Friday, June 5, 2009

Stack o' Mail

I am a trial secretary for USDAA agility trials. There are no entry limits, so people tend to enter at the last minute. It is not uncommon to get half of the total entry during the last week before closing. This year, we are hosting the NE Regional for USDAA in June. I was away for the Memorial Day weekend and this is what was waiting for me ... that is Thursday, Friday and Saturday's mail. Still to come was Tuesday and Wednesday. Yikes!

Of the total 440 dogs entered in this trial, 302 of them came in during that last week. Yikes again :-)

Good thing I expect this now and plan accordingly.

Luce, APD and Blaze's USDAA debut!

We had a WONDERFUL weekend at YAgility's USDAA trial in Saratoga Springs, NY

First ... Luce finished her APD (Performance ADCH)!!!! We have needed two gamble legs for quite a while and our history shows that we get one gamble per year. Was hoping to get one as we have been "this close" at several trials.

Well, we got not one ... but TWO!!!! Unbelievable!! It was two weeks ago and I am still smiling

The weather was gorgeous the entire weekend which was a bonus. This was the first time I had been to this site and I like it. Rosemarie and I got a good spot when we arrived on Friday and helped with set up. Our tent was between some pine trees, so the dogs were shaded all day long .. plus it smelled nice too :-)

On Luce's first gamble on Sunday I was nervous. It was a gamble she could do and has done before - I just needed to make sure I really drove towards the tunnel so that she would get it. Then the teeter was right in line with the exit and so was the final jump. She got it and I knew we had enough opening points!! But ... timer malfunction. It had started and stopped. Judge asked the timer/scribe what happened, thought about it and then asked me if I wanted to run it again or to just take SCT (Standard Course Time) I took the SCT (and still placed!) for the Q!

Next day had gamblers again and I didn't feel confident about this one. Jump to tunnel that was on the other side of the aframe, then two jumps. Wasn't sure she would bypass the aframe to the tunnel. I ended up having to walk both Luce's Gamblers course and Blaze's Gamblers course at the same time. They were similar ... dogwalk along the left side of the ring with a yellow tunnel in a U Shape under the middle. Weave poles towards the back edge, aframe over to the right, gamble over to the right. Jumps and stuff in the middle :-) Had a similar plan except Blaze's included the weave poles and Luce's didn't as she is too slow in the weaves.

Blaze's run was first. I had been working the score table in the 3rd ring, so finished there, went and got Blaze and threw the ball a few times, then we were right up. Good boy, held his stay at the start and worked nicely. We did the dogwalk and he held his contact, good boy! Tunnel, weaves, jump, back to the weaves .. hmm, had to restart them, okay, tunnel, jumps, go to the tunnel under the aframe ... where is the tunnel under the aframe?!?!? Isn't there, go back and do other stuff ... horn goes and we get the gamble for his second gamble Q and 1st place!!

But where was the tunnel under the aframe?? Walk past the ring where Luce's gamble is going to be ... oh there it is!! I had run Luce's course in Blaze's ring

Luce's turn next. We were the 4th last dog. Dog ahead of us poops on the dogwalk. Handler is ashamed and apologetic ... I had seen her walking her dog but he just hadn't produced :-) He wasn't running right and we all now knew why :-) They clean it up, no problem. Luce's turn ... we do the dogwalk fine and she even gets her contact YAY. We usually can do about 10 obstacles in 30 seconds, sometimes more depending on what they are. We get to the 10 obstacle (jump after the tunnel under the aframe which was now where it was supposed to be!), no horn, okay, keep going. I always have some obstacles in reserve to loiter on .. use them all up, start going further away from the start of the gamble ... no horn!!! Finally, I stopped and said the horn should have gone because we can't DO that many in 30 seconds. Timer had stopped ages ago.

Have to rerun. Yikes. My instructor was there and asked about the dogwalk ... what if we do it again and don't get the contact .. we got it the first time? Judge says, I'll give it to her once as we did it once. We wait for the rest of the dogs to go, then it is our turn again. I did the same opening (but better this time) and Luce MISSES her dogwalk! But we get the points, horn goes and WE GET THE GAMBLE OHMIGOSH!!!!!!!

Luce's APD - I was crying I was so happy :-)

We also finished second in Team (PVP) Charlie's Luce in the Chocolate Factory was in the running the whole time. That finished up Luce's Bronze Tournament title and we are now done with Tournaments. She is losing speed and having trouble Q'ing in Steeplechase(she will be 10 in September and some of the hot shot Ch22" dogs are now in P16" in our area) and Blaze is starting to show, so will save some money.

Blaze ran in one class per day. I was worried about the #6 teeter for Snooker on the first day, plus, I was nervous about him :-) Called out too soon at the #5 jump in the closing and down came the bar. No Q. But ... he Q'd on Sunday and Monday in Gamblers!!! He held his stay at the start all 3 days, got his contacts and went where I wanted him to go. Can't ask for more than that :-) It is SO MUCH EASIER to handle him outside than in a building!!!!!

What a weekend!!

Soapstone Cat

I made this cat in high school art class in the early 1070's. It's out of soapstone and then rubbed with furniture wax.

Mom had it in her house after I got married and moved, but told me to take it a couple of years ago.