Sunday, January 25, 2009

Double Q, Where are You??

Another AKC agility trial weekend has come to an end, and Kaylie and I are still at 6 Double Q's. Saturday we started off with Jumpers. It was a really nice course, until we got to the double jump into the weaves. I just didn't handle it right, she jumped too big and missed the weave entrance. The rest of the run went perfect. Our Standard run was perfect, hitting all the contacts, weave pole entrance, and kept all the bars up. YAY!!! We ended up finishing 18 seconds under course time! I think that's one of our fastest Standard runs ever. Sunday we had our Standard run first. After Saturday's Standard run, I was feeling very confident about our contacts. We were going along just perfect, we hit the dog walk contact no problem, hit the weave pole entrance with no problems, hit the teeter contact with no problem, then the second to last obstacle was the A-Frame. After that I knew we were home free! We hit the A-frame contact (or so I thought), jumped the last jump, and I was psyched. Our first run of the day and we were on the road to a Double Q. But then a friend walked over to me all bummed and said the judge called our A-frame contact as a fault! WHAT????? I know she hit it -- I was right there. But I guess the judge didn't see it that way. This is the first time I've ever felt a judge made a bad call on my run. I actually felt tears start welling up, I was so sure Kaylie hit that contact. Hopefully somewhere down the road when Kaylie really flies off the A-frame or dog walk, the judge won't call it! I actually half considered just going home and scratching from our Jumpers run. The Double Q was out of the picture, and I just wanted a big bowl of Birthday Cake Remix from Coldstone. But then the competitive side of me took back over and made me want to do that Jumpers run. It was a pretty tricky course -- lots of possibilities for off courses. But we ran clean and got a Q -- 13 seconds under time. Wooo hooo! We did have a great weekend, great runs, and lots of fun. Next agility trial is the Fiesta Cluster at the end of February. Kaylie and I will be spending the next month working on perfecting our Utility exercises, and working on Open with Conor.

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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.