Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hike with Scraps and Rags, Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch, Rockaway, NJ

DCC_3595_edited-1With a day off from work on a beautiful Thursday, October 21, 2009 I decided to head up to the hills to capture some of the peaking foliage.  Kathy was working so this hike was going to be just me and the dogs, Scraps and Rags. After taking some stuff to the recycling center and grabbing a bagel we were off  to the woods.

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I kayaked solo without any dogs yesterday, so I thought I would go with the dogs somewhere that I could snap a few good shots of the wonderful autumn colors.  I had two days off from work and I was making the best of them with respect to weather, recreation and the time of the year.

Click here to see these photos in Picasa Web Albums with slide shows

DCC_3591_edited-1We headed out around 11:00 to the Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch trail in Rockaway Township.  It is located 6.3 miles north on Green Pond Road from Rt 80’s exit 37 and then you take Upper Hibernia Road for 2.5 miles to this clearing in the road that leads to a trail head.  There is very little indication this is even the destination or even a park.  I mean it is forested around there but I could be walking into a hunting zone.

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Kathy and I had hiked there around 5 years ago but exactly where everything would be was still a mystery.  I didn’t have a trail map like I did 5 years ago but I did have my iPhone GPS in case I got into trouble.

We parked and started down the trail and we soon saw Beaver Pond, a mushy pond with vibrant colorful trees on the other side.  With the sun at my back I was able to get and nice shot of the colors but the scum on the pond ruin a bit of the beauty contained in the reflections.

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Finding the Hawkridge destination of the hike was difficult. The trail was blazed marginally at best and the fallen leaves obscured the direction of the trail.  We missed the trail turn at some point and hiked down toward a brook that we had to cross a couple of times.  On the way back, I found the turn-off I previously missed.  This was the finally accent to the Hawkridge.  In this area I saw my first person of the hike.  We past him and headed to the summit.  Once there we found two other people.

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The Hawkridge is a large rock outcropping providing a clear view of the forested valley below with the Tourne several miles to the east and other hill crests further on.  the day was crisp and clear and you could see far.  In addition, the foliage was speckled with yellows, green, oranges and reds.  It was like multi-colored broccoli below.

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So we hung for about 30 minutes on the ridge and the headed down.  Taking the easier utility path to the road and then back to the car.  All in all it was about a 3-hour hike.  The dogs were well behaved.  I had Scraps on a very light 4-foot leash and let him off it the whole time.  He sniffs, explores a little but keeps up with me where I hardly worry about him.  Rags I had on the 20 foot lead and it also worked well.  Both dogs were definitely pooped by the time we got back to the car that they both slept in the back seat on the way home.

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Biking with Scraps and Rags

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DSCN0873_edited-1Ever since I got into bicycling after visiting Amsterdam I have always wanted an easy way to transport the dogs on the bikes as we travel to and fro ’round town. I have come up with some ideas and have had success riding with a dog in the past, but I only had one bike setup up at a time. Finally, in October 2009, 2 years after getting into biking, I have gotten both dogs riding on both bikes.

First we went to the 2009 Morristown Fall Festival with the 2-dog setup. This went really well. We were able to nicely walk through the crowded festival without too much Ragitude as I call it. On our way out of the festival Rags fell out of my crate as I lunged forward, but her harness held her in. I was just getting into the saddle when it happened, so we weren’t going fast when she was dangling by her harness and she didn’t get hurt. Nevertheless, it told me that I had to get a deeper carte or put some walls on the crate.

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I found the solution to the shallow crate problem in the back part of my basement. I used the headrests from my old Jetta, and the spokes from them secured nicely into the lattice of the crate. Solution found for 2 of 3 sides and it’s a big improvement in safety and comfort. In addition, it is light, stable, soft and easy to install. I just need to find one more for the third side.

