Monday, November 17, 2014
100%, 50%, & 16%...
I'm no mathematician, so that 16% figure might be off -- but that's our AKC weekend recapped in fast-forward. Secret was Ms. 100% again, going 6/6 for the weekend and bringing home QQ numbers 17, 18, and 19! Before we go and freak out that she only needs ONE more QQ for her MACH, let's realize that she also needs 101 more points, so.... I'm sure no dog in the history of agility has gotten 101 speed points in one single QQ, so that's obviously not happening. This weekend I looked over her records and noted that since we started doing AKC, Secret has had NINE days of trialing where she has not Q'd in both classes on the same day. That's pretty darn consistent. So, the pressure is off on that 20th QQ because it will not be her MACH -- unless, of course, we have some sort of string of bad luck where she suddenly starts acquiring single Qs, and that is okay, too!
The 50% goes to Kizzy! She picked up both of her Open JWW Qs this weekend which -- GASP -- means that she earned her first Open title and is now an EXCELLENT dog. Umm.... Okay. Not really sure how that happened. She was super close to her first Open Std Q on Saturday (one too many refusals - you only get one). I'll get to Sunday later. Sunday was also Kizzy's third birthday! She got to go shopping at Petco after the trial.
The lone dog in the 16% club goes to Kaiser. He had a really rough weekend. His jumping on Friday was atrocious. He crashed the first bar in Std and then just had no confidence. He got through that course fine after that, but with much stutter-jumping. Then in JWW he went around like three jumps (I didn't fix anything, what is the point)? He was jumping better on Saturday but still going around jumps. Finally on Sunday he was back to himself, but we had a minor bobble in Std and then he finally Qd in JWW to end the day. His only Q of the weekend. So much for qualifying for Nationals. He ended up 45 points short, he needed 61 going into the weekend. Oh well, not like we were going anyhow.
Friday started with Standard. I'm going to post all of our courses from this weekend because I thought they were super. I thought they were just challenging enough to keep me on my toes and still be fun for the dogs. Sadly, they had a very low Q-rate all weekend. Ilze was lamenting at how her Q-rate is always so low -- she thought around 20-30%. I don't feel that these were excessively or unfairly challenging in the least. I'm not sure if there were consistent areas where teams were messing up or if it was spread out. All I know is that I hope judges never dumb down their course designs because people aren't doing the training they need to do to be successful.
That sequence from the dog walk to the weaves was tricky due to the combination of it being SO FAR AWAY and that darn tire being totally in the way of where I would have naturally been. I just made sure to get ahead of both dogs so that I'd be past the tire when they left the contact and it was all good. Secret got 22 speed points on this run.
If I have any complaints about the entire weekend it is right here. A wrap on the tire at jump #2. I was surprised to see this, as I didn't think that AKC was "allowing" turns like that at the tire. That said, I never saw any issues with it. I just didn't crank either of my dogs very tight around the turn. Secret definitely lost some impulsion there because I don't think she was expecting it.
Most people really liked that big loop in the middle. Meh. Secret doesn't find them very exciting -- Kaiser normally does, but this was his super bad jumping day. He went around jumps eight and nine. And the last one, too, I think. The close was fun! So many people wrapped to the inside of 17. I did a blended front cross. Both of my dogs went super wide off 16 -- Kaiser because that's what Kaiser does, and Secret because I was holding my breath trying to make sure I didn't cause her to knock a bar. She got 11 speed points on this run.
Saturday started with JWW. Again people were obsessed with the inside wrap at 9, but wrapping turning them to the right presented such a better line, so that's what I did. I want to say that Kaiser missed one (or two) of the jumps before the weaves again on this run. With both dogs I opted to run ahead in the weaves and front cross at the end so that I would be rear crossing at 18 for a nice tight turn. It worked swell -- so much better than those who nearly collided with their dog trying to stay on the inside for that push in that teeny tiny space between 17 and 18. Secret only got 8 speed points on this one. I didn't think she felt that slow.
With Kizzy I opted for an ugly rear cross after three -- and it actually was a rear cross (without a spin!) because she went WAY wide before she turned for the tunnel. Here an inside wrap was the proper thing to do, so that's what we did. I squeezed in a front cross on the landing side of 8 and then again after 10. She got through this whole course with 0 faults for a score of 100! She was so good!
