Sunday, October 6, 2013

Port Allen Agility Trial

Maxie, 6 runs,  3 Q's, 2 1st places, 1 2nd place, 54 MACH points, 6 videos
Lucky Lucy, 6 runs, 0 Q's, 6 videos

L to R:  Pepper, Lucky Lucy, Maxie
Well, I got what I asked for at this trial,  a few Q's.   And a surprise bonus -- some wonderful doggie portraits!

Maxie Q'd all 3 of his Standard runs and NQ'd all 3 of his Jumpers runs!  No QQ's for us this weekend. Oddly, all of his Jumpers runs were 1-3 seconds over course time - that's very odd, because on all of his Standard runs he made good time, 17, 16, and 21 MACH points with 2 1st places and 1 2nd place.  He mostly walked his weaves, though, and back-jumped 1 jump because I mis-cued him.  I held my own, not ever getting lost on course, but he's not yet back to his old self.  Will he ever be? After his last run we visited the on-site chiropractor who popped several vertebrae back into place and I heard a big crack which she said was popping his sternum back into place.  OUCH!  But she did NOT confirm the vet's assessment that he has any compressed disks!

Lucky NQ'd all 6 runs, and never once made course time.  She ran clean twice, but made lots of errors between the other 4 runs.  There were pretty parts to each run, though, and she never once stopped on top of the A-frame to survey the arena and never missed a contact!  I have got to get her into some open-air trials and under-roof matches where she will run fast.  I'm convinced she just hates under-roof agility.  Where are the matches?

Pepper was a superb crate mate the whole weekend, walking on a loose leash, not barking or whining when Maxie left the crate, hardly ever bolting out of the crate, and not even trying to lift his leg on arena posts and other dog's crates as at previous trials.  He is maturing very nicely, encouraging me to begin training him more than casually.

The best thing that happened at this trial is some new photographers that were taking group shots in front of a green screen, then letting you select your background.  First time I've had any of my dogs sit for a professional photograph.  I bought the CD @ $50  (only because they took about 30 pics and gave permission for me to use them any way I want).  I will have lots of fun learning how to extract the photos from the green background and add in my own.  Above is one of many shots taken.  I will be mining this field for individual portraits, for of course trying to pose three dogs at once is difficult, and there are often shots with one dog that looks great while the other two are looking away, etc.  What fun!

Another good thing, my son and his wife Allison, stopped by Friday noon and got to see Maxie's first run, a fast and solid Q.  Here we are at my crate space, with Pepper probing Nathan's ear with his ant-eater tongue.

Another thing, we learned that the Port Allen arena has a wireless mike system, and Wi-Fi, and will make these available to us for future trials.  I don't have to bring our equipment anymore to call the FAST points.  I can stream Librivox files between runs and relax.  I also got tutored a bit by our Trial Secretary on how the runs are scored and score sheets printed out.

Maybe the best thing of all is that John, using up 3 days of his vacation, worked his tail off the whole 4 days, beginning by supervising the new professional movers in loading and offloading of the trailer on Thursday afternoon then helping Nedra and me set up tables and hang signage around the arena, then showing up at the arena by 6:30 every morning, being in the ring at every course change all three days, filling and tamping holes (which a dozen or more competitors thanked him for profusely, or came up to me and praised him to the skies) and being the last to leave every night helping the arena guy with the injured hand water down the dirt, and organizing the equipment for pickup Sunday after the trial was over.  It felt great for me and our dogs to have him near and feel so well supported.  He was my hero.

Unfortunately, our Ring Steward decided to "economize" on volunteer concessions tickets this year, consequently she gave John only 5 $1  tickets per day, not counting Thursday!  Just enough for one small hamburger and fries per day.  As a result, not for the lack of food (because we brought or bought our own) but for the principle demonstrated, we are both less inclined to bust our butts in future.

Upwards and onward!

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