Not sure what the difference was this weekend. I’d like to think it was the payoff of hard work, understanding and dedication, but maybe there was just a dash of luck thrown in there too. Whatever the cause, the effect was one great weekend of agility with The Dog!
It was pretty much the opposite of the last CSA show in February. Like being in an alternate universe. Wait. Is this the Twilight Zone?
Our first class was rocky. She was ‘sticky-‘ slow and tentative off the start line, borderline Aframe’s, sluggish teeter and then a total blown Gamble. Big time confidence deficiency was apparent. I decided then that, although we REALLY needed a Standard Q, we also really, really needed some feel-good fun or the whole weekend would be down the tubes. So for Standard, I went in with a 'screw you accuracy and control' attitude and jazzed and cheered the whole way through. And wouldn’t you know, she actually responded amazingly? She had a very good time, listened really well and did a happy auto-drop even (the true measure of the version of The Dog I am running is found in her table performance). Near the end of the run, she gave me the best dogwalk she ever has in a show so of course I marked it with a super mega “YES” and clapped and woo-hoo’d…causing her to knock the jump after. Oops. Still glad I did it!
Because we consequently had super mega awesome dogwalks the whole rest of the weekend (Note- DW performance not true running, but paced to me). After the boost she got from Standard she was able to deliver a clean (though a bit more reserved) Grand Prix run on a crazy course. (I think the most accurate quote to summarize the crowd’s feelings about the course was “WOW… I feel like I have just been through a WAR!”-uttered by anonymous shell-shocked competitor.) Then we ended the day with a really clean Steeplechase round. I was blown away by her time; I thought for sure the two sets of weaves would result in a slower run, and was worried as to whether we had qualified or not but she ended up in 4th with the 2nd and 3rd times within 10ths of hers.
Sunday was a great day in itself. She qualified in everything, which meant a Bronze ADCh for her after Standard (with ANOTHER GREAT DOGWALK!) followed immediately by a Pairs Q with Black Dog, securing her Bronze ADCh too. (I can’t believe they finished another title on the same weekend, it’s too funny.)
|In honor of the day, we had her bronzed...|
After that high we ran the second round of Steeplechase. The Dog was doing brilliantly but had one of her rare yet spectacular altercations with a jump- she kersplatted (yes, that’s a word, no matter what spell check says!) the broad jump and it was like a NASCAR crash- no recovery possible. She went down terribly so I had to check her out to make sure her face was in one piece. She was fine other than the amount of black turf pellets she had plowed into her open mouth (she HATES anything like that in her mouth- very upsetting!)- but our run was done. Oh well! I am sure it would have been a great score! At least she was ok.
We ended on Snookers and Jumpers. The jumpers run was nice and fast, even with three big China trips (a bit high I think after Snookers). I was very happy with her time- it was right in the cluster for placement- the top 5 times were all less than half a second apart (she was 5th, and was out of 4th by .01 seconds). Her Snookers run was, I think, the best of all her runs. It was a very interesting lay out and I chose to experiment. My plan had an “out” (run around and take the backside of a jump coming in) in an unnatural place (coming down a line of jumps- the obvious thing to do was take the jump straight- very difficult setting for an “out.”), a giant run across the back of the course to send to a jump followed by a sharp weave entrance (for her), and then a run back across to the close, where the ‘2’ jump was buried amongst three other jumps. She managed all three challenges very well. I was honestly shocked that she sent to the jump across the ring so easily- she was like a little jump seeking missile! Then she nailed the weaves and, even more shocking, directed to the correct #2 jump from the long fast run in from her last color. The rest of the run was perfect and overall good enough for 2nd place (again though, just 10ths from the best time!). She is now a real joy to run in this class- it was like pulling teeth for a long time but I think she is starting to see the fun of this class. And that is the real goal!
Puppy had a good weekend too. It was her first road trip! She did really well with the travel and fair to good at the hotel (“Whaddaya MEAN we have to sleep now? We just slept 6 hours on the way hereeeee!”). She got an A+ for good behavior at the show again- nice and quiet in the crate and silent yet attentive while watching. She did some training in a new place and stayed very focused. And of course, she made a million more friends. We introduced her to her brothers Decker and Kai- Kai who is her older clone brother. She LOVED him and wishes she could have taken him home. It was so cute to see them together, though next to impossible to get pictures of the moment! If only they weren’t so identically bouncy. Really cool to see both older boys running too. Glad they are around so we can watch them evolve in person!
Clone and Clone unite!
|Dynamite and Kai in a rare moment of stillness!!|
Perpetual Motion Machines!!
|Just to show how hard picture taking is!|
But she WILL sit for food- if no one else is looking!!
|Treat please! NOW!|
She got a D- at the vet this morning though! She chomped on EVERYthing. She perforated the vet tech AND the vet. She tried to dig a hole in the exam room. She somehow climbed into a cupboard and wouldn’t come out. She stole a leash and chewed it up. Very naughty! Healthy though, and a whopping 10 pounds.
The Dog was her best ever at the vet. She felt she had to make the puppy look bad I think (not that puppy needed help there). Normally she is a terror and has been known to poop on the vet as a revenge tactic. But this time she let them do whatever- though she was tenser than a steel girder. She was standing on the tips of her extended claws and was more immobile than any statue I have ever seen. The vet couldn’t believe she was able to hold that pose the whole exam- I explained that we do a lot of conditioning. Hahaha!
My dogs are weird. They are very exhausting. I always get the feeling the vet and vet techs are a bit relieved when they see us leave.