I am sitting here staring at the picture of Saturday's Master Standard course and cannot for the life of me remember where Kaiser NQ'd. I led out with both dogs to get a front cross between 2 and 3. Both dogs got the dog walk contact with no problem. Both dogs got the teeter/table. Did Kaiser go around jump 10? I don't think so. I have no idea. I crunched in a front cross between the chute and triple with both dogs -- Secret is pretty much a superstar for getting over the triple with as little room as I gave her. Man, I have no idea where Kaiser NQ'd on this course... I'm not saying he Q'd because he definitely did not, but this is bugging me... Secret got 21 speed points on this one.
I remember where Kizzy NQ'd, though. :o) I led out just a little bit with her on this course, too, and went for a blind between 2 and 3. She stopped on the dog walk!! What a good, good girl! Then she stopped on the teeter! And the table! Then came the part of the course that I had no idea how I was going to get through cleanly with Kizzy. See that tunnel down there? The one that requires a pull/rear cross? Yeah, she still doesn't do those. So, coming off the table I just ran like hell to try to fit in a blind after 12 -- and so did Kizzy, right past the tire and over the next jump. That's okay, you can do that in Open and still qualify. I fixed the tire and then was obviously way behind for any sort of cross, so I pulled her up before she got close enough to the tunnel to call it a refusal and did some ugly stuff that didn't get called. Then she got her a-frame! And her weaves! And then she ran right past the chute.... Blargh. One too many refusals. Oh well, that would have been a pretty ugly Q anyhow.
It was a teeny tiny trial and we got done very early every day. I was going to take the dogs hiking on Saturday but when Kizzy stayed laying in the dog bed when I was vacuuming 6" away I decided to stay home and let everyone sleep. She had stayed inside all day on Saturday and was pooped!
Sunday started with Time 2 Beat, so I took my time leaving home that day. Our first run was Standard. The tunnel/dog walk at the start was the closest discrimination of the weekend - nearly NADAC standards there. I led out just a bit with Kaiser and ran with Secret and all was good (the tire was pointing at it anyhow). Front crossed after the teeter and then turned both dogs to the inside on that wrap at 9. Well, that was the plan. I must have done something super wonky with Kaiser because he turned the other way and instead of going with it and pulling him through the gap between the jump and the tire I had some word vomit and danced around a bit, and watched him back-jump instead of wrapping in either direction. Totally my fault. The rest of his run was super, with much better jumping than the whole weekend prior. With Kaiser I had more than enough distance off the a-frame for a front cross after 14. With Secret I had to do a rear on the flat after the chute and it worked fine. She got 19 speed points on this run.
I was pretty concerned about the start of the Open Std course with Kizzy. Which is probably why she had a total brain meltdown. Leading out at a tire? I was very unsure of that. A tunnel under the dog walk? I was super unsure of that. Stupid me unclipped her leash and then, when she stood up, I asked her to sit again. Adios, Kizzy! She was out. And then she was super naughty and was impossible to catch for the next five minutes while she ran batshit crazy circles around a border collie puppy before someone managed to scruff her. I took her directly to the van where she got to decompress until her next run. It was needed. Her brain had pretty much fallen out of her ears the moment we arrived at the trial that morning. She was having a holy freakout at the daycare dogs that were charging the fence as we walked past. Then she was squeaking inside and was basically inconsolable. I thought she was pretty settled before we went in the ring, but I guess not.
Last Masters run of the weekend! Fronts for Kaiser, blinds for Secret -- except for the rear cross I did with both at 16 for a nice turn. I told Secret I didn't care if she Q'd or not, but she did, and got 9 speed points on this one. Kaiser FINALLY got his only Q of the weekend and 16 points. Sorry little dyslexic buddy, you needed 61. :o)
I had no flipping clue what to expect from Kizzy after her earlier performance. I hoped that her timeout in the van was what she needed. Her poor little brain was fried. I opted for a drop and go at the start to remove the pressure of any sort of start line. I started on the right side of one and then front crossed between 3 and 4. She went super duper wide after 5 (looking at the door?) but then came and hit her weave entry -- and then after a few poles got that weirdly vacant look and veered off to the right. I got her back and she finished them on the second try. From there it was just one more front cross between 8 and 9, then I just had to manage to not get lost until the end (seriously, I almost did). She stuck with me and finished clean and, holy cow, got her Open JWW title! She went 3/4 through this class, only NQing on her very first attempt at the class. Craziness. Then again, this is pretty much the only thing we ever practice, so it makes sense that she has more skills for this class than Standard....
So, our next trial is the giant Hounds for the Holidays 3-ring trial in Milwaukee. Yeah. In Excellent. Should be interesting.
And now it's time to complain. Today got up to 15 degrees for a high. It's only the middle of November. We have had freezing temperatures and snow for the last week. This sucks. A lot. I hate living here. This is going to be the most miserable winter ever.