Friday, August 29, 2008

Good News and Bad News

SUMMARY: DAM Team changes; Boost changes.

The bad news is that Brenn decided to scratch from team. I'm almost surprised at how disappointed I was. Originally the team was Brenn and Skeeter's team and they took Tika on board, so I always kind of thought of it as their team. And Brenn's a great dog (oh, and I like her handler/mom, too) and it's just sad that we can't run with her. The good news is that she's probably OK and hasn't scratched from everything yet.

The other good news is that there seem to be at least a couple of options for replacement 3rds, so unless something goes awry again between now and Saturday, we're good to compete.

On the training side: Boost did great in class tonight! Hardly any bars knocked, no runouts or refusals--man, we even had one jumpers pretty-much complete course run where, if we were competing, we'd have Qed, and done so without any "saves" like our Standard Q last weekend. Just a danged lovely run. Do you know how long it has been since I've had a run like that with her? And she just kept it up! So all this concerted effort over the last 5 days has paid off. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it holds for the weekend.

The bad news on that front is--nothing! She did great! Even on her weave poles during some tough weave pole drills.

Whoo! I'm ready!

Labels: , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Three Days of USDAA

SUMMARY: Tika 5 Qs including Team; Boost only one, but finally nailed weaves. Plus rain. Plus the usual post-trial whining.

For the third year in a row, I'm so glad that I didn't sign up for all four days of Haute TRACS. Three days is just too much, plus when I miss the Steeplechase cut so narrowly by stupid handler mistakes, I don't think I could sit and watch it and really enjoy it. In addition, I've taken the opportunity today to dry everything out--but I get ahead of myself.

Wednesday night

Wednesday night I fell asleep at home pretty quickly, with the alarm set for 4 a.m. But I woke suddenly about 1 a.m. with the horrid realization that I hadn't sent in my entry for the SMART trial in 2 weeks, with Grand Prix and Steeplechase qualifiers, and closing was the next day. I had to get up, fill out the forms, send email to the secretary, make copies to take with me in case the sec was there this weekend, and stamp and address an envelope.

Then I couldn't get back to sleep. Finally gave up about quarter to four, assembled myself, and headed on out to Dixon May Fairgrounds, so I looked and felt my best that morning-- I wanted to run like the all-American competitor-- man, I wanted, I wanted to feel like-- I wanted to BE the all American agility competitor.


I had entered Boost and Tika in everything, which gave me 14 runs on Thursday (5 for DAM Team plus Standard and Jumpers). AND I was signed up to be co-chief ring steward in one ring with Boost's sister Bette's mom, Mary. The site was laid out in four rings end-to-end with a large swath between them with a roadway, grass, and vendor booths. It was a long walk. The DAM and Masters runs were in three of the rings and Advanced (in which Boost and Bette were entered) were in the fourth, far ring.

I did a lot of walking. Pedometer said 14 miles on Thursday. I hardly ever sat down. Apparently we were supposed to be avoiding using the loudspeaker very much to avoid annoying the neighbors, so there were only occasional announcements. Thank goodness that three of the rings were synchronized, but trying to keep an eye on Starters vs. Advanced in the far ring and set up ring crew for 12 rotations in our ring was overwhelming. Fortunately Mary didn't have a dog in Masters, so she ended up doing most of the work.

Tika teamed with Brenn (from our National finalist team last year) and a Papillon, Roxee, run by Rob, a very experienced handler--has been doing agility since the very early '90s, so almost from the beginning of the sport in the U.S. But Roxee's still a bit of a wildcard--still young, and trained by his owner who can't physically run her. Still, we asked them to join us for fun. 53 teams entered, which meant that at least 27 teams would qualify for nationals. Since Team consists of five full classes, you really don't want to have to keep paying for and trying to Q over and over.

Team Standard course was murder: fully half of all dogs eliminated, and since Team is all about not eliminating (if you want to qualify), the fact that Brenn and Tika both had lovely runs (Tika with a bar down)--although Roxee Eed--meant that we were above average to start with. Our team rated 18th of 53 in this class.

