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Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Agility Trial

Maggie - tired out after her busy weekend.

This weekend we headed up to Balzac to the Paws 'N' Effects agility trial.  It was a lot of fun, and Maggie did great.  In the past 6 weeks, since she hurt her shoulder, we have been out to practice twice.  The first time I took it very slow and just jumped her at 10 inches.  The next time I pushed her a bit more to see if she would be OK to enter the trial.  She seemed OK but I was still concerned that her shoulder would bother her, but we went to the trial and she ran great, jumped great and had no problems at all with that shoulder.  Actually, this was probably her best trial weekend so far.  Her speed was much better, her tables much faster (although not as fast as I would like), she got all her weave entrances and didn't pop out once and she stayed spunky all weekend . . . and . . .  she got 3 Qs!

Now the details....
Our first run was Advanced Gamblers.  It was very hard.  It was difficult to collect points because the course was very choppy and there was no good flow for Maggie (she needs flow).  The gamble was difficult too - tunnel under the dogwalk, then over the dogwalk, then over a jump, all from a distance of about 12 feet.  We did not get enough points in the opening and we didn't get the gamble.  I didn't feel too bad though, because there were no advanced Qs from anyone - so it was not just me that found it difficult.  That was the hardest gamble we have done so far.

Next was Starters Standard.  It was a nice course with a lot of flow and 12 weave poles.  Maggie had nice speed the whole course, nailed her weaves and only hesitated a second on the teeter. her table was OK.  On the homestretch, I heard her clip a jump and I thought the bar fell, but when I looked back it was still there!  She got a 1st and Q and was 9 seconds under time.

Our 3rd run was Starters Team.  We were once again paired with the amazingly fast team of Jolane and Tag.  Maggie ran the first half of the course.  I asked to do the first half for 2 reasons.  One - Maggie gets bored and sluggish if she has to sit around waiting for her turn. Two - the second half had a teeter, which Maggie is sometimes weird about doing.  Maggie ran her half clean and at a decent speed.  Tag did great, getting his start line and teeter contact, and he was lightning fast.  We finished with 2nd place and a Q and 24 seconds under time.

Our last run of the day was Steeplechase.  Maggie did great.  At the end of the day she is sometimes sluggish but she ran great and with no faults. For some reason, I thought she was was not going to get her weaves and just as she got her entrance, I called her name and she stopped and came to me.  Stupid me, she would have got her weaves fine if I would have had more confidence. We were over time by 9 seconds.  I was still very happy with her run and she placed 5th in her class.  Steeplechase courses are very nice for Maggie - open with lots of flow. But, it is also a very fast course, and speed it something that we have difficulty with.

The first run of the day was another Steeplechase.  She knocked 2 bars but ran very well otherwise and had a great time.  She was 6th in her class.

The next run was another Standard run.  Maggie picked up speed as we went along.  She was fine with the teeter and had an OK table.  There were only 6 weaves which she nailed.  She finished 2nd with a Q and was 12 seconds under time.

Then came Starters Snooker.  Snooker is a strategic game where you race the clock to collect points.  I was not sure about this game and it showed in Maggie's lack of enthusiasm.  She was very slow, but we got thought the opening sequence and the first obstacle of the closing sequence before we got whistled off for time.  It was fun and now that I know we can do it, I am sure it will be better the next time.  The best part of the run was after we got whistled off.  Maggie had been so sluggish the whole time we were out there, but the whistle blew and people clapped - she suddenly perked up, bounced off the course taking all the jumps in her way.  Silly Maggie!

Our last run of the weekend was Starters Jumpers.  Maggie started out a little slow but picked up speed as we went along.  She did great in the pinwheel sequence.  On the home stretch, she had a sudden burst of speed, and could not collect herself for a jump and she knocked a bar.  Despite that, I was thrilled with her run, especially the last half of the course.  She finished 3rd in her division and was 5 seconds under time - which is amazing for a jumpers run.

I was so proud of Maggie this weekend!  She tried so hard and it showed.  What we need to work on now are start lines.  Lots of dogs have issues with start lines, but it is usually because they are so excited that they will not wait on the start line.  Maggie's issue with the start line is that she gets bored sitting there waiting for her turn and then is very sluggish for the first few obstacles.  I need to work on making the start line exciting for her and get her going fast from the beginning.  

We are both tired out from out weekend.  I took the day off work and we are doing nothing today except getting caught up on some laundry.  Maggie is napping right now, and I think I might join her.


  1. That sounds like tremendous fun! Thanks for visiting Molly's blog.

  2. Maggie glad to hear that your shoulder's fine & nice to hear that you did sooperb! Great job! Have any video to show? Would love to watch if you have any ofcourse...Keep up the good work girl. Practice Makes It Pawfect!

    Love licks,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  3. I'm so glad Maggie's shoulder didn't bother her.....she sure looks pooped out.
    Congrats on your great weekend!!

  4. You and Maggie rocked!!! I do have a couple runs taped, I'l go through them and see what I have, but the Standards weren't taped, of course!!!!!

    What a great weekend for you guys!! I bet you are really looking forward to your next trial!!

  5. we have some ideas for your start line problems....bring lots of yummy treats to class and make sure not to feed her! See you tonite!

  6. hey maggie, we are so proud of u too...

    wat a great trial!