Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Conor's First APDT Rally Trial

We did our first ever APDT Rally trial this weekend. APDT Rally is a little different than AKC Rally -- APDT rules are a little more strict on how you can use your hands (i.e., you can't look like you're luring the dog), and you can only give one command. Well, I use my hands A LOT in Rally, and I talk A LOT in Rally, so I really had to concentrate on what I was doing and saying, so it didn't appear like I was giving extra commands. Our first run wasn't great, but we did qualify and we got 4th Place with a score of 198 (out of 200). Our second run was a little better, and we got 3rd Place, with a score of 204. In APDT, they have a bonus exercise at the end that you have the option of doing for extra points. So, that's how we ended up with more than 200 points. There were a couple of REALLY good teams out there -- they were a lot of fun to watch. Now I have to learn all the titles in this venue -- I'm not sure what title we're going for at this point! I do know we need one more qualifying score for that title, so hopefully by November I'll know what I'm working towards!

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Kaylie - The True Wonder Dog

At our last DOCNA (Dogs on Course in North America) agility trial in Prescott, Kaylie did fantastic! We are trying to be the first team to earn the MEX (Merit of Excellence) who started in the Beginner level. We are getting VERY close. All the other teams that have earned the MEX were grandfathered in at higher levels. Kaylie was just starting her agility career when DOCNA was created, so we had no choice but to start at the beginning. And as it is, I believe there are under 20 teams that have even earned the MEX to this point.

Well, going into the trial at Prescott, we needed 2 Specialist Gamblers legs and 2 Specialist Standard legs. In DOCNA, there are two types of Gamblers runs -- Traditional and Strategic Timed Gamblers. Unfortunately, we have only earned 3 Traditional Gamblers legs -- one from the Beginner class, one from the Intern class and one from the Specialist class. All the other Gamblers legs have come from the Strategic Time Gamblers. So, I knew going in that the chance of getting that Traditional Gamblers leg on Saturday was slim. We walked into the ring, and I knew Kaylie was on fire and ready to go. The Gamblers class is usually the first class of the trial, and Kaylie is usually absolutely wild in the first run. Well, this was no different. She was incredibly fast, and I was not -- I kept getting in her way, and things just fell apart. At 30 seconds, the buzzer rang, which meant I had to get to the gamble portion of the course. I sent her over the jump to the tunnel -- she took the wrong end of the tunnel, then came right back to me over the wrong jump and that was the end of that. No MEX for us this weekend. BUT, she did qualify in the two Standard runs she needed, getting First place both times, and she got her Strategic Timed Gamblers leg on Sunday, earning a Second place. Wooo hooo Kaylie!!! Out of 10 runs over the weekend, we qualified in 8 of them, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in all but one run -- our Jumpers run on Sunday. I got lost on the course and just got confused. Luckily, Kaylie can read the numbers on the cones (that's the only explanation I can come up with) because she ran the right course despite my mess ups! Hence the name "Wonder Dog." So we still Q'd, but got 6th place. Still, not too bad!!

So, our next DOCNA trial will be in Pinetop the end of August. Hopefully we'll get our MEX there! Just one Gambler leg to go.