Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Team Player?

Since Cody & Lola both qualifed for 2008 nationals in Team at their last trial I figured that would be it for entering them in team for the rest of the year. I'm not even sure where nationals will be in 2008 or if I even want to go anyway. Three days of 5-6 runs a day is a lot to ask of my dogs, esp. since Cody is 9 and has to jump above his shoulder height and Lola's such a big girl. It's also a lot to ask of me since I have to take a vacation day on Friday and then go to work on Monday and be coherent after 3 long, tiring days with very little down time. I mainly entered the team event a couple of weeks ago to practice for nationals this year and because I liked the judge's courses from a previous trial.

I also hate the pressure of having to do well for teammates. Even if my teammates say they don't care and I advertise for 'fun' teams, I still feel bad when we E which is unfortunately the main mistake we make when we make mistakes. I end up feeling bad about runs that have just one little mistake that I would normally have felt great about but because it's an E for the team I feel terrible about it. In a way maybe this is good because I think I'm way too laid back about the whole competition thing. If I cared more maybe I'd focus a little better. I seem to do better under a bit of pressure whether I like it or not. Also, maybe it would be good for me to learn not to worry so much about disappointing other people. It's a normal part of life in general, I should learn how to buck up and deal with it.

But the next local USDAA trial has added a team event and worse has spread the regular masters & tournament events over the 3 days. So if I want to do Speed Jumping and masters standard on Friday I have to take a day off work, get up at 5 am, drive through Boulder & Denver in rush hour traffic all for only 2 classes. But if I enter Team then it's a whopping 5 classes on Friday and 5, maybe 6 if we make Speed Jumping finals on Sat. Then only 3 classes on Sunday no matter what. On top of all that one of my all time favorite judges, Scott Chamberlain, is judging. I just ran one of his courses from the Bay Team's Regional Grand Prix final on Monday night and was thinking how much I like his challenging courses and was hoping he'd come back here to judge sometime soon. And there are no trials between the first week of Jan. and the first week of April unless I want to do NADAC (um, not really) or drive 8 hours to Kansas in Feb. (um, not really). So maybe a little agility overdose in Jan. would hold me over until April. Poor dogs though, are they going to enjoy all that? Should I 'save' them for the non-team runs that I care more about? Regionals will likely be in the Denver area this year just 40-45 mintues from my house so I'd like to pick up those qualifiers so we can go. Also, it will be stressful trying to volunteer and run all those classes, if I'm not in team I can work those classes and relax for the ones I care about. I'm thinking of entering as a draw so that I could scratch some classes if I wanted to but maybe I can't do that if there's an even number of dogs and someone else needs a partner. Plus, I'll get agility fever and want to do all my runs once the trial comes around, who am I kidding? I may not have a super competitive nature but I'm as much of an addict as the next crazy dog person.


  1. I say do the trial but don't enter team if you don't think your dogs will want that much running. Agility is too much fun to skip a local trial ;-)

  2. Oh, I'm going to the trial for sure, no way I'm missing a USDAA trial just 1:10 from my house with one of my favorite judges. I just can't decide whether or not to enter Team.

    I've also just remembered that the venue sometimes has a terrible surface. The clubs have been working with the owners to try to get them to work the dirt properly but they don't always do it, esp. on the weekends. Last year the ground was hard as concrete by Sunday. I'm so worried about overdoing it and injuries with the dogs, maybe limiting their entry would be a good idea. I just know though that come the trial I'll wish I'd entered everything.

  3. The question is whether you're bold enough (and flush enough and with willing-enough teammates) to enter everything and then bag it that weekend when you get there if you decide that's too much. But there's that concern about disappointing other people again... which is bound to affect you (like it does me) even if the other teammates swear on a stack of USDAA rulebooks that they don't mind if everyone Es...

    OK, I have no good advice for you. :-)


  4. don't worry about not entering team. sometines less is more.


  5. Anonymous9:13 AM

    I'm so jealous that you get to do such high-level handling training with Joy. I had hoped we were headed there too, but a girl can't learn to handle if her dog won't get up off the ground. ;o(

    If I were you, I'd skip the team part and just focus on the rest, especially if the surface might be dicey. But, then ... what do I know?

    Roxanne (& Lilly)

  6. If you had seen last night's lesson you would not have mistaken it for high level handling. Don't know where my head was at, poor Lola. And poor Joy having to deal with me. Her puppies are still might cute though. Just a couple more weeks then they're away to their homes. I'll miss my weekly puppy therapy.

    As for team, I think I'm going to take all your good advice and skip it. 'Less is more' indeed! Phew, I feel better already.

  7. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Trust me. There were many times when I thought for sure that Joy was ready to sell Lilly and I to the gypsies ... even back before things got really bad. Like the time Lilly acted like God was pelting her with rocks when it started to snow. Joy just shook her head and said, "You have a working dog that's afraid of snow."

    It'll be sad when the puppies go to their new homes. I still have only seen them in photos, but I'm sure they are lovely little guys.

    I looked back at your hiking photos. I love the one of you with all 3 dogs. That's a keeper for sure.

    Lilly and I are playing the "Go to place" game. I guess I should release her. It's been nearly 10 minutes. ;o)

    Roxanne & Lilly