Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dream Fields trial - Houston, we have a gambling problem!

Wow the day was a long one, first run around 8:00am and the last run around 8:00pm. Walter spent most of his down time in the car where it was cooler and certainly quieter. He must have been able to catch some z's because his energy and enthusiasm level wasn't too shabby at the end of the day. He was entered in team, three gamblers, a jumpers, and a standard. I was hoping we could maybe pick up one of the Qs Walter still needs for the big title, i.e. team, gamblers, or standard.

Team Relay: Our original partner had to scratch due to an injury (get well soon!) so we ended up running with a lovely black GSD mix rescue who was willing to run twice. Walter and I had to run the second half of the course since our partner had run the second half in their official run. Unfortunately the second half had a most brutal soft side weave entry, and due to the proximity of several jumps on all sides it was impossible to give him a nice straight-on running approach. Anyway, he got the entry but popped right away, and then he was in Weaveless Walter mode, where despite several attempts he was unable to get the entry and then popped at the end to boot. Sigh. Oh well, our partner had also made an error so at least I don't feel too bad.

Gamblers #1: Consisting of three jumps and a tunnel, the two tricky bits were a send-ahead to a tunnel which Walter is notoriously bad at (not a tunnel suck and I've neglected practicing such things), and a sharp turn away to a jump with a very tempting trap jump at the line. Walter impressed me by taking the tunnel no questions asked, and then for the turn away part I cheated by calling him in and then sending back out. Good boy - he sent back out, but wasn't sure about where he should be sent out to so he went past the last jump instead of taking it. Close but no cigar, but I was still glad that he had done pretty well. Oh and he did a 14-point mini gamble consisting of non-double jump, teeter, and tire at an easy lateral distance.

Gamblers #2: Another jumps/tunnel gamble, and surprisingly/deceptively easy-looking. This one I thought he had a better chance at since the tunnel send was more lateral than straight-ahead. However, he surprised me early in the gamble by pulling in after jump #1; I had thought it would be an easy line for him. Never thought I'd be able to send him back out, but yep, back out he went. Handled 4-5 as a front cross and he easily sent out to #5. So he got his second MG Q! Kind of a close one though as he had been dangerously close to refusal territory when he came in after #1.

Gamblers #3: The instant I saw the course map for this one I thought "oh well, at least we have a chance at the other two gambles" since this one involved not only the weaves but also a slight turn away afterward with a tempting decoy jump at the line. Well can you imagine the shock I was in when he nailed the main gamble! Yes, I was pretty much over the moon. After his noncompletion of the weaves in his earlier team run, for him to nail the weaves like that... Well, he sure does keep me guessing in the weaves department. Perhaps not all that surprising though as I already knew Walter needs lots of space at the weaves, which was impossible to do in the team course but which that gamble line forced reminded me to give him. This was Walter's third MG Q and therefore his Special Masters Gamblers Dog of Canada title. Woot! (um... for the record, I never use that word, but figured this was an appropriate time to try it :)

We sat out Snooker and Steeplechase so I could get some volunteer time in.

Then it was Jumpers. I had a front cross planned at the tire and my front crosses aren't as good as my rear crosses could use some improvement suck so I asked someone to record our run (our only run of the day on video). Good thing too because it clearly shows how messed up my front cross was. While walking the course I didn't plan to be in the pocket so deep like that, but there I am running right up to the standard for crying out loud. So the best I can tell is my front cross ended up way too late with me ending up in his way and by the time he saw the jump it was too late. Oh geez and what is my arm doing fully extended when I'm right next to the jumps? Argh!

Finally, Standard. Wonder of wonders, even after a long day Walter was able to weave all the way to pole 10, but then POP! Hand-waved him through the last bit, not sure why but whatever. Then he didn't hold 2o2o on the teeter so we went into training mode and did it again. (Not a punishment, just a way of reminding him to take his time to stick the 2o2o.) Then he came in between the two jumps on a 180 which I hadn't supported enough, but I didn't bother "fixing" that.

So yeah, it was a long but fun day especially with Walter's one-day gambling addiction. I would have been thrilled to get just one MG Q today, but to get two on the same day was a blast!


Nat said...

Congrats Walter on his SMGDC!! What a good boy! I agree, it's great to see videos of yourself -- then you can see the things you need to work on, that you wouldn't be able to see without the video.

Congrats again! :D

LucyandWalter said...

Thanks Nat!

Yeah, it's pretty scary sometimes what the video shows. When I watch my agility videos I prefer watching my dogs and admiring their athleticism (I don't just mean my dogs, I mean all dogs, they're all so impressive to watch jumping and weaving and running) rather than watching my goofy handling! :^)

Elayne said...

What a handsome boy with his big fancy ribbon! He looks quite pleased with himself.

The Jumpers run looks nice, not sure exactly what happened at the refusal but I'm guessing the bending over had something to do with it. I do that too, it's hard to remember to stand up straight. Walter looks great though and the run looks nice.

LucyandWalter said...

Yeah I noticed the bending over too. I think, though, that the bending over was a result of seeing that my front cross was going awry (it's one of my signs of desperation), rather than a cause of the goofup, but then again, who knows.

Johann The Dog said...

So cool! Big, big congratulations!!!!!!!!