Sunday, February 27, 2011

Middlesex County Kennel Club - February 27-28, 2011

This trial recap should really start out with the phrase "you know you're addicted to agility when...." - Nor'Easter moving up the coast Friday morning, boarding dog here until Friday AM (preventing late-night escape to trial Thursday night or VERY early Friday AM). Forecasts ranging from 10-12" of snow up here (and  4-6" and ice/rain down there). So what do we do? We drop the boarding dog off at 8:15 - a quick bedding change in the boys' crates, toss our over-night bag in the car, top off the tank and we're off by 9am. Five and a half hours later (normally a 2:45/170 mile drive)  we arrive at our destination. The roads weren't awful - lots of snow, some places better maintained than others - all interstate - but 40-45mph the whole way. We took our time and advantage of daylight. Only once did I really start to think I was out of my mind....

This is from NH where the roads got better.
(note the heavy snow load on the pine trees) 
From a point of comparison, I-89  was awful,
VT's DOT just doesn't keep the roads up like
they used to (or ought to). Sad fact for a state 
so dependent on winter tourism.
Saturday weather was gorgeous - sunny - mid-thirties, even had to roll down the windows to keep the boys cool in the van. This morning the "dusting to three inches" ended up being "seven inches" and a pretty lousy drive to the show this morning with a very snow-covered I-93 - significantly more treacherous than the Friday drive. Yeah, we're all nuts.

Our judge this weekend was Lavonda Herring...I jokingly say that I'm sort of stalking her with our entries - but she is one judge that I always look for - if she is judging within 400 miles of us I'm going to send in an entry for that weekend - regardless of venue. Her courses are always fun and challenging - certainly not 'easy' courses - but they're fair, pretty unique and Teller always runs well on them - so yeah, we're Lavonda stalkers.

Saturday Teller and I threw down a double Q and a bunch of points. That's QQ number #4 (for anyone counting) and the 4th QQ in our last 5 days of trialing. We're feeling some consistency and I can't even begin to communicate how awesome that feels right now.

Today well - we had a bobble in standard when Teller came around a jump, committed to the chute 20' away and just blew by the table - run-out (refusal). It's OK - I knew our hot streak had to end sooner or later - really - it's all good. It doesn't stop me from second guessing or obsessing about it for a day or two (the "what-if" replays) - but Woo still rocked and enjoyed a heaping supply of nitrate free hot-dogs for a job well done.

Woo the party-animal Saturday night...
Without a QQ on the line I tried to push it a bit with Teller in JWW - big course, long on yardage, lots of opportunity to really let him go and for me to run him aggressively. He got around the course, had a 9 second JWW run - but he really didn't seem to have a lot "in the tank" to go. I think there's a few factors - long days, because I worked out of my car this weekend I got him into the building and ringside pretty early for both runs today - but I think this is also a good sign of just not keeping up with Teller's conditioning. We haven't been getting out to the school more than once or twice a week lately for a number of reasons (lots of snow on the ground, darkness, cold and boarding dogs) and I just don't think Teller is as fit as has been in previous months. It's lighter later now and with a little luck we'll have some warmer weather coming at us soon.

Weaves this weekend were pretty sluggish - starting Saturday AM with some head shaking (I cleaned his ears Friday AM - but I'm not sure why he shook his head in the Saturday STD run - his ears seemed to be bothering him, but he didn't do it again and upon investigation I didn't see anything obvious wrong with his ears). My thought on weaves at the moment is to leave well enough alone and see what we get next weekend in terms of speed. He knows his job, he's getting his entries independently and he's staying in the weaves when he gets in there. With Teller less is more and I don't need to fix something that isn't broken.

Our runs from the weekend:

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