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West Coast Cocker Spaniel Club – AKC Trial
September 4 - 6, 2004 - Ventura County Fairgrounds

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend but that it wasn’t as HOT as it was in Ventura. Saturday was ok but Sunday and Monday were brutal. Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like the heat?

Well…Cinder and I had an amazing weekend. I had entered her in the International Classes all three days which meant that her first run was at 26” – which is quite a change for a dog that usually jumps 20” but she was amazing. Our first class was International Jumpers with Weaves (Int JWW) and she went out and had a blistering run and won the class! What a way to start the weekend. Next up was Ex B JWW and once again, Cin and I were in sync and she won that class as well and got her MXJ! We had a lovely Ex B Std run (with me holding her for every contact because you all know how she likes to launch them if she even THINKS she can) and not only qualified but came in 2 nd! What a day for Cinder! Double Q #5!

Saturday was not so good for Patches and Gale. Patches ran both courses clean – and had a bar down in each one. Gale had dynamite Ex B JWW run but missed her weave entrance (we are still working on that – a lot!) and then came her Ex B Std run. She was hauling butt – her speed has been increasing at every trial, which is a wonderful thing, but it caused some trouble on this particular run. The entrance to the dog walk was tricky but I watched dog after dog handle it just fine. So Gale and I came hauling up to the dog walk and disaster struck. You can see from the pictures what happened. She was going sooooo fast (look where her back legs are in the first picture: moving past her front legs) she missed a front foot onto the walk.

The next picture shows her belly-splat onto the walk (I was freaking by this point as you can see by my face) and her panicked look. She was trying so hard to hang onto the dog walk, she ended up looking like the cat in the “Hang in there Baby” poster: hanging off the side of the walk by her two front paws. It was awful – there was an enormous collective gasp from the stands as everyone watched this calamity unfold. She flipped and twisted off the walk – worried sick because she knows she is supposed to stay on the darn thing – while I rushed to her to see if she was ok. It was the worst wreck any of my dogs have ever had and I never want to experience the like again. I pet Gale, ran my hands over her and walked her off course. ICK – big mistake. I SHOULD have put her right back on the contact (rules be damned) once I discovered she wasn’t hurt but I was so flustered that all I could think of was to get her back to our set-up and really go over her. After a crowd of people (bless you all) helped me determine that she was ok, I felt a bit better but dang, what a horrible way to start a show!

Kali was the last dog I ran on Saturday – I promised Kali that when she got her MX and MXJ I would move her down to Preferred so she could jump 16”. I forgot that I also had to start her all over in Novice and since Novice runs at the end of the day, it made for a long weekend. The previous weekend (which I have not done a show report on because nothing really exciting happened) Kali got two Nov P JWW legs (both 1 st places) and 1 Nov P Std leg (also 1 st place) so I was hoping to finish her up at this trial. One other note – Kali had four torn pads (one on each foot) that she acquired by gallivanting up and down a concrete “riverbed” to get to water last week on our run. Geesh – that dog likes to tear her pads. So I put Liquid Bandage (which she hates) on all 4 feet and told her it was Novice – she could pretty much walk the course and still qualify. Her Nov P JWW run was dynamite – we had one refusal when she couldn’t turn quick enough (she was going really fast – 16” yippee! – and the dirt hurt like the dickens to turn fast on – she tried but….) and ran around a jump. But that was her only error so she qualified and took 2 nd place. I guess her feet were hurting for her Standard because she dropped the panel (at 16”!) so no Q for Kali on Sat.

Sunday started out the same way with Cinder – she won the International Standard class and Ex B JWW – at this point she was 5 for 5 in the ring! The Standard on Sunday had a difficult weave entrance (which we missed because I took one step too many) but she was dynamite on course! Once again Gale had two dynamite runs (she did the walk again without fear – thank you agility gods!) with one tiny bobble in each. We are really starting to come together as a team! Patches ran a lovely, clean JWW course and then went out and won Ex B Std! Double Q #17 – only three more to go. Kali Q’d in both rings (I had forgotten to move her up to Open JWW so we got an insurance leg!) with a 2 nd and 3 rd (refusals because of her feet) but tried her little heart out. Did I mention it was over 95 on Sunday? ICK.

Monday was interesting. I think the heat fried my brain because I did a couple things I have not done in YEARS. Literally. First run was Int JWW with Cin – lots of jumps. We came around the course and after the double I looked up and all I saw was a sea of jumps. I had NO IDEA where I was supposed to go. I think Cinder has learned to read numbers because while I stood there floundering like an idiot (I had no clue) Cinder took the next three jumps (which by the luck of the universe were the correct jumps – how often does that happen?) I got my brain back, and off we went again. Somehow she stayed on course (I had nothing to do with it for those three jumps) and she ended up running clean, qualifying and taking 2 nd place! Wow Cinder! We imploded in our Ex B JWW and Ex B Std classes – I think I was tired. But overall Cinder was 6 for 9 with 4 first place finishes, 2 second places finishes, 1 Double Q and a new title. What a weekend for Cin!

The second interesting thing that happened was my Ex B JWW run with Gale. We went out and SMOKED the course – she was running faster and tighter than she ever has! We had a brilliant, clean run that was amazing. As I went to leash her up after the run, the judge came running after me (she is a friend of mine) and said “Brilliant run Kristi – that was lovely. You do know you ran the wrong course don’t you?” Oops – I had run the Int JWW course (they didn’t change it much between Int JWW and Ex B JWW) by mistake. Brain fry. But hey – Gale did it in 26 seconds which is pretty darn amazing so while the run wasn’t technically a Q – it was a HUGE success in my mind. Good girl Gale!

Patches was feeling pretty good on Monday – so good she leaped her A-Frame contact! She made up for it by winning Ex B JWW though! And Kali – poor, tattered feet Kali – I had remembered to move her up to Open JWW so she went out and got her first leg in Open P JWW with a 1 st place and then finished up her Nov P Std title with another blue! She is a tough dog.

So – the weekend was quite a success – three titles, two Double Q’s, more ribbons than I know what to do with, and a baby dog that is growing up into quite a competitor. Who can ask for more?

 

 
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