Team Jumpers also killed a lot of dogs. I think that, as the day went on and people watched earlier handlers making fatal mistakes, the non-E rate improved, so that there were fewer than 50% Eing. Although Roxee again Eed and Brenn had a couple of bars down, Tika's clean, fairly fast run and Brenn's fairly fast time placed us 10th in the Jumpers class, which surprised me immensely.

In the afternoon, we moved on to Team Gamblers, in which I once again found a course that I really liked for Tika both in the opening and closing, we executed it perfectly with no bobbles or complaints from the girl that I wasn't being clear, and we placed individually 2nd of 39 dogs; Brenn's score was good and Roxee's low but not terrible, and our team placed 18th.

In Tika's Team Snooker, I chose a not-too-aggressive course that I thought Tika and I could handle easily, with only one oddball turn and angle off to one of the Reds, but while Tika was in the weaves, I apparently started looking for that red because she popped out of the weaves, and we fumbled around a bit to get back in--and then, disoriented, I put her back over the red we had just come over. So we had only 8 points on a course where pretty much everyone was going for four reds and doing well, so we essentially Eed on that course. Brenn did well but Roxee backjumped after getting 24 points and our team was only 42nd of 53 in this class.

Typically, you can still Q if your team collectively has only one E, and sometimes with 2, but almost never with 3 Es, and we already had 3 Es with the Team Relay still to go, which is very heavily weighted. None-the-less, because so many dogs had Eed in Standard and Jumpers, we were in 17th place before the Relay, which meant that probably if we managed to avoid any one of us Eing, we'd be among the 27 Qing teams.

I don't remember exactly who did what in the relay--Brenn might have had a bar down--Roxee popped out of the weaves and almost went off course before Rob could get her back and fix the problem and then had a refusal somewhere, too-- But overall it was a pretty easy course so almost no one Eed on it, which meant then that your team's time was the critical factor in placing within the Relay, and with the bobbles and our generally conservative approach, we were a mere 35th in the Relay--

BUT combining the five events with their weighted values, we ended up 20th, safely in the Q zone. Woo hoo.

Boost's Team Snooker was more of a disaster. I had been feeling pretty confident with Boost when we set up the team--after all, she had done well enough for a baby dog at the Nationals in November and had finished her novice title in just a couple of trials. But we've not been doing so well in Advanced.

In Team Standard, none of the three of us went off-course, which was astounding on that course with three young dogs. However, Boost had 3 bars down and 5 (!) refusals, and 3 refusals automatically becomes an E. And Bette kept popping out of the weaves, so their run was almost 70 seconds, which cost us a lot of points. But Maiya's run was lovely and we were 30th of 53 in that class. And Boost in fact had no problems whatsoever with the weaves, which I'd been worried about since that's been our bugaboo this year. It was everything else that messed us up!

Team Jumpers proved problematic for both Boost and Bette, both of us Eing, but Maiya was beautiful again. Team Snooker was going OK for us until Boost knocked a red in the opening, I had to scramble to rearrange my course plan on the fly, and I couldn't call her off an off course. So we had only 17 points on a course where the best dogs were getting 59--OK, better than Tika, but not much. Bette had problems even earlier, but Maiya hung on for 43 points. That was our lowest point, placing overall 47th of 53. But at least we weren't last!

In Team Gamblers, I don't know what we did at the end of our opening but I know that we got more points than what showed on the scribe sheet and possibly a lot more. BUT in the closing we bobbled the weaves badly and got no gamble points. Bette did the weaves successfully so had a bunch more points, and Maiya did well, but overall none of us were stellar, so we ranked 41st in this class.

For Team Relay, Boost and Bette redeemed themselves partially in this high-value class by running fast and clean, Boost even doing weaves again, but Maiya went off course, for a change of pace. We placed 43rd in the Relay and 43rd overall, a long way from the 27th cutoff to qualify.

