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...
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
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...
Our one AKC trial of the year. Our one chance to knock off that last Open leg. We braved yesterday's Labor Day weekend traffic to do it, and risked a very late ring time in an afternoon show. (Last time we did that, we ended up in the ring at 10pm!) Yeah sure, no worries... ;-)
Actually, traffic turned out fairly decent along the routes I took, and our ring time ended up being around 5 pm, so not bad. Though I hit several snags throughout the day, overall it went pretty well. Even better once we were done. Because... we finally got it!!
Man, that took far longer than it should have. But between infrequent entries, being out of practice, and just some plain old bad luck, I guess it could have gone worse. Now that we have our heads more in the game again, we were definitely due to finish up that straggler PCDX.
It wasn't all pretty; Tripp lost his focus a few times and strayed way out of position. But there were some really lovely spots in his performance as well. I wouldn't call it anything special, except for the fact that we won and got that damn title. LOL I'm probably nitpicking. Maybe if I'd gotten video I'd have seen how well he really did (most of the time). Either way, the most important thing is that we had fun.
Oh yes, we did indeed win too. First place with a 192! Not sure how we managed that, but I'll take it! LOL In AKC no less... I certainly can not complain. Made finishing that much sweeter.
And yes, I think we are in fact finished. I don't have an overwhelming desire to chase down any more AKC titles with Tripp. So now, once we finish his UKC Utility title, we will likely focus purely on CDSP Utility & possibly Obedience Championship. I think that's enough at this point.
I did hope to try out AKC's Versatility class, which sounds like fun. Unfortunately I was not allowed to transfer to that class for today's trial. (I entered two days, just in case he NQed yesterday.) A little bummed about that, but we still got we we came for. That's all that matters. And as much as I hate to throw away an entry fee, I decided to scratch on day two. I didn't feel it was worth repeating a needless Open run, or moving to a class I didn't want to enter. Better to end on a high note. So today we just relaxed at home. Well, isn't that what Labor Day is supposed to be anyway?
I haven't posted a new video in a long time, and haven't updated with new blogs very often either for that matter. The former is mostly because I tend to forget or not have the chance to have someone film us at events, the latter is because we have not been doing as many events as we used to. I'm still considering Tripp semi-retired, relative to his previous performance schedule, but we are continuing on in Obedience. That's about it right now.
We've done a couple trials over the spring/summer, but most were flops. Surprisingly, we have had better luck so far in UKC than in CDSP. Go figure. Now watch, I probably just jinxed myself by saying that, and we'll be chasing our final UUD leg forever. :-p LOL
But this weekend we finally had some great runs at the CDSP trial in Raymond. (And no, unfortunately that was not me who won the powerball there. ;-) Better yet, we got it all on video!
It was a hot day, and the humidity brought out all sorts of distracting smells in the ring, so it was a challenging day for many of the dogs. I was so proud of Tripp; he did SO well. Kept his focus decently, and beyond some crooked sits and such he did a lovely job in the ring.
In trial 1, we managed to earn a 196.5 score for our second Utility leg. That right there made waking up at 5:30 am worth it. haha Finally we were coming home with ribbons again.
Trial 2 went even better, until I confused Tripp with my cue on the gloves. Oh well, totally my fault there. Tripp did a beautiful job. It was a bittersweet loss, as we would have only had a single point deduction otherwise if we'd Qed, for a 199! Oh man! But it was still a fantastic run, great practice, and you know I'll be shooting for that again. ;-)
One more leg to go. Then I don't know. I hate to quit just when we're getting good, and still enjoying it. I don't know if we'll get as far as OTCH-C, but we can still aim for UDX-C. One step at a time...
Certainly I have not stepped up our practice time to where it should be, but we have been working at least a little bit more on obedience stuff. Of course there is always the argument too that you shouldn't over-train... Do just enough to get it right and move on. Sure, let's say that's what I'm doing. ;-) LOL But while we still need some cleaning up, and definitely more practice away from home, I think we're doing slightly better than last year, so I'm at least not totally shooting myself in the foot when we enter a trial. Well, it's worth a shot anyhow...
Today I entered the UKC trial in Westford, MA. Just the morning trial. It was a very small group, nice and relaxed - Tripp hung out ringside with me, had breakfast, got in some practice, and being second in the ring, we were in and out of there in record time.
I'm glad I chose this event. It was my original intention to enter, but then I found out a CDSP trial was also on that day. Oh, decisions decisions! It was quite the tossup. I bounced the dilemma off my dog friends, and while I kinda leaned in UKC's direction from the beginning, I just wished I knew for sure where our better odds lay. Duh. I forgot my dowsing abilities. LOL (Yes, I do that. Did you know you can dowse for more than water? It's a useful tool for just about anything. Yes it's weird - did I ever say I was normal? - but I usually have pretty good accuracy in dowsing our potential show results. When I do it right. ;-)
So I pulled out my tools and asked what we should do - what were our chances? The answers were NQ in either CDSP trial, and in UKC a Q in trial one but an NQ in trial 2 due to stress. Obviously there is no way to prove any of that, but I'm not going to argue. If I'm going to get deeper into this methodology (I'm going pro people!), then I need to embrace the unknown and trust the results, and my intuition. So I went along with it.
And I can't say it didn't pay off! We did indeed Q in trial one with a decent 188.5. Tripp did so well, for the first time I actually wouldn't have been shocked if our score was higher! But he was by no means perfect - a few points here and there for position, a couple for "mouthing" the glove (tossing it around because he's silly and having fun) - but he kept his focus most of the time, which has been our main downfall lately, and did everything right, even if not with absolute accuracy, so I am thrilled with his performance! My only disappointment is that I forgot to throw my camera at someone. Darn it, I never seem to get our best runs on video! LOL Oh well, we earned that second leg in any case. :-)
Do I regret not going for trial 2 just in case, to finish his title? Maybe part of me does. After all, neither one of us was stressed, and on the surface our chances seemed pretty good at this intimate trial. But who knows what could change? There was a dog there that Tripp was mildly obsessing over. He behaved himself and (sorta) refocused on me when asked, but how am I to know if his mood would change in a couple hours? Or if a bigger crowd would show up for the afternoon trial. There could be some sort of incident between ring times. Or something else to cause potential stress or distraction. Even just getting bored waiting around for our next turn could kill his performance. So I say, just as in training, we were best to quit while we're ahead. Leave us both with a good memory, and go for title on another day. If nothing else, I saved some money! ;-) And we had fun. And that's the most important thing.