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.


Hiking Hounds said...

I'll be thinking of you and Riley and sending lots of positive thoughts your way! Good luck and have fun!

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

GOOD LUCK TOMORROW!! I'm so sorry to hear about the contacts. I hate that! Today I scratched Layla from Standard and FAST. The main reason was because I wasn't feeling well (was home a few days sick) but honestly if the weather was better (we had rain/snow/sleet, all at the same time!) I probably would've sucked it up and ran her. But I've heard nothing but negative things about this one supplier's equipment. Plus, our dogwalk didn't have the center support, which normally wouldn't be as much of an issue but adding in icy rain.

I'm thinking the best thoughts for you guys!! I can't wait to watch the video when I get on the computer.

Mad Red Hare said...

Good luck! I too would be concerned for her safety. You certainly wouldn't want any injuries. You would think being sponsored by Purina, the equipment would be decent.

houndstooth said...

Way to go, Riley! We are wishing you tons of good luck! I knew Riley would do great in those weave poles. :) You'll be awesome tomorrow!

I love how she ran a circle around the camera man!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

The weaves were so awesome to watch. Loved how Riley ran around the camerman like he was another obstacle, lol! But boy, scary about the equipment! At least she doesn't appeared to be worried about anything, let alone coming off the A-frame and dog walk.

Everything is crossed here for you guys tomorrow. You both rock, you'll be fine:)

Tarmar said...

I'll be crossing my fingers and toes and thinking good thoughts for you and Riley! I appreciate having you and Riley there to show them what greyhounds can do!

Sam said...

Like Amy, I was also contending with crappy contacts today and scratched Marge from the same Standard run as well! How unfortunate that one of the most well known dog agility events doesn't have up to par equipment. The kits to rubberize contacts really aren't very expensive.

All in all, it sounds like Riley had a good first day and I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

4-legged Wiums said...

best of luck for you for tomorrow!
Those weave poles were just awesome, go Riley go! She sure lapped that border collie!

IHateToast said...

i read this earlier but couldn't comment from the phone.

good luck! i'm glad that you got a practice day. the photo at the top is great. they all are, but that one is super. whatever is wrong with the other stuff, the photographer took great shots.

no green pants?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thank you for all the nice well wishes. We are heading to my agility field in an hour to burn off some extra energy. I think we have a good plan for today. I so want to run clean. I'm doing lots of visualizing. We have a lot of greyhound folks coming to cheer for us so I would love for her to run well.

jet said...

Good luck! The announcer seemed impressed too :) Wishing you safe clean runs and a feature in the TV coverage!

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

This is so exciting! Summit and I will be watching Riley today. It was awesome to see her kick butt in the weave pole challenge, against a border collie no less! Atta girl, Riley!

GreytMusic said...

Just do you your thing! What actually happens doesn't *really* matter, you guys both rock. :) <3

Riley looked fantastic in the weaves, and as for the agility, I always say to myself before a performance, "Not-so-good dress rehearsal = EXCELLENT performance!" You guys will be great. I know it. :)

Lots of good vibes regardless. I, too, loved the part where she ran circles around the cameraman. Such a love.

BrittBeah said...

Squeee! She beat the BC in her weave pole race. Nice.
Those falls off the A frame and dog walk made me wince. Lucky girl to not get hurt. Careful out there. Wish you guys the best!

Katie said...

Sending many many good thoughts! She looked awesome in the weaves!

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

We watched both agility runs and the weave challenge today! Absolutely wonderful. That first agility run was especially great! If not for that pesky pole... I say the wind blew it over!

There were so many greyhound fans in the chat room for the streaming video cheering for you and Riley!