The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

20 January 2014

Rally Overdose! (Humiliating photos galore)

This past weekend, Juno, Kaline, and I did three Rally trials in two days. This was not, in fact, the best idea ever. Nonetheless, Juno earned her Rally Excellent (RE) title, and Kaline earned his Rally Novice (RN) title! Very exciting.

We had a new setup this year. Juno and I are minimalists and show up at trials with a folding chair and a travel mat, with a collapsible travel bowl hooked onto my belt loop so I can give her water at some point. Thanks to Kaline, we added to that: an enormous, exceedingly light and easy to pop-up Noz2Noz crate, a Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor pad to make the crate cushy, extra traffic lead and snake chain, Tigers jammies, etc etc. I felt slightly ridiculous, until I remembered that this is how “normal” people pack for trials. (Normal in quotes because ... yeah, if you do any kind of trialing, you're not normal.)
Trumbull packed and ready to go, except for the dogs!
 The first day, we got up at 4:30 in order to be at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds by 6:00 to set up and get our course map and start practicing. Juno was going to be first in the ring for Excellent, the first class of the day. So yeah, I was freaking out a bit. We got our favorite setup spot, and though the stewards were really slow/late handing maps out and checking people in, Juno and I were able to pace around the ring as the judge laid out the signs, and start practicing. Kaline snuggled down in his crate and was largely quite good about it. I think he realized it was the warmest, coziest, comfiest place he could really be (the building this trial happens in is SO cold, always).

Our setup at the show; red camp chair courtesy of our very kind friend, Laurie, cause mine is MIA.
The course was pretty nice for us, except for having a broad jump. Usually Juno does not believe in the broad jump. She just walks on it, which is a ten-point deduction. Since you can lose 30 points and still qualify, I don't fight her on the broad jump. We had practiced the send to jump (I'm not going to explain it, suffice it to say that it's really hard if your dog isn't in agility) a lot but that wasn't on the course. Anyway, I did my best to do Juno's usual warmup and got her really amped. Apparently, a little too amped.

We got in the ring and Juno was so excited that she flubbed things she's normally very precise about by just bouncing out of position. I just had to giggle at her, because she was so enthusiastic. We got to the broad jump and I gave her the “over” cue—and she sailed over it like a pro! I was so surprised I almost tripped over myself. She did the other jump fine and we qualified with room to spare, getting 82. That was her last leg for her RE title, and I was so thrilled. Little bummed that they didn't have the little medallions you usually get for a title, but still, it was cool.
Juno and her green ribbon for qualifying in Excellent. Her official title is now (Queen) SD Thundercats Are Go CGC CD RE.
We had to wait a long time for Kaline's debut in Novice. Outside of his crate, he was quite a pill, since he's collar-smart and knows he can get away with all kinds of things on his flat collar. He was most annoying. In the ring, he still got distracted and a little scatterbrained a couple times, but he was largely a very good boy and ended up with an 88 and his first leg!
Kaline's first green ribbon!
Had lunch, second trial commenced. Juno and I had a terrible time in our Excellent run. She was tired—I think that was the issue. Her main problem in general is lagging, and the lagging was extreme in that run. And she refused both jumps, probably because we had done too much jump practice outside the ring. Too many demerits and we NQ'ed. I was so bummed out I scratched from Advanced. (After you get the RE title, the next title is RAE, where you have to get qualifying scores in both classes in the same trial in order to get a leg. You need ten legs for the title). Kaline had a better run than in the morning and got a 93 for his second Novice leg.
Second leg!
The next morning, I was super excited to see that the Excellent and Advanced courses were really nice, in terms of playing to Juno's strengths. As I did the walk-through for Excellent, I noted that the sign for station 11 was in a weird place where it was easy to just miss it entirely. I spent the practice time repeating to myself not to miss that sign. So what happened when we did the course? Juno did rather nicely, other than refusing the second jump—and I missed station 11. Automatic NQ. UGH! Nothing feels worse than a massive handler error. We did Advanced just for giggles and though Juno lagged horribly and trying to motivate her was like pulling teeth, we still got an 89.
You can tell she's really thrilled.
Kaline did great in his final Novice run. He did all the stations so nicely, except for in the serpentine where we kept knocking into each other. He got a 94 and he got his title! That was a really nice end to the weekend.
Look Mom, I got a medal to go with my ribbon! His official title is now (Princess) SDIT Gatehouse As Time Goes By CGC RN.
I'm going to enter them both in one more trial (at a date to be determined) and if Juno is lagging and lackluster again, I'm just going to bag RAE for her. If she's not having fun and it's a chore and three jumps to practice for and then perform are just too much for her at this point, then it's too much. I'm not going to force her through all this for a title that is supposed to be “just for fun.”

Stay tuned for lots of training with Kaline on how to behave nicely on a flat collar.


  1. Congratulations! They look darling holding their ribbons (And Kaline's medal is very nice ^^).

    I had occasion to comment yesterday that I wished there was a local, non-sketchy place where I could run Elka in Agility, as she was blasting around the house at top speed to greet our guests, without knocking into anybody or anything!

  2. Congrats! That's a heavy trialing weekend for sure!

    Don't worry, your packing list sounds incredibly light. Whenever Holly and I have trialed the entire back of a Honda Pilot is full. I wish I make my haul a little smaller! :)