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NC Regional

Yes, this post is excessively long, but I had a long wait at the airport.  The Barrington Field House is highly recommended.  Three rings in a space that could probably accommodate 6, a bad picture but you get the idea.  I think it's the nicest surface I've ever run on.  Sprint turf, but longer blades than what is at IADW, and lots of padding.  You could feel the spring when you ran around on the surface.  The dogs could dig in, and Lucy jumped with a tremendous amount of confidence.  It was great to travel with barjor , and even better to see Speck get a 2nd place in round 2 of GP, competing against some of the best teams in the world, so awesome.  I flew Lucy in the cabin, and she did great except for wiggling out of her harness once and then somehow crawling from our window seat into the aisle. I didn't even notice until she was standing in the aisle.  The look on her face was priceless.  The men sitting next to me thought it was hilarious and stood up to let her back in.  The trip started with a bang, literally, as we got rear ended.  We were stopped at a light and the car behind us got hit, and then she hit us.  The dogs weren't in the car and there was only a minor scratch on the rental, so no big deal. 

Speck and Lucy are both attention hoarders so they didn’t really care for each other.  I’ve never heard Lucy growl so much, the two of them ended up in a “stick with YOUR person” truce.  It was even funnier when the two of them were in the back of the car trying to ignore each other.  The trip also ended eventfully as my flight was delayed for over 2 hours, I was very happy I had Lucy with me as it was pretty warm outside and I would have been freaking out if she was checked in cargo.  However, the plane changed to a much larger 767 premium, we scored the exit row with no one sitting beside us so she got to stretch out and sleep for the flight home. 

Here's a random recap:

1.  Dam team q, mainly because of the fabulous performance of Lucy's brother Psi.  He is an amazingly consistent performer, and Ashley is a fantastic handler.  She was a completely laid back teammate, even after Lucy and I had an E in team jumpers.  Psi finished his TM platinum this weekend.  Here's the relay video.
 2.  I asked Lucy to give me everything she had for our round 1 GP, knowing that they would only take a certain number of dogs.  She ran her heart out but skipped a weave pole and E’d, but I don't think we could have gone any faster.  She ended up with a time of 31.40 seconds, 12th place cut off was 31.30 seconds, we were15th fastest after E-Z and Xtreme.  It was one of my favorite runs of the weekend.

 3.  I ran conservative for steeplechase round 1, knowing that if we ran clean we would probably advance.  She got 6th place, here's the video.  The opening was an excellent lesson in either trust your dog completely or if you shape the A Frame approach make sure it’s well timed.  A lot of dogs got sent off course by their handlers.  I could tell her tank was empty for round 2, she dropped a couple of bars but still had a nice run.

4.  We won IHC standard, which was a total surprise.  I came off the course thinking there was only one jump approach that I would have handled differently, pretty obvious which one on the video, but knew that her wraps were as tight as she could make them, and she found her backside of jumps very nicely. Dudley powered Sweet through the course, and with Sweet’s running dw I assumed they would win, I still don’t know where Lucy made up the time, especially with her swing out to the weave poles.  Psi did the same thing, ha ha.

5.  I made a conscious effort to celebrate every run, except for the broken start line in masters snooker :) I dragged my dog a long way and was determined to make sure she knew how grateful I was.  I realize that some of the handlers were under a lot of pressure for the IFCS competition, and I think it's completely fine to have process and outcome goals for dog agility, but I'm always bothered when people either ignore their dogs or treat their dogs poorly after a run.  I do think it's worse when it is one of the high profile handlers, because I'm sure their students and followers are watching them closely.  We really are just running around with our dogs, I think everyone forgets from time to time.
6.  There were some insanely fast dogs at this trial, and some dogs that were just insane.  Some of the bcs were so twitchy it made me a little nervous.  I'll take temperament over speed any day.

7.  It was fabulous watching many teams that I've never seen before, as well as a lot of high profile teams.  I think the common traits of the handlers I really enjoyed watching were that they were completely connected with their dogs for every run, worked every obstacle, and were COMPLETELY invested in every run.

