Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jamesburg, We Have Takeoff

Yesterday marked our first agility trial since the beginning of May.  It was hot!

It was a brand new trial site for us: Thompson Park in Jamesburg, NJ.  I was initially hesitant to take Marge to a new place after all the new things we've already been doing this Spring, but after a few minutes of adjustment, she did really well.  What a great site.  Quiet, shady, lots of woods, and I think I even saw a lake at the other end of the park.

She also did well with measuring, and now we'll never have to deal with that again.

Our Open Standard debut was our first run of the day, around 10 AM.  I almost missed the judge's briefing because the ring was at the opposite end of the trial site from my canopy.  I had to run down there to catch the end of it.

Walking the course, I was extremely confident.  It was an Open course that actually made sense (I've heard that some are really atrocious).  The ending was the only thing I was worried about.  It was a chute to the teeter, and then a tricky 180 before you had to pull, pull, pull into the final two jumps.

It was, indeed, the ending that killed us.

It started out so nice.. she hit her weaves beautifully, which I was really happy about.  After the table was the dog walk, and I cued her to "zone" (her contact word), and she kinda didn't and kinda didn't.  So, I didn't use my release word, which confused her.  She gave me some nice distance getting in to the tunnel, and then another jump to the A-Frame.  I cued her at the very top to zone and she didn't do it.  So I think my mind just got scrambled, I sent her to the chute and then called her back to me to the teeter.  BUT, she took it too fast and I didn't get my "teeter" cue in there so she thought it was the dogwalk.. again.. and took off into outer space for a brief minute.  If not for that, we would have qualified.

Just watch the video.





On a bright note, she didn't seem terribly concerned afterwards (even though she was on the wrong side for the finish and then spun when I tried to back cross) and we were able to finish the course.  She didn't take any off course obstacles, which I think bodes well for the future as the courses we encounter start to get harder.

Now all I hope is that no teeter issues pop up.  We'll have a private lesson after class on Tuesday to work the heck out of all three contacts!

We had a long wait before Novice Jumpers.  We mostly hung out under our canopy (which worked really well, though it hasn't yet been tested in the wind).  We took a walk in the woods, too.  Marge enjoyed it, but I kept it short because of the heat and the threat of ticks still murmuring in my mind.


When we got back, Marge hung out in her crate with our surprisingly powerful battery-operated fan.  I also brought along a washcloth and wet her down frequently, much to her dismay.


Eventually, it was time for Jumpers.  It was in the mid-80s by then, and all three of us were pretty worn out.  But we had stuck it out all this time, and I knew we could squeeze one more run out.  Turns out I was right.





Not much to complain about in this one. I was definitely sloppy because I was beat, but Marge saved me a couple of times. I'm so happy I did that back cross to the tunnel. I was worried about her taking the wrong tunnel entrance, but I really didn't think I could get a front cross in. Another nice set of weaves, and the whole effort earned us a first place in 20" Novice B.


So, despite our mishaps in Open, I think we had a successful day.  We got measuring out of the way,  we discovered a new trial site, we were able to stay with each other in Open, and we got our 2nd leg in Novice Jumpers.  We'll do it all again next weekend at a local trial.  Hopefully it won't be too hot.  After that, no more trials until September!

30 comments:

Frankie Furter June 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

That is a beautiful blue ribbon!!

giantspeckledchihuahua June 19, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

Marge (and you) are amazing! Congratulations on your win. More importantly, Kudo's to marge for handling the new enviroment, heat, stress and measuring like the champ that she is!

Stella June 19, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

As a non-agility person, I say, Brilliant work, Marge! At the end of the last one, she is looking up at you with such love! You both are really amazing!

Cheers and hugs,
Jo and Stella

Kathy June 19, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

Whoooooooooo!!!! On the standard run I thought Marge looked like she was very comfortable and going fast, I thought she was terrific on that send to the tunnel, she had to go behind it looked like and find that entrance and she knew just what to do...the weaves were really nice and she just looked happy. Even on the table I thought she looked a little nervous which I think a lot of dogs are, but she calmed herself and handled it well. The chute was really nice, too bad about the flyoff on the teeter-yikes, it could have been that she got excited and was not looking at it and so did not see the base was different and thought it was the dog walk, or it could have been that she looked to me like she was getting excited out there, which is a good thing and if she does not get that same excitement level when she is training she just needs to learn to work through that. I would be very happy with that run even if it was not a Q, I saw all the things you are looking for, so YEA YOU GUYS HAD A FANTASTIC RUN!
The jumpers looked great, those are harder at the end of the day when everyone is hot, at least that is my feeling about the end of the day runs! Congrats on the Q. Looks like you guys really did fantastic, HUGE CONGRATS!

