Sunday, June 3, 2012

An Agility Slumber Party

Last weekend, Louie and I went overnight to a two day agility trial with Marge and Arrow.

I only had one Q all weekend (Marge's 9th MXJ leg, for 6 MACH points).

This was probably my favorite course from the weekend, because both dogs did extremely well on it.  Although Arrow didn't qualify (due to having the first bar down and skipping the 3rd weave pole), my run with her felt so connected and smooth.

Arrow's Standard runs were plagued by bad handling on my part, and her Jumpers runs were both beautiful, heartbreaking near-miss runs (one bar and weave pole issues in both).  I hadn't practiced with Arrow for two weeks before this trial, which definitely impacted my handling, particularly in Standard, since timing is of the utmost importance with a dog as fast as she is.  I chickened out of front crosses that might have saved a run or two and went back to my old arm-straight-up-in-the-air nonsense that pulled her off of at least two obstacles in Standard.

You'll see what I mean if you watch a video featuring all of her runs here.  The Jumpers runs were so nice.

Marge's Standard runs featured the same old, same old... beautiful, clean, runs, but a teeter jump-off on Saturday, and a table jump-off on Sunday dashed any MX legs or double-Q hopes.  Her non-qualifying Jumpers run, too, was doomed due to a very stupid handling choice by me.  I haven't even bothered to upload them, because there's not much to be learned from them.

Bottom line.. I need to practice more.  between finals, graduation, the weather, and various other factors, I have not been doing a lot of agility lately.  And Marge, of course, needs some serious contact obstacle proofing.  We're NQ'ing in Standard on the same things, over and over again.

Despite the low Q rate, we had a wonderful time.  Arrow was perfectly behaved, and she and Marge shared the hotel room like they'd been living together for years!  They even played together a little bit.. a first for the two of them.  They have always sort of coexisted by ignoring each other, but I think after spending some time together at the past couple agility trials, they have become friends.

Marge preferred to snooze on the bed adjacent to mine.  Though she would have happily shared with Arrow, Arrow decided that the cushiony chair next to our bed was the perfect Border Collie recharging station.

Apparently, their sleeping quarters were more than sufficient, because they were both ready to go by 4 AM, jumping all over the bed to wake me up to go outside.  I was not happy, but obliged, since I knew Miss Marge had to poop.

The trial site did start to heat up quite a bit on the 2nd day.  I had a fan blowing on them and they had ample water, but the air was definitely stuffy. Arrow thought that jumping up and biting the hose was the perfect way to keep cool.  Marge preferred to suffer through the heat.

Understandably, they were pooped when it was all said and done, and curled up together for a nap on the way home.

Next up: two days at North Branch Park in a week.  Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but it sure would be nice to finish two MXJs that weekend!


PoochesForPeace June 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM  

Apparently I have some catching up to do on your blog. Do you own this interesting little border collie Arrow?

Sam June 3, 2012 at 8:37 PM  

Nope, she's not mine! Some friends of mine are letting me handle her in agility.

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