Sunday, April 15, 2012

Port Allen Agility Trial 2012

Maxie: 6 runs, 3 Q's, 1 QQ, 26 MACH points, 1 1st place, 1 2nd place, 1 3rd place
Lucky Lucy: 6 runs, no Q's
L to R.  John, John R, Ken
This was our club's annual agility trial.  It fell on Easter weekend so was a bit more sparsely attended than usual, but it was the best I've been to in terms of comradery and team spirit.  Lots of new club competitors in novice - Jerri, Sandy, Robbie, Nicole, Kimberly, a few Q's among them, and they were all really good sports!  We had lots of volunteers, even from club members who don't do agility. The atmosphere was jovial and helpful.  John took 2 days vacation to serve as chief truck packer/driver and first assistant to our chief course builder.  He left home at 5:45 every morning and never stopped until bed time. Lots of other people helped load and move the equipment around where it was needed, but John and John R. were always there with the judge's maps in hand, pacing out yardage and figuring out where to put each obstacle.  It was a major job and he learned a lot. Ken Lively, a new member whose dog doesn't even compete yet, was by their side every minute.  While one ring was running they were setting the other one.  All 3 worked their butts off. Our club could use about twice as many members to lighten this load. It is really too much to ask of one volunteer course building crew to keep up this pace for 3 days.

I worked mostly behind the scenes, setting up a publicity table with AKC info and easter candy, and several people learned about our club and picked up brochures.  That was satisfying, though with a bit more planning I could have put out flyers on our upcoming Obedience Trial and Match.  DUH!  Less satisfying that no reporters came out and only a brief mention in the Advocate, though I had submitted articles to both the Baton Rouge and Port Allen papers.  Our club was short a 15' tunnel so I brought mine, helped  repair equipment, load and unload the truck, and understudied the Trial Secretary job.  I tried to keep trash and poop picked up, and the bathrooms clean.  Enough little unnoticed things that kept me busy.

Maxie's weekend started out great.  First 3 runs were solid Q's, with placement each run, although he always walked his weaves and only once ran as fast as usual.  The 4th run was a nearly Q with a pop-out at the weaves, but the last 2 runs on Sunday were disappointing, not even nearly Q's, and both over course time - a first for him.  I don't know what happened.  There were lots of burrs in the grass.  Maybe he had a sore foot.  Only other things I can figure is that my right hip was hurting so I was slower myself.  Also I brought the new puppy to the trial, and Saturay and Sunday I left Willow at home, figuring the puppy would give Maxie enough company in the X-pen.  Maybe not having his usual crate mate with him, not being confined in his crate, threw his game. Composite video, with commentary, is below.

Lucky Lucy is a different story.  Her performance was so awful all weekend, I won't bog down this page talking about it.  Suffice it to say, it was her worst trial yet, and will get a separate post.  Will she EVER be a good agility dog?

My crate space, Portia and Laura,
Willow (far left, crated) Pepper, Maxie (in X-pen), Lucky
Visitors: My friend Laura and her daughter Portia came Friday, which ended in disaster when Portia fell in love with a frail little rescue dachshund puppy after holding it 5 minutes, someone told her "this puppy could be yours" without consulting the mom, and she cried unconsollably for over an hour when her mom said no.  Such is the mysterious effect of puppies.  Mom is holding out til summer for an agility dog.  Audrey came late Sunday to wish me Happy Easter.  I felt bad I didn't have more time to visit with her, and she witnessed Lucky's terrible last run.  Trials, taking videos, take up all my concentration.  I've about concluded it's best not to have visitors at trials.

This was Winnie's first visit to a trial venue, all 3 days.  He did great, travelled well in the car, didn't seem the least tense or upset at the noise or busy-ness, not the least intimidated by the big dogs, happy in the X-pen whether I was around or not, had little trouble on leash, and didn't mind various people holding/petting him.  I forgot to take pictures of him there with me, but got one of Laura and Portia in our crate space (above), and one with John holding him at the party, below.  It felt odd telling people his name was Winnie.  Honey Bear did't feel right either.  Someone suggested "Pistol Pete" and he answered to that.  I got home and toyed with Petie, then remembered Pepper, my first Papillon heartthrob

I decided to name him Pepper in memory of "the one that got away".  They look a lot alike, and the original Pepper was attacked by a big dog and subsequently died.  So it's possible we have a forever name for this puppy at last -- Pepper, Pepper Tu, Peter Pepper, Pepperoni. Lots of fun baby-talk variations to play with.  He answers to them all, if I can remember to say them.  More training now required, I'm so used to calling him Winnie Pooch, etc.

I took videos of over 200 runs.  Now that so many of our club members run each dog in Time2Beat as well as FAST, Standard and Jumpers, and some run 3 or more dogs, and we have so many newbies, that adds up to a lot.  It will take me about 2 weeks to upload them all to Picasa Web Albums, 5 at a time, sort and label them all.  I won't be able to keep up this pace. Not sure how I'll cut down the number, but I must.

Memorabelia:  Swamp Dog Agility (New Orleans Club) had a party at lunch time on Saturday to celebrate Julie Hill and Smartie's recent win at AKC Nationals, 24" category.  A video of her "speech" is posted on my YouTube channel.

The table was beautifully decorated, with an alligator cake, and a red velvet layer cake, champagne, OJ, gifts and speeches..  Both cakes were delicious.  New Orleans folk know how to throw a party. 

We had a party of our own Saturday evening for our club's 3 recent MACH champions -- Noel/Flash, Cheryl/Emily, and Loralie/Jenny.  3 cakes, jambalya, fruit salad.  No decorations, but so many people showed up that the food ran out too fast for all to get some.  Another club mate was taking pictures, so I didn't take any.  Still haven't seen them, though.  That's why I like to take the pictures, so I know they'll make it into our club's Photo Album.

Upwards and onward,

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