19 June 2009

Where smallish dogs need to just jump smaller and smaller until the strippers totally tower over everything.

If you get your measuring tape and set it to 8", not many things in life gonna measure up to that. A framed 8x10 portrait of you and David Lee Roth after he became washed up and puffy and botoxed and bleached over gray. Almost the width of all the pieces of paper that are not so neatly stacked and cluttered over the desk and the counter and the table and spilling on to the floor. The heels on the stripper shoes that tranny guy goes tottering down the street with, downtown after 11pm.

In USDAA agility, the teensiest, tiniest performance level jumps are 8". Otterpop could aspire to those in her old age if she wanted. Ruby, too ginormous, as small dogs go. She is 13" tall. Supposed to be jumping 16" high, double the stripper heel 8 and she tried her little heart out doing it too, until I couldn't bear it anymore and moved her down to jumping 12" just a few legs before she finished her ADCh. I just couldn't watch the carnage anymore. And at 12" high, the carnage started soon after and anxiety and freakouts and sometimes leaving the ring, sometimes not, sometimes hopping around on 3 legs, sometimes not. Sometimes flinging herself off the ground, propelled by her twisted little back legs so as not to have to use front legs. Also very much affected her weave poles. And then drugs and rest and rest and drugs and then really, with an exasperated sigh, I just declared her semi-retired unless she seemed to be having a good day and does a run or 2 with various, mixed results.

A few weeks ago, started setting all the jumps at about 8" when I went to practice. Teensy, tiny, little things, and decided to give Ruby a go and see what happened.

Good god almighty, these tiny little jumps, that the tranny stripper would just step over with a flick of a toe, changed her agility life. I take a coconut shell right now and bang it against my forehead. Why didn't I think of this before?

She can't show at that height, I guess in CPE but we don't go to many of those. She could finish her CATCH title with a couple 12" rounds of Colors, if we ever get around to it. USDAA, not gonna happen. But to practice, to have my old dog back again and run her with everyone else out on the field, amazing. Flying like the wind and no anxieties, nothing but all this right on agility that's she's had just stored up, sitting there on a brain shelf, all this time. Just by changing the look of the field, making it all look so tiny, to where it doesn't hurt her arms to jump anymore.

Not gonna do Otterpop any harm to practice with low jumps, me being way to lazy and late for work to set a bunch of different heights. She's so structurally impaired, built like a low rider Chevy mini truck in front and a straight hocked chihuahua in back. Those back legs not gonna last forever for her, the way she uses 'em. Gustavo jumps pretty darn horrid at that low height, but he's on the no pressure, back to foundation rehab of everything right now, bringing back the flying mayhem of joy and teensy little jumps are an ok way to go right now.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if CPE trials are rarer in your area, but I've decided CPE is the way to go for my transitioning-into-retirement 11"-er.
CPE in my area is kind of like *yawn* and Fun Nazis ("omg you have started to take agility a little bit, tiniest bit, seriously! you are a Horrible Person!"), BUT my small dog has given me years of ADCHs and APDs, and she deserves to have some more years of feeling like Da Bomb going over those 4" jumps!
idk if you are like me, but CPE was hard to get used to. I am ALL about FUN FUN FUN, but having it imposed on me with sometimes-boring courses took an adjustment. I think you will find it is worth it, though, if you have a retired dog!

team small dog said...

CPE's are harder to find around here. Otterpop had an I hate the teeter period so we traveled to them to do runs where I could hide the frisbee outside the ring by the teeter and run out and get it, and Ruby racked up a bunch of Q's then. Otterpop has hardly any since I rarely ran runs past the teeter totter!

But i see some CPE's in our future for Gustavp's rehab, and Ruby can see if she stays sound then! And if she can eek a few more 12" jumps out, she could get that CATCH, too. There is actually the single super close CPE of the whole year this weekend (1 hr away), and I didn't enter it.

Anonymous said...

My BC Max started CPE at 20", but towards the end couldn't do it anymore and finished his CATCh at 16" and it was still called a CATCh, not a vetran CATCh either. 16" wasn't his regular jump height either. So, check it out and maybe you can finish Ruby's CATCh at 8".

team small dog said...

Wow-I will have to research that. I (perhaps wrongly) assumed it was like USDAA and you would have to start over again like moving to performance-I would be more motivated to seek out some CPE trials! Thanks!

team small dog said...

Who knew! I went thru the CPE rules, and yes. You can move from your regular jump height (which in my case, is lower already for my dogs than USDAA) to 4" lower in veterans and you can keep all your legs towards a CATCH. So I could let her comfortably finish up the CATCH, and if she wants to, keep competing some, if she's staying sound. She could also move to 4"-I'm not sure if I've even seen that though, I guess I must have at CPE-4" jumps??? I think if Ruby couldn't stay sound at 8", that's when it's really time to be actually retired for real.

Anonymous said...

Yahoo! I'm glad the rules hadn't changed. That is the super nice thing about CPE is the more generous jump height cut offs compared to USDAA. Can't wait to read about CATCh Ruby!

Elf said...

CPE courses vary in complexity and often vary by type of dog. Like, this weekend's Colors course at level 4/5/C had something like a 75% Q rate, which the judge said was too high for CPE's preference. But the Jumpers course was murder on the large, fast dogs (like the really speedy border collies) and it was a real challenge to figure out how to get around that particular course.