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Our next trip was on Columbus Day when we took the dogs on a bike and hike to Dismal Harmony. That is a 5-mile bike ride each way and a beautiful hike through a classic Morris County type of trail. Fun stuff and I’m glad we can do it with the whole family. This time I had the headrests in place and the trip was a pleasure. The only real issue was Rags was barking the entire way there if Scraps was in her sights. It is just like when we kayak. Bark or no bark, we had a beautiful ride to Dismal Harmony where I video taped much of the ride and posted on the YouTube video below.

It was kind of surprising that Rags was acting with such Ragitude this trip because we had both gone on 2 long bike rides in the previous few days alone with the new crate/headrest system. We did a 20 mile ride and a 13 mile ride with no problems so her barking was a bit of a bummer on the whole experience.

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We locked up the bikes and hiked for an hour and a half or so. Following along Dismal Harmony Brook allowing Scraps to prance up and down the rocks on the trail was lots of fun. Rags was on the 20 foot lead so she even got to explore a little. We shot a few pictures during the walk and then I continued shooting the video of the bike ride on the way home. This was a fun bike and hike with the dogs and I look forward to many more.   Afterwards we brought Scraps to Agility class for some practice there.

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You can see our previous setup for biking with the dogs includes the large padded dog bed with built in restraint. This works well but it does cost $80, doesn’t work in the rain and it cuts of your ability to use panniers. Nevertheless, you can put it on and off pretty quickly and fits both bikes. We have been using this for the past 2 years I think.

For a little while I had a large rectangular milk crate on the back of the bike and I was able to use the light weight Container Store draw to make a nice cage. This worked great for safety but the dogs couldn’t stick there heads out of it. In any case, I abandoned the milk crate, it was too big to keep on the bike forever. We used it for a while.

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With the winter coming we will see how many more dog trips we have but I am psyched we have solved this dilemma for now. I’ll be looking forward to the spring with lot of rides. I’ll try to keep you and me posted.

SCOR Agility Sept. 26-27, 2009 Chatham, NJ

It’s a cool morning at St. Huberts for the CPE, SCOR agility trial.  At least it is dry and comfortable but the clouds in the sky are an ominous reminder that tomorrow is slated to be a cold wet day.  Kathy drove to the site and I biked so she got here at about 7:30 while I got here about 7:45, replete with pasteries from the Swiss Chalet.
Jackpot – Level 3 – 8″
We we the first dog to run in Jackpot, level 3 after a quick course change and run through.  Kathy just got Scraps to crap and piss before the run.  Scraps got off fast with a few jumps and then got the zoomies going through a tunnel like 6 times.  We almost got the 20 points in the first part of the course and then when the buzzer sounded Scrpas knew what to do.  This included a jump, teeter, tire and jump at a distance and he was on course to complete it but Kathy beckoned Scraps iff the teeter and he listened.  We ened up with 31 points and an NQ.  Who knows how they access points in this event.
The next  event to run was standard which we didn’t compete in since it had a teeter.  This gave me enought time to watch a little of it, video tape Shamus, the wild naked Chinese Crested, bike home, walk Rags, bike back to St. Huberts and make it back to still see the last 30 runs of Standard.  We ran our first run around 8:45 and probably won’t hit this run until 2:00pm.  This is a pretty long break.
Colors Level 3 = 8″
At 2:15 we finally ran our second run which was Colors and the course Kathy selected was the red one that had weave poles instead of the teeter.  While Scraps didn’t run through the poles perfectly on the first of the second attempt he did eventually get them and I assume on the way to a “Q.”  We will have to wait for the final judges score.  The result is in and we qualified and came in first place.
3rd Game:Level 3 8 Inches
Scraps was quickly “Thank You’ed” of the course after going in and out of tunnels wrecklessly.  This was his nemasis all day.  Not know what to do next so he would gravitate to his most accessible tunnel.  It hurt him in this game.  He was able to get by in others.  Needless to say, we did not qualify in this event.
I went for a nice long bike ride between this and the last run of the day.  I brushed through Chatham, Harding, Long Hill and Morris Township and back again.  In total, I rode 32.5 miles during the day between commuting back and forth to the trail and joy riding.  I’m nicely pooped as I compose this.
Last Run – Level 3 – 8 Inches.
Once again, Scraps was wreckless but CPE have forgiveness in many of its games if you know how to adapt and Kathy and Scraps adapted this run all the way to a first place victory with another “Q”.
For the day we were two for four with two first place runs.  Scraps is fast for his size so if he qualifies there is a good chance he will also get a first place ribbon.  In was on my bike at 5:30 on the way home making it home by 6:00.  Eating Macho Nacho for dinner and finishing up a bottle of Cotes du Rhone from the other night.  Kathy’s passed out on the couch at 8:30 as I blog and we do it all again tomoorow. It looks like it will be wet but not soaking rain all day. I have a feeling it’s going to prove to be an experience.

