Friday, April 1, 2011

Incredible Dog Challenge - Part 1

Today, Riley and I practiced for the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge.  The event is tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed that Purina's agility equipment is not in good repair.  I hate to be such a complainer, but the contact/climbing obstacles appear to be 20 years old.  The surfaces needed fresh paint and sand as they were slick and did not provide much traction.  Combined with a tunnel discrimination, both the dogwalk and A-frame were hazardous.  Riley lost her footing on both and had to bail off the A-frame in the first run and the dogwalk in the second. 
Warming Up

Tunnel/contact discrimination (tunnel placed right next to the A-frame or dogwalk and the dog has to determine which one is correct) is not our strong suit and we had two to contend with.  That would be a "Train, don't complain" scenario.  It is something we simply need to work on.

Here is a video of the set up.  Its funny because the field seemed very small for an agility course, but on video and in photos it appears to be huge.  However, the course laid out very nicely and gave the dogs room to run (although the yucky contact obstacles really made running fast risky).
Here are Riley's two agility runs.  We were definitely out of sync.  I did not want her to get hurt so I stopped pushing her to run so that caused her to turn early or miss obstacles.  She was pretty jacked up for the first run as well.  I should have played fetch with her to take the edge off.  Thank goodness for a practice day.
The best part of the day was definitely the Weave Pole Challenge.  Riley kicked butt!  She had to do 30 weave poles, turn around in a tunnel (MIL and Amy were right!), and come back through 30 weave poles.  Riley was one of the few to be error free.
The other highlight was that Riley handled the environment very well.  The setting was highly charged and the music and announcing was very loud in the staging area.  Riley had a couple of moments, but I was ready to entertain and distract with filet mignon.  Stephen had found some on sale and grilled them for her last night. 
Riley definitely approved of the super, high value, steak treats.  We have more for tomorrow as well!
Half way through the day we moved Riley's crate outside of the crate tent because the Jack Russell terriers were so loud.  They were there for the hurdle races.
Lunch for the humans was awesome (you were right, Jerry)!  I am a vegetarian and they had the best portabella mushroom sandwich ever, pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes, fruit, chips, and a cheesy tomato soup.  I was a happy camper.
Think positive thoughts for us tomorrow.  I just want to get her around the course safely.  The course will be the same as it was today so I know what to expect.  She looked stiff tonight so I gave her a Deramaxx.  As luck would have it, my vet is the vet for the event.  I will have Dr. Toby watch her move in the morning.