FINALLY! Not that we had many chances for this, but it's still been a long road... (Maybe I'm just impatient. haha ;-)
There are only a couple UKC obedience trials in my area per year, so it's always quite a gap between opportunities to compete. (And then I have to contend with the "other" rulebooks in my head confusing me in the ring. LOL Which is what killed us this spring.) Thankfully the weather cooperated and I was able to enter UDSNNE's December trials in Westford, MA.
The day started with a beautiful sunrise on the drive down (one perk to getting up and out early!) I reviewed my notes several times so I had some idea of what I was supposed to be doing out there. haha And packed the American cheese - Tripp's very most favorite - as his post-competition reward...
We had two chances to place. And only one Utility leg needed. I told him he better get it this time! LOL Well, here comes his first turn in the ring. It wasn't perfect, but it was really quite nice overall. I lost as many points as he did, but I was still very happy with our performance. And Go Tripp, he titled right then and there! :-) Yes!! For that, I gave him BOTH pieces of cheese! Well deserved.
Don't worry, he still had string cheese and chicken for trial two. Sure, we could have left, but after all, I paid for the entry, you know I'm gonna take it! And as the judge said, it never hurts to have a "buffer leg" just in case. ;-)
Of course, what does he do on the leg that doesn't count but get a better score. LOL Hey, I'm ok with that though! And we even had a brief moment of excitement when packing up to leave - I was told to stay a bit longer as we were in the running for High In Trial! Woah! On the plus side, it was a short wait at that point for the trial to end. On the down side, we were beat out at the last minute. But it's all good, and I'm ok with "runner up" for HIT. :-) Either way, a fine day to finish his UUD!
Yes, I know. Another title. Has it's specialness worn off yet? ;-)
Not for me! Well, ok, it's not as novel an experience, but I'm still thrilled with every award Tripp earns. He's racked up quite a legacy for himself in 8 years!
Today was his final CDSP trial of the year. He did very well in the ring and qualified in both trials, earning his OTCH2 right off the bat. Second trial took him halfway to UDX2, so I'm betting we'll most likely keep at it next year to at least finish that off. (But you knew we would anyway, didn't you?)
And here I set a record for the shortest dog blog ever. LOL I'll simply leave you with his scoresheets (because per our new norm, I have no pics or video).
Ok, fine, here's an obligatory "title/win" pic, just for you. ;-)
I happened to glance at the CDSP calendar last week, for no particular reason, and lo and behold there was a trial posted at Waggin Tails in Westford this weekend that I didn't know about. I swear it wasn't that long ago that I checked the schedule! Either I somehow missed it, or it was a last minute addition. In any case, it turned out to have a relatively small number of entries, so there was plenty of room for us to register day of show. So glad I caught it!
We've been continuing to compete throughout the summer, racking up points for rank and UDX/OTCH-2. And mainly just having fun. Still, it's not every week (or month for that matter) that we get out there, and I actually had just decided to skip a few upcoming trials, so this was perfect to fill the gap. Less withdrawal, more opportunity for points... and most importantly, just something to do.
Today, was a good day in obedience...
Tripp had his twerpy moments (as usual) but overall did very well in the ring. In fact, had a few downright perfect performances too! Qed in both trials. Yay! We were the only competitors in Utility today, so added to our collection of "default" blue ribbons, but what matters is we racked up more points... AND those two legs earned him his UDX-2! :-)
Really just a bonus along the way as we are out there doing our thing, but it does give us something of a goal to shoot for. Next up: OTCH-2. Our main goal for 2017 remains ranking higher in the top 20 (because why not?), so with at least a handful more trials this year, and only 27 points to go for the next title (which he can get in 2 good Qs), I'm betting he'll reach it. ;-)
Still unknown where we'll go from here in 2018. Guess we'll see where we're at, what we're up for, etc... As always.
I did feel that temptation again to get back into agility. Veterans class, of course. Tripp played a bit on the agility course set up in Waggin Tails' field, and he's still got it! Remembered quite a bit, if not as polished as he was when competing. It probably wouldn't take much... LOL Ah, well, once again, we shall see...
It's silly. But it's something I always have a bit of trouble with. And a quick google search reveals I'm not the only one.
When you compete in multiple venues, and earn countless titles, where are those titles supposed to go? I mean, in relationship to each other on the dog's official name... There is an established order for AKC - registered name, followed by Obedience titles, then Rally, then Tracking, Hunting, and Agility. Except any Championship titles precede the name. In UKC, on the other hand, all titles precede the registered name. I've been told the order is supposed to be titles listed chronologically by date earned. As for any of the other performance venues (such as CDSP, USDAA, etc.) I have no idea! And then when you combine a whole bunch of them together... Oy!
