Monthly Archives: August 2009

Scraps the Dog takes 8-week refresher agility class

DCC_1265_edited-1Unfortunately, we don’t practice with Scraps the Dog enough to take full advantage of his natural talents and his connection with Kathy.  Nevertheless, with 2 trials coming up in the next month or two, we thought it would be good and fun to take an 8-week refresher agility class at St Huberts.  It will be outdoors with Sherrie every Monday night at 5:15.

We had Sherri as a teacher four our previous teeter class so she probably thought Scraps was a pretty useless dog  just because teeter is his last obstacle to learn.  Our first night of class was August 24, 2009 and it was a beautiful night to be outdoors at St. Huberts.  In the end, the class has 5 talented dogs and handlers so it goes quick and smoothly and is good practice.  We ran 2 one-half agility courses twice and then combined them in the end.  Scraps was quick and agile impressing Sherri who never really saw him run in the teeter class.  It was a fun and useful class to keep Scraps in shape for the trials coming up.  We have 7-weeks to go.

It’s now 5 weeks into the course and Scraps is doing well.  We have to move the start time to an early 5:00 pm from here on since there are no lights on the field.  Scraps and Kathy have learned not to clap, to run parallel to each other and to do the weaves on both side of the poles.  Check out this video from week 5 recorded with my iPhone.

Below are some runs from the September 28, 2009 and October 5, 2009 classes.  The first day is really good, while the second day is a bit weaker.   Nevertheless, it is all amazing.

Sherri has been teaching Kathy really well and you can see how Kathy and Scraps now run smoothly and under control.  The video below is from the cold October 12, 2009 class.  This is the second to last class.

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2009-08-01 CPE Agility Trial, Lewis Morris Park, Morristown, NJ

DCC_0854_edited-1It’s Jerry’s birthday and the weather gods were on our side as they gave us a cloudless hot day to start this August. We got to the trial comfortably at 7:30 or so and setup everything. Kathy took the car and I took the bike. We had plenty of time as we were competing in 4 of the 5 runs for the day. The ground was very wet when we laid the tarp down but by 2:00 everything was dry and a breeze picked up.

Kathy wanted me to do this trial without video taping so not to distract Scraps when he runs and it seemed to work. In the first run, Jackpot, Scraps had good focus and followed Kathy’s commands but couldn’t complete the gamble at the end of the run and he did not get a qualifying run.

I decided to take a nice ride between the first 2 runs since we had plenty of time so I took the big hill up to the top of Jockey Hollow and then took the long downhill down Western Avenue into Morristown so I could go to the Swiss Chalet and pickup some breakfast. I got a couple of rolls and Danish for the two of us. I get out of the bakery to discover I had a flat rear tire. Bummer! Upon further review I pulled the plastic topped thumbtack out of my tire, made the change, arduously pumped the tire to the minimum 75 lbs and back I went. This time up the big hill that is Western Ave. to the top of Sugar Loaf and then down to the agility field. I think I hit 32 MPH at one point.  For the day I logged 18.5 miles.

The next run, Wildcard, Scraps seemed a bit distracted and also failed to qualify on it. Kathy came back with the sticker on the finger. That means no ribbon and no qualify. We were overtime.

Shortly after the run I rode the bike home to let Rags out for a walk. During it I decided to take a quick shower to cool and clean off and head back to the trial with my car. I was able to make it in time to catch the third run.

The third run, Colors, Scraps was very distracted going over every obstacle but somehow Kathy was able to keep him on line and she got him a qualifying run.

Our last run of the day is Fullhouse.  Scraps ran early in this one and will be done early in the day.  He can then go to the clubhouse and crack a cold one.  Unfortunately, Kathy had to volunteer all the way to the end. That gave me time to batten up the hatches for the evening while she was working.

I was home by 5:00 with Scraps and he ended up qualifying in that 4th and last event of the evening.  We went 2 for 4 for the day.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Day 2 – Sunday, August 2, 2009

What did day 2 bring? Well it wasn’t Jerry’s birthday anymore and the weather gods were not on our side.  The day brought rain. We woke up to the sound of heavy rain and decided to miss the initial event, Jumpers since it was raining hard. There was a little gap in the rain coming up later that morning.

At around 9:45 we got into the car and headed to the field to find we can run in the second event and the rain almost stopped. We had about 25 dogs to go before us, but we did miss the walk through. No big deal, it’s the event that you need to accumulate a minimum number of points in the first part of the run, wait for the buzzer and then complete a jump and then a jump and obstacle in no particular order and ending on the table. No walk through but at least there is little thought about course order. By the time Scrap’s turn came the rain picked up a bit but it wasn’t torrential.

He ran the run and seemed a little distracted by the rain but jumped a couple of jumps, he jumped off the 1st half of the A-frame but successfully did a couple of tunnels back to back. I’m thinking he only got 13 points in the first half while needing 20 and only completed one jump, not 2, and an obstacle.  A trooper all the way, he ran like a contender in the foul weather.

Since we weren’t running in the next event, Standard, we decided to go home as the rain was picking up a bit. I got food to make French toast for breakfast as the small of wet Scraps in the car reminded me of French toast. We looked at the radar and the red vicious storms were heading our way. There were strong storms with high winds that hit us.  At the lull in the storms, around 2:00pm, Kathy and I decided to head back to the field and get the last run, if not two in.  As we went down the road we discovered serious downed trees in the neighborhood. Burnham Road was impassable, so was Mill Rd westbound. We decided to stay at home instead of going to the park since the world around us was given a whole lot of “whoop-ass” and emergency crews had their hands full. About an hour later we tried again to get to the park as the weather was actually getting nice. We navigated through all the closed roads at Rt 24 only to find the Lewis Morris Park was closed. Oh well, it was an adventure. Time to practice in front of the paparazzi and get ready for the trial in September.