8.  If the event returns to the same facility next year I'll attempt to return, even if it means skipping AKC nationals.  I'd rather do 5 runs a day rather than 2, in a clean air conditioned environment with a fabulous surface rather than dirt.  It's definitely worth a return trip, and again highly recommended

9.  We found an excellent pizza place, note dangling mozzarella.

10. Remind me to bring my camera battery charger next year.

Great site, well run show, excellent courses and great company.  Hope that there is more representation from the west coast next year. Thanks to barjor  for all of the videos!  Lucy rocks, this was by far her best regional performance to date, I’m convinced that it was the surface.  Thanks again to my curly wonder dog.

(I left Kona with one of my classmates from IADW.  She was at the beach on a long line, ignoring her recall and she somehow managed to BUST apart her fleece Walkeez harness today, ripping the ring and buckles off of the harness, when they grabbed the long line.  It's another amazing accomplishment for my puppy, and one less person willing to watch her)

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I like you Kerilyn;)

1 through #4- Sweet, you and Lucy had some excellent runs. Gah, I love her so much.

#5- Well said.

#6- Temperament was number one on my list when I went looking for a BC, so important to me. I have to live with the dog first and I want the dog to be trusting and trust worthy. I want my dogs to be comfortable in their own skins. Twitchy dogs make me nervous too.

#7- Yes, the connection for me is the biggest. I want to see both dog and handler enjoying it, before, after, and during their runs.

#8- Sounds like it would be WAY more fun than AKC Nationals held in dirt with 2 runs a day. A long day to be sure.

#9- Isn't Chicago known for it's pizza? Was this "Chicago" style pizza with the thicker crust?

10- Yes, photos would have been cool.

Haaa, Kona is just going to have to travel with you from now on.

Yes, one of the goals for the weekend was to eat Chicago deep dish pizza. This was not-so-deep dish pizza, but the crust was a lot better. Frequently the crust gets really soggy under all of the goo.

Where is that pizza place?

Excellent round up with good detail. And video! (tho, geez Barb, get the WHOLE run will ya??)

Glad you had a good time.

and Kona, puppy. What's with the escape routines?

My fault, I forgot to bring the camcorder to ringside so she had to run and get it.

Kona!!!! What a naughty girl!

I shouldn't be reading at lunchtime, now I want pizza instead of my salad... ;-)

Sounds like a fabulous trip. Was the feel of the red part of the turf the same as the green part? Did the change in color seem to effect the dogs?

Nice runs and how fun to win the IHC class!

Thanks! Hope Merc likes the videos :)

The red part was the same turf, just the marking for the baseball diamond. I didn't see any dogs noticing the stripes or color change, I was actually expecting Lucy to notice but she didn't.

They can play BASEBALL in there? Holy Cow! How high was the ceiling?

Two stories, the netting in the picture is to keep the baseballs and footballs from hitting the walls upstairs.

I've trialled there 3 times now and never noticed the red being a problem. I did have issues one trial though with thinking the gamble line was one of the white painted lines. Doh!

#4 Now that is just awesome.

# 9 belch, ick, barf.

Hehe Kona does not like for you to leave. ;)

Sounds like a fun time. Roo and I are going next year!

The pizza was excellent!

By any chance can your sewing machine sew the nylon webbing back onto the Fleece harness? I can't find anyone who has an industrial type sewing machine so I can put her harness back together. Ridiculous.

I found your blog - yaay! Love the name! :-)

Was great seeing you again at Regionals, so glad you and Lucy made the trip! I didn't know Lucy and Psi were related, how cool, what a small world. Now it all makes sense!

Chicago pizza is yuk, prefer NY style! :-) Although the Mexican was pretty good!

Too funny. Yes, my blog is usually "private" so I minimize the number of strange spam messages. It was great to see you as well, that show was fantastic!

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