I approached the second “Gamblers” day with some trepidation. Gamblers is my weakest link – hence my dog’s weakest area of competition. Both Kali and Patches only needed 1 more Gamble for their Elite Gamblers title. And boy, we have been trying at every show for a year (without success) so my confidence level wasn’t real high.
The first gamble was a tunnel to a jump (you had to keep your dog out of ANOTHER tunnel) then a tunnel/jump discrimination where you did the tunnel further out and then the final obstacle was the A-Frame. Sigh….Imagine my utter sense of disbelief when Patches flung herself through the first tunnel, over the correct jump, OUT to the tunnel and up the A-Frame. “Please, please, please hit your contact” was the only thought scurrying through my mind.” And she did!!!!!!! YAY PATCHES!!! That was her Elite Gamblers title! Cinder did the Gamble with no problem but those were my only successes in Round 1.
The Round 2 Gamble included offside weaves and the dog had to make a serious trajectory correction in order to hit the weaves. I pulled everyone except Cin (it was over 90 degrees and the 3 rd Gamble looked do-able so I decided to save the Aussies) and Cin and I didn’t make it real far. Round 2 was a complete washout.
But Round 3 made up for it. Patches came out and got her 2 nd Gamble of the day! I couldn’t believe it! Then Cinder slammed through the gamble (of course) and Gale was headed for the tunnel (which was the hard part) until I looked down and realized I was about to cross the handler’s line.
Windmilling arms and an abrupt toe-shuffle dance (to prevent crossing the line when I HAD been running all out) caught Gale’s attention right before she entered the tunnel so she pulled off to run back and make sure I was ok. I’m an idiot sometimes. The final run of the day was Kali and much to my surprise she also did the gamble! She finally got her Elite Gamblers title! As I collapsed in the euphoria of a successful gambling day I realized something: now both Kali and Patches are qualified for the 2004 Agility Finals. I am pretty sure Patches (as a veteran with oodles of points) will automatically be invited and I think Kali will at least be an Alternate. It’s pretty exciting.
The final day of the trial was all Jumpers. I brought Oso down to compete for this one day only. I knew it was going to be hot so I saved him for his favorite class – nothing but jumps! He had SO much fun at the trial. I haven’t shown him in a while and he had a grand old time socializing and sticking his long, pointy nose in people’s pockets (and up their shorts) looking for treats.
He’s such a doofus sometimes! But he had a great time – he Q’d two runs and took 2 nd in one of them. Patches also Q’d in 2 runs – with a 1 st and a 2 nd. Actually, all the dogs did awesome. Kali, Cinder and Gale were also 2 for 3. Gale got two 3 rd places and Cinder placed first in both her qualifying runs. The trial was over before 12 noon which was a real treat. But the real treat of the weekend was watching Grendel – a rescue Aussie who has had some health issues – get her ATCH!!! There weren’t many dry eyes in the house and a HUGE Congratulations go out to Lynne and Grendel!
Well, hopefully both my dogs will make the Finals – especially since they are in Paso Robles this year. Keep your fingers crossed!