Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh So Close

Kaylie is getting closer and closer to pulling it all together to get that first UD leg. We had an obedience trial yesterday in the pouring rain, and Kaylie gave it her all (as she always does). We started off with the signal exercises -- her heeling was very nice, but then she missed the down signal. I'm guessing it was because of the rain in her eyes. Oh well. The rest of the run was awesome though. She got both correct scent articles, getting a 29 out of 30 on both of those, she got a 29 out of 30 on her directed retrieve, she got a 30 out of 30 on her stand for exam, and then came the directed jumping (the "go-outs"). The dreaded go-outs. We had been working really, really hard on these go-outs, so I was actually feeling pretty good about them. Unfortunately on her first go-out, she went to the jump stantion, turned and sat. Bummer. I then sent her out for her second go-out, and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! She actually did it, and did it really, really nice. She went to the end of the ring, I told her to sit -- she turned and sat. The judge told me to send her over the high jump, and she did it! Wooo hooo! The judge then let me do one more go-out, just to see what would happen. How nice was that. Most judges would not allow that. So I sent her out again, and what do you know? She did a second beautiful go-out. YAY!!! So she got in two beautiful go-outs in a show!! It didn't matter that she didn't Q - it was a great run, and that's all that really matters. Next I showed Conor, trying to get a great score. He actually heeled beautifully. I was very, very pleased with the whole performance. There was a bump on the figure 8, and he did sit a little crooked on one of the sits, but other than that, it was really nice. I was a little surprised when we got our score, and again, it was only a 192.5. Hmmmm. This was WAY better than the other 192.5's we've gotten. Perhaps the rain had distorted my perception, and I was just happy to get out of the rain? I don't know. But amazingly, only 2 out of 12 Novice B dogs qualified, which is really unheard of in a Novice B class. Usually most of the dogs qualify. But Conor did get 1st Place, and ended up winning High Scoring Aussie. So that was pretty exciting. I did find out that one of our club members is going to hold two more obedience trials, so we now have two more chances. What a lucky gal I am! All of the obedience competitors hung out in their cars. We knew it was going to be a fairly short day, so it didn't make sense to set up our tents, and plus it was pretty cold. So this was my view for the morning -- a nice rainy window. And here are me, Conor and Kaylie, hanging out in the van. Luckily I had blankets and a scarf to wrap up in to keep warm. I knew there was a reason I keep all this extra stuff in my car - I just never know what kind of weather we're going to have.

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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.