Monday, April 12, 2010

Salt City Cluster

Two weekends ago the dogs and I went to three days of agility trials at the New York State Fair grounds. We had a great time and did pretty well!

Flash was WIRED and on the first day was out of control even for her (at 12 years of age she still burns up the course and screams and quivers at the startline). We didn't pull off any qualifying runs, but had some really nice runs, especially in Excellent Jumpers with Weaves. In Excellent FAST, which has a distance challenge where your dog has to work a certain distance away from you (it is marked on the ground with tape), she had two "almosts." The first day she ran back over the line and was going fast enough to make it move, which caused the judge to think I stepped over the line. Oh well. On the third day *I* pulled her off a jump - with fast dogs the slightest motion can change everything!

Tia had a dynamite weekend. She was undertime in all of her runs, which is saying something for Tia. She qualified twice in Excellent Jumpers, which means she now has three MJP legs (she needs 10), and also finished her AXP in Excellent Standard. This means that she is now going for her PAX, which is the agility champion title for dogs running in preferred (this enables them to jump 4" lower than their actual height). I'm not planning to seriously pursue it, but we'll keep trialing and if it happens, it happens. For the PAX she will need 20 double Q's, which means she has to qualify in both Jumpers and Standard on the same day, 20 times. The photo is of her a couple summers ago, taken by Mike Weir.

Like Flash, Queezle started off the weekend a bit out of hand. In Open Standard the first day she tried to make it a longjump competition, taking off up to 10 feet before the jumps. It didn't work. Over the next two days she calmed down, and we had some decent runs. On Sunday she came through and qualified in Excellent Jumpers to finish her AXJ! She ahd me a little nervous, as there was a big loop around the outside of the ring where she started to take off early, but she corrected herself and kept all of the bars up.

All in all it was a good weekend!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fools' Day!

It was a gorgeous day here in Ithaca, with temperatures in the low 70s and bright sun. The kind of day when I wish I had a dog with me to just wander around campus - all the college dogs were out enjoying the weather with their people. To make the day even better, marching band has started up again! For anyone in town, we'll be having our Spring Concert on April 17th, starting at Barton Hall and then marching and playing to various locations on campus and in Collegetown - if you can't see us, you'll hear us!

I also got an excited call from my mom to say that she and Tia almost qualified in Open A obedience! If you remember the last time Tia showed (January), it wasn't pretty. Today she was great, working with spunk and animation and overall putting on a great performance. I'm beginning to think the best way to get obedience titles on my dogs is to train them and then hand them over to my mom for polish and the show. Luckily obedience isn't my favorite sport, or this trend of my dogs doing better for her would be quite vexing! Her only error was that she needed a second command on the broadjump, which she has only gotten the hang of within the past few months. I am very proud of the Bean.

Starting tomorrow, I get to go to the dog show too. All three of my girls are entered in agility, so it will be a long three days. It should be a lot of fun though, and for the most part all of my runs are in the same ring. Tia was just entered in obedience today. I must say I'm a little surprised she didn't qualify, as my best day of agility trials ever was on April Fools' Day a couple years ago when I had three runs, three Qs (qualifying runs) and finished three titles! It was fitting, because the norm is for my dogs to make me look like a fool, so on April Fools' Day they reversed it. I guess the magic only works every once in a while though. Now we'll see how the rest of this weekend plays out!