Ticket’s Last Hurrah

Well, the girls and I got to enjoy 3 days of agility at the Dog Gone Fun USDAA agility trial.  First 2012 Qualifying event, so a chance to get some of those Qs early, though no idea where it will be.  Also a chance for Ticket to finish some titles before heading into surgery.

Ticket looked great coming into the weekend–I worked her a few times during the week, and really no problems.  She hasn’t been limping, the signs that her knee is even bothering her are pretty subtle.  She’ll shift her weight to her right rear leg, and her stride on that side is a little bit shorter.  Nothing like what you would logically expect a dog with a partial ACL tear to look like.  Friday was the toughest day for her–she was entered in titling classes as well as DAM team (with friends Lori and Spree, and Donna and Siryn).  I was paranoid about how she was looking all day–overanalyzing every move, holding my breath every time she came out of the crate, etc.  I was trying to take it as easy on her as possible, choose the least physically challenging courses/sequences I could in the classes where I got to pick what we would do, etc.

Ticket, well, she doesn’t know how to take it easy.  She has only one speed–warp.  I think I may have caused her more problems trying to be careful then anything.  Lesson learned–if you’re going to run, do it all the way, or stay home.

Friday, Ticket earned her Starters Gamblers and Snooker titles.  DAM Team was pretty bad–if you would have told me she would do as badly as she did, and we’d still earn a Q, I would have told you you were crazy.  She Ed on the 2nd to last jump in Jumpers (got out of position towards the end and never recovered).  She got a whopping 5 points in Snooker when she knocked the 2nd red.  She earned a decent number of points in Gamblers, but nothing stellar.  AND she Ed at the end of a tricky Standard course that got tons of dogs–SOOO close!  However, it turns out it wasn’t really a great night for any teams.  Lots of Es, that I honestly don’t think would have happened if we hadn’t been running late at night, some of us having been there since 8am.  Wish I could blame Ticket’s issues on that, but she was just a baby dog.  Anyway, despite Ticket’s struggles, we were still above the Q line.  If we didn’t E in Relay, we would make it.  We all overhandled a bit, but made it through with minor faults, and YAHOO, Ticket has a 2012 DAM Q.  SO glad to have it out of the way–it’s hard to find a team for a baby dog (and it’s hard for me to make a trial that offers Team).

After Friday, I was much less stressed about Ticket.  If she came up lame, I could just pull her from the rest of her classes, and not affect anyone else.  But she ran great!  She earned her first Advanced Snooker leg, and came OH SO CLOSE in Grand Prix, with one bar down.  I miss the days of being able to Q with 5 faults…  One thing that we will be doing LOTS of work on once she’s on the mend is the TABLE.  It’s just looking worse and worse, and she’s going out of her way to avoid it because she doesn’t want to stop.  It’s the one piece of equipment I don’t have, and I plan to fix that in the next few weeks.  I will be building lots of value for the table, and don’t think it will be too hard to get her excited about it–she is extremely motivated by her dinner.

Trip was her typical brilliant self.  I was hoping to get some Tournament Qs on her, and she didn’t disappoint.  She and teammates Kerry and Boomer WON PVP on Friday.  She then proceeded to win Round 1 of Steeplechase, AND win Performance Grand Prix to get that all-important Bye.  I can’t say she was feeling GREAT–she was acting a little weird in Standard and I ended up pulling her, and on Saturday, she skipped a weave pole.  Nothing terribly remarkable that we could find going on, but just stayed really focused on her in GP to get her through.  I scratched her for R2 Steeplechase since she looked done.  But I’m SO happy with her–3/5 Qualified for Nationals, and with a Bye.  I don’t think we’ll be doing another USDAA until December, so it’s nice to have that head start.  Because of Ticket’s surgery, I’m not traveling and only doing local shows until Ticket comes back.  Once she does, it’s going to be a marathon to try to get her qualified for 2013 AKC Nationals in Tulsa–6 QQs plus two Exc. A Standard legs.  If there’s a show, I expect we’ll be there. 🙂

Ticket is scheduled for surgery next Tuesday (9/20).  I know we need to do it, but it’s hard to take a dog that does 19 runs over 3 days, and put them through surgery.  But she will be healthy and ready to go when she comes back.  It’s a tough road, but I know we can do it.  She’ll be in good hands with Dr. Beale and the staff at Gulf Coast, and hopefully the time will fly by.


Leave a Comment