Sunday, August 21, 2005

First Agility Trial. We got da bug now!

Cooper and I just got done with our first agility trial. UKC.
(If you want to read a hilarious Agility 101 article, check out the Laughing Dog Press. It is worth a read.)
We ran twice on Saturday, once on Sunday.
So Friday night, I have everything packed into the truck...crate, crate pad, tarp, water dish, Kong on a Rope, folding chair, Handi-Wipes, pretzels, extra leash and poop baggies. Cooler full of frozen water bottles, pretzel dip, almonds and hot dog treats. Peppermint-lavender bug spray.
Tags off collar, check.
Got registration card, check.
Phone charged, check.
Don't forget your dog. As if.

And I didn't sleep well, I was so nervous! Now I feel silly.
We were running first thing, though several teams were ahead of us. Which was good, because watching one's very own instructor (who is also a UKC judge!) totally lose her dog in the ring, and NQ, really makes a nervous first-timer feel better.
The course had some awfully sharp double-back turns; boy those little agile dogs are at an advantage...here I have the giant speed demon turbo-dog.
But guess what? Cooper did brilliantly! First time out....hit his contacts, fast turns, oops missed a contact coming off the dog walk - OK, we get another try - whoopsie. Crap! Note to self. Handler is not to touch the dog in the ring when getting him turned around for another shot. Bad Carina. No cookie. Disqualified on our first run.
Second run though....we got third place ribbon, out of 15 teams! Woo hoo! Not bad for rank beginners. Most people there were much more seasoned than Cooper & I. Under 60 seconds, 187 points. (200 is a "clean run" and 170 is required to qualify.)
I should have pre-registered, really. The Sunday morning run was full, but we were able to run in the afternoon. It was an easier course, I thought. Cooper was doing his turbo-launching off the tops of equipment and missed a couple of contacts and jumps....but we recouped them. He is extremely fast, but keeps his attention very much on me, and on the job. Finished within 60 seconds, 181.5 points. The whole scoring system is still a mystery to me.
But - it got us a second place ribbon, again in a full class!
So. Two ribbons. Two legs towards our first title. And the Coop-man was not a butthead even once around any other dogs. He was a perfect gentleman. Did I mention I really, really love this dog?
Mark took a bunch of photos. I'll get a CD of pics he took of Cooper & I running and post them later.
I'm already checking online event listings, looking for our next agility trial! This is so fun.
And finally, the hell with just getting out there and having fun. I want to get out there, have fun, and WIN!

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