The boys and I have had some fun these past few weeks. Attended the Talbot Kennel Club and Salisbury Kennel Club AKC agility cluster 2 weeks ago and Keystone Agility Club’s USDAA trial this past weekend in PA. We had a great time at both shows. The Talbot/Salisbury show was lots of fun and close to home. We don’t get a chance to do a lot of AKC shows so it was a fun change of pace plus we were able to catch up with lots of friends we haven’t seen in a while. I only entered Zip and Zorro on Saturday as I was not sure how Dasher’s toe would be. Zorro put in some nice runs, just had a bar down in Standard and JWW. I sent Zip off course in Standard and he had a nice JWW run and ended up 2nd. Sunday, all three boys were entered. They were all superstars! Earning Q’s in both Standard and JWW! This was Dasher and Zorro’s 1st QQ and Zip’s 3rd QQ. So proud of them!! Unfortunately my video camera was acting up so I don’t have any of their runs taped but I did get a couple of photos from FotoJoe photography. Dasher’s toe held up great on Sunday. He was running great and did not seem sore at the end of the day. I was so relieved, keeping my fingers crossed that this continues.
This past weekend we headed up to Barto, PA for Keystone’s USDAA trial. We could not have asked for better weather. High just below 80 degrees and breezy on Saturday and had some some nice cloud cover on Sunday with a high around 76 so I was able to work out of the car and the dogs stayed nice and cool. I entered the boys in just titling classes this weekend. Decided to skip the tournament classes as both Zip and Dasher are already qualified for Naionals. Earlier this week I happen to look at the USDAA website to check on Dasher’s Lifetime Achievement Award standings. To my surprise Dasher just needed two more Standard Q’s to finish up his Bronze LAA. Standard is not always our strongest class but we had a shot to finish it up this weekend. We started the weekend with Jumpers. I debated on a couple of different ways to handle the first 3 obstacles as they were set at funky angles. For whatever dumb reason I was not where I wanted to be when I released Zip off the start line and I sent him right over an off course jump after jump 2. I could have kicked myself for jumping the gun like that. I ran Zorro next and while we were clean, I did not like how I was handling the first 3 jumps. I decided to change things up for Dasher. I started with him on my left and rear crossed at #3, much better! Dasher did go wide after jump 3, something we are still working on at home, I would like to get tighter rears with Dasher. The rest of the course was a bit herky jerky with some really wide turns but we managed to get though it clean. Our next class was Snooker. This course had lots of running and a straight tunnel, all the ingredients for a very fun course. Dasher and Zip did great, Zip ended up 1st and Dasher was 2nd. I over shot the #7 obstacles (the weaves) in the close with Dasher so he missed entry and therefore did not get his last 7 points. I usually don’t do the same plan with Zorro as I do with Dasher and Zip as he is not as fast. However, I decided I had enough time to attempt three sets of weave poles with Zorro as well, they were the 7 pointed obstacle. Zorro was a little maniac! I guess all the running and the straight tunnel got him revved up!! After we finished our 3 sets of weave poles it was a long run to the #2 in our close. Zorro actually started barking at me! He has never been so cranked up to start barking on course. I literally started laughing as we were running to jump #2. After jump #3 in the close we had what I thought was a pretty straight shot into a tunnel. At this point Zorro must have turned on the after burners because he actually got ahead of me and darted into the wrong end of the tunnel. Even though we didn’t Q I was so happy Zorro got so revved up while running in competition. What a funny dog!! Our last class of the day was Standard. Everyone ran great and earned a Q. I am posting a video of all three boys’ standard run. Was happy with Zip’s contacts and he had some nice tight turns while maintaining his speed throughout the course. I was really happy with Dasher’s turns in this run, looks like I am getting better at cueing his turns and he is getting tighter. Zorro had a nice run as well, not too happy with his A-Frame contact, while the judge did not call it, it was way to high for me, more homework!! By the way, as I am running Zorro you can hear Dasher in the background…and no, he is not being stuck with hot pokers, that is just his normal routine when he has to sit out while I run someone else 🙂
Sunday was another great day. We started with Gamblers. Dasher had an awesome run, that dog was flying!! You can see from the video that he turned the wrong way after jump #2 in the gamble, he was supposed to turn left to get on the teeter. Dasher turned right, so I thought there was no way we would get the gamble. I did not give up and asked him to find the teeter and he did it no problem!! What a show off!! Love that dog!! Zorro had a great run and even though he turned tight after jump #2, I asked him to find the teeter and he turned right around and go on. What a good boy!! Zip and I were not in sync at all in Gamblers. Had a botched up opening and I called him to me in the gamble so he turned tight after jump # 2 and missed the teeter. Pairs was next with all three boys putting in nice runs. Zorro missed his DW contact which is part of our homework in the coming weeks but other than that I was very pleased with all three runs. Standard was the last class of the day. Dasher was one Q away from his bronze. The course looked fun but definitely had its challenges. One particularly tricky spot was a long run across the back with a straight tunnel under the A-frame to a couple of jumps then a hard right to the non-obvious side of another tunnel. Once Dasher gets rolling down those straight lines I knew I would have my work cut out for me to get him to turn. I chickened out at the end of the straight tunnel as I was afraid Dasher would take out my knee caps so it got a bit herky jerk there but we got through it and my Dashie dog earned his Bronze Lifetime Achievement award!! So proud of him!! I feel like we are finally starting to understand each other and I am a much better handler because of him. He has forced me out of my comfort zones and pushed me to work harder to reach goals I never thought I could. He is such an amazing dog on so many levels, an incredible athlete, giving 110% every run and a wonderful friend and companion. Just love that dog!! Zippy and Zorro put in great standard runs as well. Looking at the video Zip’s DW was a bit slow but I did gear down quite a bit to get a turn after the DW so it is good to see that he is watching my body what a smart dog! Here are some runs from Sunday. I decided to post Dasher’s gamblers run instead of his Standard run as I really loved that one the best from Sunday.