Thursday, February 3, 2011

Agility and Staying Verticle

This is the fabric glue I used, and these are the pants I used it on.
You can see where the glue came undone. 
Apparently this glue does not work on this type of fabric.

I learned a very important lesson this past weekend -- DON'T rely on permanent fabric glue to keep a hem up on your pants!!!  I learned this lesson the hard way, by flying through the air and landing flat on my stomach.  The weather people were talking about an incredible cold front coming through, but I couldn't remember if it was Sunday or Monday.  I HATE being cold, so I decided to wear longer pants instead of my usual capris.  Unfortunately I hadn't had time to do the laundry, so the only clean pair of pants I had were pretty long.  No fear - I pulled out my permanent fabric glue and hemmed up my pants.  What a great idea, right??  NOT!!!!  Kaylie and I stepped up to the line of a particularly tricky course.  I felt pretty confident that Kaylie would do okay (it was Conor who I pictured going off course at several points in the course).  Anyway, we started out great, she hit her dog walk contact, then we had a jump to the teeter to a tunnel, which was under the A-frame.  She hit her teeter contact and she was off to the tunnel.  All of a sudden I felt my foot get caught in my pants and then I was FLAT on the ground.  Kaylie then came back to see what the heck I was doing laying on the ground, of course barking at me to get up. I got up as fast as I could, sent her into the tunnel, then we had 2-180 jumps to one of the tricky parts of the course - they could either go back into the tunnel (wrong course) or up the A-frame (right course).  Unfortunately I just wasn't in the right position to get her up the A-frame because I was laughing so hard over the fall, so of course she went into the tunnel.  BUMMER!  No chance of a double Q.  We did finish the rest of the course clean, so that was good.  Conor actually stayed on course too - he just missed the weave entry (it was a tricky entrance), and then he paused in front of the table.  But other than those two little mistakes, he ran it very well.  His Jumpers run on the other hand didn't go so well.  He took a jump where he was supposed to take the weaves, and then he completely obliterated another jump - wing panels and bars went flying everywhere.  Crazy dog.  He just tries to go too fast sometimes and misjudges the jumps.  Kaylie did Q in this Jumpers run though.  Next trial is in a few weeks - DOCNA agility.  Gotta get Conor qualified for the Championships!

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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.