Monthly Archives: April 2009
Saturday, I took Enzo to an ASCA trial. They had two gamblers and two standard or I guess regular is what they call it. Can’t really get used to that. Enzo is in open for everything. The first gamble was doable but Enzo shot out of the tunnel so fast that I couldn’t redirect him before he took the wrong jump. The second gamble had a aframe /tunnel discrimination. They were supposed to do the aframe but the tunnel was closer. Really similar to the Masters Gamblers that I had a couple weeks ago. In the first round of Open Regular, Enzo took the wrong end of a tunnel. The second round he was clean so that was his second Open Regular Q. Hoped that I could finish his title but I guess I’ll have to wait until next time. There won’t be another ASCA that I’ll be able to go to for a while.
Sunday, I went to an AKC trial. The JWW has really nice and flowing. Enzo and Tooney both Q’d and placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. Standard was was fast flowing course but pretty trappy. Tooney went off course in two places but I managed to get Enzo through it clean with a couple of call offs. So Double Q for Enzo! This was his 4th DQ but his 1st for qualifying for next year’s Nationals.
Enzo barking at me:
Tooney broad jump:
We had an all tounament USDAA trial this weekend. Even though it was a 4-star event, it wasn’t a very big trial. About 60 championship dogs and 60 performance dogs. It was hot too! Saturday was in the high 80’s which is not that bad but Sunday was mid 90’s. Way hotter than it’s supposed to be in April here. At last weekend’s trial, I was wearing 3-4 layers in the morning!
Tooney needed her Performance Versatility Pairs Q and Enzo needed one more Grand Prix Q to be done with Nationals stuff. Enzo had his DAM team Q but one of our teammates needed a Q so we wanted to help her get it.
Tooney ran clean in both Perf Speed Jumping and Perf Natl Std on Saturday and won the second round of PSJ on Sunday! She won $28! lol. Tooney had pretty solid runs in the Team events but nothing spectacular as she had faults in most runs. Her teammate Wicket the Corgi also had really solid runs so we ended up in 4th place in PVP! Tooney needs to brush up on her weave entrances again.
In Steeplechase, Enzo knocked 2 or 3 bars so I decided to really make him stop on the second aframe. I said go spot, wait! and he stopped! amazing. Wait is not his contact command but he knows it means to stop moving.
Enzo’s Grand Prix run was a little exciting for my tastes but we somehow managed to get the Q. First his teeter was a little borderline, one of those teeters where he was leaving as it hit the ground but he didn’t get called. One of my friends told me later that the judge was looking at the teeter and thinking about it for a little while. Then after the aframe there was a jump that we had to wrap. You could wrap in either direction to make it work. I decided to wrap to the right since that didn’t require me to leave the teeter to get a front cross in before the aframe even though it was going to be harder to get the turn in that direction. Enzo ended up going straight over the jump and almost took an off course jump kind of off to the left. I had to call him off of that jump, then step over to the left side of the jump he was supposed to wrap and somehow I got him back and around that jump. I’m not even sure how I did it. So more excitement than I needed but we got lucky and got through clean.
Enzo’s team was Ready S.E.T. Go! again but with a different S dog, same T dog. This time we had Savvy the Sheltie instead of Sparks the BC. Our team had some issues. Enzo E’d jumpers, and my two teammate both had really low snookers rounds but nobody E’d standard, which was the course from hell (enzo had 3 bars and a missed aframe and I was pretty happy with that) or relay. Relay got a little exciting too as enzo ran past a jump I tried to serp and almost took an off course tunnel. He was really good and called off of it. We ended just making the cutoff as our team was 13th and 14 teams made it! I was really happy that we helped our teammate get a Q!
3 days and 26 runs! Big thank you to Jeff for helping me take the dogs back and forth. He really makes thing a lot easier and less stressful for me when I have ring conflicts to keep track of. By the end of the weekend, I couldn’t even keep track of what I’d Q’d or placed in and had to look it up. Here’s a link to results and course maps if interested:
On Friday, Tooney had an awesome P3 Snookers run for 58 points and 3rd place. She also got 4th in standard, 3rd in jumpers and 6th in PNS. In Relay, she went off course. Enzo Q’d and got 1st (even with a little slip) in Starters Jumpers (6.2 YPS) which finished his AD and allows him to move up to Advanced in everything now. He also got his 1st Grand Prix Q for the season! That was a big relief! Just need one more and he’ll be done for nationals. He was pretty fast and ran it in 5.2 YPS but still about 3 seconds short of the fastest BC’s. His time was right in the mix of a bunch of fast BC’s though. In Advanced Standard he knocked a bar and called on the teeter and in starters snookers the judge got in my way and that got me a little messed up and he missed a weave entry ( actually he entered then came out) and then backjumped one of the reds. Didn’t really matter since he had finished his AD earlier. Oh and he also Q’d and placed 4th in Starters Relay which was his 3rd so that was his SR title.
