Friday, July 18, 2014

AKC/ISC update

We are back at the hotel after a super fun day of AKC agility. The dogs did just awesome and I couldn't be happier with how well they ran today.

My alarm was set for 4:00 a.m. but I woke up around 3:30 and couldn't fall back asleep -- so I ended up getting up before my alarm. I think I was so anxious about not getting a parking spot in the Think Pawsitive lot that my body just wouldn't let me sleep. I knew that I just HAD to get a spot so that Kizzy could spend part (most) of the day in the car or else everyone crated around us would hate me...

We were on the road at 4:45 a.m. and pulled into Think Pawsitive around 7:20 a.m. Mind you, this trial didn't start until 9:00 a.m. today (and that was FAST, the normal classes didn't start until 9:30). While driving across the state I saw our time of arrival and thought, "Oh, we should be fine." Ha! Not by much. I decided I could make it without stopping to go to the bathroom, but if I would have stopped we probably would have been really close to not getting a spot. Insanity. Alas, it all worked out and we even ended up in a spot that had shade for the first half of the day. I brought my sun reflector sheet along and draped that over the car the rest of the day. I had all of the doors open and it stayed really cool in there all day! Granted, it only got up to about 80 today, so it was just plain gorgeous.

We had a long time to wait, so everyone got walked a couple of times before our first class. We had JWW up first, and boy was I excited when I picked up this course map this morning! Finally, finally, finally I get what I've been asking for and get a nice challenging course. You should have heard everyone carrying on, bitching & moaning during the walk-through. Lots of comments about, "are they sure this isn't the international course for later?" I admit, I did wonder what the heck was in store for us later in the day after seeing the challenges on the "regular" JWW course!

I'm sure I over-handled Kaiser all the way through this course and he was jumping fairly poorly because of it. There was lots of stuttering today.  :o(  That said, we managed to keep it together and got through the course clean! Hooray!

Secret did AWESOME. She was just such a happy camper today. I pushed to the back side of 2 and blinded the landing. I think that was the only blind on this course, though, because of all of the off course opportunities and the need to create good turns. We had a nice tight line through the first serpentine and then she extended nicely up the left line. I handled 8-10 with a single-sided serpentine. Oh, I think I did do a blind cross between 11 and 12, although I think a front would have been more appropriate. I totally planned a blind before 16 but Secret was hauling ass and I didn't make it. I flipped Kaiser to the right on that wrap, but for whatever reason I ended up wrapping Secret to the left. It worked, she finished the course beautifully and won 1st place in a really big 24" class. Okay, let's be honest, there were only two qualifiers in our entire group, but she still won.  :o)  And she beat Kaiser's time by 3 seconds, so she had a super nice run. Yay Secret!

I didn't post the Std map on Facebook so I don't have anything to steal from for this post, so I guess I can't post the Std map... It was pretty straightforward. Kaiser actually ended up running Std before Secret even ran JWW. We didn't have any conflicts like we did last time; it worked out really well today!

There was much stuttering in Kaiser's Std run -- worse than in JWW. I tried my best to support him but if I got ahead of him at all he pretty much stopped in front of the jump it was so bad. The good news is that the table was after the a-frame again and stuck in the corner, so I was able to zoom ahead to beat him and throw my hands out in a "whoa" motion. Hey, it works. Long story short, despite the god-awful jumping, Kaiser earned his very first QQ today! Hooray!!! We didn't get nearly as many speed points as we've gotten used to getting, but the wee man is still very much recovering from his little episode just two days ago and I consider him a rock star for hanging in there and getting it done.

I knew Secret would like the course and didn't worry too much about her ability to get through it clean. There weren't a ton of opportunities for off course obstacles, at least not for Secret's style of running (she listens so well!). If anything my only concern was hitting the weaves right off the table, as sometimes she can be kind of "meh" about that set-up. No worries, though. She ended up in 3rd place, but her time was only 0.6 seconds off first place, so those placements were tight! This was QQ #7!

The dogs had a pretty long wait before the ISC classes. I feel it is unfortunate that they stuck these classes at the end of the day. I don't care that I had to wait -- I likely would have stuck around the trial to work anyhow since I don't want to go to the hotel that early, but in the interest of building interest in these classes it would have been nice if more of the Master handlers would have been around to see it. As it was, only those of us running in the class were still at the trial (after 3:00 p.m.) when it came time to play. Not only that, but a good portion of the people entered went and scratched! Not terribly surprising when you consider all of the grumbling over the regular JWW course in the morning.

The rings got really off balance today and we actually ended up running Std first. Thankfully they held the second ring until we had all finished in the first, so we didn't have to deal with any conflicts. After seeing the course maps and how badly Kaiser was stuttering in the morning, I strongly considered pulling him from the ISC classes. When they said we would do Std first, though, I decided to give it a go. It's more than just jumps and I didn't think it would be too bad for him. Kaiser actually did a really nice job! I made sure to support him a LOT and his jumping was actually much better in this round.The only fault he had was jumping straight off the side of the dog walk. Naughty turd, good thing he didn't do that in the morning! Oh well, he was a good boy for everything else.

Secret rocked this course. Her send to the backside of the jump following the jump after the dog walk was super awesome, not even looking at the teeter. She did go over the broad jump with gusto and landed a little long, but I'll take her enthusiasm! I didn't wait around for results to be posted (no ribbons were being handed out or anything), but there were only two dogs running in the 24" class and the other one faulted, so Secret would have won.  :o)  No idea what standard course time runs for these things, though, so I'll have to check to see tomorrow if it got posted.

The ISC Jumpers course was something else. It was super fun, though! I knew that Kaiser would think this was just horrendous. I should have scratched him and not even tried. He went off course over the double right away at the start (as did many others) and he was just slow, slow, slow. Even his weaves were just crawling along (for Kaiser, at least), so when he completed the first set of weaves I picked him up and excused us from the ring. Why push him? There was no point, and I'd rather have a dog who wants to run tomorrow.

Again, Secret just blew me away. It was over 12 hours since we'd left home and it was her fourth run of the day. But she was just as happy in this run as she was in her first. She did a super awesome job at getting the backside of number two without going off course. I blinded the landing and ran for the tunnel. I waited for her to come out and ran with her into the weaves, which gave her a nice little burst of speed. She had a nice little wrap at 5 and then I rear crossed the tunnel entrance at 7. Then it was more fronts, because these turns just aren't appropriate for blinds. Secret did great with the front crosses, though, and really maintained her speed throughout. Again she was just flying over the broad jump and I barely got my cross in before the next jump -- and then I promptly forgot about the weaves and didn't even remotely cue them. Argh. So very close to a completely perfect day -- just 1 refusal shy. What an awesome, awesome job Secret did today. I'm so proud of her!

I was hoping to take the crew hiking on that great trail we found a couple of weeks ago when we were in New Berlin, but it was 5:00 before we left Think Pawsitive. Instead we went back to Petco where I picked up more chewies and a couple of stuffies to appease everyone at the hotel. We are laying low, but I think Kaiser needed the rest anyhow. Poor wee man has had a rough few days here. Hopefully he rests well tonight and is ready to go again tomorrow!

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