Sunday, June 20, 2010

Evergreen Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial, Day 3 (Trial 4 of 5)

Today we were running small to tall again. Two more chances at qualifying runs; one change at some MACH points. I planned to get a little extra sleep, pack up our room, and not arrive until around 9:30 today since the schedule indicated Excellent Fast would run prior to Excellent Standard. That was right around perfect as an hour or so after we arrived we were working in one ring for the open standard class and then got to walk. The course looked really nice. I was pleased with how it walked and I spent so much time watching people run it I practically had it memorized. The hardest part appeared to be the chute to the jump the weaves as the obstacles weren't set straight at each other. After the chute it required a bit of a pull toward the jump then a push to the weaves.
Prior to going in the ring I did everything I could to rev Vegas up. We went outside and did a few jumps. Then I stretched her legs out, stretched her back and neck, then gave her a vigorous rub down like I have taken to doing. Then I was telling her, "You wanna go play?" and trying to get her to tug, jumping, bouncing, just happy. Not sure if I overdid it or she just had a moment. Regardless, the run - what there was of it - wasn't pretty. She overshot the weaves....came back and did them splendidly. Her speed was remarkable. Then when I said here at the jump to direct her to the teeter, she decided the dog walk was more appealing. Then I had to follow her all the way to the end of the dog walk, she was just acting like she wanted to go do random stuff. She was flighty, bouncy, goofy, and yes, having fun, but clearly not of the team mentality. So, I pulled her. We went outside, ran around the property, went in the off leash area and she got her romping out of her system. Then she went to her kennel for a couple of hours of quiet time.

It was around 2:30 before we got to run again. We were one of the last 10 dogs or so to run from the entire trial. Again, I watched a ton of dogs run the course. Spots I thought would be problematic didn't seem to be an issue for the other dogs running. It wasn't until I had watched about 50 dogs that I also noticed there was no tunnel in this jumpers course. Can we say hallelujah? One less thing to slow us down....
There was definitely room to be concerned in this course. The jumps seemed like they were everywhere. Lots of people got lost and sent their dog over the wrong jump. It was easy for the dog to mistake a jump for the right one, too. The jumps were only yellow and magenta though so I tried to "memorize" the course according to the colors. The weave entrance wasn't straight on. I'm starting to wonder if straight on entrances to the weaves are not good for us. I used to be afraid of anything but straight on but now we have better luck with angled entrances. Hmm, something to think about....

Regardless, I decided to run her hard. I cheered her all along. I was able to make the front crosses where I needed to. I shouted encouragement as we ran and I figured I would just run the course whether she was there or not. Vegas done me proud and to a round of applause she finished in 39.03 (darn the .03) and earned 4 MACH points. That gives us a total of 9 MACH points right now and should put us in 5th place nationwide. Yahoo!!!!

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