28 April 2009

Off

This afternoon I have to pack. This evening I will run Drifter through the european style "combo" jumps (3 jumps close together in a straight line) one more time, let him swim for a few minutes, then teach class. Tomorrow i go to work, then grab Drifter and leave for MN. I am heading for Toledo the first night, and should arrive at my hotel in MN by perhaps 6 or 7pm Thursday. This gives me a leisurely Friday morning. I still haven't decided whether to go use the practice field Friday morning, but I'm leaning towards skipping it. It's available till 4 or 5pm so I may just go to my building practice time at 1ish and if something pops up then I'll hit the field to work it out.

I will be on facebook on my blackberry periodically, but if you want to stay up to date check www.akc.org or pay for the livestream on www.agilityvision.com

26 April 2009

Kruisin Kanines AKC Recap

Because I have Tryouts coming up and Seri is not going to AKC Nationals next spring (she's in Novice and still needs some self-control and obstacle refining), I only entered Kiba and Drifter in this trial. This was Kiba's first trial at 16". And my oh my did she love it. She quadruple Q'ed, her first 100% 4 out of 4 weekend. She flew. Had the fastest time in Standard this morning over a very good 20" dog by more than a full second. (and that dog has running contacts). I was very pleased. So in one weekend we've knocked out a third of our Nationals Q's. that is a great feeling!

Drifter was entered at 26". I usually do 24" with him at AKC because something about the spacing and turns don't lend themselves well to 26" like USDAA does, but with Tryouts next weekend I wanted to school. I didn't really expect to Q much this weekend, as I really wanted to be on the ball with correcting knocked bars or blown see-saws. Much to my surprise, Drifter not only stuck his see-saw Saturday morning, but ran clean. And then ran clean in JWW. So he got a double Q - at 26". I was very pleased. Today, Sunday, was even hotter than Saturday here in PA, and Saturday was hot. Sunday it must have been near 90 by noon. Drifter was 2nd dog in the ring for Standard, so obviously not too hot yet, but the grass was quite wet. Annoyingly, the dogwalk was followed by a tight turn to the right for the 2nd day in a row. While this is not a *problem* it was not what I wanted to practice, because it's not really what I expect to find next weekend. Also the more I practice it, the more he anticipates it, which is not good, as he starts leaving a little higher each time. So I resolved to run past it then once he hit the ground I would do one of those horrible s-shaped front cross turns that I usually despise and avoid at all costs. Anyways, the course started out with a long straight line of 3 jumps then the dogwalk. Since I wanted to front cross after the DW, I needed to lead out pretty far. Which he let me do relatively well. Then he knocked the first bar. Not sure why. Probably just combination of excitement, wet grass, and me taking off. I was too far ahead to correct properly, so i simply ignored it and was thrilled with his dogwalk instead. I pushed past it and he came right down flying. Then I turned and he came with me (sometimes he locks on to the next obstacle he sees with a full running board if I don't give a turning cue). He didn't exactly "stay" on his see-saw, but he did ride it to the ground and hesitate before he stepped off, and I called him back and corrected him anyway because that's how his brain works. Give him an inch and he takes several miles.

In JWW he had a great run, no bars, nice turns, but I stepped around a jump in my path at the wrong instant and pushed him off the second to last jump. Very rare for me, so no big deal. He was jumping lovely.

23 April 2009

Busy

I've got stuff of one sort or another going on every day now till I leave for Minnesota. We got our running order for the two minute practice session on Friday. There are a couple people coming I didn't expect, and a couple people missing that I didn't expect either (unless they are coming but skipping Friday practice, which I guess is possible). I am an early practice time, and will be done by 1:30. This will mean I can go back to the hotel and relax again for the afternoon. And unless Drifter needs to come with me to see Ria for PT, then he can stay in the hotel when I got back for the running order drawing, t-shirt distribution, etc.

