a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Win Some, Lose Some, Come In The Middle Some

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Win Some, Lose Some, Come In The Middle Some

SUMMARY: Saturday at agility.

Well, at least we got the Jumpers and Snookers out of the way first thing in the morning so I didn't fret about them all day.

Boost had really gorgeous Jumpers run with an excellent time--no refusals, no runouts or hesitations--but sadly, 2 bars down.

Tika had a nice but not superfast Jumpers run and knocked the third to the last bar, dangit.

Boost's Snooker opening was a bit of a mess--knocked one of the red bars after a refusal, so we didn't get a SuperQ, but her closing sequence was really nice (9 obstacles) and at least it was a Q.

Tika's Snooker--I picked a really simple, low-scoring one that she had to get all the way through the 7 in the closing to Q, and I took my eyes of her on the #7, which was a 3-jump serpentine, and she cut behind me--fortunately did not take an off-course obstacle and so we were able to go back and complete it for a Q. Another one down, phew! Only two to go for Gold PDCH.

Boost's Standard run was really nice, too, except, yes, a bar down.

Tika's Standard run was nice but quite slow in places--I really see her slowing down to see what I'm doing when I'm behind her, and she was slow in tunnels today--but she did Q.

Tika wasn't entered in Gamblers. Boost I thought was having problems with her rear legs and I pulled her out of gamblers. :-( Turns out it wassssss... I have no idea. But she seems to be fine.

In Steeplechase, Tika was clean for a Q, so we can run tomorrow for the money. Boost's Steeplechase was actually pretty nice except for a bar down and then I took my eyes off her and she cut behind me--fortunately did not take an off-course obstacle and so we were able to go back and complete it (jeez, does that sound familiar?) but with both the bar and the wasted time, we did not Q.

Tika wasn't entered in Pairs Relay. Boost ran beautifully, but her partner had an offcourse.

So: Tika 3/4 Qs, no placements, one bar down, one cut behind.

Boost 1/6 Qs, no placements. 5 bars down, all contacts good except left one teeter early, 4/4 perfect sets of weaves, two refusals on jumps but only in the Snooker opening where they just waste time, and one cut behind.

Tomorrow, we go back and get another shot at Snooker, Standard, and Jumpers, and throw in Steeplechase round 2 for Tika, another Gamblers for Boost, and Grand Prix for both.

The most fun part of the day was watching all the 10-year-old-or-older dogs do their four-obstacle runs with a little story about each of them. There were a LOT of dogs entered in that--many of whom are still competing, but quite a few whom we haven't seen in a while but still mostly look really good for "old" dogs.

Here they all are, listed mostly in order of increasing age, from just barely 10 up to 17. It's amazing how many had multiple championships, high-level lifetime achievements, Top Ten appearances, and so many other accomplishments, yet the recurring theme in what people had to say about their dogs was how the dogs changed their lives and thanking the dogs for putting up with their humans' hobbies and foibles.

Here's Stormy the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, making silly happy faces for the camera. Retired early due to leg issues.

Wonderful Kelly the mixed breed, whose USDAA achievements are all platinum. She retired a year or so ago.

Surely the Aussie, the only one who really dressed for the occasion. I believe she's now recently retired, too.
The event is also in honor of SMART's 10th anniversary, so Rob Michalski, the club's original president, said a few short words.

His wife, Derede, still a powerhouse behind the club, read a short, funny, and sweet agility parody of Visit from Saint Nicholas.
Some of the older dogs waiting their turns to run.

A few other older dogs, with Carlene and Brenn (still competing) in front.

They gave each dog a lovely folder with a certificate listing their lifetime achievements of any ilk, and they took photos. Tomorrow we'll get the photos to insert into the other side.

Tika adores hers, of course.

I and a friend also used my tiny camera in its video mode to get shaky, incomplete videos of several of the dogs' runs. They're uploading to youtube; will have to add a link, probably tomorrow evening.

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEB8134AAB0512984&feature=edit_ok

Hug your dogs--these dogs all seemed like they were pups just yesterday!


  1. Aww, love the older dog celebration. I imagine there may have been a few sentimental tears shed? I'm such a sucker for things like that...

    1. Some people were shedding tears; I was trying to manage an impatient dog and the camera and pay attention to when I was supposed to go in. Also, each of the runs and the comments were less than 30 seconds, so it seemed like there was hardly any time at all to get sentimental. It was cool to see some old agility dogs (and friends) who haven't competed in a while.