Saturday, February 20, 2010

Catching Up

I'm a little behind in my show updates. Just about every weekend I've had something going on! The weekend of February 6th, 7th, & 8th, Conor was entered in Rally at the Sahuaro State & Lost Dutchman Kennel Club shows at the Arizona State Fairground. Our first run on Saturday was the worst run I've ever had in Rally. The show was indoors, and it was pretty loud and echo-y (is that a word?). Conor was holding his ears weird and I could tell he wasn't comfortable. The run just didn't go well. It was so bad that I thought for sure we didn't even qualify. When I saw a score of 75, I was actually very thankful! By the time the Advanced class started, he was accustomed to the sounds, and got a 99 and 1st place. Yay! Sunday and Monday also went well and we got RAE legs #8 and #9 with scores between 96 and 98. Just one more leg to go!

The following weekend the Wonderdogs and I headed south to Las Cruces, New Mexico for an ASCA agility trial. What a great little trial! The people down there were so incredibly nice and very welcoming. Kaylie and Conor had some incredible runs. We qualified in almost every run we did, placing either 1st or 2nd. Kaylie finished all of her Elite titles and Conor finished his Elite Jumpers title and his Open Regular and Open Gamblers titles! I accomplished every goal I had set for this trial - something that usually doesn't happen. So now Kaylie has met the very minimum qualifications to qualify for the Agility Finals at Nationals. Now we just have to start racking up more Q's to get ranked. I had planned to go to quite a few more out-of-state trials, but I found out I'm losing my job. My bosses decided they needed someone 5 days a week instead of the 4 I'm currently doing. Since I have entered shows on quite a few Mondays, I couldn't start right away. They said they needed someone NOW, so alas, they're letting me go, after almost 14 years. So much for loyalty! So, although I probably won't have the extra money to go to out-of-state trials, I will have more time to train. Will be focusing on obedience - Open for Conor and Utility for Kaylie. No more excuses! Just gotta get out there and do it.

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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.