Saturday I entered Carmen in Chances, Jumpers, Touch n Go, and Tunnelers. I had the most anxiety about Chances because I haven’t really worked on distance with Carmen. Also Touch n Go – Carmen has a lot of trouble with discrimination issues to date. I think this is for many reasons: She is an agility-baby; sometimes my mouth says one thing and my body says another; and she is a terrier and thinks her way is better.
Chances was a beautiful little run. The chance was a jump and the a-frame. Carmie didn’t have a lick of trouble with it. Go girlie! Chances is pass or fail – you and your dog must complete the course in under 40 seconds and successfully complete the distance challenge, i.e. do not step over the tape. Of course if you dog fails the distance challenge you SHOULD step over the tape and help them! Carmie got her first Chances Q. Hip-hip-hooray!
Jumpers went well in the sense that we did not implode! I remember I felt like I handled it in a very ugly manner, but we were successful none-the-less. Carmie Q’d and placed 1st.
Touch n Go was a tough course for us. There were hoops on the course and I attempted a front cross after the a-frame which left me physically pointing toward an off course tunnel. Guess where Carmen went? and it was totally my fault! :D I did not think she would have that much speed coming down the a-frame! Then we failed the classic tunnel/dogwalk discrimination issue. Carmen was tired and the tunnel was VERY inviting. So inviting she did the tunnel three times before I said “let’s just go, girlie!”
Tunnelers was hysterical. For the first time Carmie said, "I have a much better course in mind" and off she went. She was super fast and we were very disconnected!!
Sunday we were entered in Jumpers, Chances, and Tunnelers. In Jumpers I attempted a rear cross where I should have gone with a f/c. I was trying to push the envelope; I crossed too late and was practically on top of the jump. Carmen had no idea what I was trying to do. Oh, bad handler! She took the jump, Q’d and placed first beating out a herd of fast Pomeranians! Yay, Carmie. Thank you for doing diaper duty!
Chances was another short sweet course with the a-frame and a dogwalk/tunnel discrimination as the Chance. The dog-gods were on my side, Carmie needed to take the out-tunnel which is what she has been doing lately. Hooray. Chances Q #2.
In Tunnelers, the last run of the day, I got lost. The problem is that Carmen has been moving so fast (what a problem, huh?). I feel as though I started out trying to compete with her for speed. Bad, bad handler. Never race your dog!! You’ll always lose! How many times do I need to hear that? After that little bobble I just didn’t recover – at one point I literally couldn’t find Carmen. It was really funny!
Carmen is so much fun to run, even when things do not go as planned. I end up laughing because she is always so convinced she is right – and maybe if she is following my body language and not my mouth, she is! Our next trial (CPE) is in Conway, MA at Roaring Brook Farm at the end of November. After this weekend I definitely know how to dress for a fall trial!
In addition to volunteering and running Carmie, I was able to witness the agility debut of the following students and friends!
Carol and Aja, Belgian Terv
Shaya and Tom, AA (this is their post-Katrin/Maplewood debut)
Neil, Lael, and Makin, Vizsla
Claudia and Molly, PWD
Congratulations to everyone! It is gut-wrenching the first time, but I hope you and your dogs enjoy it as much as I do!
Sandy B with Baxter Black, LR took these super photos of me and Carmie. Thanks, Sandy!