Monday, May 20, 2013

The Curse Is Over?

Pico and I traveled back to 4 Seasons K9 Athlete Center in Washingtonville, OH yesterday to run 3 CPE events: Full House, Snooker, and Wild Card.

{why are we in the car at 6:00 am on a Sunday?!}

Full House was the first event  and all Levels (1,2,3,4,5,C) were run together since each dog/handler team designs and runs their own course.
Pico has struggled with Full House as he is seemingly drawn to the Table like a magnet! In Full House, the Table stops the clock and ends the game if the dog touches it at any time after crossing the start line. Only one Q is needed to move from Level 1 to Level 2 and we hadn't been able to do it yet!

This was the first trial that we've attended that offered Full House as the first run AND Small-To-Tall as the running order! We got to the trial site and then ran 21st. It was so nice to get one run in early rather than waiting hours to start our day.

The course looked like this:

For Level 1, we needed 3 jumps, 2 circles, and 1 joker, and a total of at least 19 points.
I chose to start by heading away from the Table! We took: Jump(1), Jump (1), A Frame (5), Tunnel (3), Dog Walk (5), Tunnel (3), Jump (1) {at this point, we had completed the Full House but only had 18 points}, Jump (1), Tunnel (3), TABLE!

Pico missed his A Frame entrance and we circled back to pick it up. After that, he was running fast with good focus. There was only one cross (RC into the first tunnel) so it was a great beginner trial course. Pico had 40 seconds to complete the course and his time was 30.68 (even with the A Frame redo). He got a Q and a First Place so I was thrilled! Cindy Wilmoth (Jaeger) declared "The Curse is Broken!" I sure hope she's right. Jessica has been great about putting Tables out in class for Pico to work around but not on.

{Full House Blue :)}

Snooker was next ... I needed to figure out a way to take a Red Jump, an Obstacle, a 2nd Red Jump, an Obstacle, a 3rd Red Jump, an Obstacle (The Snooker) followed by Obstacles 2-7 (The Close) before running to the table.  For Level 2, I also needed to make sure we got 28 points before running to the Table. The Table is not 'Live' in Snooker like it is in Full House so if Pico is drawn to it, there is no penalty unless I have directed him there. Here is what the course Looked like:

After many, many iterations ran through my head, Megan Ellis (Joey, Lily, & Savvy) and Dee Ferrell (Pebbles & Pixie) helped me devise a safer plan using Tunnel 2.
We ran: Red 1 (1), Obstacle 2 (2), Red 2 (1), Obstacle 2 (2), Red 3 (1), Obstacle 2 (2), and then our Close 2-7 (27) for a total of 36 points.
Pico had 50 seconds to complete the course. He finished in 48.26 with a Q and a 3rd place. He was moving very slowly (I called it the slo-mo snooker) and I think he was probably mirroring me as the course was very tight and I had to really think about where to go next. I was probably slower than him! I was just thrilled to get our second Snooker!

Last up for us was Wild Card. For Level 2, we needed to choose 2 'A' Obstacles and 1 'B' Obstacle. Here is the course:

I usually feel pretty confident when I look at a WildCard course. However, our results have been very mixed in this event! I tried to draw both Pico's path and my own path on this course map because I was a little concerned especially about getting him from 8 to 9B. If I failed to get him to 9B, there would be no WildCard Q!
I was pretty set on my plan until I walked the course. Once out there, I began changing my plan and then I found myself very confused! I decided in the end to stick with my original plan and thought that if I FC'd  after Jump 8, I'd have a better shot at getting 9B.
Pico surprised me by skipping Jump 3. I was able to get him around to retake it. He was moving very slowly again. He missed Jump 7 and I'm pretty sure he backjumped it before taking it in the right direction causing 5 faults. With all of that happening, my Front Cross was late and I was very luck to get him over the Double at 9! I really wish I had this run on video because I'm not sure what I was doing to cause him confusion.

{Relaxing at Home after a Long day of Agility!}

I chose not to enter the last event of the day, Colors, because Pico is in Level 3 in that event (you go lil dog!). I don't think he is quite ready to see Weave Poles or a Teeter yet in a trial setting. We will not be trialing in June because of Dog Camp so that will give 2 months of practice to really set him up for success.

I was thrilled to have such a nice day with such awesome results! Pico is getting better and better at dealing well with the high-stress trialing scene. He was kind to everyone he met and even let Megan pick him up! I am so proud of my tiny teammate.

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