It’s a cool morning at St. Huberts for the CPE, SCOR agility trial.  At least it is dry and comfortable but the clouds in the sky are an ominous reminder that tomorrow is slated to be a cold wet day.  Kathy drove to the site and I biked so she got here at about 7:30 while I got here about 7:45, replete with pastries from the Swiss Chalet.

Jackpot – Level 3 – 8″

We were the first dog to run in Jackpot, level 3 after a quick course change and run through.  Kathy just got Scraps to crap and piss before the run.  Scraps got off fast with a few jumps and then got the zoomies going through a tunnel like 6 times.  We almost got the 20 points in the first part of the course and then when the buzzer sounded Scraps knew what to do.  This included a jump, teeter, tire and jump over the line, at a distance and he was on course to complete it but Kathy beckoned Scraps off the teeter and he listened.  We ened up with 31 points and an “NQ.”  Who knows how they access points in this event?

The next event at the trial was Standard which we didn’t compete in since it had a teeter in it.  This gave me enough time to watch a little of it, video tape Shamus, the wild naked Chinese Crested, bike home, walk Rags, bike back to St. Huberts and make it back to still see the last 30 runs of Standard.  We ran our first run around 8:45 and probably won’t hit this run until 2:00pm.  This is a pretty long break.

Colors Level 3 – 8″

At 2:15 we finally ran our second run which was Colors and the course Kathy selected was the red one that had weave poles in it instead of the teeter.  While Scraps didn’t run through the poles perfectly on the first or the second attempt he did eventually get them and I assume on the way to a “Q.”  We will have to wait for the final judges score.  The result is in and we qualified and came in first place.

3rd Game – Level 3 – 8 Inches

Scraps was quickly “Thank You’ed” off the course after going in and out of tunnels recklessly.  This was his nemesis all day.  Not knowing what to do next so he would therefore gravitate to his most accessible tunnel.  It hurt him in this game.  He was able to get by in others.  Needless to say, we did not qualify in this event.

I went for a nice long bike ride between this and the last run of the day.  I brushed through Chatham, Harding, Long Hill and Morris Township and back again.  In total, I rode 32.5 miles during the day between commuting back and forth to the trial and joy riding.  I’m nicely pooped as I write this blog.

Last Run – Level 3 – 8 Inches

Once again, Scraps was reckless but CPE is forgiving in many of its games if you know how to adapt and Kathy and Scraps adapted this run all the way to a first place victory with another “Q”.

For the day we were two for four with two first place runs.  Scraps is fast for his size so if he qualifies there is a good chance he will also get a first place ribbon.  I was on my bike at 5:30 on the way home making it home by 6:00.  Eating Macho Nacho for dinner and finishing up a bottle of Cotes du Rhone from the other night.  Kathy’s passed out on the couch at 8:30 as I blog and we do it all again tomorrow. It looks like it will be wet but not a soaking rain all day.  I have a feeling it’s going to prove to be an experience.

Day 2 – Sunday, September 27, 2009

As predicted by the weatherman, today turned out to be a wet day so we are trying to minimize our exposure.  We arrived at around 8:00, missing the judge’s briefing and the walk through for the first event jumpers.

