Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So, About that Goofy Blue Merle . . . .

In my post about Tessa's Agility weekend, I mentioned a goofy blue merle Border Collie who placed first ahead of her twice.

That was Dean!

I entered Dean in Level 1 Jumpers, along with Tessa, in Level 3 Colors, and in Level 2 Wildcard, also along with Tessa.  He was also up for two titles - Level 1 Fun, and Level 2 Wildcard!

Dean is on and off at Agility trials.  He tends to stress, but when he is not stressing he can be brilliant.  I never know which Dean I am going to have.

When we first arrived at the trial, I brought Dean and Tessa in and I crated them together - right in the same crate - to hang out in the building for a bit.  I rarely do this with Dean because any noise, like a teeter banging, can shut him down for the day.  But it was Jumpers, so I figured it was pretty safe.

Dean seemed happy enough.  Tessa, who was pleased a punch to be crated with her Dean Dog, was lying next to him with her chin on his back!  There was one buzzer, and I fed Dean treats after it went off.  He didn't seem bothered by it.

When the time came to walk our course, I put them out in the car together, and I brought them in one at a time to run.

Dean wasn't terribly focused on the first run, but he didn't do a bad job.  As I was about to do with Tessa, I set myself up badly at the start.  Dean took the first jump, but ran around the second.  Unlike her, he did not send out to take the 3rd jump, and after I brought him around in a big circle to pick up the second jump, he incurred no faults.  I am so glad that CPE does not do refusals!  Such mistakes only eat up time.

Speaking of time, we lost a bunch of it when Dean decided to stop in the tunnel and sniff something!  He must have been in there for about 5 seconds, but it felt much longer!  Finally he came out and finished, and he ran the rest of the course beautifully.  The last part of the course did wind toward the crowd, which is sometimes an issue for him, but this time he nailed it!

It was a Q and Dean earned his Level 1 Fun title right along with his little sister!  I did take a ribbon photo with them together.  Tessa is preening in all her glory, and Dean is his typical goofy self!!

Dean went on to do a very nice Level 3 Colors run, earning a Q in spite of the fact that I was a clumsy oaf throughout the run!  I sent him in the wrong direction several times, almost bypassing the weaves altogether!  Luckily, I never sent him off course!  He also completed a set of 6 weave poles in competition for the first time!!

Finally, we ran our Level 2 Wildcard course, and he was perfection!  He was less than a second faster than Tessa, but he made no real mistakes.  I did blind cross a tunnel and he had trouble reading it and went wide, but he came through.  I don't think I had ever blind crossed a tunnel with him before.  I'm usually not fast enough!

I was extra proud of Dean.  He has had to struggle with so many anxiety issues that when he has a day like this where he has fun and is successful, it is a really big deal!  I am not sure that he has ever had an all-Q day.

I love running and and Tessa "against" each other when they are in the same class!

Next up, I am hoping that all three of us will head down to Periland, where we will, hopefully attempt teeters in Level 2 Standard!

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