Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Damn Bar

Today we went to an agility trial.  Luna and Jake were each entered in 6 runs.  I ended up running both dogs, as Larry has been having back issues for the last while.   Generally his back has been improving, but we went to help set up for our club's flyball tournament yesterday, and things didn't go well for Larry and his back.  The first thing was that he tripped over the handle of a wooden dolly that I had left down on the ground instead of flipping back upright.  Then he thought that it would be okay to unroll the big rolls of rubber matting by pushing them with his foot, but I guess that wasn't the right thing to do either.  So he decided that it didn't make any sense to try run on a dirt floor, in case he ended up jarring his back some more. 

 It did make it rather interesting for me.  For the most part Luna and Jake ran in different rings.  Sometimes it meant that I would have to go and walk the course for one of Luna's runs, but I had already walked Jake's course, but hadn't run him yet.  In other words I had to keep two courses in my head, and might not run the older course until after the one I had just walked.  Running dogs in agility is a bit similar to riding a horse over a jumping course, but I think it is harder.  You and the horse are basically one entity, you go where the horse takes you. Well actually you are supposed to go where you direct the horse.  Sometimes though the horse makes a sudden unexpected move, and the two of you part company.  Been there, done that, not fun.  At that point though, generally you don't have to worry much anymore which direction the course headed. 

 In agility, you have to remember the course that the dog has to take, and then you also have to remember your own 'course', which gets the dog to take it's course correctly.  The path your course takes can be drastically different to the course the dog takes.  Sometimes I had to remember Jake's course, and Luna's course, and also be studying the map for Jake's next course.  Jake was just about the last dog in the ring in all of his classes.  So I might run Jake, and then go to the other ring and run Luna.  By the time I had come back in from the 'after the run, go outside and play fetch with the dog reward', the walk through for Jake's next course might be happening.  If it was a class where I had to make up my own course ( Gamblers or Snooker), well I better have something figured out, so that knew what course to walk when I got out there.
What I'm trying to say with all this rambling is that my brain got a workout as well as my body.  And I'm happy to say that both brain and body came through pretty well.

Out of the 12 runs, Jake ended up with two Q's (qualifying runs), and Luna with one.  Not a very good percentage, but a few of the runs were pretty close.  Jake had a nice Standard run, and a really nice Snooker run.  Luna had an absolutely brilliant Gamblers run, her only clean run.  She finished first in her group with the highest amount of points, and it went pretty well exactly as planned.  Unfortunately Larry had left at that point to go to pick Meredith up from the airport, so it didn't get filmed.  Too bad, I would have like to have seen that on video.  
That run has moved Luna up into the Master's Gamblers class.  

Meanwhile, Luna is still stuck in Starter's Jumpers.  That is a pretty simple class, just jumps and tunnels.  Being Starters, the course is relatively easy.
There is just the problem of that one bar.
One of these days.....

Oh, and the best part of the day really, was that Luna initiated quite a few on leash greetings with other dogs that were successful and didn't end with raised lips and a showing of teeth.  Unfortunately because I was constantly in and out of the ring, I never had any treats on me to reward her, but the praise was lavish.
It just made me smile:) When I think of how snarky she used to be the beginning of last year when we were at a, huge difference!


  1. She is very are you..I swear that bar fell all by itself:)

  2. Luna is IMPROVING by leaps and bounds :0) Remembering all those courses is like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time.

  3. That's kind of funny, because the group that hosted the trial is called 'Leaps and Bounds':)

  4. Wow! That's very impressive! I thought you guys both did a great job!

  5. she looks great! i sympathize with the one knocked bar syndrome. :)

  6. Congrats Jake on your 2Q's & Luna on the clean gambler's run & move-up!

    That's amazing Karen - that's a lot of courses to keep straight in your head!

    I'd been thinking of coming to watch but this was a busy weekend. Maybe next time :-)

  7. Hornblower - Regionals is in three weeks, the long weekend, at Abbotsford again. The same group as last year is hosting.

  8. Very impressive runs! Don't be so hard on yourself, you all did an awesome job!!! Hope Larry's back is on the mend.


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