Sunday, March 1, 2009

Conor's 1st and 2nd RAE Legs

I'm about a week behind -- with the start of baseball season, plus dog show season really ramping up -- there just aren't enough hours in a day! Anyway, last weekend was PFOC's (Phoenix Field & Obedience Club's) big obedience trial. I always love this show -- it's just obedience -- no floofy goofy dogs in the way -- just the smart ones are at this trial, and it's so much fun to watch. Conor was entered in Advanced B and Excellent B to earn legs for his RAE. To earn the RAE, you must compete in both Advanced B and Excellent B on the same day, qualify in both on the same day, and you must do this 10 times. Last weekend we did just that for our first and second legs. Conor's first run of the day was his Excellent run. It didn't go so well, but we did qualify. My friend Barb had her dog Shasta in the area, and when Shasta is around, Conor's brain goes down the drain. He just loves her. It had been a while since the two had seen each other, and I thought maybe now that he was neutered, he wouldn't be so bonkers over her. But I guess even getting neutered doesn't stop this boy from loving his first girlfriend. He'll always love Shasta. So we kept the two of them away from each other the rest of the weekend, and Conor did much better. He got a 99 out of 100 on his Advanced run later that day, which was good enough for 1st Place. YAY!! Sunday things were really a mess. Our Rally judge couldn't make it because she was sick, so they decided to split things up and have one judge for each Novice, Advanced and Excellent, which meant they had to wait for all the judges to finish their original judging assignments and then judge Rally. And then they neglected to tell us this on Saturday. So all the Excellent dogs showed up at 7 a.m. to get settled in, as we believed our class would start at 8 a.m. It wasn't until we got there that we found out our classes wouldn't start until 11 a.m. We had to sit around for 4 hours and just wait. And even then I don't think we really started until closer to 12 p.m. We finally got our runs in, and Conor's Advanced run was pretty nice, but I did have to repeat a station because he didn't do it quite right. We got a 94, which put us out of the ribbons, but still a pretty decent score. Then we got a 99 on our Excellent run. YAY! There was one perfect score, and then two other 99's who finished the course faster than we did, so we ended up getting 4th Place. So we're on our way -- just 8 more legs to go!

Yesterday was the start of the Fiesta Cluster at Westworld. I'm just showing Kaylie in agility this time around. We had two pretty decent runs but just a small mistake in both, so no Q's. Hopefully Sunday and Monday will be a little better!

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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.