Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rose City Classic, 2010 - Day 1

Today was the first complete/official day of the 2010 Rose City Classic. This is a huge dog show held in Portland, Oregon, every year in January. Wednesday was an unofficial starting day with breed specialty shows, a little bit of rally and obedience, and today through Sunday, January 24 will be more of the same plus continued shows for each breed.

The day began early! We were up at 4:30 am so I could feed Vegas and allow at least 3 hours for her food to settle/digest before her first run. I always allow at least that much time or just don't feed her breakfast to avoid the risk of gastric dilation and volvulus (AKA bloat and torsion). I had pretty much gotten everything ready but made the kids and I peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, loaded the truck, and headed out. Let me tell you, Vegas was so excited to go and practically pushed her way out the door before me in all her excitement - and concern of being left behind, of course. Unfortunately she was a whiner about halfway there. She's not the best traveler on the best of days but she is super excitable right now due to her lack of activity. As I sit writing this though, those moments are over at least until next week. She's sawing logs....

We had never been measured by an AKC official so had to take care of that right away. It was kind of funny because they measure dogs on a table (agility table) normally. However, that was not going to work for Vegas nor was using their regular measurement tool. Instead, the official set the tool on the edge of the table, extended the arm over the edge, and used a tape measure to measure how high he held the tool, Vegas stepped under, he marked it over her withers, and she stepped out. Then he remeasured using the tape against where her withers had stood and that was that. Funny thing is, she was exactly what I knew her to be and he then checked the box requesting a permanent height card be issued without further measurement because she was clearly tall enough to always jump 24" - there was no concern over whether she would need a lower jump height. So for starters, I'm glad that is done and now it will be officially marked in the AKC records.

We ran tall to small today and were entered in all three classes in the following order: FAST, Jumpers with Weaves (JWW), and Standard. We're still in novice and I had really high hopes to finish today with our NAJ title (novice jumpers) but that was not to be. Perhaps I should just be happy if we finish novice this weekend and not worry about much else.

Here is a map of the first course including two colored lines; the light blue was my intended path and the purple is what we ended up doing. The goal of FAST was to get done in 32 seconds with 50 points or more, plus complete the send (obstacles 6 and 9, in order, on the right of the map). After talking with my friend, Jami, I took her advice, mapped a simple quick course and headed straight for the send. The main reason for this was to avoid NQing by not completing the send or losing points by going over time. It worked! Vegas ran the purple path in 13.57 seconds scoring 54 points!!! We qualified with a first place finish. This is a great way to start the day and warm up the dog. FAST is a class that is not required and does not affect upward mobility between levels. It's just for fun.

Our next run followed shortly thereafter and was JWW. The course didn't look too difficult and I was excited for a qualifying run so we could earn our NAJ title. Unfortunately that wasn't in the works today. I'm not sure if it was my queuing late or something else, but Vegas knocked a bar on jump 3 and then ran past the weaves when we got to them and I had to call her back. Fortunately she went right through them when I called her back and I was grateful for that. The rest was a breeze, but the thing with JWW is that you can't knock a bar down. So, there went our Q. Perhaps tomorrow....

Last but not least, and what seemed like an interminable wait later, we got to run our standard course. I thought we fairly well had this one nailed too, but Vegas refused the weaves again quite a bit and that became a struggle. I was pretty steamed at her by the time we finished because she knows how to weave and I can't figure why she won't do them consistently at trial - especially AKC trials. Again, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

We did come home and work on 6 weaves only for a while and she blasted through them. We usually practice on 12 at the barn and some people have said maybe that's the problem. I just don't know. And one other final note, this was Vegas' first time running on rubber matting and she did really well! Lots of people said the dogs will run slower but I didn't really notice that. Hopefully she'll continue to be unaffected by this and the noise that comes with competing in a huge building with lots of concrete, vaulted ceilings, and tons of people, dogs, and activity.

And with that, I'm off to bed soon as it was an early day and I'm beat.

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