Jumpers – Level 3 – 8″

It was only misting when we left the car with Scraps which left us 15 minutes to watch some runs, get Scraps warmed up and run the jumpers course.  It all happened fast which was good. We got on the course at 8:30 and Scraps ran with some good focus.  He had one off-course fault when he veered left over a double jump he was supposed to pass.  Other than that, Kathy and Scraps were smooth and clean and I don’t think the one mistake will hurt our chances of getting the “Q” in this run.

After the run, we had Standards to wait through so I took Scraps home to wait in the warmth and dryness of the house and I will head back to the agility field around noon when Scraps is scheduled to run next.  Since I got home it rained a little harder but the weatherman says it should not rain too hard all day.

I got back there in time to witness Scrpaps once again not being able to differentiate between going into a tunnel and going onto another obstacle.  This time he chose the tunnel leading himself and Kathy path of failure and an “NQ.”

Kathy salvaged the 3rd run of the day by saving Scraps from prematurely going on the table and disqualifying himself.  It is really close, but after that save she and Scraps went on the complete the course and get a 3rd place qualifying run.

Finally in the last run of the day and the weekend, Scraps missed the first jump, the Judge missed the miss and called out “One.”  Kathy went back to correct the miss but Scraps took the jump backwards and quickly got whistled off the course by the judge.  Thank you very much!

For the weekend we got 4 qualifying runs out of 8 and while considering we were running at all level 3 and day 2 we had rainy weather, it not all that bad.  We came home Sunday at 5:00, nice and early considering we were there until the entire site was cleaned, to have a Gindoff platter and a Giant shutout of Tampa Bay on the DVR.  By the way for Kathy’s sake, the Yankees clinched the Eastern Division title with a win of Boston.  With Monday off  from work, its is a nice night-cap on the whole agility weekend.

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.

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.

SCOR Agility NADAC July 11 and 12, 2009 St. Huberts, Chatham Township, NJ

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We hadn’t been to a NADAC agility trial with Scraps for a while as CPE has provided us more opportunities to run.  Nevertheless, SCOR was sponsoring a NADAC trial at the under-renovation St. Huberts site so we decided to run all the events even though there was one, hoopers, that involved 100% of an obstacle and an event Scraps had yet to experience.  Oh well, we would give it a go.  NADAC recently eliminated teeter, due to safety considerations, so we decided to try and run everything.  Take a look at the YouTube video footage I shot below.  It shows all the runs with the exception of the tunnelers from day-2.

I love the location, it is nice an close, so close I decided to bike to and fro.  All told, I got 23 miles in during the first day that included Scraps running in 6 events.  I ended up not biking during day-2 although I regretted it all day.

One thing we found out is that NADAC is a bit less forgiving than CPE with respect to requiring near perfect runs.  As a result, Scraps seemed to run well with good focus but he only qualifies in 1 of the six potential runs on Saturday, and did the same on Sunday. In any case, they were gorgeous days that was just lots of fun filled with dogs, competition, bike riding and nice weather.  It ends with me blogging about the day and drinking some Argetinian Malbec red wine on Saturday night.

Getting the feel of the new rubberized A-frame.

Getting the feel of the new rubberized A-frame.

In the morning  we were due there around 7:30 to get measured and Scraps, in NADAC, jumps 12″ as opposed to CPE where he jumps 8″.  Not a big deal since he is agile and leaps well so 12″ should not present a problem.  In addition, he like never knocks down bars.  So jumpers was the first event and on the 3rd jump he uncharacteristically knocks down a bar and we didn’t qualify.  We didn’t qualify for the 2nd or 3rd event either.  It wasn’t looking good for Scraps and Kathy going 0 for 3.  NADAC was proving to be tricky.  Some how and surprising to us, Scraps qualified in his weavers run, as he is becoming quite reliable in being able to do the weave poles.  He didn’t qualify in the 5th event and we are hopeful he qualified in the hoopers, even though he had never seen a hoop until today but we failed.  Nevertheless, Scraps and Kathy were clutch in that run to be at least respectable and competitive.

I took lots of photos of others but didn’t spend to much effort photographing Scarps and Kathy as I wanted to concentrate on capturing their runs on video tape.  I was asked by a Cecilia to photograph her two dogs and her, she thinking I was the official photographer.  Let’s hope that some of my pictures came out good.

