Sunday, February 10, 2008

Agility weekend from Hell

Okay, so it wasn't that bad. Really, it wasn't. The weekend started off with Me taking the two dogs for day 1 of showing. Now, usually, on day one, course one, Boo is sooooo excited to be running again, that I have a hard time winding him down enough to focus. Especially if they start with the 24" dogs. As luck would have it, they started with 20" dogs, so I got to wind Boo down, and then walk the course. Usually, this doesn't do much for us, but hey, it's the best I can hope for.

So, after walking the course, I was feeling pretty confident. Okay, cocky really- it had lots of tunnel off-courses, which we've been working VERY hard on, because he tends to have tunnel suck. (For those who believe in such things!) The hardes part was actually coming out of a serpentine into the tunnel- if done right, it's a straight line. However, when you handle it like I did- it sends them right into the wrong end of the tunnel! I think Boo was the only dog to take that *particular* off course options. Then, I tried left sided weaves with him, crossing in front of the tunnel- I handled it very poorly, and he entered in between pole 2 and 3. (Of course, our run was already over thanks to my weak turn to the tunnel.

With Kyra, I gave her a hard "left" from 7 to 8, that was actually more dramatic than appears on the map- it was more of a 45 degree angle. Anyway, she went left- WAY left- and did a full 180, and refused jump #8- not sure why I did it, because it wasn't necessary- the rear cross was plenty to pull her off. I also realized the that right sided weaves would not be as big a deal as I thought, so instead of crossing, I stayed where I was and got a much cleaner entrance to the weaves. Since our run was already busted, I took the chance to (judges, close your ears)- *train* in the ring, and try something I wouldn't normally do, and I did a rear cross at the weaves- the little devil never batted an eye! She nailed the entry, and finished ALL of her weaves! What a good girl!

I copied the course for your perusal- I had to re-create it, as I don't have my scanner working, but it's pretty close to what was on the original map.

After Boo's run, I was headed back to the crating area when I slipped and fell, hitting my thigh on the pointed side of a concrete retaining wall. I wasn't sure I would be able to run again, but managed to finish the day- luckily Gene was running on Sunday. Anyway- since the bruise was nice and colorful, I thought I'd impress you by posting it here. Don't worry- it's cropped down to just the bruise itself- the real bruise is about 6-7" long and about 3-4" wide. It hurt like Hell when I did it. I'm actually able to finally put weight on it again today.

So, for the next 3 hours, I continued to just walk, knowing that if I sat down, I wouldn't get back up. When it came time for the standard course, the aleve had started kicking in, so the pain level was down. But, I was still uncomfortable enough that I wasn't stressed- hurt too bad to worry about my dog messing up. (It's a good thing, too!)- the course was a pretty nice flowing course with plenty of off courses- but Boo was really responding to me. Watching the 20" dogs, I noticed that many dogs were being pulled off of the A-frame and the DW contacts in order to make the turn when it really wasn't necessary. So, I made myself hold those steady- Since I'm still working on speed on the contacts (no World Team aspirations here!)- I knew I had time to focus on the contacts before moving on. The weave entry was such that, even with the small dogs, it was best to hold your ground, and make the dog wrap to get to the left side and get in the weaves. The rest was a pretty nice course- Boo didn't have any trouble with the wrap, but popped out a pole 3- Kyra had no issues with the weaves at all. Kyra's issue was that from the start line, she spotted the judge- a tall, blonde man with glasses, and just KNEW it was her Daddy- so, when she blew off the start line and nudged him in the crotch, she was not real impressed to learn it was not her Daddy. So, because of that, she pretty much lost her little brown brain through the rest of the course, eyeing him, trying to figure out who he was if it wasn't her Daddy.

The weird part, is that even though Kyra "met" the judge yesterday (and got to know him up close and personal!)- she left Gene today to go give him another smell. Maybe she thought her Daddy was a twin? The world may never know, but lesson learned- if the judge is a tall man in glasses, let Kyra meet him FIRST!

So, while both dogs had a perfect weekend. (Well, perfect NQ weekend)- we look forward to the next trial in 2 weeks- let's hope that their handler's will be better prepared!

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