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Month: March 2011

Paws in Motion, Sweedsboro, NJ – March 2011

Paws in Motion, Sweedsboro, NJ – March 2011

This weekend the boys and I headed to Sweedsboro, NJ for the Paws in Motion USDAA trial. You never know what kind of weather you are going to get here in the Mid-Atlantic region in March, but the stars were aligned for us because we had an unbelievable weekend with regard to the weather. Sunny and in the 50’s both days! Couldn’t get any better than that!!

The Paws in Motion trial was offering double titling classes, except pairs, plus Grand Prix and Steeplechase so there were plenty of classes to keep us busy. I entered Dasher and Zip in everything except Steeplechase as both boys had their Steeplechase Q’s for the year. Zip has his two GP Q’s as well but I was hoping I could pick up a bye for regionals. Dasher needs one more GP Q in performance. I limited Zorro to three runs per day, I didn’t want to tire him out so I was hoping by limiting his runs to three a day he would stay motivated. He still needs a four Gamble legs and three Pairs legs and one Standard leg to finish his P-ADCh, so I entered those classes plus one day of Snooker because its so much fun!

Dasher put in some great runs all weekend. Jumpers was our first class of the day, he had a great run but knocked the first bar…oh well!! Gamblers was next and he was fantastic! We started our opening with a double and he kept all the bars up!! I pushed him too hard after the tunnel which sent him past the tire but he had a fantastically tight turn to do the back to back dog walk. Did a great job on the Gamble and earned a 1st place! Here is our Gamble run on Saturday:

In Standard, I stopped short while attempting a rear cross and being the good boy that he is, he stopped too which caused a refusal. After that bobble he dropped a rail so no Standard Q for us. Snooker was super fun, we were having a great run but I hesitated in the opening which caused a dropped bar. We finished strong and ended up 4th with a Q. We ran pairs with Jeannette and Surge and had a great run and won the mini class. At the end of Saturday Dasher was limping a bit on his right front, I was really worried thinking he may have pulled or torn something. After we got back to the hotel I noticed him licking his right front. After close inspection I realized he had a slight scrape on his paw. I think the combination of the damp grass outside, the new rubber contacts and the sandy footing was causing too much friction on his pads. I put some neosporine on it and hoped by tomorrow he would be feeling better. Sunday morning Dasher’s foot seemed better and he was not limping. Our first class was Gamblers and he put in a stellar run, he did the gamble beautifully and we won the class! GP was next and we were having a lovely run until I caused a refusal by stopping short again!! I was trying to get a tight 90 degree turn into a tunnel after a long run of jumps but my timing was clearly off. Something I definitely need to work on!! After GP Dasher started limping again so I pulled him from the rest of the day.

Zip was a superstar this weekend!! Had some really nice runs all weekend. I was anxious to see how our running contacts would hold up this weekend. This was our first weekend at a trial to test them out. We ran jumpers first on Saturday and Zip had a great run up until I did not push out enough on a pinwheel which caused him to pull in and miss the 2nd jump in the pinwheel. This is something I need to work on, Dasher has a lot more “send” than Zip and while I can get away with a small push with Dasher, Zip requires me to really support those pinwheels. This was a reminder that I need to work on this! It is so interesting to me that while both Zip and Dasher are fast and have lots of drive they both are so different to run. Gotta love the lessons our dogs teach us!! Gamblers was our first run to try out our contacts. We did back to back to dogwalks. We did get points for the contacts but looking back at the video I feel he was a bit high for my liking. Zippy did the Gamble despite a bobble from me and ended up in 1st place. What a star! Standard was next and again his contacts were a bit high but still in the yellow. We went clean and were 1st. Snooker was great, I ran Zip after I had run Dasher so my handling was a bit smoother since I had ironed out the kinks with Dasher. Zip had a nice turn back into the first weave entry and had brilliantly tight turns through the whole course. This tells me my timing is improving!! WoHoo!! Zippy ended up winning Snooker, here is our Snooker run from Saturday:

