Turns out, I have a niece!

My niece Angi is doing some new coding for the TDAA website (k9tdaa.com)… and she’ll probably want to get her hands on my website as well (dogagility.org). Angi explained to me that FrontPage is for old men (my development environment). She does CSS/HTML coding using Notebook/Komodo in a .php environment with WAMP extensions. I’m not really pretending I understand what all that means. But I have seen her composite sketches of the TDAA website. I like the new clean approach. Angi is a machine of industry and inspiration.

I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say I have a humongous to do list these days. I’ve worried over how to get some quality work for my website presence in the world, and the website presence for the TDAA. And, as it turns out, I have a niece!

Angi is also working on the (soon to come) TDAA Facebook account. While Facebook blows my mind in some regards I do recognize its importance from both business and social networking points of view. If you think about it, it is the perfect vehicle to replace the “Newsletter” (and maybe even magazine). The fans of the venue can post brags, accomplishments, reports… you name it in a real time manner. It could easily become the center of the community.

A Longish Standard Course

With my busy schedule I wanted to change up the building to give us something different for class and league play last night with a minimum of equipment movement. We had the letter “B” sitting on the floor, from Nancy Gyes’ alphabet drills. Did you know… if you take the jumps in a Hobday box and give them each a 90˚ twist… then you have a pinwheel?

This was our league play course. It is very unusual as the “standard” course goes. It begins on the A-frame and ends on the A-frame. As far as I know the only venue that even allows beginning and/or ending on a contact obstacle is the TDAA. I’ve never liked the convention much. On the positive side, it pretty much takes away the lead-out option which will significantly improve the conduct of the trial as we won’t have to endure every painful step of the handler’s preoccupation with setting up downfield.

It looked for all the world like the contest would be won on the evening by some slower moving dog and possibly even a dog with more novice skills. The transition from jump #3 to the left-side of the pipe tunnel at #4 is definitely a fast dog trap. Dog after dog, we were losing the fast, well trained dogs in the right side of the pipe tunnel. And it took a clean run to get a placement last night.

Oh, at the end, we had a fast dog sneak in and get a clean run. I’m happy to report that dog was Kory. I’m almost sorry I was a spoiler on a course that managed to level the playing field. Of course I took a lead-out (where no lead-out advantage exists?) past jump #2 before starting him. That allowed me to be at jump #3 to precue the turn into the left side of the pipe tunnel. Everyone had to endure every painful step of my preoccupation with setting up downfield.

We got a good workout on the pinwheel. I have to confess that I was just about at my wits end memorizing a course of 25 obstacles. It was easy to get lost and disoriented on this course because each mesmerizing and familiar entry and exit of the pinwheel feels like the last or the next. Yah, it’ll turn your head around.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston 2BudHouston@hughes.net. The Country Dream web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. Be sure to check out my distance training series: The Jokers Notebook; an (inexpensive) elaboration and improvement on the work I did in Go the Distance.

3 Responses to “Turns out, I have a niece!”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I’m not a fan of starting a course with contacts either; I feel it takes away the challenge of approaching the obstacle at speed. It doesn’t always remove the lead out option. I can lead out past an aframe with my 10″ toy poodle – at least a TDAA aframe.
    I have practicesd the pinwheel with 4 jumps as in this course and it can be dizzying! 25 obstacles is a lot to remember! Sounds like you did a good job holding up your end of the Bud/Kory team!

  2. Linda Knowles Says:

    I’ve had a course beginning with the aframe in a NADAC course several years ago. Since it’s not something that is used much, it’s easy to remember those things. Also started a course with weave poles one time. It was a USDAA game at Nationals (can’t think of the name of it right off the top of my head) but it was where you do the contacts, weaves and then cross the timer to begin the jumping phase of the game. Darn, can’t remember the name of that game and we just played it in TDAA not too long ago.

  3. Michelle Says:

    probably Power and Speed Linda

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