Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Double Q!

The Wonder Dogs and I headed south this past weekend to Tucson for the Saguaro Scramblers agility trial. I really didn't want to go to this trial, as every year I've gone the wind is absolutely incredible and it makes the trial unbearable. I decided though to check the rates for my favorite Tucson hotel (the La Quinta by the airport), and saw their rates were just $39 a night, I couldn't NOT go - what a screaming deal for a nice hotel room! Boy oh boy am I glad I decided to go because Kaylie got her 9th Double Q!!! Sunday started off great with Kaylie's Excellent Jumpers run - she ran fast and clean - so far so good!! Then to our Standard run. It was a really fun course with several challenges. In the middle of the course, we had to pass through a tunnel, then pull to the right to get the teeter (to the left were the weave poles). We did that perfectly. Our second pass through that same tunnel, we had to enter the opposite end of the tunnel which actually lead directly to the weaves. I figured she'd have no problem taking the weaves as it was a straight shot. I should know better - the second I let my guard down she decided to head to the teeter again. She put a paw on the teeter and that was it. I did get her to the weaves and we finished the rest of the course perfectly. Oh well.

On Sunday Kaylie and I started with the Standard run. It was another very fun course with several chances for off courses. This particular judge had the greatest courses that were fun and flowy, but yet still very challenging. A lot of AKC courses tend to have lots of sharp turns and don't flow very well, but the courses this weekend were awesome. Anyway, we got through the Standard run clean - yay!! Now to the Jumpers run. Again, very flowy but several challenges - we ran clean once again for Double Q #9! AWESOME!!

Conor also did great this weekend. He's now in Open for both Standard and Jumpers. On Saturday, he got his first Open Standard Q with a 1st place and his first Open Jumpers Q with a 2nd place. What a good little doggie! He's so much fun to run - definitely keeps me on my toes. His runs on Sunday were okay, but no Q's. He's so stinkin' fast that I was behind him most of the time - he went off course on both runs. Oh well. Next time! Our next AKC trial will be at Wags for Wishes starting New Years Eve.

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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.