Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jada Gets Her First AKC Agility Title

We just did our first 3-day AKC Agility trial a couple of weeks ago. Lots of fun, but not sure I like this "half day" thing. We're so used to getting there early and staying ALL day long!

We didn't have to be there until noon...which mean Joni had me there at 10am. Not sure what she thinks she's going to miss out on here. I had to stay outside in a crate in a tent with a bunch of loud Shelties. Not sure I liked that part of it. Joni kept checking on me and leaving me in there. I was a little worried she forgot me sometimes, but I could see the car if I looked thru a blowing tent piece...and it never moved, so that made me feel better!

So I went in there the first day, Friday, with a Novice Standard and a Novice Jumpers leg under my.....collar (I never did like belts). I was hoping to knock out this Novice stuff in the first two days. But that was not to be.....

Friday started out with Jumpers, which I did perfect on and got a first place. Two legs down and one to go!
Then we did Standard. Sigh. I guess I'll take a little itty bitty piece of blame for this, but only a VERY little bit. Most of it I'm putting all on Joni! I have a problem with laying down on the pause table....always have. I'll sit...I'll stand....hell, I'll do backflips, but I don't like to lay down. I just never have liked laying down on command ANYWHERE. There just isn't a point to this. Of course, naturally, I'll do it for FOOD! If I'm going to go to all this trouble to lay down there better be a good reward for me in it. So Joni was worried about if the judge was going to make me lay down on the table. She had me practicing this all week. I did it every time for her, but after awhile I was having fun messing with her head. I'd lay down and roll over. Boy, that really got her more worried! No way I'd do that on a table, but I sure had her thinking I might!

So it turns out the table is a "down". Joni was convinced she could fake me out and I'd think she was going to have a treat for me. I heard her tell a few people this. She didn't even try to whisper it so I wouldn't hear - just blurted it out like I was the village idiot that had no idea what she was saying. So I went in this knowing the big fake-out was coming. We started our run.....and I ran perfectly. We got to the table and Joni said "Down" and I sat....and looked at her. She pretended she had something in her hands and said it again. And I just looked at her. It was hard to keep from bursting out laughing at the panic I know she was feeling. Finally I took pity on her and laid down SLOWLY on the 3rd request. The judge counted down....5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 -- .and Joni took off! What the hell! She's supposed to wait until the judge said "...and GO!" I knew this was bad...but what was I supposed to do? So I followed her. I saw the judge make a motion with her arms out of the corner of my eye and I knew it wasn't good. I was right. Joni screwed up. Uh you think I played with her mind too much on this one? Maybe. That's why I'll only take a teeny tiny bit of the blame for that. She gets 99.9% of that screwup, though! Now Joni claims she doesn't know why she left - she claims her brain wanted to stay but her legs just took off. Rolling my eyes here....whatever. Even "I" have more control than that!

Later that night we did FAST. I blew this the last time since I have to work away from Joni and I jumped over the contact. I confess I was feeling a wee bit sorry for her for her big screwup earlier, so I was determined that I'd make her feel better by astonishing her with doing this correctly. Which I biggie. We only needed 50 points in this 35 second run, and we got 73 points. The send part with the line that Joni couldn't cross was that I had to go over an A-Frame, then into a tunnel, which I did perfectly. We did only get 2nd place since this zippy little Sheltie got 76 points, but he took 7 seconds longer than us also! But that's okay.

Saturday we went over early also so that I could get my two height measurements by two AKC reps that were there. They measured me shorter than I thought I was....16.5". ??? And here I thought I was 17" tall. This will take some getting used to now. I'm trying hard not to get that "short dog" syndrome now.

I got my last Jumpers leg today! And my first AKC agility title - my NAJ title. I got first place - and had the fastest time of all the 23 Novice dogs! Open Jumpers here I come!

Standard was next. I was relieved to see that the table was a "Sit" - Joni certainly doesn't need the pressure on this one. Maybe today we'd get our 2nd leg, and could get our 3rd leg tomorrow - sounds like a plan! And we did it perfectly. I got 1st place (and a perfect score) with a time of 40 seconds! The next fastest time in the entire class of 23 Novice dogs was 50 seconds! Not too shabby! One more leg tomorrow and we can get that Standard title outa the way!

Sunday we did our first Open Jumpers, and I did another great job on it. We got 2nd place in this division - only 8/10 of a second slower than a Sheltie. One open leg down....

Then came what I hoped was our final novice standard leg. No pressure here! We started off great.....I saw the dog ramp and launched myself onto it. Usually I take the dog ramp at a fast speed, with Joni running alongside me. But today I was so excited about my new title - not to mention my impending NEW title - and had SO much energy that I figured I could go faster! I was a few feet ahead of Joni now when I heard her saying something to me. What? Why are you talking to me now - I'm concentrating on running! It was so hard to hear her with the wind rushing thru my fur and my ears (think of hanging your head outside a moving car!). Now we have a disagreement here....I could just swear I heard her say, "Jada! Go faster! And jump over that yellow piece at the end of the dog ramp!!!" - so I did. Now Joni insists that she said "Jada! Slow down! Wait!".
Sigh. I guess after thinking about it there's no earthly reason she'd be telling me to jump over the contact now, is there. Sigh. Fine. I guess I'll take the blame for this one. [hanging my head in shame]. The rest of our run was flawless...Joni didn't even screw up on the table countdown.

So I guess I'll need another weekend to get out of this Novice stuff. Hopefully I don't drag it out too long or Joni will get her wish and we WILL be there all day Excellent Jumpers and in Novice or Open Standard! Ugh!

Overall I guess I like this AKC stuff okay. It's fun....but not as much fun as CPE games are. We decided we like the strategy and thinking that goes into the CPE games more. It's alot of fun to make up a good course for enough points, or to have to make decisions out there - not ONLY just running 17-18 obstacles in a precise order....
But we'll keep doing this AKC stuff (can't let Ty get ALL the AKC titles in the family!).

We've got our CPE trial coming up this weekend! I can't wait!