Lucky Lucy: 6 runs, 2 Q's (one each NA and NAJ), 2 2nd places, 2 Novice Titles: NA, NAJ
|The RV Parking area, right up next to the arena.|
My pop-up camper on the right.
I brought the pop-up camper. John followed me there on Thursday morning, we arrived around 11 and had 3 hours to set up then help the ring crew set up for the match at 4. He stayed thru Lucky's novice runs on Friday before heading home. Then I was on my own, including packing up the camper to leave on Sunday afternoon. I was the very last one to leave, except for Michele S. who mercifully stayed behind to help me. It was hot, windy, I had trouble getting the awning zipped up and was running on fumes by that point, just short of tears. When I got home I was totally exhausted. Michele S made a good point -- that the pop-up is good for "testing out whether I want to do agility", but if I decide I really do, I should get something more comfortable and easier to fool with. Also, she said motor homes don't really give much trouble if you use them regularly. The problem comes in with them sitting up.
RV CULTURE: The RV'ers outdid themselves every night. After all the teams went home and the crew had laid out new courses for the next morning, out came dish after dish of food, the RV'ers and some crew gathered around a rectangle of cafeteria tables in the atrium, and the laughter could be heard for 2-3 hours after that, from all the way out in the parking area. I was invited over and over to attend, by Joe, Michele S, and others, and I made a brief appearance on Friday night for a few bites, but I was so darned exhausted on Saturday night I couldn't even lift a spoon to my face, much less walk back to the arena. I was asleep by 9 p.m. and didn't regain consciousness until 5:30 a.m. Apparently there is a strong RV culture I didn't even know about -- people who camp out routinely at the shows have created a strong agility family. Sometimes the hosting trial crew provides a few dishes, games, etc. I don't think our club does that, but the RV'ers all invited me to take the initiative in Port Allen. I think I'll bring them a pot of my chili, but just on my own behalf.
STAMINA: I am utterly astonished at the stamina these agility regulars have. I mean, up at the crack of dawn to set up courses, reset courses all day, run several dogs, solve problems, after the last run and everybody else leaves, show up to lay out courses for the next day, then party for hours afterwards, day after day. And all with the greatest good cheer. Then poor Michele S, the Trial Secretary, after all the other RV'ers have left, stays behind for an extra half-hour to help me finish packing up my camper and hitch it to my car. That girl has incredible strength and speed, always good natured and sweet. I couldn't get over how fast she works. Even at her age, I don't remember being that fast. But she made me realize how slow John and I move these days, especially me.
Trial Site Summary: See here.
At one point, while walking a course, some of us complained to the judge about an obstacle being directly in the path between two other obstacles. It seemed it should be moved to the side a few feet. She explained that Agility was a test of handler's awareness as well as the dog's ability to follow, and she refused to move it! This compared to last week, when the judge moved a see-saw out of the way so handlers would not trip over it as they rounded the corner.
On one run, after the last jump, Maxie and some other dogs ran out the gate and could have been disqualified. It is important to continue to direct your dog away from the gate opening after they complete the last jump, and if they do appear to be running out, call them back sharply.
- Lucky's Novice Titles, but not quite at Maxie's record of 6 Q's in 6 runs. Lucky made 3 Q's in 6 runs for Novice Jumpers, 3 Q's in 5 runs for Novice Standard. This in 2 trials, Mobile and Amite. I also got her measured for the 2nd time, so she should get her permanent jump height card from AKC within a few weeks.
- Maxie is on track for 2011 with an equivalent of 1 Q in each category at each trial (of course I would prefer we did better, but this is my minimum goal). We've done 3 trials: New Iberia, Mobile, Amite, and he has 3 MAX Q's, and 3 MAXJ Q's (10 needed for each Masters title). As a bonus, he now has 1 QQ, and 87 MACH points, which count towards his MACH titles. I don't have any goals set for qualifying for Nationals 2012, which requires 6 QQ by later this year.
- Lucky: Two more trials, 12 more runs, 6 Q's at least, 2 Open titles. Improved speed. Placement.
- Maxie: Try to exceed the current average of 1 Q per trial per class. Try for QQ's and MACH points. Improved speed.
- John and I want to attend a Nationals Championship, not to compete but just to see how it is. I've heard the dogs at those levels run so fast and so accurately, it puts our local standards to shame. I want to see if that's true.
- Continue to improve my stamina.
- Ditch the camper. Get an RV. While the camper is cozy and comfy as can be and I love being in it, it takes too long for one person to set up and take down. It's best if set up in one location for a week, with no rush to vacate or fear being left alone in a strange place
Upwards and onward!