Hi guys, sorry I've been kind of MIA recently. I got super busy over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and had little time for blogging or even Agility itself. We did attend a couple of trials in December that I haven't written about, but I'll back-post them when I have a chance. In quick overview though, Philip bombed most runs and got only one Q in Open FAST over both weekends.
We are in a New Year though, and this last weekend we got attended a USDAA trial. I had taken Philip out of classes for a few week over the holidays, but managed to get one in right before the trial to get him warmed up. Still, his lack of practice was prevalent at the trial. Plus, as I've mentioned before, Philip runs 12" at USDAA, and while some dogs take to jump changes with ease, Philip is not so fond of it...
We ran Advanced Standard, Starters Gamblers, and Starters Jumpers on Saturday. The Standard run was really good, except for the fact that Philip decided to knock second to last bar! It's pretty upsetting having a stupid error like that at the end of the run, but I brushed it off as Philip getting used to the higher jumps. He also messed up his Weave entry, but that wouldn't have counted against us at this level.
Gamblers run had a nice set up, with what I thought was a pretty easy gamble portion. Philip had a good start doing everything as I asked, but half way through the opening the judged stopped us - apparently the timer had malfunctioned and we had to start over. So back to the start line we went, and again did the same routine. We managed to gather quite a few points with no issues again, and then Philip did the gamble beautifully. I was ready to cheer as he flew over the last jump, but in a split second all hopes were shattered as the bar went fumbling to the ground :( That was pretty sad, and even the judge chuckled that "it must've been an earthquake".
Jumpers run seemed a bit tough for a Starters course, and I felt bad for the beginners to trialing. I knew Philip shouldn't have trouble though, so didn't worry too much. The bar knocking gods were not on our side though. Philip knocked two right at the beginning. Beautiful run otherwise, but oh well.
On Sunday we had another shot as Advanced Standard, followed by Starters Snooker and Starters Pairs. The Standard run wasn't too exciting as it ended up with two knocked bars again - one at the start and another towards the end.
The Snooker course looked a bit challenging, and I was a little discouraged by that and the constant NQs over the weekend, so I came up with a plan, walked it and figure that it'll be whatever it'll be. Funny how that works, but the time when you don't really expect much are usually when you have good runs. Such was the case this time too. Philip paid perfect attention to my direction, took the course as I planned, and most importantly kept all the bars up! We had a beautiful run with a total of 46 points, a Q, and a first place. The judge cheered for us exclaiming "no bars!" :)
Last up was a Pairs run. Our usual partner in crime Willis was unavailable this day, so we had a new partner - a Bichon Frise names Travis. Travis is new to Agility and this was his first USDAA trial. He is such a cute little guy though, and has so much fun on the ring! We split up the course for him to take the first half of the course which was a little shorter and easier (8 obstacles, mostly jumps). Philip and I took the second half (10 obstacle with contact equipment). Travis's owner was a little worried that she wouldn't be able to catch him after their half, but I encouraged her to try. Travis must've gotten bored waiting for this run, and when he got to the ring, he had the cutest case of zoomies ever! He ran and ran around the ring, and I just giggled waiting for them :) He got back on track eventually and finished his half, then we did ours, complete with a knocked jump bar even! Of course all the running around and the knocked bar NQed our run, but it was so much fun, so I thought it was a good end to the weekend :)
So there you have it. Overall, Philip paid really good attention to me the whole weekend, which was a bit unexpected, but very pleasant. I really hope this trend stays for the upcoming AKC trials! The 12" jumps really killed him though with all those knocked bars. If it wasn't for the bars, we'd have almost all Qs. Oh well, we'll take the one Q we got, and actually it's a really big one as it finished our Agility Dog title, so Philip can move up to Advanced Games next time :)
We have quite a few trials coming up, so stay tuned for more of our adventures!