Monday, April 11, 2016

And then there were TWO!!!

Well, now we are down to needing just two more!  One Wildcard and one Snooker.

I could scream from the rooftops for joy over the fact that this will not come down to Jackpot!  I think that of all of the categories in CPE Agility the last one I would want to need one more leg in for anything is Jackpot!

I took Tessa down to Breakaway Action Dogs in Frederick, Maryland this weekend.  We actually ran both days, which is highly unusual for us.  That was originally not my intention.  When I saw that they were offering a round of Jackpot on both days, I figured that one would be Traditional and one would be non-Traditional.  You can always tell which it is going to be when the running order for the trial is published.  If everyone is grouped together, they are running a non-Traditional Jackpot.  If Levels 1/2, 3, and 4/5/C are running separate, it will be a Traditional Jackpot.

When I decided to enter, it was my intention to scratch on the day they were running the Traditional Jackpot.  But then . . . I was signed up, and it wasn't that big of a deal to go down twice . . . so, I decided to go both days.  I knew that our chances of qualifying on a Traditional Jackpot were slim, but . . . you really never know.  And in the end, I was so glad that I gave it a shot!

I used to go to Breakaway Action Dogs quite often.  Speedy did a good bit of Rally there.  He actually earned his Level 2 APDT Rally title there, in a course on which he did his one and only successful Stand for Exam in competition.  I used to take both Maddie and Dean Dog there for Agility.  But in all the years I have been doing Agility with Tessa, she and I had never gone there once together.

There were two reasons for this.  The floor used to be a very hard and slippery black rubber matting.  Back when I was running Maddie I didn't think as much about the safety of the flooring as I do now.  I don't think most people really did because we didn't have very many flooring options available.

Also, during the Agility events they don't have room for crating in the main room, so you had to crate out of the car.  Maddie didn't love crating out of the car, but she could handle it.  Dean preferred to crate out of the car.  But Tessa HATES crating out of the car.  She simply cannot settle in the car.  I almost never ask her to do it, and usually when I do we have finished for the day.

When I became interested in entering this trial, I made some inquiries and found out that they have replaced their floor with the same blue flooring that we normally train on!  I decided, in spite of the crating out of the car situation, to go ahead and enter her.  But then, just a few days before the trial, I found out that they have another building now and they were offering crating in there!  Perfect!

So, off to BAD Tessa and I went!  On Saturday we were just running Jackpot and then on Sunday a round of Jumpers and then a second Jackpot.  The Traditional Jackpot was on Saturday.

In spite of unseasonable April snow, we enjoyed a pleasant drive down.  It really brought back a lot of memories to drive into Frederick and go back to this location.  When we got there I found the crate room and got set up.  Stephanie and Oliver were there, so we set up near them.

They were still running 1/2 Jackpot, so we had a bit of time to settle in.  Tessa was rarin' to go!  Every time we walked by the main building, which she had never been inside of in her entire life, she preened and waggled.  It was clear that she knew exactly what was going on in there and she wanted to go in and run!

I took the time to look at the map for the 4/5/C Jackpot.  At first I thought we would never be able to do the gamble.  The line was a big rectangle with a curved tunnel at the "point".  I would have to send her into that, which was not a problem, and then over another jump that was sitting pretty much next to it.  That wasn't going to be a problem, either.  The problem was the next jump.  It was sitting directly behind the tunnel.  If I hugged the gamble line too much when I sent her to the first jump, I would pull her off the second.  Even if she took the second jump, she could end up returning to me and then go back into the jump, or else just waste a whole bunch of time!

I looked at it, tried to plan for it, but finally decided that I needed to actually see what it would be like.

When it was time to walk, I found that it wasn't as bad as it looked on paper. I planned out a strategy and I knew we had as good a shot at it as any!

Well, it turned out that it all worked out well.  We barely squeaked by, but we made it.  When the buzzer went off, Tessa wasn't in a great spot, and she ended up taking an extra A-Frame (which ate up time).  We just made it, though, and she got the gamble!!!!!!

Isn't that blue floor lovely?  It is very nice to run on!

We got the Q!  I am so happy that one of our Jackpots that we need for our C-ATCH is a Traditional one!  That is a big accomplishment!

When we went back on Sunday, Tessa was tired.  I have not kept up with her fitness work as I should, and I need to rectify that at once!

She, very uncharacteristically, knocked the first bar on her Jumpers run.  I thought that NQ'ed us, but it turned out it didn't!  So, we got that Q!!

Then we ran our non-Traditional Jackpot.  This one was very do-able!  The gamble was a Tunnel, A-Frame, Jump, and Tunnel kind of serpentine in the middle of the course.  There was no distance required!  It was really just a matter of getting that done and accumulating the correct amount of points!  In the end I sent her to a tunnel that she didn't need and that almost ate up too much time, but we were just under, and we got the Q!!

I can't believe we got two Jackpot Q's in one weekend!  We struggle with this game so much, at least the Traditional Jackpots!

I am so proud of Tessa and I couldn't be happier!

So . . . all we need now is one Wildcard and one Snooker.  We will go for both in three weeks at Periland!

Check out our progress chart!  Just two more blank spaces!!

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