Monday, September 01, 2008

PBH USDAA Labor Day trial: No ADCH, but more fun with dirt-kissing and DAM team

Lucy and I spent our Labor Day weekend the way we always do, which is doing agility, of course. My big goal, the ADCH, was not even possible to achieve this time around because I need two Gamblers Qs and there was only one Masters Gamblers class offered all weekend. And we blew that gamble, so we still need the two Qs. Next weekend we have two chances, so we'll see ...

All we got as far as individual Qs was one in Jumpers (with a first place finish!) today. We had a really lovely Standard run yesterday except for the part where Lucy refused the teeter which, y'know, sort of spoils things ;-)

I also kissed the dirt again. It was actually running someone else's dog. On Saturday Derrell Stover let me run two of his amazing border collies, Li'l J and Envy, in Masters Snooker so he could devote his complete attention to running his young dog Qwest in the other ring. During Li'l J's run I was in a position that would have been perfectly safe had I been running Lucy, but it was not the right place to be for Li'l J, who's blazing fast. She exited a tunnel and before I could think "Crap, I shouldn't be here" she ran right into me and knocked me down. Fortunately she's accustomed to dealing with falling handlers, so she waited for further instruction while I jumped up and we continued the run. Time ran out before we completed the last obstacle, but apparently we Q'ed and, I'm told (I didn't look to verify) got first place (no Super Q, though--the P16 height class was combined with the 22s, and the first-place 22" dog got the SQ). I'm bummed that I didn't get the fall and my quick recovery on video.

The highlight of the weekend was probably the DAM tournament. Lucy and I were teamed with Janice Jones and Machias, an Akita, and Melanie Miller and her Visla Austin. We called our team "Irving" because, hey, it's a name, and no one thought of anything better. It turned out to be a good combination: Lucy is consistent, usually has decent speed and doesn't drop bars, Machias is no speed demon but she stays on course (the most important thing in DAM) and usually keeps her bars up and Austin is just usually awesome. The number one team, the FReaQs (Melanie's Regan, Derrell's Qwest and Nancy Burnapp's Fling, all great dogs with great handlers), would have been really hard to beat. So we did the next best thing and came in second (out of nine teams).

I have a few videos that I'll probably post this week. Then next weekend I'll do it all again ... DAM team and all.

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