Wednesday, November 01, 2006

USDAA Nationals 2006 - Day One

I was fourth in line this morning to sign in, am I a complete dork or what. I was also about 40 minutes early to walk my course and got the dogs out about 40 minutes too early. Aside from having a nightmare last night about missing my run I was having flashbacks to NADAC Champs. and all the chaos with last minute changes. Well this is not NADAC, that's for sure. There is a schedule for walk throughs and when the different groups run and they keep to the schedule-what an amazing concept. USDAA sent me this schedule along with the running order well in advance so I know more or less where I will be and when for the whole trial. Of course there will be changes but today went so smoothly considering the huge amount of people/dogs.

The only event running today was the Time Gamble which was a short, easy course set by the judge. There were 3 places where you could choose which obstacles to do, making the course either longer or shorter. I had 32 seconds to do my course which was way too long. I took all the longest paths, the only thing I could have done was chosen the weaves rather than an A-frame tunnel combo but I didn't want to risk faults at the weaves. If you got a fault it added 3 seconds per fault to your score. You had to have a pretty slow dog or some faults to do well in this class which seems kind of backwards to me.

Both dogs ran really well, I was so thrilled. I had complete focus, little to no stress and beautiful clean runs, esp. from Cody. Lola had some delays on the dogwalk and A-frame, not sure if it was stress or simple distraction with all the commotion around the ring. We had the same issue at Regionals. I had Sandy helping me proof for distractions the week before but it's a long process and hard to do at the practice field. If that's the worse problem I have all trial I'll be ecstatic. The weather was o.k., could have been a lot worse. It was 79 with some breeze and cloud cover when we ran so heat wasn't too much of a problem. Forecast is for 79-81 the rest of the week and this will be so much better than the high 80's originally called for. Lola ended up in 4th place, in part because her stalling on the A-frame wasted some time. The second place dog had some big time wasting glitches on the course and Cody, who ran beautifully, was much too fast to be anywhere in the running. Strange as it is that it was for the slower run, we'll be taking home at least one ribbon, way too cool. There were 18 dogs in our ring in our class plus the dogs from the other 3 rings in our class so I'm thrilled to take 4th.

Dock diving started today too. I'm not sure what the deal is but lots of the dogs didn't want to jump in the water and worse some of them didn't know where to go to get out of the tank and panicked. Above is a photo of one of the dogs who did know what to do.

I have video of my runs today but for some reason it looks pretty bad on vimeo. Can't mess with it now, must get some good sleep in for tomorrow.


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