Birthdays, Trialing, and Titles

14 Nov 2009Steve Schwarz

Well today is Milo’s and my birthday, we think Milo is 11 years old and I’m… err, err,… let’s just call it old :^) To celebrate I took Meeker to the Wisconsin-Illinois Agility Group’s Novice only AKC trial up near the Wisconsin border. Meeker needed one FAST leg and one Jumpers With Weaves leg to complete his Novice titles.

The day started with FAST and the send was pretty easy but I had trouble deciding on which of a couple paths for the rest of the course. So we get going, get the send, and then get some more points. At which point I switched from my plan to a previous plan I had discarded. So he went back into the send as I had planned but took a jump I hadn’t expected at which point he had to come back to me to slice the double jump. He ended up taking the double straight sideways and kept the bars up. The real irony was we’d already taken the 7 point double so it was for naught. I told him what a good boy he was and we took a couple bar jumps to the exit. My plan had been to add the A frame and teeter to get another 16 points. Oh well he got his Q and his NF title.

Standard was up next, Meeker already has his NA title so we were running to have fun and kill time until Jumpers. This was his first trial where I asked for a stopped A-Frame and he did a very nice job. His other contacts were better too. We qualified and he took 1st place.

At some point, I think before Standard, I overheard something I’ve never heard at a trial before. A lady was giving the judge and some of the workers a hard time after her run because a young boy was bar setting in the ring. Apparently this lady’s dog was distracted by it’s love of children and she was angry that he was allowed in the ring to distract her run. If she had known children would be allowed in the ring she never would have entered. I was stunned, I guess for some people it really is all about them. Ironically the 8 year old was also competing and I saw two of his very nice runs with handling that looked better than some of the adults. I guess it takes all kinds, I’m surprised she wasn’t asked to leave for unsportsmanlike conduct.

After what seemed an eternity we ran Jumpers. I thought the course was a little tricky for a Novice course. In my desire to Q I was originally going to handle very conservatively, but I was inspired by some other handler’s and pushed for a couple Front Crosses Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross. After my final cross over the double I heard Meeker tick the bar on the next jump, but the bar stayed up. So we Q’d, took first place and Meeker got his NAJ title.

So tonight we are going out to dinner and I’ll celebrate Meeker’s new titles with a birthday margarita and sleep in tomorrow instead of getting up at 5:30 to go out to the trial.

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