May Agility Trial Recap

by Melissa R. on June 8, 2010

Mocca likes her spot

Mocca likes her spot

After not having an April agility trial, Mocca coming down with another bout of Lyme Disease, and being on vacation…our May agility trial loomed large. Thankfully, we had a couple of good training weeks so I felt positive going to our next competition.

It was perfect weather – 60’s in the morning, getting up to 80 in the afternoon, but by then we would be done. I set up our spot, and tried out our new set up: Mocca’s crate in the back end of the vehicle, the reflective sheet draped over the side of the car where the sun was hitting, water bowl and my chair. I was hesitant to leave Mocca too long in her crate, as she isn’t generally crated during the day, although “knows” about the crate and usually seems happy to settle in for awhile at trials. However, I was happy to find Mocca sleeping contentedly when I returned at one point (note the use of her water bowl for a pillow!), so my worries were soothed. It was a nice, cool, peaceful spot for her.

Waiting for our turn!

Waiting for our turn!

Our courses looked tough – lots of twists, tight corners and traps. What else should I expect at the Excellent Level, I guess!? I keep hoping for something simple. Our Jumpers With Weaves course was first, and I made sure to take Mocca for as long a walk as possible prior to this to get her energy level maintained. It seemed to work as she ran really well, and if I hadn’t messed up at one point we would have had our first Q! We were even under time….We are SO CLOSE to getting that first Q, it’s torture! I have realized I really need to work in those Front Crosses, even though I know Mocca will likely do OK without them – it is more of a guarantee for us though. If I had done a Front Cross when I was supposed to, she probably wouldn’t have missed the jump we faulted on.

Standard Agility course is always harder for us – Mocca excels at the jumping more than the contact obstacles. We started out with an easy Tire Jump to A-Frame….Well I thought it was easy. Mocca instead made eye-contact with the Judge, and headed on over to greet him. I don’t know if his build looked familiar to her, or if he made eye contact with her (I doubt it) – but regardless, 10 seconds had passed by the time I finally got Mocca back to me. After that, we had some difficulty with a side-by-side Tunnel Exit to Ramp entrance. I managed to get back on course though and we finished the rest of the course well. I am happy to say Mocca hit her weave poles perfectly both times so for that I am pleased!

All in all it was another fun day for us both and we always look forward to the challenge! We have another competition coming up in just a few weeks and I am hopeful that we will finally get a Q in at least one of the courses. Stay tuned!

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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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June 8, 2010 at 9:33 am

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Sarah W. June 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

Mocca is such a wonderful dog! I’m not at all surprised that she’s excelling at agility. She’ll only improve, I’m sure.
LOVE the photo of her with her water-bowl “pillow.” I guess you’d call that “improvising.”
Congrats to both of you on your success!!!

Hannah June 23, 2010 at 3:32 am

So glad to hear about wonderful improvements, looks like things going smoothly. Wishing more luck for Mocca, hope to see more achievement posts someday here.

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