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.

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