Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Fun Match

Leo got to run in his first fun match today. I wasn't sure when we went to bed last night that he would get to run. The weather was pretty horrendous yesterday and the fun match was being held outdoors in the park. I'm not too keen on running the dogs in the sopping rain even though the grass tends to hold up fairly well. A club we belong to was hosting it, the JAG Agility Group.

We arrived right about 7:30 and needed to unload the trailer, set up the fencing for the ring, then set up the first course. Jim had designed four each Standard and Jumpers courses. I think most of us (in the club) were under the impression that we would have just two each. That said, things ran a bit longer than I would have expected. Standard was run small to tall and Leo was the very first dog. I had just taken him out of the truck, let him potty, and pretty much went straight in the ring.

He ran so fast! He held his start line. He moved fluidly. He was focused solely on the course and tuned into me. It was incredible! His very first "real" run ever where he was also running outdoors and he completely rocked! I couldn't have been prouder of him. He even took the teeter with just the slightest halt when it tipped. Here's the course; I did skip the weaves though since we have not worked them enough to fuss with it. He's really only worked on spread weaves with gates around them. I wanted the entire experience to be positive.
We actually ran the course twice. After our run the jump heights went up, then we reversed back down to 8. By then Leo had warmed up a bit so he didn't run quite as fast. He also got nervous on the dog walk. Not sure what that was about. He all of a sudden started going slowly and then stopped. He kept looking straight down at the ground and finally sat. I couldn't convince him to keep going so moved him to the ramp and ran with it. I didn't even worry about his contacts; he was safe but I didn't require his full stop, four-on performance. Then we had a bit of issue on the teeter. He ran it well but he slowed down and wasn't going to move ahead. I had to readjust him a bit back to where the board tipped and we finished fine. Again we skipped the weaves. Still though, he ran well, had fun, handled a front cross between 4 and 5 and a blind cross  at the #8 tunnel on both runs. He took the tire, not the spacing around it, and quite simply, out performed my expectations.

He then had a bit of a break in his crate while Vegas got to come out and play. We were getting kind of late by then and I needed to get out of there to run an errand. Leo did get a chance at to run the Jumpers course, too. This one we only ran once. Fortunately there was nothing he couldn't do and had the run been in a real trial, he surely would have qualified. He ran well again and it was really exciting. He took the double and triple as if he'd done them regularly. In fact, I just introduced a double to him on Tuesday. Go Leo! So proud of my little boy. In fact, I think I'm going to move his debut up and run him at the CPE trial the third weekend in June. They still have runs left and since level 1 doesn't have the teeter or weaves, we should be totally fine. I'm really excited to see what the future holds for my boy!

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