Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Sort of Weaving Retriever...

Well, today was round 2 of our agility competition. After a thoroughly DISASTROUS FAST run this morning, our next run was our open standard run, the one with all the obstacles (recall std has the teeter, A Frame, Dog walk and the jumper with weaves has jumps, weaves and tunnels) We needed one more qualifying score to get our open title, so we could move up to excellent. As with yesterday, the course was one we should have been able to do, but I was very panicky about the weaves...considering she missed them all three times yesterday.

We stumbled through the std run and did manage to get a Q. Her handler gave her a horrific entrance into the weaves and she missed them...totally my fault. We went back and she did manage to do all 12, but I was really shaky as a handler, and she picked up on my energy. No big deal, you can have one refusal at the open level, so we were OK. We also got an off course, which you can have as well in open - there was a tunnel at the end of the dog walk, and I pulled away before she was all the way in the tunnel and she put her feet back on the dog walk. Again, my fault. We got straightened out and on we went. We finished, but it was certainly not our best run.

The jumpers course was pretty tricky - lots of off course opportunities, starting right away at the third jump. The hardest part of the course was this long straight away...when you have a straight away like we did today, the dogs pick up speed - you have to position yourself in the right place to be able to get your dog to go where they need to, without going off course or having the run into you. The way this was set up gave me very few options of how to handle her, so if I was out of position, we were dead - actually, what likely would have happened is we would have run into each other. She has 4 legs and I have 2, so you do the math on who would have won that one..

Thankfully, I managed to get in the right position to handle her on the straight away - as I knew she would, she came out of the tunnel and saw the straight away and took off. As previously mentioned, there were many off course opportunities, but not with the way I was positioned - and she started flying. Thankfully, I was in a position to keep up with her and slow us down back to the pace I wanted the run to be at. We got to the weaves, the dreaded weaves..I was on her left, which her weak side. I stayed with her, clapping my hands and encouraging her...and she was almost done...I turned left to block two off course jumps...and she pulled out of the last weave pole!!! UGH!!! Oh well, I was still very proud of her, it was a fantastic run. Lots of more experienced handlers had off courses and we did not. My friends from my club cheered when we finished, and it was fun. Our runs today were kind of like hitting a line drive and having nothing to show for it and then getting some cheap bloop single.

Most importantly, we had fun. Mom treated her to some Timbits from Tim Horton's and she came home and supervised me cleaning the car out. She is passed out upstairs now...and I will be joining her shortly.

As I have still be unable to locate my camera, I hope to get a new one where I can record a run and put on here for you to see. Chelsie does such a good job and works so hard for her mom, but most importantly, she has fun - as you can see from the picture I put on here tonight. I got some more pictures of her running today, they are fantastic. I should get them in about 2 weeks, they are from the same guy that took the ones I already have and he is just fabulous.

Have a good week!


The Tuckers said...

wow she is looking like a well trained dog... can I send Dakota out?

Mark, Belinda & Bryce Quisenberry said...

That picture you have at the top of your blog is aweseome!!! Thanks for keeping your blog up to date with new info. I think things have slowed down now, maybe we can catch up sometime soon.

The Monroes said...

ummmm Nicole, you might not want to tell people about your std run- they might get the wrong idea...all joking aside, it sounds like Chelsie needs a new handler. I mean she cannot do your job and hers too! love ya lots- Nat