Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rogue Canine Agility Day 1

This weekend we're in very sunny (and hot) Central Point, Oregon, not far from the northern California border. This is the farthest south I've ever come for an agility trial and only the second time I've ever driven this far south. So far so good though and I'm planning on coming back down the last weekend in October for another trial. Okay, in an effort to be efficient and actually do this now and try to keep myself on track and focus to maintain my blog better, I'd best get to the events of the day.

We drove in last night having left home about 5 pm and arriving in Medford (2 miles south of the trial location) at 9. Of course after getting all set up in our room it was bed time. Then the dogs chose to wake me at 5:30. They were pottied, fed, and back in bed by 5:40 and I tried to go back to sleep for a few. Off to the trial site with a quick stop for coffee conveniently across the street from the hotel (Yay!).

We arrived at the Jackson County Fair Complex about 6:40 and the doors weren't unlocked. I was one of the first people to arrive other than campers and would you believe I got the very last open space left to crate? Crazy! Although it was quite cool this morning (low 50s), the day was calling for 100 degrees. I was grateful for the cool though first thing...I got too warm as it was hauling things in from the truck and setting up.
Our lovely little setup, complete with blurry, moving Great Dane. :-)

The bathroom was conveniently right behind this wall (in case the "women" and "men" labels weren't clear enough) as was the exit door to the parking lot. Despite all my stress at finding a place to crate for Rachel and I, I am pleased enough with our setup and location.

The hosting club, Rogue Canine Agility, was kindly running Excellent classes in both rings first, followed by Open then Novice. This meant we had hopes for getting our runs in early and beating the heat! We also are running Tall to Small today and Monday and Small to Tall tomorrow. Hooray for getting out early on the go-home day. Our judges were Robyn Veenema and Kera Holm. I've shown under Robyn once before in December but never under Kera. The entry was also quite small for each day with total runs just slightly more than half of what is allowed with a two judge AKC trial. Seemed crazy low for around here but it is hot. I will say it's kind of nice that most of the people who we usually run with are up at Argus Ranch this weekend. Meeting different people is pretty fun and seeing other dogs run. Many people from California at this trial.

Today they were not running Fast but ran Time2Beat at the end of the day plus a B Match. Tomorrow is Fast and Monday is more of today without the match. We were entered only in Standard and JWW; Standard was first.
Course yardage was 183; SCT 68. The course was challenging but fair and flowing. The most difficult part was the weave entrance (avoiding the off course but not causing a refusal or losing attention) and the turn back to the chute (awkward). Of course the only problem I had was the weave entrance. I was so focused on queuing Vegas and know I called it good and early but I was moving toward the weaves and looked toward them for the briefest moment and lost her to the back side of the panel resulting in an off course. Bummer! I got disheartened and know I wasn't as quick to call her back and get on track but once I did the rest was beautiful. We finished in 60 plus seconds. No Q, but it was my fault and our error was minor so I'm cool with it.

We had about 30 minutes before JWW. They did stagger our starts a bit to avoid conflict as much as possible which worked well. That allowed me to take both dogs out to do their business, make sure Vegas got treated, water, and a bit of walk and love time. Then we walked JWW and ran very soon thereafter.
What's not to love? This course was pretty awesome. Of course having just one tunnel and a super short one at that didn't hurt! I planned a front cross after #2, "flips" at 7 to 8 and 11 to 12, a front cross again after the weaves, and then a line drive home. Although I was ahead of Vegas at 7 and 8, and I almost lost her to the tunnel as we moved toward 12, we did have a smooth, clean run. We were the 7th qualifier out of 7 qualifiers, and earned 5 more MACH points and our second leg toward MXJ3. Whoohoo. For our first AKC trial in two months, I'm happy to Q on our first day back in a brand new location.

We stuck around for the Open and Novice Standard classes. The dogs chilled and I worked, taking them out for a short break in between classes. After all, our runs were done by 9:40 and it's kind of boring to spend an entire day in a hotel room. We left about 2 and have been at the hotel since. The dogs have rested, pottied, and greeted their friends, Harry Potter and Lexi, and are sleeping again for the night now. In between I snapped a couple of pictures....

And with that I'm going to call it a night. We have Fast, Standard, and JWW tomorrow and in order to get an ideal parking spot and not feel rushed, we'll be up and out of the hotel early again.


  1. Like I said on Facebook, that weave entry is wicked.

    Jumpers looks fun - but that never means I'll Q there :-/ One day, one day.

    I really enjoyed reading the magazine article about your experience in filming. I always wondered how it would work with Layla since I work so hard with her NOT to listen to other people. As long as they work with you, maybe there's hope for us yet!

  2. Based upon where Vegas lands, the weave entry shouldn't have been horrible. It was my over-thinking and over-working it. Had I not been doing so much of that and also paid closer attention to watching her we should have been fine. But such is life.

    And yes, you guys totally will. JWW has always been our game. We are three times farther along in JWW legs than MX legs.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. The experience was a lot more strenuous than I expected. Part of that though is not knowing what the plot was going in and not having been prepped ahead of time. I have a feeling most times people are given a clue by their "agent." Let's just say I went into it beyond blind. But, she had a valid point. Most times when Danes are shown in video, they have been working with a trainer for months. Anyway, all that to say that I don't think anyone should just give up on the idea of doing this type of thing if they're interested. There is always a possibility.