Friday, August 20, 2010

Summertime with the Wonder Dogs

We've had a very busy summer, and I can't believe it's almost over.  And that means that it's almost dog show season!  Kaylie, Conor and I headed to Utah a few weeks ago for an AKC agility trial up there.  The whole family was supposed to go up, but Brandon ended up being chosen for the President's Cup All Star team, so he had to stay home for that.  The dogs and I just went up for the weekend to compete in the trial and then came home. 

Kaylie had an almost perfect weekend by qualifying in 5 of her 6 runs.  We've never had an AKC weekend that good!  She just dropped a bar in her last Jumpers run of the weekend.  It was still very exciting to get two Double Q's in one weekend.  That puts us at 12 Double Q's and 677 points.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter!

Conor had a fantastic weekend too.  Although he Q'd in just 3 of his 6 runs, the runs he did Q in, he placed 1st.  He now has two Excellent Jumpers legs and one Excellent Standard leg.  The three runs he didn't Q in he just made a small mistake in each one.  There was no running around like a dog on crack.  It was two years ago that he made his AKC debut at this particular show.  I'll never forget that feeling of pure craziness in the agility ring.  Boy has he come a long way!

We're heading to Pinetop over Labor Day weekend for a DOCNA agility trial.  Can't wait!

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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.