In Normal Land, Tika's Master Standard was beautiful and fast but she knocked the next-to-last bar. Masters Jumpers got us an E in an odd way. I had walked it at the same time as the Team Jumpers, and when I raced up to ringside with Tika after various conflicts, I had one dog to look at the course, and I couldn't remember it! So as I walked Tika out, put her in a sit-stay behind the starting jump, and walked out to my lead-out position past the 2nd jump, I was still looking around the course, trying to remember my path. When I turned around, Tika was waiting to go--in a crouch BETWEEN the first and second jumps.

Well, I had no idea whether she had gone over the first jump, but it didn't really matter, as this meant that she had left the start line without any ready signal from me of the least kind. So I walked her back to her crate and that was that.

Boost's Advanced Jumpers and Advanced Standard runs were generally chaotic, with no course faults on the Standard but so many corrections of runouts and such that we were over time. Oddly enough, only 3 of 11 dogs ran clean on that course, so we actually placed fourth.

I fell asleep instantly and slept soundly Thursday night in the back of my van. I've always slept with my head behind the driver's seat, and every time it feels as if the van slopes slightly downward, so my feet are higher than my head, and every time I'm too exhausted to want to get up and move my pillow to the rear. This time I remembered while setting up. It was much more comfortable in that direction for many reasons.


Started out cool like Thursday, but not quite as cool, and got fairly warm as the day wore on. Only five runs per dog, but one was the Grand Prix qualifier. Tika knocked a bar on a tough opening where a large percentage of dogs went off course. Then somehow we ended up with a refusal at a jump, which right there put us out of Qualifying, and then when I got her turned around again and made a U-turn to the dogwalk, she slipped on the up ramp and took quite a nasty-looking, twisting spill, hitting the dogwalk on her way off the side. It knocked the breath out of ME, seeing that happen, but she bounced up, twice as excited as before, so with the judge's encouragement, I put her back on the dogwalk and we finished nicely. Boost was a handful. Seems that we were running past or fixing or refusing or redoing every third or fourth obstacle all the way around, and we managed an E one way or another. The judge bipped over to us as Boost was holding on the Aframe (after our E) and asked in a friendly voice whether this was a baby-dog. Really? Was it obvious? Sigh. This puppy just might not compete in Nationals this year.

In other news, Tika's Master Gamblers I bobbled a rear cross, pulling Tika off a teeter, resulting in us missing finishing the weaves for points by 2 poles, and then the gamble was virtually identical to the one at our CPE trial, where I managed to send her from #1 directly to #4, and despite thinking I was handling it differently, I managed to do the same thing again. There went our first chance at dreams of glory of staying in the USDAA Top 25 for a while longer. If we had finished the weaves and made the gamble, we might have been placed high enough for a couple of TT points, but not way up there anyway. We Qed in Relay with Brenn with a couple of my bobbles that wasted time (9th of 43 teams, not bad but it's always better to get a ribbon).

Tika Qed in Standard with a nice, flowing, but not super-driven run. Still, it was 5th of 23 dogs, so I think that's enough for 1 more TT point there--AND that finished her Standard Championship (10 masters standard Qs). In Jumpers, she once again kept her bars up, but I've been trying to run more aggressively, so I left her to her own devices to take a slight push-out to a jump and raced ahead, but she came past the jump for a runout, so no Q there.

Meanwhile, Boost wowed the Known World with a completely gorgeous Advanced Gamblers run and win. I even started her on the weaves to see whether she could do them, and she did. We got compliments from a few talented people with wonderful dogs. Truth is that's just a course that was built for us to do; no major handling things, which is where we fall down, but lots of contacts and tunnels in an arrangement where we could do them all over & over. But in her other three Advanced classes, we Eed--although I felt we were getting smoother, we had no offcourses, but I had already decided that it's more important for my dog to keep driving at a competition, so when she ran out past jumps, I just kept her moving rather than going back and fixing it. I like that super drive and I don't want her to start worrying that I'm going to stop her and bring her back, like I did with my first dog before I got smart.

There was a fund-raising dinner that evening that was announced only once and did no publicity that I saw. It was a phenomenal spread of food hosted by one competitor, and by the low turnout I'm afraid that they spent more on the food than they brought in. But we had a good time chatting and eating.

