Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Early Report

Marge and I are currently at home, in between runs at our agility trial this weekend.

We ran JWW this morning, with ominous black-grey clouds hovering over us. Just as the first dog in the class went to the line, the skies opened up.

I wasn't sure whether I should still run or not; Marge is not a fan of the rain. But, it was not thunder storming. (If it was, I'd have to be a complete idiot to run her.) So, we gave it a shot. Sorry, no video - it was more important that my sister be standing by with hot dog bits in the event that Marge decided she didn't want to deal with the rain and ran out. Here is the map. I hope it's legible. Jump 1 is at the bottom left.

It started out well, I led out between 1 and 2 and Marge took 1-2-3-4-5 easily. I back crossed over 5 in to the weaves.. most people tried to front cross between 4 and 5, but I didn't think I could get there. Marge did miss her weave entrance, but I don't think it's due to the back cross - she has a little trouble with weave pole entrances at trials so far. I personally think it has to due with the new 24" spacing on the weaves, which we do not get to practice at class (and, our set at home is 21" spacing - a big difference for some dogs!) She sniffed a little bit before getting back in to the weaves (probably because she hadn't pooped all morning, much to my dismay), but then ran the weaves really nicely.

I sent her out to the tunnel so I could be in the right position after jump 8 to send her to 9.. but somehow, I sent her to the double instead. I praised the heck out of her though, the rain was coming down and I had no idea she'd be running as happily and fast as she was, and then we got back on track.

I back crossed on the flat before 12 - it doesn't look like it's be a good option based on the map, but it actually worked out really well. The angle wasn't quite as sharp. I should have tried front crossing after the tunnel, especially since the run was already an NQ at that point, but I was just as curious about doing a soft back over 14 to get Marge on my right side for the final jump. It worked it okay, I guess - I tried to send her on to the final jump, but she kind of had to look back at me first to see where I was.

She got to eat an entire hot dog after this run. I was SO proud of her for sticking with me in the rain. I hope to go back there later and kick some serious behind.. it looks like the worst of the weather is behind us, so I hope the handler jitters are, too!

I don't know what it is with me and Jumpers. I really love running Jumpers courses because of the speed and the flow, but I feel like it's SO much harder than Standard. My prediction is that we'll be in Novice JWW for a long time, probably due to my silly mistakes. I hope I can get it together for Marge in Jumpers tomorrow!

There will be a lot more to come from this trial, I hope. **Also, check back sometime in the next couple of days for a newspaper article featuring Marge (and a HUGE color photo of her!).**


houndstooth May 8, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

Glad to hear it's going well!

the teacher's pets May 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

All I can say is that you and Marge must be in super good shape to do all of those runs and you should be proud of yourselves! I'm jealous of your ability to get out there in the rain but I am in need of some motivation to run with Miss Daisy so you just may be my new athletic coach!
Can't wait to read your newpaper article! How exciting! Bravo!

Bijou May 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

Hi Marge and Sam,

It sounds like you two are having fun and that's the most important thing. A whole hotdog? Wow-wee!


Two French Bulldogs May 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

Good luck today at the trials
Benny & Lily

Cyndi and Stumpy May 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

As long as everyone, and most especially marge, is having fun it's all good.

Isn't it funny how we can usually point to the handler (ourselves) when a mistake is made?

Amy / Layla the Malamute May 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

That looks like a pretty difficult JWW course. It looks more like something from Open than Novice. Maybe it's just me. I would've done the same cross before #12 too.

That's great that she ran in the rain! I'm worried about that, I haven't decided whether or not I'd run her in the rain. I might only do a JWW course and not risk her slipping off a contact. I guess I'll worry about it when the time comes.

Can't remember if I replied or not, but I would've taken her home in between the runs, too. Even if it was a gorgeous day with no distractions (like that rink) she'd still rest more comfortably at home.

Can't wait to see the article! Good luck in the rest of the runs!

Sue May 8, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

If she can do that well in the rain, the rest should be even better. Good luck. We'll be waiting to hear how it went.

KB May 8, 2010 at 6:04 PM  

My favorite part is your attitude. You're just out there helping Marge to do her very best and not obsessing about every little mistake. I agree that it was awesome that she did everything you asked in the rain. A big victory!!!!

Jumpers does sound like a ton fun but it must be very fast - so that means that you have to make decisions very fast when things don't go as expected. That must take experience!

Can explain exactly what "jumpers" means since it appears that there are other obstacles too? Sorry to be so naive!

Kathy Mocharnuk May 8, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

yea, another big variable-the rain that Marge did well in. I think standard has a lot more places where you are stopping and where things are sort of collecting, tables, contacts, where jumpers just keeps going and usually you are sort of going around and taking jumps more then once which if you are nervous can get confusing. I hope the rest of the day goes even better!!! GOOOOOO MARGE and kick some butt!!!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! May 8, 2010 at 6:19 PM  

I hope woo haven't blown away!

Mom about lost her hat on our walk!

I'll be looking furward to seeing more!


BRUTUS May 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Great report! I found it interesting to find that in AKC (where it is so easy to NQ, compared to CPE) that an NQ run can be as good of an experience as a Q! No pretty green ribbon, but when the pressure is already off it give you a great opportunity to try out some new things in the ring! Can't wait to hear how Standard went. It is SOOO windy here, I think Brutus would blow right off the dogwalk if we were outside!


Diana May 8, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

Thats a tough novice course. I looked at it before I read what you posted and thought , "Wow, tough". It sounds like you guys did great. Sometime jumpers is harder because you dog has more speed so you have to think and run faster. Good luck the rest of the weekend. Diana

The Army of Four May 8, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

We're so proud of you! BOTH of you!
Tail wags,

Lorenza May 8, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

I am sure everything went well!
Kisses and hugs

Golden Samantha May 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM  

Oh Yeah! HOT DOGGIES! My new fave treat too! Sounds like you are on track though Marge - good on you - I am so proud of you! Will check back!
Hugs xoxoxoxo
Sammie and Mom

Martha May 9, 2010 at 3:36 AM  

We hope the trials went well for both of you.
We are always so impressed with your effort, dedication and fitness!
Have a good weekend.
Martha and Bailey xxx

Sara May 9, 2010 at 6:07 AM  

Jumpers courses are my favorite. I think they are easier on Oreo, because he gets to keep moving, and the judge isn't looming over him. Less stressful for both of us.

Hope the afternoon went well. Looking forward to hearing about it.

SissySees May 9, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

Hooray for all of you! I've had a couple of dogs who don't care for rain at all (nor do I), so I'm very impressed at your (plural) dedication. Your sister is obviously devoted to the cause as well!

Dawn May 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

Can't wait to hear more! Whooohoo!!! Good dog Marge!

AC May 9, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

My, would there be a lot more happy dogs out there if every handler had your attitude! Nice work to you for keeping your head on and knowing you were there for Marge. I think that's easier said than done for a lot of people who get caught up in the excitement and nerves of the event and get swept away by a need to be competitive.

It sounds like Marge had a good time, rain and all! Looking forward to the rest of the report!!

kissa-bull May 9, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

we're sending all our good luck vibes your way in hopes that everything turns out well

pibble wiggles
the pittie pack

Cinnamon and Mint May 9, 2010 at 5:32 PM  

I hate the rain too, and I liked Jumpers better than Standard too. I think Marge did very well, considering the change to the weave setting and the weather.

I hope the other run later on the day went well in a better weather and ground condition.

By the way, were course layouts handed out to trial entrants? Or, did you draw the course layout by yourself? We never saw printed course layouts in agility trials I entered.


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