Tuesday, June 29

Outdoor Agility Trial!

Sunday, I entered both my agility dogs in an outdoor trial held at Flashpoint Agility in Marengo, Ohio. I'm always a bit wary of entering Popper in any outdoor event, because he is half beagle, and where the nose goes, the body follows! Luckily, this venue is fenced in, or I might have some more serious reservations. I actually don't know why more outdoor trials don't use fencing... you can buy super cheap reusable plastic fencing quite readily, and more handlers would 1) enter the trial and 2) be more comfortable at the trial.

I entered both dogs in the same levels and classes, the only difference being that Merlin the corgi is 8" and Popper and Beagle/Cattle Dog is 12". It really makes it fun, what with being in neighboring height classes, because sometimes I only have a couple dogs in-between runs, so it's a mad dash to the crates, and a mad dash back to the starting gate! We ran in Level 2 Jumpers, and two rounds of Colors.

I've been concerned for Merlin because he hasn't been trialing normally, ever since he was in a dog fight at his last agility training facility. He has JUST recently started running normally in class, which is basically an all-out crazy dog run that may or may not be where you want him to go. :) He was still sluggish this weekend, but whether it was because he's still not "over" it, or because it was insanely hot and humid (92 - eeep!), I do not know. I suspect he still harbors ill will, myself.

However, long story short - both dogs did beautifully. Both dogs back jumped one run each, and both dogs got distracted by little dumb things. Both dogs always came back to me, and both dogs managed to Q in all of their runs. I've never had so many Q's in one day before! 6!

So Popper has finished CPE Level 2 Jumpers and Colors, as well as his Fun Games title, and Merlin finished Level 2 Colors (he's not a huge fan of jumpers so he's more behind). We're slowly but steadily making our way towards a C-ATCH, but I honestly don't think we'll ever get there, because we just don't trial enough. Money is always an issue, as well as time, and the fact that Popper in particular just can't handle an entire weekend of agility, or even five runs in a day. I usually only do three with him, and four is really pushing it. So we'll continue our little bunny hops towards our goal, keeping in mind that the dogs really don't care if they get any titles or not - they do it simply for the joy of doing it. And that yummy cheeseburger on the way home.

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