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It was a fun and fulfilling day even without Scraps pulling out lots of qualifying runs and ribbons.  The weather, venue and flow of the day was right on.  I was on my bike at 6:25 getting home so it was a long day but I was able to catch a power nap on the anti-gravity chair in between the 4th and 5th events.  Lots of runs, lots of biking between them and just a positive agility day.  We do it all again tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009 – Day 2

The next day started with hoopers and that didn’t go well to start because somewhere in the gyration of hoopers Kathy and Scraps failed to complete one of the red sequences.  I don’t know what they did wrong, but it was wrong enough to NQ.  In regular Scraps ran into a wrong tunnel, that was set up to trick him and also got the NQ.  In Touch and Go he jumped off the walk and also got and NQ, it was a total mess.  Kathy was get despondent, she was paranoid the camaera was messing Scrap’concentration up, we missed so Q’s only due to being over time by a second or 2.  I therefore went home and walked Rags between the 4th and 5th event and missed their 5th of 5 NQs for the day.  Finally, for the last event of the  day we had jumpers and the two of them ran it gracefully and easily and it resulted in a qualifying run and a 1st place. The week-end was ofinally ver.  We got home about 7:00 after helping clean-up the site.

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Official Results – 2 qualifying runs out of 12.  NADAC is tough and we should practice once in a while.

Judge Ben issued more faults to us than all the others judges combined.

Judge Ben issued more faults to us than all the others judges combined.

Saturday, 07/11/2009

  • Jumpers 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    27.69/5.00 NQ/1 YPS: 3.79
  • Regular 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    44.85/15.34 NQ/1 YPS: 2.27
  • Chances 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    41.00 Gamble: N NQ
  • Weavers 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults:
    59.95/0.00 Q-10/3 YPS: 2.97
  • Tunnelers 12/Std/Open
    P Time/Faults:
    39.64/10.00 NQ/1 YPS: 3.83
  • Hoopers 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    42.16/1.36 NQ/2

DCC_0668_edited-1Sunday, 07/12/2009

  • Hoopers 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    38.14/20.00 NQ/2
  • Regular 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults:
    61.29/85.00 NQ/2 YPS: 2.10
  • TouchNGo 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults:
    88.33/92.98 NQ/3 YPS: 2.00
  • Chances 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults :
    41.00 Gamble: N NQ
  • Tunnelers 12/Std/Open
    P Time/Faults:
    44.34/6.47 NQ/1 YPS: 3.20
  • Jumpers 12/Std/Novice
    P Time/Faults:
    22.28/0.00 Q-10/1 YPS: 4.40

Oh, yeah, Kathy and the MCMUA provided clear-stream containers and the recycling compliance was astounding.

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SCOR Agility May 30 and 31, 2009 Lewis Morris Park, Morris Township, NJ

DCC_6813Scraps has not practiced agility in any real manner for a long time.  This is of course with the exception of our painfully slow teeter learning process.  I can’t say I was expecting much out of him on this first day of the SCOR agility trial, but Scraps is a wonder dog and he never ceases to amaze us.  In short, he went four-for-four.  Four events, four qualifying runs and 4 first places. A perfect day all around.

Kathy had to help out with the annual Morris Habitat Bike and Hike this morning until about 9:00am.  This left me to get to the trial early, set up and run with Scraps for the first event.  I took the task seriously, not serious enough to use my cleats, and got there by 7:10.  Being at Lewis Morris Park, which is 10 minutes from our house, makes this responsibility much easier.  I looked to get measured but Scraps was not on the “to be measured” list so he need not get measured ever again for SCOR.  Yeah, no need to worry about geeting to event early again.

To see lots of pictures of all the dogs check out my Picasa Web Album.

