Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leo Was a Superstar

Quick and dirty - two weekends ago we had a CPE trial hosted by our home club, Columbia Agility Team. Leo was entered in Level 2 Enthusiast (jumping 4") for 10 runs over the course of the weekend, five each day. He was thrilled. Because the trial ran three rings at a time in the same building and we were crated at one end, plus I was running Vegas, there wasn't anything in the way of video.

Results: 21.05 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q
Results: 52.92 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q
Results: 30.66 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q
Results: Leo did the teeter! For the first time EVER in competition. :) Whooohooo! It's a wonder I didn't scoop him right up then and there and not finish the run for the excitement this wrought. Go Leo! 62.28 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q!
Results: 25.03 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q

Five for five for the day! So proud of my little fluffer. 
Results: 48.28 seconds, 0 faults, 40 points, 1st place, Q
Results: 44.61 seconds, 1st place, Q
Results: 40.69 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q
Results: 47.40 seconds - ANOTHER TEETER - 0 faults, 1st place, Q! This time he barely hesitated, the teeter tipped, and away we went. No lost time or anything! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Lori Sage for your awesome teeters - I still owe you "Leo approved" stickers. :)
Results: 26.60 seconds, 0 faults, 1st place, Q. 

Leo ran 10 for 10 for the weekend. I was on top of the world. He was running for all he was worth. He was having a ball, happy, having fun, and thrilled to be playing the game. An awesome weekend. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sunny Saturday

Our warmest day of the year so far. A glorious, gorgeous day. Juicy and I went to the CAT barn first thing to attend a Control Unleashed seminar. Sadly, wires must have gotten crossed and I arrived to find out the class was full and I had not been listed as a working participant. Sooooo, Juicy had to go hang in the truck while I audited. But, I did take away some key ideas. Namely, I need to work on her focus first using mat behavior. I'll summarize my notes better later but the session resulted in me stopping and picking up a mat for her.
Afterward Juicy went along for her first trip to downtown Portland for the Saturday Market. I'm glad to report she handled it very well. She did have to be carried about half the time because, with the weather so gorgeous, everyone and their brother (and sister and uncles) were out and it was just too crowded to navigate with her and avoid her being hurt. She, of course, was a crowd hit especially along with Vegas. The two of them were treated to Reba's Gourmet Dog Cookies and tons of pets and loves. On the way home we stopped by Petsmart to pick up cat food and they were spoiled some more. She's resting quietly now, tired after her day of new adventures.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CRAC AKC Agility - Better late than never

Well, poor Leo got shafted this time. I'm a week and a half late with his trial update. What can I say? Life's been busy. And stressful. And busy. 'nuf said.

Two weekends ago (March 31-April 1) we were at the Columbia River Agility Club's AKC trial at the Linn County Fairgrounds. It was a dog show weekend, too, so things tend to get a little hectic. It was also the weekend of the AKC Nationals in Reno, Nevada, so a small trial entry. We still had to deal with the usual potential conflicts, though, what with me running a tiny (Leo) and less experienced dog along with a giant, experienced dog (Vegas). But, all in all it was a good weekend. The quick and dirty of it is: we didn't have perfect runs or the success I expected. However, the most important part was having a happy, fast dog and as a bonus, he nailed his weaves on both runs.

Oh, and the buggaboo was, I entered Leo in Standard and JWW both days. I must have thought we would have "dealt" with his teeter issue by then. Guess I had an optimistic day when I filled out the premium? Yeah, so at least I went into that run with no expectations of a Q.

My plan on this run was to either front cross after 2 or rear cross 4, front or rear between 7/8, and front cross after 11.
I either don't have video for this run or still need to process it so may post those later. Ultimately this was a fantastic run but for one error. I believe it was after 6 Leo just committed himself to taking the back side of 11/15 and no amount of calling him off could get him back. Other than that it was perfect. He ran like a champ. But NQ for the wrong course. The only thing we can have in Open is a single refusal. Oh well. We were to have another chance on Sunday.

Standard.... Well, if you take the teeter out of the equation, it was all possibly good. Unfortunately Leo started the teeter, wouldn't complete it, and I had to signal him off. He also missed the tire (which he does in practice sometimes, too, although there he just jumps the wrong part of the opening; here he bypassed the tire entirely). All in all, a fun run with him. I wish we had the teeter down. He's moving so fast and confidently now.
Okay okay okay, so I really wanted the JWW leg. CRAC has really great new title ribbons. They're light blue and silver with sparkly stuff in the silver. Very chic. And just one more leg on a title he already earned jumping at 8". Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Here's our course from Sunday. My plan was to work from the right at the start knowing he acts like he has no clue what weaves are from the "off side." From there I walked it and debated and walked and debated some more. I wasn't sure if a front cross after the weaves was my best option or if I should just run out with him and rear cross 3. I decided to rear 3 and avoid a front cross that would just slow him down. From there I could stay the course on the left side of the obstacles up to the tunnel. Then I was pretty good until 14/15 where I planned to front cross.
Here's where the irony came into play. We had the same thing happen again. Leo "committed" himself to an obstacle not correct in the sequence and nothing I did/said could call him off. Soooo, we had another off course in this run, too. At that point I literally stopped and hesitated long enough to think through whether I would scratch the run or not. I was so disheartened. I went ahead and finished it and our time was just about two seconds under SCT. I guess I must have burned several this judge wheeled her courses fairly tight. So NQ.

EXCEPT - when we had loaded up the truck and whatnot, I came back in to get Vegas' ribbons and check final scores and placements. Somehow Leo was marked down as a Q for JWW. OBVIOUSLY a scribe entered our off course as a refusal because I know he didn't run it properly. We have video, too, I think, but again, it's MIA right now. And someone talked with me later and said it was me moving backward that queued him to an off course, not something he chose to do. So darnit and whoa all at the same time. Except I don't like when the agility gods giveth and I know I didn't earn it. If it's questionable like Vegas' long-strided contacts, I'll be thankful. But for something I know was wrong? It bothers me. So, for that reason, while I took the ribbon for the title and accept that it'll be logged in as it is, I am not moving him up in our next AKC trial. I want to "really" get that Q so I can feel confident about it. And then we'll be onto Excellent! So proud of my little man. His weaves are confident, enthusiastic, and fast. He is quick, responsive, and so very, very happy. Four inches is "just right" for him and I'm having a blast even if we never get to do Standard because of the teeter.