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BAY TEAM - USDAA SouthWestern Regional
August 30 - September 1, 2008

I decided not to do Team at this event and I was sure glad I didn’t!  Gale came into season two days before the trial so had to be pulled from the whole thing so I was really able to just focus on the BC’s.  I swore (in the past) that I would NEVER start a baby dog at regionals.  Well…never say never.  I decided to enter Kat in the games (since she has no dog walk and I am not impressed with her teeter) and having Gale out of it certainly made my life easier.

The whole goal of this trial was for Cinder to get a bye into the semi-finals at Nationals.  Since I have done extremely limited trialing this year, Cinder didn’t have her usual bye into round 2 which gave me slight heart palpitations.  So, for the first round, I ran Cinder like a total pansy-ass, but we were clean and made it round 2!  Woo Hoo! 

Round Two of PNS was a ton of fun.  Not an easy course but for a dog like Cinder?  So…while I didn’t run balls out, I wasn’t being a pansy ass either.  I was not going for the win, but just wanted to see where we stacked up when I ran at not quite full out.  Cin was lovely, as usual, and not only did we get our bye into the semi’s, she ended up 4th place overall.  Yay Bin-Bin!

My first run ever with Ms. Kat was Starters Gamblers.  My only wish/prayer/hope was that she didn’t leave me to go chase other dogs.  Seriously.  As I was leading out, I noticed her head craned around, looking at the dogs running in the neighboring field.  So I did what every experienced handler does:  I panicked.  I released her way before I actually got to the point I had wanted to lead out to  and she came screaming by me because I was in no position at all to give her cues.  The good news is that she didn’t leave me!  She hit her weaves and had perfect frames!  I was so enraptured with her frames that I ignored the whistle to start the gamble and did another frame.  Just because they were so pretty. :-)

In the middle of all this was dock-diving with the kitten.  We had tried it last year at Nationals and her MO was to run to the end of the ramp, come to dead stop, stare at the toy in the water and then “plop” into the water.  Not this time!  She was launching off the ramp and turned into a screaming banshee when we were waiting in line.  The rest of the dogs (I had to bring all of them in the RV) were not so pleased:  they could see all the dock-diving activity from our campsite and were quite jealous (even though none of them would have actually done it!)

The last day, Monday, was the absolute best day of the trial.  Cinder was entered in PIII Snooker and Jumpers and I was really looking forward to running her balls out.  We had a FABULOUS Snooker run and ended up 2nd overall – she was sooooo much fun!  PIII Jumpers we had a total miscommunication and she ran into me.  Literally.  The agility gods were with us and the judge didn’t see the contact (I mean, a total header into me) but the bobble cost us time so we only ended up in 7th.  But still – I personally don’t think we should have Q’d at all so I am not bitching.

Kat was in Starters Snooker and Starters Jumpers.  The Snooker course was not an easy one and the course we did had 3 frames with some really difficult handling maneuvers after the frame.  Well, time to see if her running frame is going to hold up right?  It did!!!!  She was GORGEOUS – nailed all her frames and picked up the first Q of her life.  Good girlie!  Jumpers was also a blast even though we had an on-course collision.  It’s all just baby dog stuff and us getting used to each other. (Below is the YouTube video of her Jumpers run.)

I came home from the trial thrilled and exhausted.  Cinder has a bye into the semi-finals and Kat didn’t leave me on course.  Success!!



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