I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do this with two dogs once Rue is old enough! My friend/instructor runs 3 dogs and had 18 runs on Saturday and 21 yesterday and I’m tired out from 4 both days–ha! I guess I’ll get used to it….
Overall, Miles was awesome this weekend. I’m kicking myself today still because of our Jumpers run yesterday (which I’ll explain later), but I should be focusing on all the amazing things we did over the weekend. Miles did his teeter twice in two different runs on Saturday! That in and of itself is a miracle 🙂 So onto the play by play….
First run of the day was Performance Speed Jumping/Steeplechase, a tournament class where you can actually win money if you place in round 2. I was excited for this run because it was in the big field where he’s most comfortable and it’s basically just a Jumpers course with an a-frame and 12 weave poles. It’s designed for speed which we both like! The course had some tricky areas, but we held it together. I pushed him off the broad in the start so we lost some time, but I was super impressed with getting that rear in at the weaves and also with how he read the ending so well!
Next was Gamblers and our chance to do the teeter for the first time in competition. I must say I was more than a little nervous! I planned a flowing course with the teeter being the last obstacle before the gamble. I wanted it to be as close to the reward as possible and I also tried to get the best approach angle for the teeter that I could. He did great 🙂 I notice him licking his lips before going up the teeter and I’m not sure if this is a calming signal or a “oooh the teeter, I’m gonna eat now” signal! I was so amazed that he did it that I forgot about the gamble line and put my left toe on it, darn it all! NQ because the handler was dumb.
Our third run was Jumpers and it was quite the course for Advanced! I really don’t like doing lead-outs, but it really was the best way to run it. Miles did great and his enthusiasm stayed high despite me leaving him at the startline. We had a great run and came in second by .5 seconds. This was our first Q at this level….
Last was the dreaded Snooker which had in it a teeter at the number 4. I saved it to do only in the closing again so it could be closer to the reward. Miles has always been a little hesitant about the snooker flags and I have been thinking about ways to proof jumps, etc. by hanging stuff on them and such to help with his concern. Anyway, the #4 flag was litterally pressed up against the right side of the teeter at the pivot. I stupidly didn’t notice this when I walked the course and since I was the second dog on the line after the walk through, I really didn’t take much extra time. Anyway, he approached the teeter happily and got his front feet on it when he noticed the flag and immediately hopped off. I brought him back and got him revved and tried again…he went around. The judge then tried to bend the flag away, so I tried again and then again…he went around it both times. So I brought him back (my time had buzzed by this point darn it) and put him in a sit. The judge removed the flag and I revved him up and he flew up it just like he has been 🙂 Since I was out of time I just partied big time and he was very excited…jumping on me and wagging his tail off. We ran out of the ring and had our party. The judge was super nice and gave us points for the teeter and the number 5 tunnel! I didn’t have enough points to Q though since I had planned on completing the closing and only got 28 points. I’m assuming he’s fine with the teeter still and that it truly was just a flag issue.
Back at it again and starting with Round 2 of Performance Speed Jumping. Miles did amazingly well again. A little slow to start, but after the second set of weave poles we were off to the races turning in a respectable 40 second time. We ended up winning $8.71 🙂
Next was Snooker and this time it was nice and open and just jumps and tunnels, yay! Miles rocked it and we got 2nd place by one point 🙂
Our next run, Jumpers, was not so hot. It has become apparent that Miles is still not comfortable with starting when there are lots of people behind him. He also really dislikes the automatic “GO” and “READY” buttons. Unfortunately I had planned a lead-out in this course too, but should have changed my plan (nearly impossible for me to do…must work on this) when I realized he was so stressed. He also had gotten spooked by a major wind gust that flapped the plastic on the arena really loudly. All those things combined (the plastic, the lead-out, the people close behind him, and the automatic “GO”) led him to break his start line and sheepishly go around the first jump towards me. I tried to quickly get him back to take the first jump, but I was now on the wrong side and we were really out of sync until about half way through the course. He gets major props for hanging in there with me and trying so hard to do what I wanted. We missed the Q by .71 seconds since were were penalized 5 seconds when he went around the first jump and then just couldn’t get it together quick enough.
Fortunately we redeamed ourselves with a fabulous pairs run with our friends Michelle and her rotti “Molly”. Both dogs are nicknamed “monster” so we were “Team Monster” and went on to get a very nice Q. That makes two pairs Q’s for us now! The video is wonky (must figure out why this happens), but hopefully it’s partially visable….
Well, that’s a wrap! Next weekend we travel for AKC, yay!