Since Tuesday and Wednesday were teaching days for me, Drifter and Kiba both worked on agility at the field. Drifter is handling very well. Even doing well with running and soft turns off the dogwalk. Oddly I tried to do a couple quick reps on the dogwalk after a not-so-perfect hit, and of course he proved once again that drilling it makes him worse. In those two reps of "drilling" type activity, he did one decent, then one of those awful high one-hit on the downramp ones. So I stopped. Thought. Made up a mini-course that put the dogwalk in the same sequence, and ran that instead. Flawless! I'm wondering if "drilling" makes him think too hard, like maybe he's done it wrong. Or maybe he just sucks back on the top ramp thinking he's got to do something, then lands wrong and bails. I don't know, but if I run the courses and he hits the yellow all the time (so far he does on course work) then I'll let it go. He did hit one bar, but it was the one I had at 28", on a tightly spaced 90-degree pull-to-a-rear-cross-180 sort of situation. Overall I'm pleased. Oddly he is now doing 2-stride aframes almost all the time. Hits the yellow pretty good so whatever. I'm not concerned. He is VERY consistent on those, especially at 5'10". Kiba's had some fun practicing at 16". It'll be fun this weekend. Hopefully we can get at least one double Q this weekend. Drifter probably won't get any, since I'll be correcting any naughty behaviors pretty sharply (within allowable AKC limits, of course - I'm speaking of a pause, a "HEY", and a glare).

Today we went for a walk in the park to decompress. We won't be doing this for much longer, as our friend's pool will be opened up soon. For now I have put Advantix on them, and in addition the underbrush is really non-existant in most of the parts where I walk in the woods. Here's a few cute pics from my blackberry. Drifter hates posing but I got him in one with Kiba. Love the last shot of Kiba. Lots of cool rocky creek bits in the park.



21 April 2009

odds and ends II

I haven't really posted much lately. I can't do it at work anymore (they've decided to be complete internet Nazi's and even my boss is restricted to work-related internet only, which pissed him off). And when I get back I'm working Drifter or watching TV or reading a book or folding clothes or thinking about Tryouts etc. Plus with my new blackberry I tend to check my email on that instead of turning on the laptop, and typing out long blog entries one thumb at a time is tedious at best.

Today I gave up in my brief stint at non-spot-on flea and tick control. Yes, I could possibly manage the bugs on my dogs by checking constantly for ticks, bathing them every week, etc. But to be honest, it is very difficult to find ticks before they've attached and sucked some blood out and gotten larger. And something like 50% of our numerous ticks carry disease. That's a lot. And I've never had a reaction to Advantix before, so that's what I used. I hate it, I do. But it's better than a neurological disease. I tend to stretch it and put it on them every 6 weeks or so, and only from April to October.

I can't believe I leave next week for Tryouts. I have an AKC trial this weekend that I will be using to correct bars and/or see-saws. Hopefully our wonderful dogwalk behavior will hold up, and his frames have been flawless. His stays are the same as always and his handling is superb. I almost feel that I've gotten to the point where his corners are tight enough and now I can finally push him when I want to. He's leaving the bars up in practice, even on the slightly hilly field and rough grass surface. I still haven't set up an actual course from one of the judges for the world event, but I have analyzed them and practiced the hardest bits like very-close three-way discriminations and weaves in weird places, turns off dogwalks, etc. Looking forward to Tryouts. My only real fear is flyoffs and bars coming down (which is exactly what happened at Nationals). And those are absolutely solid in practice. At the trial this weekend a good correction Saturday will go far with his see-saw (carry him out if I have to). And a growl and hold usually helps too (I growl, he holds, I praise, we go on).

19 April 2009

Top Ten

Had a great practice session today. Drifter didn't knock a single bar on 4 hard courses.

I checked USDAAs top ten pages and I have one dog in every championship list except snooker. All 3 of them are on the Tournament list right now! Cool!

17 April 2009

PT

I drove out to NJ yesterday to see Ria. Drifter must have slipped in the wet on Wed because he had a sore spot around his left shoulder. 2 days of laser, ice, and leash walking should have him back to normal. He can even walk in the park as long as we avoid sharp turns and running hard.

