Saturday, June 23, 2012

Agility Trial or Tour de Fire?

This sums up the day we've had in Colorado.

This is a view from the trial site in Black Forest, just east of Colorado Springs.  You should be able to see Pikes Peak on a normal day.  But unfortunately this was not a normal day.  I took this at about 1:00 p.m. just before I left for home.

Another view very near the trial site.

The light is green but it had only just turned as I snapped the photo.  I was at a dead stop as were the cars in front of me as you can see from the brake lights.

I thought this looked awfully close to be the Springer Fire and sure enough when I got home I found out a new fire is burning, dubbed the Waldo Canyon Fire.  Garden of the Gods is closed due to that one.

There's also a fire burning up in Estes Park and the main entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is closed due to that one.

And driving into Boulder I was surprised to see that the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins, about 35 miles away as the crow flies, was looking positively apocalyptic.

Doesn't look like they're having a good day up there.  It's 102 degrees right now in Boulder.  I got out of my car and felt like I was stepping into an oven.

The heat at the trial wasn't too bad for my runs.  I was done by noon and I'm guessing it was in the high 80's for my last run.  There was a hose so Strummer was happy and it wasn't too bad in the shade with a nice breeze going.  But I could feel the heat turning brutal when I left.

Strum only got a Q in Starters Gamblers, the only one I didn't care that much about but it does give us our title.  I'm happy to be in Advanced in anything at this point.  Standard run was really nice but blew his dogwalk.  Grand Prix was kind of a mess on paper though it felt like a decent run somehow.  Strum was listening nicely, behaving mostly pretty well at the trial site.  There were 2 rings running at the same time and thankfully they put up some gating along one side but it was possible to run around the edges to get into the other ring.  I thought this was some good practice actually but we only had 2 rings running at once for Strum's Grand Prix run.  He had no problem at all but both the A-frame and dogwalk were facing away from the other ring so he never got a really good look at the other ring.  Still, very encouraging.  I did some extra credit work on keeping him calm at ringside, ie I worked with him while we weren't waiting our turn, and he did great.  Silly nutcase has come such a long way.  He seemed so happy too, despite the heat.  He loves playing in that stupid hose, probably more than agility.  I didn't even give him treats after his run, he wanted to pull me full speed ahead to his hose.

His 2 dogwalks were atrocious and he had one naughty teeter that the judge didn't call though his weave entries were much improved.  He did miss an entry in Grand Prix but this was likely due to confusion after the dogwalk.

Still have 3 more chances for that final elusive Grand Prix Q though I am questioning whether I should bother to spend the money at Nat's. with such a low Q rate in it.

Decided to enter another Team event in August even though we have our Q.  I want to get more practice on Team courses before Nat's. so getting out of Starters will have to take a back seat.

I was taking a picture of our little secret forest hideaway set-up when a woman came by and offered to take our picture.

Doesn't get much more Crazy Dog Lady then this.

Strummer looks thrilled.

Cleared the car out for round 2 as soon as I pulled into the garage.  And just to add to the chaos of the day, as I was dragging in huge armfuls of crap from the car, Jonny let Lola out to say hi to Strummer and me and she discovered the baby birds had been kicked out of the nest and were conveniently scattered throughout the yard.  Thankfully they took cover under the teeter and various other hiding places and we quickly herded her inside.  Then 10 minutes later I forgot all about it and let her out again on my way to the garage for another load.  As I was gathering more armfuls of stuff I heard a huge commotion of angry bird cheeping and wings flapping and realizing my mistake I ran to get her in the house once again.  Thankfully they all escaped again though one almost got caught in some wire fencing I have around my deck.  Hopefully these will not be Boulder trust funder birds and live at home off their parents forever and they'll move on to independent self-sufficiency somewhere else.

Trial Stats

Starters Gamblers Q, 1st place

Starters Gamblers Title

Dogwalks:  0/2 (0%) 

A-frames:  3/4 (75%)

Weave entries:  2/3 (67%)   didn't pop out at all

Knocked bars:  1 in Grand Prix, grass was dead and slippery

Teeters:  3/3 (100%) though one was naughty

Table: 1/1 (100%)


  1. Congratulations on the Gamblers 1st and title! That's promising for your Gamblin' future. Too bad about the GP, though.

    Reading your words & seeing hte photos of the fires with a week and a half's perspective, I can almost hear the ominous, foreboding movie soundtrack in the background indicating what additional horrors are to come. Bleah.

  2. P.S. Love the banner!