Saturday, November 17, 2007

Morning Star trial (Quarry Sportsplex, Kingston)

Lucy, Walter, and I piled into the car dark and early at 4:30 this morning for a road trip to Kingston.


The venue was one we've never been to, one of those gigantic bubble buildings used for soccer and other sports. To maintain the air pressure in the building (or something like that), the only door available for use is a revolving door and the change in air pressure causes the ears to pop. Both dogs handled the door situation and the articificial turf just fine. It was quite a nice venue and the atmosphere in the Masters ring was pretty neat with the stadium lighting and all. The Starters/Advanced ring wasn't so fancy but still was nice to run in.

Advanced Standard #1

Early in the run Walter didn't hold the dogwalk contact and instead headed toward the next obstacle (tunnel), so I called him back to wait for a second before continuing as a reminder that there is a wait at the end of the dogwalk. This got us a refusal, but other than that he had a nice run although he took 5 or 10 seconds to investigate the smells on the table before lying down.

Advanced Standard #2

This run was doomed from the start when I realized a few obstacles in that one of my shoelaces had come untied. D'oh. At the table I had the chance to tuck it back in, but it didn't stay put. So that was kind of distracting to start with. Then he took an offcourse dogwalk instead of the correct tunnel despite my calling him desperately. The frame to tunnel turning left away from me was very messy and wide. Then, coming out of said tunnel he decided he was really in a weaving mood so he went and did them again instead of taking the jump sequence. With all the offcourses and noncompletions (due to not taking him back around to do the obstacles he missed by doing the offcourse dogwalk and weaves) he racked up 90 faults and an elimination. Woo hoo! It can be fun to give the judge's arm a workout I suppose.

Advanced Team Relay

Walter was teamed up with a dashing long-haired daschund. An interesting match. :-) Both ran clean so we got a Q and first place (out of... well, us - only one special team was entered). This was Walter's only Q of the day, but if I had had my choice going into the trial which of the five runs I'd pick for him to run clean, it would be this one, so I can't complain. The bonus was that this was the daschund's Advanced Games title, so I was happy to be a part of that. One more ATR leg and Walter will have his Advanced Games title as well.

Masters Jumpers #1

This was one of those runs where anyone watching (if anyone was watching, aside from the judge) who hadn't seen us run before was surely thinking "What in the world are *they* doing at the Masters level." The course design made ample use of... someone told me the term but I can't remember... double backing or doubling back or something like that (doing the same section of a course multiple times but with a variation each time). Although in this case maybe it was tripling back because the course took you through the same section three times. Hmmm. This type of course will take some getting used to. Anyway, to keep it short our run was riddled with mistakes... offcourses, run-bys, me spontaneously inputting a front cross when I had no intention to do so, etc. (Note, one of the mistakes involved an unresponded to "here".)

Masters Jumpers #2

This course used the exact same layout as the previous Jumpers course and used the same tripling back area. I'm amazed I didn't get totally befuddled by the whole thing. Anyway, this run was much better than the previous one, with the only mistake involving the far and wrong end of a C-shaped tunnel (he didn't respond to my "here" command). Again, I didn't bother correcting it. His YPS was 5.16, his fastest ever of the runs I've tracked.

So, a theme of today is that Walter apparently thinks "here" means go away from me and take that far obstacle. Or, more likely I'm so preoccupied with the potential offcourse obstacle that my body language points him straight to it and overrides my feeble "here" commands. Well, so there's something to work on.

But, another theme of today was terrific weaving (3x12-weaves and 1x6-weaves), so that's good, especially considering it was quite warm inside the building. All entries were pretty straightforward.

Attention-wise, he was running a bit distracted for his first time in each ring, but not in a sniffy way, so it was a lot more fun than that trial in October where he was so all over the place.

I'm wondering if some of our goofs are due to the faster speed he's going at now - my cues are probably happening way too late which would explain all the "ignored" "here's".

Some stats...
Temp: mainly sunny, 5 degrees outside but a toasty ~18 degrees inside
Pre-trial exercise: none
Classes entered: 5 (Advanced Standard #1 and #2, Advanced Team Relay, Masters Jumpers #1 and #2)
Qs: 1 (Advanced Team Relay)
Time/SCT: 69.75/69 (Adv St #1), 29.48/37 (MJ #2)
YPS: unknown except for MJ #2, 5.16

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