Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Memorable Snooker Run!

Today Tessa and I went to a CPE Agility trial at Dandy Dog Training, which is actually the place where we train.  Any "home field advantage" really was cancelled out by the fact that we haven't run outside since last summer.  I actually think we would have had an easier time at Westminster, Bella Vista, or even Periland!  But we did enjoy ourselves, and - for the most part - we had a great time.

Our first run of the day was Level 3 Snooker.  The course was good and it wasn't difficult to make a plan for the game.  However, my plan went out the window at the very first jump!

Here's the play by play!

Tessa knocked the bar on the first red jump!  In CPE Snooker, you can continue if the dog knocks a bar on one red jump, but you have to go find another red and continue from there.

In all the years that I have been playing this game - and with three different dogs - I have never been in a situation where the dog knocked a bar on a red jump!  I have never, in all that time, ever had a backup plan in mind in case that happened!  I may have to rethink that in the future!

To make things even more . . . interesting . . . the judge blew the whistle!  I hesitated, mentally, for a second, thinking, "don't I get to go find another red?"  In the time that took, the judge realized what had happened and she told us to go on, so we did.

I had Tessa go to the red jump that would have been our second one of the course, and then I had her complete the tunnel-jump combination that I had planned after that one.

But after that, it was nothing but improv!

After Tessa took the jump in that combination, I thought, "find a red!"  We took the nearest red. Then "find a color . . . TIRE!!!"  Tessa had gone wide after the red jump, but she immediately came around to take the tire.

Then I realized I was in a bad spot!  I was pretty sure that if I turned in the direction of the next red jump, Tessa was going to take the #3 jump, which was not a red!  So, we broke into some Freestyle!  I called her front and I moved backwards, with her coming toward me!  Once I knew my turn would not send her to a color, I turned, and cued the next red jump!!

Then I directed her to the #3 jump, and then into the course we went!!

The course went really well, although I did come close to going the wrong way at one point.  I remembered just in time and we got where we needed to go!

The game ended after the #5 tunnel, and we headed to the table.

That felt like the longest Snooker run of my entire life!!

Here it is . . . 

I will say this - it WAS fun!!  Tessa enjoyed it, and she did a great job.  It was almost all on-the-fly handling on my part, but she read everything.  She has come a LONG way in that regard.  There is no way we could have pulled this off a year ago!

I have to give a shout out to Maddie, too.  She enjoyed Snooker so much, and was so good at it, that I played with her every opportunity I could.  That experience served me well today.  If I hadn't been able to play the game without really thinking about what I needed to do when the whole thing changed for me, it wouldn't have gone so well!!

We ended up getting the Q - just!  We needed 30 points and we earned exactly 30 points!!

I am having fun playing with Tessa in Level 3.  We have 3 Q's in Level 3 (and 2 NQ's!!), and we earned all three of them by the skin of our teeth!  We can definitely stand to be in Level 3 for quite some time while we work on kicking our skill level up a notch!

For now, we are definitely right where we should be!

Photo Credit:  Ann Hereford
Image used with Permission

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