Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Catch-up -- AKC trial update!
I am so far behind... Between work and school and work and the dogs and work.... So I'm sneaking in this post really quickly so that I don't get behind by TWO big events, because later today we are driving over to Milwaukee to do the weave pole challenge at the Wisconsin State Fair!
The dogs had a super great weekend of AKC here in La Crosse this weekend! It was a very, very small trial, which made for some nice short days. I was down to having only about 17 dogs between Kaiser and Secret (that's not many for AKC!), but it still provided me plenty of time to spend with each of them before and after their runs. I believe that Secret really appreciates this aspect of AKC, as she was never really a fan of being pulled from the crate to run and then being tossed back in right away. How rewarding is that?
With both dogs I made a point to hang out with them before their runs. We'd warm up with a potty walk outside and then just sit on the mats where I would massage them until it was their turn. Initially I worried that getting Secret too "relaxed" would have a negative impact on our runs, but she bounced straight up from her zombie-like trance and was ready to go. I am thrilled with her performance this weekend, from her very first run to the last. Every run was full of energy and enthusiasm, which is all I ask for from her.
Kaiser started out the weekend a little stressed and his jumping performance suffered for it. I think the zen massage time on the mats helped him, though, as by Saturday he was doing much better and having much more fun on the courses.
On Friday Kaiser picked up an elusive Standard Q, but missed JWW when I failed to get a push out to the second-to-last jump and he ran right past it to the finish jump. Secret had a great day, getting QQ#9 with 17 points in Std and 7 points in JWW.
Saturday was the banner day of the weekend, with both Secret and Kaiser earning QQs! It was Kaiser's second and Secret's 10th! That means we're halfway there -- unless you count points, because we're not quite halfway there on those yet... Secret is ever so consistent, picking up another 17/7 points on Saturday. I have no idea what Kaiser got, just that it was more than that. :o)
Kizzy got to debut her new sparkly bling-bling collar at the trial when she ran Novice JWW mid-morning. Unfortunately the sparklies were not magical on this day and she was a little out of her mind with excitement. HOWEVER, she STAYED at the start line, both when I removed her leash and when I walked out past the first jump by several feet. That in itself is a miracle and the first time it has happened in a trial. Of course, she then ran right past the first jump as she rocketed off the start line, but whatever. I fixed nothing on this run and just focused on trying to keep her moving forward and with me, which she did. The weave entry was atrocious on this course (harder than the Masters entry by far) so I did reset her on those, but she just bounced through a couple of poles and we went on. She finished with me, though, and I was able to catch her quickly after the run, so this was a WIN for me.
Because I'm such a slacker, I didn't get all of the course maps loaded for this post, but I figured I'd load the JWW one from Sunday. This was probably one of the best courses we had over the weekend. None of them were overly challenging, but nor were any of them too "vanilla" for my tastes. There has been a lot of discussion on Facebook regarding AKC courses lately and the need to develop a "beyond Masters" class for those who want more challenges. I anxiously await any decisions by AKC on this, as I would welcome a more challenging class.
This course ended up being the only one that Secret NQ'd on the entire weekend and of course it was entirely my fault. I overhandled the jump after the tunnel (13) and that bar came down. She knocks like one bar a year, so I guess that was it. ;o) Oh well, quite honestly we needed the 19 points that she picked up in Standard in the morning more than another QQ, so I was okay with it. If Secret is going to NQ, I'd far prefer it be in JWW because we get fewer points in that class.
Kaiser didn't Q at all on Sunday. He was a little bonkers in Standard and I hoped that he got all of his faults out of the way in that class. His fault in JWW was actually the same part of the course, but he had gone wide on jump 13 and missed the next jump entirely -- which might be a large part of why I over-handled it with Secret.
The news of the day was Miss Kizzy! She did it! She held it together for an entire Novice JWW course and actually got a Q! With a score of 95, even!
Here's the course for Kizzy's first AKC Q. I did still ask for a stay when I removed the leash, but this time I did not lead out past the first jump because, well, I wanted to be sure she took it. She then had a yee-haw moment where she ran right past and around the tunnel (R), but she didn't take any other obstacles on her little tour so we were still good. I crammed in a front cross after the double up on top since you know, Kizzy still will not rear cross into a tunnel. We had to reset the weaves and she got them on the second try. After that it was smooth sailing and again we had no problems being caught at the end. Hooray!
Of course, this may or may not have given me a (false?) boost of confidence, as I then went ahead an entered Kizzy in both Std and JWW at the trial in Oshkosh later this month. Hmm. I should probably get my contacts out before then, don't you think?
As I stated earlier, later today we leave for the weave pole challenge at the fair. I actually emailed to see if they still needed more dogs and offered to bring Kizzy. What was I thinking? False confidence for sure... Of course, I'd only try if I felt the place was secure, but we'll see.