Monday, September 21, 2009

Addicted Trial

Saturday we spent herding, Sunday we spent at the Addicted to Agility NADAC trial in Wrentham.

Since Bug was herding on Saturday I did not enter him in anything Sunday. Herding is a very physical sport and I am trying to be cautious and not over do it with his long back, etc. I entered Carmen in two Regular classes (now that she has weaves - hooray!), Tunnelers, and Jumpers.

We arrived a bit later in the day because I did not enter Carmen in Chances or Weavers. I have decided to stop entering Carmen in Chances. As her eyesight degrades I feel like she has less confidence working away from me. My goal is to continue doing agility with her as long as she is having fun. Chances seems to be the antithesis of what I want since it requires her to work away from me where she is less confident, which at times equals unhappy.

Regular 1 was a bit of a disaster. It was very bright out and Carmen definitely could not see well.

The course started with a hoop, six-set of weaves, jump, heading to your left. I intended to be on the inside of this arc, but Carmen bobbled the weaves the first time and I switched sides to try and block the sun for her (which did work), this left me needing to do a rear cross at the jump and Carmen stopped and looked at me like I was crazy. I executed it very poorly.

We picked up speed again until we got to a series of two hoops heading into the sun. Carmen did not see them AT ALL. I was speaking with someone after the run and they thought that the sun plus the fact that the bases are completely white contributed to Carmen's difficulty with them. Since Carmen understands hoops, I do feel like this was a vision issue.

We had a moment of hesitation with the dog walk and finished fairly upbeat. In sum, it was a painful run. Carmen was a trooper - no course faults, but we were a whopping 12.28 seconds over course time. Yikes.

I did not feel like Carmen enjoyed the run, so I scratched her from Regular 2. Regular 1 and Regular 2 ran back to back - there was no course change and the sun was still in the same position.

By the time Novice Tunnelers was ready to run I felt like trying Carmen again. We Q/1 with .05 of a second to spare. Carmen wasn't running her fastest due to the sun. In addition, I forgot where we were on course between 8 and 9 and almost crunched my dog. I meant to do a front or rear cross before the #8 tunnel since we would be heading to the right. Well, I plumb forgot and we nearly had a collision! Fortunately we did not!

Jumpers went very smoothly and the sun had apparently changed enough that Carmen did not have a single issue or moment of confusion in that run. Q/1. Jumpers is frequently late morning when the sun is very bright and we haven't had a nice jumpers run without the sun affecting us in some time.

These Tunneler and Jumper Qs means Carmie needs one more Q in each to earn her Superior Novice titles. I think Tunneler Qs in Open will be few and far between for us, but I hope to be able to get Carmie's Open Jumpers title. When the sun isn't bothering her she is a very consistent dog and she is typically well under course time for jumpers.

It was a good day. My thinking about fall light being easier for Carmen is looking like it's faulty. There are a couple of trials in October at the same location and I will probably try at least one of them. After that it will be indoor trials for us, both due to the change of seasons and Carmie's eye sight.


Dawn Small said...

Congrats on the Q's, especially under trying circumstances. Does Carmen have an easier time indoors, or are the flourescent lights hard on her vision as well?

Jules said...

Thanks, Dawn. Indoor lighting is definitely better for her at this stage of the game. Now that I am REALLY paying attention I notice how poor the lighting is in some of the indoor venues.

Sara said...

Congratulations on your Q's. Boy, you have a lot to think about when running courses with Carmen. Kudos to you for making it as fun as possible for her.

Nancy said...

I saw your great tunnelers run, sorry I missed jumpers, but it must have been awesome! Congrats!
Nancy and Stewie JRT

Diana said...

Im glad you had a good day. Hey what happen to the glasses you bought Carmen? Diana

Jules said...

I need to spend some time charging them up. I also wonder if the doggles wouln't feel more secure, even though they impact her peripheral vision.