Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jonah AD

Well, we did it!  All of the practice getting ready for running pairs paid off, and we got our Q.  I guess I'll walk through the day sequentially, because it was a little unusual.

We went up to Quechee for the weekend.  More on those adventures soon, but we left from Quechee this morning instead of home which added a little bit of stress just because I've never driven to All Dogs from there before.  It was fine, though, and we arrived in plenty of time.

The Starters and Advanced dogs had a later check-in time because the Masters dogs ran two classes before any Starters/Advanced started.  So, we were supposed to get there by 9, but at that point Masters hadn't even started Gamblers, and we had to wait until after 10:30 before our lower level Gamblers started.  All that waiting around made me even more stressed.

Finally we got to run Gamblers.  My whole focus for today was to have a good pairs run, and I was thinking that the less hyped up he was for that the better, so I didn't do anything to pump him up before our Gamblers run.  I asked him to sit and stay, which he did obediently, and I led out.  Then we started and he was obedient but quite slow.  His A-frames were not his typical 2-hit performance; he just trotted down the down ramps.  Anyway, he was just slow and unfocused, looking nervous.  Poor guy.  We had pretty much zero momentum into the gamble, and he was supposed to go out to a chute but it just wasn't happening.  I tried to be good and encouraging for him, but it was a round where I really had to cheerlead him around.  Anyway, it was nice that the gamblers round didn't matter for us at all because I really didn't mind at all that we missed the Q.  It just wasn't our day for that.

I signed up to ring crew for Advanced/PII pairs, and it was really helpful to see how they did it.  One dog did get loose and chase its partner.  That made me feel like, if we had a problem course, we at least wouldn't be the only ones!  I got a good look at how the transitions worked, and I was feeling pretty good.

We met our partner, and she wanted to do the first half of the course.  That was nice, because I thought the second half looked better for us.

As I was bringing Jonah in, our partner dog was headed out for a quick potty break, so they got to meet each other out in the hall, which was quieter than the arena.  Once Jonah's in the arena he's pretty sensitive to other dogs, so it was nice that they could meet outside.  Jonah was perfectly friendly and the other dog was, too.

So, before we knew it, it was our turn!  For some reason the jump crew had some confusion about what heights we were jumping, so it was a while after we went in before they were ready for us to start.  I tried to actually play with Jonah a little so he would have a little more enthusiasm than last time.  If you'd asked me yesterday, I would have said that I wanted to do everything I could to keep him calm, but after Gamblers I thought he actually needed a little more umph.  He kept looking for his dad, so I motioned for Dave to move away from the side of the ring.  That's something we're going to have to work on.  Dave says he'll come to our CPE trials and watch everything other than our Colors runs.  That sounds like a good plan :).

Once our partner started, I took off Jonah's collar and just put the leash around his neck.  The other dog popped out of the weaves but restarted just find, and then finished up nice and clean.  Half way!  Then the human went to put the leash on her dog, which was fine, but I was getting restless about the time--she forgot to give me the baton.  Once I got it, I  released the leash from Jonah's neck, asked him if he was ready, and took off.  He actually started nice and fast.  He never even looked at the other dog.  His DW was not a full stop, but he was in the yellow, he raced through a line of jumps, tipped the teeter happily and soared over the last jump.  DONE!  And Jonah hadn't barked ONCE!  Wow.  I didn't know what to say.

We checked our score and verified our Q (it wasn't the fastest time and we finished 3rd, but I'm not complaining).  We even got our beautiful new AD title ribbon.  I think this is the title that I'm most proud of.  From now on, we'll be in Advanced for least until we're in Masters!

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