Monthly Archives: April 2012

Redemption

Just got back from the Dixon, CA UFO and long distance competition. The last two competitions we’ve attended (this and the AWI) can be summarized up with the dogs redeeming themselves. At the AWI, all the dogs had problems during the day and ended up in lower than expected placements early in the competition. Then in the last round, Enzo and Slayte were awesome and both qualified for the finals.

On our way to Dixon, we got caught in nasty traffic and ended up only getting about 2 hours or so of sleep before the competition. Jenn and I both felt like we were going to pass out all day. At this competition, the dogs all pretty much performed way under par in toss and fetch, leaving us pushed down kind of far in the standings. Since we want to go to the UFO finals, this was a disappointment. Again, though, there would be redemption.

During the competition, Slayte was slow, tired and uninterested. He redeemed himself in a very odd way. After the competition, he was TOTALLY crapped out. He couldn’t even hardly move. Even though he was extremely tired during the competition, he never ran off the field and never quit. At the time, it seemed like he just didn’t care, but in reality, he was simply by trying to stick with it.

After the UFO competition, there was a long distance competition. I don’t ever practice distance throws because of my elbow ulnar nerve entrapment problem which causes tingling, weakness and pain in my elbow to my hand. Luckily this problem is slowing improving. I have good form and understand wind really well. Enzo redeemed himself by winning the Men’s division with a 65.7 yard throw. I wanted to hit a 70 yarder, but given the fact that there was no wind to help the throws, 65+ was still pretty good. Imagine if I actually worked on my distance throws and footwork. First, I know I’d be able to compete with the guys that can really throw far. Secondly, I would screw up my elbow again. Although it was fun, the long distance stuff really isn’t of much interest to me. Freestyle and toss/fetch are much more fun to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still like it. It involves throwing a disc to my best buddy, so it’s still great! Enzo, on the other hand, LOVES distance. Not like freestyle, but he really, really, really thinks it’s awesome.

Since Enzo won, next year’s award will have a picture of him on it!!!

Tooney redeemed herself by getting 3rd place in the women’s long distance with a throw somewhere over 40 yards. Overall, Tooney did really well, though.

Jenn and I also have come up with a new theory on how to try to train Enzo for toss/fetch. We are going to try working with him in practice where we don’t call him back. Throw the disc and just let him come back when he wants to. When I do freestyle or long distance throws, he runs back to me fast. He doesn’t screw around with the disc. The difference is with toss/fetch, I’m calling, yelling, etc, trying to get him to come back faster. We will see how it works out, but I have a feeling it may work.

Advertisements

2012 AWI Qualifier

Our 2012 Ashley Whippet World Championship qualifier was a bag of mixed emotions. Slayte had a really good first round of freestyle and Tooney had a decent round of freestyle. Enzo attacked a disc laying on the ground for no obvious reason, decided to start running circles around me during one sequence and missed a lot of discs. It wasn’t his best moment.

Toss and fetch was also not very good for the dogs and they seemed to be missing discs for no obious reason and Slayte was wandering off the field. The dogs set high standards for themselves so when they don’t blow it off the charts, it feels like I let them down.

They read off the list for the dogs that made the second round and Slayte and Enzo both made the cut! I was surprised but happy. I was considering cutting Slayte from the second round since his previous toss and fetch round was a disaster. Jenn and I decided to let him have another shot. The second round was much windier that the first round and I was worried about both dogs performing in the conditions. Enzo was in 11th place and Slayte was around 8th. The top 5 (minus people already qualified) make the world championships. Enzo was out of a qualifying spot and I think Slayte most likely was at this time also.

Enzo went first for me in the second round and was GREAT! I don’t understand it. It was windier, yet he caught a high percentage of dissc. I expected it to score high as most people were struggling in the wind this round. I told Jenn that Enzo did good enough to jump up in the standings into a qualifying spot. She thought I was nuts, but I thought he did that good.

I am so glad I let Slayte run the second round. It was awesome! Despite the wind and the discs changing directions and being blown around, he caught almost everything. I was super proud. When I came off the field, I felt he also did better than most of the other dogs this round.