The last class on Saturday was pairs, we ran with Jeannette and Munchie. We both had nice runs, Munchie had a bar but we still ended up in 4th place with a Q. Sunday was a mixed bag for us. Zip was giving me 110% but unfortunately I let him down a couple of times. In Snooker we were having a great run but I didn’t push enough to take the back side of a jump in our closing so Zip took the close side which gave us the whistle. In Gamblers our opening was fantastic. I was really pleased with my timing, contacts still a little high but in the yellow. Zip was having a great gamble but on the redirect I just stood there like a deer in the headlights which caused him to take an off course jump. In Grand Prix I put in an early front cross and completely missed the next obstacle which was the teeter. Zip put in a valiant effort to try and get on but couldn’t stick it. Later in the course he did blow his dog walk contact, first one of the weekend. I was starting to get concerned so I needed to figure something out before it got worse. Our next class was standard so I decided to see if I could “remind” Zippy about his contacts. The dog walk was our first contact and as he got on I asked him to “target,” something I haven’t done all weekend because that usually indicates I want him to stop at the end. He was a good boy and stopped for an instant and I gave him the release. The next contact was the A-frame so I decided I would say nothing which tells him to run through to see what would happen. Well, he gave me the best contact of the weekend!! Nice and deep!! I was tickled pink!! The rest of the run was flawless and we ended up with a 1st place. I definitely think we need to really keep plugging away at our running contacts at home, but overall I was happy with the results so far.

Zorro was in rare form this weekend. He put in some nice runs but he also had some “blonde” moments. This weekend he reverted back to lounging at the top of the A frame then jumping off halfway down. He hasn’t tried that in a while. His standard run was really nice other than the leap off the A frame and some stickiness on the dog walk and teeter. We did have a nice gamble run, we did back to back dog walks, something I was hesitant to do with his lack of speed on the dog walk, but it was the 7 point obstacle so I wanted to give it a try. He put in nice fast dog walks, he missed the first contact but I wasn’t too upset as I was pleased with his speed, he maintained good speed on the second attempt and got the points for that one. Not to be outdone by his older brothers he did a brilliant gamble and won the class!! Here is Zor’s gamblers run on Saturday:

Zorro and Piper paired up for the pairs class. Both boys were great and ended up with a 1st place!! Yay, that is 3 pairs legs for us!! On Sunday Zorro’s first class was Gamblers. I put back to back A frames in my opening so I could work on reminding Zorro of what his job is on the A frame. After more than 2 attempts I did manage to get my point across and get points for 2 “proper” A frame attempts. We did manage to get a few other obstacles in for points and he did the gamble like a pro and Zorro earned a 1st place. In Standard Zorro buzzed by the A frame so we got a refusal, but after I asked him to get on the frame he did a nice job and ended the course well. In hindsight I don’t think I actually said “scramble” so he was not to blame for that bobble. Snooker was our last class of the day and Zorro was a bit poky off the start but got some speed after a few jumps. We were halfway though #7 in the close when the buzzer rang which was good enough for 2nd. I was really proud of him because I didn’t have time to come up with an individual plan for Zorro so I ran the same plan I made up for Zip. Typically I account for his lack of speed to create a successful plan for him, so I was so proud he handled the “fast dog” plan so well. I know if he had had a slightly faster start he would have gotten through the close. Zorro ended up with one Pairs leg and two more Gamble legs towards his Performance ADCh. What a superstar!!

All in all a pretty great weekend for us. All three boys were a joy to run as usual and it was great seeing all my friends I hadn’t seen all winter. Have lots of great homework to work on and now that the weather is improving we will be able to work on stuff outside which will be great. On a more serious note, 2 dogs this weekend had to be rushed to the ER. My heart and positive thoughts go out to them. Hoping for a full recovery on both dogs. So thankful and grateful to have all my boys happy and healthy today.