Legs Earned: Maxie NS1, NS2
Originally I had no desire to compete. I have NO athletic ability. I hate exercise, except the mental kind. But 2.5 years later, after many setbacks and hardly any encouragement, having just earned Novice and Open titles with Maxie in Baton Rouge and Hattiesburg, I've begun to gain some confidence and train more rigorously for Excellent competition. I desire to keep a record of our progress, which starts here.
Our very first competition was at my local dog club's annual AKC Agility Trial, at the Parker Coliseum at LSU, Baton Rouge. I had been volunteering at that trial, and the USDAA trial, for about 2 years, so Maxie and I were both used to the environment. It's a great idea to bring your puppy to trials long before you start competing with them. Maxie was totally at ease.
Friday night we entered the Time-2-Beat run, which was the same course for all dogs at all levels. Some kind of fun run, timed but unscored. AKC uses the data gathered for something or other. I wasn't very nervous because it didn't count, and to my great shock, we completed the run with no errors! Talk about a confidence builder.
I had only scheduled one run, Novice A Standard. It was easy, but I was so nervous I forgot whether to sit or down my dog on the table. I told the judge I forgot and he was nice enough to tell me. Despite that we scored perfect, won 1st place in 8" category. Jonathan was there filming my run, my clubmates cheered for me, and I was elated. Tracey reminded me to pick up my leash.
(I was gifted later with this tip, if you SIT your dog and the judge doesn't start counting to 5, you know you need to DOWN your dog, and vice versa.)
Sunday I had only scheduled one run, Novice A Jumpers. It, too, was easy, but I was still nervous. We scored perfect again, won 1st place in the 8" category. The other novice dogs NQ'd.
I'm not saying we ran either run flawlessly, NO, we were a quite sloppy, but we didn't make errors that count against your score, and in the end, that's what counts. Also, Maxie's time was far below the SCT, which surprised and pleased me.
This trial provided me with the encouragement to go on to Hattiesburg and try for the 2nd and 3rd Q in each category, and our Novice Titles.