a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Saturday at Agility On The Green

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday at Agility On The Green

SUMMARY: Some Qs but not the ones I wanted. But a blue ribbon!

We started the day with Snooker:
  • Boost skipped a weave pole in the opening, giving us 0 instead of 7 points, so we wouldn't have gotten the super-Q anyway, but to make absolutely sure, she ran past #2 jump in the closing.
  • Tika, after the 2nd obstacle, I needed to pull her past an offcourse obstacle and she didn't pull.
 Soooo 0 for 4 in a row with Snooker. Gads.

Tika looked happy and healthy today on course, at least. The rest of Tika's day had its moments--both bad and good--
  • Steeplechase: Qualified (4th of 4 qualifiers, 10 (?) dogs in the class). But quite a bit slower than the fastest dogs.
  • Standard: After another one of those really long stands on the table before going down, I rear crossed the weaves, badly, apparently, because she turned out of them to see what I was doing. Tried to spin her around and restart and she went in and out again, so we left the course.
  • Pairs: She had a very nice run but unfortunately our teammate had an offcourse, so no Q there.
  • Jumpers: A couple of wide, slow turns as she figured out what I wanted her to do--I think that's my timing as much as anything. She Qed--but all the Qing dogs in our class I think were between about 28 and 30 seconds and she was at the slow end of that. So not bad, but not in Top Ten Point range.
So I'm happy to come away with 2 Qs, but of course  one always wants more when one is contemplating a dog's possible coming retirement.

Boost spent the day taunting me with ALLLLLLmosts--another one of those sets of classes where everyone says, "But she looks really good and ran really nicely" and yet we still had only one Q to show for it:
  • Steeplechase: Pretty fast and smooth. Even though I held her contacts on both passes over the Aframe, she was within 4 seconds of the fastest dog. Unfortunately, knocked 2 bars.
  • Standard: Pretty fast and smooth, did a nice down on the table. BUT knocked a bar and then popped out of the weaves one pole early when I started fading towards the next obstacle.
  • Gamblers: Really nice opening--she turned the wrong way out of one tunnel which cost us the time to get the highest opening of anyone at the trial, but she ended up with 25 opening pts and the highest achieved by a few dogs was 26. Unfortunately, did not get the gamble--Tunnel Suck took her after the 3rd obstacle.
  • Jumpers: The dog right before us ran past jump #4 on the outside--a hard pull was needed. I commented to Boost, "That's exactly the sort of thing that you would do right there, so we are going to make sure that you don't."  Of course--she did anyway. It really hurt because the rest of the run was gorgeous, no bars down, no refusals, nice turns. 
  • Pairs: Fast and pretty accurate, nice tight turns. Knocked a bar, which I thought would keep us from placing. Teamed with her littermate Gina from southern California who's up for the weekend, and Gina is an amazing dog with an amazing running dogwalk and a talented handler, and between us and a really fast baton hand-off, we had the fastest time of all teams. In addition, everyone else had at least one error on the course, and -- so -- even with the bar down,  out of 31 pairs, we won!  She has only ever won two other Masters-level classes, so this was nice, and doing it with a littermate was fun.

Gina has gotten so much darker since she's had her two litters of puppies. I think she was always a little darker than Boost, but now she's really quite a dark merle. Interesting.

So, tomorrow, a bit more of the same. We have to be there early for Tika's Round 2 Steeplechase and hope that we can win a few dollars out of that. Then 4 other classes in 2 rings, so I'm hoping we'll be done by midafternoon.

Left the trial site around 6--I was actually done a little earlier but schmoozed just a little before leaving--had to get gasoline, groceries, and money from the bank. Home, had a light dinner of crackers and hummus, typed this up, and, wow, it's 9:00 already and time for bed.

(PS I have to note that one fast team ran clean and might have knocked us out of our 1st place, but there was a timer malfunction of some sort and they elected to just take standard course time.)

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