Here’s Friday’s videos.
On Saturday, Tooney Q’d in P3 jumpers and P3 snookers but no placements. The gamble wasn’t something I expected her to get and in standard, she jumped off the table early and we got a little messed up at the end. Enzo got 1st in Advanced Gamblers (who knew that he understands “right!”), 4th in Advanced standard (good boy calling off the tunnel!) and 2nd in starters snookers. In starters jumpers, he went off course but totally my fault for not cueing a tight turn. Neither dog Q’d in Steeplchase/PSJ. Enzo knocked a bar and missed his aframe contact when I tried to front cross the base. He also ran behind me off the side of the aframe which was a little freaky. In Tooney’s PSJ run she missed the weave entry and then started sniffing! Don’t know if it was stress or if she smelled something good. Very unusual for her though. usually redoing the weave entrance isn’t a big deal to her.
For Sunday, I only had 3 runs per dog instead of 5. light day! ha! So I started out the day with a conflict. I ended up running Tooney in P3 relay while Jeff held Enzo. That was probably a mistake since that made him completely wild for his advanced standard run. He leapt off the aframe (not sure if he hit it or not since I was behind him) and went around the next jump and then backjumped it when I tried to bring him around. Jeff missed part of this video since he hit pause accidentally but in the part he missed Enzo pulled off a jump that I didn’t support enough. His teeter was a little iffy too. So Sunday’s tally ended up with Tooney getting 2nd in P3 Gamblers, 3rd in P3 Relay. The P3 gamblers Q finished her PD3! In standard she ran past the teeter at the end. Enzo Q’d and got 3rd in Advanced Gamblers which finished his AG so he can move up to Masters Gamblers! I never thought that Gamblers would be the event that I would ever move up in first since I don’t train for it! He also got a Q in Advanced Relay. Both he and his partner knocked a bar and I almost lost Enzo to a tunnel. My first instinct was to run on the other side of the aframe instead of front crossing before it but it made the baton exchange harder.
Here’s Sunday’s videos
Overall a really good weekend with both dogs getting 8 out of 13 Q’s. Tooney did the best the first day and then maybe got a little tired because it didn’t seem like she was paying attention quite as well the next two days. Enzo seemed to pick up some speed and intensity about midway through the first day which made things pretty exciting. I was glad to have gotten the jumpers and Grand Prix Q before that happened since those were the 2 Q’s that I really wanted this weekend. His dogwalk contacts were really good all weekend, his aframe kind of so-so but at least he was getting most of them and they didn’t completely fall apart. I tried to work the aframe in both gamblers runs. He didn’t knock any first bars and all of the bars that did come down were probably caused by me.
This is a long post, but it was crazy and intense weekend out in the desert, so please read on. First, I need to thank Jenn for all of her help. I was having all kinds of physical problems and she managed to do most of the heavy lifting and leg work the whole weekend.
FDDO is a really great competition because it really tests the disc dog handler to the full extent. We were out on a MLB spring training field, which was absolutely the most amazing field I’ve ever seen in my life. The first event was an obstacle course where you throw discs through hoops, tunnels, around vertical poles, skipping, etc. The 2nd event on Saturday was distance pyramid. It’s a field 60 yards long that gets more and more narrow towards the 60 yards. Sunday started with speed disc where you have to get catches into a box at 15 yards, 20 yards and 30 yards and you’re timed (up to 60 seconds). The last event on Sunday was a 2 minute freestyle routine with music. They combine all 4 events for the overall FDDO champion. The competition was solid, with several past FDDO/Cynosports champions attending.
Jenn competed in the Advanced Division, which is mostly people who don’t do freestyle. She did really good in the obstacle course and got a 3rd place with Tooney. She was only 1 point behind with Enzo. On distance pyramid, she (and Enzo) had problems with the wind and didn’t get many points with either dog. On the speed disc, everybody struggled because the wind was just nasty, especially for the 15 yard box (head wind kept taking the disc out of the box). Despite that, Jenn managed to get a 2nd place with Enzo and a 3rd place with Tooney!
I entered the pro division with both Tooney and Enzo. For the obstacle course, I always get good scores. It’s because I am pretty good at throwing and I’m accurate. I managed to get high scores for both Tooney and Enzo, and Enzo was only 1 point out of 1st place with his score.
