Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Highs and Lows from Kalamazoo

As I wrote about last week, I showed Joker and Ty at the 1st two days of the Memorial Day weekend cluster at Kalamazoo. First, the high points:
  • Joker (10 year old Border Terrier) finished his UD with a very respectable 191 in the first trial Saturday morning, making him the 8th dog with whom I've earned a UD. We got a professional photo of that one, so can't share it here yet.
  • Ty earned her 1st UDX leg on Friday, 21 OM points, a 4th place in Open B (196) and a 3rd place in Utility B (194), which was good for her 1st 2 OTCh points. Wow, only 98 to go! Oh, yes, those pesky 1st places...
  • We had glove 3 in both of the 1st two trials (something I was dreading going into the weekend, given the problems both dogs had had the previous couple of weeks) and glove 1 in the 3rd trial, and we had 6 Q's on gloves.
  • Ty qualified on signals 2 out of 3 times, coming back from a sit signal failure in the 2nd trial to do it correctly in the 3rd. After we finished signals in that 3rd trial successfully, I told the judge that I could go home happy now, whatever happened in the rest of the class.
  • Both dogs did very nice go-outs in all three trials, especially given that the middle stanchion was about 2 feet to the left of center (and yes, I stanchion train their go-outs) and that we had corner gloves that were retrieved before doing go-outs each time. Ty showed no signs of stopping short, which delights me, given that she picked her spot in the previous 3 trials. To top it off, her turn and sits were marvelously snappy, garnering compliments.
  • Ty lost only 1/2 point on Directed Jumping 2 out of the 3 trials. 
  • We were in two runoffs on Friday.
Now for the low points:
  • Ty failed the down stay in both trials on Saturday by first sitting up before I got very far away and then walking forward out of line. She told me loud and clear that she's not ready for multiple Open classes in a weekend, let alone one day. Both judges had me go to her and take her to the opposite side of the ring and have her stay there. 
  • Ty trotted through the Broad Jump in trial 2 on Saturday, something I'm not sure she's ever tried in her whole life. In her defense, I put her farther back than usual because her striding was poor in the morning. So I'll take some blame for it. She certainly was brisk and nimble about it, watching where she stepped very carefully!
  • Joker failed the article at 12 o'clock in the 3rd trial. Otherwise, he would have had another Q. The first article was there in all 3 trials, and the 2nd one was in the middle twice, his other hard spot.
  • Ty's accuracy on her signal stand position and her article turns dwindled as the weekend wore on. 
  • We lost both of the runoffs we were in. But that means we Q'ed and got to be IN the runoffs!
I was well aware going into the weekend that we could come home with 9 NQs, a discouraging thought! We came away with 4 Q's out of 9, and two near misses in Utility. As I knew I would, I learned a lot about what Ty is and isn't (yet) capable of. We were losing 2-2.5 on heeling in each class, so there's a lot of room for improvement there, and consistently good heeling is crucial for high scores and winning runoffs. I held up reasonably well showing 9 times, though I sure yawned a lot during the 1.5 hour drive home!

I haven't shown in Kalamazoo in a lot of years, and I chatted with many people over the weekend, including some previous unmet in person Facebook friends. On Saturday morning, I was flying high from Friday's successes, and wishing I was showing more than one more day. Now that I'm home, I'm also glad to be home. Ty and I have some serious homework to do before our National trip. We (Ty, Gryff and I) leave a week from today for Maryland. I haven't decided for sure what we'll do this summer in terms of obedience vs. field training. While the occasional nice weather has me yearning to get outside, I'm also really enjoying the obedience work.

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