Thursday, February 17, 2011

It Finally Happened!!

Kaylie FINALLY got her first UD leg.  For those who don't do obedience, there are three levels of obedience - Novice, Open and Utility.  In Utility, there are so many places where the dog can go wrong, and for us, that's happened many, many times.  I've lost track as to how many times I've shown Kaylie in Utility.  But it finally all came together on Saturday.  I actually thought we had blown it at the first excercise - the hand signals.  She did her down, she did her sit, and she came, but she started barking. She got to me, and just stood in front of me barking.  I told her to sit.  I thought right there using my voice, blew it for us.  The judge just took a boatload of points off for it - whew!!  The rest of the exercises went well, although with both of the scent articles, she went out to the pile, found the correct article, but then put it down, and sniffed around again.  Luckily both times she re-picked up the correct article.  Then we came to the directed jumping/go-outs.  This is were we've had the most trouble.  I was absolutely amazed when she went straight out across the ring - I almost forgot to tell her to sit!  I did eventually get my brain back, and told her to sit.  Judge told me to do the high jump - and she did it beautifully.  Then to the second go-out.  I'm so glad I had thought we had blown it, because I think if I had known, I probably would have been wanting to puke.  So, I sent her out, and once again, it was a beautiful go out - nice and straight.  Told her to sit, which she did, and then told her to do the bar jump.  She did the jump, and of course she was barking the whole time.  It was all pretty much a blur, but once I got her leashed up, the judge told me we had qualified!!!  I was SHOCKED to say the least!!!  Absolutely amazing.  Now, just two more to go.  Now that I know IT CAN BE DONE, hopefully the next two legs will come a little easier.

I showed both Kaylie and Conor in the afternoon show in conformation.  Conor placed 2nd in his class, but didn't get anything after that, and Kaylie was pulled out for consideration for Best of Breed.  But nothing more came of that.  Sunday morning I showed them both again in conformation.  I almost didn't make the show, because Brandon had a bike race.  The race was supposed to start at 7:15, which would give me plenty of time to get to the show.  Well, the race didn't start on time.  It was finally 8:15, and still the race hadn't started.  I debated waiting for the race to start, or leave and go to the show.  I decided to go to the show, because there was some talk that the race might even be cancelled.  I would have kicked myself if I had missed a race AND a dog show!  And boy and I glad I got to the show!  Conor ended up going Winners Dog, for 2 more points, and Kaylie went Best of Breed.  Conor also got Best of Opposite Sex!  Wooo hooo!!  Just 10 more little points to go.  :)

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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.