Next was distance pyramid. I have been throwing left handed for anything requiring distance this year because my right arm is not 100% (though it’s doing better). I was throwing into a head wind, which made things really tough. I went out with Tooney and because the wind was also blowing left-to-right and in practice my discs were being blown out of bounds, I put myself on the far left side of the pyramid and threw the disc with absolutely no hyzer (completely flat). I let it rip and the instant it left my hand, I knew the throw was going to be something special. It went so straight I was getting concerned it would roll over to the left a bit and go out of bounds. It kept going straight… past 40 yards. Then I was concerned it was going to go out of bounds due to being thrown too far! Luckily, Tooney snagged it about 1 foot from being out of bounds. It was clocked at 47 yards. It was good enough for 2nd place (short by about a foot). Enzo ended up with a solid catch after missing my first 2 attempts and having to go a bit conservative on the last chance throw.
I entered speed disc on Sunday knowing that I was probably in 2nd place overall with Tooney and possibly as high as 3rd place overall with Enzo for the championship. I kept it cool. Enzo went out in speed disc and unfortunately, struggled with the 15 yard box because he likes to jump out of it. He landed outside the box on about 3-4 throws. I ran out of time and had a low score. I knew that could have removed him from the running. Tooney finished with a high score, and got 2nd place! At the end of the round only 4 people finished within 60 seconds I think. That means Enzo was still in the running! I knew Tooney had to still be 2nd overall, with Enzo still possibly 3rd. After a bit, we would be doing our freestyle. I ended up finding out Enzo was tied for 3rd place overall and Tooney was in sole posession of 2nd overall. I was pretty excited.
After doing some math in my head, I figured out that Tooney had to be 4.5 points in front of Enzo. A 4.5 point lead going into freestyle is HUGE. As long as Tooney had a solid freestyle round, she’d get a placement. I told Jenn “I’m going to score a 39 in my freestyle with Enzo and finish ahead of Tooney for 2nd place”. She thought I was nuts… We dressed Tooney up as a bumble bee and ended up having a really solid round with only 4 drops (about 85% catch ratio). It was really fun. Here’s her round. Because she covers so much area, Joel (thanks!) ended up having to zoom out a lot to get the video (click HQ to watch in high quality):
I came off the field with Tooney and knew she had a really good score – better than I could have dreamed. I felt I had to absolutely rock the house with Enzo to catch her, and more importantly to keep him in position for 3rd place at least (keep in mind, he was tied for 3rd overall at this point). We dressed up as skeletons and put on some cool creepy music. Enzo and I clicked on virtually every single throw and it was a thing of beauty. The crowd and Judges loved his routine and more importantly, Enzo, myself and Jenn loved it. I left the field knowing he only had 3 drops in a difficult, innovative routine. I felt I did as good as I could have hoped. Here’s his video (click HQ to watch in high quality):
They did the placements for freestyle and said there was a tie for 1st place. Enzo tied Bella, and after all the tie breakers, they were still tied! Bill said it was the toughest decision he’s ever made as a judge and after almost an hour of discussion, 1st was given to Bella. We both scored a 38.5 (out of 40). I guess Jenn was right – my prediction of 39.0 was too high 🙂 We haven’t seen the final resutls yet, but I think we both scored a perfect 10 in all the judged categories and then had an 8.5 in the catch ratio (objective category). If that turns out to be the case, I consider it a huge compliment from the judges and the crowd who helped cheer us on. Bella’s routine is big with air and lots of linear movement. Enzo’s routine is complex with close work with unique / difficult throws and moves. It’s nice to see judges appreciate both styles.
Then they did the most important results of the day… overall FDDO champions. For 3rd place, they called out Enzo and I was really happy with that. They said 2nd place was separated by just a half point. They called Tooney’s name. I cried like a baby – I couldn’t help it. This little girl has come so far, I can’t even put into words how much work and effort we have devoted to her disc dog play. From a cute little fluffy dog that for several years wouldn’t even look at the disc unless we gave her treats to 2nd place in the FDDO championships – it was special. I also have to thank Jenn because 6 months ago, she decided that I should take over Tooney’s disc training and take her to the next level. It has been an absolute blast playing with Tooney since that time.
Tooney has proven to Jenn and I that she is truly the best k9 athlete in our house – sorry Enzo. She can’t jump as high or run as fast as him, but at this point, she has proven herself to be good at everything she does. Agility, frisbee, herding, course-a-lure – you name it, she will do it and do it at a high level.
Final picture – this is another good reason to love Tooney so much. It doesn’t get cuter than this: