Monday, July 11, 2011

Fat Chances!

I had an entertaining discussion with my friend, Robin A, at the trial on Saturday. She has an interesting philosophy regarding the difficultly level of the Chances class. Or perhaps I should say, a sliding scale. It ranges from "Slim Chances" (where it can be assumed that you have a reasonably good chance at succeeding) to "Morbidly Obese Chances" (where you essentially don't have a chance in hell). We all agreed that Saturday's course was right there in Morbidly Obese land. For Secret, at least!!

But Chances aside, Secret had a really good day! She Q'd in 3/4 runs and got her Novice Hoopers Title! See that giant blue New Title ribbon? MAC has the largest I've ever come across. Love me the ribbon bling-bling.

Hoopers was up first and I was happy to see HOOP WEAVES in the course! Not sure why -- I mean, Secret has only practiced them once and then I never touched on them again. I have no idea why I thought that it would be a good idea to plan a course with the HW. That said, I did have a back-up plan in place if everything fell apart, but it involved getting the "out" hoop of a side-by-side pair in the middle of a pinwheel, and that took a couple of tries last time we saw it.

The first test was just a big arch of hoops up at the top of the ring, then the HW test had a single hoop prior to the HW to start. Secret entered on the wrong side the first time, so we had to restart the test (thankfully it wasn't very far). She got it right the second time, did one weaving motion and then stopped and barked at me. I'm sure the fact that these hoops were made of the most giant PVC I've ever seen probably threw her off a bit -- Mine at home are simple 3/4 and this looked almost like 1 1/2"! Definitely more of a "jump" over the bases. At any rate, I got her going again without missing any part of the pattern and then it was a quick turn and run through the finish hoop. Secret Q'd and got first place -- Out of TWELVE dogs! :o) It was nice to have some actual competition for once. Usually the trials are so small that we're lucky to have two other dogs in our group.

Secret got a bit of a break before her first round of Open Regular. I am so happy with this run of hers! She was happy, sassy & moving! Considering this, I was pretty shocked when I looked at the results and saw that she was listed as having 10 faults for that run. Uhhh...... I may have come off a bit psychotic as I looked into this, but gosh darn it I was not going to take an NQ for such a nice run!

My friend, Rich, was timing that run -- But he was also video taping for me, so he was no help. lol The scribe could not remember what the call was (or if it might have been written on the wrong line) -- and since I was late in looking at the results (because hello, I assumed it was a Q!), I don't blame her for not remembering. THANK GOODNESS I had the video tape. In a break between rounds I approached the judge and asked her about it and explained that I had it on video if she would like to watch. Thankfully Pam Smith is a wonderful & kind judge, so she readily agreed to it. After watching the video she proclaimed that it was, indeed, a clean run and she took care of it with the score table. Phew!

The second run was not quite as awesome as the first, but still good nonetheless. Secret was spooked by the giant fan RIGHT at the start line and I was happy she managed to get through the first hoop in a straight line. I'm not sure if she wasn't a fan of my blind cross before the weaves or what, but she was especially slow through them and then she went, "Ooh, what is that?" at a big white spot on the floor right after them. It made me feel better to see a couple other dogs sight in on some of the painted spots on the floor.

Positive note -- She actually went to the bottom of all of her contacts this time! Yay, Secret!

Finally we had our Open Chances class. They switched the schedule around to try to avoid conflicts between the two rings, so we ended up running Open before Elite. I'm not sure that it matters, but I would have liked to have gotten a feel for the course with the boys first. Oh well. No matter what, the course was well beyond her capabilities at this time. Good heavens, this course even looked challenging at the Novice level! It really was one of the more difficult ones we've seen lately. And from the looks of it, Sunday wasn't much better so we didn't really miss out on anything. :o)

The first road block was that Secret had to go to the end of the dog walk with me nowhere near her and being forced laterally away from her. She didn't like that. Then I had to somehow convince her to go way out to a tunnel in la-la land while I stood there at the line (having left myself no room, of course). She came right to me off the dog walk and started barking and bouncing at my feet because I was acting like a crazy person (in her mind, at least). It quickly became evident that she was not going to send out that far to the tunnel, but then she crossed over the line and it didn't matter. I moved a little closer and did achieve a reasonable send, then I moved back across the line to practice the rest of the course.

The next part was two hoops that you took as a 180 -- You (or your dog) could choose which to do first, but then you had to do the opposite on your way back to the tunnel. Secret went between them. hahaha Silly girl.... Whatever, keep going! I tried to send her back out to the tunnel, but nope, not happening -- She needed more help with that. And finally, you had to get the "out" tunnel under the dog walk -- So up the dog walk she went. Truthfully, though, in looking at the video it is obvious that I did not assist her in any way with choosing correctly. I was also a little too sharp in my correction of her choice, which I felt bad about after seeing how happy she was to go sailing up the dog walk. We made the run out fast & fun, though, so we ended this dreadful course on a good note.

So that makes Secret's Champs tally:

8/10 Regular
0/2 Chances
2/2 Jumpers
2/2 Weavers
2/2 Touch-n-Go
2/2 Tunnelers
0/2 Hoopers (but we have our Novice title now!)

I have to send our entries for the La Crosse trial soon -- I'm planning to keep Secret in Skilled, but let her start to run Elite now. She seems happier at 16", so why not? She still needs to get one more Open Touch-n-Go Q for that title, but otherwise she's at Elite in everything other than Chances (and Hoopers, of course). I think I'm going to shoot for running her in 5 classes each day, plus perhaps 2 on Friday night. We'll see -- I need to figure out what the boys are doing.

Good heavens, I almost forgot to add her video. :o)

I went through our trial sheets and realized that this was only Secret's 13th day of trialing. Aside from two full weekends in La Crosse and the Funraiser weekend in Iowa, all of her trial experiences have been single days. She has managed to accumulate 43 Q's in this time, which I think is pretty amazing for my baby dog. (We won't compare her to where Kaiser was at this time in his career, lol -- that would be sad -- for Kaiser....) But I do wonder how she'll take four days down in Springfield come October.

The boys got their runs lumped into one video since they only had five between them. I had thought Kaiser should take it easy with all of his recent medical stuff, but he showed me that I'm silly and that he's ready to rock and roll. He was having a blast! And poor Luke... We just never clicked in our two classes.


  1. Robin is funny! We had the same chances talk. I asked her about the chances rating for sunday and she said fat chance but CeCe said that one was a morbidly obese one for her so you didn't miss much.

    When I saw Secret stop at that white spot it reminded me of QCDC. They had two of those patches last weekend and several dogs stopped to sniff them. I wonder whats so interesting about them??

  2. I could see it being distracting or confusing to a dog trained with bait plates or targets, but I have no idea why it caught Secret's attention. She started to stress at the weaves on that run, so I'm sure it was just a stress behavior. That whole run started out stressful since she thought the fan would eat her.