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Day 1 – May 30, 2009

I was all alone for the first run, the judge’s briefing, etc.  No big deal. It all happened very fast.  I set up the video on a tripod  and we were the 4th or 5th dog of the day.  It was full house. You had to do at least 3 jumps (1 point each) 2 tires or tunnels (3 points) and 1 plank, weave A-frame.  In addition, you had to a amass a minimum number of total points, requiring completion of additional obstacles to the ones listed above For running at level 3 we had to get 25 total point I believe.  We got 35 point and a first place, qualifying, the whole shu-bang.!  It felt like a near flawless run, quick, efficient and commanding.  I’m getting over the top as I finish off a bottle of wine as I write this so called “diary of the mouth.”

We only ran Scraps in 4 of the 5 events, choosing not to do Standard since it requires the use of of teeter which still isn’t happening.  Otherwise were are competing at level 3 for the most part and excelling at it.  That is the exciting part about what we accomplished on this day.

Kathy arrived about 9:00 after checking out Rags at home and my duties except for media compilation was over for the day.  I could break out the Hostess powdered white donuts and coffee and rest in my gravity chair or snap away with my Nikon D200 with its 18-200mm lens!  Since the camera is new and the old standy-by video camcorder is the “old stand-by,” I decided I would try to use both during Kathy’s runs.  I would have the video on a tripod nicely aimed and I would try to snap a few photos during the run whiles also controlling the video on the tripod.  I sacrificed qualify in both ends and therefore it wasn’t worth the effort.  I should just go with video.  By the next day this was on my mind but I still couldn’t resist trying to snap a few while video taping.

Kathy ran the next three event of the day and not only matched my performance, but multiplied it by three.  Wow, they were hot.

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In Jackpot we came in 1st place with a qualifying run of 49 points in 49.56 seconds.  This was at level two and we will be able to now move up to level 3 in Jackpot.

Wild-card was the 3rd game of the day and we also came in 1st place with a qualifying run in 28.35 seconds with 0 faults.  Now I have to admit there were rarely any other dogs in our jump height of 8″ so a qualifying run guaranteed you and first place ribbon, but in all our runs, it would have been hard pressed for a small dog to have out run Scraps.

The last run of the day was jumpers.  We didn’t stick around for the results as we packed up and got out of Dodge to be home feeding the dogs by 5:45.  We ended up qualifying with a 1st place ribbon again in this event but we didn’t find this out until the next day.  A spectacular day and tomorrow we don’t have to be at the park until 8:30 or 9:00.  Much better than 7:00.

Day 2 – May 31, 2009

We didn’t get back to the trial site until a leisurely 8:30am.  Everything was there from the previous day, we raised the tent and we were ready to wait for our turn.  Like yesterday, Full House would be our first event for Scraps but unlike yesterday, it wouldn’t go so perfectly.  For some reason Scraps wasn’t too focused on Kathy and  missed a target on the A-frame and we only got 20 points when we needed 23 to qualify.  If you look at the video, we missed the last 3 points in a tunnel by about 3 seconds.  That was a real shame.

We didn’t get a qualifying run in the second event either as we were whistled off the course for double dipping on the A-frame.  Once again, Scraps didn’t performs on the A-frame as he went up it a bit it but jumped off just as he got on.  When we went back for seconds on the A-frame we were disqualified.

It started to threaten rain by the next event and for Scraps’ run. It was actually raining by Scraps’ run and practically only for Scarps’ run but it wasn’t too bad.  This run he ran perfectly and zoomed through the course with the greatest of ease and got a 1st place and a qualifying run.  This was a perfect run.

In the last event of snooker, we were meat before we could get going.  Scraps missed an obstacle and before we knew it we were whistled off the field by the judge once again.  We may not have done that well on Sunday, but once again it was a fun day for Kathy, Scraps and I.  In addition it was really nice weather and close to home.  I was able to go home and walk Rags for lunch.

We were packed and out by 4:30, so Sunday went quicker than Saturday.  Although we only had  1 of 4 qualifying runs on Sunday for the weekend we went 5 for  8.  That is pretty good considering we are competing at level 3 in most categories.  We have at least one more competition this year so let’s see what we can do.  It was an easy fun beautiful weekend as far agility trials go.