Saturday, December 14, 2013

CPE Agility Trial @ 3D Agility

Molly and I played more CPE Agility on Friday night and all day today.  Molly is getting so consistent and I have a hard time trusting her.  She is also having moments of slowing down and feeling insecure, and that is a new thing.  I'm not sure how to deal with it.  All this year I have been building coping mechanisms to run a lunatic.  Excessive warm up routine, lots of focus games and obedience training before ring time.  This weekend, those things were not necessary.  In fact, they sapped away at Molly's energy.   I also think that the cold exhausted her more than this past summer's heat did.  The building was heated and Molly had her fleece jacket on, but still.  She was cold.

Anyway, after that grim opening, we did really really well this weekend and I am proud of my girl!  We did 7 total runs and got 2 NQ's, and they were my NQ's.

We started Friday night off with a wonderful Jackpot Level 3 run.  It was thankfully a traditional Jackpot, with a group of obstacles on the other side of a "gamble line" that the handler may not cross.  We gathered 30 points in the opening (we needed 20) and then proceeded to the semi-tricky gamble and made quick work of it.  I was very proud of her!

Standard Level 3.  This one was okay.  We were having a pretty good run until I was late getting my cross in after the number 5 tunnel.  Molly came out looking for me and took off up the Aframe, so we got an off course.  I got her back and put her in the weaves, but she sneezed and popped out.  I chose to just put her back in but I accidently touched the weave pole while doing so.  I didn't even realize that I did it.  I still don't remember doing it.  But when we got back to the crate our friend asked, "Do you know what you did wrong?"  When she told me I exclaimed, "I did not!!"  Apparently the judge felt so, because we got 5 faults for that as well, and an NQ.  Very disappointing.  Molly ran everything else very nice, and got all of her contacts.

Today started off with Jackpot Level 3.  This time around it was a "non traditional jackpot", with no gamble line.   The judge makes up their own funny set of rules and game and you have to run accordingly.  This one was simple.  You had to do a normal opening, gathering points.  After that you had to do a 5 point obstacle, a 3 point obstacle, a 1 point that order.  I missed the briefing because I was late and did not read the rules carefully and thought that the obstacles could be collected in any order.  I was astounded when I saw that we had NQ'd.  We had had a beautiful run and would have had 63 points out of the 40 that we needed.  Ouch.  We also would have finished Level 3 Jackpot.  OUCH.    Lesson learned: read the rules!  You would think that I would know that already.
After that crushing defeat, we played Standard Level 3.  We....Q'd!  Molly did really great.  You will see on the pinwheel I ask her to "with me!" and she did.  This is what I mean about us figuring each other out.  I am not used to such instant and exact obedience.  I simply wanted to make sure that Molly did not take the Aframe instead of the pinwheel (because it is very much like Molly to just blast off onto a more desired obstacle.)   I expected her to come towards me just enough to get her refocused but instead she really came with me.  The video also shows her reluctance on contacts.  I have been micromanaging her contacts too much, we need to find a middle ground.   She picks up halfway through the video to faster Molly-speed but I messed up my handling on the last few jumps.  Disappointed in myself.  We did fine, we Q'd, but I did not love the teamwork.  We will get there...

Next was Wildcard Level 3.  We have NQ'd in Wildcard for silly reasons and have not gotten a single Q in this class in Level 3!  Today that changed, we Q'd!  We had to do two B obstacles and one A, so I chose to do the "B" weaves, the "B" combo Jump and the A tunnel.  It went off perfectly other than some hesitation on the top of the Aframe again, and she did get her contact.

Jumpers Level 4!  Molly was a very good girl.  She got a little weird and slow and needed encouragement on her way to the first tunnel but we then did a fantastic serpentine over those four jumps into the tunnel and the rest of the course was pretty.  I wish I had it on video!

Last of the night was Snooker Level 3.  Molly Q'd with 39 points and that means we are done with Snooker Level 3!   Molly did great, my course is below on the map.  After the 6 combo I wasn't fast enough for the cross that I had planned and she ran around the other side of me.  I put her over the second planned Red jump and she jumped on the pause table.  That ate up some time.  I got her back into the 7-Combo and then over that middle red jump but I didn't run laterally away from the jump to give her enough room so she did a little leap in the air and a "you're an asshole handler" nip.  We finished our opening and got through number 6 in the closing.  When she hit the ground after the 6 jump the buzzer went off.  I ran for the table and she did the 7 combo anyway on her way.  She stayed on the table nicely and that was our Q!  I am really starting to enjoy the fun of Snooker.

So, that was it.  I am tired.  Molly is tired.  She is actually having a very intense dream complete with sleepy yips and paw twitches.  I have these feelings like I have Molly too worried to enjoy herself on the agility course for fear of doing something wrong, or for worry that I will call her off of what she is doing.  My handling needs much improvement.   Molly really is starting to understand and care about what I am asking her to do.  It seems like if I confuse her, she slows down to a crawl instead of blasting off and taking charge of our time in the ring.  I hope some day my handling will be worthy of the speedy powerhouse that my dog could be.  We will get there one day at a time.

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