Sunday, July 14, 2013
I think I'm starting to like this AKC stuff. ;o)
Yesterday we had a picture-perfect day at the MAC AKC trial in Burnsville, MN. Secret kept up her perfect Q-rate with 100-point Q's and 1st place in both of her runs! Kaiser finally managed to get a Novice JWW Q and picked up his third Novice Standard Q, so on to Open for him!
All three dogs were perfect little travelers. Luke held down the fort at home (he's such a good boy) and I managed to figure out the crating puzzle in a way that would work for everyone. Kaiser and Lucy ended up hanging together all day. I did stuff a spare small crate into my car just in case they needed to be separated for any reason (in the car Kaiser would have had to go with Secret, though; just no more room!), but I never needed it because they were angelic little beings all day long.
I was concerned about how Lucy would behave at the trial because she's been a little unpredictable around dogs in our limited time together. It seems to be a barrier issue (on leash, in a kennel), so I was understandably nervous about her being in such an overwhelming place as a trial at Soccerblast. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Other than a little bit of squeaking right when we left (at 4:30 a.m.....), she really didn't do much at all. I had the crates completely covered like I usually do and I never heard one peep out of anybody (even when I took Kaiser away from her!). She talked a little at a couple of big dogs that passed by when I was holding her on the benches, but it passed quickly and I was able to easily distract her.
Great news for Kaiser, too! Turns out that one of our judges, Christie Bowers, is a VMO. This meant that Kaiser was able to get his second and final official measurement for his height card. He slouched and slunk like a good little boy this time and we actually got a measurement of 13 7/8"! Look at that, a whopping 1/8" to spare; nothing to worry about. :o) I was incredibly relieved to get that out of the way. I guess it's official, then -- Kaiser is an AKC dog now. Three cheers for being able to jump 8" in another organization.
Secret's Open JWW was the first class of the day in Ring 1. They were running small to tall, so we had plenty of time to settle in, go potty and go wait our turn. I brought the Coon Tail Tug with again and we had fun playing while waiting our turn. Then I got to talking to someone and completely failed to realize that our turn was approaching... We were the second 24" dog and I never even heard the height change. Whoops. We kind of got rushed to the line because of that.
This was a fun course and Secret was a very good girl. Many dogs were crashing and burning on it -- While she did get 1st place, Secret was also the only 24" dog to actually qualify; and apparently the other heights didn't fare well, either.
I did all front crosses. For whatever reason, the blinds just weren't feeling right once I got out there and started running. Secret started her weaves on the slower side but I left her to do her thing and she sped up considerably for the second half of the poles. I thought I heard a squeak out of her around jump 9 or 10, but I'm still not sure... She seems fine, but it caught me by surprise.
Secret saw her very first ever triple jump on this course. Hooray for crappy training! She did awesome, but wow, that thing looks kind of big at 24".
Kaiser was up next and was the 2nd dog to run in Novice, so our first two runs of the day were more or less back to back (with another big break between...). My biggest and only real concern on this course was that Kaiser would take the off course jump between 2 and 3. Lucky for me, the judge had parked herself pretty much right on top of that off course jump, which made it far less of an appealing option for Kaiser. He didn't appear to even look at that jump -- if anything I risked calling him off the side of 3 for over-cuing the turn.
After that I had a little fun and we might have showed off a little. I stayed on the take-off side of 8 (quite a bit off to the left so as not to step into his space bubble) and then did a nice little NADAC send through the top portion of the course while I ran to pick him up on the landing side of 12 to make that little turn to 13. It's so hard not to laugh when you hear the peanut gallery murmuring. People are just fascinated by Kaiser at these trials and are coming up to me with such nice things to say about him. It's quite a lot of fun. :o)
Kaiser won our small class, but not by much. Our little Sheltie friend, Minit, was making his AKC debut this weekend and is also running 8" Preferred. There was only 0.04 seconds difference between their times! This is a hoot because I think they will be each other's biggest competition at Champs this year. I look forward to the friendly rivalry and having such an excellent competitor to make me push myself to do our very best.
Lucy got to spend quite a bit of time out and about during our big break. One of my Klee Kai friends stopped by to meet her and was quite impressed with her wonderful personality. Lucy enjoyed sitting on my lap watching dogs run agility. She also made it fun because I had a few people say, "How many of those dogs do you have?" lol
After a long, but not horribly-so break Secret was up again in Open Standard. The judge in this ring (Christie Bowers, the one who measured Kaiser) was one of the nicest, most positive judges I've seen in a while. It was fun to be in her ring. She cheered loudly at the end of every run. I think AKC needs more of that type of positive attitude.
