so no credit, and we didn't have time for the last 5-pointer in my plan. Result, a Q but not top points--5 of the other 99 dogs entered earned higher points (one a small dog with 5 more seconds of point-accumulation time), and dagnabbit 4 of them were in our exact class! So we didn't even place! (Among all 99 dogs, Tika had 47, along with 3 other dogs; two had 48; Boost had 50, and two had 51.)
- Wildcard: A decent run, far from the fastest of all dogs that ran it, but in our group, 2nd place by only .06 of a second. Dang hundredths! :-)
- 1st Standard: Tika turned back before both sets of weave poles. This is one of those things that I classify as "Tika never does that" that have been cropping up more lately. It didn't look like she didn't want to do them; she had her excited face on. Vision? Hearing? My other thought is that maybe she's just enough slower that the way I handle (possibly sloppy) now looks different to her? Anyway, it wouldn't have been a Q in USDAA, but it was in CPE (which has no refusals). And actually a 2nd place of 8 dogs, although 11 seconds behind the winning dog with those detours to get back to the weave entries. Apparently others had a lot more trouble than we did.
- 2nd Standard: Another decent but not super-fast run, again 2nd of 10 dogs and this time only 3 seconds behind the winning dog. (Oh--the winning dog in all 4 standards--our old friend Chaps the Wonder Aussie.)
- Gamblers (aka Jackpot): This particular gamble was another chance to be The Highest Scoring Dog In The World. But...she knocked the first bar she took, so minus one point. In the gamble, I sent her to a tunnel and she turned back to me (something else she's been doing a lot lately). She did take it eventually (in USDAA, that would not have been a Q, but again no refusals in CPE). But later in the course I thought I sent her to another tunnel and she ran past it, so between the wasted time and the missed tunnel (3 points), I opted not to take my final optional 5-point obstacle, so 8 pts lower than I had expected, at 67. Out of about 100 dogs who did the same course, 9 had higher points (three of them small dogs with 7 more seconds of time), and dagnabbit 4 of them were in our exact class, so again not even a placement. (I would've loved to try Boost in this class, but alas, I entered her in other things.)
- Wildcard: A perfectly respectable run over 12 obstacles, but only 4th place. Different from the years of having fastest time of all dogs...
- Jumpers: A perfectly respectable run, in which I lamented how slow she seemed. But turns out to be the only class she won all weekend, 1st of 8 dogs; of the 66 dogs who ran this course, only two were faster-- two small, fast shelties whom I dare say had better turning radii on this twisty course.
- 1st Standard: Refused a jump on a rear cross. Refused another jump on a rear cross. Didn't go into a tunnel that I thought I was sending her to. We fixed all those problems (remember no refusals in CPE.) Then I forgot where I was going and had to make her down while I thought about it. Of all silly things, we Qed AND placed 2nd of 10 dogs. Go figure.
- 2nd Standard: A pretty nice run with I think one bobble but I didn't write it down, so it's gone from my head. Q and 1st of 10 dogs.
- Snooker: As with Tika, I used the same simple-to-handle opening of 7-6-6, but she knocked the red before the last 6 (one of only two knocked for the weekend) and I substituted a 2 for the last 6. A Q and, in her particular group, still a 1st place among 7 dogs.
- Full House: Another failed Top Points Of All Time when she made a wrong entry into the weaves and I went back to pick it up, so with the wasted time we JUST BARELY missed getting our final 5-point obstacle, so she ended with 50 points--two dogs out of the 99 competing earned 51, and one was in her group, so a 2nd place.
- Wildcard: A very nice run with a Q and a 1st.
- 1st Standard: A faulting disaster, although no refusals: Popped out of hte weaves when I rear crossed (5 faults); couldn't get a grip when racing up the dogwalk and slipped off the up-ramp (15 faults); knocked the last bar when I slowed down. One of only (I think) 2 bars that she knocked all weekend. One of only two NQs for the weekend.
- 2nd Standard: Ran past weaves that were right in front of her and right next to me. Really. How do I convey this? Then on a long, lightly arcing series of 4 jumps where I tried to get a head start but fell behind and was running at the last one yelling go hup, she turned back to me and we had to stop and get her to go over it. She also did her teeter touch off the side instead of the front, and when I said "touch" again, she left the teeter instead, so I made her down briefly. But, technically, no faults, so a Q and, ahem, with her speed, another 1st place.
- Wildcard: A couple of reallllly wide turns and a hold on the Aframe contact but still half a second faster than Tika who had pretty tight turns and no Aframe hold. A Q and 1st place.
- Jumpers: Why did I enter jumpers when I had a choice? I could've entered Gamblers! My thought at the time was "we need practice doing Jumpers" and, sure enough, we did. In a loop of jumps making a 270, she didn't come in to the 3rd jump; ran past it full speed while looking at me. I reviewed the video and I didn't have my shoulders turned, although I did do my abrupt decel which I thought should've done it.
The next sequence was tricky and I didn't think I could get her through it without being in position, so I walked her back to the jump she missed, put her in a down before the jump, walked back into position-- and she ran AROUND the jump! So I walked her back, put her into a down again, walked back into position--everything before and after that was spot on, but in Jumpers, even her speed couldn't accommodate that much delay, 5 seconds over time. Oh, hmm, and we had another 5-point fault that I don't remember. Maybe she had a bar down that I didn't notice, or maybe I got called for all that resetting my dog? No idea, didn't notice it at the time. That was only our 2nd NQ of the weekend.
- Colors: We're way behind on Colors, so we need all the Qs we can get. Our choices were a course with 4 more jumps or a course with an Aframe and weaves. To no one's surprise, i took the course without those extra jumps. So our time was slower than those who were just doing jumps or had running contacts. Still, she was spot on perfect, felt nice, a good way to end the day with a Q and another 1st place in her group.
- 20 runs, 17 Qs, seven 1sts (one Tika's), five 2nds, three 3rds, one 4th, out of 5 to 10 dogs (avg 8 per class).
- Tika, 2 bars, 2 turn backs before weaves, 3 turn backs before tunnels, no missed contacts (although none were actual touch/stops, but none were really creeps-to-the-end, either), one start line where she got up and went sniffing around in the dirt for food but thank goodness didn't go over the start line, no off courses.
- Boost, 2 bars, half a dozen runouts or refusals for various reasons, two missed weave entries, one weave pop on a rear cross, two teeters did contact off the side instead of end, one of those left early but no other early departures from contacts, no start-line issues, no off courses.
- Handler: Forgot the course once, only two or three really egregious handling errors (without watching videos), didn't lose my good attitude, yelled "no!" once on course when Boost went around that jump for the second time in Jumpers (more in stunned disbelief than anything).