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Dog Agility Club of Santa Barbara - AKC Trial - July 29 - 30, 2006

This trial was held at Arroyo Verde Park, which I just love – big trees (which means no struggling with EZ-UP’s (an oxymoron if I have ever heard one) and a lovely ocean breeze.  After the withering heat of last weekend, it was WONDERFUL to have cloudy, overcast days and a slight drizzle on Saturday.  Nancy and Chance (with Ms. Maddie along for the ride) were entered in this trial, which meant I had dogs in every class except Novice Jumpers.  Thank heavens it was a two-ring trial so I was quite excited!

Once again the courses were lovely – fast and flowing.  We started with Open Standard, which meant I was running Patch and Chancie first.  Patch went out and had a smoking run and took 1st place with a Q in Open Preferred Standard.  Chance, who I haven’t been able to train in a while, was PERFECT:  we had one refusal at a “turn tunnel sequence” but he was fast, stopped on all his contacts and picked up his 2nd Open Std leg with a 3rd place!  Yay Chancie!

Next up were Gale and Cinder in Excellent JWW.  Gale missed her weaves but did re-enter and FINISH them the 2nd time – she seems to be getting better with out “weave issue” at shows.  I just have to remember that!  Cinder laid down a perfect run (as usual) and was very responsive.  Kane finished up the morning in Nov P Std with a nice solid run for 1st place and finished his NAP title! 

Open JWW was the next to run and Patch laid down a solid run for a Q and 1st place.  Chancie tried his heart out and ran so fast but he dropped a bar coming out of the collapsed tunnel.  This is the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened – I remember this exact same thing occurring up at the SMART trial in the spring.  So…Chancie needs to learn to do “tunnel-jump” while at full speed.  But he is so smart I know he will pick it up in no time.  This was Kane’s 1st time in Open P JWW and I was a little worried because the entire course consisted of rear crosses, which Kane isn’t too comfortable with yet.  I should trust my little guy more:  he not only did every rear cross, he Q’d!!!  And took 1st place!  I tell ya, this dog seems to like the show game J

The final runs of the day were the Ex Std with Cin and Gale.  Once again, Gale missed her weaves and had to be re-set but other than that, the course was lovely and she got her A-Frame!  I went out with Cinder trying REALLY hard not to think about a Double Q and I guess it worked.  Cin just flowed around the course and we picked up Double Q #11!  Only 9 more to go!

Sunday morning was not a good time for me:  I woke up with a STUNNING headache (not sure why) and no amount of drugs seems to help.  I walked around with my eyes half-mast (because it hurt to even look at anything) and prayed the dogs would be good.  My first run with Patch in Open P Std was VERY quiet …meaning I could barely whisper words out because my head hurt so badly.  Patch, being the solid gold dog that she is, seemed to understand that I needed a little slack and ran perfect for not only a Q but also another 1st place and her Open P Std title!  Chancie and I had some bobbles in the ring, I think my headache was affecting my handling and once again, the evil “turn-tunnel” bit us on the ass, as did the collapsed tunnel to a jump.  But Chance ALWAYS tries so hard!  And the best news is that we seem to have cured him of running to Mom (Nancy) at the end of the run.  He is such an honest and willing dog!

Kane was once again lovely in Novice P Standard – I had decided not to move him up which turned out to be a wise decision.  We had a couple refusals but once again, his contacts were lovely (thank you Kate Moureaux!) and he Q’d with a 2nd.  He has a couple USDAA trials coming up where he will be in Starters so by the time we do another AKC, he should be ready for Open.

At this point, my headache was killing me and I had to go beg Mike Swan (a physical therapist) for a neck massage.  I have to say, he is a terrific human being:  he worked on my neck for 10-15 minutes and for the 1st time of the day, I could actually open my eyes all the way.  A HUGE thanks to Mike (and his wife Anne for sharing him!)

Ex JWW was a FAST course – Gale was WONDERFUL until the 3rd to last obstacle  (the weaves!) where she hit her poles, stayed in until I had the fatal thought of “oh my god, she is going to stay in and we will Q!” and of course she popped out at pole 10.  Oh well…but she was good.  My run with Cinder was very entertaining.  I got completely lost about ½ way through the course and ran with total authority to a wrong jump until I realized (at the very last minute as Cinder was rocketing out of a tunnel) what I was doing.  I did this weird little hoppy thing, got Cinder on course but was completely discombobulated for the rest of the run.  I ended up on the wrong side of the weaves, totally off line for the close (which had a tricky tunnel entrance) and I just trusted that she would “guess” right which she did even though her close was really slow.  Even with those almost fatal errors, Cinder took 4th place and was ticking along at over 6 yps!  Yay Binder-brain!

Open JWW was another fun, fast course but with lots of rear crosses.  Kane seemed tired and a little over-whelmed from showing two weekends in a row.  He tried really hard but was just not really focused – running around jumps and little “soggy.”  Oh well, what I can expect?  Kane was 3 for 4 this weekend with two 1st place finished and one 2nd!  What a dog!

Chance started his Open JWW by knocking his first bar L I think I led out further than he used to and felt like he had to race to catch up to me.  So that’s something I need to work on!  But other than that, Chance was LOVELY – ran the course fast, smooth and like a “big dog.”  Every run gets better with Chancie and our mistake (MY mistakes) were small ones – things that are easily trainable.  He is going to be a wonderfully consistent dog!

Patches FLEW around the Open P JWW course and took ANOTHER 1st place and Q and finished her Open P JWW title!  So – overall, Patch had a stellar weekend:  4 1st place finishes, 4 Q’s and two new titles.  The old girl still has it!

Ex Standard was a fast course with a kind of tricky weave entry.  I decided to pull Gale from the run (after all, I have been working on building confidence in the weaves and this was NOT the course to do that on!)  Cinder was magnificent:  held all her contacts, flew into her weaves and Double Q’d again with a 3rd place finish.  It has been months since our last Double Q and Cin picked up two this weekend!  Only 8 more to go!

Overall, I had a terrific time at this trial!  Gale is doing better on her weavies, Kane was 3 for 4, Patch was 4 for 4, Cinder was 4 for 4 and Chancie is proving to me again, that he has amazing heart and brains.  And my headache was gone!


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