Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fetch at Chase Field

A couple of weeks ago, Chase Field was opened up to the dogs and was turned into a huge dog park. It was only appropriate that I bring Conor. His litter's registered name was to be a movie theme, so we went with baseball, as Brandon loves to play baseball. We chose Field of Dreams, and then picked the name Conor, named after Conor Jackson, one of Brandon's favorite players, and a good dog name. Anyway, back to the ball park. Conor and Brandon had a fantastic time -- I'm not real sure who had more fun -- Brandon loved running and jumping into the wall, just like Luis Gonzales or Eric Byrnes would do.

And then Conor loved playing fetch with his flingy ball. We also participated in the best trick contest, and Brandon got to be one of the judges. Why he didn't chose Conor to win, I'll never know (except that our trick was pretty lame). We thought our friend Jill and Frankie should have won with Frankie's "are you a girl or boy" trick, (that's who Brandon picked). But someone else won -- a dog that had an even lamer trick than Conor! After the contests, Conor just ran and fetched his ball for about another hour. I think I finally wore him out -- that dog can go forever!! We hope to do it again next year!

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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.