Conor finished his RAE today in grand style. To earn the RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent), you must earn qualifying scores in both Advanced and Excellent on the same day, at 10 different shows. It takes a long time! Of course we had to have a great story behind his last leg. The weather at the beginning of the week was calling for a slight chance of rain - like 10%. It was a weak storm, so the chances of rain were slim. By Friday morning though, they were saying perhaps a 30% chance of rain, but even if it did rain, it wouldn't be much. Well, not sure what they were predicting on the news, but at the show site it was 100%. Ugh. Actually the morning started out beautiful - I just set out my chair and Conor's crate - I figured I was only going to be there for 2 runs on Saturday - I didn't see the need to set up my tent. But by the time the Excellent class had ended, it had started to sprinkle. And then by the time the Advanced class started, it was pouring. Thankfully the gal set up next to me let me hang out under her tent. It was so incredibly cold and we were all drenched. One by one, dogs were dropping - they were either running out of the ring or just wouldn't work. Conor was the last dog in the line up. It was absolutely pouring, and I had NO idea how he was going to handle it. But he's such a trooper and did everything absolutely perfect. It was incredible. We ended up with a perfect score of 100, 1st Place and our RAE title. Yay!!! What a way to end.
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.
I'm just an Arizona girl who enjoys dog sports like agility, obedience and rally obedience. I'm also an avid photographer and scrapbooker, and combining dogs, picture taking and scrapbook making -- life can't get any better!
In April, Kaylie, Conor and I headed north to Greeley, Colorado to show in the AKC Aussie Nationals. We had so much fun! Kaylie finished her Rally Advanced Excellent title, with a 95 in the Excellent class and 3rd place, and a 97 in the Advanced class and 1st place. She also finished her Master Jumpers title in agility, with a 3rd place!
Kaylie is the best Rally dog. Here she is going over the high jump -- of course looking right at me to see what's coming next.
At the Nationals, Conor earned his first Rally Excellent leg with a 2nd place, and his first AKC Novice obedience leg with a score of 191. That wasn't good enough to place, but I still thought it was a fantastic score!
Conor in perfect heel position.
Conor has the cutest flip finish!
What a finish. He should have had points added on for being so darn stinking cute!
Can't Forget About Takara!
I can't forget about Takara! Takara is the dog that got me into the crazy world of dog sports. I started her in conformation, where she was the Reserve Queen -- never getting those elusive Winners points. Oh well. She was destined for better things. We started showing in obedience, where she earned her CD. Then on to the CDX. Boy, this dog was awesome . . . in practice. We actually got our first 2 CDX legs quite easily. Then came that last leg. It just never happened. We tried for many, many years to get it, but it just wasn't meant to be. So I started her in agility, where she just shined. Except when it came to the teeter. I didn't start training her for agility until she was 6 years old, and by that time, she was quite sure that the ground is never to be moving. She HATED the teeter. So, we stuck to just doing Jumpers courses, and in NADAC, she also did the Tunnelers courses. She loved the Jumpers courses though. This is Takara after earning her AKC Excellent Jumpers title, with a 1st Place to boot. She is 11 years old in this photo. For an old gal, she did fantastic. She is now retired from agility, and enjoys harassing Conor, stealing food off the counter and napping.
Takara turns 13!!
Takara turned 13 on May 4, 2008. It was impossible to get a picture of her by herself, because the two spotted beasts kept getting in the way, so I had to include them too. Heaven forbid should they be left out of anything!