Monday, November 12, 2012

NATCH Kaiser!!!

For realz! I'm not even making it up! Kaiser finally decided that Saturday was THE day he would finally stop torturing me. After several failed attempts since July (following a hot streak, I might add), Kaiser finally Q'd on a Chances run -- the last he needed for his first NATCH. And just like I said he he would, he did it on a course with a dog walk. Let's just say I think he has Q'd on ONE Chances course with a dog walk. Ever. So yes, I knew it would be fitting that he would wait for that so he could say, "See mom, I was just messing with ya."

This is probably going to be one long stinking post, but I was so tired this weekend from all of the excitement that I just couldn't make myself sit at the computer another minute. It was a big trial on Saturday and we ran until 6 p.m. (that's late in La Crosse!). But that was awesome, because it meant that more of my friends were there for Kaiser's big day!

Kaiser had an all around phenomenal day on Saturday. He was on a hot streak and Q'd in BOTH rounds of Regular -- like, when does that ever happen?! Not only that, but his run in Regular Round 2 was the fastest of ALL Regular rounds that day! I did the yardage today and it clocked in at 5.2 yps. Granted, he did not stop on his dog walk, but he slowed down enough to get it.  ;o)  I'm thinking it has a good shot at being another 100+ DRI run for him. We shoot for those now, since it's fun and all.

Kaiser's only NQ of the day on Saturday was in Touch-n-Go. I decided to enter him to start chipping away at the Versatility points we need. I've been holding him out of the games because I didn't want him to NATCH and V-NATCH on the same day. I'm shallow, I want two celebrations. He is way behind in TNG points, though, so I decided to see if we could get one this weekend. It was not to be, however. He put in a great run until the last obstacle -- the dog walk -- where he launched from well above the line.

I did make him come back to school it, even though he had already gone through the finish hoop. I knew that Chances (the next class) had a dog walk in it and that was NOT the note I wanted to go in on. That said, he still didn't stop when we schooled it... Oh Kaiser, you little turd.

No worries, though! He was a good, good, good boy in his Chances run and didn't even bobble. When he went into the tunnel at 6 I started screaming inside my head that he would get it (turning away at 5 was the last point where I felt I needed to worry with him, because he's done it before!). I kept it inside until he got the out tunnel under the dog walk and then I found myself screaming "OH MY GOD!" for the last two obstacles. lol

I've debated for a while if I would make Kaiser do a victory lap. He's not really a victory lap kind of dog, but I took a moment to glance around and realized that we could do it with almost all tunnels. Kaiser LOVES tunnels, so I decided to go for it and I think he thought it was DA BOMB. It was so fun! Run little man, run!

I was so excited to finally make Kaiser's first NATCH video!!!

He put in a great Jumpers run that day as well, but it wasn't his fastest ever -- He'd had a long day by that point and it was getting late (compared to normal, at least). And I did torture him with that NATCH photo session, you know.

Here are the rest of Kaiser's runs from Saturday:

Kaiser had a rough day on Sunday. All of his NATCH treats caught up with him. I knew he was having some stomach issues because he jumped off the bed and let himself outside at least twice during the night. He also wasn't terribly enthusiastic about breakfast, but he did eat. As we waited for his first run (Jumpers), he was very quiet. When we started the course, I knew something was off with him. I wondered if he was sore? Something was off? I almost pulled him off the course when he refused one jump multiple times, but then he started running again.

And two obstacles later he crapped in the ring.

POOR KAISER. His tummy was so upset. And if you know anything about Kaiser, you know this dog is not capable of stationary pooping. Since the day he came home to me he has been a traveling pooper, and apparently it's even more so when he has the runs and when he's in a turf agility ring... Kaiser left a trail of poo more than 20' long. He was the 2nd to last dog in the Elite class and we held up that poor last dog 15-20 minutes while we tried to clean it all up. Sigh.

He made it through the rest of the day with numerous trips outside and very few treats (he was not so cool about that, he kept dragging me back to the crate and was like, "Uh, I get more chicken." I felt bad that I couldn't reward him more after his Chances run -- Because, you know, the little stinker went and got another Q on Sunday. And wouldn't you know it, but the course had a dog walk AGAIN. I told you he's been messing with me.

I eliminated us in the first Regular run because Kaiser was just being super weird about the weaves. I worried that it was his stomach issue thinking about returning on course, but I think he was just not happy about my handling choices. I was debating throwing a rear cross at him, but when that didn't work I had an ugly push or rear cross out of the weaves. He ended up taking an off course jump on one of our resets (and come on, when does this dog not weave?), so I decided to just take a fast path out of the ring which happened to include the dog walk -- and he got it, so good boy, Kaiser. He was fine for his last run and got a Q! Three Regular Q's in one weekend, no way!

Okay, this is Secret's blog, so I guess I'll talk about her, too.

Secret had a fantastic weekend! Overall she was 7/8 -- Her only NQ of the weekend was in Chances on Saturday. She did what I worried Kaiser might do and turned the wrong way at the hoop before the tunnel. They keep doing that lately and I wonder what I'm doing that is causing it. Training might help. Nah...

