Thursday, July 05, 2012

Fun on the Fourth

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July then with a one day, tournament only USDAA trial?  The trial was at Denver Dog Sports, a newish indoor facility that I'd never been to.  It's very near the site for USDAA Nationals and I was thinking it they were smart they'd rent it out to people looking to get in some last minute practice and sure enough they are.  It's a great place, the surface is fantastic, some kind of super soft, spongy rubber with excellent traction.  I was a bit concerned that it would be beastly hot inside since the arena was cooled with swamp coolers rather than air conditioning but it wasn't that bad inside considering the 97 degree temperature outside.  And if you were smart enough to crate next to the ginormous swamp cooler then it was plenty cool.  The rest of the building was air conditioned so there was a place to escape if the heat was too much but I was mostly o.k. with it.

Our runs were o.k., I had a few handling bobbles in Steeplechase that cost us a Q and run in the Finals by .27 secs.  The heart breaking thing about that was that they posted the results for the 22" class and we were listed as a Q but then they posted updated results and our Q disappeared.  Unfortunately they had to combine us with the 26" dogs because there were so few of them.

Our Grand Prix run was really fun, a great dogwalk, but unfortunately some mistakes at the wretched weave poles cost us our needed Q for Nat's.  Was an easy entry too and was a shame to waste a run with a perfect dogwalk but oh well.  Still it was a fun course, much more what I think a Grand Prix course should be like than the weird ones we'd been getting recently.

In general I seemed to be struggling with the weird jump angles that you get in USDAA.  I also managed to bungle an opening with a serpentine in it that was almost identical to an opening that we had in Steeplechase back in May and I handled it nicely back then.  I need more practice for sure and I felt unprepared going into the trial.  Due to the heat I don't think we'd practiced at all since the USDAA trial 3 weeks ago.  Maybe once.  It's been so hot, in the 90's at least for the past few weeks.  Not great weather for dog activities.  Didn't even buy a monthly pass to the practice field last month and haven't been out yet this month.

Can't find my course maps but thanks to Joy I do have video.  Plus special bonus music for the holiday.

USDAA July 4 2012 from colliebrains on Vimeo.

There is one silver lining to all the wildfires and that is the statewide ban on fireworks.  SO nice not to have to deal with shaking, drooling dogs.  The stupid thing is that Boulder always has a ban on fireworks apart from the commercial show the city puts on but it doesn't stop people.  But for some reason, maybe the threat of a $1000 fine, people didn't set them off this year and hopefully will respect the ban for the following weeks.  There are some years we had people shooting them off every night well into August.

You also don't have to spend money/effort on throwing a barbecue because if the wind is blowing just right and the smoke from fires in Wyoming blows your way and you're lucky enough to have a temperature inversion and temps. in the high 90's it feels like you're sitting around the campfire all the time.  The smoke/smog yesterday was something special.  Another reason I was glad to be inside at a trial.  I did not go out for my planned bike ride when I got home and didn't feel the least bit bad about it.

Thankfully the smoke hasn't been that bad for most of the duration of the fires.  We get a bad spell here and there but for the most part I haven't had to restrict my training or activities.  And it looks like the monsoon is finally here and we're going to start getting our evening thunderstorms and much needed RAIN.  Supposed to start tomorrow.  We'll see if those weather folks know their stuff.

 Trial Stats

No Q's or titles.

Dogwalks:  1/1 (100%) 

A-frames:  3/3 (100%)

Weave entries:  0/2 (0%)   missed the entry the first time then popped out after the entry the second time, got it on the third try

Knocked bars:  None!  Yay for fancy rubber matting.

Teeters:  1/1 (100%), but it was naughty/iffy


  1. I was glad there were no local yokels here doing fireworks. I was honestly shocked that all day I didn't hear any fireworks at all - the dogs were spared all the booming that sends them into closets.

    Looks like a nice facility -that Denver dog sports. I haven't been there myself - wonder if I will ever have a reason.

    I saw you got a little gift in your Steeplechase as Strummy popped the poles but it didn't get called. I hate when we get combined with the 26" group, since they are notoriously fast and throw off our curve!

  2. He actually didn't pop the poles, you can see if you watch the video again. I thought that at first too watching the video but if you look again you can see that he got them. And I also know he got them because I was watching him like a hawk during our run.

  3. Hmm, I watched it again and now it looks like he did miss the last pole. Not sure how both the judge and I missed that.

  4. Sometimes we're in just the right position to block the judge's view - I know I've received a number of contact gifts by positioning myself between the dog and the judge!

  5. Awesome running dogwalk!!!

    Glad you didnt have fireworks to deal with but sorry about all the fires and smoke. I hope the rain came.

  6. The rain is here! SO wonderful. Had to cut my bike ride short due to thunder/lightning but I don't even care.