Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eat My Dust

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!


Unknown March 5, 2011 at 7:06 AM  

Well done, Sam and Marge!!! Both of you did so well. I can see how excited Marge was in the video, she was so eager and full of enthusiasm. Congratulations!

Chris and Ricky March 5, 2011 at 7:39 AM  

Congratulations on your OAJ! WooHoo - that was a great run - Marge reads you so well! I liked the STD run too - loved Marge's enthusiasm when she jumped the DW contact and then her table was very nice and you were awesome with the distance you were from the table so you weren't hovering over her when she laid down. Mom should remember to not crowd me on the table.

Looking forward to seeing you guys in Exc JWW - you'll have fun!

Sara March 5, 2011 at 8:22 AM  

Congratulations! Too great trials in a row! You guys rock.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ March 5, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

Congrats to both of you!!! We think her weaves are amazing too as is the rest of the run!!! Give her some extra treats and hugs from us.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Cyndi and Stumpy March 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM  

Congratulations! I'm just going to say it again. You and Marge are amazing. A real testamint to what can be accomplished with love and patience.

Your videographer rocks, too!

Happy, Waggin' Tails, FUREVER!
Stumpy and me

Kathy Mocharnuk March 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

YOU GUYS ROCK and how does it feel to be EXCELLENT level??? Congrats on a very nice trial, I thought Marge looked very good even when she had to wait a long time before the start of the jumpers, and when she handled that so well, and looked so comfortable, boy she has made such huge progress, she looks FANTASTIC!!!

Muttsandaklutz March 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM  

Awesome!! Congrats on the lack of table stress and Marge's new title! Her weaves are beautiful, and I love all those rear crosses, so flowy.

houndstooth March 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM  

Congratulations to you and Marge! She looks like she's having a great time!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! March 5, 2011 at 8:15 PM  

Pawesome job!


KB March 5, 2011 at 8:58 PM  

Whoa! Marge had that excitement, sparkle, verve... whatever you want to call it but she also was watching you so closely. Those videos were plain fun to watch! Leaping the contact - no big deal - you know that you can fix that. Marge's attitude is what matters, and it was so good.

Way to go on the title! Watch out Excellent Jumpers, here comes Marge!

Kirby, CGC March 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

Congratulations on your accomplishment! That is so awesome. Marge always looks like she is in heaven when she's doing agility, so happy! Good job working with her!

Kirby's mom

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart March 6, 2011 at 6:52 PM  

So jealous and excited for you. Congrats.

Lorenza March 6, 2011 at 9:28 PM  

Super duper job!
Congratulations to you two!
Kisses and hugs

Kristine March 7, 2011 at 6:45 PM  

Fantastic, good for you both! Congrats on completing your title, that is hugely awesome stuff. :-)

I think both your runs looked great, Marge seemed to enjoy every second. I am beyond envious of your weaves... They look amazing. What a great start for the rest of the trialing year!

It's so interesting how different the AKC agility is from what I am used to here in Nova Scotia. So many different rules. I don't know how people keep track.

Amy / Layla the Malamute March 8, 2011 at 12:47 AM  

I love it! I loved the videos. She looks awesome, and you handle her so nicely.

CONGRATULATIONS on the OAJ - that's fantastic news! I guess we'll have to wait until Layla's in Excellent to be able to walk courses together; probably in about 8 years or so :)

Sam March 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM  

Not true, Amy - I'm still chasing that last OA leg. We'll be walking together at Freehold, if you're there!

And 8 yrs? Yeah right!

An English Shepherd March 10, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

Very well done :-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds March 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM  

Yeah, I've been wondering about this automatic table as well. Not sure Riley would like a talking table.

Kari in Alaska March 11, 2011 at 11:51 AM  

Well done. Congrats :)


Ice Pony Girl March 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM  

Wow! Look at all those ribbons. Good job!!

Sal March 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM  

Looks like you had a great day at the trial. Congrats on the Excellent Level!

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