I finally broke away for Kory’s debut in the USDAA. That was last weekend. Originally it was going to be the BRAG trial this February past; but my car accident changed those plans. So I made a long six-hour drive to Barto, PA for an On Target Agility trial.
We began the day Saturday with Starters Gamblers. In spite of dropping two bars and falling down on his chin on the exit from the collapsed tunnel, Kory both qualified and won his class. That’s a nice beginning. The gamble was an inconsequential thing really, jump-tunnel-jump-jump with the tunnel alongside and outside of a wrong-course teeter.
I realized later that I saw him drop neither of the bars. This is an important bit of intelligence. The handler should always see his dog over the bar. And if he doesn’t that means he’s not supporting the dog through the jump. So for the day I changed my ways and he didn’t have another bar down.
Standard – Kory Q’d again and won his class. He broke his 2o/2o on the dogwalk. Later that night I gave myself a long talk with Jesus on the topic. More on that later, I suppose.
Scott Chamberlain’s Grand Prix course was relentlessly technical. I began with little expectation of keeping all the bars up and ready to be pleasantly surprised if I’d avoided all of the wrong course options.
This was the opening… and eliminated about half the class. Some who were “successful” on the sequence got through it doing tedious micro-managing kind of handling. I attacked the sequence with Kory. And it was beautiful. There were a couple more very technical moments in the GP. Sorry for not sharing the entire course with you.
Kory earned 10 faults on this course. The first five came from a popped weave-pole; and the second from a “disappointment induced” refusal on the last jump. Well, he came off his 2o/2o again on the dogwalk. In that moment I petulantly flat-footed my movement towards the final jump and so he whirled back towards me, spinning in front of the final jump, earning the refusal. Like I said… more on this later.
The Persisting Winter
About mid-March we had a mild break in the weather that tantalized us with the possibility that the long winter was done with its torture. So I had the roto-tiller out to prepare most of my garden. And I put out a couple flats of seeds that I’d started in-doors to soak up a bit of real sun.
With expert assist from neighborly friends we took down a giant old oak and trimmed a couple more. Man that’s a lot easier to say than it is to do. The labor has aggravated my right shoulder, giving me considerable pain just about constantly. I’m hoping it’ll go away before too long. I have to take pain meds just to get to sleep. The important thing, I suppose is that I have a good start on next winter’s fire wood. Oak is an excellent hardwood that will burn hot and long.
Last week winter was back; low 40’s during the day and high 20’s at night. I brought the seedling flats for my garden back into the house and put them under a grow light.
I’ve been a bit behind on some TDAA chores. I’ll blame it on cutting trees, chopping and toting wood. Oak, you see, will warm you several times before it is done.
Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest
The perfect serving of beans will have no more than 239 beans in it. Do you know why that is so?
Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. OMG! My web store is up and running. I still have a lot of work to do there. I’ve closed the eJunkie store; and will be doing business only with the CFWebstore.