This course allowed me to do a "frisbee run-around" at the start to get Secret jazzed up (remember, she only goes clockwise...), so as soon as she started around I took off running. I did a front cross before the a-frame and then pushed out to the next jump (taking care not to push TOO hard because several dogs were going off course over the start jump) and then picked her up with another front cross on the landing side of 7 before the table. Yay for happy tables!
Speaking of, I don't think I ever shared this picture -- I bought it from the last AKC trial at Soccerblast. She's just so sassy. :o)
I ran with Secret on my left to the tunnel (many/most teams were going on the right and rear crossing the tunnel) and then took off and picked her up on the landing side before the teeter. Front cross after the weaves and then pretty much a straight run to the finish. Secret was hauling ass on that finishing line. I told her, "BIG, BIG, BIG" before the triple (I usually use that for the broad jump) and she flew over it and the panel jump and I think was a little unprepared for the dog walk entry. I felt like she scrambled slightly, but I was ahead of her and didn't really see it. Either way, she recovered nicely and finished with another 100-point Q and 1st! I'm sure some day we'll have to deal with our first NQ, but for now we're sitting 8/8 and I'm okay with that. lol
Kaiser's Standard run was the last of the day, but this trial was moving right along and I think it was only 1:30 or so when we ran this. I was a little unsure of how I was going to handle the whole sequence around the a-frame because I didn't want to risk pushing Kaiser into an off course with a late front cross before the a-frame. Front crossing after the a-frame is risky with him, too, though, because it messes with his striding.
In the end I ended up doing something completely unplanned, but I guess it worked. I led out slightly, but not enough and Kaiser pretty much broke the sound barrier on his way up to jump 4. Um, crap? I was way behind, so I just started calling him and ran towards the bottom of the course. I think I was too far ahead because he was a little hesitant on his a-frame and hit really high -- actually, I thought I saw the judge's hands go up, so honestly at this point I thought we had an NQ.
Not wanting to push Kaiser off his line, I ended up not rear crossing until he'd actually gone over 7, then we awkwardly made our way over to the table because he had no idea where I wanted him to go -- but we didn't get any table faults, so hooray for that. I got too far ahead of Kaiser while he was in the weaves and ended up rear crossing the landing side of the jump before the tunnel (yuck), but then I just took off to beat him down the dog walk.
Apparently Kaiser still has the issue of going too fast to feel comfortable hitting the contact -- and maybe I didn't actually cue the dog walk whatsoever. Either way, he ran right past the dog walk, but thankfully I was able to keep him from doing anything else on the way there.
Turns out we Q'd with 95 points with just that R at the dog walk. Huh. Seriously, I swore I saw the hands starting to go up out of the corner of my eye, but I guess not. The judge did make a comment on how much she loved him as we were on the dog walk, and before we even started our run she said she wanted to take him home. lol I told her I did have a foster sitting in a crate in the back! :o)
Speaking of Lucy, someone visited the vet a little earlier than originally planned. For several reasons that I will not go into here, Lucy's spay got bumped up to Thursday. The only set-back was that they were unable to fit us in for our pre-op appointment on Wednesday, so I ended up dropping her off at the clinic when I came home to let her out at lunch that day. They wanted to keep her overnight to do her surgery first thing on Thursday -- I was waffling on this until she and Secret got into another bitch fight when I came home. They'd been doing very well, but Lucy was over the top excited and it just set Secret off. I decided everyone was probably ready for a break and they were.
Surgery went well and I picked her up Friday afternoon. As part of the drama surrounding how I reclaimed Lucy, the shelter fund picked up the price of her spay. That was a happy surprise. I have to say, though, I kind of think they owed it to her after losing her in the first place... Thanks to that, Lucy is turning out to be a pretty cheap Klee Kai! :o)
I'll put it out there now. I'm waffling. I really like her. A lot. We'll all miss her when she goes. I'm going to do some hard thinking this week. One thing is for sure, though -- If she stays, she needs a new name. It is all too confusing to have a Luke (often referred to as Luke-y) and a Lucy.
I'm leaning towards calling her Kizzy. Because apparently it was Kismet that she ended up here. And I like K names. Ha!