There was supposed to be a chance of showers on Saturday, so I wrapped everything outside the van in plastic, set up my canopy over the dog's crating area with side rain panels, and slept. It showered somewhat off and on during the night; heard it on the roof.


In the morning it seemed to have stopped but remained completely overcast. The pacesetters for the Steeplechase Q times ran fairly early in the day--we didn't know that they were pacesetters until it started raining again partway through the morning and then never let up. This meant that the dogs and handlers never ran as fast the rest of the day, although some came close.

Tika's Steeplechase run nearly broke my heart. If she can keep her bars up, we can Q. She did her job and kept her bars up. And I love Steeplechases with 2 weaves, because she can make pretty tough entries and is pretty darned good about staying in, both of which give us an advantage that we don't always have in speed in other areas. BUT the first approach was a very hard turn, and I called her but trusted her too much and she barely skidded in--to the 2nd pole, not the first. Aughhh! In steeplechase, that's not a fault, but it wastes time, and I'm sure that it takes 2 seconds to pull the dog out, bring her back to the beginning, and restart. So I really really pushed the rest of the course, and she was so good! And the second approach required a front cross for a really tight, fast entry, and I over-crossed, so I pulled her AWAY from the weaves and she spun towards me. Probably another 2 seconds to turn her and get her back in. We missed the cutoff by less than a second. I just about collapsed in a heap of seeting frustration.

In fact, my whole day was like that. Gamblers was another one where I found a course that I thought was perfect for us and that I didn't see anyone else doing, and the gamble was a give-away with weaves. BUT. Again the handling thing. I've been releasing Tika instantly on her contacts all weekend, trying to go for the higher placements, and at one key point, I needed her to flip left from the Aframe into a tunnel, which she's usually a star at. But I didn't think about all those early releases all weekend, and she went straight out from teh Aframe over a jump before coming back, which I'm guessing was a 3-second detour. Now I really raced, because I knew I'd have to adjust the end of my course, which was supposed to end on the teeter before the gamble, but I hadn't walked the ending that I was creating on the fly. The whistle blew just as I was getting to the new turn that I had to make, too far from the gamble, and I muffed it so that Tika turned back to me and barked, and then she headed out correctly, did the gamble perfectly--and was over time by 3/10 of one second. My seething frustration was boiling over. What's worse, I was right about our course--our opening points were good enough for 2nd of about 30 dogs if we had done the gamble on time.

(In case you hadn't noticed, this is where the whining comes in.)

Meanwhile, the rain just never let up. It was pouring so that we could justify shutting the rings down, it was simply maddeningly drearily raining. Early in the day, everyone had rain gear and hats, but by the end of the day I could see that everyone, like me, had given up--no hats, dripping hair and clothes, soaked through to the skin everywhere except possibly my tummy. My course maps turned to mush in my pockets. I had several species of fungi growing between my toes and evolving into advanced lifeforms. Wet wet wet.

Tika had a awesome standard run--I'm enjoying really driving her through courses--but found out afterwards that she had 5 faults. Since she did hit and stick all her contacts and we had no bobbles or bars, it must have been that danged up on the dogwalk again.

And in Snooker I forgot where I was going during the closing at #5. With the bobble and taking an extra obstacle and then getting her away from barking at my feet and running off, we STILL had 6 seconds left, which would've been more than plenty of time to finish a 2nd-place Super-Q. Crap crap crap was my summary for my handling of Tika for the day.

On the other hand, she was such a joy to run at all times, fast even on the contacts at all times, even in this big crowd of high-ranking competitors. She has matured so nicely and I come off the course with quite a high, working this dog.

I think Boost will be even faster. It seems to me from watching that she is faster than any of her 3 siblings competing up here--Derby, Beck, and even Bette, although I think that Bette is pretty darned close. None of them are slouches by any means, and Derby's pretty close and handled by a good trainer and competitor. But I keep thinking--if they were blasting around courses at Boost's speed, Derby & Beck wouldn't be in Masters already. Maybe I'm just making excuses for being a poorer handler than the others. But I sure give Mary credit with Bette--for all of the unfamiliar challenge of a very fast, driven dog, Bette managed to qualify in all four Advanced runs on Saturday, and Boost in none. But I felt smoother than the previous days, AND she did several sets of weaves beautifully, including two in the Steeplechase--although she ran past them the first time, when I got her lined up, she did them all the way through perfectly, and the second time through nailed them on the first try, but then later ran past a serpentiney jump and by then I knew we weren't making time anyway so didn't go back for it, Eing out.

