Sunday, June 6, 2010

German Shepherd Dog Club of Oregon AKC Agility Trial Day 2, Invitational Qualification Trial 2 of 5

I had hoped beyond all ability to hope that we wouldn't see horrible rains overnight and today but it was all for naught. It rained badly. When I got up to let the dogs out this morning it was misting so finely it was almost as if it was coming sideways or we were in a wet cloud. After feeding the dogs I went back to bed to read and catch up on some emails as the trial wasn't set to start until 9 for ring 1 and 9:30 for ring 2, and we didn't run in either of the first classes. Vegas and I just hung out in bed for a couple more hours and finally headed out for the trial around 10:20 am. We arrived and poured the buckets of water off the canopy of our tent, then proceeded to arrange everything again and get Vegas' kennel set up for her to rest in between runs.

Our first run of two today was standard. Unfortunately the judge for standard was the same judge we had for JWW yesterday - so the course was wheeled too tight. The course was really nice though, on a positive note. Considering the potential for damage because of the darned rain and muck, I was watching dogs and handlers closely. The dogs only had issues in one or two spots and that was primarily the extremely fast dogs like BCs and Dobes. I decided to run with Vegas and let her set the pace for herself. She set a fast one at the start; unfortunately our weaves stalled us out again today. Not sure why she's not solid on the weaves in Standard but fine in Jumpers. It continues to baffle.
I led out a few feet from the tire heading up the right side. I was a bit late on queuing the jump #4 so rear crossed after Vegas had taken jump 3, with me moving across jump 3 more toward the middle of the course versus toward the left (and a-frame). Usually I would have crossed before the jump. It didn't seem to affect her too much though and I just turned my focus back on. We made contact on the a-frame and I called her in time for the dog walk coming out of the chute so she turned the right way. Then on the table I had to move to the side where the fencing/edge of the ring was as I feared her getting a table fault. She stood up once on the table after the judge started counting so we had to sit again to finish. Wasted time. I was worried walking the course about the obstacle discrimination between tunnel and dog walk. Usually she'll choose the dog walk. This time I was in position, anticipating, but she just did the right thing. Everything was fine until we got to weaves where she didn't take them right off so that was our first and only fault of the course. Of course that meant we lost time and that was that. We finished it in 67.65 seconds. Course time was 59 seconds for 142 wheeled yards. With one refusal and eight time faults, we didn't Q so we didn't finish our open standard title again - darn.

The JWW course was a nice one today. Good flow, somewhat challenging turns, offset jumps down straight lines just to keep things interesting. And the weaves. They were set at a left hand turn over a jump. Having Vegas on my right is not her preference when weaving. Craig walked the course with me once and gave me some good pointers. He really wanted me to trust her on that turn to the weaves. He said she would see them and, in explaining where I should be in relation to her and the weaves, I must say I was nervous as it was farther away from her than I would normally be. Basically I would try to control it more and I'm probably crowding her more than I think I am.
And she did it!!!!!!!! She ran this course beautifully. She was such a good girl. Smooth. Fast. Sturdy. Confident. I love this girl!!!! She ran like a dream again - all heart and all commitment and loyalty. What a dog! This course was wheeled at 160 yards for a course time of 43 seconds. Vegas did it flawlessly in 39.04 seconds and earned her very first MACH points - 3 of them!!!!! In looking at the score book it looks like that put her fifth behind the Dobermans. Fifth to the Dobermans - whoohoo! And Craig was right; I trusted her with the weaves and voila! she did it all by herself. Good job, Vegas!!

(I'll post video later. I forgot my camera so thanks to Lindsay I'll have video as she stood out in the rain to capture our moment on film. Thanks, Linds!)

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