Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still no QQ

Wouldn't it just figure that the dog who sailed through Novice, Open and Excellent with a single NQ now can't seem to get a QQ? And what's even sillier is the fact that I feel like this has been plaguing us forever, until I remind myself that this was only our second time running in Masters. Oh. Oops. lol  Why does it feel like it's been way more than that?

Yesterday I packed up the crew (minus Luke, he got to go play at Grandma & Grandpa's house) and we drove to Cannon Falls to go play at the Belgian Malinois Club AKC trial. It was at Simon Arena, which is one of the few opportunities we have to run on dirt around here. The Minnesota Agility Club decided not to have their February USDAA trial there anymore, so we don't even have that as an option anymore. I get so jealous of all of the dirt trials available in other parts of the country. Well, until I pack up to go home that is. Then I have to clean all the dirt and shavings out of our stuff...

We had a little winter storm roll through Friday afternoon/evening. The roads were completely snow-covered when I got home around 7:00 p.m. and it was still coming down, so I was not really looking forward to the 6:00 a.m. drive. The road crews were out doing what they could overnight, but when I hit the road the interstate was still very icy. The lanes were mostly clear (except where they weren't, which is always an exciting guessing game), but there were random black ice spots everywhere. This pretty much limited the drive to between 45-55 mph for the majority of the trip. It started to get better around Rochester and I was able to start going the speed limit again. The trip to Cannon Falls normally takes 2 hours on the nose. It took us just over 2.5 hours yesterday. Thankfully I padded time into our trip, as they were running T2B to start and our first class wasn't expected to run until close to 9:30.

Our Standard run was up first. We ran under this judge (Joan Mullen) in La Crosse and I knew her courses were pretty straightforward. Secret was up first and the only part of this course that I really gave thought to was the opening with the weaves. I knew I could lead out and get the weaves with me on the right, but I also knew that would be demotivating. I ended up with a plan that I didn't see anyone else do, but I stuck to it. I started on the left and stayed on the left while Secret was in the weaves. I kept running ahead of her so that I was almost on top of the number 13 jump when she finished, then I pushed right and ran around the top of 4 and to the a-frame. It worked, and it kept Secret happy.

She face-planted in the dirt after the double at 11 for some reason, but picked herself up and carried on to the dog walk -- where she had a very nice contact (hooray!). I sent over 13, picked her back up for 14 and then took off for the teeter -- and totally failed to support 15... Secret had landed long from 14 and wasn't able to catch her self in time for 15, especially when I'd failed to actually indicate it, so she ran just to the inside of the jump. "Aw crap," I said to myself, and just kept going. I probably should have said something while Secret was in the last tunnel because she came out heading in the wrong direction and spun around looking for me, then ran for home when she spotted me. It was a nice run, just that darn failure on my part.

Kaiser was hot to trot yesterday and had ants in his pants. He was so eager for his turn that he kept trying to leave the crating area on me before I had any of his stuff on. I did opt for the lead out with Kaiser and it worked, but I peeled off the weaves early in anticipation of trying to get in a cross before the a-frame and Kaiser pulled out early. "Aw crap" again. From there it kind of went downhill in a spastic Klee Kai sort of way. lol I went for the blind cross between the jump and the a-frame, but all of that fun table work we've done made the table a huge draw and Kaiser went straight for it. Then, because he had no momentum on the a-frame, it's entirely possible that he got called on that, too (his sheet has many letters on it, I couldn't tell you exactly how it broke down...).

HOWEVER, here is where I get to tell you that the little man came running out of the chute, over the jump and NAILED the table! Highlight of our day right there! Good, good job little man. I think they were walking the course in the other ring when he was on the dog walk, causing a bit of distraction and he stopped high to look at them, then pretty much self-released to charge off to the next jump -- pretty sure he got that contact, though. He almost went through the weaves on his wide turn, but did call back and then I made sure he'd get the turn that Secret missed. After the teeter he shot to the right to take the off course finish jump and when I called him back to do the tunnel he decided to run around the back side of it. Okay... What a little goober he was, but he had fun.

Our day went pretty quickly, as I had to walk our JWW round almost immediately after running Std with Kaiser. It worked out well, though, as I'd worried that they'd be walking before I'd finished and that I'd miss out. Honestly, though, I don't think it would have mattered. Seriously, look at this course. Come on. I get so jealous of the fun courses that get posted online by friends -- courses with fun wraps and back sides and opportunity to try some fun handling. Why is it that I go to trials and always see stuff like this? Sigh. I want the fun stuff.

This opening allowed me to do a throw-n-go and run with Secret from the start. I started fairly far to the right to get ahead and easily got in a blind between 3 & 4. I actually got too far ahead and ended up having to wait for Secret, which is not ideal. As a result, she wasn't moving her fastest when she hit the weaves. Combine the already lagging speed with weaving into the wall and me not being able to run ahead and yeah... Those were some pretty slow weaves.

