Sunday, September 29, 2013

On to Level 4 . . . !!!

This has really been a fantastic month for Tessa and me!  All of our summer training paid off in a big way - first with our Beginner HTM Q, then with our two Intermediate Rally FrEe Q's, and now finished off with a nearly flawless Agility day down at Periland!

I always remember Maddie in a special way at Periland.  She and I earned our first Agility Q there, and then our first Agility title.  We had brilliant days and dud days.  I will never forget trying to run her there in pouring rain!  Maddie would never have any of that!  Yet, we had far more good days than poor ones at Periland.  My memories of the outdoor trials will always belong to Maddie - and also to Dean and Stephanie and Harley and the old Jeep!

But yesterday, in the still-new building, on an absolutely stunning fall day, my Periland trial was all about Tessa!

We were signed up for Level 3 Jackpot, Level 4 Colors, and Level 3 Snooker.  I wasn't sure what would happen in Jackpot, as we still have very little gamble line experience, but it turned out to be a non-traditional, so my concern was moot!

The Jackpot course looked like fun.  All we had to do, other than accumulate the correct amount of points, was to complete all three tunnels that were out on the course.  There was just one little trick to that.  One tunnel had the table tucked into it's curve.  Prior to the buzzer (which signifies the start of the "closing", the table is not "live".  So, if the dog were to jump up on the table during that time, it was irrelevant.  But, after the buzzer, the table becomes "live", and if the dog touches it, the game will end.  Knowing that Tessa isn't always terribly reliable on discriminations, I knew it would be important to complete that particular tunnel in the opening.

Although it made for a bit of a choppy start, I elected to send her over a jump near that tunnel - the tunnel itself was not over the start line, so something else had to be taken first - go right back to the tunnel, and then fly across the ring to get to the next tunnel, run the perimeter to get to third tunnel, then take the A-Frame, complete a 5 point jump combo, and then get to the table.

The plan went off pretty much without a hitch!  We even completed a rear cross - not very elegantly - in the process!

When the buzzer went off, we had 20 seconds to finish.  I actually have no memory of completing the jump combo, but we did!  Then she did the tunnel that had the table tucked into it one more time and then table!

We made time and got points to spare because the table was worth 8 points and I hadn't realized it!  I do have a video (with narration!):

We needed 40 points to qualify and earned 47!  And we had 3 seconds to spare!

Up next was a milestone!  Our very first Level 4 attempt in Colors!

We chose the one that fewer people ran, but I actually felt it was the easier course.  I really liked the straight shot - tire, jump, tunnel, at the end.  Tessa flew through it!

We qualified - 10 full seconds under course time!!  First place for this run!  Welcome to Level 4, Miss Tessa!

Finally - at the end of a very long day - we ran Snooker.  I was half tempted to scratch just because we were both tired, but the course looked like so much fun that I stuck around for it.  We were not disappointed.

Tessa has become an absolutely lovely Snooker dog!  We had fun on this one!  I believe this was also the first time we ever beat the buzzer on a Snooker run, although I believe were have been very close a couple of times.

Video (I have absolutely no idea where the words on the title screen of this video vanished to!):

In addition to running Agility, Tessa and I enjoyed many walks on the beautiful grounds!  I was particularly taken with some hay bales that were scattered around the fields and I photographed them!

Tried to get Tessa to pose with the hay bales, but she wasn't impressed!

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