Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 7 - ASCA Nationals

Today was our last day at Nationals, and I'm very sad. I've had a great time up here with all the doggies and great friends. Today I just had Gamblers runs with Kaylie & Conor. Even though Kaylie had finished her Open Gamblers title earlier in the week, I decided to keep her in Open to help make my schedule a little easier. Our first Gamble course was pretty tricky in that all the high point value obstacles were at the back of the course and the gamble was at the front of the course. So I had to plan it so that I was heading back towards the front of the ring before the first buzzer rang. With both dogs this actually worked fairly well. Conor then got the gamble, but unfortunately Ms. Kaylie did not. Oh well. Our second Gamblers course was extremely difficult. I knew for sure Kaylie wouldn't get it, but wasn't sure about Conor. The gamble included the A-frame, which at a far distance is real hard for my doggies to make the contact. Both of them flew off and missed the contact, and then they both went into the wrong end of the tunnel. Oh well. No Q's for us on that last run. But they both still ran well and had fun, which is all that is important.

We start heading home tomorrow morning. :( I'll get home Sunday, get unpacked, laundry done and then repack for the DOCNA Championships that start on Thursday! Wooo hooo!

And, we'll start getting ready for the 2010 Nationals in Waco, Texas - watch out Texas - here we come!

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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.