I put my blind in between 8 and 9 to get her chasing me again. Then I got a little stuck in that 11-13 pinwheel before being able to take off for the tunnel. I waited for Secret to come out of the tunnel and raced her to the finish. It was a clean run and a Q, but placed near the bottom of the pack of the 13 qualifying runs at 24". It was 7 speed points. Darn weaves. In Secret's defense, I also think she is overdue for a chiro adjustment, so I'll be trying to fit that in before the next trial.

I knew Kaiser would like this course. I led out to get that first front cross with him and then I hung back and opted for the rear cross at 10 to avoid pushing him off course. It worked and he had a lovely run with a time up there with all of the fast big dogs. This was his second Excellent JWW Q. Were he in Masters it would have been 19 speed points!

We were actually done and on the road at 12:30! Thankfully the roads were fine on the way home and it was a much more relaxing drive.

Kizzy came along for the ride, but I didn't end up getting her second VMO measurement. Things were just really crazy and busy and I didn't even see the measuring table anywhere. I decided it just wasn't worth it and figured we'll get it some other time.

Kizzy did manage to get herself a new harness this weekend, though. Sigh. I didn't have a ton of time after doing Kaiser's course walk for JWW, but I was going to try to get him and Kizzy out for a quick potty trip before running him to the arena. That is, until I went in to grab for Kizzy's harness and instead got a handful of chest. She gnawed right through the front of her harness. Dang dog...!

Lucky for us, Jason and the Best for Pets booth was set up right next to us. I scooped her up and hustled over there, asking what he had in mini-mini that would go with our existing (red) labels. Argh, why did I have to pick a label color that doesn't go with anything else? He didn't have any red in mini-mini and as I stood there contemplating if we could make mini work (I'm sure not, since we felt it was too big on Kaiser), I noticed a black harness on a top hook. Jason had thought that it was a baby harness, but someone had stuck it in the wrong spot and it was, indeed, a mini-mini. Score! That's mine! I bought it and then stuck Kizzy back in the crate (minus the harness) to go run Kaiser.

Her red harness had the smallest notch out of the front straps from a previous chewing episode, but that was months ago and I honestly thought we were past all of that. Unfortunately I guess this means that I have to go back to taking her harness off when left unsupervised in the crate.

It got up over 40 degrees today, but we've spent a very quiet day in the house. This morning Kizzy and Secret were outside playing and enjoying the nice weather. There was much chasing going on and I would bet that Secret got too rough and Kizzy told her to back off. I was standing there watching, just about to go make something to eat, when all of the sudden Secret pinned Kizzy against the fence and just started laying into her.

I ran outside in my slippers screaming for Secret to stop and she completely ignored me. That does not make me happy. I got about halfway across the yard when she finally stopped and Kizzy came running towards me just screaming her head off. I scooped her up and she continued screaming as I carried her into the house. There are no puncture wounds or other visible injuries, but her right leg is hurting her. It seems to be in her shoulder/bicep area. Nothing is broken because everything moves, but she definitely has a very tender spot and now, many hours later, she is still hesitant to put weight on it.

I took everyone outside a couple of hours ago to pick up the yard and then played frisbee with Secret and Luke to burn off some of that crazy excess energy. Normally Kizzy chases after Luke the whole time. She did try a couple of times and then remembered that she hurt, so then she pretty much sat in the snow and watched. A bit later when Secret & Kaiser were playing she seemed to forget that she hurt and tried to join in, but then when she saw Secret she instantly shut down.

Poor girl. She's been sleeping on my lap as I type this. I'm not sure how much of this is hurt feelings or really being hurt. She's been pretty clingy after some of the other scraps she's had with Secret, but this is the first time we've had any lingering injuries.  :o(  I'm hoping it passes soon, but I'm guessing she'll have to take it easy for a few days. We'll see how she is in the morning. She's a sad little Klee Kai right now.


  1. My dogs love running on dirt! So bummed the USDAA trial is moved this year :(

    That jumpers looks awful NADACy.
    Sorry about Miss Kizzy. At least you know Secret has good inhibition.

  2. Boy that JWW course did look like a snoozer. Definitely makes you appreciate USDAA more where there is some flavor to the courses, though I have seen some decent AKC courses too - just not yours, and not those I did a couple weeks ago!

    1. lol -- Just not mine for sure. ;o) I have a friend down by Chicago who has posted some real doozies in the last month and I've been ever so jealous. Next Friday we are encountering a judge who we ran under when we first started in Novice and I seem to recall thinking his Masters courses looked fun, so here's hoping.

      But yes, USDAA could almost always be guaranteed to be more fun than what I've seen lately. Jumpers especially! I have never tried the Masters Challenge classes, either -- mostly because I just don't think Secret has enough runs in her in a day to bother. :o( Maybe some day we'll get to try, but I don't have any USDAA trials on my radar any time soon unfortunately.

  3. Master Challenge course times are really tight. Without a really fast dog, you have to be almost perfect to make time on them. I think they are fun to try, just not at the end of the weekend when the dogs are already tired!
    Hopefully you will get some interesting courses on Friday.