Title Number Two

The USDAA agility show this weekend was a mixed bag. I had hoped to finish Gel’s Started Standard title, but alas, he forgot how to weave again. I understand Gel’s weave lapses are not uncommon in a young dog. I hope so. Back to the drawing board on weaves. Other than weaves, and a bobble in Snooker (more on that later) he ran beautifully.

On Saturday we qualified in Gamblers and Pairs. The Pairs qualifier is needed for Gel’s “AD” (Agility Dog) title. I do not think I’ll do Pairs in the future. In Standard, he refused to stay in the weaves and I got frustrated and pulled him from the ring. In Steeplechase, he had a very nice run. The course had the weaves twice. The first time through, he wouldn’t do them, the second time through, he did, go figure.

In Snooker, I had how I was going to run the course all mapped out in my mind, but stupid me, I watched how other people ran it and just as I was going to the start line, I was going over in my mind my strategy and whether I should change it. I brought Gel to the start line and I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell him to stay. I walked out on the course (going over it in my mind all the time) and turned around only to realize Gel had followed me out there! At that time, I thought he blew his start line stay (which he’s never done) so I grabbed him by the scruff to take him off the course. Grabbing him by the scruff earned me a whistle (elimination) by the judge. If I had been thinking at the time, I could have back-jumped him over the first jump (which was a possibility) and finished the course, but I was so appalled that he left the start line, I didn’t think about that. After going over what happened after the class, I realized I probably didn’t tell him to stay, just kept on walking.

On Sunday, we qualified in Jumpers with a beautiful run and in Gamblers which earned Gel his Started Gambler’s title (SG). In Standard, I nursed him through the weaves, only to send him through the wrong end of the tunnel which resulted in elimination. Oh well! He placed first in Jumpers and in Gamblers on Sunday.

I left Midge with my friend Wally for the weekend and only brought Fern. She did really well in the trial environment, which was quite loud given it was in a large, indoor arena. We stayed at a hotel again and she was fine with that as well. She seems to take everything in stride and is not troubled by new environments, no matter how loud and stimulating they may be. The photographer took some candid head shots of her and when I went back to look at them, I was amazed at how striking she is.