Mid-Atlantic Regional

Back from our adventures up in Barto, PA for Keystone Agility Club’s Mid-Atlantic Regional.  The club did a really fabulous job hosting this enormous show.  So thank you to Keystone, MEB, George Mariakas and the fabulous judges for taking such good care of the competitors and for making the site even better than ever!

This trip was all about Miles since we didn’t have much luck getting our SF Byes up in Michigan.  I didn’t have him entered on team so I could just concentrate on PGP/PSJ.  I decided to keep Rue entered in PGP/PSJ just for practice, but I was excited mostly for our team with Mardi Closson and Sassy.  Certainly, I was particularly happy to be able to run her at all after she had suffered from a HUGE corneal abrasion last Sunday night.  We had our doubts that she would be well enough to run, but she healed up super fast and off we went to Pennsylvania.

Overall I was very happy with the weekend.  Rue was for sure not running her best as far as speed goes.  She is in a false pregnancy right now and this time of her cycle is the most difficult on her mentally.  It was also quite hot in the afternoons and she may have still had a little discomfort with her eye.  That said, I think she put in the best effort that she could given the circumstances.  Each time we go through this though I think very hard about spaying her……

Anyway, onto the details and video:

Friday was only Team/PVP runs, so Rue ran Jumpers, Snooker, Gamblers, and Standard in that order.  Miles was thoroughly bored, but was a good boy in his crate all day with breaks to retrieve his ball.  The courses were definitely challenging as they should be.  Rue was a perfect pup and took 4th in Jumpers, Q’d in Snooker, had a great opening in Gamblers, and ran clean in Standard.  Sassy also stayed clean and helped out greatly in the points category as well.  At the end of the day we sat in 11th and were above the cut-off!

On Saturday, Rue and Sassy ran Relay.  They had a fabulous run and took 1st Place in Relay and moved up to 10th overall for the team Q!!  Miles also finally got to play.  His first run was PGP Rd 1 and was a freebie since we had a Bye to Rd 2.  He was a crazy man, broke his stay, and we were off to the races. This was my favorite run with him all weekend for sure.  He took out a jump wing on the way to the seesaw at the end, but his time was very competitive 🙂  He also ran PSJ Rd 1 along with Rue.  It was a very technical course but I was able to hang onto his monkey fuzz and we made it to Rd 2!!  Rue also made it into the next round, yeah!

Sunday brought us the Finals rounds of PGP and PSJ.  I had also entered Miles in Masters Challenge Jumpers to try to finish up that qualification for Cynosport.  PGP was a tough course for both of my dogs.  I was thankful to get to run Rue first to get a feel for it.  All I wanted to do with her was to have fun and test a couple of things.  She had a decent run despite a demotivating start for her.  I tested pulling laterally off of her DW and she had a HUGE leap, whoops!  Somehow it didn’t get called, however…..humph don’t like that.  In any case, it was a good test run for Miles.  His run started off great until we got to the jump before the aframe.  He read a wrap as a rear cross and we spent several seconds getting him from back jumping and then nearly taking the dogwalk again….aaaack!!  I held on and we finished, but lost a good deal of time.  What stunk was Rue was sitting well into the Bye range while Miles was hanging out in 8th.  She didn’t need the Bye AND she didn’t deserve a Q at all since she totally biffed her DW.  There were 18 entries, so I knew they would only give 9 dogs the SF Bye.  With 6 dogs in the next group, my outlook on getting the Bye for Miles was dismal.  I would have never thought that I could take away my own dog’s Bye with my other dog!!  Somehow, all 6 dogs in the other group had faults and we GOT THE BYE!!!  OMG OMG OMG!

Our last run was PSJ Finals.  Miles was up first.  The wind had kicked up and was blowing the EZ up tent around over the start gate.  He was super duper nervous and I knew there was no way in heck he’d stay at the start line.  Fortunately I was able to think on my feet and we got it done.  He finished 4th and got another SF Bye!!!  Rue’s run was really really nice.  I chickened out in the closing line and caused a ton of lost time.  She probably could have made the podium, but oh well.  Perhaps subconsciously I did it on purpose so as not to potentially affect Miles’ Bye again 😉

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2013 Halfway update

Gosh I haven’t been around here much…guess that’s what happens when nothing too pressing is going on!  Plus Facebook is just easier, I admit……but figured it was due time for a blog update since I haven’t written about the pups after we got back from USDAA Nationals last October.

We had a fair bit of time off after that per usual…time to reflect, recover, and start thinking about the goals for 2013.  All this time my main focus with Rue has been for her to have fun out there and now, halfway through the year, I think I can FINALLY say that we’ve arrived.  It’s becoming more difficult for me to remember back to how she was even a year ago because now when we step to the line I am confident that we are in for a fun time!

Our first trial back after USDAA Nationals was a tournament only show up in Barto, PA put on by MEB’s club KineticDog.  I have NEVER been to a more awesome “local” show than this one.  The club was fantastic, the site beautiful, and the equipment was just awesome.  Both dogs had a fabulous showing there and we took home lots of ribbons, placements, money, and Q’s for this year’s Cynosport Games.  This was the first time that I thought, wow, I have the same dog in a trial that I have in practice!!  Go Rue 🙂  Miles and his awesome teammate Sassy/Mardi Closson “Kiss My Sass” took 6th Place in PVP, yeah!

