August 20-21, 2011 – What a very special agility trial! It was the weekend of the only local agility trial here; Monticello Kennel Club hosted an AKC Agility trial at New Hope Farms in Port Jervis, NY. It’s one of my favorite trials since it’s only about 25 minutes from home!
This year was extra special as it was overflowing with friends and family. As usual, many of my fellow club members from Tri-State Dog Obedience Club (most of which are also students) were there competing. It was fabulous to see them have great runs and be so successful. Even the non-qualifying runs were still ‘great’ as everyone was able to learn from ‘what went wrong’. When we can recognize why something went wrong, it’s a great lesson! It’s not unusual to see my students get more ribbons than I get, but I’ve learned to appreciate that as my own positive reinforcement.
However, this weekend was a successful one for me as well. Dandy was entered in the Excellent B classes while Tempo was in Novice B (Tempo did one day of AKC back in May, this was just his 2nd AKC trial). On Saturday, Dandy qualified in Excellent B Standard with a 3rd place, in a very competitive 26” class. He was having a super Jumpers run until I said his name one too many times, and incurred a refusal, so no “Q”. (yes, one of those lessons from ‘what went wrong’!) Tempo earned his first Novice JWW leg, with a score of 95 and a First place. He had a bar down in Novice Standard, so no Q there. The last class on Saturday was AKC’s newest class called Time 2 Beat. I entered both Dandy and Tempo in it, and it was a blast to run! I ran Tempo first, and he was clean and perfect until we were just 2 jumps from the end, I fell behind and he arced back and took an off-course jump. So no Q for him. I ran Dandy next, and since I was able to handle more aggressively with him, I was able to keep him on course at the end. He was clean and perfect through the whole course and earned a Q and First place. OK, so my two boys were the only 26” entries in T2B…but Dandy was faster than the 1st place 24” dog, so he deserved his blue ribbon <g>!
Sunday was a rarity for me…four runs, and four Q’s! Tempo earned his second leg in Novice JWW as well as his 2nd leg in Novice Standard. Both were scores of 95 as I incurred refusals in both (over handling <g>). And both were blue ribbons as he was the only 26” dog in Novice, but I am very proud of his runs, he absolutely deserved to get blue ribbons. He did amazing weave poles all weekend, totally independent and flawless, which most Novice dogs cannot do. And I did two-jump lead-outs with him as well and he was brilliant. In the Excellent rings, Dandy was truly brilliant, qualifying in Standard with another 3rd place, and in JWW, with a 1st place, on an extremely technical course that ate up the small dogs as well as the big dogs. This was Dandy’s second “Double Q” and he earned 54 MACH points. Now I have had no aspirations to go for a MACH as I do AKC so rarely, I prefer USDAA. But who knows, maybe one day we’ll do more AKC….
Great runs with both boys was fantastic. But what truly made the weekend special was the addition of family. For starters, my mom came to watch on Saturday, and got to see both Dandy & Tempo run. This was just the second time she came to a trial to see my dogs, and see what my obsession is all about. I was really glad she was there this year. The other family members that joined us were Token’s kids…Jan and Dandy’s littermate Seeker came all the way from Pittsburgh, running in Excellent; and Lynn and Jenny, also Dandy’s littermate, were there to run in Novice (just their second trial ever). They both did great, walking away with several ribbons. Tempo’s littermate Quid was also entered but he was absent as he had been exposed to kennel cough several weeks prior. A total of five of Token’s kids were entered, four of them actually competed and earned multiple ribbons. This was a proud and bittersweet moment for me, seeing Dandy, Seeker, Jenny & Tempo in the agility rings. Token’s star still shines brightly in his pups.
Dandy’s & Tempo’s breeders, Terri & Ed, were also on the roster of special guest stars, how wonderful that they were able to see so many of their pups! They even stayed until the bitter end of Saturday to see Tempo & Dandy in the T2B class. Since I had to run them back to back, Terri helped me out by holding one while I ran the other. Ed, Lynn & Chris (& Jenny & Bryn) made a grand cheering section!
We even got photos to commemorate the special reunion! Family, Friends & Agility…what a wonderful weekend!
Photo: Seeker, Jenny, Tempo & Dandy with Terri