Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blair Witch Agility

Pikes Peak overlooking our extremely fashionable Colorado Agility community

Yesterday we ventured into the hinterlands of Black Forest Regional Park for a day of hopefully not embarrassing ourselves too badly in the agility ring (USDAA).    Work and a sprained ankle conspired to keep me from the practice field for all but one practice session in an entire month so I wasn't sure what I was going to get out there and of course the debacle with my knee but in the end it turned out to be a pretty good day and my knee was magically o.k. after all that drama.  Strum ended up with 3/4 Q's and 1st places in all his classes.  His only mistakes for the whole day were a knocked bar in Standard (our only NQ) and missed weave entries in Gamblers and Standard.  On the one hand I was disappointed though not surprised on the other hand he was getting the entries much more quickly than he has been on subsequent tries (got them on the second try in Standard) and is staying in for the whole set of poles so it's progress I guess.  I think it's because he was having a calm day overall for once in his life.  Since I'm bored with Starters and Strum already had Q's in Snooker and Gamblers I designed some unnecessarily challenging courses for him and he did such a nice job, what a good boy, he's so much fun to run when he has his head about him.  My handling felt better too, had only 1 handling glitch that caused a refusal in Jumpers but it wasn't faulted at the Advanced level.  Otherwise it was a crazy fast, is it over already? Jumpers run.  Nice smooth Standard run other than the weave entry and knocked bar.  Did 4 reds in Snooker even though we didn't have to so I could take advantage of as much ring time as possible.  Was kind of tricky for Starters and it wasn't pretty but we made it all the way through with two 7's.  Gamblers was nice & smooth except for the missed weave entry which ended up costing us lost time/points.

In total:
P1 Gamblers-Q (1st place)
P1 Snooker-Q (1st place)
P1 Standard-NQ (1st place)
P2 Jumpers-Q (1st place) (first run in P2)

Completed P1 Gamblers title

100% on all contacts, 1 knocked bar, 2/2 missed weave entries, 1 refusal caused by poor handling.

Say it Loud, Say it Proud

I don't want to be a prisoner

I'm listing the stats because my record keeping these days is appalling.  I remember when I was starting out with Cody and each hard fought Q was lovingly recorded.  I couldn't understand those masters people who not only lost track of Q's but earned titles and didn't even realize it.  Of course that was me by the time Cody was in masters.  Once I didn't have to keep track in order to know if I could move up I lost interest in much of the title stuff.  I knew what I needed for the big champ. titles but that was about it.  Now I'm not even keeping good track of Strummer and I should because I need to know when to move up.  Turns out Strum had earned his starters Jumpers title back in April and I almost sent the entry in for this trial with him entered in starters.  I think in USDAA a rep will come to your house and flog you if you don't move up.  No sandbagging in USDAA.  Anyway I checked the blog and realized I don't typically report results in an organized, useful way so I'm going to try to do better for my own reference.  Of course I could write everything down in the nice fancy pants record keeping book I bought for Strummer but that would be boring.  More exciting to scramble through the blog the night before entries are due.  Also DOCNA keeps track of all my Q's/titles online for free so I've been less motivated to do it myself.  Every once in a while I copy/paste the results to a word doc but that's as fancy as I get these days.

In only have video of Strum's Standard run.  Couldn't be bothered to hassle people to film the others.  Kind of tedious to watch other people's games runs anyway and by the time I ran my Jumpers run at 6:30 I was too tired to bother with video.  The trial ran late and I left before my Pairs run.  I don't like Pairs all that much anyway and the only reason I signed up was because it was supposed to run in the middle of the day and I didn't want to sit around with nothing to do.  But they changed the running order so it ran last so I left.  As it was I left at 6:50 and they were starting with Starters Jumpers so could be they were running Starters Pairs in the near dark.  I was too tired to wait around and a storm front was blowing in.  As I packed up the car I watched an EZ up make run for it in the wind and by the time I hit the highway it was a full blown storm so I wonder if they even got to Starters Pairs in the end.  Each class took around 3 hours to run all the levels so it was a long day.

Starters Standard
USDAA June 2010 Strummer Standard from colliebrains on Vimeo.

That wasn't how I walked it, I was hoping for a front cross before the A-frame but it didn't quite happen and I think the last minute rear cross caused the knocked bar.  It looks cute but I wasn't thrilled with the way he flung himself up out of the chute.  It was wet from the rain and I'm hoping that's the only reason and he's not going to start doing that all the time.  Went through that with Lola, what a pain.

The venue is a great place, a spooky forest out on the plains where you might run into the Blair Witch and hopefully she won't hex your agility runs.


There are lot of nice hiking trails through the woods around the park and we had a bit of a hike in between classes and working but it started to rain and more importantly thunder so I decided to head us back to the park. 

