Southern River Dog Club Trial

Last night we had the SR Dog Club trial with the company of thunder and lightning but thankfully only a very light amount of rain near the end. Certainly freaked some dogs out though – luckily Raven wasn’t one of them. Far as she’s concerned the sky is NOT allowed to make such rude rumblings and she’d be the first one there barking at it in reprimand. If anything she gets a bit more excited than usual. Our first run in Open Agility started well – 1st half was good, stayed on table – good girl and then got pinged for the down end of contact – I was too slow to see and by the time I got in the right spot she had pulled into the wrong end of tunnel *sigh*and then she had the precociousness to take an off course jump on the way to the see saw after I had clearly said COME! More like yelled than said really. So she had to put her little body back on the A Frame chill out for a few seconds in the 2 on 2 off position while I reminded her I was the one who knew where we were going. Then we finished the last 2 obstacles fine. Masters Agility was much better – she listened well did her contacts nice and we went clear for a very close 2nd place. Her time 35.71 – 1st place 35.23. We could have perhaps saved some time getting into the off entry tunnel – I left that call a bit late and she came almost to a complete stop as she looked at me to say ‘well where then?’ when I said Come. Other than that it was very nice. Open Jumping was a sublime run – I’d seen Yvonne’s Ceilydh (Welsh for Kay-lee) run clean and very fast so I thought right we’re going to push for speed on this one. She responded fantastically and I pushed myself for speed and was every where I needed to be for her. On the home stretch we dropped the 3rd last bar – which was a shame we were a whole second faster than Ceilydh. Nevermind I was really pleased with her run – the striding between those last bars was a bit unusual and if I had just taken the pedal off the accelerator for a fraction she may have cleared them – but then would she have been the fastest as well? Hard to tell.
Masters Jumping she got called a name by me as in “You are such a little mole” when she decided that ‘come’ (yelled quite loudly and several times) meant ‘hang on let me just do this OFF COURSE jump and then I’ll get back to you’. And then she knocked a bar off which I spoke to her quite sternly about as we reset it and continued on our way. So 1 out of 4 clear – but I am glad it was the Master Agility that was the one that was clear – it’s been a while since we had a clear in that class.
One more trial left in the year now – the Dobe Club on December 10th.

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Third Last Trial of Year

Well last night was the West Coast Rottie Club Trial and there were some EXCELLENT courses to run in both Masters and Open. Raven and I ran in Open Agility first and she did a blitzing round doing a complete running contact off the dog walk – to win 1st place – 33.23 seconds on a 57 second course. Next up was Masters Agility and we got round that beautifully until the third last bar which she dropped! I just said “Bloody hell” and kept on to the finish. She knew what she’d done…Open Jumping up next and a very smooth flowing course. I gave her a crap angle onto a series of jumps and being the dog that she is she dug in to correct her path to get over the jumps – instead of a nice straight line though she ended up zigzagging which cost us time. She still came 2nd though so I was well pleased with her efforts. Masters Jumping and she dropped a bar on a rear cross – which in all respects was due to me not being brave enough to do the lead out I wanted so we didn’t HAVE to rear cross! Still she knows enough about rear crosses to keep her feet up so we stopped, replaced the bar and left the ring. So 2 clear 2 with bars down – much better than the last trial so happy with that.

Mostly not agility related…

I know this is not strictly an agility/dog/training related post at all but just had to share my latest on the best books out there that I have read recently.
#1 Peter Hamilton’s latest Sci Fi – Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained -these are an edge of your seat read with a rather inspirational look into the future – I like the sound of “Rejuvenation”, I’d like some of that please!
#2 David Pelzer’s series which I have read out of order – I read A Child Called It and A Man Named Dave – still haven’t read The Lost Boy yet and I saw in Dymocks yesterday there are a couple more out. There is a kind of slightly macabre fascination for what happened to him (true story of childhood abuse) and you share with him his sense wanting an answer of what makes any mother do that to her child. It sounds like it is all very real and very depressingly sad it does however has just as many moments of his triumphs in there so it does not remain dark all the time.
#3 Jasper Fforde’s series – which I have read through completely once and am looking forward to going back to the series – The Eyre Affair, The Well of Lost Plots, Lost in a Good Book and Something Rotten – focus is on a character named Thursday Next. I now have his next instalment – similar universe brand new characters – The Big Over Easy. I shall let you know how it goes.
#4 Tour De Force written by Daniel Coyle and about Lance Armstrong’s 2004 Tour De France campaign – I have had an interest in Lance ever since I read – Its Not About the Bike and Every Second Counts – the stories that talk about his cancer and his bike racing and his recovery. He is an intriguing person who certainly has an approach to life that is amazingly disciplined. He is certainly inspiring to read about. I have only just started this one and it has already grabbed me.
#5 I guess I can make this dog/training/agility related – one of the best books to come out on the subject of training is actually a recount of the training of a very nutty Border Collie named Buzz. Called Shaping Success and written by Susan Garrett who is currently competing in the USDAA Nationals as I write this. She tells the story of the incredible journey she had coming to terms with Mr Buzz’s breakneck attitude for everything – how she got him to learn some control, taught him restraint and how immensely frustrating yet ultimately exhilerating it was to have an agility dog like Buzz. Along the way she gives detailed exercises of what she did with Buzz to train certain behaviours. Very clear and very easy to follow.

First November Evening Agility Trial

Well tonight’s efforts were marginally better than Northern Suburbs a couple of weeks ago but no clear rounds despite this. We were in Open Agility first up and after judge Gail had a bit of a chuckle at her seesaw SLIDE we got called a fault on that. Then she missed her dogwalk contact – so she and I stopped, I told her to get on that contact and to wait. We then proceeded – she of course also had to knock the very last bar on the line home. Masters Agility we were doing fine until she was a slack ass again and knocked a bar around half way through the course – thus we left the ring. Masters Jumping – she knocked the very FIRST bar, I looked at the judge and went “Well that was quick!” and told Raven to lay down while I replaced the bar. I then asked the judge if I could have another go – a non counting round of course and we did. She took a jump the wrong way and I let her take the wrong jump on the way out at the end. Open Jumping felt like an excellent run – we were working really well , she came speeding out of a bendy tunnel and I threw in a “Steady” command to warn her for the last four jumps home. She cleared the first one out the tunnel and I kept running – as we were going over the 2nd last jump I hear “awwww” from the crown and “FAULT” from the judge as the bar from the first jump out the tunnel finally dropped. I had to turn around and look cos I hadn’t seen any jumps drop! She had literally gone “jump, jump and as she was taking off for the third jump the first bar dropped!” It was a ripper run though and an unlucky fault as I really felt she had cleared that bar. An altogether unsuccessful night I must say. Three more trials to go this year and I think we shall work very heavily on our contacts and bar work again.
Some great runs though seen by Sue H and Nifty in only his 2nd Open trial – he took 1st place very easily in Open Agility, Gina O Keefe and Indie ran a very nice Masters Agility to win first place there, Amanda and Sonny took 1st place in Masters Jumping with a very speedy run and Jules with her Scottish BC Samroc took 1st place in Open Jumping.

A Pictorial Representation

Here I present a photo of Raven (aka pretty damn amazing dog) and some of her winnings from the State and National Titles weekends – we got a heap of lovely sashes, some beautiful State trophies in wood and some very classy glass trophies from the Nationals. Plus some blankets, a sports bag and cash. I felt it only fitting to do a pictorial display of her efforts those weekends – she performed her little heart out for me.