You remember that High in Trial Rally dog I was bragging about a couple of months ago? The one who got a 96 in Rally Excellent and a 100 in Rally Advanced?
Well, that dog took a vacation this weekend.
Cooper and I drove up to Monroe for the Washington State Obedience Training Club rally trials. Being optimistic (or perhaps complacent), I entered Cooper both days in Rally Excellent and Rally Advanced, hoping for two more RAE legs.
Here are the course maps for today (Saturday). Although the maps don’t really show it, both levels have the dreaded bar jump, and in Excellent, the bar jump appears in the Send Over Jump exercise, where the handler must send the dog over the jump from 10 feet back rather that at the jump. Excellent also has the 3 Steps Backwards exercise, which sometimes Coop does great, while other times he stands back and watches me do it by myself.
Cooper was really distracted in these strange surroundings. There were big, bright windows on two sides of the rally ring, and he wanted to see something out there. And some dog kenneled along the wall was playing with his squeaky toy. So, Cooper didn’t stay tightly in heel position, and he also didn’t sit very quickly. We lost a bunch of points sprinkled throughout the runs for being out of position and lacking a brisk performance.
But the big point-eaters were, first, that Cooper wouldn’t jump over the bar jump. He went around it in both levels. And in the exercises where he was to do a Stand-Stay, he moved several steps. So, right there, we lost 10 points each (out of 100 hundred) for those two, plus losing all those little points throughout. That left us with a 72 in Excellent and a 77 in Advanced. Since 70 is passing, Cooper did qualify for his 4th RAE leg, so…
You know, I distinctly remember a day when simply qualifying made me really, really happy. And then we started getting placements every once in awhile — a 2nd place here and a 3rd or 4th there.
Then came that amazing day when Cooper got High in Trial. I think that wrecked it. Now I have expectations.
News about tomorrow in the next post…