Friday, November 18, 2011

Perfect Puppy!

Jonah was awesome today at Happy Tails.  Awesome.

It was a very well run trial.  The courses were fun and we got in five runs in one day while only having one ring...impressive.

As for thoughts on the venue, there was no real parking lot so we were parked on the street about 100 yards away from the building, which meant it was a bit of a hike back and forth.  If I had gotten there earlier I could have gotten a closer spot.  It was only a bummer because most of the people parked closer were crated inside and not working out of their cars, so it seems like there could have been a more efficient way of organizing parking, but oh well.

Inside, they had a different in and out door which made the traffic flow really nice.  There was also a room outside the ring where you could wait your turn, and it was much less crowded and hectic.  Very nice.  The ring itself was nice rubber matting and nice and big.  Again I only have a slight organizational mention which is that by the time I got there the whole watching area had chairs set up and there was no room for more.  All the chairs were people's private chairs, but most of the time the people weren't even there.  So, whenever I wanted to watch I had no place to sit and there wasn't really good standing room either.  Once I sat in someone else's chair, and she promptly came over and asked me to leave.  Sigh.  I volunteered for four classes, so at least then I got a chair :).

So for the actual agility:

Round 1:  Jumpers Level 4
    The course looked harder on paper than it did in real life.  It ran fast and fun.  The only area that was slightly messy for us was the closing serpentine.  I put a FC in between the second and third jumps and his turn was a little wide.  It wasn't bad.  It just could have been cleaner.  I watched a beautiful run (one of only 2 dogs that ran faster than we did...both were in level C with great handlers) and the handler handled the whole serpentine at more distance, putting in a RC on the flat between the second and third jump.  I don't know if that would have been the best way to handle it with Jonah, but I might set up the same line again and try it, because it was much smoother than ours at least as this dog/handler managed to do it.  We finished with a Q and 1st.  We were the fastest dog in level 4, and faster than all dogs in level 5.  Now we only need one more Jumpers Q in level 4.

Round 2:  Snooker Level 4
     This course was very spread out.  I had planned a 6-7-7 opening, but almost none of the small dogs I watched got all the way through the closing, so I changed my plan to 6-7-3.  Jonah ran it beautifully.  His weaves were fast and I was able to leave him a little bit to get a FC in afterwards.  His DW was a little shaky, as he looked at the judge when he was coming down the ramp and didn't have a clean 2o2o. Then his closing was as nice as any I saw.  There was a tight zigzag and it was just very constraining, especially for the big dogs.  I managed to get 2 FCs in where most people just couldn't get there in time.  My first was very effective and then my second was a tad late, but nothing like other attempts I saw.  Jonah didn't have to slow down, he just had a slightly wiggly line.  Anyway, he hit a tricky-for-him almost 90 degree weave entry on the entry side, and his second DW contact was perfect.  We got through the end with 10 seconds to spare, so I probably could have done 6-7-7, but oh well.  The bummer of this round was that when I picked up my score sheet I saw that they had recorded it wrong.  They said I did 6-7-2.  I can understand it was tricky because there were two tunnels (the 2 and 3 obstacles) right next to each other and they were on the far end of the ring.  A lot of dogs were doing the 2 tunnel, so the scribe probably just misheard the judge or couldn't hear and thought the 2 was right because that's what other people were doing.  Anyway, I know I did the 3.  I knew I could talk to someone but it didn't seem like it was worth it--we still Q'd and I didn't think it would matter for placement.  Unfortunately it did matter--if we'd been recorded as getting the 3 we would have won but another dog got the same point total that we did (but 1 more than we were recorded as doing), so that dog 'won.'  We were more than 5 seconds faster than that dog, so in my mind we won.  It was definitely a Q, though.  Next time we do Snooker we'll be in Level 5!

Round 3:  Colors Level 3
     I didn't rev Jonah up very well in this course so he was a little less enthusiastic than in his previous runs.  He was still very obedient and had a lovely clean course, it just lacked the edge that he can have.  It was a pretty easy course and we finished with a Q and another 1st.

Round 4:  Jackpot Level 3
     This was our one 'interesting' run of the day.  I had waffled a lot about what plan to run, but I decided to go do the jackpot early (it was nontraditional and we could do it at any time).  There were two gambles:  it was a jump and then a choice of two tunnels next to each other (one closer, one farther away), and then depending on which tunnel you did you took a different jump (again, one farther and one closer), and then go back into the closer tunnel to finish.  I didn't think it was likely Jonah would take the farther jump in the more difficult gamble, so I just planned on doing the easier, closer one.  Well, the first time we came to the gamble Jonah was in the far tunnel before I knew what was happening.  As I expected, he didn't get the far jump, so we had to try again.  I called and pulled hard for the closer tunnel, but again he cruised into the far one.  We got the job done on the third try, thankfully, but now I was in a total tizzy and didn't know how many points we had.  I thought we needed a lot more so I embarked on an ambitious loop for big points.  He did it really well and picked up on my urgency by running full speed.  I figured after we ran that we must have been over time, but when I picked up my score sheet I was relieved to see that we'd just made 0.03 seconds!!!  Talk about a close one.  The silly thing was that I had 9 points more than I'd needed.  If I'd only been able to do math on my feet I wouldn't have had to take so much risk, but I thought I was way behind on points.  The risk paid off though, so we got our Q and another 1st.  Now we're done with Jackpot level 3!

Round 5:  Standard Level 3
     I didn't think this was too hard a course.  There were some off-course opportunities, but Jonah was very tuned into me and didn't blink an eye at any of them.  His DW contact, teeter, weaves and A-frame contact were all excellent.  In fact, the whole course was excellent.  He was hyped up again and ran fast and happy.  Another Q and 1st.  That finishes our Level 3 standards.  Now on to level 4!

Phew!  Now that's what I call a good day!  We're tired but very happy.  Too bad there aren't many upcoming trials.  We just have one next month.  I can't wait!  Of course, most trials aren't like this!

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