New handler, old groove
'My impersonation of a Meerkat'
Event was held in USJ Summit shopping centre and ring size was fine for jumpers but crammed for standard agility. Hence, the Indonesian judge could place not more than 14 obstacles in the ring. Based on my experience, small rings and closely stacked obstacles are a speedster’s nightmare and I was already counting the number of faults that I will eventually chalk up … I sniggered while Mr Owner fretted. Advantage to the slow and steady, close heeling dogs.
On the other hand, MKA decided to go with the outdated scoring format of adding 5 secs per fault (ie. placing determined by time) and this gave the advantage back to the faster dogs, as faults incurred do not automatically send you to the bottom of the pecking order.Being MKA’s 1st agility trials, judge was fairly lenient and didn’t make any elimination calls but opted for the easy 1 fault/ error/ obstacle. This suited me just fine as I proceeded to chalk up the faults as predicted but with the scoring format and my relentless pace, I still manage to take top spot. Notched up to 3 faults in both my runs much too Mr Owner’s frustration, nevertheless he still had to force a smile as Mr Chan did manage to run me to 1st place … I love this game!
However, it wasn’t plain sailing all the way bearing in mind that Mr Chan had to run 2 JRTs one after the other, twice. With our punishing pace, screeching turns and pivots, Mr Chan was huffing and puffing to keep up with us 2. Come the 2nd run, he had to ask for a timeout just to catch his breath before proceeding further. The judge was kind enough to oblige.Faults aside, it was a neat effort by Mr Chan considering he only had 1 practice session and was my 1st time running with a new human. In fact, I prefer Mr Chan cause he didn’t reprimand or make me reperform the obstacles which I faulted on, sweet.
My mates also had a good day at the trials. Kimi took 2nd spot in standard agility and won the jumpers class, while Amber the GR captured 3rd and 1st spots in both classes for maxi dogs.
With the agility trials being held in a busy shopping centre, there was no shortage of distractions to test our focus and attention. Plenty of noise, lights, movement, a DJ playing music in between runs and a voluble MC urging the teams on with remarks like, 'Don't miss the hole!’ (he was referring to tyre jump) and 'Yes, Yeesss, Yeeeessss!' (with each successful negotiation of an obstacle).
Obedience trials was held the next day and the mood couldn’t be anymore different with the audience being told to keep noise to a minimum and to stay 1 feet away from the ring. The DJ and MC were placed on silence mode as well. Despite the safeguards, a couple of petty OB handlers still found time to complain about people tapping on the signboards and other dogs being a nuisance by being too close to their dogs. Heard that a heated argument took place between a trialer and a casual observer as a result. Personally feel that these trialers are a spoilt lot. The main objective in a trial is for the dog to perform on field despite the distractions. If your dog can only perform in an area with minimal noise and movement, then for goodness sake, do stay away from trials in a shopping centre or any public arena for that matter.
'We even had time to perform tricks during the agility trials.'