I don’t know the exact placements as they didn’t share that information for whatever reason, but both Slayte and Enzo qualified for the world championships! I can’t believe Slayte did this at just 14 months!!!!

You will notice that Slayte had the ?’s removed from his image on this blog. I am proud to say he is now a full member of Team Furrari and earned his right to stand next to Tooney and Enzo.

Enzo round 2:

Slayte round 2:

Tooney Round 1:

Atomic Blast Off 2012

Jenn and I headed out towards Vegas last Friday night for the 5th Annual Atomic Blast Off UFO World Cup series disc dog competition. We stopped in Primm and stayed in the parking lot of a Casino called Whiskey Pete’s since they allow overnight RV parking. Speaking of RV, the new Nexus motorhome we got is awesome! We are super happy we got it and it has made our travels about as easy and comfortable as we could wish for. The dogs even like it. Slayte likes it so much he already ate the seat belt – yep, we have it into the Ford dealership to have the seat belt replaced for $300.

Tooney, Enzo and Slayte all did really well. Enzo was 2nd and Tooney 3rd in freestyle with me. Jenn got 1st with Enzo and 3rd with Slayte in the toss/fetch division! Jenn didn’t play with Tooney. Poor Tooney got sick the next day and took her a few days before she started eating again. She seems mostly recovered now and she should be able to compete in the AWI this weekend.

Here’s the freestyle rounds filmed from Jenn’s new iPad 3!!! They came out very nice!

Enzo:

Tooney:

Slayte:

2012 AKC Agility Nationals

Wow what a weekend! This was my first Nationals of any venue where I was running just Enzo. It was nice to be able to focus on him. We had been struggling a bit lately. I have been having trouble keeping on course with him. Monday my instructer Stephanie Spyr gave me some good advice and it helped a lot! I also realized that it takes an extremely high level of concentration on my part to run Enzo well and most of the time I just don’t get to that level. Running 5 straight runs clean just doesn’t ever normally happen for us.

Friday morning was the warmup standard run. Enzo was awesome and nailed all of his contacts which gave me some more confidence for the rest of the weekend. It didn’t count for anything but we placed third! Then Friday afternoon was Time to Beat. The winner of this round would get an spot in the challengers round. Enzo had a solid run and placed 6th.

Time 2 beat vid coming soon.

So it was an awesome first day for Enzo. Saturday the real Nationals runs started. Saturday morning was Round 1, Jumpers with Weaves. It was a pretty straightforward course with a few areas where I had to be careful not to lose him off course. Enzo had a really good run that was clean! He ended up in 14th place which was a solid placement. Top 10 in the 16″ division would make it into the finals and there were about 140 dogs.

Round 2 was the standard course. This is where Enzo’s running contacts can give him an advantage. There were 90 degrees turns off of both the dogwalk and aframe but at least there was no off course possibility after the dogwalk which judges seem to like to do lately. Enzo had a really awesome run and placed 5th in this round. That was probably good enough to at least get him into the challengers round if at least one of the dogs that placed ahead of him in this round were clean for all 3. His cumulative placement for the two rounds at this point was 8th!

Sunday morning was Round 3, the Hybrid course which is basically a jumpers course plus a teeter and an aframe. This was definitely the hardest course of the weekend. Enzo had some pretty wide turns when he was looking at all the off course choices. After the teeter, he almost took the wrong jump straight ahead but called off at the last second. Scary! I thought for sure he was going to take it. We made it clean through the course and stayed in 8th place to make it into the finals! I had looked at the challengers course in the morning and decided that I really didn’t want to run that course so it gave me some extra incentive to stay clean. Otherwise, I’ve always thought that it would be fun to run in the Challengers round.

The finals course looked fun and didn’t look as difficult on paper as it ran. I was pretty excited going into the finals and so was Enzo. I got a little too excited in the weave and left too abruptly which pulled him out of the weaves. After that I just decided to run hard and have fun with it. That of course made Enzo wild and he launched off the dog walk and teeter and made a lot of wide turns but he got to run fast. I was just really happy to make it there! Very proud of the little boy!