16 April 2009

wed

More short posting from my blackberry. Yesterday I did indeed go to the field and did some fun 10-15 obstacle jump/handling sequences. I even worked all 4 dogs a bit before running them together. Drifter got in trouble briefly for not coming in properly on a false turn. I have been working hard not to end up in situations where I need them but that doesn't mean Drifter can ignore me when I use one either. Anyway aside from that he was brilliant. Didn't touch a single bar despite the wet.

With Seri I spent time on body control on the aframe and wet seesaw. I am teaching her a temporary stop on the frame because she really needs to control her body better. Shed much rather just fling and land wherever. So for a month or so shell be stopping in practice and well see if helps her figure it out.

With Kiba and Drake I also did some short jump sequences. It was the most sequencing Drake has ever done but he was fabulous.

After that I let them all out to run for 15 minutes while I walked around. Today I head out to see Ria.

15 April 2009

2 Weeks

I leave for tryouts exactly 2 weeks from today. Long drive alone but that's ok. Harry Potter will keep me company.

Yesterday it rained. Today its raining. Yesterday I put a raincoat on me and onr on drifter too and we took a 1.5 hour hike. It wasn't pouring, just misty drizzle. A lot of mud at the park though. Today I might just go to the practice field so all 4 dogs can run without getting muddy. I can also do a couple quick jump exercises with Drifter.

13 April 2009

Practice and more rain coming

Unfortunately it is spring. Spring is better than winter. And the temperatures are better than summer. But the constant on and off rain is totally annoying. Especially when I do NOT have an indoor to train in.

Anyways, I went down to the field to train yesterday afternoon. Drifter hit a couple bars, and did one or two other wonky things, that I think were mostly due to us not practicing for a week and me still getting out of breath quicker than any 26 year old should. So I went back today (two gorgeous days in a row, I might add, 60F and sunny). Today I did 3 difficult courses that in my mind are on a World Team Tryout level. I didn't write them down or anything, I like to make them up while I'm there. I make things up that involve 270's, pull-through's, 180's with tight spacing, and long runs down straight lines or offset lines, etc. Hard stuff, basically. Oh, and off speed dogwalks, since that is a personal nemesis of mine. He's had a couple back-toes sort of hits but mostly he's doing very nicely still so I'm just trying hard to be nonchalant and avoid drilling it. Anyhow, today Drifter was absolutely fabulous. No need for me to stop and do goofy corrections on stupid shit he should know how to do (which is what I did several times yesterday). He ran three superb runs, with his only fault on any of them being one bar after a hard front cross then push out to a strangely angled jump where he had very little time to see it (and it was uphill besides). I still corrected immediately. He is a tough dog, mentally, and yet he's biddable at the same time; which means that when I correct something harshly (meaning pick him up, growl, and remove him from the course while I reset the bar and gather my wits) he usually tries harder next time. At which point I throw a small tuggy party.

Anyhow, that one bar was ALL he did wrong, and I was quite pleased with him. I even snuck one in set at 28" and he didn't touch it.

I also ran kiba on the same courses; my first practice session at 16". BOY was that weird. It was like she just ran and hardly had to jump. She was definitely doing long flat trajectories, but the jump is low enough that I'm not worried about it. I know how to cue turns properly, so when I cued a turn, she collected in and didn't jump long and flat, which means I'm not worried about her jamming and turning on the landing. Lower jumps are easier on a dog if handled properly. And while I'm still not sure how I feel about 16, I do think it'll be a great way to eliminate that one bar per weekend that I've had with her on and off. Quicker I qualify, less money i've spent. That and the slight persistent twinge in her back are my only two motivations for jumping lower. Has nothing to do with placing. There's at least two really fast BC's in 16" around here anyway, not like I'm guaranteed to win! (one is Seri's aunt)

Anyhow, my foot's asleep (I tend to sit on it while typing. dumb habit) and I'm off to bed. G'night.

usdaa speaks

Ken Tatsch has come out and announced that all 3 dogs per height for the usdaa/ifcs team WILL be chosen by earned ifcs points and NOT chosen by a panel. See, definitely not worth believing every rumor you hear!