We had all sorts of weather-cloudy overcast then sun then rain the sun then rain, etc.  It was hot & sweaty sunscreen weather when I started scribing the masters Standard class and by midway through the 22" class I was pining for my sweatshirt and rain coat and sporting goose bumps.  Brought plenty of clothes with me to scribe the Jumpers class because it was cloudy and threatening then never needed them.  Walked my Standard run in the rain, ran it in full sun.  I think it was the Blair Witch messing with us.  Still it was better than the 92 degrees they were predicting the night before.

Had a great time yesterday but was happy to have only entered one day.  I think I would have been in tears if I'd had to wake up this morning and drive back there for more.  Yesterday was the perfect amount of agility and today I went up to West Mag for a bike ride and lunch with Jonny and some friends.  I was tired but it was so beautiful on the trail  I soon forgot about the burning in my quads.  And no crashes which is always good.  Strummer is going to be in starters Standard forever in USDAA but oh well, that ride today was totally worth it.


  1. sounds like a great day! Have you ever used Agility Record Book? It's a free program you can download and keeps track of things very nicely for you!

  2. Congrats on all those "Q"s !!! Good for you. Lovely running a-frame. Diana

  3. I have a nice pristine record and training book too.:-)
    Sounds like a great day of agility. Weather sounds like Colorado weather though. I love your pink shade cloth. I got a green one which I love too. Do you think you will go to Laramie? Hope so it would be fun to see you there and watch Strummer :-) Did you ever get him remeasured?

  4. I did download Agility Record Book at some point ages ago. The trouble with it is that I still need to take the little slips of paper and course maps and receipts from the coffee place that I've written results down on and transfer them to the program. That's where the darn system breaks down be it paper or electronic logs. It's a problem of motivation more than anything, I can't quite get myself to care enough about it.

    I wasn't planning on going to Laramie but we'll see. I have a Daisy Peel seminar during the week before that trial and 3 weekends of DOCNA/UKI locally before that and a triathlon the week after so I was hoping to take that weekend off. We haven't had a CMJ since the last Laramie show a year ago and since I'll probably miss the Laramie show where there is a CMJ who knows when/if I'll get the next 2 CMJ measurements. I'm resolved to another dog in Perf. which is why I'm doing less USDAA these days. Funny how 1 judge's 1/4" measurement can have such a ripple effect. I love that Laramie show though so we'll see.

  5. Not sure if you have an iPhone, but if you do, the Agility iLog app is amazing.

    I am pretty computer savvy, and the Agility Record Book program made me want to hari kari myself. The phone app allows you to do everything onsite, then forget about it. But its not cheap ($18).

    I am on my first agility dog, so that's probably why I am so geeked out about it. I am sure it wont last much longer...

  6. I got to see several of your runs on Saturday and they looked great! If you see me standing around ringside, I would be happy to film your runs for you (is that the standard run I filmed while talking with Stacy)?

    I used agility record book for about a year and then gave up. Too much work. Now I just login and look up my records online (pay for that service in USDAA but AKC is free).

    Hope to see you at Laramie! It would be worth it to go just for the CMJ.

  7. Hmmm, iphone, yes, uh no, my cell phone is big and pink and rings like a normal phone. It's usually lost or the battery's dead or most likely both. It has no apps. It does however have a mute button that I keep pressing inadvertently so the person I'm talking to can't hear me but I can still hear them. Still can't find the button on purpose but I'm at expert at finding it on accident. There are only about 3 people who have my cell phone number, if you're one of them you're in an elite crowd. Of course I probably won't answer for about a week if you call because see above.

    Morganne, that video was the one you taped and thanks again for taping it. USDAA's online tracking fee is too expensive and I don't do a lot of USDAA with Strum anyway.

    I love that Laramie show but I have so much going on in August. Also I'm not sure but I think maybe that particular CMJ won't be the best for getting a good measurement. I remember there was something about him when I trialed with Cody way back when he was in novice but I can't remember if it was good or bad. So we'll see.

  8. I wish that I had kept more detailed records back when I started, but back when I started, who knew that I'd care about anything but maybe whether we Qed? I scribbled notes on the running order catalogs (back when they handed them out at every trial).

    Now I just have a Word form (or similar) that I print 10 copies of and keep in my stuff that always goes to trials, so I have an official piece of paper on which to write it. (And then it goes into my database, but I know you don't really want to go there. :-) )

    I can send you my word doc if you want it.

    Congrats on the places & Qs! That always feels good.

  9. Thanks for the offer but my problem is that I can't be bothered writing the stuff down not that I don't have a place to write it. Lately I've been taking the results sticker that the clubs hand out and sticking it to my course maps but the problem is that now I have a stack of course maps. Also I know the trial secretary will email my results to me so why bother messing with them at the trial? Problem is I also have the results strewn throughout my email. The basic problem is that I don't care enough about it to make time to record things in one place. I wish we could just go run agility on the day and that's it, we're done, no ramifications for the future, all that matters is the results on the day. So much simpler and less stressful.

  10. Yeah, like fun matches! Only with ribbons!