Our next stop was to Asheville for one of my favorite USDAA trials of the year….BRAC.  Once again, I was not disappointed!  Again, Rue was on FIRE and Miles was his typical awesome self.  Both dogs got lots of Qs, placements, and money again 🙂

At the start of 2013, we saw another of my favorite USDAA shows with CPA in Raleigh.  No other local show can generate the energy of a big show like this one can.  3 rings, thousands of runs, lots of vendors, just simply awesome.  Miles used to be terrified of this arena, but now he struts around there like he owns the place.  Both pups again had a fabulous showing.  Miles earned his PDCH under Scott Chamberlain on a tough Jumpers course too, yeah Miles!!  Rue and her teammate Maverick/Dudley Fontaine “DAM it feels good to be a hamsta” dominated PVP and finished 4th overall for that needed team Q.

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In February, we took a marathon trip up the East Coast in search of PGP Regional Byes.  Our first stop was Dream Park, NJ.  Both dogs ran great, Rue had the fastest time but dropped a bar after a poorly timed blind cross, so Miles ended up with the bye…yeah!!  We then headed a few hours north to Greenwich, NY where Rue kept all the bars up, won the class and got the Bye 🙂  Mission accomplished.  After a brief stay in Baltimore, MD for a medical conference, we headed back to Barto, PA for some more USDAA and lots more fun and Qs.

Ever since last year when Rue qualified for AKC Nationals, I had debated if I was going to take her.  We stopped doing AKC last May after she finished her MACH and got her last QQs for Nats.  I had always noticed that Rue ran better in USDAA so that’s where we had decided to put all of our energy.  After a lot of debating, I decided to take her to Tulsa….what did I have to lose??  So Rue was entered as 1 of 409 dogs in the 20″ class…holy smokes that’s a big entry!!  I went there with absolutely no goals other than to have fun and run fast.  Rue was SOOOO excited to be there, she couldn’t wait to get into the ring (yay!).  Since the 20″ class was so big, they split us into two groups and my group actually ran Rd 2, Standard, first.  I wished it was the other way around because she historically is fastest in her first run and I had hoped that we’d get JWW out of the way early with a fast run, but that wasn’t in the cards.  Needless to say, she smoked the heck out of Standard and finished in 33 seconds 🙂  Rue held onto 3rd place for quite awhile, but after 409 dogs ran she ended up around 30th place.  JWW, our next run, was not as speedy.  It was a demotivating start for her and we never really got going.  Her time was decent and cumulative after 2 rounds we sat in 46th place (they were taking 31 to finals)…what?!?!  Wow.  Sunday’s Rd 3, Hybrid, was the perfect course for the little Miss.  I was so excited to get out there and just lay it down….but something happened in me and I was all of a sudden so nervous and focusing on going to the finals…something that I had never thought was possible.  I hated the way I was feeling…obsessing about things that I shouldn’t have been and watching dogs that were ahead of us in ranking crash and burn did not help my mental status at all.  So I took Rue for a nice loooong walk and had a talk with her….together we decided that it was far more fun to just go for broke and let the rest work itself out.  And go for broke we did…so much that I was late on a FC and she took the 3rd to last bar.  Oh well, no finals for us this year, but that was not our goal.  Overall her times would have put her in 26th place…out of 409 dogs THAT is something to be very proud of!!

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Our next several trials were AKC trials.  I decided since Nationals was so fun that we needed to try to get qualified again…especially since it’s in Pennsylvania next year, woohoo!  Rue picked up her 4 QQs right away and we are nearly halfway to finishing the points and individual Qs needed to qualify.  She’s running great at 24″ and consistently wins Standard and places high in JWW.  Miles is LOVING Preferred and is 1 QQ away from NAC and then we’ll just be getting points and individual Qs for him too.

And our last adventure before wrapping up the first half of 2013 was a trip up to Michigan for the USDAA North Central Regional. I was THRILLED with both dogs’ showing there.  Rue continues on a hot streak and was speedy and happy all weekend.  She amazed me by going 3 clean in PGP with a 2nd place in the local qualifier on Friday and then blazed through Rd 1 and completely SMOKED Rd 2 to take 3rd place and the Semifinals bye to Cyno.  Likewise, she also blazed a trail through PSJ Rds 1 and 2 and picked up yet another SF bye!!  Crazy kid!  Miles did fabulously as well, he won PVP Standard and went clean in Rds 1 of both PGP and PSJ.  Unfortunately, the monkey side of him took over in Rd 2 of both and he had a brilliant flyoff on the seesaw in PGP finals and found an early tunnel in PSJ finals.  I guess he wanted me to go to more Regionals, haha!

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And so there you have it…..blog updated…check 🙂  Next we head back up to Barto, PA for the Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2 wks.  Then a very light schedule through the summer before picking things up in the fall before USDAA Nationals!

Oh yeah…AND I’M GETTING A PUPPY!!!!!