12 April 2009

also

Someone please be sure to tell me if AKC chaqnges their rules so you have to qualify for nationals and compete all at the same height. Cuz right now I'm entering the lower heights and will decide about nationals later.

Laa bronze

First post from my new blackberry:)
I just checked and all drifter needs for his laa are 4 standards, 3 jumpers and 7 pairs. Still hopeful we can do it this year but 7 pairs will be tough.

11 April 2009

Finally!

IFCS competition rules.

I've also heard they aren't choosing all 3 dogs per height that way, but only one, and will choose the remaining two. That isn't exactly spelled out on that form, however it does only say the "top handler/dog", not the top THREE handlers/dogs.

10 April 2009

from AKC nationals

First off, let me say that 3 of the dogs are outside, and Seri is just sitting in the middle of the yard staring at me instead of running around playing. DORK!

Anyways, a great shot of Drifter clearly hitting the yellow on the DW in standard, AND turning! He hasn't had a really dorky day of DW's since I had him worked on, I'm wondering if that whole fiasco was just an effect of the tightness in his shoulders. last time he had wonky dogwalk syndrome his back turned out to be sore. . .
Drifter's gallery. Nothing worth buying, but some interesting jumping shots. He's an all-business jumper, not very showy.

Kiba's gallery.

She's usually very patient on the see-saw. Love this.
This was clear as day. Her first fly-off!
I like this jumping pic, too, but from both dogs, I don't think there's any I'm dying for.

09 April 2009

In sickness. . .

So I was sick all week. Apparently everybody and their brother has been sick, from here all the way to the west coast. Started with my fever over the weekend, then Monday I got congested, then it migrated down to my chest and became a phlegmy bronchitisy monster. Yesterday I had that awful cough that moves mucus in your chest and when I breathed in after coughing it tried to block my airway and I had to gasp. I hate that. But i went to bed early and when I woke up I felt . . . well, not "better" but more energetic. Like I had actually rested. And as today's worn on my cough has gotten dryer and dryer and my voice is ever so slowly returning to normal and losing its scratchiness. I'm hopeful that by Sunday I may actually be able to go train some agility - real courses, not just jump-jump-seesaw, or 3 jumps in a line without me moving much. As of today I still get out of breath REALLY quickly (I have real pathetic breath "strength" anyway, remnants of asthma as a kid).

So today is GORGEOUS (60's and SUN) but I am not up for a walk. I did a few see-saws with Drifter, then took each dog out one by one and worked on a 3-jump line (the new FCI "combination" jump) and some weave entries and a couple dogwalks. I'll let them out again to run together in a bit. It's supposed to rain over the next two days, and I am probably going to go back to the icky not-quite-ethical GSD breeder's swimming pool. It's not an attractive option to me, but I like that it's heated, not usually very popular, and I can just show up and pay whenever. I really want to get the dogs on a regular swimming schedule - it is going to replace hiking as their main source of fitness now that the horrible disease-bearing ticks are awake (Lyme is HUGE in this area, I've read that approximately 50% of our ticks carry it!!). A friend of mine has an outdoor inground pool I can use, but its not quite warm enough yet for her to open it up, so i will only need to use GSD lady's pool for a couple weeks. Once it gets into the 70's and my friend's pool is open I can quit the GSD pool until the fall.

and now for some completely random bits of information;

one of the few books we were forced to read in school that I actually enjoyed was Aldous Huxley's "A Brave New World". I actually own a copy. I found out the other day while DJ was watching some documentary on drug culture, that the author was a huge user (I think it was LSD but I forget already).

my right foot is asleep.

