I was up very early this morning. I tip-toed down to the man cave in my robe and fired up the computer. Before long I realized I had bit of company. Though everybody who came down with me was fairly positive we all should still be in bed.
Yesterday it was a startling 70 degrees outside. That is very unusual for the back end of January. I’m finding myself with outside chores to do. I still have green grass from last year. It’s supposed to be tan brown and acting like it’s dead.
By contrast, last Thursday we had an overnight ice storm. We woke up to a world coated in ice. This was the view over the back fence, down the hill into the woods:
It’s hard to appreciate what you’re seeing I suppose. I also took this close-up of a branch of the holly tree leaning over our back deck:
But now, a couple days later, it’s balmy outside. It’s also muddy. I went to the lower field to play with my boy Kory. He went down as a black and white, but came back as a tri.
Yesterday I set the floor for our upcoming class/mini-clinic. The floor was absolutely sweating. This is a phenomenon that usually haunts us in the early Spring when the frozen floor starts to thaw. So I got out several of our barn fans and throughout the day moved them around to see if I couldn’t get some evaporation. It worked fine. I couldn’t help but think of it as curing the floor.
But I want to work my dog. It’s unfair to ask any dog to jump on a floor that’s as slippery as a Whamo Super Slide. Now the floor is nice and cured… and Kory and I have been able to do some work.
I haven’t written to my blog in days. I have kind of a new years resolution to put certain chores ahead of the blog; which (the theory goes) will compel me to get them done. You’ll be happy to know I’m only cheating a little bit.
League Play Twofer
I have guests coming to watch our league play this weekend; so I’m adding a second game. My students should love that. There’s a game that’s been gnawing at the back of my brain lately; and I’m thinking this will be a good opportunity to give it a go. This is a variation of Dare to Double. But if you thought you knew Dare to Double you’ll have to check out the Flanigan variation. It’s a whole new ball game!
Dare to Double ~ Flanigan Variation
The game begins at the designated start-line, and ends at the table. Big dogs have 50 seconds to accumulate as many points as possible; Small dogs have 55. The dog must get to the table before course time elapses. If the dog gets to the table before time expires, he keeps all points accumulated on course. If the dog fails to do so, half of the points are lost. There will be no warning whistle. If the dog hits the table at any time during the run, scoring and time will cease.
Obstacles can be taken only twice during point accumulation. Back-to-back is permitted. Jumps that are knocked down will not be reset. Jumps = 1 point; tunnels and tire = 3 points; contact obstacles and the weave poles = 5 points.
During the run, all current points can be doubled by performing the A-frame. A successful performance doubles all points. If, however, the dog faults the A-frame, half of the existing points are lost. In the Flanigan Variation the A-frame can be performed only twice during the dog’s run, and an obstacle must be completed for points between each performance of the doubling obstacle.
Scoring and Qualifying
Dare to Double is scored Points, Then Time.
- Games I => 40 points
- Games II => 70 points
- Games III => 100 points
In the traditional Dare to Double you can double as often as you want, so long as you score points in between performances of the A-frame. The savvy player will quickly get the fundamental underlying math. Basically you get a handful of points on your dog and then start doubling until the end of time.
But the Flanigan variation is something else entirely; you only get to do the A-frame twice for double points. Now, if you double too early it lowers your capacity to score the most points. If you double too late time may expire and you’ll lose half your points. It is certainly a canny game of timing.
Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The Country Dream web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You know… I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an embarrassingly inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.