Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cleveland Trials

Gryffin and I got a 3rd place in UB on Saturday December 12 at the big IX-Center trials in Cleveland, winning a runoff, earning a 197+ (1st & 2nd places had a 198). Gryff worked superbly :-). 2 more points, so now we're down to single digits (need 9) to finish his OTCh..

In OB, he sadly failed the DOR again. This time, there was only a slight hesitation. On reflection, I'm really not sure he heard the command. The rest of the class was grand. I did not do stays. I didn't want to waste them and frankly, my left leg was aching so badly (that's another story), I was sure not feeling tippy-top.

I am really, really happy with his attitude and how he's working. His fronts and finishes were excellent that day - only 1/2 off for one bad finish in Utility, and zippo off on fronts.

We didn't get any more OTCh. points on Sunday, but did manage a Q in UB, which gives us 3 UB Q's in a row. Gryff made two dumb errors - he spit the glove out on my foot when the judge said 'Take it' on the Directed Retrieve. That cost us a point. Then, for some unknown reason, he skipped the front on the signal recall and went right around to heel. While AKC recommends 5 points off for an auto finish, not all judges take that much, and fortunately for me, today's judge took off only 3. When I released him after that, I gave him what I thought was a little goose in the ribs, and he barked at me (he tends to talk back when I correct him - guess he maybe thought about his goof?). So I went in to the awards ring hoping we earned at least a 190, and ended up with a 193.5. I was very pleasantly surprised, I have to say.

He worked a very nice Open class, but went down on the sit at 1:55. It was order 5 again (same as the previous Sunday's), which has the down stay first. He lost 2 points on the individuals, so would have been in contention for at least being in a runoff for a placement (a 198.5 won the class). I don't think I was as disappointed as last Sunday, but I may just bag doing Open. It is just getting so frustrating to have him work such a fine class and then to fail the stays. Since he has his UDX and OM1, he really doesn't need to ever show in Open again.

In spite of two OB NQ's, I really, really enjoyed showing Gryffin this weekend. He was his fun, jolly self in all 4 classes, and I felt very confident walking in the ring with him. He was a fine teammate, and I felt like we were really clicking.

Next up will probably be several UB classes at some local trials in mid-January - there will be 4 days of trials, Th-Su, with 2 trials both Sat & Sun. I certainly won't do all of those, but 2-3 days most likely.

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