I found out something very interesting this weekend about Secret -- There ARE some dogs that get her very, very, very turned on to watch them run. There was an awesome little red border collie named Nim at this trial. A few times we had the opportunity to run directly after Nim (who ran 20" and Secret was the first 16" dog) and I let Secret watch Nim run. Secret would quiver and lock on to Nim for the entire run. I've never seen her react that way to any dog doing agility. I've had her get worked up when we encounter a dog that she'd like to kill in the line-up, but this felt like good, positive energy and we were able to harness it well for the most part. Her Chances and Jumpers runs from Saturday were both following Nim if you take note of them on the video.

The mission of the weekend was to try to find a way to keep Secret quiet during the trial. Her barking, growling & lunging has gotten completely out of control lately. I know it's because I'm always working any class we're not running and I'm not able to stay by the crates to correct her. I've tried to cover up her crate as much as is physically possible and it hasn't made a difference. At the last NADAC trial in La Crosse I set her up in an area set back a good 15-20' away from the action of other dogs and she still went off the entire trial.

This time I set her up in the back of the arena, behind a vendor table where I hoped there wouldn't be much action. I blockaded my kennel area as well as I could and a friend helped by turning a table over and using that to help make a fortress.

AND IT WORKED. Secret was so much better this weekend! We still had a few moments when stupid, stupid people would obliviously enter her space. One person went through my fortress to get to the warm-up area when there were 800 other ways she could have gotten there. I should note, though, that Secret was next to this warm-up area (which I've never seen USED before, so I didn't even consider it) and this did not set her off in the least -- we think because there was a gate/barrier between her and the dogs. The only other issue we had was when stupid people would walk their dogs in the closed off space behind my crating area. There was NO reason for people to be back there. Seriously.... Sometimes I just wonder about people. Are you trying to make my dog be a bitch? Buy a clue.

We think that it's a barrier issue. Secret is worried about dogs coming towards her and we think that she feels better if there is a physical barrier between them and her. A friend suggested that I look into getting some semi-solid gates to set up in front of my crating area in the future to see if that helps Secret feel more secure in her crate. It's worth a shot, that's for sure. I think she rested in her crate more this weekend, too, which is always a bonus. I think two full days is hard on Secret. She is always just DONE by the last runs. She still tries hard, but she is undeniably slow come the Regular runs on Sunday.

And finally, Luke!

What can I say about the old man? He blew me away this weekend, just with his ENERGY that stayed over the top from the first run to the last. Where did this come from? It makes me so happy to see him having so much fun. The judge asked me how old he was on Sunday and I think he was surprised that the answer was "almost nine." He said that Luke was a lot of fun to watch, and I think it's just because Luke is having so much fun himself!

Luke NQ'd in the first round of Regular on Saturday because he thought a-frame contacts were for sissies, but he reined himself in after that and didn't miss anymore the rest of the weekend. He had a smoking Jumpers run that day, too, which was so much fun! Running him at 12" has been the best thing ever.

I screwed up his Jumpers run on Sunday -- No, don't worry, I didn't try any bonus lines. I just drifted laterally much too early (in addition to calling his name) and guess what, he followed me. He circled back to back jump before I could stop him, and then I caused a knocked bar on a poorly timed rear cross on the way out.

Getting both of his Regular runs put Luke at 900 Regular points! Wow, just 10 runs from 1000! That's awesome. His Chances Q on Sunday also tied him with Secret in the countdown for NATCH (granted, it would be his fourth). How awesome would it be if they both got a NATCH on the same day? We'll see. Luke also needs two Jumpers Q's in addition to the two Chances Q's. The way things have been for us, it is theoretically possible that he will NATCH on a Jumpers run. Go figure, I never expected that would happen. All of those bonus attempts really threw off our Jumpers Q's. Oh well.

But yes! I failed to mention that in Secret's recap. Just two more to go for the baby dog.... She finished up two big titles this weekend. On Saturday she finished her Superior Elite Regular title (she has 43 Elite Regular Q's now!) and on Sunday she finished her Superior Elite Jumpers title (20 Q's). Eventually I suppose I'll start working on her Versatility titles. Or not. Who knows. She would never enjoy running 6 classes a day, I know that.

I had a giant stupid moment with regard to our next USDAA trial. I procrastinated and didn't actually get it in the mail until this past Friday. The trial closed today (11/12) and I thought, "It will make it from Sparta to New Berlin by Monday, no problem." Well guess what, there is no mail today (Veteran's Day). I about crapped my pants when I realized that this morning. I e-mailed Katie at Think Pawsitive and she said it was okay. Phew. I didn't know if USDAA was super strict like AKC. Thankfully it was in my favor -- that would have sucked!

I decided to enter both days, but limited the classes. Secret is running Standard, Gamblers, Jumpers & PSJ on Saturday. Kaiser is in Standard, Pairs and PSJ. Then we stay overnight and run the first two classes on Sunday -- Jumpers and Snooker (Kaiser is only in Jumpers because I didn't want the Snooker conflict with them in the same class). The PSJ finals is right after Snooker, so we'll stay for that if they make it. Either way we'll be on the road home with plenty of daylight in front of us this time.

It was super tempting to stay for Standard, but it was the last class again. If Secret Q'd in both Standard runs (and Gamblers) she could finish out her APD, but I decided I'd rather get home and rest. There will be other trials!