16 April 2007

It was the big dog show.

On Sunday, we got up at 4:15 and drove to Dixon for the big dog show. This is just how I go to dog shows. Everyone else got there on Wednesday and showed all 3 days, one day in blazing heat and one day in pouring rain. I lucked out and showed up for the high wind warnings day. People come to this one in giant RV's from Canada and Washington and Utah and Arizona, and all kinds of other places I'm sure. I drive up Sunday morning from Santa Cruz. I did wear my sporty pants though so I felt very agility competitor.

Ruby had masters classes, although this was her first show moving down to the 12" Performance Division. A lot of people move their dogs down there as they age, like age 5 and 6 like Ruby. So she still has some mean competition, but it's the slowing down mean competition. I think she is a lot happier jumping lower. Her first class was Standard, and she had a beautiful, speeding, flawless run until the table. She has to stay in a perfectly still down for the Slow count of 5 til the judge says go. On number 5, she jumped off, I threw her back on, she got another 5 and go and off we went to finish, but with 5 faults. Such is my life.

Her next class was masters gamblers, where the dog has to do part of the course with you 20'-30' away behind a line. We do so so in these, you never know. You make up the first part of the course yourself, given 30 seconds to rack up as many points as you can. It's all about strategy, because you want to make sure to end up exactly at the first gamble obstacle when the timer buzzer goes off and get tons of points. I had a pretty good course, I never did count up all my points so I am not sure if I won it or not, but I think I may have been the only small dog to get the gamble. They had to do a jump, turn back towards you, go out to a jump, then turn away even farther to the teeter, and do that and go to the table. Ruby did it!

Otterpop had snookers next. I just picked out an easy course for her. She started out slow but sped up, but we got whistled out and I am not sure why. Poor Otterpop. Usually I don't have time to walk her courses, sometimes literally not at all. She sort of gets the shaft because I end up in the Masters area which is the Important area. This show was spread out all over 4 rings and Otterpop's ring was far away. But she was really good, even though we didn't Q. Q is getting a qualifying score which allows you to move up.

Ruby's other class was Snookers. I made an error in the closing, so we didn't get through. I won't even try to to explain snookers except that you have to haul ass around a usually weird little course to try to win. So we got whistled out on the 6, and just squeaked out of qualifying. Oh well. She was really fast, I love running her when she is so fast and people come up and say wow, what a cool dog. A lot of these people don't know us because we only compete in the bay area and only on Sundays.

Otterpop's Standard group is now Advanced. The wind at this point was gale force and people with little dogs were nervous about the teeter blowing and little dogs blowing off the dog walk. I just went for it and Otterpop had the best, fastest, happiest run she has ever had. Beautiful contacts, flying around looking happy and not out at judges and ring crew. And then at the very end she popped a weave pole, the last one. As she is prone to do occassionally. If I had taken her back and fixed it I think I still would have qualified but I just let her keep going. I didn't want to mess up what was such a gorgeous run just to get a Q. I do that.

Otterpop had one more run, her gamblers which is the one thing I really wanted to qualify in so she would have her Agility Dog title. And I missed it! I ran down there as they were closing the ring, I had been up in masters for Ruby's last class, the pairs relay that was sort of a wash, she was tired and done. I ran in asking how many seconds I had and "what's the gamble??" and went for it. Pop was great, she really acted like a little trooper but I didn't get the gamble and I have no idea if I had anywhere near the right opening points. But at least I got her in there.

Poor Pop gets the shaft a lot at the dog shows because Ruby is the Important Dog. And masters is Important and Advanced isn't. But I have to keep working on her just as I hard as I always did with Ruby because she is going to be such a great little speedster some day. Poor little Pop.

Then we drove home 2 1/2 hours back to Santa Cruz. The dogs alway sleep so hard on the way home. We are going to try to get into better shape starting now so they don't get so tired! There is no way they could have competed for 4 days straight in the shape that they're in. We are taking Matilda home today so we can start longer small dog walks. Timmy is doing better, he started on prednazone and he is off his gourd on that but doesn't look so toxic. I want him to live long in a happy and painfree way. I wish I knew what his shakes were. He is going to miss his senior day care buddy.

No comments: