April 6, 2012

Hope 'Springs' eternal.......

Well I survived two consecutive weekends of agility. Well not exactly, I didn't 'survive' them, I thoroughly enjoyed them! One weekend was spent indoors at Dream Park and we finally got the monkey off our back! Our final Q we needed for our Open FAST title, we now are in Excellent in everything. Well, would be if I moved us up :-) I really don't think we are ready to move to Excellent in FAST. The Q felt like a fluke, in fact, I was so shocked that he got the send bonus I temporarily forgot where we were and what the plan was! I was to busy partying with him for doing such a good job! I quickly recalled myself and headed to the corner with the most points I could remember and then promptly told him "come on we gotta get out of here!!!" We still managed to hit all the important stuff and finish under time! Wow, I was so amazed! Of, course it is the one run I didn't tape... I truly thought we would never, ever get the send.
I was just out there to shake out the bugs before our "real" runs (STD and JWW). So Q with a 1st place.

On day two to prove that it really wasn't a fluke we got our first Ex A Std Q!!!!!!!! Wow, I felt such relief after that Q. It was like having the weight of the world finally lifted from my shoulders. Like, "see, we can do this we just need more time to come together as a team." So much relief.....(see once again I am so good at telling myself "I'm OK, its all good" but it wasn't true or I wouldn't have had such a strong reaction). Below are the runs I did get on tape.



This weekend was spent outside. I like trialing outside but this weekend started very cold and misty rainy all day. We all hid in our cars turning them on every so often to defrost our fingers and toes. I ran in my water proof work boots to try and stay warm and upright on course. It was Surf's 3rd birthday but we postponed the party till Sunday which was the nicer of the two days. I also don't have much video since I sent Rayce home with her dad, it was way to yucky for her to stay.

I really had no expectations for Saturday. Surf has not run in those kinds of conditions yet. He had never been through a wet chute or run on wet grass. Our STD run was the nicest of the day. I didn't decelerate on the way to the table and pushed him around it but I was so so so proud of the rest of the run. He did the chute (a little slow) but he figured it out. His teeter was TO DIE FOR. He did that teeter so fast with his toe nails hanging on the edge that as I was doing my front cross I was thinking holy smokes he's not going to hold this and we are going to crash!! But best dog that he is he held it, such a proud momma!!!

Our Open FAST run was a hoot. Missed the send, he went wide around the second jump so we were just working weaves, contacts, and focus. We were one jump from the end had a missed communication and slowed our pace to almost a halt. In this delay he spotted one of the workers.....She was dressed in a very large all white parka with her hood up and just her eyes peeking out....Surf freaked!!!! He started barking and backing away, all I could think was, "It's the giant Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!" from Ghost Busters. It turned out to be a great training moment. I went over and patted her and hugged her, just about crawled in her lap, and got Surf to come close enough to sniff at her. He stopped freaking out but he wouldn't touch her or let her touch him but he was better. Hopefully he will stop seeing ghosts in the ring! LOL

Jumpers was the last run of the day and it went from bad to worse. I'm almost glad there is no video record of this run. I think he had just hit his max and was so over the rain and cold. "Can we go home yet Ma!"

Sunday was nicer for weather but not for Q's. I kept thinking, I get two really nice runs from him I should skip Open FAST. I walked it but was still deciding when they started calling for us. I go to the ring completely unprepared. No treats, hanging ring side, no focus exercises, none of our usual routine. Darn, if he doesn't Q. It was a very pretty run with fabulous weaves and contacts. It was the only Q of the day......

Jumpers was such a nice flowing course. I worried about getting my front crosses and sure enough on cross #2 he went wide behind me. I was sure I messed up the cross, but my friends assured me it wasn't me. I watched the video and am still not sure what happened. I think it was just his focus issue....take a look and let me know what you think it. I'm stumped.....






Standard was a very tight and tricky course. This Judge had very oddly spaced courses both days. Some obstacles were packed all together right on top of each other and then there would be a section that was miles apart?!? I was very glad to be running a small dog, felt really bad for those big dog people! We made it through most of the course very very nicely. Again he was running somewhat fast and connected. We hit the closing sequence which was a fast closing line to a hard right with a 180 and then to the last jump. I thought we were in the home stretch...Q in sight (hehe). I was late with my RFP and call, he looked right at the last jump, he read the RFP and responded to the call but just took the next jump in front of him, unfortunately it was not the jump we needed. That closing got a lot of dogs! So again, no disappointment, just really really happy with the fact that we got the tricky stuff, he stayed focused, and it was just my timing that needs improvement.

All in all, two great agility weekends that left me reved up and ready for more! Can't wait to practice more but trialing will have to wait a few weeks while I spend some time camping in VA with the family for Spring Break. We will be outside again the 21-22 of April.

Also Congratulations to those that attended the AKC Nationals in Reno! We hope to join you some day!!



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