Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend Complete

The rest of Saturday went well. I fell asleep for a little while before heading back to the trial. Once we got back, we found that they were running at least an hour behind schedule. The wind was whipping and they needed extra ring crew to make the courses usable. They had someone holding the sides of the panel jump up, and another person standing on the chute to keep it from twisting in the wind.


The wind was so bad that I considered scratching. A canopy tent went tumbling in to the ring while a little Sheltie was finishing up his run. Thankfully, no one got hurt, but it was scary. A lot of tents - including my own, which is now mangled and unusable - came down with the wind.

But, yes, we stayed. I figured that it things got really bad when we were due in the ring, I'd just say thank you and walk off. We lucked out, and our course stayed up while we ran in Novice Standard.



It wasn't a bad course. The chute was really the only problem. I was able to get into front cross position after the broad jump - wasn't sure that I'd have time - but it looks like I actually overran it. Never thought THAT would be the problem with me! The rest of the course was pretty straightforward - her teeter was slow but she didn't get startled or fly off, so I was happy. And her dog walk contact was BEAUTIFUL. She didn't hold her A-Frame, but that's an ongoing training issue for us. All in all, it was good for a score of 95 (5 points off for refusal at the chute) and 2nd place. Our second Novice Standard leg!

After that, we went home and relaxed. I slept, either on the couch or in my bed, the majority of the time that I was home.

It started all over again in the morning on Sunday. Woke up at 5:30, did my papers, left my house by 7:15. I discovered upon arriving there that I had lost my temporary height card. I was SO mad. If there's an official measurer at our next trial, it'll be okay. But, if not, Marge will have to be measured by the judge. I have no idea what I did with it - I never lose stuff like that and I really don't want to put Marge through an extra measurement. I looked all over the place, but it must have blown away.

I was definitely stressed and Marge picked up on that, so she was a little bit nervous when we first got there. Thankfully, we both got it together and felt better. Since I did not have my tent, we set up with a friend. Being with someone we know makes us feel better, too. Louie met me there around 8.

Our first run, standard, was around 10. It was still windy, but not as bad as yesterday.



This was SUCH an awesome run. She didn't hold either of her contacts and the wind had knocked down one of the jump bars, but I feel like I made some really nice handling decisions. The front cross after the yellow tunnel worked SO well, and so did the front cross after the weaves to get in to the chute. Then, I sent her out to the tunnel so I could get in position for a landing side front. Three fronts, one course. That's probably a new record for me. I hate fronts!

I had no idea that this would wind up being a clean run. I thought we would have had a refusal for the little bit of spinning before the red tunnel at the end. But, nope! That was our title. Our very first ever agility title. And, we got a 1st place for our efforts.

Once again, we went home after our first run. I was exhausted, and starting to feel a cold/sore throat coming back. Louie and I fell asleep, and I strongly considered not going back. I didn't know if I was pushing myself or Marge too far.

Of course, at the last minute, I decided otherwise. Marge was still flinging toys at Louie and poking us with her nose to get us to do something. She didn't seem fatigued at all, so I toughed it out for one more run. Look at her waiting ringside before her final run - she looks extremely calm and confident. Our dog trainer friend (who knows A LOT about fearful dogs) remarked the same earlier in the morning. Lots of soft eye blinks going on.


And it was a good thing I did tough it out. This Jumpers course was extremely fun, flowy, and fast. Marge looked like she liked it, too. Most people were front crossing to the weaves - but we've practiced backs to the weaves often and I was confident that we could pull it off. Louie cut the video off, but she was all wiggles and wags after this run (and ALL runs - I suspect the handfuls of food that she gets has a lot to do with it!). We Q'd in a 20 second run, 5 seconds ahead of the 2nd place dog. Finally, finally, finally, I got it together for Marge in Jumpers.



KB asked about the specifics of Jumpers. In AKC, the Jumpers with Weaves Class (shorted to JWW or Jumpers) is made up of jumps, weaves, and sometimes tunnels. Other venues have variations of this, sometimes without weaves or without tunnels. The point is that the course is fast, and you don't have the option of slowing down on the contacts or table like you do in Standard. So, I guess you could say that directional handling matters more.

I was REALLY pooped after that. We stuck around to get our ribbon and then high-tailed it out of there.

I was really happy with this weekend. The sounds of the rest of the park were, indeed, masked by the sounds of the trial. We didn't get to walk down to the water like I would have liked, but it was more important that Marge stayed comfortable. She did really well, going up to several people for attention and even playing with some dogs (including a DARLING Border Collie named Panda and our friend's Bernese Mountain Dog - yes, BIG dogs, not little ones!). She was able to relax in her crate and, in the event that something did startle her, she recovered quickly.

No more trials for at least 5 or 6 weeks. I'm adamant about not overdoing it with her. There are a couple of trials in June that I'm thinking about and need to make a decision on very soon (as in, tomorrow!). It's nice to bask in our success of this weekend for now, though!

24 comments:

Sara May 10, 2010 at 5:55 AM  

Wow! Big conrgatulations to you and Marge! Love the photo of you & her with her title ribbon. Your jumpers run was absolutely beautiful!

Oreo and I have never done an outdoor trial with a chute. If it is windy, they replace it with another obstacle, and it is ALWAYS windy. I think if a person was standing there with their foot on the chute, Oreo would have completely shut down. So, I was impressed Marge did so well!

