Well, that was fun



Sunday afternoon Chico and I went to a BARK-NH sponsored USDAA trial at the end of the day, just to do a couple classes. It was part of my Project Happy Dog plan. No teaming with someone else and her dog, no Lucy tagging along; just us. My goal was to run fast and hard, to let Chico just go, go, go – his favorite thing. First we did Snooker, which is based on the British table game Snooker. Some jumps are worth a point (the reds) and others have their own, higher, point values. You do a red, do a color, do a red, do a color etc, until all the reds are attempted, then you do a ‘closing’ of the obstacles numbers 2 – 7, in order. The goal is a high score, but if you rush and your dog knocks down a bar, you are out right then. You have to make up your own course. That was really hard for me at first, but I’m getting better. My original strategy for this game was flawed, I had a slow dog and we ran out of time. Yesterday, I was able to see a path that had a lot of running, and attempted all four reds, and set me up for a good entry to the closing. It has been pointed out to me enough times that maybe I finally learned it – my dog will go fast if I go fast. So I went for it and we beat the other dog in our class by .15 seconds

"Those things?"

“Those things?”

The other class was Jumpers, another run and gun style class. We came second, by just a couple 10ths of a second, and I know where I made my mistakes – my feet didn’t indicate a turn soon enough and he went way wide, and I did something wrong that almost sent him off course, we lost a little time correcting that.

"Meh. I prefer a bone please. I know these are not for chewing."

“Meh. I prefer a bone please. I know these are not for chewing.”

I posted our results to my personal Facebook page right after the event, and a friend said they made no sense to him, except the placements, so I said I would translate.

[Dog] Chico.

[registration number with the US Dog Agility Assn] U142261.

[dog’s date of birth] 01-10-05.

[breed] All-American.

[ Some people have others run the dog (be the handler) for them] Owner: Annie Riecken, Handler: Annie Riecken.

[date of event]3/13/2016

[program, level, and class name – the Performance program (vs Championship program) allows Chico to jump 16 inches, though a dog his height in Championship would jump 20 inches – this is a decision I made long ago. For Chico, it was the going places, focusing on me, doing in public what he could do in practice, that was hard; we didn’t want the actual jumping to be hard as well] Performance II Snooker – 16 Inch –

[you have to earn titles – to move in this case to Performance (level) III – under different judges] Judge: Becky Dean
[here we are trying to accumulate as many points as possible, 37 is the minimum for a qualifying run, or Q, and we need the Qs to move up a level] Score: 54 (Q)

[how long it took from the start to the finish, in the case of equal points, faster dog wins] Time: 45.34 seconds

[how we compared to the rest of the dogs that got a Q] 1st Place

And the other class….

[This is the top level] Performance III

[the class is Jumpers, with its own rules] Jumpers – 16 Inch – Judge: Becky Dean

[The judge takes a surveying wheel and ‘wheels the course’ to determine the official length of the course] Distance: 150 yards

[and determines an acceptable time to run that distance] SCT: 40 seconds

[points here are counted against our team; they are awarded for knocked bars, time over standard course time] Score: 0.00 (Q) Time: 37.62 seconds

[another dog was faster than we were and also ran clean] 2nd Place

So there you have it. Clear as mud, right?

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