Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Cluster in Springfield

We've had some time off since our last trial (mid-October in Virginia) so we were excited to be out for the weekend.

The weekend started off badly - I worked on Thursday instead of taking the day off as a travel day. In general this isn't my habit as I like the time to pack properly and then leave in a somewhat leisurely fashion. I got the car packed by about 4pm, planned to hit the bank for some cash and then head out of town. I loaded the dogs in the car and put the key in the ignition...NOTHING! Onstar sent someone out to give the battery a jump - which didn't get the car started so the car was unpacked, dogs unloaded and the car towed to the dealership. I got a rental but the little Buick was not suitable for transporting two golden retrievers and their gear to a dog show.

And then I was saved! Lori was heading down to the trial already and had room for the three of us. We left at 5am on Friday morning, but we got there - and what a weekend it was!

We've been struggling with our contacts since September - like so many problems he's missing the contacts in trial, but not in training - complicated by his performances in Virginia where he nailed his A-Frame AND his dogwalk in all of his runs. We're trying the Rachael Sanders box method but we're still working the box on the ground - only now at the point of putting it on the a-frame and I didn't want to put the box on the a-frame the week before a trial. The holes in our contacts were evident at the cluster this weekend. The A-Frame cost us two Q's this weekend on otherwise solid runs (the third standard run he got the contacts by a toe-nail but had both a pop-out in the weaves and a refusal when I got in his way).

The thrill of our weekend were in the JWW ring. Teller earned his first Ex A JWW leg in Granby at the end of September and his second at the Mattiponi Kennel Club show in Virginia. Friday he came together in the afternoon and nailed his EX JWW run with a 1st and Q to finish his AXJ title. Teller is now a Can CH SunKissed Light and Magic CD RN NA NAP AXJ NJP CCA CGC CGN.

It just so happens that Teller's AXJ earned another title - this time for Daddy Robin - as AXJ is a seven point GRCA title and finished Robin's outstanding sire "OS". What a thrill for us to be part of the qualifying progeny.

Teller was not finished though - Saturday we walked out of the JWW ring with another Q, this time in Excellent B and with FIVE MACH points!! Teller's first MACH points!!! Holy cow! Sunday he spoiled me again with another JWW Q for Four more points! Teller now has NINE MACH POINTS!!!

This is Teller's first season out playing agility - my goal for him this season was for him to have fun, build some confidence in the ring (though confidence isn't really his issue) and to hopefully finish his novice preferred titles. He's done that and more. In May I moved him up to 24" to see what we had. He finished his Novice titles in two weekends and his Open JWW title in another two weekends. We had a weekend in July with some runs that were really close to an excellent JWW leg - but one of us made a mistake each run. We took August off and enjoyed the pool and summer. So in six months and eight weekends my Woo has gone from Novice to MACH points. I'm still walking on air.

Oh and I got my car back tonight...so we've got wheels again :-)

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