I really like the author Brandon Sanderson. he's relatively new but I had a hunch when I saw his books that I would like him, and I do. Completely coincidentally, I found out a few days after I bought the books that since Robert Jordan died before completing his entirely too-long Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson is going to write the last book from Jordan's notes. One day, I'll make myself slog through that whole series. I've read the first few books a couple times (first time was Junior High!), but knowing it wasn't done, and it's VERY complicated, I gave up early.

I am very much looking forward to my Tryouts trip, even if it IS a long drive for one person. Just me and Drifter, in a little car, crossing the country listening to Harry Potter. THREE WEEKS AWAY! Though I might visit the Mall of America while I'm in the area; I'm planning to arrive mid-day Thursday.

06 April 2009

Tryouts skills

Well it rained today and the backyard is a mush. And I'm quite congested, so no running or I'd probably collapse. So I took Drifter out in the smaller front yard and worked on one jump again. Today I set up a wider, international-style double (sort of like a triple, but no middle bar, and the front bar is like 20" high). And we did all angles and speeds and crosses and lead-outs with that. And he was fabulous. He only knocked it once, when I got all out of position and loomed over him and gave him a super-late rear cross verbal cue that contradicted with my body (trying hard to make him knock it!). I really did a lot of rewarding for good strong efforts with no touching the bar, and I lied him down and completely removed him from "agility area" when he did knock it that once. I also removed him for ticking it once. I want to spend this month making it VERY clear to him that ticking/hitting bars is NOT ok.

I feel that our handling is pretty damn good, really, so we will continue to do brush-ups on our tougher items like pull-throughs and hard shoulder/post turns.

Jumping skills at 26", especially situations where i think he'll be left too close to the jump, such as 180's and 270's, and spots where I chuck him out and take off running.

Also see-saw drills. He WILL NOT fly off again.

I was startled by how good his dogwalks were the last two weekends, and I've come back around to the strange theory of "the more we practice, the worse it gets". I can't explain it, but I am going to try to limit my dogwalk practices to a few dogwalks at a time, in real sequences, and no mental breakdowns on my part over them.

Aside from that, I'm totally ready. He's fast enough. I'm not a member of the "in crowd" and I don't take lessons from anybody involved with the World Team, and while I did "well" at Nationals and I think people who didn't know who I was were probably impressed, I don't think we did so well that we already earned a spot on the team or anything. I don't think we LOST a spot, but we didn't win it. So I am heading out to MN thinking I probably need to win a spot for myself. And my trial record says BARS are my biggest issue, so we are cracking down and working on skills. the only trial I have from now to Tryouts is the last weekend of April, and since Kiba's entered at 16 I don't need to work her too hard before hand, I may even give her a week or two off because her back's been twinging a little bit again. So it's all about ME and DRIFTER this month!

05 April 2009

Hog Dog.

You would think a dog that can go to AKC nationals and run several fabulous runs in a row could get TWO clean Grand Prix's in less than 4 months. But no, this is not to be.

Warning: I did not get any video, and instead have recorded the day in a rambling and hard to follow fashion:

