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June 25, 2008

Dandy, AD!

Dandy had a very successful weekend at the USDAA Agility trial held at The Blackthorne in East Durham, NY, June 20-22, 2008. He only needed to qualify in Starters Standard one more time to finish his Agility Dog title (AD) and he did that the first day, so we could relax and just have fun for the rest of the weekend. He was entered in 7 Starters classes over the 3 days, and he qualified in 5 of them, all with First Places. And he still got 2nd Place in the two classes we did not qualify in. I also entered him in Steeplechase, for the experience, and to my surprise, he qualified in Round 1 in the 26" division. He did not place in Round 2 as we had an off-course, but I was very proud of my baby dog who did a great job "running with the big dogs". There were 11 qualifiers in the 26" class, and Dandy was 9th, with a time of 34.87 (which included fixing a weave pole entry) plus 5 faults added for one knocked bar.

Stats for his First Place qualifying runs in Starters (26") :
Friday - Standard - Time: 42.51 seconds - SCT: 69 sec, 155 yards
Friday - Jumpers - Time: 18.56 seconds - SCT: 34 sec, 123 yards
Friday - Gamblers - 51 points, Time: 40.06 sec - Max Time: 46 sec
--Note: This was also his 3rd leg in Starters Gamblers, finishing his Starter Gambler title (SG)
Saturday - Standard - Time: 36.14 seconds - SCT: 55 sec, 122 yards
Sunday - Standard - Time: 36.35 seconds - SCT: 64 sec, 142 yards

Over the 3 days, he nailed every contact, only had one weave pole error, and had a total of 3 dropped bars. I did not enter him in *every* class available as this was his first 3-day trial and I didn't want to overface him (and I wanted to reduce the number of ring conflicts as Token was entered as well). I am in awe of how well he did, especially considering he is only 19 months old. Our next USDAA trial will be in August, where he will be entered in the Advanced classes. It's nice to have a few weeks to prepare for the next level.

I also ran Token, in 3 classes per day over the 3 days. He had many great *parts* but also some glitches in nearly every class. He qualified in Master Gamblers with a 4th place, for his sole ribbon of the weekend. For the most part, he ran really well, he nailed every contact, only had one missed weave entry, and only 2 bars down. We did have our share of refusals which cost us some Q's but I also learned what skills we need to work on more at home. And the good parts were really NICE, so the "new & improved handling system" is coming together, little by little.

Our next event will be a local AKC trial July 18-20, so we'll be spending the next few weeks combining training with swimming at the lake...improving skills and conditioning, and having fun :-)

June 8, 2008

Too Darn Hot

Toss (13 yrs old)

Dandy (1 1/2 yrs old)

Token (5 yrs old)

Dandy and Token

Toss, Dandy & Token enjoying the lake.

With temps around 90, it was too hot to do anything but swim!

June 3, 2008

Cirque de Dogue

My agility weekend was preceeded by a trip to the Ringling Brothers Circus on Friday night, to see my friend Gail perform. Gail Mirabella is my first flyball instructor and team captain, and she is responsible for unleashing Token into the world of Flyball. Gail has been with the circus for over 2 years now, performing with her Aussies, Border Collies, Rat Terriers, and little terrier mix Cricket, showcasing their skills with flying discs as well as some agility. It was great fun to see Gail & the dogs again, and to watch them perform in "The Greatest Show on Earth"!

So...I was a bit tired on Saturday morning but on we went for another busy weekend of USDAA Agility, this time in Carmel, NY.

The successes (as well as the not-quites) this weekend were more evenly distributed between Token and Dandy. Dandy earned his second leg in Starters Gamblers with a First Place. And he qualified in Starters Jumpers, with a 3rd place...he missed one jump that we had to "fix", which took some time, but the rest of the course was lovely! Just minor glitches in the other classes that prevented qualifying. I ran him in Steeplechase just for kicks, since it's Time plus Faults scoring, and he actually did great! He didn't qualify as he missed the Broad Jump (twice!) and we had to fix that, which took too much time, but the rest of his run was awesome! I was extremely proud of the baby-dog, only 18 months old!

Token also had some minor glitches in some of the classes, but he did qualify in Masters Standard on Saturday and WON the 26" class! Sunday morning, we had Master Gamblers, which is a challenge for us with Token being quite handler-focused, but this one worked for us, and he got the gamble to earn his fifth leg and his Gambler Master title! And for icing on the cake, he WON that class, too! (First time he's ever won a Master Gamblers class)

Once again, both boys were a blast to run, and they made me proud. :-)