You must be soooo proud of your girl!

Diana May 10, 2010 at 6:00 AM  

Congrats on your beautiful runs!! You guys did awesome! Diana

Mango May 10, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

Super sweep by Marge. I love the way she can hit the weave poles on her own. The jumpers course was exciting. Your handling skills are great. Those were some tricky moves on your part, especially with Marge going so fast.

Mango Momma

Cinnamon May 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

Congratulations! Well done! You are my stars!! I love the photo of Marge wearing her ribbons.

This post reminded me of my first run in my first agility trial. The wind was very strong that day too. When I was about to start in the ring, the fixture of the chute came loose because the strong wind ripped the edge of the chute off, and I had to wait until it was fixed.

LauraK May 10, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

How awesome! You gals looked great out there, and Marge was little Miss Speedy! I'm so glad that she's becoming so calm and relaxed at trials- all of your hard work is really paying off!

We had tents taking off like helicopters at our trial last weekend too, I was so scared that someone was going to get knocked in the head with one of those metal poles. Wind can be kinda crazy sometimes.

Congrats on the great weekend, I'm so happy for you two, you must be such a proud dog mama :)

giantspeckledchihuahua May 10, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

Marge looks just GORGEOUS in blue! Congratulations on a wonderful winning weekend and for bringing Marge so far!

Give your videographer a raise, he did a great job keeping up with you and Marge! Thanks, Louie!

BRUTUS May 10, 2010 at 8:57 AM  

Hip hip horray! AWESOME! How exciting to have a title in only your second AKC outing! You beat me to it LOL!! I just knew you guys would be stars out there - I really hope this great showing boosted both your confidences! I see MACH written all over you guys, I'm tellin' ya! Good decision about not over-doing it though, definitely want to keep agility as something special you both enjoy, no burn-out allowed :)

Hope you & marge can both put your feet up and kick back with a cool fruity drink after that amazing performance. You deserve it!

Michelle

Sue May 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

Congratulations, I'm so happy for both of you and Louie, too. Pamper yourself now, you deserve it.

Kathy May 10, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

WOW, THAT IS SO AWESOME! You guys did sooooo GREAT! VERY EXCITING! You guys have worked hard and it sure shows. A huge CONGRATS on the title, and on those awesome runs. Marge ROCKS!

Training my Mammoth May 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! You guys looked GREAT!

She looked really, really good. The Jumpers run looked fantastic.

Also, I never noticed before, the design on her leash is really cool. It really compliments her.

Sorry again about the canopy! It seemed like such a good one.

I used to do the papers too. People severely underestimate the work that goes into it. 0 days off, 0 holidays. And people that call to complain that their paper wasn't at a 90 degree angle to their favorite flower pot or some ridiculous thing like that.

I'm soooo happy for you guys though! It's so exciting that she got her title right away.

The Army of Four May 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

HOORAY!!!!!! Way to go!!! You both did AWESOME!!!! Heartfelt congratulations!
Tail wags,
STorms

kissa-bull May 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

we're bursting wiff the prideness for dearest marge. we are so furry happish for you sweet girl. we send you extra slobbery pibble sugars ok?

the pittie pack

deege39 May 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

MARGE LOOKS GORGEOUS IN ALL HER RIBBONS! :D

For the Love of Dogs May 10, 2010 at 1:25 PM  

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE WIN! That ribbon looks super pretty on you!!! I think blue is your color!

Sallie May 10, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

Yay! That is the most beautiful ribbon ever! :)

Nat May 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

CONGRATS on your title!!

Love her table, by the way!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom May 10, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

Khongrats!!!

Those ribbons SOOOOO khomplement Marge in so many ways!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Muttsandaklutz May 10, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

Beautiful runs!! She looks soooo happy out there. Seriously. I'm really enjoying this ride and looking forward to finding out where it takes you both! Congratulations on another excellent trial.

Carolyn May 10, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

You are going to need to build a room to display all those awards! Lol!

Congrats!

-C

Benny and Lily May 10, 2010 at 9:06 PM  

Yippeee....good job!
Benny & Lily

Lorenza May 10, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

Congratulations!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Ricky the Sheltie May 11, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

Awesome runs! Congratulations on your NA and on your JWW Q!! Marge looked great - very relaxed and happy! Good job on getting in all those front crosses (we love FCs!) Maybe Marge would like to do "hail mary" contacts instead of stopping - she seems to run them fairly well and hits the yellow (does she normally hit the yellow in practice)?

mayziegal May 11, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

OMD! OMD! Mom and me totally missed your bloggie this weekend and we're SO excited that you gots a title! She looks SOOOO pretty in her ribbons! What a very good girl she is!

I would NOT have done well in the wind, that's for sure. I don't like the wind one little bit at all! But it sounds like Marge was like, "Meh...no big deal." Sorry about your canopy thingie though. That kinda blows. Haha! Get it? Blows? Cuz that's what the wind does? Haha! Um, but I'm still sorry it got torn up.

Have fun relaxing on your break and I can't wait to see what you and Marge do next!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Dawn May 14, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

I know I"m late, but CONGRATULATIONS! She looks MARVELOUS!!! And like she was having fun, which is the main thing. I'm so happy for both of you!

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