I got up at 4am and headed down to Maryland for Hog Dog USDAA this morning. The fever still is gone, although this morning my ears were popping on and off and my head is sort of congested. I still get short of breath relatively quickly but I was OK running the dogs as long as I had a break afterwards. Masters Gamblers was up first, and all 3 of them were in that. I had to move both Seri and Drifter because there were only about 12 dogs in the 26" class, so I ended up with Drifter first (always a good thing) and Seri last. It was a jumpers type of gamble, with a serpentine-like pull in and then a 2nd send-out. Hog Dog recently got rubber-coated contacts, something my dogs have not really seen before. Instead of wooden slats, they have solid rubber slats, and they were a contrasting color, which looked quite odd. So I made sure to get the dogs on all 3 contacts in Gamblers. I also wanted to train Drifter's see-saw. He is SO pushy about that! So I started the course with jump-see-saw, and the bastard slammed it down and hopped right off. So I said "excuse me!" and did it again. And he did the same thing - not a flyoff, but also not the behavior I want (to stay and wait for release). And if I let him self-release he just starts doing it earlier and earlier until he is sailing through the air like he did in Hybrid last week. Anyways, so we exhausted our two attempts, so I waggled my finger and told him he was naughty, then moved on. He was fine with the rubberized aframe, but the dogwalk for some reason really confused him. I took off down the ring and when I got to the end of the board he wasn't there with me, and I turn and he's halfway across the top ramp cantering slowly along and looking confused. I just encouraged him off, did a jump, and tossed him back over it again. He did it fine the second time. I don't know if it was the different sound of the rubber (they had sort of a lower pitched dull thud) or the contrasting slats, but he was definitely confused at first. Anyways, not the best of openings but he got the gamble.
Seri was a goofball, missed like 5 aframes in a row, then did not get the gamble. She DID stick her see-saw, barely. In fact she did the exact same "almost" sort of scary sticking to the see-saw board all day. Fine, it's better than flying off.
Kiba was OK in the opening, hit the first bar, then didn't get the gamble.

Seri knocked a bar in Adv Standard.
Drifter did very nicely in Masters Std up until the see-saw, which was 2nd to last. I growled STAY at him and sure enough, he slammed it down and got right off, taking a solid stride forward before turning back to me. I stood there and glared and called him back, with a "what did you do!?" sort of grumble. No flyoff still. So I sent him to the last jump still clean, and he knocks the bar. So I lied him down and then left the ring and carried him to the car. He hates that.
Kiba hit one bar in standard but was otherwise good. I rear crossed her see-saw and she stayed on.

GP was a good course, open but still challenging. Fast dogwalk approach and exit. Drifter knocked #3, a severe angled jump after the weaves. Grrrr. I growled at him for it and he slowed down and looked at me (good). Great dogwalk - I even got ahead and pushed off the end, not something I can do often. Then at the end of the course I was even with him and growled on the see-saw, last chance, and he FINALLY stuck it! I praised him while he stayed on it, then we finished. So i accomplished something, anyway, but didn't get the leg I wanted.

Seri missed her weave entry in GP, but had a wild-but-somehow-still-under-control rest of the course.
Kiba knocked a bar (obviously didn't school enough at 22 after doing 20), then LEAPED off her dogwalk halfway down the down ramp. Now, she KNOWS what "touch" means, she is quite independent at home. I should NOT have to babysit her completely, and I really wasn't that far away at the time, she just was too excited and leapt right off. So I did something I rarely ever have to do with her - I walked her off. She didnt' understand at first, she lied down, then hopped back up and headed for the tunnel. I had to say "no. . . we're leaving". Then she was sad. . .

anyways we headed home after what ended up being a training day.


obligatory picture to accompany a long rambling post
(Drifter circa 2005ish - note the complete lack of grey on his face)

04 April 2009

Fever!?

DJ was sick early in the week, to the point of staying home from work Tuesday, and he was quite feverish all day Monday. Well I got something of it because I spent yesterday with a slightly sore, swollen throat, and then last night I felt like I was getting a fever. This morning I felt pretty feverish and ended up sleeping about 10 hours at night, then wandered out to the couch to watch DJ play video games and ended up taking a 2-hour nap on the couch as well. After that either my immune system or the meds started kicking in, and I don't feel too bad now. I decided to skip the Phils preseason game vs. the Rays, as I want to be rested and well for Hog Dog tomorrow. Boy am I glad I only entered Sunday, though. No way would I have been able to run this morning.

Because it rained all day yesterday and I felt sick, the poor dogs did a whole lot of nothing, so today after I put crates back in the car I put up a jump in a grassy dry part of the front yard (the back is swampy) and did some one-jump work with all 3 of the dogs entered tomorrow. They did fine, although I noticed every time I ran a few feet I got short of breath. I may be handing one or two of them over to friends at the trial. The only real reason I'm going is to get Drifter a GP leg, so I don't particularly care how they do in the other classes. If I get too out of breath I may hand the girls off to somebody. I don't often do that, but we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

02 April 2009

HOT!