But she also is such a high to run with on course. I love seeing her working, and the last class where I just aimed her at the weaves at an angle and she blasted ahead of me and made the entry perfectly and zoomed through and then when I caught up to her and turned her back for more points, she did them again perfectly, and I felt like flying.

Yeah, the usual ups and downs, I suppose.

The rain let up long enough to load all my sopping-wet gear into my car, and then it broke into a downpour, so it was tough even to stay dry going into the restroom with dry clothes to change into for the ride home, but I managed it, so I took Tika's five Qs and one placement and Boost's one Q and 2 placements--out of 34 runs-- and we were home about 9:30 p.m.

Had no trouble falling asleep and sleeping through again.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday's Nontraditional Jackpot and Friendly Competition

SUMMARY: It's more fun when placements are for fun, so you can challenge each other. Sunday's Jackpot COULD have been that kind of run--

Friendly Competition in CPE and Motivation

One of several reasons why I enjoy CPE is that placements are irrelevant--unlike in USDAA, where they count for Top Ten points, so--although people are usually still willing to discuss their handling and strategies with their friends--those placements are important to many people.

Sometimes in CPE we actually go out of our way to ensure that our friendly, fast-dog friends have the same best course so that we can compare speed and execution rather than it being a test of our planning skills.

Not all my favorite CPE competitors were there Sunday, but we still always end up in height/level classes with dogs who can potentially beat us. Which is odd, because at the simplest veneer in CPE, there are 36 height/level classes: six levels and six heights in each level. It's not surprising that out of 125 dogs entered, only four dogs earned the highest-possible 51 points in Sunday's Snooker (as I told my housemate: "And two of them are in the kitchen with you.") But it's just strange odds that two of them (Tika and Brenn) are in exactly the same height/level class, and the other two (Boost and sister Bette) are in their own same height/level class. So we can't all take 1st places--one of us will beat the other.

OK, it's fun anyway, we tend to split the glory, and we still like to challenge each other. I find it motivational to handle cleaner and find smoother courses and to train my dog to better understand her job so that we can push our limits even further. Which will (in theory) help me to do better in USDAA, too, where we are almost never in the top tier. It's much more motivational to me in CPE to try to be at a point where I can earn 1st rather than 2nds, whereas in USDAA it's less motivational for me to try to move up to, say, 8th instead of 9th.

Tika's Sore Snooker

However, that 51-point Snooker barely happened for Tika. It was our second class of the day, after her lovely 1st-place Standard. She came out of her crate hunched over, wouldn't play with her toy. OK, fans, she did this once last summer right before a Steeplechase, and I ended up scratching her from the rest of that weekend; the on-site vet looked at her an hour later that time and confirmed soreness in lower back on one side. And then after packing up that day, when I opened her crate to let her hobble for a last potty, she flew out of the crate and blasted across the field full speed after gophers. I was so annoyed. It must've been a cramp or gas pains or something, and I wasn't going to let her do that to me again this time.

So I walked her around a bit. I massaged her a bit. I let her potty. I asked the gate steward to move us to the end of the order (which gave us 3 more dogs). I had her do some flat-work tricks and moves for treats. She was slow, but gradually warming up. At first, she wouldn't stretch out for me, but gradually, she stretched more and more, so I put her over a low jump. She want past it twice, then took it enthusiastically, then started bouncing and looking for her toy as usual.

I went ahead and put her in her sit-stay for Snooker. She wasn't wanting to wait, which is a good sign of enthusiasm. Boost had already done her 51-point run and I wanted to finally get both of them on a successful identical course so I could get some real idea of their relative speed. I suspect that Boost will be faster than Tika, but I can't yet prove it (there's so much more than flat-straight ground speed).

