Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gemini Trial

Jonah and I woke up early on Saturday morning and drove out to Gemini.  They had space for day-of entries, so we filled out the form and got ready.

The first round of the day was fullhouse.  I had a hard time finding a nice, flowing and high-point course.  We began with a lead-out to a tunnel and then looped right back into that same tunnel to get our circles.  I don't like doing back to back obstacles, but somehow this felt better because it was like going around in a big circle rather than stopping and going right back.  After the tunnels we were able to pick it up a big.  He got his first A-frame contact nicely, we did the DW twice and he slowed but was messy and didn't have a clear 2o2o.  Then I directed Jonah back to the A-frame and the whistle blew.  He was committed so I didn't want to pull him off, so he finished it with another nice contact and we went to the table.  Unfortunately we took 6 seconds to get there with doing the A-frame, so we lost one of our points but we still got 33.  One person got 36 so we were second out of 8 dogs.  If we'd been just a few seconds faster and had gotten 5 more points for the A-frame we would have won.  Nonetheless, I was pleased with the run, and now we're half way done with Fullhouse Level 4.

Round 2 was Standard.  I did a lead out because it started with a long line of jumps and i was afraid he'd get ahead of me.  I think it was not a good decision.  Even though he's very obedient with lead-outs, he really does not get his enthusiasm up.  So, he did the opening line slower than I would have liked, and he didn't get to be all excited and barking.  Anyway, we got down the line and he slowly picked up steam.  Again, his DW was messy but not close to missing.  Then we went towards the A-frame.  He wasn't going super fast and I did a FC at the base of the frame, but he still lept and blew the contact.  Oops!  The rest of the course ran well.  He got the A-frame contact the second time over it, and his closing line with weaves was phenomenal.  He really kicked it into gear and it was great to end on such a positive note.

There was some chaos in our class. The class was mostly BCs and Aussies, but a lab went before us.  I watched the round and it was very slow and consistent.  I thought to myself, 'well, not a winning run, but he's getting the job done.'  It turned out that it was the only clean run in our class, so it was a winning run!  One other dog had a bar, but then we were third out of eight dogs, even with the blown contact.  Yikes, but I'll take the ribbon :).

I was disappointed to have missed the Q since that's the one I really wanted to get, but it's nice to know that our A-frame is currently inconsistent, but we have one waiting for us at home and we'll get better!  After our round, one of the more experienced CPE handlers sought me out and specifically complimented me on my ability to stay positive even when things don't go according to plan.  She said we were so much fun to watch.  It was a nice thing to hear, and especially from someone I really respect as a handler (sometimes I'd think 'you look like you're having fun' could be code for 'you're really not good at agility, but at least you're having fun' but I don't think that's what she was trying to say).  I have so much fun with Jonah and I'm glad we're fun to watch, too.

I previewed Wildcard, but I had to leave before the third round.  Dave and I did a Spartan race in the afternoon, which is why I hadn't originally entered Saturday's trial at all.

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