NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Monday, November 3, 2008

Jackpot!!


I have to relay a funny story from this weekend's dog trial:

This weekend's Jackpot game was what we call a "traditional" Jackpot. Each obstacle in the ring is worth a designated amount of points and each can only be used twice for points. We had 35 seconds to gather a minimum of 24 points, then once the time was up, a horn blew and we had 18 seconds to complete a distance challenge planned by the trial judge. In the distance challenge, you must direct your dog through a series of four obstacles while you remain behind a line about 10-20 feet away. The distance challenge for this weekend's Jackpot was such that I knew Skye would nail it, no problem. Over a jump, through the weaves, over another jump, then on to a low "table" that would stop the clock. Easy, right?

The real challenge in the game is to plan your opening 35 seconds to get your points and leave you in the perfect position to start the distance challenge. You don't want to be on the opposite side of the ring when the horn blows or you use up a bunch of your following 18 seconds just getting to the right spot to get started. I usually make a plan that I think will cover the time, then have another few obstacles planned in the event I need to waste a few more seconds. (You can't enter the distance challenge before the horn blows.)

Thirty-five seconds doesn't sound like a long time, unless you're running like a madwoman the whole time, which I was. So, Skye and I are out running like crazy trying to gather up our points. We ran my whole plan. Then we ran my extra obstacles plan. The horn still hadn't blown! Now we were just frantically doing whatever was in front of us trying to waste time and not get too far away from the beginning of the distance challenge, Skye was growling and barking at me because we were running all herky-jerky and he was mad at me, and my brain is popping, thinking, "Holy mother of God, this is the longest 35 seconds of my entire life!! What is going on?!?!" Suddenly I hear people yelling, "Stop, stop!! The timer is broken!!"

I stopped in the middle of the ring, made Skye sit down, and waited, nearly hyperventilating, while they fixed the timer. "I'm really, really sorry," the judge said. "You'll have to run it again. You can do it now, or you can rest while a couple other dogs run first." Still panting, I shrugged and said, "Might as well do it now. I ate cheese enchiladas last night and need to work 'em off."

Back to the start line we went to do it all over again. And I was right. Skye nailed that distance challenge perfectly. And I didn't even require an oxygen tank when we were done! :-)




This is a photo of a cranky Skye. He's still cute!

10 comments:

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Oh good heavens, I think I'd be making them eat that timer! I think it's so great you do this...I tried years ago to train one of my dogs (okay, she was a Doberman, but I had to try!) for agility. I'd stand a better chance of training our goats to complete a course. *sigh*

Love the picture!!

Lezlie said...

Michele ~ I've seen quite a few Dobermans compete and do really, really well! But not all dogs take to agility. Max was a natural right away, but Skye took some coaxing. Even now he will do only so much before "cranky Skye" makes his appearance. :-)

Lezlie

Lisa said...

Every time you post about them I wanna make Scout-dog learn to do that!

I'll post a picture of her soon, she looks quite a bit like Skye there, a bit less white.

Lezlie said...

Lisa ~ I'd love to see a picture! Do post one!

Lezlie

Dar said...

Ok, I know it wasn't funny when it was happening but you know it is now. I would have needed that oxygen tank. lol. Love the pic!

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ Actually, it was pretty funny at the time, too. :-) Just to top it off, I still had to do the run *again* with Max just a few minutes later! I was really good at it by then. LOL!

Lezlie

Lisa said...

There is a glimpse of scout dog in one of today's pictures- she does have a lot less white, but the same long hair and white toes and chest.

Lezlie said...

Lisa ~ I'm checking it out now! Thanks!!

Lezlie

Teddy Rose said...

LOL! That's so funny! He is still really cute even when he's mad!

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ Skye has one of the most intelligent, expressive faces I have ever seen on a dog. It's freaky!

Lezlie