Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, February 28, 2014

Envy has her first birthday!

On February 27th, Envy turned 1 year old!

She has fit in perfectly as part of the Chaos Crew and is learning to be an agility superstar. You could say she is the perfect puppy! She is a ton of fun to work with - she has a great work ethic and loves to play tug with most any toy you offer.

Now that she's a year, I am going to begin her 2x2 weaves. This time I plan on using the Mary Ellen Barry variant of the Susan Garrett method.

Here are a few pictures from the past year of Envy growing up. I miss the little puppy Envy but so look forward to working with the more grown up Envy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

MACH Rip!!

MACH Victory Lap

I attended two days of the big 4 day AKC "Rocky Mountain Cluster" show which includes confirmation, rally, and obedience as well as agility. It's held in a big arena with three rings running concurrently. I skipped this show last year because of a number of reasons, but decided to do Saturday and Sunday this year.

As it turned out, going into this show Rip still needed two Double Qs to complete his first MACH. Over our past 2 AKC shows, we have not had the best luck and didn't manage a single Double Q, so I really didnt have high expectations that we would have a perfect weekend here. 

Well obviously based on the title of this post, we DID have a perfect weekend (at least as far as JWW and Standard are concerned!). Rip ran well on Saturday, though not as fast as usual, but still clean at least and he kept all the bars up - something that had been plaguing us over the last couple trials.
I have also been working on Rip's running AFrame, the failure of which contributed to us not getting any Standard Qs over the last couple trials. Though I was not happy that his striding on the frame wasn't correct as we have been practicing, he was at least hitting all of the contacts, including in the FAST class as well.

So after Saturday, we were sitting at 19 Double Qs. Skye has managed to earn 2 MACHs, but in both cases, we were not successful in getting that last Double Q on the first try. Sunday would be Rip's first try at it!

Rip tends to Q Jumpers courses more frequently than Standard courses, so when I saw that we were running Standard first again, I thought that if we could Q that, we would have a pretty good chance. He did have a nice run in Standard, though probably about 4 seconds slower than usual, based on our average number of MACH points that we get on a Standard run. He wasnt really driving through the course and I was wondering if he might be stressed because of the 'hugeness' of this show - it can be overwhelming and I have a friend who doesnt do this show anymore because her dogs stress too much here.

A short while after our run, after videoing a friend, Rip actually tried to potty in the arena - something he has never done before, so we ran outside and he went right away. He obviously wasnt feeling 100%, but what a good boy to keep running for me.

We had a long wait before our Jumpers run, and Rip did seem to be feeling better. The course seemed pretty straightforward for us - just make sure to support the jumps and cue the turns in time. Rip ran great and as he headed for the last obstacle - a tunnel - I knew we had it!

My friend Kenette ran out and handed me the MACH bar and ribbon and we went for our victory lap. Unfortunately Kenette's husband who was filming us didnt keep the video running after our run to catch the lap, but another friend did snap a bunch of pictures.

Here is a video I put together of our final Double Q.

Here is the Standard course - after the AFrame, I ran up to do a front cross between jump 3 and 4 and almost lost Rip to the wrong end of the tunnel. A number of people choose to keep the dog on their right after the tunnel for the 6-7-8 sequence and had their dogs actually run around the #8 tire. It was easy enough for me to go in for a front between 7 and 8 and shape the line which worked much better.
Everything else was pretty straightforward, though the finish from the weaves was a long run and if I get behind, sometimes Rip will look at me over his shoulder and drop a bar so I had to hustle up to avoid that.

The JWW course didnt have any specific challenge area to worry about. The jumps were a little offset from 6 to 7, and again from 8 to 9. I did chicken-out of my planned blind cross between 9 and 10 and instead held up to do a rear cross. I should have done it, but I was apparently doing MACH handling and being more conservative than usual. When I ran Skye on this course, I did do the blind and Skye actually ended up running almost a second faster than Rip did.
Anyway, the only real choice I had to make was which way to wrap the #16 jump. I decided to let Rip take the slightly longer way that presented a better line to the finish. Asking Rip for a full 360 degree wrap is usually much slower than the longer distance wrapping the other way.