It's like a horribly warm 68F and Sunny today! What shall I do!?
Well, I trained the dogs briefly, but they were as stunned as I at our upturn in the weather, and they got pantingwarm pretty quickly. I'm going to do a 2nd session in a few minutes. Talked to a friend on the phone, and now I really need to sort laundry. I hate laundry. I want laundry washing/drying/folding/putting-away gnomes to come and take over my abode once a week. Sigh. I need to get the bedroom cleaned up real nicely, as I'm thinking of leaving the girls loose in there while I'm at work. Kiba's worst "obsess at the ceiling noises" area is the kitchen and the hallway, so maybe if she's in the bedroom with the door closed she will relax a little. She is a strange little bugger.

I bit the bullet that tastes like cheating and entered her in 16" at a few upcoming AKC trials. I stuck Drifter in at 26" for training purposes the weekend before Tryouts, but later in May I put him at 20". I really don't want to spend more money than necessary to attempt to qualify for Nationals next year. Tulsa, by the way, is *only* 19.5 hours away according to Google! Only 1200 miles, that's like only slightly more than half the distance to freaking Scottsdale. USDAA? Are you listening? MOVE!
Seriously, I am not a big fan of AKC agility, I always loved USDAA more, but if they don't move Nationals east of AZ for 2010 I may have to boycott. and I will boycott WITH FRIENDS DAMMIT!

and yes, I am a bit annoyed and obsessive on that point. You try driving 2,365 miles EACH way for several years in a row (or pay to fly 3 dogs!). . .

Anyways. Sorry, got off topic.
Worked a few dogwalks and some recessed 180's and pull-through's in the yard today. Will do a few more; need to remind Drifter not to get UNDER the jumps before he takes off. His short neck is a huge disadvantage when he finds himself in such a situation, which is what happened in Challenger round. When I left the ring I thought he knocked the middle bar in that line, but he actually knocked the one right after the 180; he got under it. So my initial impression that it was caused by my convergence was incorrect. He just took off forward and didn't judge his takeoff well enough. his only bar, all weekend (the one I ran over doesn't count - he had already cleared it!)

01 April 2009

Next stop, Tryouts!

Actually the next stop is Sunday at Hog Dog, where I'm hoping to snag Drifter's 2nd local GP leg. And after that I am doing an AKC trial the last weekend of April. I put Kiba at 16" for the first time, and I bumped Drifter up to 26" for that one trial, as I want to keep him watching his feet before Tryouts.

I got all my paperwork for Tryouts together this afternoon, along with the check, and have the sealed envelope sitting ready to mail tomorrow. I booked a hotel. I am driving alone after all, which means I can take the Civic and leave the Odyssey home for DJ to commute in, since I'll be covering a lot more miles and will appreciate the gas mileage (it can do 37+ on the highway). All that's left as far as entry goes is to send my trial record, which I will do electronically in the next day or two. It is mostly finished, I just want to proofread back through again.

From it, though, I have found that we ran 49 regular AKC runs between last April and now, 55 total counting Nationals. Of those 55, Drifter went off course only twice. By far the vast majority of his NQ's were caused by a single knocked bar, although he had one fly-off, one missed dogwalk (which was just a few weeks ago), two missed weave entries (one a visual problem, one just overshot at high speed) and one refusal on a table (staring at a tunnel). He qualified about 51% of the time, overall, and was just over 50% in both JWW and Standard. I'd like that to be a higher percentage, but it is what it is and there's no changing it now. I think we do well under pressure, neither of us seems to lose our mind.

We're as ready as we'll ever be, I guess! I feel like I have a shot, but I am also not really that obsessed or invested emotionally. I really just want to go out and put in a good effort, and if we make it I'll be ecstatic, and if we don't i want to be able to go home proud of our effort. that's all.