Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kiln Agility Trial - The "If Only" Trial

Lucky's AX title ribbons
Maxie: 6 runs, 1 Q, 1st place, 20 MACH Points
Lucky Lucy: 6 runs, 1 Q, 2nd place, NEW TITLE AX

"If Only" moments are those we all tend to review and review and kick ourselves for. My weekend was full of them.

To start with, 12 runs and only 2 Q's.  Have I ever done this bad?  And almost every NQ was only one tiny mistake, or in Lucky's case, no mistakes just exceeding course time.  If only I had made one small adjustment this way or that . . . . . on each run.

If only we had left home 45 minutes earlier or not taken the scenic route to Kiln, we wouldn't have had to pitch the camper in a downpour.

If only we hadn't pitched the camper towards one end of the mounded RV slot, we wouldn't have been in a ditch 3" deep in water.

If only the clip I was using to hold my hair back during Maxie's 2nd run on Friday hadn't started falling out at jump 14. In the split second it took me to decide whether to grab it or let it fall, I lost my concentration, handled jump 15 as if it were 16, and went to 17.  Maxie ran fast and perfectly, but we missed a QQ.  If only I had used a different barette. . . . If only I had worn my cap.. . .  If only I had tied all my hair back in a twist the clip would have held . . . . if only I had let the damn thing fall without wondering whether the judge would make me stop to pick it up.  I flubbed up.
If only I had the endless energy these other competitors seem to have, I could have joined the RV'ers for their Friday night communal meal, but I was too exhausted.  Saturday night I mustered enough energy, brought whatever I could scrape up (cantaloupe, herbal cheese), and enjoyed their terriki chicken on a stick, grilled shrimp, shishkabob, big salad and some champagne.  It was very relaxing.  Everyone was animated and friendly. The talk was all about lure coursing, hunting and herding dog training.  I got on the RV email list to help plan future meals.

If only I had taken the time to kill the wasp nest I suspected was in the eves of my camper before leaving home, But I was in a hurry, feeling lucky . . . . . being stupid.  I paid the price on Saturday afternoon while tying my tarp to a corner post.  I got stung, within 3 hours my hand swole up so you couldn't see my knuckles or wrist bone, and the Benedryl I took that night and the next morning gave heart palpitations all day Sunday.  Fortunately, my RV neighbor had some wasp spray and I used it to knock out the nest.  But  somehow 6 groggy wasps found their way inside, over the next few hours I found them crawling on the walls and sheets, had to squish each of them with a towel, inspect every inch of the camper carefully, and now I have to set it up when I get home and caulk those holes.

If only I had taken Maxie to do his business before his last run on Sunday instead of volunteering to work the novice class, he wouldn't have gone behind the tunnel and peed, and got us whistled off.  Not a great way to end the weekend.

The trial must have been advertised locally, because several observers showed up.  I met a very interesting elderly gentleman in a scooter, who trains search and rescue dogs in Slidell.  He was the first soldier in Vietnam with a rescue dog, and very active in changing the military policy of leaving war dogs behind.  It's a cause I believe in, and offered to help him spiff up his website.  We'll see where that takes us.

All weekend between runs one lady laid back in her recliner and played with her Apple iPad 3G.  She's got perfect internet connection, can surf the web all she wants, handle her emails, read books, compose, upload docs, take photos and videos, stream movies, etc.  Way out here in the boonies!  It's just a huge iPhone, except it can't make phone calls. I am pee green with envy.  If only I had $900 to burn!  Not having an internet connection for 4 days sucks!

My air conditioner struggles to keep the camper cool past 85 degrees on these treeless, asphalt RV campgrounds.  By Saturday afternoon the roof fabric over the beds was hot to the touch. I had been planning a possible fix for this problem, so I rigged up a silver reflective tarp over the big bed roof to see if that would make a difference.  It really did.  Problem resolved.

I learned that Mississippi Mavericks, the host club, is down to 2 or 3 members.  Most everybody has quit!  Seems there are conflicts among the leadership that need working out.  Swamp Dog Agility, on the other hand, seems to be blossoming.  Apparently they enjoy teamwork, and do all sorts of stuff together besides dog agility, such as tubing and kayaking.
One lady brought her Lure Coursing machine out each evening for anybody to try.  I wrote all about the experience in my previous post, here.

Trial Site Summary  (see links):  The restrooms/shower area is complete, as is most of the construction we encountered last year, and I like that the sites are on grass, not limestone or asphalt. Made a huge difference in the heat factor.  What is with these RV park designers that they cut down every single tree???  Have they no appreciation for shade or grass?

Willow (left) and Maxie (right) ringside,
resting up for the next round.
  • Lucky's AX title
  • Maxie's 8th Q in XS towards the 10 needed for his MX title.
  • One more XJ Q for Lucky, and her AXJ title.
  • Two more XS Q's for Maxie, and his MX title.
  • One more QQ for Maxie by November to reach the 6 he needs to qualify for AKC Nationals next year.  Unfortunately, he won't have the 400 MACH points by then, with just 267 right now.  If only AKC hadn't changed the rules mid year that no longer double 1st place MACH points, and 1.5 2nd place MACH points, we might well have made it.  Still, I'll get as close to the goal as possible.
  • A few more QQ's for Maxie in 2011, leaving fewer QQ's to achieve in 2012 to reach MACH (CHampion status) next year.
Upwards and onward!

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