But when I released Tika, she hopped rather than blasted over the first jump, ran to but then barely more than trotted through the first tunnel, and I waited to see what she'd do in the first set of weaves, which she did cautiously (for Tika--still probably faster than, say, Remington or Jake ever did them). I was ready to pull her right then, but she had other ideas because she suddenly turned on the jet fuel coming out of the last pole and we had a beautiful, smooth, lovely snooker run--2 seconds slower than Boost, not surprising given the slow start. Not a fair comparison.

We went through the same routine for the third run of the day, Colors (basically half a standard course--we did no contacts). On coming out of the crate: Ooooh, mom, I'm sore... After the goodies came out: oh, no I'm not!

So on to the Jackpot story.

The Killer Jackpot Plan

Do you ever have a Jackpot (Gamblers) course where you suddenly realize that you have the killer plan and no one else is walking the same course? That happens to us more often in CPE than in USDAA, mostly because of the level of experience in CPE.

Sunday's nontraditional Jackpot was such an animal. I found a flow that I felt that both Boost and Tika could do easily. With a quick mental estimate, I that it was worth 80+ points. Here's the course layout for you to ponder:

We had 50 seconds in which to accrue points. That's an eternity for a fast dog! I walked my course three or four times with a couple of variations, and came up with one variant of 42 seconds and one of about 49--a little risky, but maybe...

I looked around for my favorite competitors so that I could say, hey, wait, I've got a wonderful course!--but Bette's mom was already gone, and although Brenn's mom was still there, the judge picked that moment to tell us to clear the course. So I couldn't share it with anyone.

Here's my plan. As labeled (when i finally counted it last night), it's 89 points. My option was, after the 20/21 jump sequence, to serpentine onto the teeter for another 5 points before going out to the 23/24 tunnel. But I was probably going to bag the teeter, because if you didn't get to the table before your 50 seconds were up, you wouldn't Q even if you had twice as many points as everyone else. So 89 points was just fine.

Boost's run and a moral and strategic dilemma

I ran first with Boost. She dropped the first bar going into the 25-point gamble, but much to my surprise the judge called out "25" as we completed the tunnel. So I continued on my plan, with my brain trying to process what to do even as I was trying to manage my green dog:

OK, do I say right now that we knocked the bar? But then what would I do after distracting myself and/or the judge? Ask for another run? That would be dumb? OK, I'll wait til I'm done and then mention it--but then in that case I should'nt do THREE Aframe-tunnel combos, because the last 2 wouldn't count because I blew the gamble so the first two counted for points not the gamble... But if she gave it to us anyway because it was her mistake and I DIDn't do my course then I'd be struggling towards the end to figure out what to do on course having skipped things I othewise would have done--

Oh, I don't know, let's just do my plan and deal with it afterwards.

But I was definitely flustered, and I did something odd after the first gamble--I think I was just not paying attention--so on Boost's first or second set of weaves she skipped the 4th pole. I walked her calmly back next to me, calmly lined her up at my side, and put her back into the weaves. But then on the 2nd gamble, she went in the left side of the "B" tunnel--legal but not the right line for me--and I managed to pull her past the "C" jump. So I walked her calmly back next to me, calmly lined her up at my side, and put her over the "C" jump to earn that gamble.

Because of all that wasted time, we can't do my whole plan. So I cut out the 18/19 and 23 tunnels and one 5-point combo and we ended up with 75 points. And that's WITH the gamble that the judge gave us erroneously. As soon as Boost hit the table, I said to the judge, "We knocked the first bar on that 25-point gamble," and pointed to it, and even though the bar was still on the ground, she said that, well, she hadn't seen it, and since she had given it to us while running, because of the type of gamble, she felt that she had to give us credit for it. So although there were some things about the judge that I wasn't happy with, that particular case was in our favor. Don't know how the other competitors felt about it--

So with Boost's high points even with those bobbles, I confirmed that my timing was absolutely right on and I should have no problem at all with Tika getting through my plan (assuming that she didn't knock any of the bars in the gambles or the 5-point combo). I was really looking forward to it, in fact.