Now, technically, most clubs don't recognize titles from other clubs. So for instance, Tripp's AKC registration will only list titles he earned from AKC (or their approved "other" venues), his UKC registration will only list UKC titles, and so on. Even CDSP, which recognizes Obed/Rally titles from any other organization, disregards any other performance sport because it's not applicable. Therefore this should not be a true dilemma, as your versatile dog's full variety of titles will rarely be recognized in one place. But it is - those titles are your hard work, bragging rights, proof of your dog's working ability, and memories & keepsakes of an amazing partnership. Of course you want to list them all together somewhere!
Which brings me back to the question, what order are they all supposed to go in?
Ah, but I digress... This dilemma was actually spurred by some very exciting news! Can you guess? ;-) Yes, it involves another new title...
Well he's nothing if not consistent...
CDSP at Surefire today. Trial one, beautiful job overall. Then the gloves. Same one - #1 in the corner. He LOOKED right at it too the little twerp! Goes out, swerves, and takes glove #2. Ahh, Tripp! ;-p LOL Of course, never have that problem in baseball. No, only in the part that counts. Sigh. Practice practice! Methinks we need to hit some run thrus or classes to fix this problem.
Oh well, once again trial two made the trip worthwhile. Tripp performed quite wonderfully. In fact he only got a half point deduction for one crooked sit. That's all! :-D Me, I got hit with a big 5 point deduction for handler error. But he got those gloves right! LOL And we Qed. That's all that matters.
And you know what that means... UDX-C! Yay!!! We finished with a score of 214.5 and 2nd place. I'll take it! haha Great title run. :-)
Plus another 15 OTCH points earned. I did the math, he only needs 17 now to title. Wow. With Tripp's history, unless he starts scoring terribly, that means we're likely to hit OTCH-C in two more trials!
Wait a minute... two trials and done? I don't think so! We're just getting good, I can't retire him now! Guess we're gonna have to go for OTCH2. ;-) hehehe
Show season has begun. Tripp is back in the Obedience game, working on his CDSP titles and rank. The points are building up! :-)
We've had a couple successful trials so far. And a few flops too, of course. haha The gloves seem to be our major downfall at the moment. Ah, well at least we know what we need to work on more.
On Feb. 25th, Tripp earned a score of 213.5 at Tova, for 15 OTCH points, which officially put him just over halfway to his Championship. Nice way to start the year!
Then on Mar. 5th at MHS, he got another 15 points, bringing his current total to 68 out of 100. That also gives him five UDX legs now, with just one more to go for that title.
Now, traditionally we don't have the best luck at MHS. I love the place; it's one of the best humane societies around, with a very nice event facility to boot. But unfortunately we have a high failure rate there. I actually had to look back to see if we'd ever Qed there in the past! LOL We had - earned a title even. (It was a while ago! ;-) That didn't make our odds any better. So although we NQed in the first trial last weekend, I was very pleased with Tripp's performance overall. He was (mostly) focused and worked well. I'd say probably his best performance there to date! He did a pretty fantastic job actually, other than the gloves, where he took the wrong one. Ugh, bummer.
Trial 2 was his redemption. It was a long day and the boy practically slept through our turn. LOL So considering how tired he was, I'm amazed he worked as well as he did. A bit slower than in the morning, but pretty on point for the most part. A couple position faults, which I expected, and I had to give an extra cue for the sit in Baseball (that was unusual), and I could personally nitpick a couple more things we didn't lose points for, like mouthing the dumbbell, but otherwise he had a beautiful run. Yeah, I know, I'm a total critic. We got tons of compliments, and I'm sure if I could have seen it myself I'd be even more impressed. But I really am - he earned an excellent score of 198, which put him in 1st place, plus 17 bonus points in Baseball, for a grand total score of 215. I am certainly not complaining! ;-)
More to come... This year's goal is not only to get those titles, but to achieve higher rank as well. That'd just be a bonus, but hey, if we're earning points anyway, why not? hehehe
After last week's unfortunate flop, we had one more chance to rack up points in CDSP obedience. Tova in Raymond, NH held a single evening trial Friday night, and while I was hesitant to enter something that might have us working late (remembering the evening AKC trial where we were competing at 10pm!), I took my chances since it was the last nearby CDSP trial of the year, and easy enough a drive to deal with being out late if it came to that.
It ended up working out well, and ended at a reasonable time. Even though I did end up eating dinner at home at 9:30 pm. Oh well. It was worth it...