Stellaluna and Pals June 19, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

Mama Marge! I am so proud of you! I'm srsly jealous. I wanna do agility and jumpin so much but we live in the country and there aren't any clubs near us. Mama Jen thinks I would be good at the jumpin stuff since I can jump our three foot fence in one leap!
So yes, I livin through you vicariously :)
*wiggles and kisses*
Stellaluna the spazteroid

houndstooth June 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

Way to go to both of you! Marge looks very accomplished with those ribbons on her collar! Good luck at the next one!

Sara June 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

Great runs! Marge seemed to handle the heat & new enviornment beautifully! Congrats!

Benny and Lily June 19, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

Good job, well done Marge. The fan was well needed after that...
Benny & Lily

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom June 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

Blue is SOOOOO your kholour!

Khongrats!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: We hope woo are somewhere khool today!

The Army of Four June 19, 2010 at 5:47 PM  

Marge! You're a champion!!!! YEA!!!!!!
Way to go! I think you did really, really well because you look like you're totally having FUN!!!
Love,
Ammy

mayziegal June 19, 2010 at 6:03 PM  

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh, me and mom are so proud of you both! We luvs to watch movies of you two working together. You looks like you're having the best time!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Ricky the Sheltie June 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

Congratulations on two great runs - in the Open STD Marge was fast and confident and seemed unaffected by the new environment and noise, etc. and she did very well (and I don't imagine you will have any teeter issues because flying off it didn't seem to bother her)!

The JWW run was terrific - I couldn't tell that you guys were hot or had waited a long time or anything. Congrats on that Q!

Cinnamon June 19, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

Well done, Sam and Marge!! I enjoyed watching both videos. You are awesome!!

Muttsandaklutz June 19, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

Yeah!! I always look forward to clicking the play button when you've posted a new agility video. The teamwork between you and Marge brings a smile to my face! Congrats on all your successes this weekend. She didn't look upset at the teeter mishap at all -- my guess is that she won't have any lingering worries about it.

Lorenza June 19, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

Congratulations!
I loved watching you two in action!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Aragon greyhounds June 20, 2010 at 1:34 AM  

Nice job. I have always found Standard harder than Jumpers so good going you are already in Open. She does nice send work and looks comfortable on the course. The teeter was scary. Glad it didn't frighten her.

KB June 20, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

I must say that Marge looks beautiful in BLUE!

I think that perhaps the best thing you said was that Marge wasn't upset about the miscue in the first run. If she's like K, getting upset and tentative might have been a natural reaction, and she didn't!

And, then, she bounced back to win Jumpers! That girl is tough, and so are you!

Congrats!

Mango June 20, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

A winner! Hooray!

We did outside agility for the first time. Imagine poor Dexter's surprise (and mine) that the dog walk was made out of metal. He FREAKED and dove off of it. Whoops.

Mango Momma

Rebecca and Daisy Mae June 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

Good job Marge, I usually dont care about what is write or wrong, it all has to do with Mom's attitude! If she tells me good job, and gives me a massage, I did good! Who cares what other people think.
Daisy Mae

Sue June 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

Congratulations, you guys are doing so well. Think how far you've come in a short time. We're proud of you both.

That was some flying exit off the teeter.

LauraK June 20, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

You two looked awesome in your videos! And that teeter was rather impressive how she managed that. Silly girl!

I'm so thankful that I have a dog that saves my butt- they really pull through for us, don't they?

I'm so glad to get measuring out of the way too, Riley is NOT a fan of it.

Congrats on your great weekend with Marge, we'll be looking forward to hearing about your trial next weekend :)

Bella and Barry the Beagles June 21, 2010 at 3:56 AM  

Well done Marge and Sam!

Diana June 21, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

Great runs! Maybe she thought the teeter was the dogwalk. Thats seems to happen more when the dogwalk and the teeter are running in the same direction. I wouldnt worry to much about it. She'll get better at figuring out which is which. Diana

Rufus and Indie June 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

Congratulations one more time! I never get tired of your agility stories!

AC June 21, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

Nice work Team Marge! It sounds like Marge did great in a new environment. I was impressed that Marge didn't seem bothered by flying off the teater. That was an impressive recovery. And you both came back was a win!!

Deborah June 21, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

WOW, Marge, you were awesome, you both were! I watched both videos and I can understand why you got the blue ribbon!!! YEAH!!!
Good Job. I love watching this and it makes think I should set up a fun course outside for Buffy, I think she is the only one that I could possibly train!!
xxoo
Deborah

Dawn June 22, 2010 at 3:10 PM  

Hey Sam! I totally understand the comment moderator thingy! LOL!

Marge is a great dog and she's come so far, you have much to be proud of!

Gus, Louie and Callie June 22, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

Oh we are so proud of you... We love the videos....

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Stephanie June 24, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

I am amazed at your determination and joy of AKC agility training. Marge is lucky to have you.

Kari in WeHo July 4, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

sounds to me like it was a tricky course but she had fun so it was all good in the end

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