Today, we went back for another day in the dirt at Dream Park for AKC agility. (I really have the best boyfriend ever for him being as involved with all of my agility stuff as he is.)
I kept the same routine as last time - went in to check in, then took Marge for a long walk through the vast property. Unfortunately, not many of our friends were here this weekend, so we went out solo.
This time, we ran in both classes, Standard and Jumpers. As it turned out, my rant last week about the automatic table was inaccurate; there WAS no automatic table. Maybe I was just hearing things last weekend.
When I found out that precious little tidbit of information, I felt so much more confident about Standard.
And I had reason to be! Marge's Standard run was quite good. She was flying pretty high, as she usually does in Standard, but wasn't out of control. My working distance from her increases dramatically when she's like this.
She almost took an off course at the second tunnel, but I was able to call her off of the jump. Once we had gotten through the teeter and A-Frame and were headed for the Dog Walk, I thought to myself, if she gets on the table, we've got this.
Turns out I was wrong - Marge LEAPED the Dog Walk contact, causing us to NQ!
I was so surprised by her missed contact that I reflexively said "Hey!!" to her after it happened, which did, in turn, cause her to circle in front of the table to come back to me, counting for a refusal. However, I had not yet given her the cue to go to the table, so I don't think she was outright avoiding it. She got right on it when I asked and immediately went down, and I praised the heck out of her.
The ending was sloppy and I ran it differently than I originally walked, but we got it done.
So, no Q there. I was kind of frustrated after the run because we were so close, but looking back, I am SO happy with this run. I'd much prefer a missed contact over table stress.
And so began the not-so-terribly long wait for Open Jumpers, our next chance at a title. Marge hung out with Louie and I in the bleachers for a while, soaking in the sights and sounds of the trial going on below her. We sat in the car for a bit, too, and took another scenic walk. Marge was not crated at ALL for this trial, and I'm happy with the way she behaved. Perhaps being in crates has stressed her out at other trials. Hmm.
When it was time for Jumpers, I was exhausted, just as I usually am at the end of a trialing day. But I knew we could squeeze more run out.
Turns out it was our last run in Open Jumpers ever. We finished our title.
They had us on the start line for that ridiculous amount of time due to the fact that my score sheet had somehow gotten attached to that of the dog before me. I couldn't proceed until they found it. However, Marge was AWESOME while waiting, which is why I left the clip in the video. She offered eye contact, heeled in a circle, and jumped up to touch my hand when I asked her to.
I wasn't crazy about the fact that she shook off at the start line (did it in her Standard run too - stress?), but she remained in place and I lead out just a tiny bit.
I ran the whole thing with rear crosses. The course was probably better suited to fronts in a couple of areas, but I am just so much more confident in my ability to handle with rears that I thought I could pull it off. The only place we found trouble is at the tunnel.. but a ton of dogs were having trouble with it. It simply didn't run well.
Her weaves were fantastic, and I was so proud of the both of us for completing the ending clean after the slightly curved red tunnel. I was absolutely ecstatic when she took the final jump. OAJ complete!
I tried to pose her with her ribbons, but the wind wouldn't cooperate.
A few hours and one rest stop later (we don't have Roy Rogers in NYC!), we were home. And, now I am tired, and need desperately to sleep. I'm sure I'll be stressing in the morning about how I'll be running in EXCELLENT Jumpers at my next trial in April!