But first, during the day on Friday, we took a jaunt to Wolfeboro, just to walk around town, do some shopping, and reminisce a bit. And snap a few fun pics. We didn't have time to check out the rail trail as planned, but all the more reason to go back.
I think I may have used that title before. But this HAS to beat anything else we've done. Or should I say, almost done. LOL
We were entered in trial 1 at Waggin Tails in Westford, MA on Oct. 29. Big trial, lots of entries. How exciting. :-) Tripp (ok, both of us) had received lots of compliments last weekend, but I think he topped himself this weekend. He was SO good!
Me, on the other hand, well... I've done far worse, but I messed up my signal during the directed retrieve (don't even ask why/how! LOL) which confused the poor boy. Tripp made a wide swing, then went for the wrong glove. I groaned. He stopped and just stood there asking me what the heck I wanted from him. XD He redirected well, but alas my brain fart resulted in an NQ. Ah, it happens.
But what a bummer - if I hadn't thrown him off, and he did both gloves as well as everything else, we would have finished with a nearly perfect score (including earning all 20 points in baseball!) of 219.5! OMG. And that would have put us almost halfway to OTCH. Oh well. Next time...
I will still savor his almost perfect performance, even if we got nothing to show for it. But hey, we did get it on video! :-D
You know the drill... the best runs are never caught on camera. Today was no different. Oh, I questioned how it'd go as we set up for our turn in the obedience ring. Tripp was wound like a top (I swear he read the sign that said agility, haha), and when he gets like that it can go one of two ways - he can be out of control or very distractable, or if he manages to stay reasonably focused, he can pull off a great performance with even more flash and drive. Thankfully, and somewhat surprisingly, today we were blessed with the latter.
Now, our last trial a couple weeks ago was a miserable failure. He literally did everything wrong right from the start. Ok, so he pulled his act together some half way through, but it was an automatic NQ, so any recovery was for naught. It was just one of those days; they happen. As long as they don't happen too often! LOL Hey, those entry fees add up! Obviously I hoped our next trials would be more successful.
Today was a new venue; Breeze Thru Agility in Brattleboro, VT. This was the first ever CDSP trial in VT, as well as Breeze Thru's first time hosting an obedience event. So exciting times for all! It's a small but nice facility. We did have to work out of our cars, but rain notwithstanding, it was not a real inconvenience. Parking was just outside the door, and the hosts were well organized and gave everyone plenty of notice and time to get ringside. It all flowed quite smoothly.
So, our turn comes... The Utility entry was tiny - we were the only ones in B class, so it went quick. (Novice entries were highest, which probably shouldn't be surprising considering CDSP is new to that area.) As I said, Tripp went into high drive for some reason known only to him. I managed (barely) to keep him in working mode (and me in "cool" mode), and he actually settled decently into the obedience routine once we entered the ring and set up for signals and heeling. Miraculously, in those two exercises he only got hit with a single half point deduction for a crooked finish. It really was a rather lovely performance. :-) The rest of the trial went similarly; only a couple minor position faults. His biggest booboo was anticipating the finish during the retrieve - everything was good, then judge says "finish" and Tripp flips himself into heel position before I tell him to. That was certainly a first! LOL 3 points off right there. Plus another half point for sitting crooked too. Twerp. Oh well. We still ended with a 194 subtotal, so that's still pretty great.
But wait, CDSP has baseball! We never turn down the opportunity to play for bonus points! There's a chance of the dog getting silly with the gloves and the whole thing being a flop, but there is practically nothing to lose, so why not try? As as proof that it's so worth it... Tripp did a super job, and we earned 18.5 out of a possible 20 (just position faults again), which brought our total up to 212.5. There's another 15 OTCH points! Woohoo! 30 down, 70 to go.
Yes, I really am running out of places to squeeze more ribbons! LOL I actually have some stashed in a drawer now. I guess it was inevitable. But I never get tired of looking at them! Silken memories of all that Tripp has done, and the fun that we've had. :-) It truly has been a great journey.
To be continued next week... 2 more trials to go this year in CDSP. Fingers crossed we keep up this pace!
p.s. Blame Geoff for that "crazy dog" sign. I told him he had it backwards, but then, Tripp is kinda nuts too, so I guess it's not all wrong. LOL
We are back in the game, folks! :-) Today Tripp and I competed in CDSP and, woohoo, finished his Utility title!
I woke up at an ungodly hour and left just as dawn was breaking to make it for our early ring time 2 hours south into MA at SureFire Dogs. But it was worth it...