But this time, when I opened her crate, she wouldn't even stand up (the dog who is usually pounding at the door to get out). She whined just a fraction of a second when she finally stood. She wouldn't turn or twist at first; same tiny whine when she did. She started to loosen up a little with some goodies and flat-work again, but her back wasn't curving at all--she was keeping it straight and using her feet to turn herself. And she whined again at some misstep, and I scratched her from the Jackpot and one other remaining round for the day.

In conclusion

So Brenn ended up with 83 points using her own course plan--which, I might point out, was 8 points higher than any of the other 82 dogs competing on that course. Which REALLY drives me nuts that I never got a chance to do my full 89-point plan. And simultaneously I feel weird about being annoyed about not running it when my dog is obviously sore. And simultaneously I'm worried about my dog. And simultaneously I'm not wanting to spend a lot of time on diagnosis & vets & chiropractors and such because she's only 6 and because I *did* let her play a lot more and a lot harder the previous evening and that morning than usual. And of course maybe we'd have knocked a bar or maybe even 2 and not beaten Brenn's points anyway. But isn't it mean of me to be downplaying Brenn's excellent accomplishment with a run I never even did?? And I feel a little in limbo about Tika. But she's fine this morning.

And why am I incapable of making a SHORT post?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

GOOD Things That Take You By Surprise

SUMMARY: USDAA Top Ten browsing

So I was looking for some old info on Jake. Couldn't find it but did start browsing through last year's and this year's USDAA top ten standings looking for names in my agility club (of which there are many). I understand that this year is only posted through mid-February so far, and things can and will change dramatically, but my jaw just about dropped through my keyboard when I saw this:

19 Chandler, CarleneBrennBorder Collie
15 Pinder, JenniferSodaBorder Collie
14 Mah, StuartQwikBorder Collie
13 Eizember, Joleen A.ScorchBorder Collie
11 Chadwick, TaniaKiddBorder Collie
10 Hofner, GinaRileyBelgian Tervuren
Brown, GerrySterlingBorder Collie
Armstrong, ElizabethRiggsBorder Collie
Finch, Ellen LevyTikaAll-Breed
Garrett, SusanEncoreBorder Collie
Mayo, MartinFletchBorder Collie
Stover, DerrellEnvyBorder Collie
Topham, KathyCatcherBorder Collie
Hynes, KenDjangoBorder Collie
Elkins, LauraKeeganBorder Collie
Yang, FrankThe FlashBorder Collie
Croft, AnnTriggerBorder Collie
Lytle, MindySwitchBorder Collie
Whittenberg, CherieDetourBorder Collie
Richards, PamelaCappuccinoAustralian Shepherd
Marshall, KathyRylieBorder Collie
Cone, TinaTobyBorder Collie
Gersman, AlanMr. WrigglesBorder Collie
Faulkner, JodyTwistAustralian Shepherd
Michalski, RobertHobbesBorder Collie

Tika's tied for 7th place! OMG! I am saving this page for sure, as we'll never see this again! But this sure gave me a much-needed boost. Well, we got lucky on some gambles recently. And I don't think I'll be competing in enough competitions to catch up to 1st place, currently held by...ta da...our partner from Scottsdale last year and again for Team this year, Carlene and Brenn. At least we know that our team should have Gamblers wrapped up. :-)

Other club members are Tania and Kidd, Pam and Cap, Rob and Hobbes; others whom we often see competing locally are Ken Hynes and Ann Croft.

But, you know, in some ways I wish I hadn't seen this--just think about how my brain has left me completely time after time when I was trying to get that much-needed Super-Q. Now if I start thinking "I could be in the top ten!", I'm doomed! I need some antimemory drugs now--

But meanwhile, what fun!

(Oh, yeah, and look at that "all-breed" amongst all those BCs! Yeah!)

OK, I looked it up in my database--those 9 points are all from ONE gamblers run, the one where we took 1st place last month. So, yeah, our standings can change dramatically as other dogs start warming up in competition this year. Last year's #1 26" dog had 101 points!

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels